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This toaster is a four-slice super-duper looking machine which is the kind of kitchen appliance you are tempted to buy purely because it looks great. I fell firmly into this category last year, I'd been given some Debenhams vouchers and when I spotted this at around £25 with extra discount I couldn't believe that I could be the proud owner of such a toaster for such a bargain price. I had no real need for a 4-slice toaster, living alone, but hey, I snapped it up, excited at the prospect of having such a swish gadget out on show!
My enthusiasm continued long into the installation phase - out of the generous packaging it looked sensational - lovely classy brushed stainless steel, a great size (22x31x30cm), four generous slots for the bread - my kitchen was transformed into a professional one at a price of just over £20. It had a generous cable, and the toaster's feet meant that it stood a few millimetres off the worktop to allow the cable to be extended to the plug without causing a wobble. Despite its size the toaster is quite lightweight to move and clean around.
The toaster has a lovely curve to the front, easy on the eye as well as impressive, and each set of two slots is independently controlled by means of a black circular dial and has it's own set of buttons for interrupting the toasting, defrost and reheat.
Dismay soon followed when I decided (radically) to try use it for toasting bread. I eat 'normal' white bread, and when I inserted my slices and pushed down the toasting lever at the front, I coulnd't believe how far above the slots my bread protruded! The top 2-3cm of each slice would not be so much as getting warm in the process, let alone being toasted. The way to get around this was to cut the top crust off and insert the slices sideways, this meant that only that top crust would be wasted rather than the 2-3cm. Not very satisfactory.
Even the toasting itself was hit and miss throughout my ownership. I like my bread toasting quite lightly, and would normally expect to be using a 2-2½ setting in a dial which went up to 6, whereas on this toaster I needed to be up around 4, and toasting my bread to a light brown would take over 5 minutes, far too long in my opinion when toast is ideally a "quick" snack. Because it takes so long to toast, you end up with quite dry and very crunchy toast - almost like french toast, which is not my preference at all.
Additionally, there wasn't 100% uniformity to the toasting - most of the time, I would toast on number 4 and that would be about the right colour for me, but randomly and indiscriminately it would one day be toasted one side, or nowhere near enough on either side. That said, I never had it over-do my toast, which is one thing!
Forcing myself to think of something positive to say about this toaster I would comment that cancelling the toasting mid-way through by pressing the button would give a supremely satisfying spring up of the toast in an almost cartoon-like fashion. I think it was a combination of this entertainment together with having splashed out on such an extravagant toaster that led me to persevere with the toaster for around 6 months. My partner gave up on using the toaster almost immediately (much to his delight, it having been such an impulse purchase) he found it quicker and more effective to use the grill. Soon enough, I had to agree, and I bought a replacement cheaper 2-slice toaster which has only served to reinforce what a waste of space and money the Kenwood toaster was. I still have the toaster 'just in case' but it would have to be a dire toast-driven emergency for me to ever put this back into use.
I bought this toaster at £75.00 expecting something of quite a high quality, at least for the price. I was therefore feeling sick to my bones when I put a couple of slices into the toaster for just a few moments and it came out completely incinerated. I understand you can manage what colour you would like the toast to be but i find the setting to be completely off. There is such a fine margin between the toast being black and the toast being perfect, thus I find myself most mornings standing over my toaster waiting to get the toast out before it turns to charcoal.
I even find that it will only cook 1 side of the toast leaving the other side completely under cooked, I do not know if this was a fault or just a complete design flaw. Either way it has left me feeling very angry and has forced me to buy another toaster so my Monday morning toast can be a little less stressful to prepare.
How can something that has such a simple task do it so poorly?
What you get
I purchased this toaster because I wanted something that looked good and toasted 4 slices to replace my 2 slice toaster. I consider Kenwood a leading brand so I was prepared to pay a little more for that but I ended up disappointed. Although the toaster looks good, it's quite bulky even for a 4 slice toaster. The top in angled for easy viewing and it looks sleek and rounded. It operates in 2 sections so you have the option of only toasting 2 slices if that's all you need. There are 2 toast trays that are easy to remove and clean. It has a nice stainless steel finish that doesn't get ruined with buttery hands!
