My previous toaster was a Kenwood and was incredibly reliable and user friendly, therefore, when it broke last month I wanted to replace it with another Kenwood if possible.
I did a bit of research and shopping around and found this model, which I believe is the updated version of my old one (bought about 7 years ago) as it has all the same functions, just looks a lot sleeker. In Argos and the main retailers this was priced at a fairly static £30, however, I found one on ebay which had been an unwanted wedding gift, still boxed etc for £20.
When the item arrived I was very pleased to find that it hadn't even been removed from the box, I think I got myself a bit of a bargain to be honest, but it just goes to show that if you do your homework you can pick up the exact item you want for less than RRP.
So, this toaster is chrome and black plastic and it looks very shiny and nice in the corner of my kitchen. I have learnt from my previous (now, sadly deceased) version that the chrome very quickly becomes smudged, blemished and tarnished if you do not look after it and this time round I have remembered (so far) to give it a wipe over and a buffing once a week to keep the chrome at maximum shine.
The two things I loved about my old toaster are present here. These are firstly, that it has a button to press for if you are toasting something from frozen. This adds an extra minute or so to the toasting time, which, in my house at least, is very handy as we generally toast bread and bagels straight from the freezer and it saves you the inevitable (and risky) second toasting when it invairably is not done after the first attempt.
The second thing I loved about this model is the pastry rack. A difference here is that on the previous model the rack was integrated and had its own handle for raising into place or laying flat on the top of the toaster. This time round the rack is an entirely seperate piece which you balance on the top when you want to use.
I do not mind this too much but I believe they have only done this for aesthetic reasons, it also means I have to hunt down the rack when I want to use it. However, the rack itself is very useful, it is ideal for warming through croissants without squshing them in the toaster and I also use it to toast the inside of burger buns easily and without using the grill.
I mentioned above about the aesthetics of this toaster. Whilst it is indeed a basic, two slice toaster with no particular airs and graces, I have to say it does look quite slimline and lovely with the new, smooth curves over the top. It certainly looks very contemporary and appealing to the eye.
The handle for dropping your toast in and out is identical on this model to my previous one and its very straightforward to use. The other two buttons you can see in the picture are a very handy cancel button which stops and pops your toast out immediately whenever pressed and a re-heat button for when it finishes the cycle while you are distracted and you simply need a quick blast of heat to get your bread/bagel/crumpet up to butter melting heat again.
Everything you need is here with this model, it is simple, straightforward and easy to use. The dial on the side has 6 settings and personally I have always found it to be consistent and accurate to them. Also the removable crumb tray is convenient to use and stops that awful mess of crumbs which generally gather under a toaster.
We eat a lot of toast and bagels in my house and so this product is used on a daily basis. I find that for my needs this is perfect - reliable, user friendly and to boot it looks lovely in my kitchen. I really must remember to look after the chrome this time, it is the least I owe to my toasting buddy.
Short name: Kenwood TT390