I bought the Cookworks Travel Kettle last year against my better judgement. I have not had very good previous experiences with items from the brand which have included 2 full size kettles [both dead within 6 months of ownership] and a microwave [dead within a year.] As you can imagine it was the last brand I wanted to buy from again. However when I needed a kettle at short notice for my boyfriend to use on a works trip, I found that only Argos could provide me with one "out of season", as a staff member in Robert Dyas described it. It was November! Anyway the only model in stock was a Cookworks one, so it was that or nothing. I am pleased to say my £9.99 purchase has restored my faith in the brand!
WHAT YOU GET FOR YOUR MONEY
I wanted a kettle that was small in size so it wouldn't take up too much luggage room. I was surprised to find that some travel kettles are actually full sized and are only described as "Travel" because they work on dual voltages. The Cookworks kettle has a capacity of 400ml, which allows you to make two cups of drink but not two large mugs. As I bought it for my boyfriend to use initially, who was travelling alone, this wasn't a problem. I cursed the small size when I used it as an emergency spare kettle when our main electric one was broken, and our gas was out of bounds during a kitchen refurbishment. So if you will be making more than two cups of tea at once, you may wish to opt for a larger size - or boil it twice! I think the small size has more advantages than otherwise considering it is supposed to be a travel kettle. It comes in a neat cardboard box that isn't much bigger than the kettle itself, so I use it to store the kettle between uses. When weight is an issue, we have transported it in a large drawstring washbag which works fine. You also get two cups included. I would call these "beakers" really - they don't have full size handles and are very small. I would say they can hold about half a mug full of tea or coffee. They also have a pronounced rim that makes drinking less comfortable than it could be, so I have ceased using them.
The kettle is not cordless and the flex is quite short. Normally this would irritate me but it would defeat the object of producing a smaller, lighter kettle if it came with a long lead. When I first used it I kept worrying about taking the plug near the sink when I was filling it, but I soon got used to it. Underneath the cord is a switch on the base that allows you to select the voltage you require - either 220-240v for the U.K and most of Europe, or 100-127v for elsewhere. The switch isn't easy to change by accident which is important for safety reasons. The last thing in the box is a brief users guide, which doesn't contain anything really earth shattering - on reading it I discovered that kettles may get hot during use for example. . Actually it doesn't get any hotter than any other kettle but you have to watch the steam that is released of course.
DOES IT BOIL WELL?
The kettle was ready to use straight from the box and we gave it several trial runs at home before it's first trip. It is surprisingly quiet - I can get away with using it in the same room as a sleeping partner without waking them. It does produce quite a lot of steam but only at the last. When full, boiling time takes around 4 minutes and during that time a orange light glows at the bottom. This does seem a bit long considering the small amount of water inside but it could be worse. There is a "maximum fill" indicator on the side, which is useful but I recommend filling it just below that line. This is because if you do fill the kettle to the indicator, hot water can still bubble up the spout and escape. Even when slightly underfilled the odd drop escapes so be careful what surface you place the kettle on. The lid does shut firmly which helps. It isn't hinged - in other words it lifts right off. I would have prefered it to have been attached as we almost left it behind on one weekend away, but that is only a small niggle. There is also a minimum fill indicator, and boil dry protection - which thankfully we have yet to put to the test.
I rinsed the kettle out and boiled it a few times before discarding the water prior to our first use, as recommended in the instruction booklet. Even so, the first few drinks had a plasticy taste that was not pleasant. I am pleased to say that this disappered after a weeks use by my boyfriend and the drinks produced now taste exactly the same as they would when made using any other kettle. So don't let your first drinks put you off!
We have had the kettle about 14 months. It has been used for a few weekends away, 3 week-long work trips, and at home on a regular basis. My dad hasn't been well and the has adopted the kettle for his bedroom so he can make himself a lttle drink in the night without waking anyone up. He has been boiling it 2-3 times a day for a good 2 months. Overall, this kettle has probably seen more usage than some travel kettles would over the same period of time. It is still performing well, and has required no mintenance bar a couple of descalings which were more a preventative measure than anything. There is no filter included. The kettle wipes clean easily - being white it does pick up the odd mark but they come away with a wipe from a damp cloth.
