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Kettle review

It’s a seemingly simply task, but there is plenty of variation in the price and performance of the humble electric kettle. We test for speed, energy efficiency and more in our kettle review (member content). We also have a kettle buying guide to help you pick the best kettle.

If you use a kettle, please let us know your experience in the comments below.

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Our 2019 Kettle review is now available for members :tea:

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I see a number of models are awaiting photo uploads as images don’t appear at my end.

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Thanks @phb, I’ll flag it with our content team.

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Interesting data set. The correlation between price and performance is 0.106, that is almost none at all (where 0 is none and 1 is perfect correlation). So the [redacted] for $25 and a score of 74 looks pretty good value. The two jugs over $200 could be described as Veblen goods.

Note also the bunching at price points like $49, $99, $199. All this suggest to me the prices bears little relationship to cost of production and much to do with what the marketdroids thought they could get.

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It is also curious that the top rated product is not recommended, and a few others that appear to meet the test for being recommended are not.

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Sadly missing are smaller capacity lower wattage kettles. Driven by the desire for instant gratification and a fast boil!

Where are the alternatives?
At a resort we recently stayed at that had gone off grid the norm was a lower wattage (1000W) 2 cup kettle, branded and 240v.

How do thermo block style options compare for efficiency and speed, heating just the water you need to perfection?

We are also missing the sealed top insulated kettles so common in Japan etc, that offer a different experience, with a lower peak power and longer heat up, followed by hot water on demand?

It is reasonable for Choice to reflect in it’s tested products what the market is telling us we all need to buy.

Should Choice also be looking beyond the choices of the sellers and seeking out the alternatives? Some might just be better! :thinking:

I can’t resist not adding a similar view point to

Yes, the anomaly screams loudly from the review.

A $150 kettle scoring 82% fails a recommendation while a slightly heavier $179 kettle with a score of 77% is recommended.

While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and style is an acronym for self value, one of the two looks like a piece of 60’s space junk IMHO!

There appeared to be some quite adequate kettles in the $25 - $50 price range. Should a few seconds longer to boil on a base time of more than three minutes matter? Even less if the kettle is only half full for two?

I’d rate durability, apparent noise level, easy of filling, carrying and safe pouring, total weight and balance, all ahead of speed of boiling. It might appear Choices approach to kettles if applied to a car would rate it on maximum speed and cornering ahead of brakes, airbags and seat belts?

With another hat on, electrical heating elements are expensive to manufacture with a precise resistance value. Some might expect up to a 5-10% variance between identical products within batches or between batches. Is a 2000W kettle really a 2000W kettle? The differences in time to boil suggest perhaps not.

The time taken to boil might be splitting hairs for some, and is more a marketing gimmick than of genuine value? Although consumers can be very easily swayed by claims of speed equating to convenience. A debate for the kitchen, and not the bedroom. Although a quite cuppa in bed in the morning? :wink:

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My next kettle is going to be glass. I currently have a sunbeam which is plastic, white, and has a little viewing window with a little red ball to indicate water level. They neednt have bothered with that. After some short time, I noticed bits of plastic dropping into my coffee or tea, and on inspection of the kettle could see those bits floating in the view window… What happened eventually was that the backing of that little window, as well as the little red ball, and the glue which was fixing it to the inside of the kettle, all came apart. I washed out the kettle and can now see into it without the obstructions. I like this better. And it works just fine. But in the future, kettle contents must be completely visible.

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I thought it was odd that from this sample you would think that almost all electric kettles are 1.7l. Why 1.7? That is 57.5 US fluid ounces and 59.8 imperial. If it was a number of cups you think it would be a multiple of 250ml or 8 fl oz.

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My kettle is also 1.7L Max.
1.5L gives exactly 6 metric cups, but to get that last cup the kettle is almost upside down.
I think the extra water makes for easier pouring?

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It could also be kettle/limescale buildup which over time can become free and collect within the kettle…especially water level indicator tubes like on your kettle. It is white and flaky and would like like flaky bits of plastic.

Typically the highest build up of limescale is on the element, but deposits can also be found on the internal (plastic, metal, glass, ceramic etc) surfaces of the kettle. It is has built up on white plastic, it could easy be mistaken for plastic pieces.

If one’s water is very high in calcium or magnesium salts (hard water), the rate of deposition is increased.

Does seem a bit odd. 1.7L doesn’t make sense for cups (150ml, 200ml or 250ml) or a size one would other see as useful. But why why most electric kettle are the same size is also a mystery…are they made by a limited numher of manufacturers where their elements are rated to boil 1.7L…still seems odd.

I wonder if one only partially ful ones tea cup/coffee mug and also adds milk, if the volume is around, on average, 212.5ml? Then 1.7L would be 8 made coffe mugs/tea cups.

We have a Estelle 1.9L (gas) cooktop kettle…wonder why it isn’t 1.7L? I just hope it doesn’t think it is part of some odd bunch. We also use a mug/cup to measure water out when filling the kettle to ensure that only water needed is boiled…to reduce energy use and costs. As a result, we rarely use the full capacity of the kettle.

Some of these are explained in the individual product profiles - the good and bad points, but I’ll pass this on to the relevant team if Brendan hasn’t beaten me to it.

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Perhaps then the scoring system needs to be reconsidered to provide a more comprehensive assessment?

Or a simple emoji of disappointment substituted for a score?

Any curious members can then go through the detailed assessment report and make which ever decision appropriate.

Yes, it might upset the brand if the product failed to get a score? Would that have bothered Choice in the past?

If I was in sales I’d be promoting one of the products in question here to all and sundry if they showed interest. Highest scoring kettle as rated by Choice. There is no obligation to volunteer it did not get a recommended award. And if the customer is that savvy, would they even be looking at that model.

Having purchased the >80% scoring kettle on the sales spiel, 13 months later and 4 weeks out of warranty on failure would a customer remember the bad deal because of the sales person, or also the line that it was the highest scored by Choice?

I don’t know the best answer. It seems very problematic!

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It was not that. When the internal backing to the viewing window came loose, so did the rest of the “glue” which had held it in place.

Thaks @mark_m. The rationale as I understand it is when there are exceptional circumstances, we may remove our recommendation even when a product scores well in our tests. In this case, there were significant enough concerns about reliability issues with certain high-scoring kettles. I’ll pass on your feedback on this and the other issues, and as always we’ll look to continually improve our offering in the future.

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Perhaps those concerns could be highlighted as to why Recommended status was withdrawn/withheld so that unwary buyers don’t get “burnt”.

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Good suggestion @grahroll, I’ll pass it on.

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That’s great. We’re still all learning. :smiley:

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Our latest kettle review is now available for members.

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Ok I looked through the kettles and while I use mine to boil water and look at that score as perhaps the most important part some kettles with boil performance scores over 80% and one with 90 odd percent did not score Recommended status yet kettles with boil scores below 80% scored Recommended. I know which score counts more in my house. I must add that one with 66% boil score rated a recommendation??? I’m boggled!!

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