Top positive review
510 people found this helpful
not perfect, but very close
on January 12, 2013
I've owned more toasters over the years than I can count. I've tried low-end, high-end, and in-between. My most recent one was OK when it arrived--a stainless steel Oster 2-slice toaster--but it went downhill fast. I often do single slices of toast, and it's hard to find a toaster that can do a good job of only one slice. Also, the Oster had ridges around the slots, where crumbs got caught, and it was hard to clean them out. It had an extremely short cord too, and after about a year, it started burning one side and not toasting the other. The bagel setting didn't work either. Time to try another toaster!
I decided on this Cuisinart one. The other toaster I was considering was a Kitchen Aid (both of these brands seem trustworthy to me), but I decided against that one, because reviewers said the buzzer that warns when the toast is finished is very loud. That sounds like a small thing, but the complaints were vigorous, and it seemed to me that breakfast is not a time for a loud buzzer.
So on I went to the "leverless" Cuisinart. It's about $20-$30 more expensive than the newer model, which has a lever for lowering the toast, but I decided to go leverless anyway. I'm glad I did. The leverless function is very neat--effortless and functional--and in my experience, the push levers can break or go wonky, so I think this is better. Otherwise, it toasts evenly, dries the bread slightly making it taste better when toasted, and the bagel setting works nicely, toasting only one side. The "countdown" feature is a set of digital bars that disappear one by one as the toast progresses, until there are none left, and the toast rises, sounding a light ping at the same time. The digital selection for browness goes from 1 (light) to 7 (dark); so far I haven't had to use anything above 4, so there seems to be plenty of choice there. If you toast only one slice, the directions recommend using a reduced number (3 instead of 4, for instance), because it won't take as long. Good advice! It worked perfectly. There are no ridges where crumbs can get caught. The crumb tray is at the back, but I didn't find that to be a problem; that's where it was in my previous toaster too.
Some reviewers have said that the cord on the Cuisinart leverless toaster is too short. It's 3 feet long, which is a lot longer than the cord on my old Oster toaster. There is a place to store extra cord under the toaster. My reason for giving it 4 stars instead of 5 is that I would have preferred if the cord were attached at the back instead of the front. The other issue is that the slots are only 5 1/2 inches wide. Bread that is 5 1/2 inches wide fits, but it has to be turned a little, and anything larger would have to be cut in two. Neither of these issues is a major one for me, but it could be for some users.
I am very pleased with this toaster, and to me it's well worth the extra money to have a toaster than doesn't buzz loudly and actually makes great toast. Sometimes little things are worth paying a little extra for!