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Toaster Reviews

By: Saundra Latham on February 15, 2017

We still think the Krups KH732D and Breville BTA840XL are the best two- and four-slice toasters out there, but they have close competition this year from the Cuisinart CPT-420 and CPT-440. The Oster Jelly Bean is our new pick for best cheap 2-slice toaster: It's a consistent performer at a great price.

An efficient and easy-to-use appliance, the Krups KH732D earns high marks from experts. Its functions are simple: cancel, toasting, defrost, reheat and bagel. It browns evenly and quickly, toasting two slices of bread to a perfect golden-brown in just 90 seconds. Owners say the Krups toaster's chrome and stainless steel finish is attractive and they like its compact footprint. It gets good reviews for durability, too.

When toast isn't an everyday affair, a cheap toaster such as the Oster Jelly Bean 2-Slice Toaster can get the job done affordably. Owners say this toaster is more than a cute addition to their countertops – it's also a consistent performer that turns out evenly browned toast. There are seven different darkness settings as well as options for heating bagels and frozen bread.

With its sleek, modern design and impressive features, the Breville BTA840XL is a technological marvel. Its intelligent auto-lowering function lowers your bread with a single touch. Other controls include "a bit more" button for additional toasting; a "lift-and-look" feature for monitoring doneness; and bagel and defrost settings. Owners say the toaster is fun and entertaining to use. A two-slice model, the Breville BTA820XL (Est. $120) [B00140SC64] is also available.

An inexpensive workhorse, the Hamilton Beach 4-Slice Cool Touch Toaster can expertly handle basic toast, even for a crowd. It has dual controls, so toast lovers can control each pair of slots independently, and the slots are wide enough to accommodate thick bagels. A frozen setting easily handles frozen waffles or other frozen bread. As its name suggests, the sides stay cool during use.

If a multi-tasking toaster sounds appealing, then the West Bend TEM4500W 4-Slice Egg and Muffin Toaster is the machine for you. It can toast up to four slices of bread or muffins, all while cooking two eggs and warming cooked meat -- all the ingredients for a quick breakfast sandwich. Owners say it's easy to use, very consistent and saves them time and money by avoiding the drive-through.

Types of Toasters

Two-Slice Toasters

Two-slice toasters are fine if you have a smaller family, don't need to make a lot of toast at once, or can spread toast-making out in the morning because everyone is on a different schedule. They take up less counter space than four-slice toasters and, because they're lighter, they're also easier to store in a cabinet between uses. These toasters come as basic or as fully featured as you need, but they're generally cheaper than four-slice models.

Four-Slice Toasters

Four-slice toasters are ideal for large families or people who like everyone's toast to be ready at the same time without much fuss. The main consideration here is size -- you need to be sure you have the counter space for a larger unit. These toasters can be heavier, too, so even if you do have room to store them, you may not want to bother heaving them in and out between uses. Four-slice toasters also come with a range of features, whether you want something basic or loaded with bells and whistles.

Breakfast Sandwich Makers

For some, a breakfast sandwich is the ultimate morning meal: It's easy to eat on the run, and it's endlessly customizable. Breakfast sandwich makers let users skip the time and expense of hitting a drive-through. Most include non-stick plates that can cook eggs; warm meat or other fillings; and warm and press bread. Others fuse these features with a traditional toaster, making a portable balanced breakfast possible in several minutes. The main downside here is storage space – it's yet another small appliance that needs a home when not in use.

Finding The Best Toasters
1. ConsumerReports.org
Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated
Credibility:
2. TechGearLab.com
Max Mutter and Steven Tata, Oct. 25, 2016
Credibility:
3. TheSweethome.com
Brendan Nystedt and Michael Sullivan, Oct. 28, 2016
Credibility:

There are a number of solid expert toaster tests and reviews. Most recent and useful are tests conducted by ConsumerReports.org, TechGearLab.com, TheSweethome.com, TopTenReviews.com and YourBestDigs.com. We also considered owner reviews from sites such as Amazon.com, Walmart.com and BestBuy.com, all of which offer invaluable real-world perspectives from toaster owners. 

Best Two-Slice Toaster
Toasters buying guide

What every Toasters has:

  • Wide slots.
  • Bagel setting.
  • Defrost setting.

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