Customer Reviews: T-fal BF6138 Balanced Living 4-Cup 1750-Watt Electric Kettle with Variable Temperature and Auto Shut Off, 1-Liter, Black
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We drink a lot of tea and coffee in our household. I like to use a French Press most of the time when I make coffee so need boiling water to do that. My wife likes her tea and guess what? She needs boiling water for that too. Well this cool T-fal electric kettle boils 1 liter of water in just bout 4 minutes and 30 seconds. And 1 liter of water is the perfect amount for my both my French Press and her large tea cup.

The electric kettle is two pieces: a lightweight plastic base with a cord wrap underneath and then the Kettle which sits on top of the base. The base has a short-ish cord about 3 feet long. But if your kitchen has an electric outlet really close to where the kettle will be sitting, you can wrap the excess cord around the cord wrap on the bottom of the base... I really like that because it keeps the excess cord hidden away and keeps things neat and tidy (my wife would laugh hysterically if she heard me use the words "neat and tidy" because she thinks I'm a slob. But that's another story for another day.) The kettle can be turned 360degrees while on its base.

Water level is easily seen through a large water level "window" that has a clear mark indicating the maximum water level (1 liter.) It's a little weird that the window extends much higher than the allowable actual water level so you do have to pay attention to the 1liter mark as you fill the kettle or you could easily overfill it causing water to bubble out of the spout when boiling.

The lid has a very easy to use button to unlock the lid for easy filling and cleaning. And speaking of cleaning, if you develop mineral scale inside the kettle because of the type of water you have, you can clean it using vinegar.

The handle of the kettle is easy to hold on to and has a perfectly placed and quite good sized on/off switch. Of course, the kettle shuts itself off automatically once the desired temperature is reached, but it's nice to know that you can turn it off manually if you wish. And you can also simply remove the kettle from the base to turn it off as well.

In my timed test, this brough cold tap water to a rapid boil in just 4 minutes and 30 seconds or so. Not bad. Faster than in the microwave for the same volume of water.

We like this electric kettle a lot. It's nice looking, fast at boiling water and is really easy to use.
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on December 4, 2012
This is a wonderful small kettle. It heats water up faster than I thought possible. Don't bother walking away to do anything else, as your water will be ready in a flash. I haven't timed it yet, but it is so much faster than a microwave. The three temperature settings are a useful feature. Inside is a metal bottom and the surrounding wall is plastic. I do not know if it is the safe plastic. I looked all over the packaging and inside the booklet to see if it was. There was no information regarding this. It is easy to take off of the base. I like that the electric cord can wind up inside the base, so you only use what cord you need. It shuts off automatically when the desired temperature is reached.

There is only ONE negative feature that I can think of. The level indicator is hard to see. I have to wipe the inside after using if I want to use it again immediately because the condensation makes the "hard" to see water level indicator "impossible" to see. A minor inconvenience, I think.

I would buy this again. It would make a great gift. I have used it for making tea, ramen, and oatmeal thus far. It is so handy to have!

Update: September 21, 2015
I had to stop by and let everyone know this kettle is still going strong. I love this thing! We use it daily.
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on September 21, 2014
Okay, a few words of warning and advice to everyone who buys this kettle...
Does this kettle work well? Yes.
Are there some things you need to know about how it operates before you buy it? Yes.
I realize that its possible for everyone to have completely different experiences using the kettle they receive, so I will let you all know what I found out using mine, and also address two of the issues others have complained about.

I have been using it every day for the last two weeks, pretty much all day long.