The controls are very straight forward and simple, there is a dial to select the toasting length numbered 1 to 6. I have this set to 4.5 and that gives an average toasting. There is a defrost button, keep warm button and eject button and a large round lever to push the bread down. This hold any thickness of bread, I have tried thin cut to extra thick, including crumpets and bagels and this toaster has no problem however, a major flaw for me is that this doesn't hold all sizes of bread. If you buy the half loafs where you get smaller sizes slices then these fit ok but a standard size slice pokes out of the top meaning that you get about 2cm that isn't toasted or turn the slice upside down half way through toasting which I find very annoying! I find that this toaster is also very slow, it takes at least 5 minutes to toast even mildly which is probably double the time of all my previous toasters.
This toaster doesn't cost the earth (I paid around £25) but for a leading brand I expected a bit more from this. Unfortunately this is a toaster I wouldn't recommend.
Another not so good review for this toaster from Kenwood.
It's a chunky toaster but then it does have 4 toasting slots. The base measures 12.5 by 11 inches. The top is angled rather than flat, apparently for easier viewing of the toast. At its highest it is 8 inches, reducing down to 6.5 inches at the front. The flex Is quite short - roughly 38 inches - but can be channelled to the left or right of the toaster. It is not unattractive although I wouldn't describe it as the prettiest piece of kitchen equipment in the world. It is made of stainless steel with black plastic trim.
There are two sets of controls as the 2 sets of 2 slots operate independently. For each set of 2, there is a dial to control browning and three push buttons which illuminate when depressed and are the cancel, reheat and defrost settings.
There are two slide out crumb trays, accessed at the back of the toaster. However, they don't seem to catch all the crumbs. I find the easiest way to get rid of the crumbs is to turn the toaster upside down and give it a good shake. Probably not the best method but more effective than using the two crumb trays.
We bought this toaster having had good experiences with other Kenwood products. The two sides are ideal for us as I prefer my toast anaemic while my other half prefers his on the burnt side. However, we're really disappointed with it. What we've ended up with is a hybrid with one side of the toast anaemic and the other well done ie it doesn't seem to toast evenly. Moreover the first piece into the toaster in the morning seems to take an eternity whatever colour it eventually pops out as.
Overall, this toaster looks like it has all the features one would want in a toaster, but it just doesn't live up to its promise. Homebase are currently selling this toaster for £24.93 so it's not the most expensive toaster in the world but it's certainly not the best.
When it comes to making toast, the physics are pretty simple. You are required to insert the desired number of bread slices (depending on your hunger level) in to the "toaster" which then passes an electrical current through a series of coils producing heat. It is this heat the then toasts your bread. It sounds pretty simple however its amazing how wrong a manufacturer can go with this basic idea and sadly this "Kenwood TTM406 4 Slice Toaster" is such an example of bad err... toasty physics.
First impressions out of the box were good as this Kenwood has a modern, sleek and polished look about it combined with seemingly good build quality. When you factor in the product features on offer such as an "angled chassis for easy viewing whilst toasting" "dual control panel" and "high rise bread lift" for toasting different sizes and thicknesses of bread you would almost think that you have found the Holy Grail of toasters. Sadly like the "The Hobbit" prequel to Lord of The Rings, it was too good to be true.
An obvious problem from the start is that this toaster isn't going to win any awards for it's speed when in operation. Despite having a 1400w grill it takes a very long time to actually do anything (both in warming up and in actually cooking your bread.) Regardless of what heat setting you select it insists on popping up your semi warm, semi toasted bread every minute of so. Even when you think its ready and you take out your toast, it's disappointing to find that your butter doesn't really melt when you spread it. Of course on the plus side this does make it more difficult for you to burn the toast should you forget about it when playing Candy Crush on Facebook or Angry Birds.
A less than obvious problem is that the large easy to clean crumb tray is any thing but easy to remove. It is very stiff and rather difficult to insert and remove always requiring more than a few attempts.
The front controls and pretty chunky which are easier to use and to set, however their actual design is such that crumbs very easily become lodged everywhere, and the small sizes between the runners and controls means that it is hard and time consuming to clean (a toothpick is handy here.)
Finally the cable length of only forty five centimeters may pose a problem for some (depending on your seating location and nearest electrical socket.) I personally had to use an extension lead which obviously added more clutter to my work surface. It would have been nice to have seen a longer cable and one that's excess could have wrapped around the bottom underneath the toaster itself.
That's the bad, now for the good and not the ugly. While it takes an eternity to toast your bread it does so very evenly and toasts right to the edges of the bread. The larger and longer slots can handle all manners of bread and other items such as crumpets without any dramas and again toasts them (slowly) but evenly. It's very easy to use, and again the size of the controls and dials make it more suitable for those who are elderly and or have difficultly in gripping or grasping smaller dials.
