01.Sunbeam Designer Series Glass Kettle KE9400
Weight (empty kettle not including base) 1.2kg
Capacity 1.3L maximum, 500mL minimum
There's no doubt that most kettles do their job - boil water - but even this humble kitchen appliance is getting a facelift. The latest release from Sunbeam is a cordless glass kettle that will complement any modern kitchen. Its main body material is glass, with a plastic power base and pourer and chrome handle. It features a sensor-touch control that automatically cuts off at the end of the boiling cycle, and a removable lid with a wide opening for easy filling. It has a stainless steel flooring that supposedly reduces build-up, and its element is hidden underneath the flooring, making it easier to clean.
While the kettle does reasonably well at its basic function, we found it's let down in ease of use. The control is easy to use and its wide opening makes filling simple, but when it comes to pouring the handle is hard-edged and narrow, making it uncomfortable and straining on the wrist when lifting and tilting. The kettle has no spout, so there is a wide instead of direct pour into your cup. Also, the removable lid can be awkward to grip and remove, due to the suction of its rubber seal.
The kettle takes more than three minutes to boil one litre of water, which compared with other kettles is on the high end for boiling time. And like in our last test of kettles, the Sunbeam Glass Kettle also fares well for energy efficiency. The manufacturer claims to use heat-resistant glass, and when CHOICE tested this, we found the temperature of the surface after boiling was 55°C, which is below dangerous levels. And a transparent kettle has the added advantage of allowing you to see when it needs descaling.
What to look for
- Comfortable handle.
- Wide spout or lid.
- Water level indicator.
- Indicator lights.
- 'Off' warning noise to alert you that the water has boiled. In this case, the transparent exterior makes it easy to see when boiling is complete.
The Sunbeam Designer Series Glass Kettle does its job and is stylish to boot, although to comes with a relatively high price tag for a kettle. However, style comes at a cost, not just a few extra dollars, but also ease of use.