Issue number one: "it leaks."
Answer: kind of, not really. It doesn't actually *leak* through the unit so much as it boils out and makes a mess if unattended. I found that even putting in the minimum amount of water on the half-way setting, if not pulled right as it starts boiling and poured, will bubble out of the spout and pool around the unit. However, because it does boil water pretty fast, I just stay nearby and watch it each time i heat some water and the moment I see it bubble, I pull it and pour it into my mug. If I do that, no mess to clean up. If I leave it unattended, the hand-towel I have under the base gets damp or full-out soaked if I boiled a full pot. This hasn't bothered me, because, as I said, it works so fast I don't mind keeping an eye on it for a minute or two every time I want a cup of tea. (and I drink probably 10 to 12 mugs of tea per day)

Issue number two: "there's build-up, there's stuff floating in my water, there's stuff peeling/chipping/coming off the metal plate or the lining of the pot, the coating is coming off the inside and tainting the water."
Answer: I would bet that 99% of the people complaining about this can easily fix this problem by only using distilled, purified, or filtered drinking water in their kettles. I used tap water for the first few times and saw this ugly stuff floating in my water, but I see this when I boil the same tap water on the stove in a pan. Most city tap water, and most country well water, has a lot of minerals and additives in it. When you boil this water, those impurities separate from the water. I went and bought some jugs of water from the grocery store (they aren't usually very expensive at all) and I used them in my kettle. Voila, no more floaties in the water. I used Distilled water and purified drinking water, both kept the kettle clean with repeated use and no build up. I tried a gallon of "spring water" and the buildup came back, so avoid spring water as well. Remember, this will happen in any unit you buy, no matter the manufacturer, brand, or model. It's about the water you use, not the unit itself.

Someone also complained that it is loud, but I only notice a slight noise from it, very briefly, as it nears the boiling point, and the moment you pick it up it stops. Also, I'm not sure about the temperature gauge/heat selector on the unit. I find that it heats to boiling whether all the way over to the right (where its supposed to boil), or in the middle, and it gets slightly warm on the far left side. That doesn't really matter to me, because I'm apparently not enough of a tea snob to care about the exact temperature of my water when I make tea (and I make all sorts of tea from green and white teas to black teas, they all taste good to me - as long as they aren't lukewarm).

So, it's a good unit, does what I need it to do (very well), but it does have a few quirks to work around, hence the 3 star rating. If it had less quirks in regards to the water level/boiling-water/condensation mess, I'd probably rate it higher, but its kind of a poor design flaw. If you don't mind the mess or watching your water boil (in the 2 minutes it takes), then feel free to purchase this inexpensive unit. To be honest, I'd have already returned it, but I kinda got used to using it throughout the day and I really don't mind too much anymore, now that I know my way around it.

UPDATE: 2014.10.08

I found a new trick to help reduce the moisture/"leaking" problem. Normally, after I pour a cup of hot water, when I come back and lift up the kettle there's some water underneath as if it leaked - it's actually from steam condensation or boil-over (if you used too much water) - but here's the trick:
After you pour a cup of hot water and set it back down, open the lid for a few seconds to allow some of the steam to escape - this will reduce or eliminate any excess "leakage" one may find around the base. it's been working for me pretty well.
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on March 17, 2013
I'm rating this four stars instead of five only because the adjustable temperature doesn't work for me... the water boils no matter what setting I use. If you need this feature, look elsewhere.

However, as a basic water heater, it is excellent. It is quick to heat the water, the auto shut-off works great, and the functionality of the base unit is excellent. The base plugs into the wall, and the kettle turns off when you lift it from the base.

Overall, highly recommended, unless you need the adjustable temperature feature.

*** UPDATE 07/28/2013 ***

I am downgrading this from 4 stars to 3, since the metallic-finish plasticky bottom of the heater keeps shedding its metallic coating, which I can see floating in the water. I have had to rinse it many times, so that too much of this material does not get into my drinks. I would prefer not to drink this stuff, and considered dropping this rating down even further, to 2 stars or even 1, given this occurrence. If this is something that is a big deal to you, I would encourage you to look elsewhere. I did initially buy this because it was one of the cheapest, if not the cheapest, adjustable temperature electric water heaters available. However, as I previously mentioned, the variable temperature feature does not work very well anyway. It still heats my water well and has held up, and was very affordable. However, like most of its competitors, it does have its downfalls as well.
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on July 7, 2013
I was looking for an electronic kettle that is small and boils water quickly to warm up baby bottles. Originally I bought a Proctor Silex K2070Y 1 Liter Electric Kettle(Proctor Silex K2070Y 1 Liter Electric Kettle and I returned it twice; the first was damaged & the second one had a very tight cover & I almost burned myself with boiling water. In the end, I paid an extra and bought this item and I really like it so far.

