I bought my toaster nearly three years ago from Comet as a special treat to celebrate the new kitchen that we had put into our previous flat. I bought it mainly because at the time it also matched the kettle that we had just bought, however, it has turned out to be a very good and reliable toaster that has served me well.
--So why choose this toaster and not another?--
This toaster has digital controls which as a kitchen gadget my husband loves and they are really easy to use. It makes the settings really easy to remember out of a choice of nine toasted levels , my personally preference is six and my husband's is five. Next to the digital controls it also has a set of red lighted dots that countdown to when your toast is ready. This is useful if you are trying to time everything so all the components of your breakfast come together and are plated at the same time.
Among the other features of the toaster it also has a mid-cycle cancel function in case you just can't wait for that piece of toast.
Something that I appreciate in a toaster is that it has a removable crumb tray which makes for much easier cleaning. Toasters can get messy very quickly and getting one that is easy to clean is a bonus and something that I haven't always remembered to check for in the past.
I personally have never used this feature but for those that are interested it does come with a roll and croissant warming rack.
The toaster is quite roomy and is a good depth, it almost always completely engulfs the slice of bread and it is wide enough to happily toast bagels and scones. It doesn't particularly toast quickly but then it isn't too much of a wait either. However, it definitely doesn't live up to its name, don't expect lightening quick toast.
If I had any complaints about this toaster it is that sometimes if you toast one set of bread and then another straight after then the second set of bread can be a bit overdone. I just presume this is because the toaster is already heated up from the previous use and it would be nice if it compensated for this in the controls. However, this is really me nit-picking, when overall I am very happy with this toaster.
--The expensive bit
This is an expensive toaster, the typical retail recommended price comes in at a whopping £49.99. However, at the moment you can purchase this from comet online for a much more reasonable yet still pricey £26.99.
When this toaster breaks I would be tempted to buy the same one again. I have been really pleased with toaster and from someone who loves her morning, afternoon and night time toast it has served me well.
--My overall opinion--
I am going to give this toaster a four out of five stars. It has been a good and reliable toaster that has lasted for quite a while and doesn't show any signs of being on its last legs. It also looks very nice and cleans really easy.
I purchased the Breville Lightning Toaster from Curry's around 3 years ago. The main reason for buying this toaster was simply that we needed one as we had just moved homes. But for this reason alone I could have bought any old toaster but this one really did catch my eye. It looked very appealing and different from other toasters, well at the time it did, now you have a whole range of these kinds of toasters in the market. It had a light system, thus the name 'lightning', whereby you could interpret how much time was remaining for the toast to be ready by how many lights were lit up.
*A Warming Rack*
This is useful for warming all kinds of foods such as pastries, buns, bagels, croissants, pizza slices etc. By adjusting the brownness controller you can acquire the perfect heat for warming foods. The rack is elevated by pushing down on the lever on the left side of the toaster. Once the food is warmed the toaster turns off by itself.
This is in the form of buttons that have lighter and darker marked on them, you can adjust to your preference. It has a digital display rather than the normal dial. When the setting is on 1 you would obtain slightly warmed bread and on 9, that is the highest setting, you would have very browned toast. It is great because in a family everyone usually has different tastes and with this toaster every body's requirements can be met.
This is for safety rather than anything else. It is good because the toaster does tend to go to a very high temperature, especially if it used to make lots of toast so if you do happen to accidentally touch the toaster, which does happen then you will not scald or burn your hands. This is also useful if you have young children.
This is for defrosting the bread so that it is at room temperature, I personally have not found the need to use this function but it is good to have it included as one of the functions.
Obviously this is for cancelling and stopping the chosen program, so if you have chosen a wrong browning setting or if you think your toast are about to burn then one press of this button will stop the program.
If you are like me then you will need this function because by the time I get round to removing my toast from the toaster they have already gone cold. By pressing this button you can reheat the toast, if you would try to heat the toast from scratch then more often than not you would end up with burnt toast!
*Two slots* (non-adjustable)
This toaster has only two slots so you can only toast two slices of bread at a time. But in this range the makers have also made a larger, four slot version, ideal for the larger family.
*Removable crumb tray*
This is fantastic for cleaning it makes it much quicker and easier to do. Every time you toast, the crumbs are collected in the tray so you just have to remove the tray, dispose of the crumbs, give it a quick wipe and re-insert it into the toaster.
The toaster is only available in one colour, white. On the right side of the toaster all of the operating functions are displayed. It has two levers, one on each side of the toaster. The lever on the left is to elevate the warming rack and the lever on the right is for toasting, re-warming and defrosting. It has a long electric cord that can be hidden underneath the toaster by twisting it around a coil so you will not have it getting in the way all of the time. The removable tray is underneath the toaster.
The toaster has a 13 amp fitted plug. We have found that to achieve the best toast the toaster should be on setting 5.
Over time I have noticed however that sometimes the toaster goes off by itself, I think this is something to do with the fact that it is digital toaster. The toaster looks very nice in the kitchen and ii is not at all a bulky or space consuming design.
