Safety, Performance, Size, and Price of Top Three 2- and 4-Slice Digital Toasters versus Conventional Toasters

Brief History of the Toaster

The first electric toaster was invented in1893 by a British company. In 1909, a General Electric (GE) technician designed the American version. However, there was still the problem of burnt toast. That was solved by master mechanic Charles P. Strite, who added springs and a timer to create the pop-up toaster. On October 18, 1921, Strite received the patent for his innovative kitchen counter appliance.

Toasters have come a long way since then. No longer simple pop-ups for sliced toasts, toasters are now available in various designs, materials, and colors to suit any kitchen décor, lifestyle or economic status. There are 2- and 4-slice digital and conventional toasters with chrome or brushed metal housing, bagel toasting, reheat, defrost, high-lift, and cancel functions; toasters with slots and toasting chambers large enough to hold artisan breads; economic and high-end toasters. We will first compare my top three digital 2-slice toasters with their conventional counterparts for safety, performance, size (space-saving), and price. Then we will make the same comparison with the top three 4-slice digital and conventional toasters.

Cuisinart CPT-420 Touch to Toast Lever-less 2-Slice toaster
Cuisinart CPT-420 Touch to Toast Lever-less 2-Slice toaster | Source

Safety, Performance, Size, and Price of the Top Three Digital 2-Slice Toasters

1) Cuisinart CPT-420 Touch to Toast Lever-less 2-Slice Toaster

- Safety-wise, this Cuisinart 2-slice model has ‘Cool-Touch’ technology in its housing, meaning you can touch the sides and the top of it without getting burned. Its motorized high-lift control also protects your fingertips when you remove your toasted food, especially small items such as mini bagels. The fail-safe feature activates automatically to cool the toaster down if it begins to overheat, and the built-in audible alert signal is loud enough to inform you of function failure and food readiness. The blue, backlit, LED display screen provides the extra bonus kitchen night-light, and its deliberately shortened cord is stored underneath. This toaster is also BPA-free, meaning it does not contain the harmful chemical bisphenol A.

- Regarding performance, the Cuisinart CPT-420 Touch to Toast is high quality. All functions work with the press of a button. Features include one and a half inch wide toasting slots; seven shade or browning settings, which assure you the same even-colored toast every time you use it; bagel control, which enables you to toast the sliced side while warming the other; defrost control, which toasts your frozen pastry (Pop-Tarts, waffles, French toast) and bread thoroughly; a reheating function, which warms cold toast without re-toasting; and visible bars in its backlit digital display screen to determine the toasting progress of your food item. It is also energy-star certified, meaning energy-efficient.

- The CPT-420 is a bit wider than your average 2-slice toaster with a width of 11.18 inches and a height of 7.75 inches.

- This digital 2-slicer is on the expensive side with price ranging from $145.00 to $ 79.00. Find it at most on and offline retailers.

- Another useful feature is the slide-out crumb tray for easy discard of excess crumbs.

2) Hamilton Beach Digital 2-Slice Toaster, Model # 22502

- Its safety features include a toast boost lever (same as the high-lift), which elevates your toasted food items high enough for safe and easy removal; automatic shut-off control for stuck toast; the blue, LCD, digital display screen provides a kitchen night-light.

- Performance-wise, the Hamilton Beach digital 2-slice toaster functions well with its one and a half-inch slots; five shade settings, which always give you even-shaded toast; easy- to-use bagel and defrost controls, which work like the Cuisinart model, as well as similar visible countdown bars on its LCD digital display screen, and a cancel function to stop the toasting process any time you wish. In some reviews, customers expressed concerns about the toaster’s extra hot heat functions, and its lack of cool to touch housing and energy-star certification.

- The stylish Hamilton Beach is smudge-proof, and fits well on the kitchen countertop with a width of 8.6 inches and a height of 8.5 inches.

- This kitchen appliance ranges in price from $68.00 to $29.99, depending on the on and offline retailer.

- The other feature you might find useful is its slide-out crumb tray.

