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Russell Hobbs Brushed Stainless Steel Gift Pack

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      04.10.2011 15:38
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      A good buy for anyone leaving the nest......

      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.

      ==The Style==

      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==

      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==

      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.

      ==Summary==

      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.

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        23.09.2011 12:55
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        It does what it says - just not to the best effect

        Moving into our new flat a few months ago we decided to ditch the old kettle and toaster (which were back from our Uni days!) and I dispatched my other half to go and buy a new kettle, namely because he drinks more tea than me and so it is his loss if we didn't have one, anyway....off he trots to Argos and comes back with this Russell Hobbs set (again I was very impressed that he had the foresight to see that we would also need a toaster so he could have tea and toast in the mornings!)

        **Where and How Much?**
        I must admit, we were very excited about being back in our own space, so he did not shop around for the best price, he just ran straight into Argos and bought the pack as it was on offer for £40. Prices now on the Argos website are showing at £49.99, which in my opinion is quite steep for a kettle and a toaster! However, having looked over the internet for all you dooyooers - it is available at Robert Dyas for £29.99, slightly more reasonable!

        **Nice Cup of Tea anyone?**
        Firstly I will review the kettle, it is the piece of equipment that get used most in our home!

        The visual ... the kettle is a very pleasing chrome effect with a black lid, that sits nicely in my kitchen, even against the lovely old victorian sink that I have. It is about the circumference of a small dinner plate and so does not take up masses of room on the side, nor does it leave the side feeling cluttered!

        There is a display up the length of the kettle, which gives you the fill line for 2, 4 and 6 cups of boiling water, this looks good, though I do find that this is inaccurate. Potentially due to the fact that I use BIG cups for tea, but to make 2 cups of tea I need to have the kettle filled to just under the "4" line.

        Opening the lid of the kettle is easy, a simple squeeze the catch and the lid pops open. When I first opened this I was very surprised to see the inside empty with no element - but that is because it is a concealed element. This feature means that I don't see a build up of limescale in the kettle, so no more floating horrible bits in my tea!

        The kettle is cordless, i.e. it sits on a base, again this is useful for when I am boiling the kettle to use in cooking (or for the foot spa....don't ask!) and can carry the kettle without unplugging!

        USE;
        1. Pop the lid open
        2. Fill to your desired level - remembering that the cup measurement on the outside relates to the little china cups of tea rather than the big hearty mugs of tea....
        3. Pop back on the base
        4. Flick the switch found at the top of the handle and the power light comes on
        5. Wait for the kettle to boil.....
        6. Voila, the switch will click off and the water is boiled! A handy safety feature of this kettle is that if it is empty and you accidently flick the switch it will automatically switch itself off - no more ruined kettles!

        So once you've boiled the kettle, you need to lift it about and pour - I have had no problem lifting the kettle even when full, a thick handle allowing for easy grip and control. Further to that the spout is designed so that it will pour where you desire rather than all over the surfaces/your feet!

        So once you've got your cup of tea ready and are leaving that to cool (unless you have an asbestos mouth!) ... onto the toast ....

        **One slice or Two?**
        Again the toaster is made of chrome effect and fits well into our kitchen. Whilst I have no problem with this with the kettle, as it is more of a brushed effect, with the toaster I find that this shows all finger marks and crumbs and generally looks messy - so I am constantly wiping this down or cleaning it. Which does get tiresome!

        A very very basic two slice toaster, with 6 heat settings ranging from 1 (warm bread) to 6 (cremated bread!!) I tend to use mine on 2 and a half, which gives the very pale, just turned into toast look, as that is my preference when eating toast!

        Down the right hand side it has 3 buttons - apparently for the 3 settings - I only use the bottom one, the manual eject button! The middle button is the defrost button to allow you to toast from frozen and the top is the reheat function that will warm your toast without toasting it - the problem I have with the top 2 buttons is that when I press them NO light comes on so you cannot be sure that the cycle is actually in effect - no good if you only want to reheat and end up re-toasting and only like your toast lightly done!! So I just stick to the normal toasting, keeping an eye on it - and using the manual eject!!

        The toaster has non slip fit so is very sturdy, and the lever on the side is of a decent size and easy to push down - however the actual toasting element, I am sure toaster manufacturers do not look at the size of bread out there! The toaster will miss the top (or bottom!) half of your bread if you use a standard loaf size (such as Warburtons) because the bread will not fit in sideways. Again this is a case of keeping an eye on and turning your toast halfway through - not so good if you are trying to multitask!

        **Summary**
        They do what they say on the tin, whilst I would buy the kettle separately I would probably splash out on a better toaster, that does bagels, warming, FULL slices of toast! And to be honest for the price I would expect that this toaster would be able to do all of those things!

