Product Type: Argos Sandwich Maker
Newest Review: ... machine back up, you're confronted by melted cheese everywhere - disaster! But wait, the Argos website says this is easy to clean? Can'... more
The Soggy Toast Maker...
Argos Sandwich Toaster
Member Name: Novabug
Argos Sandwich Toaster
Advantages: Cheap, very Cheap. Stays cool on the outside.
Disadvantages: Doesn't toast well, poor build quality, fragile and dull looking
After recently seeing an episode of Man v's Food, it reminded me of my over fondness for toasted cheese sandwiches. So craving some lactose goodness, I hot-footed it to the kitchen, sliced some cheese, got out the ham, put it on the bread and popped it in the sandwich toaster borrowed from my parents. It didn't work. Cursing, I left to go to shops hungry and returned with the cheapest of cheap sandwich toasters. Here is what I have found out about this pretty rubbish product from the Argos value range.
--Deadly Cheese Blisters!--
We all know the situation, much like the hidden lip-burner qualities of the McDonalds apple pie, the toasted cheese sandwich has damaging talents of it's own. That seemingly innocent pillow triangle of bread loves nothing better to dribble its molten contents over the tip of your chin or the back of your hand. It's a trait of the snack, and one that we forgive because many of us have a fondness for these sandwiches fresh out of the Breville toaster. I have vivid memories of my parents management of the pub they owned, with a massive 6 slot sandwich toaster. It got stupidly hot, it was a bugger to clean, but my it made damn fine evenly cooked toasties. I suppose it was foolish of me to think I could regale this from my childhood with a tiny plastic machine that cost's less than the ingredients in the sandwiches themselves. A Breville this is not.
--Price and Packaging--
The Argos Value range sometimes has some excellent stuff in it's ranks, and even when an item turns out to be a useless object to take up bin space, it's worth the risk for the small price you pay. This toaster is a unbelievable £4.96. Less than a fiver! Four loaves of quality bread! So I parted with my money with low expectations, it's certainly lived up to them. A basic card box with a simple picture of the machine is how it comes to you. No plastic packing just card inserts which are all recyclable. The box however has a higher build quality than the toaster.
--Performance and Looks--
Good news to begin with. It came out of the box in one piece, with a decent length cord of about two thirds of a metre. It heats up quickly, and has a cool-touch outer casing so burnt fingertips are avoided. After use, it is also very easy to clean if wiped straight away. Dried food stuck onto the inside will be tougher to shift off the non-stick plates. It's all sealed well, with no gaps for exposure to the internal workings.
Now, all this should be a given with any product of this sort, but what you really want is for it to work well. Unfortunately, this doesn't do that. What is does do is heat up to a temperature that simply is not hot enough to evenly grill the bread, and while it should take a matter of minutes, it's takes far too long to get a sandwich even half browned, while the other half remains soft and soggy. Apart from the lack of a high temperature, the lid needs to be able to seal shut over the bread and solidly lock down. The clip used is made of weak plastic, mounted with a poor hinge and doesn't align with the lip on the base when the lid is shut. It takes considerable effort to lock this down, and even then it is not a tight seal on the sandwiches, causing cooking to slow and moisture to turn the bread soggy. It's basically a very poor design made with poor materials, and unless you physically stand holding the lid down for 5 minutes, it makes rubbish cheese toasties.
Other aspects about its shoddiness are the fact that it's feet feel like they will snap off under any pressure, the size of the non-stick plates are too small for a standard sized slice of bread, and the overall exterior look is dull and featureless. It is extremely light however, so won't damage anything it falls on, but is may destroy itself in the process.
Every so often, a punt taken on a low cost appliance that seems far too good to be true, can pay off. This time however, you get a product as cheap as it's price tag. It's only redeemable qualities are that is it at least quite safe to use and it switches on. Apart from that, this is a poor product that given the chance again I wouldn't accept for free. You would be better off using a regular grill and pushing the slices of toast together, just don't waste your money on this, and spend more on a quality Breville or such brand.
Thanks for Reading. © Novabug
Summary: First and Foremost, This doesn't Toast. Avoid!