It looks good and it fits in well in your kitchen, the angled chassis means you can view and watch your bread slowly becoming toast. A very useful feature should you loose interest halfway through watching The Hobbit or can't get past Candy Crush Level 69. I've heard of watching paint dry but in this case it's watching bread toast.
While there is no doubt this toaster looks good on your work surface, it's not really fit for purpose and I can't really recommend it to you with the fore mentioned problems. Considering it costs nearly forty pounds and toasters a tenth of the price can do the job better its sadly one to avoid. Unless you like big and shinny things in which case you'll like this.
This toaster can be found on Amazon.co.uk for £37.98 however price varies a couple of pound each way depending on retailer.
(I'm a reviewer on Amazon, and some my reviews are copied from there to dooyoo. Please feel free to check out my Amazon profile under my real name of Mr Andrew M Kerr.)
I love shiny new kitchen appliances, so when my Mother-In-Law offered me her old toaster I jumped at the chance. If it was better than mine I would swap it over, if it was rubbish I could put it with the camping stuff. It was a win, win situation.
It did not take long till the toaster was in my hands, first impressions were good, and I was already planning on sending the Breville toaster camping and giving the shiny new looking Kenwood TTM406 pride of place on my kitchen work tops to await the weekend when its toasting abilities would be put to the test.
The Kenwood TTM406 really is a thing of beauty, with its high shine stainless steel finish and black, inset high rise levers. I was smitten, all it had to do was cook my Saturday morning tea cake and we would be toasting off in to the sunset.
I sliced my tea cake in half and slotted it into the nice wide toasting slots, I set the browning dial to 3, going for the middle temperature and waited, and waited, and waited. This really was taking a long time, after 2 minutes I stuck my head over the toaster and observed that my teacake was thoroughly cooked so I decided to halt proceedings by pressing the cancel button. The toaster stopped toasting and made the springing noise to indicate my teacake was free, but alas there was no sign of the teacake so I thought now would be a great time to test out the Hi Rise function, I pushed the lever up, in theory I should now see my teacake and be able to grab it, but no I still had to prise the teacake out with my fingers, making the ooh ooh hot noises that are necessary in this situation. My teacake was reasonable toasted; the edges had caught a little. Due to the fluffing around to eject my teacake from the toaster the butter would not melt and my teacake was cold, not a satisfactory Saturday breakfast.
Later in the day my Husband and Daughter, who both had colds at the time, requested chicken soup and toast. Excellent I thought, another chance to test the toaster and put the teacake dramas of the morning behind me. I slotted bread into all 4 toasting slots and set the browning control to 2. Then the waiting began, again it was very slow. After 3 minutes the toast in one side popped up, in the other side it was missing. I removed the toast and could not help observing the rather dried out nature of the toast, it was very crisp and crunchy and looked no less toasted for being done on a lower setting. I then set about freeing the toast from the other side, the Hi Rise mechanism only seemed to bend the toast so once again fingers were required to free the toast, except this time I burnt my finger and the toast was jettisoned across the kitchen. The Automatic Bread Centering System that the Kenwood boasts of in its specifications seems a bit useless as the bread and the teacake both got lost in the vast toasting slots.
Feeling rather cross with the Kenwood toaster I spoke to my Mother-In-Law to enquire if she had any difficulties with it. She said no and that she had only used it once or twice. I could see why she wanted to get rid of such a good looking machine; it is useless and speeding up the process of toasting.
My Breville toaster is now sat back in its place; I have even emptied the crumb tray and buffed up its stainless steel. The Kenwood is being banished to my Step-Sons flat where hopefully he will have better luck with it.
In conclusion looks can be deceiving; the Kenwood TTM406 is a beautifully styled piece of kitchen ware and looks fantastic sat in front of my black tiles but that is where the good stuff ends. The Hi Rise is useless, the toasting slots are just too big, teacakes and crumpets get lost in there. The browning setting only seems to have one setting which is desiccated toast, I never used defrost or reheat settings in the short time I was acquainted with this toaster. The crumb tray is easy to remove and clean and the cord storage under the toaster is a good idea. The toaster takes forever to toast bread and even then doesn't get it right. It gets 1 DooYoo star from me as it looks good.
My Mother-In-Law paid £24.00 for the toaster in a half price sale and it can currently be found on amazon.co.uk for £34.47 with free delivery.
Thank you for reading.
Short name: Kenwood TTM406