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Showing 1-10 of 279 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 305 reviews
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 August 5, 2017
I've had this toaster for 5 years - fact is that from about month 6 it hasn't worked as it should. Since I try not to eat much bread, I just gave up on it and lived without toast - without paying much attention to it. Now I have family members who come for weekends regularly and they like toast with breakfast so the the deficiencies of this toaster are very much in front and center. I would happily accept uneven toasting over what I get. There has always been a problem with the bread staying "down" long enough to resemble "toasting." If I hold the lever down for 30 second or more it might stay down, but that typically results in burnt roast. I am trying to find a new toaster but the reviews of toasters are abysmal. I remember when you had a great for 15+ years without an issue. I'm terrified to spend $70 - 80 - the reviews of those toaster are certainly nothing to be excited about.
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on January 20, 2013
1 (lowest setting) is good for toaster pastries might not be hot enough for some, but i like it that way
Alarm is about 80db at 3ft as per a Sound Meter app on my phone (about alarm clock level), pretty annoying if you're in the same room, but great if your a couple rooms away
Seems to toast evenly
toaster pastry was almost too tall to get toasted. There may be problems toasting large (tall and wide) objects

Slide-out tray makes it easy to clean the crumbs out of the bottom of the toaster without needing to unplug and move the whole thing

removing the beep alarm involves:
unscrewing all the screws on the bottom (8)
finagling with the base until it comes off
unscrewing (2 screws) the circuit board connected right behind the lights, buttons, and knobs (you need a short Phillips 1 or 2 screwdriver, and preferably someone else to hold the toaster case; also be careful cause some of the internal edges are sharp, maybe wear some not too thick gloves)
detaching the cable running to the circuit board
I was able to break the buzzer off with a small multitool ("swiss army" style) knife by sliding the blade underneath the buzzer and wiggling it to pry it off (cheapo plastic bits :P)

reassemble toaster:
reattach cable running to circuit board
screw circuit board back into position behind the lights buttons and knobs
finagle with the case until it snaps back into position (be aware that the plastic tabs need to fit back into the slots on the base)
screw the base back on.
review image
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on October 3, 2012
I love the thin sleek look, it toasts great! after you figure out how you like your toast, dark or light., I have mine set on 3, I would hope next model that comes out they put a volume control on the beeper that beeps twice when your toast is done, it kinda sounds like my microwave when it's done, but the 2 beeps don't bother me. Over all, love the look, toasts great, and thin and out of the way for a little more counter top space. And it toasts frozen stuff like French toast frozen, I put it in, click defrost and then when it's done I just click to toast it, comes out perfect for me! Better then my old Hamilton beach toaster, I had that toaster for about 5 years, but it just stopped working. I wasn't going to get another Hamilton beach toaster again, but saw all the great reviews! If something happens, I will write another review.
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on January 10, 2011
Works great! I tried it first on a fresh bagel, and the bagel toasted up nicely without being dried out inside. I've done multigrain bread and challah bread in it as toast, both from fresh slices and frozen slices, with excellent results. No trouble with bread toasting on only one side as some reviewers have reported. I suspect that those complaining forgot to take the toaster off the bagel setting which does "toast" only one side of the bagel. I like the pushbuttons that adjust settings or turn off the toasting process. It took a litte experimenting to determine what numbers on the knob produced the degree of toasting that I like, but I expected that. Now I get great toast in super-quick time, compared to my old toaster--which I had kept for 20 years, until it finally broke. I expect to be able to keep this toaster in service a good long time also. However I'm puzzled about the caution in the directions not to use it to toast poptarts, which according to directions on the food product are designed to be toasted in toasters!? ! But one can use it to toast frozen waffles ? Perhaps the caution is that anything that could potentially drip grease or melted sugar into the toaster is a potential cause of a fire. Otherwise I'm very pleased with this toaster. It works much quicker than my old toaster and the toast always turns out well using any kind of bread.
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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 December 14, 2012
Reading all the reviews here, you'll find a wide array of opinions and experiences. It seems like if you're really lucky and get one that works, you might be able to use it. I was not lucky.

While mine was not technically DOA, it didn't really toast anything. Toasting, say, an English Muffin from room temperature (not even refrigerated!) at the HIGHEST SETTING resulted in a hot, but decidedly NOT TOASTED, English muffin. At the highest setting, it did manage to get bread to a condition that one would reasonably call "toasted", but very, very lightly. The thing was simply unusable to make toast. ...and yes, I read the instructions. (Admittedly not until AFTER it failed to toast, at which point I thought 'this can't be right; I've got to be doing something wrong')

Mechanically, it's got a LOT of trouble, too:

The single slot won't hold two slices of non-square bread without overlapping them. If you use Arnold's or Pepperidge Farm or Sara Lee or any of the similar breads on the shelf that are wider than a standard ol' generic piece of sliced bread, they won't fit. Two pop-tarts won't fit, either. If you stand them on end, they'll fit the width OK, but they're too tall to go down into the toaster.

