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This toaster was a gift from my mum. It serves its purpose, but we wouldn't have chosen it ourselves, nor would I buy it again.
In terms of appearance it's quite attractive. It's chrome on the top and on the front, with black plastic sides. There are three buttons on the front, one to cancel the toasting, one to reheat cold toast and one for frozen bread. There's also a dial to alter the time setting. When the toaster is in use, the buttons glow blue which looks very modern and stylish.
The main problem we have with this toaster is that for a two slicer it's really very bulky. It's 15.2x15.2x7.6cm, which in our small kitchen, with very little work surface space, looks a little domineering. Also, the cable is quite short. I think this is a tricky one, because everyone has different kitchens and different needs. Some people want plenty of cable so they can reach a power point from wherever they are, and others want a little cable so it doesn't get in the way of anything. The length of this one is fine for me.
Using the toaster is really easy. The toasting slots are large so that most slices of bread would fit in. They're quite wide so you can toast bread buns, hot cross buns, bagels and so on but you do have to be careful as the outsides can get burnt very easily. I'd recommend using the grill for that. With normal bread, it toasts pretty evenly and it doesn't take too long, which can be really annoying. When I want toast, I don't want to wait for it! The toaster is cool to the touch when in use, so you don't have to worry about burning yourself, or about little fingers getting burnt. If you've put something small in the toaster, you can use the lever to push the slot up higher, making it easier to retrieve the contents.
Cleaning the toaster is fairly easy, but you do have to keep up to it because the chrome frontage shows up fingerprints really easily. You can just buff up the chrome with a soft cloth or use some glass cleaner to really get a shine. There's a removable crumb tray in the bottom that is easy to pull out and empty. The annoying thing is that - as you can see from the picture - there's a groove all the way around the chrome section at the top. This part gets really clogged up with crumbs and that's quite fiddly to clean. It looks really messy as well so I feel like every time there's a crumb in there I have to mess about getting it out. That gets quite time-consuming and annoying!
The RRP is £49.99, and there's not a chance I'd pay that. However it's nowhere near that price online so it seems to be permanently on special offer! It's between £19 and £30 online, which is a bit more reasonable. I think if you don't mind the size, the length of the cable or the cleaning issues, it is a nice looking toaster and it definitely does its job. However I think it's easy enough to find a toaster in this price range that performs as well but doesn't have the problems this one does. For that reason I'm giving it three stars.
A few months ago, my toaster stopped working. Strangely, despite me personally hardly ever eating toast, I suddenly began having an urgent craving for peanut butter on toast. I needed a new toaster, I needed it quickly, and I needed it cheaply, as my job at the time was under threat (I'm now redundant.).
Despite not wanting to spend any more than £20, I really didn't want anything that was going to look cheap - I've been trying to slowly phase out my white appliances in favour of chrome or stainless steel. I found the Breville VTT214 the most - black sides, with a stainless steel finish down the middle, a slightly quirky slanted top, and some buttons that glowed blue whilst in use . This looked like a smart and stylish machine, and at the time I purchased it was £19.99, down from £49.99.
When my toaster arrived, and I got to look at it in more detail, I was a little surprised by how big this was (15.2 x 15.2 x 7.6 cm) ,although part of this was actually the aggressive silver and black styling making it stand out on the side more than everything else . The two toasting slots were good and wide, easily accommodating a crumpet or teacake, or a thick slice of fresh crust bread. They are also satisfyingly deep.
There is a lever on the side allowing you to raise the base of the toaster to bring up crumpets , so no need to poke about with forks trying to retrieve items from the innards.
There is a dial on the site for different browning settings, and various buttons for defrosting, reheating, or cancelling mid cycle. I particularly like the fact that the button and dials illuminate whilst in use, as I find the blue glow very pretty, and also think it could be a useful safety feature for those with younger children, as you can tell them to stay away from the appliance whilst the light glows. With that said, the sides of the toaster remain cool during use.
Cleaning this is easy, though it does need to be done quite often as the stainless steel part in particular does show fingerprints. However, a wipe down with a cloth and a buff with a duster do the trick . There is also a removable crumb tray which is easy to remove and empty.
I really like this toaster. In use, I find that it browns toast evenly, it doesn't take long to use, and that the slots are a convenient width and depth. It is silent, easy to clean, and stylish.The users manual (which isn't really necessary as the toaster is so simple to use) is written in clear English, with everything explained.
A great toaster - 5 stars
Short name: Breville VTT214