Durable electric kettle?
March 8, 2018 3:52 PM   Subscribe

For ~3.5 years I have had this Hamilton Beach electric kettle (#40996Z), but sadly it seems to have given up the ghost today -- or at least, the electric display still works but it is no longer heating up. So I'm now in the market for a new electric kettle -- any recommendations?

3.5 years is a pretty decent time for a bit of consumer electronics, but my toaster and microwave are pushing a decade without any issues, so I'd like something that might last a little bit longer if at all possible. I'd also like one ideally that's programmable, so I can plug in 190 degrees Fahrenheit and get water that's hot but not quite boiling.

Sweethome's recommendation of the Cuisinart CPK-17 would be fine, if a little pricey, but a number of the Amazon reviews suggest that it has a tendency to fail after 2-3 years.

Otherwise I'm pretty flexible. I see but do not really have preferences about the distinctions between electric/plastic/glass, disc/coil heating, corded/cordless, etc.. Basically, does anyone love their kettle?
posted by crazy with stars to Home & Garden (18 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
We have had that Cuisinart for ~3 years and its still going strong so far. And we use it 3 times a day minimum, and sometime more like 6-8.
posted by thefoxgod at 4:02 PM on March 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

I use this Cuisinart kettle at home, and it's still going strong after 4 or 5 years. The only complaint I have is that the cord is a little bit short. I don't use the tea infuser.

We also had a CPK-17 for use at work, and it broke right on schedule.

Many coffee drinkers like this Bonavita Kettle because the gooseneck is good for making pourover.
posted by asphericalcow at 4:03 PM on March 8, 2018

I bought a 1.7L Hamilton Beach kettle 2.5 years ago that is still going strong — model # 40865. It’s glass and transparent so you can see what’s going on (including how much water is in it) and has a lovely blue internal glow. I refer to it as my calming light show that also boils water. :D Love it.

Not programmable, but being able to see what the water is or isn’t doing makes it easy to eyeball for the right temp for my French press.
posted by Celsius1414 at 4:07 PM on March 8, 2018

I used kettles like that for a long time before getting a Zojirushi water boiler 10 years ago and it's only now needing a replacement. It would be in better condition and probably have several more years in it if I had ever once run a cleaning cycle. As it stands, it's lasted its entire life under almost complete neglect.

I use it several times a day, and they generally have 3 or 4 temperature settings, and always include 190degF. Unfortunately they're a bit more expensive than the Sweethome recco, but...10+ years. Bonus: you'll never have to listen for the bell again.
posted by rhizome at 4:10 PM on March 8, 2018 [3 favorites]

I think the Cuisinart CPK17U is a much better option than the CPK17, my suspicion is that the energy wasting PerfecTemp (automatic constant boil) feature makes the CPK17 less reliable.

Unfortunately the CPK17U seems very hard to find in the USA, the KRUPS BW3110 SAVOY looks like a very similar alternative.
posted by Lanark at 4:43 PM on March 8, 2018

I've have that Cuisinart for 7 years and its still going strong.
posted by lookoutbelow at 5:03 PM on March 8, 2018

Seconding rhizome. The Zojirushi water boilers are amazing. They keep the water hot forever; so much nicer to use than an electric kettle.
posted by gregr at 5:24 PM on March 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

I have an older one of these, that I found at a thrift store in Portland about six years ago, and have used just about daily since. It's been a workhorse, and I love it. I bet you could find a cheaper one somewhere else, if the price tag seems steep. (My partner has a Zojirushi water boiler, and I'd probably get one of those if my own kettle gave up the ghost.)
posted by tapir-whorf at 5:40 PM on March 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

I've had this Oster Variable Temperature kettle for about four years now. I got mine at Target on sale for around $30. I won't lie though, I'd love one of the Zojirushi water boilers, I just haven't found a way to convince myself to spend the money. Maybe when my Oster dies I'll give in to temptation.
posted by ralan at 6:14 PM on March 8, 2018

This Hamilton Beach cordless variable temp is five years old with no signs of stopping, BUT if I had to replace it I would want a clear one so I can absolutely positively not miss when it's on and tell how much water is in it, and I don't entirely love how narrow the top is because it's a bit hard to clean with my giant paws, but it looks like almost all of them feature a similarly narrow opening.

Auto shut-off after an hour is an absolute must, along with cordless. The ones with cords have extremely short cords for safety reasons and it really gets in the way.

As much as I have coveted one of the boiler/warmers, the truth is we really only use the pot for morning drinks and very occasional cooking applications or evening drinks; I don't need that much hot water on demand all day every day.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:42 PM on March 8, 2018

Thirding the Zojirushi water boiler.
posted by bradf at 8:55 PM on March 8, 2018

We had a Zojirushi water boiler and frankly, for the money and the brand, I expected it to last longer. We had it about 5 years before it quit on us. Right now I have a cheap obscure Chinese brand kettle with a stainless steel lining that's holding up fine, and it was only about $30. I also have a second one, an Epica 6 temperature one, that I can set to boil to a certain temp for when I'm drinking green or white or oolong tea. I'd rather buy less expensive ones than take another chance on a pricy one and be disappointed. A plus side is these both have stainless steel interiors instead of the plastic interior that the always-on boilers I've seen have.
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 3:47 AM on March 9, 2018

I've had Sweethome's recommended Cuisinart for 8 years and it's still great. I suppose it's possible the newly-manufactured ones are having problems, but mine's as good as new and still a pleasure to use every morning. If it dies I'll replace it with an identical one.
posted by AmandaA at 6:36 AM on March 9, 2018

I’ve used my Bonavita everyday, often several times per day, for the last three years. I think it’s great and the temperature controls are useful if you’re making coffee.
posted by jeffamaphone at 7:30 AM on March 9, 2018

It’s pricey, but we’ve had the Breville BKE820XL for more than five years now, and it’s still going strong. It gets used 4-5 times a day, jumping between the green tea, French press, and boil settings.

The lower-end Breville we had before that lasted at least 7-8 years, to my recollection.
posted by McCoy Pauley at 7:48 AM on March 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

I got my Cuisinart about 3 years ago and it's still doing great so far.
posted by 168 at 7:23 PM on March 9, 2018

Pair an induction burner with a magnetic pot and you will have amazing temp control for water and you might enjoy improved overall cooking control. Research induction.
posted by blueprinter at 11:32 PM on March 9, 2018

We have had a Zojirushi water boiler in the office for the past four years and it has seen a lot of action. It needs to be cleaned now and then depending on how hard the water is in your area.

At home we also have a Breville electric kettle and a Breville tea jug. I adore the tea jug and it sees daily use.
posted by Calzephyr at 7:19 PM on March 10, 2018

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