We bought the Cookworks toaster about three years ago, from Argos for around £15. I see now they are selling very similar, updated model for £18.99, but it's not the exact design or dimensions as ours.
The toaster is approximately 15 inches long, 7 inches tall and 6 inches wide. It has the standard reheat, defrost, and cancel buttons, and can cook up to four slices of toast at a time. The design is fairly plain, and has the average 'stainless steel and black' kitchen appliance colour scheme.
It takes up a fair bit of the counter, but doesn't slip around, as it has rubber feet. It has a good length cord too (I will edit, and add the length of the cord as soon as the cat-sized spider has vacated my kitchen), that wraps around the bottom, so you don't have wires trailing on your counter. Also, it does defrost things well, and it has never failed to pop up.
I have to say that this toaster has been fairly reliable over the years, in the way that it has carried on working, despite dents from moving home, and that it does what it promises, and gives me four slices of toast at a time. It also has consistently produced charcoal flavoured toast, brick hard slices, and warm bread, more often than producing a regular piece of toast. Before you say 'have you tried turning it up/down?' in short, yes. From the moment we first used it when the bread was getting burned at 3, we experimented, but it seems to depending on how thick or thin the slice of bread is. On average we don't move the setting from 2, yet it still undercooks some bread, and overcooks others. This is something that get quiet irritating (I haven't had this with any previous toasters), it's like the dummy run pancake that you accept is always rubbish, that always happens before the stack of perfectly tasty ones.
Another downfall to this toaster is that it almost multiples, and leaks toast crumbs. Yes, the washing machine swallows socks, and my toaster breeds breadcrumbs. The crumbs get everywhere, on the button, the ridges, I mean EVERYWHERE. I do regularly empty the crumb tray that slides out of the bottom (it is flimsy though) but that isn't enough. I shake it upside down until I no longer hear the 'rain maker- esque' sound, peer into it, and accept there are no crumbs left. Then when I gently place it back on the counter, a dusting of crumbs with fall out of the bottom, and once again cover the side. This makes me crazy, because I like the kitchen tidy. I like to wipe under my appliances that sit out, but I know doing so with the toaster will make the job into a long, drawn out game of 'toast crumb hide and seek'. I've never had a single other toaster that does this, you just have to look at the d*mn thing, and crumbs will magically dislodge themselves, and jump all over your counter top.
The toaster doesn't fit thicker slices, tea cakes, or fresh breads, and (to me) seems thinner inside than my last toaster. I can still toast those things in it, but I have to mallet-less...ly (is that a word?) flatten my bread, tea cake or hot crossed bun first.
I also don't think the outside cleans up especially well, even with the aid of vinegar solutions, or stainless steel cleaning sprays..
3 stars. It works, it's sturdy, but I can't be bothered with the flimsy crumb tray. I would only recommend it if there were no other choices.
We never intended to buy a four slice toaster but when we saw this one, it looked modern and it came at a great price. We purchased ours 3 years ago now. We bought in Argos, I believe for around £20 at the time. We also purchased the Cookworks kettle at the same time. It wasn't actually anymore expensive than 2 slice toasters out there so it made sense to go for the longer more modern toaster.
The toaster itself is a nice shiny chrome colour with a black plastic surround. It is approx. 39cm in length and 15cm in width, with an approx. height of 18.5cm from the kitchen surface.
On the side there are 3 buttons which are marked defrost, reheat and cancel. Defrost is perfect for anyone who freezes their bread. Again reheat is useful for when the toast has been waiting a while in the toaster. Personally for me this is very useful as I much prefer to eat my toast warm. Using this option just gently warms it and does not cook the toast anymore.
There is a temperature knob marked 1-7 for adjusting how much you want to cook the toast. Personally, we have it on 2 and this produces a nice golden colour.
There are a couple of minor issues with this toaster. Firstly, it advertises itself as a four slice toaster. Yes, within reason it does but it can be a real struggle to get all four in meaning that bread becomes stuck or a small fraction of the slice will not be toasted. But as I mentioned, I never really intended to by a four slice toaster so to me this has not been a major problem but I can imagine to some families it would be.
