As a nation of tea and coffee lovers, the kettle is one kitchen appliance that most of us can't do without - unfortunately, for all the efficient and pleasant looking models on the market, there are an equal number which don't really deliver the goods. Today I'm taking a look at Frigidaire's compact 'FCL1005' and finding out whether it's an appliance worthy of investment. In terms of the price, the kettle is available from a number of retailers on the high street and online for £25.
Design & Appearance, Accessibility & Boil Time
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It should be pointed out that the FCL1005 is an especially pretty looking kettle, with a stainless steel body and a bold black trim around the base and on the lid. The metal body does pick up finger marks rather quickly, although I've found that they will wipe off easily with a soft damp cloth. The chunky plastic handle allows easy transportation of the appliance and feels comfortable to grip. Even though the handle is situated at the rear (rather than on top) of the kettle, overall it feels nicely balanced when lifted, and it isn't especially heavy either. As a cordless model, the kettle fits on a base which handily allows a full 360 degrees of rotation.
The kettle's lid is removed via a latch button on the top of the handle, and is subsequently closed via a light press - no extreme force required! As such, the FCL1005 would be a perfect kettle for an elderly user who has little strength in the wrists. The maximum capacity is one litre, and there's a gauge (or 'water window') that shows you how much water is inside. Unfortunately, the gauge can be a little difficult to see as it's situated directly behind the handle - but it's only a minor niggle on an otherwise excellent device. The on / off switch is located at the base, and takes the form of a transparent plastic tab - it's really easy to flick on, and makes a pleasant 'clunk' when you do so. As a 1800 watt model, the kettle isn't the fastest boiler - but it's generally snappy, and if you only fill to the amount you need you shouldn't be waiting around for too long (besides, making your drinks in this way is better for the environment). Unfortunately, like many metal kettles on the market, the FCL1005 isn't heat insulated at the sides - although common sense should prevail when transporting the appliance around. The spout pours nicely without splashing, and the design (like the metal body) feels highly polished.
The Loose Ends & Final Word
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In terms of the extras, the kettle comes with a limescale filter which sits inside the spout. The filter is fairly easy to remove, and slides back into place without too much effort - once in place it does feel quite wobbly, but as long as you make sure it's fully clipped into position it's unlikely to fall out. Overall, the FCL1005 is a really nice kettle which performs well and certainly looks the part. Due to the fact that it has a small capacity, it's probably best suited as a spare room or bedroom kettle rather than a family kitchen appliance - however, this doesn't take anything away from the device as a whole, as it's reliable, efficient, and comes highly recommend by me.