Product Type: Russell Hobbs toasters
Newest Review: ... round half way through the cycle for reasons described above. The button on the front of the toaster, just below the Russell Hobbs logo... more
A good basic moving in gift
Russell Hobbs Brushed Stainless Steel Gift Pack
Member Name: Holland1
Russell Hobbs Brushed Stainless Steel Gift Pack
Advantages: Good value, look stylish, some nice features
Disadvantages: Short leads, toaster not the biggest, difficult to keep clean
Although this is described as a gift set, I actually purchased this for myself a few years ago when I first bought my own house. It was one of those essential things I knew I'd need, but couldn't afford to spend a lot on, so I chose this kettle and toaster set based on the price compared to the others on the market.
I have since replaced these items, but only because my man and I decided to use some Tesco Clubcard vouchers on a new set when we first moved in together. The kettle is still under our sink but covered in paint, as we used it when we first moved in and didn't want to get paint over our new kettle whilst we were decorating. The toaster was donated to a friend and is still going strong.
==Price and Availability==
I bought this a few years ago when I saw it in Wilkinsons on special offer, and it cost me around £30. It is still available at Wilkinsons but the full price is now £40, and I've seen it in places such as Argos for £50 so make sure you shop around before buying as I have since seen it on offer in other places such as Tesco. If you shop round, you should be able to pick the set up for around £30.
Both the kettle and toaster are stainless steel with black plastic handles/details. They look very classy and have the chrome-effect without the price tag of chrome, and are neutral so they fit in with any kitchen's colour scheme. They both display the Russell Hobbs logo on the front.
The kettle sits on a base which plugs into the socket to get the kettle working. The base is one of these 360 degree bases so you can place the kettle anywhere and it swivels round, rather than having to get it in a certain position. This makes life a bit easier when you have a kettle full of water which is getting a bit heavy. The only downside of the base is that the cord is quite short - this personally wasn't a problem for me because my kitchen at the time was tiny so I had to keep the kettle in the corner quite close to the socket.
There is a narrow see through window at the front so you can see how full the kettle is, although I always find these things to be useless as they presume everyone drinks tea out of cups and saucers rather than a big mug. I used to know how much water would do one or two cups and just go by eye rather than using the cup symbols on the front.
The lid to the kettle doesn't come off, but instead flicks up once you press the button in on the top. This allows you to fill the kettle up quicker if you're making lots of drinks, or filling a pan with boiling water to speed up the boiling process. I always found the capacity of the kettle to be perfectly adequate for whatever purpose I used it for, including filling pans, but if anyone is interested in the exact spec it holds 1.7 litres.
The kettle is switched on by a very obvious looking button at the top of the handle, and a light comes on to let you know it's boiling. It doesn't make too much noise although in a one bedroomed house where the kitchen follows on from the living room you can hear it boiling and this is quite handy because you know when it's finished as you can hear the on button click back to the off position. I never really understand why anyone has a problem with noisy kettles because it's not like you're going to be using it whilst you're trying to sleep, so unless it sings the national anthem every time you boil it I don't see the problem with a bit of noise. I find it quite reassuring because you know your cuppa will soon be in your hand!
A nice feature about this kettle, which I wouldn't really expect for the price, is that it has a boil dry device which prevents you from being able to boil the kettle without water in it. If you were to try boiling it without water it just switches off rather than destroying the element. Not that I've ever done that of course.......
The final thing to say about this kettle is that it has a concealed element. This is neither here nor there to me but just in case it matters to anyone, I thought I'd provide the information.
The toaster is a two slice toaster, with three functions and options for how toasted you like your bread. The first thing I'll say about this toaster is that it doesn't let you push the button down unless it's switched on at the wall. This might sound basic, but I once had a toaster that didn't do this, and must have wasted hours of my life waiting for toast when it wasn't even switched on! It's switched on by a big black button at the side that you just push down.
The compartments for the toast aren't the largest, so you will only get certain types of bread in this toaster. If you like thick bread which you've sliced yourself and has big crusts, forget it, you'd be better off grilling it. If you have large slices of bread with a curved top like you sometimes get from the supermarket, you'll have to turn it round halfway through to make sure the entire thing is toasted, otherwise you'll end up with a white bit at the top. Luckily, because I lived on my own at the time, I only used to buy half-loaves of bread, which tend to be smaller in size than the standard loaf. This meant I didn't have too many problems with non-toasting, but I imagine if I was using this toaster now with other bread it wouldn't do a great job.
The toaster has three function buttons, it doesn't actually tell you on the toaster what they are, but they have symbols next to them that you should be able to work out (if not, they're in the manual!):
1) Reheat function - never needed, never used
2) Defrost function - toasts bread from frozen which is handy if you've forgotten to get it out of the freezer, or if you live alone so like to freeze bread rather than waste half a loaf. I have used this function and it does defrost the bread, but I used to then put it through the normal toasting function because I prefer toast to hot floppy bread
3) Manual Eject function - you can use this when you're being impatient, you can smell your toast is burning, or if you need to turn the bread round half way through the cycle for reasons described above.
The button on the front of the toaster, just below the Russell Hobbs logo, determines the colour of your toast. It has seven different settings so obviously you'll need to play round with this to find your perfect toast colour. I used to have mine quite high because the lower ones toast it so little you might as well toast it in front of the fire.
The toaster has a removable crumb tray which helps to keep it clean and crumb-free, the only problem you'll have with cleaning (and this applies to the kettle too) is that you'll be forever wiping fingerprints off the stainless steel. This happened to me before reality kicked in that I was living alone so what did it matter about a few fingerprints!
The cord on the toaster seemed a little longer than the kettle, but isn't massive so you might be limited where to place both of these appliances.
This is a great duo for people starting out on their own for the first time, whether it's going to college or getting their first house. The set is very good value and although they're quite basic appliances, they will suit someone living alone or a couple, as they fulfil the basic functions required from a kettle and toaster.
Both of these appliances come on fairly short leads, which makes them suitable for smaller kitchens where you have little choice about where to place them. They do have some nice functions though, such as the 360 degree base and automatic boil dry cut-off for the kettle. I think the kettle is better than the toaster, so if you're planning to do a lot of toasting, or you're fussy about how you like your toast, I would suggest possibly it might be better to buy the kettle separately and invest in a slightly better toaster.
This is a good set for getting started, but you'll probably want to replace it after a few years.
Summary: A good buy for anyone leaving the nest......
|Ease of use:|
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