* Prices may differ from that shown
I bought this Russell Hobbs toaster when I got fed up of the toast taking either 20 minute under the grill or 2 minutes and burning, or sometimes the grill won't come on and I find out the oven has been on for 20 minutes and I get 'cooked' toast which is in french bread I think and is okay, but not when you want normal toast.
So I started looking for a toaster, and saw the price range was a lot higher than it was several years ago, with toasters going over £100 and doing all kinds of magic tricks.
This Russell Hobbs 18139 toaster is currently £28.88 from Tesco and £22 plus delivery on ebay.
The most important criteria for me is whether it looks good in my kitchen, and fits in with the design. This toaster is stylish and silver not overpriced and fits in with my beech kitchen and built in silver cooker.
There are of course other factors to consider, such as does it work, but all it has to do for me is toast.
OPERATING THE KETTLE
It does two pieces of toast at a time which is enough for me , and you can vary the level of heat, or browning as they call it.
It also has a 'high lift' function which I really like as with every toaster I have had before I have had to either dig a knife into the toaster to pry out the toast, or tip the toaster on its side and shake the toast out after it is stuck, and then all the crumbs come out ! So this 'high lift' is very handy as it just pushes the toast up just far enough for you to take it.
The cord is a bit short maybe but long enough if you move a few things around and put this next to th e power point. What they could do is make a longer cord and make it retractable into the toatser so it is not in the way.
There is a crumb tray that slides out which saves having to shake the toaster upside down over the bin.
There is also a 'reheat' function which you start by pushing the triangle shaped button on the right above the defrost button.
There are not so many functions and buttons that you don't use them, but just enough for the to be useful and to be used every so often.
You can set the dial switch for the toast setting from 1 to 6 it's a good size dial / switch so there is no fiddling around. The normal setting for defrosted bread is 3 that gives a golden brown toast.
If you cut your won bread to different thickness, from a fresh loaf as I sometimes do then, you have to be careful that the edges of the bread do not stick out or they will get burned and the rest will not be toasted before it has to be ejected. Then you have to go back to using the grill.
You know you are in a high quaity purchasing bracket when the appeance of the stainless steel toaster is described as being finished with 'black accents'. This made the Russell Hobbs toaster stand out from the other toasters in the market because it does look rather respectable. The only other requirement I have when purchasing toast is that it toasts my bread evenly and is not noisy.
Russell Hobbs is also a well-known brand and I love to buy British when I have the opportunity. The name has history, having been around since 1952, which demonstrates that customers feel Russell Hobbs is a name to be trusted. I bought this is the summer of 2010 and it's still toasting my bread in 2013.
Apart from the smart, polished, stainless steel with black accent appearance the toaster has:
Two slice slots
Frozen bread and bagel options
Variable browning control for selecting the degree of brown on your toast.
A removable crumb tray for easy cleaning
Cancel function - good for rescuing toast before it becomes burnt beyond recognition.
Weighs 2kg without bread in it.
The toaster comes boxed and with a manual. Warning the power cord is really short. I have a socket low on the wall so this has never presented an issue for me but do think about where your toaster will go so that you will not have to buy an extension lead.
The toaster is in no way bulky and does not take up much room on the kitchen surface. The toaster is an ideal size for single people and for two residents in the household. I don't mind waiting when more people need it but some families will prefer the ease of a four slot toaster.
I find the gap for bread, bagels and crumpets perfectly adequate. They always come out evenly toasted. I would add that the one downside is that raising the wires to take out the food does not raise it high enough. I have, switched off the electricity, and then stuck a knife down to catch the food without burning my fingers, so far without causing damage, so I do wish I could raise the wire higher.
The toasting settings are numbered one to six and I find that two is very good for one slice of toast and three makes it the brown that I want for two people, on any higher setting and the brown starts turning black. The highest setting - six will set off the smoke alarm and leave a distinctive burning smell for approximately two days, even with the windows open, and the toast is too far gone for even scraping off the black bits. It does make me wonder why there are so many settings!
The polished stainless steel with black accents has retained its good looks. I just wipe over, in one direction, with a damp cloth.
The crumb tray slides out smoothly and is effective in collecting the crumbs. This makes cleaning very easy. I don't ever have to shake the crumbs out of the toaster. The crumbs do not stick to the toasting elements and are nicely collected so long as I don't leave it too long. I soon know about my neglect by the slight burning smell of old breadcrumbs.
There's a little button to press to defrost bread and this does exactly what it is supposed to do.
The bagels toast on one side and remain soft on the other. Supermarket bagels are really poor compared to real bagels. If you've never gone to a proper bakery you won't know what you're missing so maybe you won't mind the inadequate pretences of substitutes that are so widely available. Using any toaster does nothing to bring out the taste of what a real bagel should taste like. This is not the fault of the toaster.
Price and final thoughts:
The RRP for this toaster is £44.99 but what a bargain it is at the time of writing. Buy via Amazon as you'll find that the price has dropped to £23.03 and that includes free UK delivery. However, always compare with other retailers, first, just in case this is not the best deal.
