Four slice toasters review 2006

Will price guarantee a better toaster?
 
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  • Updated:2 Mar 2006
 

01 .Introduction

Four-slice-toaster

Test results for 15 four-slice toasters from $18 to $180

We tested 15 toasters for

  • Evenness and consistency of toasting
  • Toasting four slices, a single slice, frozen bread, crumpets and muffins
  • Ease of use
  • Whether the toaster gets too hot to touch.

See our lastest article on four slice toasters.

Please note: this information was current as of March 2006 but is still a useful guide to today's market. For more recent information, see our Four-slice toasters review 2010.

Findings

  • You can get a good four-slice toaster for around $35-40, but not all cheaper models perform well. Not all expensive models perform well either.
  • If you like to cook crumpets and muffins, you'll want a toaster with wide slots that have a self-centring mechanism to avoid jamming.

Brands tested

  • # BELLINI Stainless Steel BTT400
  • BREVILLE Emporia CT45B
  • BREVILLE Freestyle BT905
  • DELONGHI Metropolis CTM4023
  • # HOME COLLECTION HCTA4
  • # HELLER Ultimate Series TAH4S Long Slot
  • # KAMBROOK Wide Slice KT98
  • # KENWOOD Eon TT980
  • MAXIM Kitchenpro Four-up Family Toaster AT-804
  • # RUSSELL HOBBS Classic Satin 9379
  • # SANYO White Cool Touch SKST4
  • SUNBEAM Quantum Thick & Thin 4 TA4400
  • SUNBEAM Cafe Series TA9400
  • TEFAL Avanti Deluxe 532851
  • TIFFANY Cool Touch TAT48
 
 

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What to buy

  • # KAMBROOK Wide Slice KT98 $35
  • # KENWOOD Eon Auto Toast TT980 $152
  • BREVILLE Emporia CT45B $100
  • BREVILLE Freestyle BT905 (A) $43
  • SUNBEAM Cafe Series TA9400 $180
  • SUNBEAM Quantum Thick & Thin 4 TA4400 (B) $40

(A) Not recommended if you often toast only one slice.
(B) Not recommended if you often toast frozen bread.
# Discontinued models. Prices and availability checked November 2008.

What about the rest?

  • The BELLINI and DELONGHI have good overall scores, but you could do better for the price.
  • The RUSSELL HOBBS, TIFFANY, and HOME COLLECTION don't handle single slices very well.
  • The SANYO failed to brown the toast evenly and also struggled with toasting frozen bread.
  • The TEFAL, HELLER and MAXIM weren't easy to use, and also had mediocre toasting scores.

Performance table

  Performance Components of toasting score  
Brand/model
(in rank order)*
Overall score1
(%)
Ease of use score2 (%) Toasting score3
(%)
Repeatability score
(%)
Evenness score
(%)
Single slice bread score
(%)
Frozen bread score
(%)
Toasting time4
(first cycle) (min.sec)
Price ($)**
# KAMBROOK Wide Slice KT98 88 68 96 100 100 70 100 2:37 35
# KENWOOD Eon Auto Toast TT980 87 84 88 85 100 70 85 4:14 152 (J)
BREVILLE Emporia CT45B 85 67 93 100 100 70 85 2:52 100
BREVILLE Freestyle BT905 83 68 89 100 100 40 85 3:15 43
SUNBEAM Café Series TA9400 81 70 85 70 100 100 70 3:00 180
SUNBEAM Quantum Thick & Thin 4 TA4400 79 76 80 85 85 85 50 2:01 40
DELONGHI Metropolis CTM4023 75 59 82 70 100 70 78 3:09 129
# BELLINI Stainless Steel BTT400 73 67 75 50 100 85 68 3:22 79
# RUSSELL HOBBS Classic Satin 9379 69 72 68 70 70 50 78 2:56 89 (J)
TIFFANY Cool Touch TAT48 69 68 69 70 70 50 85 3:19 30
# HELLER Ultimate Series TAH4S Long Slot 64 56 68 70 60 60 93 2:43 40
# SANYO White Cool Touch SKST4 63 76 57 70 40 75 50 2:51 30
MAXIM Kitchenpro Four-Up Family Toaster AT-804 62 44 69 70 70 60 70 2:56 25
TEFAL Avanti Deluxe 532851 61 59 62 40 70 85 73 2:42 80
# HOME COLLECTION HCTA4 59 44 66 70 70 50 60 2:50 18
 

Table notes

* All models are manufactured in China.
** Recommended retail, as advised by manufacturers/distributors in November/December 2005, unless noted otherwise.
# Discontinued models. Prices and availability checked May 2009.
(J) Price paid in August 2005.

1 Overall score
This consists of:

  • Toasting score: 70%
  • Ease of use score: 30%

2 Ease of use score
We rated the ease of cleaning the toaster and crumb tray, and how clearly marked and easy to use the controls were.

3 Toasting score
This consists of:

  • Repeatability: 35%. We assessed how well the toasters could reproduce a target brownness, slice after slice.
  • Evenness: 35%. We assessed how evenly each side of each slice was toasted to the desired colour.
  • Single slice test: 15%. Unevenness can be more of a problem when toasting a single slice (due to increased heat in the centre that would otherwise be absorbed by the other slices).
  • Frozen bread test: 15%. If you often toast your bread frozen, look for a high score here.