WOULD I RECOMMEND THE KETTLE?
Overall, I have been very impressed with the kettles peformance. I paid £9.99, which I believe was a reduced price. It is currently on sale for the same amount, down from £12.99. I think that it represents good value for money, considering the fact it has proved to be reliable. It is compact in size which makes it easy to find somewhere to both use it and to store it between trips. It may have too small a capacity for some people, but this information is displayed on the box so shouldn't shock anyone. I think it is just hard to visualise what 400ml translates to in terms of cups of tea! The short cord takes some getting used to but cordless travel kettle cost a lot more and I have soon got used to taking the lead and plug carefully to the sink with me when I refill. It is available in Argos and as far as I am aware nowhere else. [The contact details in the user guide, and the information about the 1 year guarentee both give the address of Argos.] Worth a buy at the price!
[This review also appears under my user name on Ciao.]
Please note that the specific criteria suggested by Dooyoo below are not all relevant to this product so please ignore.]
I picked up my cookworks travel kettle from a car boot sale for only £4 still boxed. It looked brand new as if it had never been used and although I wasn't specifically looking for a travel kettle I thought it was bound to come in handy at some time or another. Since having it I have actually had occasion to use it a few times so I am glad I saw it that morning.
Being a travel kettle it is on the small side and it does look a bit like a child's toy from a kitchen set. It is also really light which again makes it feel toy like but it works just like a big kettle would and its small size does mean it is easy to store and also it won't take up much room in a suitcase or bag when you take it away with you.
The kettle has a lid which comes on and off easily so that you are easily able to fill it up and it also has a window to the side so that you can see just how much water you have put in it.
The capacity isn't very big obviously but at 0.4 litres it is enough to get a couple of decent sized cups of tea out of.
Just because it is small it doesn't mean that safety features have been scrimped on and it has a boil dry cut out which is good because on a kettle this size it is easy to think that there is enough water in it for one last cup when there isn't.
It also has a concealed element to protect it against different types of water.
Boiling the water does seem to take ages especially considering that it has so little water to boil in the first place but I suppose this is because it isn't especially powerful. To boil it when it is full takes about 3 or 4 minutes.
I have only used the kettle in the UK and Europe and in both of these places it has been fine. Apparently you can also use it in Asia and America too though.
The thing that swung me into wanting this kettle in the first place when I saw it was because it came with two little cups which can be stored inside the kettle. I thought this was great as of course if you are going to need to take a kettle away with you then you are obviously going to need cups but I'm honestly not sure this would even have occurred to me so I was pleased to see that there wasn't something else I needed to remember as they would always be there ready for me to use.
I had a look online and you can buy this kettle from argos for £12.99 which I still think is a good price. It is great for a variety of things and I have found myself taking it loads of places with me whereas before I got it I would never have thought to take even take a kettle with me.
As a fan of miniature things in general, I loved this kettle the first time I saw it. It cost me just over £6 from Argos a few weeks ago, and has a full retail price of just under £10. I think that's very reasonable for something so compact and efficient and I feel I got good value for money. I've had other Cookworks products in the past from Argos, and in my experience, most of them are quite good value for money in the long run. They don't live forever, but they do their job well for a few years usually.
When I first got handed this at the Argos counter, I was surprised by just how small the box was! I could carry it easily with just one hand. The small box was a bit of a tardis really, and the cups are tucked away inside the kettle which also helps to cut down on the box size. The point is, don't be put off when you first see this. Consider the fact that the kettle can hold 400ml, as indicated by the measuring guide on the side of the kettle, which is two reasonable or one large mug of tea or coffee. Plenty for a travel kettle. If you want more - buy a proper kettle!
As instructed, I boiled the kettle full a few times before I used it for my coffee for the first time. This got rid of any chemicals left over from the manufacturing process. When I had my first cup, I was really pleased with the results. The kettle takes almost exactly five minutes to boil, which is only one minute more than my regular kettle. As I said before, there's a measuring guide running up the side of the kettle, and this includes a see-through strip like you often see on standard kettles - so you can see how much is in there at a glance. I don't think much to the tiny cups so I haven't used those, but they're a nice addition and might be useful to others.
