This toaster is stylish but at a reasonable price. I bought this toaster to match the rest of my stainless steel appliances and accessories. I have had it for almost three years and it still works perfectly. The casing of the toaster is black with two stainless steel panels on each side. The toaster has a crumbs tray which is easy to remove, although not all the crumbs are collected so you will need to shake the rest out from time to time. Additionally, the toaster is easy to clean, an almost dry sponge will do the job. There are a range of five settings which need to be changed depending on how well you like your bread toasted. There are also buttons to defrost and stop operation of the toaster. Overall, this toaster is an easy way to add a little bit of style to your kitchen without breaking the bank.
For a price of around around £15 (October 2013), this Cookworks two-slice toaster offers great value for money, and also looks pretty good too. It's a simple upright design, polished stainless steel sides and black edging with the controls housed on one end.
The toaster is well designed to comfortably house the full size of an 'average' slice of bread, the slices fit in sideways and are fully enclosed inside the toaster when the lever is pushed down. Its performance is great, toasting two slices to my own personal preference (medium-light) in around a minute and a half. Two minutes will give you a medium dark well toasted piece. The toast is perfect for my own taste, hot and crisp on the inside whilst retaining the freshness of the bread inside.
Operation is simple, insert the bread, set the dial to your desired setting, push down the lever until it clicks and the toaster will do the rest, popping the bread up to allow easy access to remove it when it's finished, the bread popping up couple of centimetres above the toaster.
Should you need to interrupt the toasting cycle there is a long thin button at the side which requires a quick press to do this, and there are also buttons for defrost and reheat, neither of which I've had cause to use. Thinking about those buttons, their position and size would actually make them quite tricky and fiddly to identify and use if you needed to use them, so that would be a bit of a negative in the design.
The crumb tray is easy to release but it's not the smoothest to fully remove, leaving crumbs all over the worktop as it's pulled out. I've never owned a toaster that performed well in the crumb-tray area, though, so no major complaints there.
The toaster attracts thumb and finger prints due to its finish, and requires a fairly robust clean to get rid of them, which is not ideal, as greasy fingers are often found in the vicinity of a toaster, but that's the price paid for choosing this design I guess.
Overall, this was a great purchase for me from a manufacture I knew nothing about. I have no problem recommending this toaster as it looks good and does a great job.
When my now-husband and I moved in together we were on a budget but we still wanted things which would look nice. We had moved into a rented flat where the fridge freezer and oven were in chrome effect so this is the look we decided to go with for our additional kitchenware. We went for cookworks as it was the cheapest in the argos catalogue with chrome effect. The initial idea was to only have these products for a short period then slowly replace with more expensive stuff over time. It has been over 3 years though and we still have this toaster. We see no need to upgrade it as it does it's job perfectly. It does only cook two slices of bread though, and with our recent addition to the family we may upgrade to a 4 slice toaster.
The toast comes out very even toasted and we have had it stuck on the same setting since we bought it, and it has always made perfect toast. It has a defrost function which is perfect for us as we freeze all of our bread and either toast it or microwave it as we need it to save food waste.
The only negatives are that the chrome effect has gone quite a dirty finish over time, and the toaster doesn't always do the tops of bread as it isn't a big toaster.
==Price and Availability==
Buying a toaster was essential when moving into our flat as both me and my partner love toast. As money was tight we decided after having a look in Argos just to buy a Cookworks one for the time being which we could change at a later date. We settled on the Cookworks 2 Slice Toaster which cost £7.99. There were a couple of cheaper options but this model had 4 stars and looked a little bit more expensive than the others.
* 750 watts.
* 2 slices.
* 7 toast settings.
* Cancel function.
* Variable browning.
* Electronic controls.
When I got the toaster out of the box I was quite shocked at how small the toaster was, I wasn't too bothered though as our work top space is limited. The toaster looks pretty good, the front and back are stainless steel so it fits in with our other appliances and doesn't look cheap. Although the sides are entirely black plastic they don't look cheap either. The controls are limited, but this is to be expected for the low price and it does make the toaster easier to use. There's a dial which adjusts the browning and a cancel button, both aren't fiddly and are easy to press and but the push down button to work the toaster is a little bit flimsy.
==Using the Toaster==
The toaster as worked fine for the past two months we've been using it. I should have known by the small size of the toaster but it doesn't fit a slice of bread horizontally which means uneven toasting, it's only a picky point but it does annoy me. The toaster always seems to be brown the bread more on the inside which is a bit annoying as I can never seem to get my toast perfect. It's quite powerful and seems to toast my bread a lot faster than other toasters I've used; this took a bit of getting used to at first but its fine now. There's a removable crumb tray underneath the toaster, this is handy but to be honest it's not something I empty out very often as I forget.
Overall, for the price I've been pleased with this toaster. There are a few little things which annoy me but for £7.99 I can cope with these. The toaster looks smart and more expensive than it is, although we are buying a new toaster which will hopefully look even nicer in our new kitchen.
