When our last toaster went bang and stopped working we set off to Comet to find a new one. We just wanted a basic four slot toaster nothing fancy in either design or colour and that was exactly what we found.
We decided to go for the Philips HD5224 Compact 4 Slice Toaster in white.
I cant remember exactly how much we paid for it but it currently retails in Comet for £19.99 and that would be about what we paid. I dont believe in paying a lot for small items like toasters! We were offered the 3 year insurance for an extra £10 but I couldnt really see the point of that. When it packs in well just get another one!
Anyway this toaster is just right for us.
It has two long slots and easily toasts four slices of bread, two tea cakes or muffins cut in half or four crumpets at the same time. For the purposes of this review I shall refer to toast and this will mean anything you care to prepare in the toaster.
It has a thermostat with six different settings so that you can get exactly the degree of brownness (Im surprised the spell checker let that one go!) you want. You can also turn the thermostat down to zero at any time during the toasting process to stop it immediately. This is ideal if you are toasting something like tea cakes which are a bit thicker than bread and tend to start burning if youre not careful.
There is also a defrost function enabling you to defrost bread before toasting.
When it comes to getting the toast out of the toaster there is an extra lift lever which lifts the toast up making it easier to remove. If toast ever does get stuck in the machine do remember NOT to use anything metal to try and get it out and always switch the power off before messing with it!
To use the toaster you just load the bread in the slots, set the thermostat and push down the lever at the side of the machine until it engages and wait. When the toast is ready the machine makes a noise as the lever is released, the toast pops up and you just remove and butter it and enjoy!
The lever will not engage if the thermostat is set to zero by the way. I often forget this and stand there trying to get the toaster to start before I remember that I havent set the thermostat!
The slots in the toaster are fairly wide when the toaster is off and they narrow to hold the toast as the lever is depressed so that whatever the thickness of the item being toasted it is always held firm whilst the toasting is in process.
The toaster is of a cool wall design meaning that the sides of the machine dont get particularly warm. Obviously the top gets extremely hot so it would still be advisable to keep it away from small children at all times!
The toaster has a pull out crumb tray in the base which collects the crumbs from everyday use. When I empty the crumb tray I usually also turn the toaster upside down and give it a gentle shake. I always find that a lot more crumbs come out that way to add to the ones from the crumb tray. I put the crumbs out for the birds and they love them!
Incidentally it is advisable to empty the crumb tray regularly as, if the crumbs build up, they can easily catch fire.
There is a cord storage facility located in the underside of the toaster so that you can store the machine away neatly. I have to admit that I have never used this as I always leave my toaster out on the work surface in the kitchen. I would never bother using it if I had to keep fetching it out and putting it away each time!
The instruction leaflet that comes with the toaster is clearly written and easy to understand although having said that toasters are hardly rocket science are they? It does just take you through the basics and also gives all the common sense advice such as dont immerse the toaster in water, dont let children play with it and dont use it directly under curtains!
All in all I like my toaster and would be happy to recommend it to anyone and would certainly replace it with the same type again if anything happens to it.
The toaster is equipped with safety and features to give you optimum performance, year after year / It has variable thermostat browning control, making it easy to choose the level of browning you prefer / The Coolwall toaster also includes a removable crumb tray for easy cleaning and cord winder for easy storage / Short name: Philips HD5224