Secondly, we have discovered that if you cook toast immediately after someone else, the toaster is still hot so you'll find the next round of toast has been cooked more and can even burn on the crusts. This is where the cancel button comes in useful to stop this occuring but it can be regarded as a nuisance.
A useful part of the toaster is the crumb tray underneath. It only needs clearing once a month but it slides out nicely and minimises the amount of mess. Even though we have had it more than 3 years it is still in fantastic condition. The chrome front is easy to wipe down with a cloth.
We haven't been disappointed with our toaster. It does the job and toasts bread exactly how I like it. Yes, the issue with four slices can be a problem but we rarely use it for that amount of toast anyway. A good toaster which does the job.
When we moved house a few years ago we had to buy appliances on a budget, but still wanted them to look nice enough. We bought a Cookworks stainless steel kettle from Argos, and decided to buy the matching toaster. We paid £15 for it, although since then it has been updated slightly and now costs £20 (but is currently on offer at £16.99).
The toaster came in a standard cardboard box, easy to fold down and put in the recycling. The toaster has a black central belt, with stainless steel panels on both sides. It looks smart, model and tidy. Granted, it's not a designer style toaster but I think it looks a little more expensive than it was. The toaster has a 70cm power cord which can be wound underneath eh toaster for safe keeping if you don't need that much length. My toaster is near to a socket anyway, but an extension cable is something you might need to consider if you're kitchen doesn't have sockets where you would like your toaster.
The toaster has a knob and three buttons on the side. The knob allows you to pick the level of browning you would like - from 1-6. The three button are to cancel, defrost or reheat. There is a plastic lever on the same side as the buttons and knob which allows you to push down the bread once you have placed it into the toaster.
As this is a 4 slice toaster it has two wide slots for your bread. This is very handy because it means that you can toast very large slices of bread, or longer items such as sliced baguettes without having to try and fit them into a small slot that a 2 slice toaster may have. I have also used 'toastie bags' successfully in this toaster which was a bonus as I think they are too wide for some toasters.
There is no way to use one side of the toaster, so if you're only doing 2 slices of bread in one slot the other slot will also heat up. It would be helpful, from a power-saving point of view, to be able to operate each slot separately, however I don't expect functions like that from a £15 toaster. I like my toast slightly browned and find that between 2 and 3 is the perfect setting for this.
One problem I have encountered with this toaster is that if you use it in quick succession after it's already been on, it remains hot and therefore cooks your toast much quicker meaning that if it's left on the same setting it can come out much darker than it normally would. So if you intent to make more than 4 slices of toast straight after each other then I would turn the setting down to prevent burning.
There is a stainless steel crumb tray that sits underneath the toaster and this can be slid out to dispose of the crumbs it's collected, and easily slid back in. It saves getting crumbs all over the work top and is a great addition to the appliance! I also find that although the toast pops up when ready, if you are using it to warm up something smaller, like the hot cross bun I put in yesterday, it doesn't always pop up enough for you to remove it. Although Argos state that this toaster has a 'high lift' function, I find pushing the lever up quite fast gives a higher lift and allows whatever is in the toaster to pop out. If it's being stubborn.
The toaster is around 38cm long x 20cm high, and 15cm deep. It's quite chunky but doesn't take up a huge amount of space considering it's a 4 slice toaster. It's easy to keep clean and a quick wipe over keeps it looking nice.
Overall, I would really recommend this toaster. We bought it on a budget expecting it to be a temporary appliance in our kitchen but a few years on it's still working well and looks great.
I went to put the toaster on one morning and found it wasn't working, changed the fuse and still no joy so it was time for a new toaster. Our previous toaster was from the Cookworks range and we'd been very happy with it so I had no hesitation in buying another one.
It's available in Argos for £19.99, you can check the stock and reserve it online to pick up at the store of your choice which is very handy. I just hate going all the way into the store then finding out it's out of stock! £19.99 is a very good price for a 4 slice toaster, being a family we need it to do 4 slices at once.
