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on January 25, 2016
I got this kettle in the hope that throwing money at the problem would get me something really sound. Instead, it failed on me with the switch disintegrating after about three months (see hole and crack in attached pic). It nominally has a one year warranty, but a) they never answer the phone, and b) they never call you back when you opt for the we'll-call-you-back option from their customer support. Altogether, I rate that as shameful for a product that's clearly pitched as a high-end model.

As far as the kettle itself is concerned, it works reasonably well, but isn't very well designed. The switch is hard to get to, the water level gauge is mostly obscured by the handle, and it doesn't have a safety interlock that switches it off if the lid is open. It is also not insulated, so a) could burn you if you touch anywhere other than the handle, and b) it loses its heat fast. Such design flaws one could have forgiven thirty years ago, but Breville has been making automatic kettles for donkeys years. There's no excuse for them in a high-end kettle in this day and age.

If I had got ten years of untroubled use of it, and considering its design flaws I'd have given it three stars. As it is, given their customer support, I won't be drinking from this well again.
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on June 22, 2014
I bought this a little over a year ago. I think it is very attractive and contemporary, well designed for use, and fast in heating the water. It's easy to clean However, it has broken already, and one year is not a long enough life span for this price. The on/off button has simply stopped working without warning - this seems to be a weak, frequently problematic part by other reviews. At the same time, researching replacements, it seems that all the equivalent models are as likely to break quickly - some people have kettles that last for years, too many have ones that break quickly. Most people tend to think that Chinese manufacturing is to blame: inexpensive to purchase, but uneven quality. No matter which one you buy, you take your chances.

UPDATE- my second one also developed cracks in the plastic about a year ago and today after about a 2 and a half years of use, the power button doesn't work. I wonder if the problem is using the BPA free plastic? Is it more fragile? I can imagine that there are practical reasons why BPA plastic is preferred over BPA free plastic.

Given the beauty, quietness of this model, I'm going ahead and getting my third. I"m not sure what to expect in lifespan these days.
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on July 28, 2014
Pros: fast heating pot with a cool grip handle and best of all an automatic shutoff when the water is boiling and my wife forgets she turned it on. Cons: the metal pot gets HOT so don't touch it when you pick it up after heating water and the pour spout is a little awkward to pour out of. I would like a beeper or some such to let me know when it shuts off, but that is a very minor issue.

The pot is larger than I wanted (there are only two of us using it) but all of the pots I shopped were this large (1.7 liters) except one travel size that had really terrible ratings for longevity. On the positive side the pot is good looking sitting on my counter top and the fill gauge and clear top window are useful. All in all except for size I like this pot a lot and it won't leach chemicals into my tea water as plastic pots do. Bit of maintenance to keep the outside (brushed stainless steel) looking its best but I would recommend this pot to anyone looking for a high quality water heating pot.
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on October 28, 2012
I've now had the Breville SK500XL Ikon Cordless 1.7-Liter Electric Kettle for about a month. As others have said, it's a nice and attractive appliance. The interior portion of the kettle that contacts hot water is not entirely stainless: there are plastic parts associated with the water level indicator, the filter, and the lid. But I have had no problem with plasticky odors or off taste, and the plastics used appear to be of a very high quality. Much better than the cheaper kettles I have owned over the years.

As several have mentioned, the exterior gets hot when the kettle is used, but the handle stays cool and I've had no problems with burns. While I tend to side with those who feel that you should expect any cooking utensil to get hot when in use, I can see how some might want a premium insulated product that would keep the water warm for longer and keep the exterior cool to the touch. That is not this product, and I'd expect to pay much more for such a thing.

The audible signal that sounds when the water is done heating appears to be a mechanical bell whacked when the unit switches off. I find it too damped and quiet to be useful (I'm usually in a different room working while I wait for the kettle to boil). For the price, how hard would it be to include an electronic tone whose volume could be adjusted? Less glitzy but more useful than the eery blue-white glow that emanates from the thing when it's on. I find myself hoping against hope that Apple gets into the kettle business just so someone rethinks the user interface.

About my only quibble (other than my perennial longing for a kettle that's all metal on the interior, forgoing "view windows" and "level indicators" and any other feature that can't be implemented in stainless steel) is the cost. I believe in paying extra for good quality, and I will only know if the Breville is worth the extra cost after several years of use. At about 60% over the typical cost of a kettle (about $50 I figure), I would think this to be a reasonable deal if the kettle lasts 5 years or more without problem. If Amazon still exists and I am not a drooling idiot by then, perhaps I'll post and let you know how it worked out. But I suspect by then this kettle will have been discontinued in favor of another model with, alas, more plastic on the interior, and possibly lights that change color like a disco ball during heating. But still with no adjustable signal.
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on January 6, 2017
I'm very happy with my Breville kettle. It does a lot of things well:
* It pours cleanly! Even when you pour quickly. No more puddles all around the kettle.
* A little bell chimes when it switches off.
* The opening is large enough to reach in and scrub off the scale a vinegar boil won't get.
* It boils water quickly. Much faster than other kettles I've had.
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on March 20, 2015
I was really impressed by this kettle; so much that over the years I've bought two more as gifts for family.