Kitchenaid 2-Slice Toaster with One Touch Lift/ Lower & Digital Display, Model # KMT223CU
Kitchenaid 2-Slice Toaster with One Touch Lift/ Lower & Digital Display, Model # KMT223CU | Source

3) Kitchenaid 2-Slice Toaster with One Touch Lift/ Lower & Digital Display, Model # KMT223CU

- This Kitchenaid digital 2-slice toaster, like the Cuisinart and Hamilton Beach, has safety features that include a digitally-motorized high-lift function (one button does the lowering & lifting of food items instead of a breakable lever), extra wide one and a half inch slots, cool to touch exterior, and a cord that wraps beneath it.

- Performance controls are also similar with seven shade settings –toaster remembers the last setting and function; toasting racks inside the chambers/ bays that automatically accommodates the size of your food items; reheat function, which warms in less than one minute; defrost and cancel controls; and an LCD digital screen, which displays your chosen function and the progress bars. Unlike the other two toasters, however, this one has a ‘keep warm’ feature, which keeps your toasted food warm for about one minute.

- Regarding size, the Kitchenaid digital 2-slice KMT223CU has a width of 7.0 inches and a height of 8 and three-eighths (3/8) inches. So, it does not take up much kitchen counter space.

- The price of this appliance ranges from $109.99 to $39.95, depending on the on and offline store.

- Other features include the dishwasher-safe, removable crumb tray. Kitchenaid also has a KMT222CU 2-slice toaster without the ‘keep warm’control and a manual high-lift lever instead of a button for a somewhat cheaper price range of $69.99 to $59.99.

Hamilton Beach Smart Toast 2-Slice toaster, Model # 22121
Hamilton Beach Smart Toast 2-Slice toaster, Model # 22121 | Source

Safety, Performance, Size, and Price of the Top Three Conventional 2-Slice Toasters

1) HamiltonBeach Smart Toast 2-Slice Toaster, Model # 22121

- The HamiltonBeach 2-slice toaster may be conventional, but it has many of the same safety features as the digital 2-slice toasters, for example, cool-touch housing, auto shut-off, and cancel control.

- It also has simple and easy-to-use performance features, which includes five shade settings or as this company calls it, ‘cooking controls’, one and a half-inch slots, and bagel and defrost controls. Food items are lowered into the toasting chambers with one big lever. The quick toasting process always gives you even-shaded toast.

- The Hamilton Beach Smart Toast 2-slice toaster is compact with a width of 8.1 inches and a height of 9.0 inches.

- The price range for this kitchen appliance is $24.98 to $18.99. It is available at various on and offline vendors.

- The Smart Toast also has a slide-out crumb tray for easy cleaning.

T-Fal Avante Classic 2-Slice toaster, Model # 8746002
T-Fal Avante Classic 2-Slice toaster, Model # 8746002 | Source

2) T-Fal Avante Classic 2-Slice Toaster, Model # 8746002

- The safety features on the T-Fal Avante 2-slice toaster actually begin with design. Unique to all T-Fal toasters are the angled slots on the toasting bays, which were created for easy access and removal of your toasted food items. Additionally, this particular model has a high-lift lever, cool to touch housing material, cord storage, and a travel handle to safely move it around.

- Performance-wise, the self-adjusting, angled slots allow you to view the toasting process. Besides the usual bagel and reheat functions, there are six shade settings, and an anti-jam and cancel feature. Overall, the T-Fal Avante Classic 2-slice works fast. Some customers complain that the angled slots prevent large bread slices, in particular, from toasting completely because they don’t fully fit into the toasting bays.

- The T-Fal toaster is on the larger side with a width of 8.6 inches and a height of 12.4 inches.

- Price range at online retailers is $49.99 to $25.55.

- This conventional toaster also has the slide-out crumb tray.

3) Cuisinart Compact Toaster, Model # CPT-122

- The Cuisinart Compact 2-slice toaster has the high-lift safety feature and cancel control.

- With the CPT-122 model, you get a simple dial with seven shade settings; and bagel, defrost, and reheat functions. Reviews commended this 2-slice toaster for being quick and efficient, but slots and toasting bays as too small so, toasts your food unevenly. And the bagel control does not always work.

- The Cuisinart Compact is small and lightweight with a width of 11.0 inches and a height of 7.0 inches.

- The price at on and offline stores range from $55.00 to $29.95.