I decided on this particular model because it takes 4 slices, price and it looks stylish in my kitchen. Out previous toaster was plain white but this is a lovely shiny chrome. It has a defrost setting for those of you that freeze bread. I don't so have never used this setting. It also has a reheat setting, a button to pop your toast up whenever you like and a dial that allows you to select how brown you'd like to cook your toast. The dial goes from 1 to 7 and I personally find 2 is perfect for me. It also has an easy pull out crumb tray at the bottom so you can clean it out with a minimum of fuss.
When you first get it you will need to put it on twice to burn off any chemicals from the factory making process. This does stink lol. Also we burnt a few rounds of toast figuring out the best setting for us but once we had it set to 2 we had perfect toast everytime. I will say though that if you've just used it and want more toast you will need to reduce the setting otherwise you'll end up with burnt toast. This happened to us a few times because the toaster was already hot from the previous use.
We've had this toaster for a good while now and it's not let us down yet. I do find though that it does brown one side more than the other but it's not really an issue. The chrome although looked good at first does get very grimey looking quickly so you need to wipe it over quite often.
All in all we are very happy with this toaster, we get 4 slices of lovely brown toast very quickly and it hasn't let us down yet.
This toaster was one I bought after I started looking for a toaster that could cook more that 2 pieces of toast at once. After looking around i discovered easily that it costs a bit more to go for a 4 toast toasters, this one being closer to the top price range, but money well spent.
As for the aesthetics of this beautiful device, I fell in love with the shiny chrome sides contrasting wonderfully with the matt-black areas. Its size: quite large so make sure you have plenty length on the work surface, it's not particularly wide but take note it is long.
The size of the slits that you can place food into is plenty for all size cuts of bread even doorstop.
It functions as easily as the average toaster, where you can simply place the bread/crumpet/waffle or what ever it is you wish to heat then pull it down with the lever on the side. The buttons perform the task of prematurely ending the cook cycle, There is a timing knob on the side which can be set but will burn everything if you put it to its maximum.
The design of the toaster is probably the best thing about it, it is silver and black and features two long slots rather than four seperate slots. It has a black plastic lever which I feel was ergonomically designed as it is quite easy to get a grip of, it also has a black plastic knob to change the setting, as well as a number of buttons including defrost and re-heat.
Using the Toaster
I found that when actually using the toaster, the slots were too short, and about half an inch of toast wouldn't have been toasted. The only ways to solve this is through buying shorter bread, cutting the bread or by putting the bread on its side when toasting (which means you can only toast two pieces of bread at a time). I also found that although the defrost and re-heat buttons did what they said, they also toasted more rather than heating or defrosting. After about a month of using the toaster, the elements seemed to have went funny as the bread either half toasted or burnt (despite being on a low setting). It also used to buzz / vibrate half of the time which I don't know why, but it stopped after a helpful whack. The toaster is good in that there is a removable bottom tray to get rid of crumbs, but it was still very difficult trying to do this; and it also made a huge mess! In terms of actually toasting, the toaster would take around 3 minutes which is a decent length of time (but not if you are only able to toast two at a time).
It looks nice, is available at a decent price (I think we bought it for around £15), but unfortunately it wasn't very good as a four slice toaster. I'd give it two stars only because there were more faults with it in my opinion. It did last us a year before we replaced it, but we did go for another cookworks toaster which functions better in my opinion.
Although there arnt too many of us in my house- just the two of us...we do like to have allot of toast...just one of those things
You can pick this one up reletively cheap, and those of us who have been into sainsburys or robert dyas know that cookworks is a cheaper make...but a reliable one..you can pick this particular toaster up for little under £15 (you can also get 3 years replacement cover for £3.99) you ccan buy an expensive toaster but in my experience cheaper toasters work just as well, there are less features so less things go wrong with them and unlike older cheaper toasters, most of them look pretty good and will fit well with any modern kitchen.
