Most helpful critical review
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Roomy, and adequate, but shoddy
on March 20, 2013
I don't expect too much from a toaster oven, especially at this price point, and this unit mostly does (did) what I want. However, I've experienced a RELIABILITY ISSUE, that would have caused me to skip this model if I'd known it in advance.
I've had my unit for less than 6 months, but the "Toast" timer just broke (it instantly times down to zero). After an exhaustive search, there is absolutely no way to buy parts, and there are no repair facilities. You have to cut off the unit's plug and send it, plus $7.50, to the warranty center in Ohio. This means no toaster oven for 3-weeks minimum. (I use mine every day.) I'll update this review when I get my replacement unit and have had it for several months.
- Not too expensive
- Roomy: It easily holds 4 slices plus has a little room to keep a small container of meat, bacon, etc, warm.
- Bakes reasonably well due to it's recirc fan -- about as good as my full-sized oven.
- Has mechanical controls -- which are *usually* more reliable than electronics, use no power when the unit is off, will not spontaneously come on (like digital controls can), and are immune to power glitches and static charges.
- Mechanical timer broke! In decades, I have never had an appliance timer break until now.
- Very short power cord; not even 2 feet long!
- Poor control design. The temperature knob also functions as the bake/broil/toast selector. There are separate timers for bake and toast but, unlike every other toaster-oven I've had, you cannot simultaneously have the oven set to keep warm (say 250 degrees) and toast.
- False advertising. The unit does not have "6-slice" capacity as claimed. At least not normal slices of a standard loaf.
- Burns toast easily. The toast timer has markings for "Light", "Med", "Dark", and "Max". They should really read: "Lukewarm", "A variable shade of brown", "Burnt", and "Charcoal".
Plus, the difference between light-brown, and burnt, seems to be seconds. It's very hard to get consistent toast with this timer.
- Toasts very unevenly. The slices in the center tend to burn, the slices near the door tend to be half-done.
- Poor Door seal. Toaster ovens are all big energy wasters (I'd pay good money for a decent insulated and sealed unit), but this one inexplicable goes from 1 mm gap on one side of the door, to about 8mm on the other. Not only does it look shoddy, but it lets extra heat out.
- Unlike toasters or other ovens, you need a Hot mitt to get the toast out without burning yourself. The toast is not grabbable without sliding out the wire rack a good ways, and the rack does not slide automatically.
- Sloppy. The unit has a catch tray, but it slides around and is poorly designed. The tray and the door act to funnel bread crumbs under the tray. It does catch any drippings though, and most toaster ovens have a similar problem, in my experience.