“ Kettles „
I have gone through so many kettles in my time I find myself increasingly annoyed at their faltering longevity and how the interior and exterior of each product quite often becomes dirty or damaged in time. They are now a vital element to the long list of kitchen appliances we utilise today, and electric (plug in the wall) models like this now dominate the once hob-controlled market of pre 1960/70s.
This model from Russell Hobbs, the '3161' is a triumphantly designed piece of kitchen apparatus, which for me hasn't become damaged, un-hygienic, or let me down in any way since its purchase months ago.
This product is special. It's something I haven't seen on the market before (though I haven't looked very hard), because this model is in fact a multi-functional water filter / water heater. Within the housing is a fully removable (and therefore cleanable) built in filter system similar to one you would find in a separate water filter jug device. I don't know about you, but in my house hold the tap water tastes noticeably bad when boiled and can upset the taste of a tea or coffee with ease. This kettle eliminates the need to purchase a separate filter and ends the irritating process of first filling a filter jug, waiting for the water to pass through, pouring into the kettle, THEN waiting for it to boil. This machine combines all the above processes.
The detachable jug of the kettle (which can be fully removed away from the electrical element when pouring the liquid - for added safety) has a fantastic and possibly over-exuberant 1.7 litre capacity. The product can accompany such a large sized jug because the speed at which it boils is as expressed by the product description 'rapid' - the device utilises a 3 KW Element power rating. The kettle can be filled easily via its large opening hatch at the top of the jug which is made from plastic like the rest. The quality of the plastic in general is quite moderate, but the lid opens and closes smoothly making the product seem of higher quality in a way.
From what I've told you about the product, you would expect it to have some impressive, eye-pleasing looks to accompany its voluptuous functions - but it doesn't. The kettles structure is standard, a plastic housing of the white plastic variety combined with a transparent plastic window (with measuring lines) to check how much water the jug is holding and how many brews it can produce from each individual load.
The look may be standard but this means it does fit in with most kitchen environments as it should, and I don't really mind to be honest - kettles are more about speed of boil and the way the thing feels to lift and pour. This product ticks all of my boxes when it comes to what a kettle should have - with the unexpected addition of a water purifier/filter.
I've listed this under 'Russell Hobbs 3161', even though our kettle is a model '3176', as it looks the same. (Maybe ours is a more recent updated model number). The kettle is probably one of the most well used and important electrical gadgets in our kitchen. It really takes a hammering as there are 5 people living in our house. My Mum and Dad drink mostly tea, whilst my two younger brothers are addicted to coffee. I prefer a mixture of the two (not in the same cup obviously), but I probably drink more tea than coffee. Therefore, our kettle has to boil at least 10 - 20 times a day, sometime more. It really works hard, poor thing. We had a Russell Hobbs beige coloured corded jug kettle which lasted for an eternity, I only dimly remember its predecessor when I was a kid. It wasn't the most stylish or up to date model, but it provided many years of problem free and loyal service until our trusty kettle finally gave up the ghost. My Mum had the important and honoured task of replacing it. I came home from work to see our new Russell Hobbs 3176 Visage cordless kettle, fresh from the sale at Argos and ready to use. It was not the cheapest kettle available, but not the dearest either. I think it cost about £19.99 (in the sale) but I've seen it online recently for £25.99. She made the choice of buying another Russell Hobbs kettle, firstly because the previous one had served us so well. Secondly, she liked the design. It is basically a traditional white plastic jug kettle design with a flip top lid, but is slightly taller than the average one. It is slightly shaped, being fatter at the bottom than the top. It has a long teardrop shape of pale blue in the centre, where the water level indicator can be seen. The blue panel is slightly transparent, so you can see the water inside. The handle is fairly sturdy and it pours well, with not too many drips. It fits a decent amount of water in. The base unit i
s also white and round, with the round electrical power attachment 'thingy' (not sure what you call it) in the centre . The features of this particular model are: Cordless Built in filter - washable/ removable Concealed Element 1.7 litres Capacity Rapid Boil 3 kw Element Power Rating Easy Fill Spout Water Gauge 360 Rotational Base 'On' indicator light Automatic shut off That?s quite a few features for a middle of the price range kettle. The most useful of which would have to be the removable/washable filter (I never knew how much horrid stuff there was in water till I saw this after a few weeks of use!) and the 360° base (no need to have it facing a certain way before replacing it on the base). The kettle comes with 12 month guarantee. Use The first step when using a kettle would quite obviously be to fill it with water. This is where we had our first problem. Our kitchen sink is a normal sized one (as far as I know) which has a plastic washing up bowl in and has a mixer tap. I picked up the shiny new kettle and prepared to use the 'easy fill spout'. However, it would not fit under the tap. The distance between the end of the tap spout and the bottom of the sink was too small! Even at an angle it could only be filled slightly before it all poured out again. As I said above, it is taller than the average kettle, which whilst being stylish, is it seems, unpractical. From then on, we had to fill a jug and pour the water into the kettle from there. This got slightly irritating. The second step would be to replace the kettle on the base and turn it on. On doing so, there is a small red light, which illuminates to let you know its in action. It boils reasonably quickly, but as it is supposed to be 'rapid boil', I expected it to be super quick. In reality it's not much faster than any other type (or maybe
I've got high expectations). This is where we had our second problem. The water is boiling (you can see it bobbing about through the blue transparent water indicator) and there is steam starting to come out of the spout. Now is the time when it should automatically shut off, but it doesn't. It keeps boiling for maybe 30 - 40 seconds longer, which fills the kitchen with loads of steam, and then shuts off. Maybe Russell Hobbs wanted to make sure the water was well and truly boiled, I'm not sure. It seems to take an excessive amount of time to turn itself off We have had our kettle for just over a year, so I'm used to its little quirks now. However, just recently it has developed another problem, which will end in its demise. After use, water was appearing on the 360° base, which we deduced was leaking from the blue transparent level indicator window about half way up. The result of this is that it can only be filled up to about one third full. Looking on the bright side, it gives me an excuse not to make everyone else a drink while making my own, because there is not enough water in the kettle!! Conclusion The jury is out on Russell Hobbs kettles. Whilst this one has barely lasted a year, with a few obvious design faults, our previous one lasted years and was great. I would not like to say I wouldn't recommend them overall, just not this particular model of kettle. It was stylish looking with a few good features, while it lasted.
Short name: Russell Hobbs 3161