Top critical review
244 people found this helpful
You could do worse
on July 13, 2012
Pros: continous bottom bread wire
narrower slots than most
centers bread in slots well
easy to clean
removable slide-out crumb tray
darkess dial has no click stops, also functions as "cancel"
heating elements light erratically, so uneven toasting that varies each use
crumb tray too shallow
long cool-down time
typical made-in-China quality (as in, lack of)
All I want to do is toast plain old supermarket bread, so I chose this model because it had the fewest silly whizbangs and the narrowest slots. I knew it would be bigger than my old toaster, but wow, is it ever huge (probably just to keep the plastic exterior far away from the heating elements, because it's mostly hollow and weighs a lot less than the teeny metal toaster it replaced). Still, compared to other models it has clean lines and is not unattractive, just bulky for a mere toaster.
Despite the narrower (1.3") slots, two slices of plain bread can fit in each slot (won't toast that way, though), plenty of room for English muffin and bagel halves that are smaller than your head. There's no toast-one-side option; according to the manual, the "bagel" and "defrost" buttons only extend toasting time, period. You can, however, heat Pop Tarts and Pillsbury Toaster Pastries in it, which many current toasters say not to do. I'd credit that to the bottom bread holder, which is a thick, continuous winding wire and not two pairs of opposing teeth like other toasters I looked at -- your bread/bagel/Pop Tart won't easily fall through. This is a good feature.
To stop toasting early you can't lift the handle -- you have to turn the darkness dial all the way back to cancel. It turns loosely and smoothly, but that also means you can't set-and-forget your ideal darkness; jostling the toaster is enough to change the setting. And you MUST watch the setting -- maximum "dark" is more like "incinerate"; setting the dial halfway comes out pretty dark.
Sometimes. Sometimes it's light. Sometimes it's light on top and dark on the bottom, or dark vs. light on the flip side, or striped from side to side, or sometimes perfectly even all around. You never know what you're going to get, and you're probably going to want to monitor the toasting process so you can intervene if needed. I don't think I'd let a child use it unsupervised.
Despite its shortcomings, I'd still choose this model over all the ones I saw in-store. There's simply no such thing as a good toaster anymore, but this Waring seems better than many of the rest. I'm learning to live with it.
And now a moment of mourning for my cheap little all-steel, made-in-USA toaster, which after 18 years of perpetually perfect toasting, quietly died last month. We will never see its like again.