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          13.05.2011 12:25

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          Worth the money

          I 'used' to own both of these. This came as a set. It was at a good price which is always good. The kettle and toaster go together and look very attractive and in with the times! The kettle is fast when its boiling which I love because I hate waiting to make a cup of tea. It is very good kettle. The only problem I had (which was after a few years) was that the lid got loose and some times would pop up half way through boiling which caused the cupbourd to melt because it was under it. As time went on it got looser and looser. But I did get a few years use out of it so its worth it really. Also, after this happened I bought another Russel Hobbs kettle and it was similar to the first one but it only lasted a few months because it stopped boiling y itself because it was fully boiled. But now I have 'another' Russel Hobbs kettle and this one is going strong... so far. The toaster is also very good. It has a dial for how well you want it done and a defrost button which really comes in handy. The only problem I had with this was its stopped staying down, but again that was after the kettle broke so it did last a few years aswel. Apart from these problems, there worth the price.

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          27.01.2011 15:53

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          Not worth it.

          I bought these six months ago because they were in a sale and the chrome effect went nice with the other appliances in my kitchen. I disliked the toaster straight away because it seemed almost impossible to create an edible piece of toast. One minute it was producing warm bread, so i turned the setting up only to find my toast incinerated. I still have the toaster and now in a morning i find myself continuously popping it up and down in order to catch the toast at the right time otherwise it will continue to burn. It is very frustrating and time consuming. i have never attempted to put anything else in the toaster (waffles, crumpets) as i simply don't trust it at all.
          The kettle started out fine. It has a reasonable boiling time and isn't too noisy. I found that within a week, despite wiping it, the chrome didn't look so shiny anymore and has dulled in colour and constantly looks limescaley. I don't think its that it creates any more limescale than any other kettle, its just somewhat more noticable. The clear filling guage down the side is also terrible for looking white and limescaley. It seems to take an awful lot of time and elbow grease to keep it looking nice and the money i've spent on de scaling products would have been better spent on a more expensive kettle!! Aside from that the kettle is lighweight and cordless and has been reliable.
          I bought these together as a twin pack but with hindsight if i'd spent a bit more money and bought a higher quality brand, it would have been worth it in the long run.

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          20.07.2010 13:32
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          Decent product, not amazing

          I received this gift set at Christmas time and have been using it more or less successfully since then.
          Although I wouldn't normally be too excited about this kind of gift, I had needed a new kettle for a while and have never owned a toaster, so was quite happy to unwrap smart and stylish examples of both on Christmas morning.
          I'm not generally into the stainless steel kind of look, I find that it always seems to be a part of an over-used, modern minimalist décor, but somehow these items looked good in my kitchen and made me feel rather grown-up.
          Several months on I still like the look of them but find that I do need to wipe the outsides frequently as they can seem quite smeared. It's also necessary after cleaning to give them quite a rub with a dry cloth to keep them shiny. Apart from this extra bit of effort, I've found the two appliances have worn better than plastic ones I've had before, which can end up looking quite grubby and old despite cleaning.

          The kettle is better than the toaster. It sits nicely on its detachable base, has a nice comfortable handle and a lid that pops open easily with the flick of a switch. I've found that the lid sometimes needs a little tap to close it properly now, but that may just be my particular kettle. Like many other kettles you can get about 8 cups of tea from it and it boils around average speed, without too much noise. I know some people have complained about the kettle leaking from the lid when being poured - I do notice a few dribbles but nothing too dramatic. I guess this is a pretty important design flaw of the product though.
          The water level gauge is acceptable but does become hard to see sometimes with the condensation. I find that I judge the amount of water more by the weight of the kettle these days.

          The toaster is average; to be honest I prefer using a grill. I would agree with other reviewers that the two toasting slots are not really quite big enough for chunkier breads and that toasting tends to be fairly uneven. However I think I've had these same problems with pretty much every toaster I've ever used so don't really feel I can point the finger at Russell Hobbs in particular over this.
          As long as you can keep an eye on the bread and turn it around if needed, you can end up with a fairly acceptable piece of toast in a relatively short time.
          It's good that the toaster has a defrost function, but I'm a little impatient and normally just use the normal toasting settings.

          As the set was a gift I'm not sure the price it was bought at, however I did see it on Amazon a few months ago for around £30. I think it could be found cheaper than this, for example on sale in hypermarkets.

          Overall I would say the set is quite reasonable quality for the price. It has minor flaws but I find that kettles and toasters always do.
          And I've (almost) been converted to the brushed stainless steel look.

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          15.06.2010 15:00
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          Nice looking and very useable

          I've had this pack for about a month now - was a substitute for a triple pack where the element burnt out. Decided on this as it was on offer and basically only had to pay the difference which was £6. Well a new kettle and toaster for £6, bargain!

          Kettle - very easy to open, just flick the button on top of the lid and it springs open, brilliant, a lot btter than pulling a top off or one that has the whole lid come up. This is just right to put under the kitchen tap without being cumbersome.
          Just push the lid closed until it clicks again.
          Sits on the swivel base nicely so all good there too.

          Being brushed stainless steel, looks lovely, just have to gie it an extra wipe down every now and then or can look grubby - even when its not.
          Boils quickly, although if you live in a very hard water area like me then invest in a fine tea strainer, but this will happen in a any kettle where the element is hidden, as this one is.
          I think the visability of what water is already in the kettle is very clear - if it becomes at all cloudy then as with alot of kettle - it may need a small wipe inside and a rinse or a dose of limescale remover.