Next month, we will fly to Japan (12 hour flight) and we are sure this will come in handy. I am sure airline can give passengers some hot water in order to warm up baby bottles if requested, but having this, I can make enough hot water and keep it in a Thermos Stainless King 40-Ounce Beverage Bottle (Thermos Stainless King 40-Ounce Beverage Bottle, Midnight Blue before we board on an airplane so in case we need some hot water we are ready to go.

Previously, we owned T-fal hot kettle 1.7 liter and we are please with it and we will recommend it to people who want to have a large one.

Updates: A year later, it still works well (I use it every day); however, when I traveled, the kettle was a bit bulky/round to store inside of my suite case.
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on October 23, 2012
I like this electric kettle a lot. It's plastic so it stays mostly cool to the touch. The heating element is concealed, it has a separate base and it shuts itself off automatically; that's good design. The controls are simple. They are also a kind of apple green color, not yellow as they appeared on my computer screen, and I like the green better. The kettle's not large but I like the one-liter size. I've used it several times a day since receiving it a couple weeks ago and it works like a charm, heating a liter of water in about 3 minutes. The only quirk I've had to adjust to is that it shuts off immediately upon reaching boiling, so if you leave the room you may miss the boiling point.
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on March 16, 2015
This electric kettle it great. It has lots of nice little details. First, it looks attractive; the bright green on black really sets it apart. Second, I love that you can adjust the heat. The lowest setting stops at just above boiling. Next, once the water has heated to the desired setting, the little power button above the handle pops into the off position automatically; so if you forget you have it problem! Also, I like how you can see how much water you are putting in the kettle through the clear plastic strips on the side. This is very handy because you don't need a measuring cup when filling it. I think the lid is great too. It latches really securely but it is still easy to open because it is such a large button. Finally, the base is simple to use as well. It turns 360 degrees and you can set the kettle on it correctly without even paying attention; it goes into right into place every time. Bottom line, I wouldn't change a thing about this little kettle!
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on February 5, 2013
I purchased this item for my 101 year old father. He insisted upon getting up early (pre-dawn) and making tea by heating water in a kettle on the gas stove. We were very concerned about him using a open flame which he cannot see, and handling a metal kettle with boiling water. This was the perfect answer to our problem. He usually has a great deal of trouble learning to use anything new, but had no difficulty with this.
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on December 12, 2015
There is a white sediment floating in the water every time I boil or warm it. I use only filtered water in this kettle and I have no idea where it is coming from. I wash and wipe it after every use, but it still keeps coming back. The metal plate at the bottom could be its possible source. I contacted T-fal customer service via email; it's been a week but still no reply.
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on November 13, 2012
and simple to operate. I measured exactly 1 liter and started out at 68 degrees and achieved a full boil in 3 min and 30 seconds. Likewise, I filled a Pyrex container with the same amount at the same 68 degrees a tried my 1300 watt micro and it took 7 min and 35 seconds. It has a well balanced, thick and cool handle plus an on/off thumb switch at the top of handle. I was looking for the fastest kettle available when I noticed the 1750 watt spec for this one. So I bought this kettle, a 1 liter Zojirushi glass vacuum insulated decanter(the one touch to open model) and the #6 cone holder that fits directly into a Zojirushi or Thermos decanter(works with any size glass insulated decanter). I grind the beans then do a 1 liter pour over for exactly 2-16 ounce mugs HOT for at least 5 hours. Not bad, fill water, heat water, grind beans, pour over cone filling the decanter all in about 5 minutes total. I got it down pat. BTW, if you like Columbian try the Kirkland 3 lb bag. Can you tell that I have to much time on my hands?
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