I have found in the past that the actual bread slots are a bit too small and so ive had to toast the bread standing it on its end first before it shrinks abit so that I can put it in width wise as it should be. This does not happen with this toaster, the slots are longer, giving enough room and you can easily fit in 4 slices of toast. Also nowadays with specialised toaster bread which is beigger this is a handy feature as well as possibly putting in other things like a pannini, baguetee and ciabattas. The size is also a bit of a bad point, its so wide that when you try to remove the toast with your fingers you can easily burn them, so you have to use a knife sometmes to get the toast out.
This toaster has 3 buttons on the side to re-heat, or cancel which will pop the toast up, handy if like me you put in toast and forget about it and defrost. There is also a plastic dial which controls the intensity of the heat, the dial goes up to 5 and is easy enough to use. There is also a removable tray underneath to catch crumbs, but make sure that when yuo use it , go over to the bin as its a little shifty so you can jitter it and lots of crumbs will fall everywhere. unfortunately like all toaster the bigger crumbs get caught and left inside burning over and over again creating allot of ash. I also find it useful to use the level at the side to not only put the bread down but cancle it out and get it up and out of the heat quickly if it starts to burn.
Although the dial is pretty accurate, if you use the same slots one after another on the second time around the coils will already be heated up so the bread will brown allot quicker then the first lot of bread.
Setting up the toaster is very easy, there is just some cardboard packaging and some plastic covers on the electricals which can be removed easily, you plug it in and start using it- simples !
It looks pretty good, the chrome and black effect looks classy and fits with most modern kithcens but as we know this type of stainless steel tends to accumulate finger-prints so you need to give it s aquick wipe down every know and then with a wet cloth, but thats easy enough. Its not the more solid of toasters, but it feels robust enough and not to shabby or likely to break casing wise at least.
Over-all for the price, you could od a hell of a lot worse for a cheap toaster, id recommend the one. Pick it up at siansburys and robert dyas.
Many toasters on the market seem to cater only for small pre-sliced bread as the slots are too short and the depth not sufficient for a larger slice to all be toasted and not to stick out the top , I wanted one that I could put larger slices of supermarket fresh loaf bread in, or homemade - and I was surprised how few toasters allowed you to do this - especially those at the upper end of the market. When someone pipped me to the post and bought the last one in Curry's I went to Argos and found this 4 slice toaster - because its a long one and there are just 2 long slots for the bread, you can put in 2 large or 4 small slices at once. It is fairly attractive in black and silver, a bit plasticky but for the price you can't grumble. The control is quite sensitive but I find that above level 3 of about 6 and it burns, especially if you are using it for the 2nd or 3rd time in a row - so tend to keep it set at maximum 3. It's a toaster, it toasts my bread just fine, there are no fancy controls for defrosting or bagels, but you don't expect that for under £15. I'm very happy with this, and if it gives up the ghost, buying a new one won't break the bank either!
I bought this toaster for my new flat a few months ago, have used it more or less daily, and have been fairly impressed.
- Couldn't be easier: just took it out of the box, took the bits of plastic & tape off, and it was working
- Looks pretty classy: the black/stainless steel looks very nice and goes with pretty much any kitchen, the only problem is that it tends to accumulate finger-marks, so if you're likely to be moving your toaster about a fair bit, this might be a (minor) problem
- It's pretty big, but I don't think it's any bigger than other 4-slice toasters
- Feels very solid and unlikely to break
- The BEST thing about this toaster is that it can easily hold thick slices of bread (1-1.5 cm) without difficulty - I've found that thick slices tend to get stuck in most
- A downside is when placed on their side, slices of bread can be difficult to get out of the slots - you've got to use a knife to get it out to avoid burning your fingers...a pretty minor problem
- It always toasts both sides equally, although often slices are slightly more brown at the bottom than top - again, the difference is very minor
- It works very quickly, typically taking 1 min for mild toasting
- When used in quick succession, later slices can brown quite a bit more quickly than those before, but to be honest that doesn't have much of an effect on the final product
- There's a very good range of temperatures which vary from only heating bread to virtually-incinerating it - unlike other reviewers, I've found it fairly consistent in the degree of browning
- I've found the crumb tray pretty awkward to use, so I usually just tip the toaster upside-down above the bin
When we recently bought a new kettle we decided to buy a toaster to match. We knew that we needed a 4 slice one, and at the time we had an argos voucher, so decided on this one at a price of £14.69. We thought it was a very reasonable price as you can pay a fortune for a similar type of toaster that has a designer brand behind it.
