336 of 351 people found the following review helpful
Great electric kettle design!,
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This review is from: T-fal BF6520 Vitesses 1.7-Liter Electric Kettle with Variable Temperature, White (Kitchen)
I spent hours researching every electric kettle available (and looking at them in person, in stores) before settling on this one. I've owned it for about 6 months now, and it's been great. The concealed heating element and the simple one-piece plastic jug design make it very easy to clean (not that I've needed to) and leak resistant (I assume, from a design perspective, since mine has no leaks yet). The only way it could leak is if the grommet sealing the metal bottom piece to the plastic jug developed a leak, whereas most of the stainless steel kettles being sold have several parts, many seams, and thus many places a leak could develop. There is some mild browning of the plastic inside the jug, I suppose a reaction to the high heat. This same thing happened with my roommate's older plastic electric kettle, so it's to be expected. People complain about plastic vs. stainless steel, I settled on plastic for one primary reason: it is a better insulator, so not only will it keep the water hotter for longer, it will be safer to handle in general (ie. it won't burn you or a child if it is accidentally picked up by its sides while it contains hot water). People complain about plastic "leeching chemicals" into the water, I haven't noticed any difference in taste, personally, and I doubt stainless steel would be much "safer" than plastic in this respect. The switch works great, and mine has never spilled water or over-boiled it (as long as it contains the minimum recommended amount of water). The spout and handle shapes make it easy to pour, and the locking top makes it pretty tough to spill. Definitely recommended, I'm buying another one for my parents right now.
PS - While researching electric kettles, I frequently saw complaints of how kettles designed for use in the USA don't heat water as fast as those in the UK. This is for a very simple reason: UK uses 240 volt power, USA uses 120 volts. Most electrical receptacles are rated for 15 amps (though the kitchen are often has at least two 20-amp circuits, per NEC recommendations). Watts = volts * amps, which means that UK kettles can get up to 240 volts * 15 amps = 3600 watts, while USA kettles can get up to 120 volts * 15 amps = 1800 watts. Manufacturers might sometimes avoid approaching this limit, perhaps due to safety or liability issues? Just note that this 1750 watt Tfal kettle is very close to the typical USA receptacle wattage rating. It's just about as high as you'll be able to get in the USA...most other USA electric kettles only go up to 1500 watts.
Tracked by 4 customers
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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 23, 2008 3:57:34 PM PDT
Update: I've owned this for over a year and a half now, have used it almost every day, and it still works like new. It is *very* easy to clean, simply by pouring in 1/4 cup of distilled vinegar and letting it sit for 10-15 minutes. No harsh scrubbing needed, and I've only needed to clean it two or three times since I've owned it (your mileage might vary, depending on the hardness of your water). The browning of the plastic on the inside has become more pronounced since a year ago, but again, this is going to happen with any plastic kettle, due to the repeated exposure to high heat. The transparent volume gauge hasn't clouded at all, and I have yet to see a single leak. I'm very satisfied with my purchase, and would still recommend it to anyone.
Posted on Sep 3, 2009 2:15:55 PM PDT
G. Kline says:
It sounds like you were lucky enough to get one made in France. Others have posted issues about theirs, which were made in China.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2009 3:14:56 PM PDT
Interesting, you are correct. Mine was made in France, in April of 2006. Still works great, though from the few 1-star comments, it sounds like buyers should watch out for ones made in China. I've also sent a query to T-fal, to ask what kind of plastic the kettle is made from. I just want to make sure that it's not a concern for bisphenol-A (BPA) exposure.
In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2010 10:24:33 AM PDT
Would you mind posting T-fal's response to your question whether their kettle is free of BPA?
In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2010 3:32:45 PM PDT
Their response was helpful, but not really a complete answer to the BPA question, since polycarbonates aren't the only types of plastics that can contain BPA:
"Our kettles DO NOT have polycarbinate material that comes in contact with the water. The kettles manufactured in France have the same formula for the plastic as the Kettles that are manufactured in China. Please call our service center if the information provided is insufficient.
If you have additional questions, please call 1-800-395-8325"
Posted on Sep 8, 2010 6:09:54 AM PDT
UK kettles have the immersed heating coil (so the coil is actually in the kettle water), and I think this helps in a quick boil. Since Bodum changed its design, I can't find ANY American-sold kettle that has the immersed element. This is just going to slow down the boiling time.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 12, 2011 12:15:14 PM PDT
Best To You says:
Thanks for that tidbit. My twenty year old Bodum, plastic, just died and I'm looking for a replacement. It has an element that went right into the water and it boils fast!! i was surprised to hear that the similar model today is preported to be a slow-poke.
I might try this T-fal, but I'm spoiled by the durability of the old plastic. I'm concerned that the Chinese factory is saving money by replacing/cutting the raw plastic.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 12, 2011 12:21:37 PM PDT
Agreed, that's a good thought, regarding the immersed heating coil design. FYI, my French-made T-Fal kettle is still going strong, four years later.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2012 10:49:42 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 15, 2012 10:52:04 PM PST
thanks for the helpful comments, I'm sold! looks like I'll be getting one made in China though.. I'm replacing my amazing russell hobbs (UK brand) which was plastic too, but this seems to be a great kettle.
Posted on Mar 17, 2012 12:56:55 PM PDT
UK appliance circuits are limited to 13amps, I've been told. If true, the unit =cannot= be drawing 15 amps while running on a UK circuit. What it actually draws I don't know, but I suspect it all works out to the same 1800 watts as in the US. For example, it could have a second electric element inside that switches out appropriately.