          Overall performance of the kettle is good for me and i like it.

          Toaster - Another good one as far as I am concerned.
          The slots take a nicve wide toasting slice of bread which is what its generally used for - and the occasional crumpet and muffin (very popular with the kids) maybe a small downside s that the slots aren't very long, so your larger loaves of bread may prove a bit difficult to toast (although if you have a grill on your oven , not too much of a worry).

          Like the fact that it has a defrost function, brilliant for a mum like me with a hoard of hungry kids and you forget to taker the loaf out of the freezer the night before (doh) I also like the fact that its got led light for each function. The cancel button is a good thing too. Easily removeable and quite large crumb tray, several i've had before are so small and set quite high that the crumbs have burnt before i've had the chance to remove them!

          Overall, very happy with this toaster.
          Pack value i would say was very good.

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          26.03.2010 19:45
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          Buy cheap, Buy twice.

          Last year we moved in to our new house. I saved up my Dooyoo points to buy myself something for the new house and I saw this kettle and toaster. It was a total bargain (or so I thought at the time) at £19, I think it may have been on clearance at the time. It looked great in the picture, it looked great on the front of the box. It even looked swish out of the box. I was so impressed. I felt I had got a real bargain. I always love the things I buy with my Dooyoo amazon voucher as it really feels like I have achieved something. You all know how much effort it takes to get that voucher into your inbox!

          Anyway, I am in my new house now for the past year and everything was ok with the set for a few months. I had learned how to stop the toaster from burning everything that I put in to it, but all of a sudden it's all gone pear shaped. The kettle leaks everywhere when I lift it now, so you can guess what my next Amazon voucher will be going on.

          I had a cheap plastic asda kettle in my old house and it lasted the three years without giving a moments trouble and I wish I had kept it. This kettle looks stylish in it's brushed stainless steel effect, but that's no fun if it leaks water every time it is lifted to be poured.

          I love how the kettle and toaster look in my kitchen, and in their defence, both items have been put to the test over the year, but you would expect it to last a bit longer than that. In terms of function, it is a basic kettle that has no extra features. The gague for telling you how much water is in the kettle is a little like a thermometer. It gets a lot of condensation in it and it can be hard to see how much water is in there, but it is tolerable. The kettle rests on a black base that holds the electrics. It is all basic stuff.

          The toaster is the standard 2 slice job. You'll never fit a cut slice of plain bread in there, but it is adequate for the standard loaf. Pancakes get lost inside and are hard to get out. I am hoping to invest in a new one as soon as funds allow. It really was a deal that seemed too good to be true. Unfortunately it was too good to be true in the end. Adequate is just not good enough. And at the moment I am afraid of burning my hand on the hot water that drips when I pour it into my teapot.

          Disappointing item from a brand that I would have expected better from, so I certainly would urge everyone to avoid it at all costs. It's nowhere near as good as it looks on paper.

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            07.01.2010 16:06
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            Definately wouldn't pay full price for these.

            I had previously only bought the cheapest kettles and toasters from Asda, but I moved house last year and decided that my nice new kitchen deserved a few nice looking things to go in it. I saw this on offer in Argos for £29.99 and thought £15.00 each, a little more than I normally pay but they looked nice in the picture so I reserved online and went to collect.

            I wanted a brushed steel effect to match my hob and bin, many of the other I had seen were the shiny stainless steel. When I went to the till to pay I was met with 'This product may be substituted for another product of the same specification' I then requested to view the item first as it was this combo I wanted not something else. I took it out the box and it was the same as in the catalogue, so not sure what that was about.

            The Kettle itself is of average size and holds about 7 mugs of water. The guide for filling shows cups but actually 2 cups worth will fill 2 mugs, I don't like to overfill the kettle and I never use teacups so this is a really useful feature. It comes on a detachable base which is useful when pouring up. I have found occasionally that the kettle tends to drip water down the side when tipping up to pour, because it doesn't happen very often I haven't taken it back. I have had it for about four months now and it is difficult to see if there is no water or 2 cups worth as it has condensation stuck in the fill level guide which has meant it being boiled when empty a couple of times so I have to check it before flipping the switch now.

            The toaster is a two slice toaster. I buy Hovis bread but I have also tried Kingsmill and Warburtons and found that unless it's the first or last couple of slices (as these are smaller), the space isn't wide enough for the bread to fit in, this leads to constant monitoring and turning of the bread to get an even finish. Even when the bread does fit in the right way, I set it to pop up after a minute to flip over as it seems to toast more on one side than the other, not good if you're busy and expect to leave it and come back and it be ready.

            Although both products are perfectly useable they aren't easily useable, toaster especially. At the price I paid, they look nice and the problems I've had aren't too big for me as I don't eat toast that often, but I certainly wouldn't pay the full retail price especially if you eat a lot of toast.

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