4 Toasting time
The time it took to cook the first four slices of bread, starting from a cold toaster.

Feature table

  Features
Brand/model
(in rank order)*
Wall / finish Cord storage Self- centring High-lift mechanism Crumpet setting Reheat setting Frozen bread setting Element off instantly when bread gets stuck
Dimensions (LxDxH,mm)
Warranty (years) Manufacturer/ distributor
# KAMBROOK Wide Slice KT98 Plastic 400 x180 x 210 1 HWI Electrical
# KENWOOD Eon Auto Toast TT980 Aluminium (B) • (E) 395 x 155 x 190 1 Kenwood / Delonghi
BREVILLE Emporia CT45B Stainless steel • (C) (G) 285 x 315 x 210 1 HWI Electrical
BREVILLE Freestyle BT905 Plastic (G) 400 x 160 x 195 1 HWI Electrical
SUNBEAM Café Series TA9400 Stainless steel 345 x 255 x 210 1 / 5 (H) Sunbeam
SUNBEAM Quantum Thick & Thin 4 TA4400 Plastic • (F) 400 x 165 x 185 1 Sunbeam
DELONGHI Metropolis CTM4023 Steel (G) 310 x 360 x 205 1 Delonghi
# BELLINI Stainless Steel BTT400 Stainless steel (G) 300 x 310 x 205 2 Mistral
# RUSSELL HOBBS Classic Satin 9379 Stainless steel (G) 275 x 315 x 215 2 Salton
TIFFANY Cool Touch TAT48 Plastic (G) 400 x 175 x 190 2 GAF
HELLER Ultimate Series TAH4S Long Slot Stainless steel (D) 400 x 175 x 195 2 GAF
# SANYO White Cool Touch SKST4 Plastic (G) 400 x 165 x 195 1 Sanyo
MAXIM Kitchenpro Four-Up Family Toaster AT-804 Steel (G) 360 x 115 x 160 1 Maxim Housewares
TEFAL Avanti Deluxe 532851 Stainless steel • (C) • (C) 300 x 280 x 225 ns Groupe SEB
# HOME COLLECTION HCTA4 Steel (G) 360 x 115 x 160 2 GAF
 

Table notes

* All models are manufactured in China.
# Discontinued models. Prices and availability checked November 2008.
(B) No high lift mechanism, but still easy to remove crumpets and muffins.
(C) For two slots only.
(D) Has a bagel setting that toasts one side only.
(E) Warming rack on top of toaster.
(F) By using lowest temperature setting.
(G) Switches off after carriage rises by approximately 5mm.
(H) Toaster/element.

Product profiles -  the best

# KAMBROOK Wide Slice KT98

Price: $35

Good points

  • Excellent toasting performance - consistently produces evenly browned toast.
  • The only model on test with a perfect score for toasting frozen bread.
  • Good at toasting single slices.

Bad points

  • None to speak of.

# KENWOOD Eon Auto Toast TT980

Price: $152

Good points

  • Excellent toasting performance - produces evenly browned toast fairly consistently .
  • Very good at toasting frozen bread.
  • Good at toasting a single slice.
  • Only model on test with a bread carriage that lowers and raises itself.

Bad points

  • Slowest model on test.

BREVILLE Emporia CT45B

Price: $100

Good points

  • Excellent toasting performance - consistently produces evenly browned toast.
  • Very good at toasting frozen bread.
  • Good at toasting a single slice.

Bad points

  • None to speak of.

BREVILLE Freestyle BT905

Price: $43

Good points

  • Very good toasting performance - consistently produces evenly browned toast.
  • Very good at toasting frozen bread.

Bad points

  • Poorest on test at toasting a single slice.

SUNBEAM Cafe Series TA9400

Price: $180

Good points

  • Very good toasting performance - produces evenly browned toast fairly consistently.
  • Good at toasting frozen bread.
  • Best on test at toasting a single slice.
  • Gently raises the toast when its done, instead of the usual 'pop' up.

Bad points

  • Heavy (5.5 kg).

SUNBEAM Quantum Thick & Thin 4 TA4400

Price: $40

Good points

  • Very good toasting performance - produces fairly evenly browned toast fairly consistently.
  • Very good at toasting a single slice.

Bad points

  • Equal poorest score on test for toasting frozen bread.

Use these tips to make shopping for a toaster easier:

  • Smooth joins on the exterior and relatively few buttons make the toaster easy to clean.
  • Stainless steel is popular but hard to keep fingerprint-free.
  • Removable crumb tray that slides out easily.
  • High-lift carriage lever makes it easier to remove smaller items like crumpets and muffins.
  • Wide slots with a self-centring mechanism helps ensure crumpets and muffins don't jam, and also help ensure bread is evenly toasted.

For people with a disability

  • None of the tested models is ideal for someone with a disability, but the best choice is probably the SUNBEAM Cafe Series. Its controls are reasonably well labelled and easy to use. The crumb tray is easy to remove, but replacing the tray could be difficult for some people. It's also the heaviest model on test.
  • People with dexterity problems are likely to have difficulty with the HOME COLLECTION and MAXIM toasters. The controls are difficult to grip, you need a screwdriver to remove the crumb tray, the walls get very hot (around 130°C, compared to below 68°C for most other models) and there's no high-lift mechanism to help remove the toast.