05.What to look for
An ideal toaster should toast bread evenly on both sides, and produce the same result consistently over several runs. It should also be able to produce a wide range of toast colours to suit your taste. When choosing a toaster you should consider:
- The toasting chamber should be wide enough and long enough to insert and remove a range of breads such as crumpets, thick-sliced bread and muffins.
- The toasting cycle should cope with being interrupted easily without the bread being thrown onto the bench top.
- The controls should be easy to read, understand and operate, and be well positioned for access.
- Crumbs should be easily removable. The toaster should have a slide- out or flip-down crumb tray, which has no sharp edges. Also, there should be no place for the crumbs to get stuck to inside the toaster and build up over time.
- The exterior should be easy to keep clean and have no crevices to trap dirt, or sharp edges which can scratch when cleaning or handling the toaster.
- During toasting, the exterior should remain cool enough to touch (less than 68°C)
For people with a disability
Some useful features for people with a disability are:
- Easy-to-read markings, preferably with contrasting colours. The control/dial should have a large grip and should require little effort to operate using one hand or finger tips.
- The bread carriage lever should have a large area, be easy to grip and require little pressure. It should also not be recessed or flush with the toaster so it doesn't have to be operated solely by your fingers.
- The crumb removal method should require no more than one hand and require little skill and pressure to slide/pull out.
- The Tefal is the most suitable as the levers and controls knobs are easy to operate, but it’s let down by the small holes on the bottom which prevents all the crumbs from falling into the crumb tray – making cleaning more difficult.