I should warn you that there are quite a few negative reviews. Maybe I was lucky but I have a working toaster that is still going into its third year. I don't have any major complaints and at this lower price I should think it is worth every penny. My experience is that even with the higher price I paid it is good value for money.
I think my toast, from the Russell Hobbs toaster, is perfectly tasty especially when hot buttered.
For Christmas 2011, all I asked from friends and family was presents in the form of general house items that I needed to move into my new property in January this year.
My parents couldn't do enough for me... I recieved a huge box from them full of essentials and electric appliances - very exciting stuff I am sad to say!
Amongst the items in the box was this very nice Russell Hobbs 18139 two slice toaster and a matching Russell Hobbs kettle (review for the kettle to follow shortly!).
At first glance the toaster looks very stylish and quite small and compact - with only me and my daughter living in this house we didn't need more than a two slice toaster - I was very happy because it goes with the other silver accessories in my kitchen such as my washing machine and oven.
I know my parents purchased most of the items in the box from the Tesco website - using their clubcard points. I have no idea of the price they paid for this item. At the time of writing the toaster is £31.61 on the Tesco website.
What does it look like?
The toaster is desribed as a polished stainless steel colour - which is silver. The base and the little stand legs are both black as is the button section with all the options on the side. The options and numbers on the browning control knob are all white.
The spec of the toaster
The spec is as follows:
Variable Width : N
Product Height : 19.7 CM
Product Width : 22.0 CM
Product Depth : 30.0 CM
Product Weight : 1.56 KG
** Taken from Tesco.co.uk **
So as you can see its not a very large toaster - would be perfect even for those small kitchens... its also very light-weight.
What can it do?
For how small and cheap the toaster is I love the features on it which you sometimes don't see on the more expensive toasters.
You will all know toasters get full of crumbs and I don't know about you, but me personally, it does my head in... Fear not, with this toaster there is a removable crumb try to get rid of them! It pulls out from the bottom and can very easily slide out from the bottom of the toaster.
There is a knob with 6 browning options in the middle of the side of the toaster - with 1 being light and 6 burning your toast to a crisp! I like my toast a nice medium brown - I feel sick at the sight / smell of burnt toast. If you are like me I would reccomend setting 2 on this - it comes out brown enough...
I get quite lazy with making my toast sometimes if I am in a rush... I'll turn the setting right up to 5 or 6 and I like to eject the toast before it burns... Like most good toasters this does come with an eject button - located top left under the toast lever.
If you don't like toast and care more for a bagel / crumpet? This toaster is perfect... there is a bagel setting which is apparently perfect for cooking them. I am not a great bagel lover so to date I have not used this setting... but its nice to know its there - a nice little extra! This bottom is located on the bottom of the left side under the eject button.
If you accidently forget about your toast and it gets cold... No problem! There is a reheat button which is located on the side under the toast lever. This is located on the top right side.
Another useful setting for those who like to stock up with bread in the freezer - this is me, due to there only being me and my young daughter in the house, we don't go through a lot of bread and tend to keep it frozen - there is a defrost button - again easy to use, turn the browning setting up to 2 for the best result on this.
* All buttons other than the eject button have a red light beside which shows when the option is in use.
The manual also states that the toasting lever also has a high lift facility which is great for taking out small things like crumpets and bagels. As previously mentioned I have only ever made toast in this so can't comment on how well this works but its nice to know the feature is there.
This barely gives off any noise other than a very light "crackling" noise which I assume is just the noise is makes when toasting. Its not noticable unless you listen for it.
Caring for the toaster
* Before cleaning pull the plug out and allow the toaster to cool.
* You can wipe the outer surfaces with a damp cloth (with a little washing up liquid if needed)
* Don't try and clean the internal toaster with liquid
* Don't use harsh or abrasive cleaning agents / solvents
** As taken from russellhobbs.co.uk **
I will not list the manual safety information here as there is too much to say which I am sure you do not want to read. Its just your box standard toaster safety information which can be viewed online at www.russellhobbs.co.uk
Overall I am so pleased with this toaster. My favourite thing has to be the colour as it goes with all my other silver / stainless kitchen appliances. It also doesn't take up a lot of room so would be great if you had a small kitchen.
Russell Hobbs is a great brand name which has been out for many years, produce thousands of products and are known for being reliable.
I think for such a cheap toaster the options you have here are amazing - and the crumb tray is a brilliant idea!
I would recommend this product to all, would mostly suit a small family like mine or a single person... otherwise if you have a larger family go for a four slice toaster!
The only thing I would be wary of, when I have looked at other reviews online for this toaster there is a bigger than you would expect number of reviewers stating that the toaster has broken down within a couple of weeks. Personally I think these people have just been unlucky as this works fine for me and has never caused any problems!
The Russell Hobbs 18139 2 Slice Toaster has a simple yet classic design that will be equally at home in a modern or contemporary kitchen / It features 3 variable heat settings for frozen bagel setting and re heat function along with a removable crumb tray. / Short name: Russell Hobbs 18139