In common with virtually every other household in the country we have a few staple kitchen gadgets which take up permanent residence on the worksurface. One of these is our trusty and faithful Cookworks 2 slice Chrome Toaster (model 420/9508). I purchased this toaster over 9 years ago now, when I bought my house and before I even met my husband - is it a sign of great reliability when you've had your toaster longer than your spouse?? Hmmmm . . . . I digress.
**The toaster itself**
Cookworks is an Argos brand and rather obviously, that is where I purchased my toaster from. There are currently around 19 Cookworks toasters available from Argos, the majority of which appear to be very good value for money. The model I have is a traditional looking 2 slice chrome toaster and although the exact model seems to be no longer available, the slightly 'face lifted' version is currently half price according to the Argos website at a very reasonable £7.49 (catalogue number 421/9385 as at 23/8/11). As I have had my toaster for a considerable length of time, I cannot recall exactly how it was packaged, but seem to remember the usual combination of cardboard box and polystyrene for protection. It has lovely mirror finish chrome side panels and a black plastic base, handles and knobs as well as a reasonable length of cable with pre-attached plug.
The bread slots are on the top surface and one of the handles on the side also doubles up as the loading handle/switch. All the control switches are on the same side of the toaster and lower down near the base. There is a dial for the browning control with an increasingly/decreasingly wide line to show the difference between minimum and maximum browning. Just to the side of the handle on the same side are two small press buttons. One is the cancel button to pop the toaster contents up in case of an emergency or cremating toast incident and the other is a handy defrost button - very useful if like me, you habitually forget to take the bread/crumpets out of the freezer to defrost in time for meal time! The crumb tray is integrated with the base and you simply slide it open to drop the crumbs out into the sink or dustbin. ! A nice safety feature - and one for when you aren't fully awake in the morning - is that you cannot push the bread down into the toaster unless it is plugged in and the mains are switched on at the plug. This is great as it saves those annoying times of wondering "what is happening with my toast?" only to discover it has been sat still in its fully bread state in the toaster all along because you forgot to switch it on at the plug socket!
**Is it up to the job?**
I think given that this toaster is fairly ancient by toaster standards is a pretty good indicator of how reliable and robust it is. It has moved house with me 3 times in 9 years, has been dropped, bashed and generally abused and it is still toasting on an almost daily basis (and I'll come to that in a minute). The non-loading handle has actually snapped off after my husband dropped the toaster, so we are now left with 2 rather sad looking lugs sticking out of the side of the toaster, but still it carries on undeterred. The variable width bread slots wil,l in my experience, take a wide variety of thicknesses. I have toasted thin, medium and thick sliced bread as well as crusts, crumpets, bagels, teacakes, hot cross buns and muffins without any difficulties. The only word of caution would be that when I have put particularly thick crusts in (the times when I have pretty much wedged them in) they probably, rather obviously, do have a tendancy to burn a bit. Not surprising when you think of the minimal gap there would be between the bread and the elements on either side.
When the toast pops up from the Cookworks Chrome Toaster is does so nice and sharply - not so sharply though that you are trying to catch it as it flies out - and the bread sits quite high in this toaster. I think this is good as personally I don't like having to go 'fishing' inside the toaster to retrieve my toast. The slots are also just big enough to take a slice of a standard ready sliced loaf 'lying down', another plus point for me as I also don't like it if you have to turn the bread during cooking or toast it twice to ensure you don't end up with 2 inches of bread left untoasted.
With regards to the toasting abilities, I am generally happy with it, but it isn't exceptional. Whether it is because it is nearing toaster heaven I'm not sure, but it has taken recently to either over-browning or under-browning items on occasions. So breakfast has become a bit of a lottery some days. However, after 9 years I can forgive some mood swings and it has previously been reliable and the dial serves as a reliable indicator. It toasts the bread evenly and I haven't noticed the grilled look which some toasters have where you can clearly see exactly where the elements have worked their magic. No the Cookworks Chrome Toaster gives a nice even browning to your toast.
I rate the Cookworks 2 slice Chrome Toaster highly. It has lasted a very long time, costs relatively little to buy, looks nice and toasts well. Therefore I will be giving it 5 stars and a good recommendation - if you want a cheap(ish) toaster which does the job and looks nice on your worktop, you could do a lot worse than buy this toaster.
Many thanks for reading.
This review may appear on other sites under the same user name.
I purchased the silver Cookworks toaster at the same time I purchased the kettle. We needed a new toaster anyway, so I thought it made more sense to have them match and for the pricely sum of £9.99 I thought it was a bargain and I was right.
For £9.99, the Cookworks toast I purchased had the following functions:
*Variable width slots.
*Independent slot operation.
*Reheat function- warms toast without going through the whole toasting cycle.
*Removable crumb tray.
It toasts bread very well. I don't like my toast overly brown. I prefer it just toasted so putting it on setting one is more than enough time for it to toast to my perfection. My husband likes it more toasted and found when he put it on setting three it over toasted. You do have to find the right balance for how much you like it toasted. You can also cancel the toasting if you put it in on the wrong browning setting with the cancel button which is helpful.
