Friday 26 December 2014

Value in the household: We compare... electric kettles

Sarah Stack

Published 17/08/2014 | 00:00

Left to right: Kenwood SKM 100, Argos Cookworks, DeLonghi Scultura KBZ3001.
Left to right: Kenwood SKM 100, Argos Cookworks, DeLonghi Scultura KBZ3001.

Your kettle is one of those household appliances you never really think about — until it breaks, just as you reach for your morning caffeine fix. Who knew there were so many shapes, sizes and makes out there?

Kenwood SKM 100 €44.99

THIS is one of the cheapest kettles on the market, but it’s really not bad and for the price you won’t do better. The white plastic might not look too fancy on your counter, but it does the job. It has a great limescale filter and it’s easy to see how full it is through windows on both sides. On the downside it’s not particularly quiet, or fast, and you have to boil at least two cups of water — half a litre — to use it. With energy and water bills rising, that means you waste electricity and vital minutes in the morning.

Argos Cookworks €14.99

THIS brushed steel kettle has a 1.6L capacity and lets you boil about a cup-and-a-half at a time. It boils quickly, so uses very little energy — and your precious time — and also has a good limescale filter. But it’s not quiet. This is a dome-shaped appliance, so the handle is a little awkward and can get in the way when trying to take the lid off to fill (you can also fill it slowly through the spout). There is also a small chance that you’ll get some steam on your hands when pouring or opening the lid of the kettle after it boils.

DeLonghi Scultura KBZ3001 €129.99

EVEN if I won the lottery, I’m not sure I could bring myself to pay this much for a kettle, unless it actually brought me coffee in bed. The Scultura’s contemporary style almost resembles a piece of art and would look great in any kitchen. It is fast and boils one cup at a time, so it doesn’t run up electricity bills (but is that a problem if you can afford this?). It also keeps limescale out of your drink and is quite quiet and comfortable to hold. The only negative is that the water gauge is under the handle.

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