The cord is a bit on the short side, but then this will be with the travel function in mind I expect. What's the point in having a tiny kettle if you're just going to attach a great, long cord to it? The base is surprisingly thin considering all the work it has to get done, and I was rather impressed with how slender the design is as a whole. I also like the easy on switch, and the way it glows yellowy-orange when compressed so you can be sure it's started to work. There is some noise as it begins to boil, but not a lot, and nothing you wouldn't expect from kettles in general.
The only thing I'm not keen on myself is that the lid comes right off when you open it up. I've dropped it inside the kettle a couple of times now! But hey, that's down to my clumsiness I guess. I suspect this design has been made with travel in mind, and again, it'll probably be useful to others. If you can take the lid off, it makes it easier to pack I guess. You can put a few bits and pieces inside your kettle as you pack it in your bag.
All in all this deserves five stars from me. It's surprisingly slender, streamlined and compact for such an effective little gadget. It boils in good time and it's as easy to use as it could possibly be. I'm particularly impressed with the attention to detail that the designers have paid with this. Well worth the money - and handy for travelling (as well as keeping by your bed to make first-thing tea or coffee with...).
I bought this kettle recently because we were going camping with my 7 month old and wanted to be able to make his porridge for breakfast. It is very small, it would make one cup of coffee I would guess.
It comes with two small travel cups but I dont really see the point of them! The power cord is very short which I found quite dangerous as you cant get very far from the power socket. It also doesnt have an off switch! Generally when you plug it in it comes on, indicated by a light, and switches off automatically like a normal kettle. The lid is quite hard to remove and you have to remove it to fill the kettle. It does boil quite quickly.
Overall I would say it is expensive, I paid just under £10, but it is competitive with similar products. It is small enough to travel with and it is very light. It does exactly what I want and is great for making early morning breakfast. It seems very hard wearing and I have used it alot. It does have a bit of a funny smell when boiling but it doesnt seem to effect the water.
I bought this kettle for around £10 about a year ago. I was after a handy little kettle that I could take on holiday and keep in my bedroom in between times for when I'm upstairs and too lazy to go down to the kitchen for a hot drink! Which is quite often, so it's seen quite a lot of use in the year I've had it.
This kettle really is very basic, to the point of inconvenience sometimes. The power cord, which is attached, is only about 2 foot long, so there really isn't a lot of room between kettle and socket. This makes it a bit difficult to manouvre, particularly if it's on a normal sized table. I've resorted to keeping mine on a very low table right next to the plug socket in my bedroom. Another disadvantage to this is that it only has an on switch (situated on top of the handle), so once it's turned on, you can't stop it unless you turn it off at the mains.
The plastic lid of the kettle lifts off completely, rather than being hinged, but it's fairly easy to pull off when you want to fill up the kettle. It's got a little slotted lip which fits inside the spout- I'm not really sure what the purpose of this is, but I'm guessing it might be some sort of filter. The slots are so large, however, than only massive chunks of limescale would be stopped by this! But it's the only filter-like part of the kettle. This would be a problem if the kettle produced a lot of limescale, but fortunately the grey bottom of the kettle seems to prevent too much limescale escaping into your tea.
True to its name, the kettle really is travel sized, holding just 400 ml (enough for a large mug or 2 cups). But despite its small size, it takes quite a while to boil- maybe 4 mins at full capacity. And the water that comes out of it has a distinct flavour- not particularly strong or disgusting, but just a chemically tang that's a bit unpleasant. I thought at first it was just because it was new, but a year on and I can still taste it, though it's definitely become less obvious.
It's a bit unfortunate for me that the kettle seems to be pretty durable- to be honest, I've been hoping it'll break so I can go and get a different one without being wasteful! It seems really odd that such a small, basic kettle costs more than a lot of normal sized, spruced up ones. The only thing this has got going for it is its size, which certainly makes it convenient for travel, but having used it for a while now, I think I'd rather have the slight hassle of packing a normal sized kettle, simply for the ease of use. Functionally, this really is the least convenient kettle I've ever had the misfortune to come across, and I can't recommend it. 2 stars for compactness and reliability though!