I am reviewing my second favourite kitchen gadget, my first being my Tefal Actifry.
I purchased this toaster from Argos, approximately two years ago now, and have never had a days trouble from it. It must be said however, I usually have a death wish on electrical items - it has been said, our house is a place where objects come if they are on a suicide mission, plants too apparently, but that's another subject :o) Good job it came with a two year guarantee!
Back on track, if it hasn't broken yet, it must be good! I purchased the matching Kettle at the same time, but that sadly gave up the ghost - see what I mean? The cost, when I purchased mine (back to the toaster now) was £49.99 or thereabouts. It is now available to purchase from John Lewis at £25 on special offer.
This toaster is different to others as its front panel containing all the buttons is illuminated. Cool eh? The stainless steel body is brushed so it is supposedly finger mark proof. I can confirm this works brilliantly, I hate my other stainless steel appliances as they mark terribly. The top of the toaster is just the ordinary mirror polished stainless steel, but you are less likely to get finger marks here anyway. The two tone of the metal gives it a contemporary feel.
This toaster comes in only a two slot version, so for large families you will have to cook in batches, but this is not a problem, as you are alerted when the toast is about to pop up (eight seconds prior) and so you are ready to take it out and do another batch - no more loitering around, you can be doing something else and come back to it when you hear the beep.
This toaster has extra wide slots which automatically adjust to the width of the bread, for those big doorsteps of homemade bread. A function that I had not seen on other toasters at the time, and is what made me purchase this toaster in the first place, is the ability to toast on one side only - handy for bagels, teacakes or buns. This is the feature that is in constant use in our house, and is where I thought the Kenwood would fail after so much use, but no, it's still going strong.
Included in the box, is a handy warming rack, to keep for food warm without baking it further, if someone should arrive late to the table, for example. I know these are normally on every toaster, but it's quite a handy feature, you may need it but I never have, because this toaster has another feature I've not yet written about. It also has a handy crumb tray, but it is hidden underneath, towards rear of the machine (mine sits against the wall) therefore it is quite easy to forget to empty it.
The rise and fall of this machine is done by pressing one of the buttons of the front. This mechanically lowers or raises the holders (I don't know the technical term, sorry) it raises them without the need to press big, clunky levers. I love this action, as it is almost robotic. Its novelty never wears off for me - I 'm easily pleased :o). After cooking, the toast will raise automatically. If it is not taken out almost immediately, it will lower and automatically use the keep warm function. It's that clever!
There are six levels of toasting on this appliance, when plugged in it automatically goes to number three. This is the perfect number for our toast, midway between normal bread and charcoal. However, after the toast has had one use and is still hot, further batches of toast have to be cooked using number two, as the residual heat cooks the toast further, we have found.
In mornings when we are in a rush and have no fresh bread, we use frozen. There is a good feature on this machine, that defrosts the bread before toasting it, takes a little while longer but is still quick in comparison to other toasters I have previously used.
Overall, I LOVE this toaster, they don't call me gadget woman for nothing!
I totally recommend it, it's modern yet has classic styling and it is novel without being gimmicky.
I was given this toaster for Christmas last year.....I'm afraid I don't know the cost but I'm fairly sure it came from Lakelands.
The packaging was fairly standard and the toaster arrived without any damage.
The toaster itself it a matt silver (so no annoying smears to clean off) and looks pretty smart for a modern kitchen. I have to say that it is quite chunky which I feel adds to the character (if a toaster can have character!), but it could be annoying for a small kitchen with limited space.
The settings are all fairly standard and it has a 'one side only' and 'warming' function (i.e. the grill bit that goes on top) and it can adapt to different thicknesses of bread (although won't fit a bit doorstopper!)
The toaster is automatic and the bread slowly descends and ascends (can be frustatingly slow when you realise its burnt), but this generally looks impressive. It also gives you a warning beep when the bread is about to reappear which it useful in the busy mornings.
Overall I would say that this toaster looks great, albeit a little chunky, and makes great toast!
As far as toasters go I would rate this as average. Yes - it does look smart and quite different from your average toaster. This was in fact one of the main reason's I picked this model plus the fact that it matches my kettle.
However, one of the main things that I noticed when I took it out of the box was that it was rather large and chunky. In my opinion this is not a reason to send the toaster back but just something to be aware of if you have a small kitchen or don't want your appliances taking over your worktop. Another reason why this is quite annoying is the fact that on many websites this toaster is advertised as being 'compact' and the angle the photo has been taken is a bit misleading.
Another irritating feature of the toaster is the fact that every time you turn it on/ off at the mains plug it beeps - not quietly but an ear drum bursting high pitched beep! I'm not sure if it's meant to do this or not but either way its quite loud. Not the ideal thing if you have your breakfast early and there's other people asleep in the house!
Despite these two downsides on the whole it does it's job. It toasts pretty well and has cool blue lights that count down to the toast being ready. It also beeps when it is ready but I tend to press the button for the toast to come up before the dreaded beep. The fact that it is automatic is quite cool but also a bit slow - so if you are very particular about your toast it may not be for you because you have to wait quite a while for your toast to come up after pressing the button. Its not at all like the manual toaster with the lever you could press to rescue the toast immediately. However if your not too fussy about your toast this should not be a major problem.
Short name: Kenwood TT720