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I bought this toaster in a hurry after my last one fizzled out and shorted out the power. It measures 31x30x21cm and, due to the square shape, has a very stable base which doesn’t tilt over when I press the sliders down.
It has quite a short lead at 61cm long, so it needs to be fairly close to the socket. It’s quite stylish looking in appearance with glossy black metal walls and stainless steel trims on the front and top. It’s supposed to have cool sidewalls, but believe me they’re not! If children touched the sides, they probably wouldn’t get burnt, but it would feel very unpleasant and I wouldn’t like my grandchildren to touch it.
The toaster is 1800 watt and throws out quite a lot of heat. It has 6 heat settings, although I rarely need to go above setting 3 to make medium brown toast. Both sides have independent settings which is useful if two people want different levels of browning. There is a choice of defrost function, warming function and bagel function and it also has the option of a mid -cycle cancel.
To use defrost I just pop in a slice of frozen bread, push the slider down and press the defrost button. The time is automatically adjusted to give the same level of browning as with unfrozen bread. Toast comes out lovely and crisp and warmed right through so I'm happy with the result.
The warming function can be used if you just want to rewarm a slice of toast that’s gone cold. The bagel function is for things you might just want to toast on top. The bagel has to be sliced then placed in two slots with the two cut sides facing each other. This toasts the cut side while warming the other side. I haven’t used it for bagels but it works very well for muffins, as they come out nice and soft underneath but crispy on top. I’ve burnt them a couple of times though so I have to remember to lower the setting.
Although the toaster is advertised as not having a high-lift eject, I find it lifts quite high anyway and have no problem getting out small things such as muffins. The slots are quite wide and take thick items such as a bread crust without them getting jammed in. Also they’re quite deep enough for a decent sized slice of bread without it sticking out and leaving an untoasted edge. I’ve had no problems with the standard size supermarket loaves such as Hovis.
So far as cleaning goes, I just wipe the surface down with a damp cloth, then give a quick buff with a dry cloth and the stainless steel comes out nice and shiny. There are two crumb trays at the back and these slide out easily for emptying.
Overall it’s quick and efficient and I especially like the bagel function, but I'm only giving it four stars because it doesn't have cool walls.
Short name: Russell Hobbs 18371