But at just short of 5 years now, the electrical contacts are wearing out, and it works only intermittently, if you place the kettle just right. Now I've noticed several recent reviews claiming the same thing -- both with much shorter lifetimes than mine. And while 5 years isn't terrible life for a small appliance, I expect better. I'm now looking for a replacement that doesn't have the same design problem.

It's easy to assume that a "cordless" appliance like this is inductive like an electric toothbrush charger. But it's not -- there's a little plastic grommet that gets pushed down by the kettle to reveal direct copper electrical contacts. They wear over time. I've tried to brush them to remove corrosion, and to poke at them to improve contact -- but it hasn't made much difference.
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on April 9, 2015
This is a nice looking hot water kettle, stainless steel and all. It heats up water fast! The problem is, the outside is hot to the touch and you can burn yourself!

We were actually trying to buy a kettle like the one we saw in a Japanese hotel, I think that one was made by Tiger, just like this one:

I recommend the Tiger instead and it's child-safe and keeps the water hot longer.
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on February 28, 2017
I purchased this kettle after seeing a friend use one to make tea and I was impressed with the look and design of it. Its attractive and well made and it works well, but I have some issues with it. The number one issue is that there is no thermometer built in to tell you when the temp of the water is nearing boiling such as the 195º to 205º range that is recommended for making proper pour-over coffees and most teas also fall within this range. I found that trying to use a thermometer after boiling to see if the water had cooled to a usable temp was not practical in giving an accurate reading for a small volume of water for making a single cup of coffee such as 14 oz. but would be more or less accurate for larger volumes of water. You can boil the water and let it cool down for 30 seconds to 2 mins and that will give you an approximate temp of the desired range but there is still no practical way to tell. Most thermometers have long probes on them that you wouldn't be able to submerge in the water without something like a slim cylinder or beaker to hold the boiled water which people arent likely to have on hand anyway. Also there is a minimum amount of water that you need to have in the kettle to boil and that is 16 oz. or 2 cups. This amount of water is more than I would need on a daily basis just for making single serving coffees and teas that I would normally drink so Im forced to boil this extra amount and then dump some out to have the right volume of water for brewing. So this is another disadvantage. However if you are needing to boil a higher volume of water quickly this kettle works great for that purpose. Another issue I had with the kettle is when boiling around 2 cups of water the auto-shutoff not coming on and stopping the boil. It would rapidly boil the water for several minutes before the bell would ring shutting off the boil. You can manually stop it even pre-boil by pushing the red button but it requires monitoring to do this and you still dont know what temp the water is. In summary I would only buy this kettle if you are looking for a standard water kettle and frequently need a larger volume of water boiled for making french press coffee in a large size press or for cooking, etc. then buy a thermometer to go with it if you are concerned about achieving a specific temperature. Otherwise for making single cup coffees and teas for personal individual use such as pour-over and chemex brewed coffee, etc. I would look into purchasing a kettle with a built in thermometer and gooseneck spout for gradual pouring ability.
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on April 20, 2011
I have purchased this kettle (as you can see from "verified purchase" tag), twice, and while I enjoyed the great overall (very aesthetically-pleasing and user-friendly) design of this kettle I certainly did NOT enjoy the very short-lasting "life" these kettles seem to possess. Both of the kettles I've got have lasted approximately one year (slightly longer, actually), long enough for the very short warranty to expire and making me unable to get a replacement. Both times the kettles itself lost the contact with the very flimsy metal elements (they wore down to an unrepairable (by me) state) in the "base" unit. The first sign of this imminent failure is that the kettle starts to require a slight "rotation" or "turning" once you place it on its "base" and turn it "on". Once that happens, you have a few weeks until the total failure. Surprisingly, a much cheaper and more "ugly" electric kettle of different brand (which we had as a "spare")is still going strong, with no failures of any kind, since 2003, which I guess proves again that nice-looking, "expensive" devices aren't really meant to last long when actually being used every day...
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on September 7, 2014
This was a great product at a time, but only survived for 3 years. We are always very careful with all our electronics. We took a very good care of this product throughout its' lifespan, but when it broke I called the company and asked if I could buy a broken part so that I could fix it myself. Their customer service was very rude and treated me badly over the phone. Finally, they said that the company no longer makes any parts for this item even thought it is only 3 years old. I hung up, threw this piece of crap in garbage and went and bought another one by Cuisinart. Hopefully, it'll last longer.
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