When the toast (warm bread) is "done", the lever releases as one would expect, but the food doesn't come up. According to the instructions, this is intentional and is to keep the food warm until you make it over there to fetch it out. I call B.S. and think it was simply cheaper. Worse, when you manually lift the lever to the top of the toaster to raise the food, there's no latch or detent to hold it there; it takes two hands to get the danged stuff out of the toaster! Not convenient when one hand already has a cup of coffee in it.

FIRE??!! HUH? Yep - check this out: Pop tarts - contrary to at least one other review I read - do indeed fall through the bottom of the lift cage. Worse, when they fall through, they nicely wedge the lift mechanism in place, and that keeps the lift cage from coming up, which in turn keeps the elements from turning off, which in turn creates a fire. Quite Literally. I dropped some pop tarts in, and returned to my office for a moment. They had done the "fall through and wedge the lifter" trick that I mention above. As often happens, my "moment" turned into a lot of moments, and I forgot about the toaster until I smelled the smoke. I walked out of my office to find smoke literally billowing out of the kitchen! I'm not positive if the tarts actually ignited or not, because I snatched the toaster off the counter, yanking the cord out with it, and threw the thing out the kitchen door into the yard. When I got out there to assess the damage, it wasn't actually on fire, but was still smoking profusely and everything was completely charred.

I sent it back. Toast at your own risk.
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on October 22, 2012
A toaster is a surprisingly personal item. Different styles and features give them a personal appeal, and once used to a toaster, it's one of those things you get attached to. This Hamilton Beach unit not only bears a name I grew up with in my family kitchen, many of those little appliances lived on to be passed to following generations. The toaster I had was an old Sunbeam. It made toast for me for ages, even though it wasn't up to toasting bagels or heating croissants or anything fancy. Still, when I pushed down the lever and it refused to stay down and activate the nichrome wire heating elements it made me sad. Like being betrayed by a loved one who missed showing up for an anniversary, I felt betrayed. I started stopping by bars on the way home from work, dabbling with loose women, and even considered a flirtation with becoming a petty criminal. But I decided it might be easier just to send it off to some place where toasters retired, not unlike the family voted on for grandma.

I searched and searched, spending long seconds researching the first page returned on an Amazon product search, and lo, found the replacement for grand... I mean my toaster. There it was, fourth row down, second item. It's digital picture beckoned to me, tantalizing me with its sexy shape and come hither nomenclature. On arrival, it took a while to unwrap it, my anticipation rising like the heartbeat of student feeling the hormonal draw of Mrs. Crabtree, my third grade teacher.

The toaster is cleverly shaped, taking less space than the old toaster did by virtue of its design. It can sit well back, leaving plenty of counter to work with like for buttering the bread just toasted. It has a number of presets, for bagels both frozen and thawed, and the same for toast --meaning the frozen french toast and waffles produced by the food geniuses at the frozen food farms. It's a pretty quick toaster in contrast to many, and the single but lengthy slot is able to handle almost anything one might want to toast. Unlike most toasters, the actuator doesn't lower the toast. It acts as an on/off switch, but can also be used to lift the toasted item up to within easy reach, no matter its size. When it toasts it shines a bright blue button that can cancel, with a push, the toasting operation unlike old toasters that disliked being interrupted. When it completes its cycle, it beeps twice to signal its completion. I found that it's wise to run the new toaster through a couple of cycles empty --in order to burn off the light residue of manufacturing. (It gave off a burnt plastic smell for half of the first cycle and then stopped emitting the odor, but I gave it a second cycle just to be thorough.)

It's now a familiar member of the family and performs quite nicely. I'd recommend the toaster for its reasonable price, features, and satisfaction with its operation. It's a great little toaster.
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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 April 18, 2013
I have now had this toaster for a little over 8 months. Overall it's been really great but, like most things one might purchase, it's not without its quirks.

DIMENSIONS

1. According to the official product's web page this toaster measures, quote: 5 1/2" wide x 14 3/4" long. Notice that this is a bit different (smaller) when compared with the dimensions stated in the product details above.