- This model also features the slide-out crumb tray for discarding excess crumbs.

Cuisinart CPT-440 Touch to Toast Lever-less toaster
Cuisinart CPT-440 Touch to Toast Lever-less toaster | Source

Safety, Performance, Size, and Price of the Top Three Digital 4-Slice Toasters

1) The Cuisinart CPT-440 Touch to Toast Lever-less

- Safety features on this digital 4-slice toaster are similar to the Cuisinart 2-slice CPT-420 model: Cool-Touch housing; fail-safe features in case the toaster overheats; the audible alert signal (working for both sides); the blue, backlit LED display screens (one for each pair of slots) giving your kitchen twice as much night-light; safe cord storage, and BPA-free.

- Regarding performance, again the 4-slot Cuisinart Toast to Touch Lever-less has the same touch button features as its CPT-420 2-slice counterpart only twice as many –one for each independently-working pair of slots. That is, you can toast bread with the seven (highest) shade setting on one side of the toaster, while toasting other slices with the two shade setting on the other side.

According to reviews, customers love this Cuisinart CPT-440 4-slice toaster’s easy, simple lever-less controls; the fact that you can get four perfectly even toasted food items, and time the toasting progress of all of them via the visible countdown bars on dual LCD display screens. Other customers complain that the auto alarm is too loud.

- Product dimensions for the CPT-440 toaster is 10.8 inches in width and 7.75 inches in height. It is not too bulky and fits in with your other kitchen countertop appliances.

- This digital 4-slice toaster ranges from $185.00 to $99.95, so it is a bit pricey.

- There is also the requisite slide-out crumb tray for easy cleaning.

2) T-Fal 4-Slice Digital Toaster, Model # TL6802002

- Regarding safety, the T-Fal 4-slice digital toaster does not have the cool touch feature, but customers report that it cools down pretty quickly. It also has an extra high-lift lever, and cord wrap. Some customers prefer that the cord was attached somewhere other than near the front of the toaster.

- This model digital toaster has two long, deep, self-adjusting (for food item thickness) toasting chambers instead of two pairs. So, it works well for bagels and artisan breads. They can fit well into the toasting chambers and come out with even shades. The chambers operate quickly but not independently. The T-Fal 4-slice also has eight browning shades, and the usual standard controls: reheat, defrost, cancel/ stop, and blue, backlit, LCD digital display screen.

- This appliance has a width of 15.5 inches and a height of 7.5 inches. It is streamlined and lightweight, so will fit easily on most kitchen countertops.

- The price range for the T-Fal TL6802002 is from $49.94 to $33.36, depending on the online retailer.

- This toaster’s slide-out crumb tray is at the front.

Kenmore Elite Digital 4-Slice toaster, Model # 135308
Kenmore Elite Digital 4-Slice toaster, Model # 135308 | Source

3) Kenmore Elite Digital 4-Slice Toaster, Model # 135308

- The Kenmore Elite 4-slice digital toaster does not have the high-lift feature, but it does have cord storage beneath its housing.

- Performance-wise, each pair of extra wide slots works separately. They are self-adjusting, fast, have their own blue backlit LCD display screen, and will remember your last toasting function and shade number. Though toasting progress bars are not visible on the screens, there is an audible alert to signal the end of the process. Some customers find this annoying. The toaster has nine shade settings, defrost, reheat, and cancel/ stop controls. The Kenmore Elite Digital 4-slice was listed number three on the Top Ten List of toasters for 2013 with a rating of 8.8 out of 10.

- The toaster’s design allows it to fit easily on the countertop and blend in with your other kitchen appliances. Its width is approximately 12.0 inches and its height is 7.27 inches. Because of its bulkiness, there are concerns that it might be too difficult for the elderly to shift it around to retrieve the back-located crumb tray.

- Price range is from $87.49 to $69.99. Check with on and offline vendors.

Safety, Performance, Size, and Price of the Top Three Conventional 4-Slice Toasters

1) West Bend TEM4500W Egg and Muffin Toaster

- The West Bend TEM4500W Egg and Muffin 4-slice toaster is by no means conventional in the true sense of the word with its egg cooking and other unique functions. It does have two high-lift levers, one for each pair of slots, auto shut-off, cancel control, cool touch exterior, and cord storage. I would suggest you read the accompanying manual thoroughly to ensure completely safety during use.

