In search of a decent toaster that doesn't cost an arm & leg, b/c I'm ready to blow mine up...
I bought a Hamilton Beach toaster a few months ago, and it's been acting up lately in a way that pisses me off to no end. It toasts unevenly, meaning only parts of the outside -- so you end up throwing it in the other slot.... only for the bread to end up burnt. Unevenly.
I watched how the elements heat up, and it looks as if the inside elements are not nearly as hot as the ones on the outside (it has two slots).
I get very angry at inanimate objects, and would like to spare my dear man another hissy fit.
Can anyone recommend a toaster they love/like that doesn't break the bank?
We have the 4-slice Avante, also. Generally OK -- decent toast, with a nice bagel setting.
The kids trashed the toast lifter-levels in about a month (not mission-critical, just a nuisance).
The crumb catcher is a little suspect -- hard to explain, but the crumbs don't fall directly onto the catcher, so you have to shake the thing like hell to get really clean it .
After my 43 year old GE or Sunbeam toaster showed signs of wear on the cord, I decided to use my RivalToaster Oven- which works wonderfully and eliminates the sometime problem of thickness of bread or pastry. Imagine any of the newer appliances lasting -with no problems for that length of time-we really have become a "throw away" society!!
linguafood: "Can anyone recommend a toaster they love/like that doesn't break the bank?"
Yes, but it is no longer made. Faced with exactly your dilemma five years ago, we surveyed every model in the United States market and found that the only one that we really wanted (Toastmaster "Global Design" model 1046U made in Germany by Siemens) had been discontinued -- then we found one at an closeout outlet store, bought it, and are as satisfied as can be. IF (that is a big "if") there is a current model that is equivalent to the Toastmaster 1046U it is this one: http://housewaresweb.com/toasters/bos...
Here is the one essential feature to insist upon: the toaster heater element shut-off must be completely independent of the physical action of the toast raising mechanism. Toast can get jammed in the slot, and if that prevents the mechanism from "popping" and the elements remain on, you have a potential fire. Sounds simple enough. Seems like the very kind of situation that UL certification should contemplate -- but a lot of the toasters on the market, including some UL-certified ones, have the pop-up mechanism do double duty as the element turn-off mechanism. Avoid those models at all costs.
I don't know how much mine cost, because it was a gift, but it's a Rival, so I can't imagine it cost that much. The model is a Rival Select. I've had it for at least eight or nine years. I didn't use it very much before I got remarried, but my hubby of six years has used it every morning. No problems at all. It has wide slots, a hi-rise feature, defrost and reheat functions, infinite dial darkness/lightness selection, and a pull-out crumb tray. I think it's well designed, does a good job for what it does, and as long as they still make them as well as they did then (hard to say, these days), I would definitely recommend it.