I like the fact that it has a removable crumb tray. It makes it easier to clean and the crumbs don't go everywhere.
Silver in colour, this toaster does not look like it only cost £9.99. Is very nice to look at. It looks very modern and doesn't look out of place in my kitchen. It is also surprisingly light for a toaster.
Another thumbs up for Cookworks from me! It is definately worth the money and works just as well as a more expensive toaster.
Had this model from Argos about 6 months or so and it does the job of cooking toast ok, but not great I'd say, but then what do you expect for under £8 i believe? cant remember exactly how much we picked it up for, my only real gripe is that it doesn't toast all of the bread, there is a patch that it leaves uncooked so you have turn the toast upside down half way through the cooking cycle to completely cook the bread. Also it doesn't take large slices of bread, its a little bit of a squeeze for anything slightly larger than normal size bread so a little awkward but as i said, for just under £8 or so, I'm not gonna complain or take it back, its just not worth it, and the toast comes out fine anyhow.
Crumb tray for throwing rubbish in bin if a little messy to pull out and put back in
Overall, not too bad and good especially for the money you pay, good for a student moving away to uni premises or just if your after a non fancy toaster
hasn't broken down on me yet and wont break the bank if it does, surprisingly I didn't opt for the insurance you can get at Argos :)
Cookworks 2 Slice Toaster
After only recently buying a new toaster and being thoroughly disappointed with its performance or really I should say lack of performance I invested in buying a new one from Argos. My last toaster not only worked when it wanted to and I was often found standing holding the button down to toast my bread but it also lacked the ability to toast all of the slice. The top two inches were always poking out and I had to turn halfway through to make sure the whole slice was evenly browned.
I made sure then that my new toaster was capable of fitting inside a whole slice and working well. I decided to pay a little more than the last cheap one which cost me a fiver and spend out £10 on buying a nice silver looking Cookworks toaster. On arriving at Argos and checking availability with the small keypad they offer by each catalogue I noticed that here had been a reduction from the set price of £9.99 pence to a great price of £4.99 pence. As most people do I like a bargain and I was looking forward to getting a toaster worth a tenner for half price.
The toaster is capable of toasting two slices of toast at a time and boasts having a variable browning control, as most toasters have, but also the added bonus of a removable crumb tray and auto adjustable slot width. The voltage of the toaster is 230v, which works out to 800w. The voltage of the toaster is slightly higher than my previous one which meant that I had to get used to the bread cooking quicker therefore the browning control needed to be set at less than I am used to.
The toaster looks pretty smart on my kitchen worktop. The colourings are silver effect which comes up lovely and shiny but also can be rather smeared if at all dirty, so you really have to keep on top of it being nice and clean for it to sparkle to its utmost. The sides of the toaster are a matt black plastic colour and this is good because it means that not only will it not show the dirt as much but also it will not get as hot as the front and back parts of the toaster will. I have to admit though that even the front and back panels, which are silver, do not get overly hot so this is not something to be cautious of.
The removable crumb tray can be found on the same end of the toaster as the controls and this is handy for it you want to have the toaster set vertically along your worktop instead of taking up a lot of space putting it horizontally. The controls are easy to use and nice and chunky for those people which fat fingers just like me at the moment. The browning control dial is able to move from 1 to 6 and I find to get it mildly browned which is how I live to eat my toast the setting needs to be at around the 3 to 4 mark.
There is also the option of using the stop button that will automatically eject the toast whenever you like. This is particularly handy for warming up toast if you have got sidetracked or just to check how well the toast is coming along. The crumb tray I have found to work well and cleaning this is very simple and the crumbs fall off nicely if you keep on top of emptying it.
The auto adjustable slot width is fairly handy but makes no real difference to the use of the toaster itself. There is basically just a metal bar thing inside the toaster which can be adjusted depending on what thickness of bread is being put inside the toaster. This seems to work well and I have had no problems or really any benefits from using it. The bread once turned into toast does get released from the toaster at a good height and I have done a crumpet inside the toaster too which was very easy as the toaster was able to bring the crumpet right up and out of the main body of the toaster making sure that I didnt burn my fingers at all.
The instructions that you receive with the toaster are fairly basic and just explain the simple way of using the toaster. Ti tells you all what to and what not to do i.e. DO NOT put a metal knife inside the toaster and things like that. To be honest I really didnt feel that I needed to read the instructions at all but did have a quick flick through the six page booklet. The back of the booklet does state that there is an Argos 1 year guarantee with this product and although this is handy I think if the toaster broke I would just go and buy another toaster for around the same price instead of going through the hassle of trying to get a replacement.
This stainless steel cool surface toaster has been really good so far and for the months of having it and pretty much using it everyday I think it is working a lot better than my last toaster. For the bargain price that I paid I would say it is well worth it and it really does fit in well with all the other appliances in my kitchen.
It works well and is simple to operate. It doesnt take up too much room and cleaning it is simple. I think from a toaster you really can expect or want no more. A great bargain!