This toaster has worked properly for all of the 3 years I have owned it, it is low maintenance. It was purchased for £24.99 and seeing as it has lasted long that makes it pretty good value for money in my book. I also think that if it did stop working for any reason, touch wood, I would be sure to go out and buy another one exactly like it.
You may think that there is not much that can be said about the choice of a toaster. Bear with me here because when my fancy toaster from my last house didn't fit into the space I have for it in my minimalistic kitchen, I had to look far and wide for a replacement. The fashions appears to be stainless steel monsters that take thick sliced bread. The problem with many of these is that they take up so much workspace, and workspace is not something I have in abundance.
Other considerations to take into account was that I wanted a toaster that held two slices. We rarely make more than that at one time, so buying one of the bulkier types of toaster seemed pretty pointless. If you look at the design of toasters before parting with your money, it is actually a good idea and can save you so much hassle in the long run. Mark out your list of requirements, what you want the machine to do, and think about irritations you may have had with previous ones. Here, I wanted something capable of not only toasting, but of warming as well, because frequently, we have visitors that bring us treats like Tea Cakes, and also because there are croissants here, and often it is not toasting that they need, but a slight warming. I have tried to put them into the microwave for a few seconds and whilst this produces a warm croissant, it also produces a somewhat soggy one, which is not very good.
My choice of toaster was also because of a very neat feature. I hate picking up the toaster and shaking breadcrumbs out. This has been an irritation for years, and somehow one that the man of the house never thinks of doing. This toaster has a neat tray to collect the crumbs, which makes my work easier, and helps keep my worktops clean.
Having eliminated the ones that I felt were too bulky, I looked for control of toasting. Have you ever been irritated by toast popping out too soon, or burnt slices ? Well I have and as the kind of bread I enjoy toasting is in short supply here in a foreign country, when I do have toasting bread, I do not want the experience spoilt by an inefficient toaster.
Breville is a good make, and about 8 years ago, I noticed that more and more Breville products were being sold in the shops here, but I found this model online on Ebay and was sold by the shape, and the fact that the slot in the top was longer than the normal toasters, meaning that I could put French stick into it easily in halves to warm. At ten pounds, it really seemed like a bargain, and as soon as it arrived, I wanted to try every aspect of it to see if indeed it lived up to its' promise.
One safety aspect of any toaster to me that is important is that there is the possibility of stopping the machine safely and quickly in the event of messing up the settings, and here I was pleased that the toaster incorporated a cancellation button, so that if I do make the occasional error, it really isn't that important. I can switch it off easily.
Another aspect that tempted me is the electronic gadgetry and the readout on the toaster on a small LED screen. I thought it looked pretty smart and very modern, and the control that you have over toasting times is simple to regulate with buttons being clear. The rack system is rather neat as well because it means that it lifts the bread high enough to see how well cooked it is, which is better than the standard ones where you just see the top of the slices. A neat indicator tells you how ready your bread is, and that's seriously helpful.
I wasn't overly keen on the colour when I bought it, although up close and now placed in my kitchen, it looks better than the cream coloured one that I used until recently, and it is the design of the toaster that makes it look kind of funky and modern, whilst giving me, the user, what I need in a toaster. Another major factor was heat. I needed one that had cold sides as it is placed in a small area on my worktop, and overheating worries me. This one does not overheat. Trying the bun test was fun. Here, I cut a bun in two, and played with the settings until I knew exactly the right setting for perfection. It's actually very easily learnt, and not hit and miss like toasters I have had in the past. The lead to the toaster is a reasonable length and did not cause me problems (although of course, I had to change the plug to a French one).
The next test that I performed was the frozen bread test. This is important to me as sometimes, I forget to take a loaf out of the freezer and want use of the bread quickly. Here, on the defrost setting, the toaster performed better than the defrost on the oven which tends to dry the bread out. My bread was perfectly defrosted and fresh tasting, so the defrost option really does pay off in my case.
I like the re-heat facility because sometimes, it is not toast that you want to achieve, more a warmth that produces nice warm croissants, and here the machine exceeds expectations. They really are fresh tasting and not at all soggy like they were in the microwave, simply heated rather than toasted.
Out of all the toasters that I looked at, this one won hands down on price, but also on options that were appropriate to my needs. At a price like this, it really is a superb buy and delivers quality that was well thought out, even having its own cord storage and non slip feet which makes it safer for the use of children who may in their impatience knock a toaster over. This one is solid, well constructed, and marvellously dependable. It carries a one year guarantee which to me is sufficient evidence that the makers are confident in their product. Personally, I think that it will last me a lot longer than that, as it is so easy to clean that I clean it after each use with a damp cloth at the same time as cleaning my worktops.
Compared to the stainless steel monster that I used to use, or the mundane cream non-descript machine that invariably burnt my toast in the mornings, or left it half cooked, the price on this one was a huge factor when I bought it, but so was the design. We all like our kitchens to look nice and the blue grey features on this one complement the colour of my worktops.
Sometimes, you get what you pay for, although in this case, comparing prices, and what toasters are supposed to do, I feel I got more than one would expect at a price which reasonably reflected what most households could afford to pay for something as small as a toaster.
Well done Breville. I am impressed.
Short name: Breville PT15