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on November 30, 2009
Bought this toaster because of the large slot and the lift up feature. Hard to toast large sourdough slices in anything else except a toaster oven. Electricity costs are very high here and toaster ovens are too inefficient and slow. I also like my toast hot when I butter it and I sometimes forget with a pop up toaster and its cold when I get it. Not this one. Also has a loud beep to tell you when it's done! Best toaster I've ever owned.
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on May 23, 2010
I bought this toaster over a year ago and I LOVE IT!! It's the most consistent at toasting the bread the same way. The one I used to have would burn the toast one time then not toast at all the next with no changes to either the bread or the controls. This one just makes the toast come out the same color every time. I love the fact that it doesn't pop up...but lets the toast stay in it's nice cozy warm cocoon to keep itself warm for me so that my butter will melt into each and every crevice. While I'm buttering one slice the second one is just keeping warm on the residual heat. No wasting electricity to keep it warm. No burning or over toasting the bread to keep it warm. It just keeps it warm by keeping the toast down in the base of the toaster. I can't find a single fault with this toaster.
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on July 17, 2010
I've only had this toaster a short time. I looked at lots of long-slot toasters that could handle larger (wider) slices of bread. I can actually fit two large slices, overlapping them slightly, and they come out nicely and very evenly toasted.

I did find the "ready tone" to be slightly disturbing the first few times- the beeping sound is similar in tone to a smoke alarm, but much quieter. (I had a house fire from which I escaped this past year, so I am very sensitive to that sound.)

I have read many toaster reviews and on average, most toasters over $50-100 get no better ratings than those under $50. Being well under the $50 mark, I find this model to be a great value, and can find no issues so far with its performance or build quality- but if for some unforeseen reason this machine should die prematurely, I will update.

8/7/10 I just wanted to add that at first, the darkest setting wasn't really all that dark, but was accecptable; after several uses, the darkest setting is now producing darker results more to my liking. Maybe the machine needed a little break-in period? I am still very pleased with this purchase and am considering buying a second one, since it seems that every couple of years, models become discontinued, and I don't expect this one to last forever (it sees heavy use).
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on December 29, 2010
After our toaster oven lead to one too many burnt bagels, I decided I wanted to add a regular toaster to our list of small appliances. I had seriously considered buying a substantially more expensive toaster before I came across this little gem. Based on the consistently high reviews I chose the Hamilton Beach Keep Warm Toaster.

The single slot is perfectly sized for the large fresh bagels you get from the grocery store or a chain like Brueggers or Panera. The four buttons along the front are "Bagel," "Frozen Bagel," "Frozen Toast," and "Cancel." When the bagels were fresh, "Bagel" worked like a charm, heating the bagel through and toasting only the face. The "Bagel" and "Frozen Bagel" only heat up the front wires to toast only the one side.

If I could I would deduct half of a star because "Frozen Bagel" might be valuable only for something like the small Lender's bagels you find in the grocery store (though I have personally not tested this hypothesis).

From what I can tell, the "Frozen" settings (both for bagel and toast) generate less heat, but go for a longer cycle. The problem is that even on the highest setting using the "Frozen Bagel" feature, the fresh-then-frozen bagels did not completely defrost in the middle and required a second, albeit shorter, cycle (though, to be fair, it did not overcook the top of the bagel either).

I've found that "Frozen Toast" works perfectly for the frozen bagels using a single cycle set to your desired darkness.

Other things to note:

+ Toasting occurs quickly: even the frozen settings only take a few minutes.

+ Bagel and Frozen Toast features are very useful for Fresh and Fresh-to-Frozen bagels respectively.

- The Frozen Bagel setting requires multiple cycles to toast the larger bakery bagels and as such gets little use compared to the Frozen Toast feature.

= When the toast cycle completes the toaster beeps twice. It sounds very much like a smoke alarm, albeit a bit quieter, and can be a little jarring at first. However, once you are accustomed to the sound itself, the alert is nice to know when the toasting is complete if you've walked away to do something else.

+ The toast remains down inside the toaster when complete to "keep warm."

+ Something I hadn't seen noted in other reviews: when you pull the handle all the way up, the support appears to lock into place so you can easily grab your toast one at a time. Once the weight of the last piece of toast is removed, the handle and support return to the "start" position.
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on May 31, 2011
Main problem with this toaster:
After 5 months of light use (average 1 use daily), the plastic handle broke off at the point where it joins to the metal lift mechanism.

Annoyances:
1) The slot is only 10" wide by 4.5" deep. This means that 2 slices of anything wider than standard-sized bread will overlap. You either toast each slice separately or toast, flip the slices and toast again.
2) The 'keep warm' feature just means the toast doesn't pop-up when done. The residual heat from the elements keeps the toast warm for an extra minute or two at most.

Not worth the money.
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on June 5, 2010
This toaster is slick, quiet, looks good on the counter, and it does not create a pile of bread crumbs under it! It truly can fit larger pieces of bread, up to 3 of them. Highly recommend this product.
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on November 2, 2011
In response to some other reviews, unless they've improved the beep tone, it's not any louder than that of a microwave, so I wouldn't really worry about it. Other than that, so far at least, it works just fine. I'd like it better if it was a little deeper like my old one, but you seemingly can't have everything nowadays. I'm a little confused as to the point of the frozen bagel setting which only heats one side, and there's no info in the worthless instruction book.
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on August 9, 2010
Great toaster and it doesn't take up the whole counter. Sleek design looks good, love the beep telling me the toast is done, and it does keep it warm! Long slot for sour dough bread. Perfect toaster for anyone who does not need another monster appliance on their counter. Hamilton Beach Keep Warm Toaster
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on November 7, 2011
I'm writing this review because I feel "duped" by all of the positive reviews and this toaster being in the toaster bestseller list. How hard is it to design a product to quickly and evenly toast two slices of bread? Maybe if they made toasting bread an app, we'd have better luck.

This toaster does not fit, side by side, two slices of your standard loaf width, store bought, plastic bagged, pre-sliced bread. I had country oven, but wonderbread, whatever, they are pretty much the same widths. The images make it look like two slices will fit side by side, but I got the toaster, opened it up and couldn't fit two basic slices. I didn't try bagels, but unless you're eating mini-bagels, I doubt you can fit both slices of one bagel as well.

I then tried one slice and toasted it, in two different areas of the slot. The toaster also only toasted one small area of the bread, then a patch of barely toasted, the rest was raw, as in completely untoasted. Then the other side of the bread was not toasted at all. About the most uneven toasting I've ever seen. The reason I tried it twice was seeing if there was an alignment problem with the bread slice. Nope, it seems the toaster design is so poor, the heating grill isn't evenly distributing.

The outside of the toaster also got super hot, as in you could burn your hand hot.

If you're like me, simply wanting your toast even and fast, don't buy this. A complete waste of time and money. Fortunately Amazon has a good return policy.
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on March 18, 2009
Seems to be another quality Hamilton-Beech product. toaster works well and looks "good" (its different), it can do anything from bread to bagels. The tray is easy to remove and its easy to clean out. Its does help to keep toast warm but doesnt seem to run the heating element when the cycle is done. Overall rate it a good buy.
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