- Regarding performance, the West Bend TEM4500W took top ranking in the 2013 reviews. It has two pairs of extra wide, independently-working slots, and each pair has controls for eight browning settings, defrost, bagel, and cancel controls.

Additionally, it has elements for cooking eggs in a variety of ways, including the ability to poach eight simultaneously, and trays for warming meat, vegetables or fruit, while it cooks the other food items. You and your family can enjoy a complete breakfast together in four minutes! The toaster operates on 1800 watts. Customer reviews for this conventional 4-slice toaster were excellent.

- Regarding dimensions, the width of the West Bend TEM4500W Egg and Muffin 4-slice toaster is 11.0 inches and the height is 8.0 inches. It weighs about 8 to 9 pounds (lbs). It might be somewhat bulky on your kitchen countertop, but it also replaces other appliances you might store there for cooking eggs and warming meat, veggies, etc.

- The price range varies from $179.97 to $59.00, depending on retailer. Check with on and offline stores.

- It also has a crumb tray for easy cleaning.

Cuisinart 4-Slice Metal Classic toaster, Model # CPT-180
Cuisinart 4-Slice Metal Classic toaster, Model # CPT-180 | Source

2) Cuisinart 4-Slice Metal Classic Toaster, Model # CPT-180

- Like the Cuisinart toasters already mentioned, the 4-slice metal Classic is BPA-free. It also has extra high-lift levers, one for each pair of slots, a safe cord wrap, and sturdy legs.

- Performance-wise, features on both sides of the toaster work well and independent of each other; are easy to use; and produce evenly shaded toast. There are six shade or browning settings, bagel, defrost, and reheat controls. The slots on the toasting chambers are one and a half-inch wide. A few customers would prefer longer ones.

- This toaster has a width of 11.6 inches and a height of 7.0 inches.

- Price for the Cuisinart 4-slice Metal Classic CPT-180 toaster ranges from $130.00 to $69.95.

- There is a slide-out crumb tray.

T-Fal Classic Avante 4-Slice toaster, Model # 5332002
T-Fal Classic Avante 4-Slice toaster, Model # 5332002 | Source

3) T-Fal Classic Avante 4-Slice Toaster, Model # 5332002

- Regarding safety, the T-Fal Classic Avante 4-slice toaster offers its standard slanted slots on the toasting chambers for safe and easy access to your finished toast. It also has anti-jam and cancel features, dual high-lift levers, safe to touch exterior, cord wrap, and the carrying handle.

- Performance is quick and doubly perfect with its pairs of self-adjusting, simultaneously-working, extra wide toasting chambers, six electronic shade settings, and bagel and reheat controls.

- Product dimensions include a width of 10.0 inches and a height of 8.6 inches. No problem finding counter space for this toaster in your kitchen.

- It has a price range of $79.99 to $41.80, depending on retailer.

- This model T-Fal 4-slice toaster has two slide-out crumb trays.

These top three 2-slice and 4-slice digital and conventional toasters give you a lot to consider. Your choice should be based on the size of your family; age of children, if any; lifestyle such as enjoying a complete breakfast or grabbing a quick bite before you head out the door; your budget, and the countertop space of your kitchen.