2. After measuring mine, it does in fact appear to measure 5.5" wide, 7.5" tall, and a bit over 14.5" long.

I personally love the thinner, elongated design of this toaster. It has great versatility, and is a lifesaver for me due to my limited counter space. When it's not in use, I simply push it all the way to the far end of the counter and forget about it!

ENERGY

1. Per its underside, the toaster runs at 1000 watts.

2. The toaster's power cord runs 2 feet, 6 inches (30 inches) long.

3. The average wattage of a toaster is anywhere in the range of 800-1400 watts, so this toaster is somewhere in the middle. Still, this toaster does a great job.

FEATURES

1. Note that this toaster has just a single, elongated slot. There is nothing on the inside that divides the chamber.

2. Toast Slot - The slot is about 10.5 inches long and 1.5 inches wide. This slot is great for standard size bread and/or bagels. However I personally am partial to the wider breads (such as Oroweat) and this toaster was clearly not designed with these breads in mind. If you place 2 of these pieces inside, they unfortunately do not fit and will overlap in the middle of the toaster. This results in your bread being unevenly toasted on the edges where the bread overlaps. While this is not bad enough for me to deduct a star, it is somewhat of an annoyance.

3. Toast Dial - The toaster has a dial with settings from 1 (lighter toast) to 5 (darker toast). At the "1" setting, the toast comes out a bit warm with very little actual "toasting" done to it. At the 5 setting the bread comes out, of course, much darker and sometimes with burnt (crispy) edges.

4. Toast times - Assuming neither of the "Frozen" settings (see below) have been selected, the "1" setting toasts bread for about 35 seconds, and the "5" setting for about 3 minutes.

5. The "Done" Tone - I agree with some of the other comments that describe this tone as similar to that of a fire alarm, but a bit quieter. The tone beeps twice to indicate that your toast is ready. I live in a 900 square foot apartment with no carpeting (hardwood) and this tone is audible all throughout my home when it goes off. Additionally, there is no easy way to turn the tone off. You can either cancel the toast process before it ends (via the cancel button), or you physically disable the tone (see customer images/instructions submitted by others). If you have roommates/family with varying sleep habits (especially if they're light sleepers), this could potentially cause issues.

6. Crumb Tray - I personally love how easy it is to keep this clean. It's basically a solid metal tray that runs along the "floor" of the inside of the toaster. It does a great job at capturing the crumbs and, once it starts to look full, you simply pull it out from the (exterior) left side of the toaster and clean it off. This takes just a few seconds. It couldn't be much easier!

"KEEP WARM" FEATURE

1. This toaster has a built in feature designed to keep your freshly toasted goods warm for a bit longer should you be unavailable to pick them up as soon as they're done toasting. What the toaster does is, after it's done toasting your bread, it does not pop the bread up like a standard toaster would. Instead, it simply shuts down the heating coils leaving the bread inside at the bottom so that it can stay warm for a bit longer due to the residual heat from the coils.

2. As mentioned above, the toaster does not automatically pop up once its done toasting. In order to get your toast out, you have to lift the toaster handle all the way up. Once raised, the toaster will stay at the maximum height to allow for easy removal of your toast, after which it returns to it's lower (off) position. Note that the mechanism to lower it isn't perfect, and sometimes takes a bit of time to actually drop.

From my experience, the "Keep Warm" feature helps a bit but won't keep your toast warm for longer than couple of minutes.

TOASTER SETTINGS

1. The toaster has 4 buttons on the front. The "Cancel" button lights up once you start the toaster to indicate that it can be used. The rest light up blue only if pressed to indicate that they are active for that toaster cycle.

2. Cancel Button - Immediately stops the toaster from heating and allows you to remove your toast. This, in my opinion, is much nicer than standard toasters that just require you to pull the lever up.

3. Bagel Button - Deactivates the back coils of the toaster so that only one side of your bagel is toasted.

4. Frozen Bagel/Toast - The "Frozen" buttons simply extend the length of time that your bagel/toast spend heating inside the toaster. I am partial to the "2" setting which usually takes about 1 minute and 35 seconds. The "Frozen" button extends this time to 2 minutes and 15 seconds.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Despite its shortcomings, this toaster is still the best I've ever owned. Yes, it does have its flaws. Would I like it more if I could fit 2 pieces of my Oroweat bread into the toaster slot without having them overlap? Of course! Would I like a way to disable the toaster's "done tone" without having to remove it's innards? Sure!

In the grand scheme of things, the shortcomings of this toaster have had only a very minor impact on my overall experience with it. The toaster looks great on my counter top, heats bread quickly and evenly, and is relatively low maintenance.

Personally, I am very happy with my toaster purchase and look forward to using it for many years to come.
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