The toaster comes packaged in a rectangular cardboard box. To 'set it up' you simply have to remove the toaster from the packaging and plug it in, you don't need to put anything together or add any bits to the toaster.
The great thing about this toaster is that instead of having four separate slots, it has two long ones which can each hold 2 slices of bread. This means that it can also hold paninis and other longer, more awkward, shaped items which need to be toasted.
The toaster has 3 buttons on the end, these are cancel, defrost and reheat. The cancel button pops up the toaster mid heating and allows you to remove the item. This can be very handy if you think the item is done and don't want it to burn. The defrost button works very well, and I have defrosted bread in it with no problems at all. The reheat button is not something I use much at all, but I have tested it out and have found no faults with it at all.
There are a few minor problems with the toaster. One which I have found to be the worst is that if you are toasting something straight after the toaster has just been used it doesn't have time to cool down so the second batch of toast is heated up more quicker and will sometimes burn even if it was on the same setting as the first. This can be rectified by using the cancel button before the toast is done, or to put it on a lower setting.
The settings can be controlled by a knob on the end of the toaster, next to the function buttons. It is numbered one to five, and you are able to use a setting that is in-between numbers, which can be very handy once you've got to know the toaster and understand which setting suits your toast needs!
Another minor problem with the toaster is that is can be awkward to get odd shaped items out of it. An example of these things are hot cross buns, rolls, tea cakes and other slightly wider items which can be toasted. I find it helpful to use the lever which you push the toaster on with and push it up very hard and fast - this usually springs whatever is in the toaster out and you are then able to catch it mid air - it looks quite impressive too!
Overall, this toaster is fantastic. It has a few minor flaws, but for it's price it is great value. I would highly recommend it.
Although there's only three of us at home (my mum, dad and myself), sometimes there is a rush in the kitchen in the morning and as we often have guests we decided to get a four slice toaster. Initially we looked at more expensive toasters but after reading reviews on the Argos website we settled on the Cookworks Stainless Steel 4 Slice Toaster.
At only £14.69 (£3.99 extra for 3 years replacement cover) you can't really go wrong, and often in the past we've had expensive toasters and kettles only for them to brake quite quickly anyway. The stainless steel design is very modern and the toaster looks surprisingly sleek for it's low price tag, also fitting in with both traditional and modern kitchens with a wide range of matching products.
The slots in the toaster are longer, giving room for 4 slices of toast, I also found this useful because almost any bread can fit in the toaster, including baguette, pannini and ciabatta which would normally have to be toasted under the grill. There are also 3 buttons on the side, re-heat, cancel (pops your toast up) and defrost. I usually don't defrost bread but it's handy to have the option but I often re-heat my toast because I am very particular about all the butter being melted.
There is also a dial so you can select how well cooked you want your toast, on more expensive toasters you can vary this in the different slots but on this model unfortunately it's one browning level suits all. Another down fall is that the slots are quite deep and you can lose smaller bread or bagels down there and how to turn the toaster off at the plug and negotiate the lost articles out with a knife!
Although there is a removable tray underneath to catch crumbs I find this a bit useless, it's quite tricky to get out meaning that most crumbs end up on the work surface anyway. Also only the smallest crumbs get through to the tray meaning that there are often bigger crumbs left inside.
As far as toasting goes it's pretty good, my only complaint it that the browning level can be quite unpredictable, I can have it on 3 one day and need to put it down for abit longer and the next day with the same bread it will be burnt. Often I find myself cancelling the toast every 10- 20 seconds because there is so much variation, this defeating the object of the toaster having a browning system.
In conclusion, although there are a few glitches with the Cookworks Stainless Steel 4 Slice Toaster for the price I don't think you can go wrong. If it only lasts a year I think we've had a good usage out of it and it does it's job well, almost!