Highlights on the 2- and 4-Slice Digital and Conventional Toasters

Top 2-Slice Digital & Conventional Toaster Brands & Models
Cuisinart CPT-420 Touch to Toast Lever-less 2-Slice Toaster
Hamilton Beach Digital 2-Slice Toaster, Model # 22502
KitchenAid 2-Slice Toaster with One Touch Lift/ Lower & Digital Display, Model KMT223CU
Hamilton Beach Smart Toast 2-Slice Toaster, Model # 22121
T-Fal Avante Classic 2-Slice Toaster, Model # 8746002
Cuisinart Compact Toaster CPT-122, 2Slice
Features
Cool-Touch housing/ exterior; motorized high-lift button; audible alert signal; 7 shade/ browning settings; BPA-free; energy-star certified
Small boost lever; 5 shade settings; cancel control; auto shut-off for stuck toast
Cool to Touch exterior; digitally motorized high-lift; 7 shade settings; toaster remembers last setting & function used; cancel control; keep warm control; self-adjusting slots; dishwasher-safe parts
Cool Touch exterior; one big lever; 5 shade settings; cancel control; auto shut-off
Cool to Touch exterior; high-lift lever; 6 shade settings; cancel control; anti-jam control; self-adjusting, unique, angled slots; travel/ carrying handle
Cool Touch exterior, high-lift lever; 7 shade settings; cancel control
Functions
Works very well; toasts evenly.
Functions well.
Reheats in less than one minute.
Toasts quickly.
All features work fast.
Simple, quick, efficient, and space-saving
Complaints
None found.
Not cool to touch & gets too hot; none of the parts are dishwasher-safe; not energy-star certified
None found.
None found.
Angled slots cause larger bread slices to toast unevenly.
Slots and toasting chambers too small; uneven toasting; bagel feature does not always work.
Dimensions (Width x Height) in inches
11.8 x 7.75
8.6 x 8.5
7.0 x 8 3/8
8.1 x 9.0
8.6 x 12.4
11.0 x 7.0
Price (High to Low)
$145.00 - $79.00
$68.00 - $29.99
$109.99 - $39.95
$24.98 - $18.99
$49.99 - $25.55
$55.00 - $29.95
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top 4-Slice Digital & Conventional Toaster Brands & Models
Cuisinart CPT-440 Touch to Toast Lever-less 4-Slice Toaster
T-Fal 4-Slice Digital Toaster, Model # 6802002
Kenmore Elite Digital 4-Slice Toaster, Model # 135308
West Bend TEM4500W Egg and Muffin Toaster, 4-Slice
Cuisinart 4-Slice Metal Classic Toaster, CPT-180
T-Fal Classic Avante 4-Slice Toaster, Model # 5332002
Features
Cool Touch exterior; motorized high-lift control button; 7 shade settings; fail-safe control; audible alert signal; dual controls; BPA-free; energy-star certified
Extra high high-lift lever; 8 shade settings; 2 long, deep toasting chambers; self-adjusting slots; lightweight
9 shade settings; audible alert signal; extra wide, self-adjusting slots; dual LCD display screens; toaster listed 3rd in Top Ten list of toasters for 2013
Cool Touch exterior; 2 high-lift levers; 8 shade settings; cancel control; auto shut-off; extra wide slots; dual controls; egg-cooking elements; meat/ veggie/ fruit warming trays; toaster listed first in 2013 reviews.
Extra hih high-lift levers; 6 shade settings; dual controls; BPA-free
Cool Touch exterior; dual high-lift levers; 6 shade settings; cancel control; anti-jam control; unique, self-adjusting, angled slots; 2 slide-out crumb trays; travel handle
Functions
Pairs of slots work independently; can watch toasting progress bars on digital screen display; toasts evenly.
Slots work simultaneously; cools quickly without Cool Touch tech nology.
Pairs of slots work independently and fast; toaster remembers last shade setting & function.
Works excellent; slots work independently; boils/ poaches up to 8 eggs simultaneously; prepares a complete breakfast in under 4 minutes.
Slots work independently; toaster works well.
Slots work simultaneously.
Complaints
Audible alert signal too loud.
Customers would prefer cord attached somewhere other than near the front of the toaster.
Audible alert signal too loud; toaster may be too bulky for elderly to move.
None found.
Customers want longer slots.
None found.
Dimensions (Width x Height)
10.8 x 7.75
15.5 x 7.5
12.0 x 7.27
11.0 x 8.0
11.6 x 7.0
10.0 x 8.6
Price (High to Low)
$185.00 - $99.95
$49.94 - $33.36
$87.49 - $69.99
$179.97 - $59.00
$130.00 - $69.95
$79.99 - $41.80

Would you prefer the 2-slice digital or conventional toaster or the 4-slice digital or conventional toaster?

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Comments 2 comments

Anisha 23 months ago

A simple and inlteeiglnt point, well made. Thanks!


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beverley byer 23 months ago from United States of America Author

Thank you!

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