Customer Reviews: Cuisinart TOB-40N Custom Classic Toaster Oven Broiler
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on February 25, 2011
For the most part...just the looks alone are nice and clean. It doesn't look like a spaceship on the counter.
Nice simple straight lines and simple on / off / bake / broil / etc controllers.

There were later design ovens from this manufacturer, but for the price, and all the Basic Features, I figured how can I go wrong?
With 1800 watts for the total heating elements...right there that tells you that it is going to heat up fast...maintain quickly to attain the setpoint, and perform like a regular electric range / oven / broiler; but just in a smaller package.

Toast making is complete on both sides. Fast! And with no drying out of the toast bread.
I was looking for the ability to toast bread, without the bread sitting there in the oven just drying out on the inside of the bread; while the outside was browning. That is the problem with toasters that are Lower Wattage. It is a proven fact in the testing sequence of a toaster designed to do just that....make toast.
The setpoint maintains just that, with not much droop in temperature. It is quick to respond to maintain the setpoint (temperature selected) to do a fast cooking chore.
The crumb catch tray just slides out easily for cleaning which is a plus. My old toaster oven had to be turned on its side to flip open the crumb tray. Wow! Those crumbs really sat in there till they cooked themselves to the tray.
With the slide out easy clean tray...I clean the crumbs every two or three times I use the oven / toaster! Smart Design!

The only downside ...and it does not affect the useability of the oven; but it is annoying trying to see the settings plainly stamped in black lettering and numbering; but very very small. Just one step UP in the font SIZE would be a big improvement. I lost my 20 year old perfect vision some 40 or so years ago, and even with corrective lenses...I have to keep a little magnifying readers glass there just to see the settings of the controls. My 18 Y/O granddaughter who has perfect 20 /20 vision even has difficulty seeing the setpoints.
All In All....I recommend it highly. The functions and power of this little machine are absolutely great. It is definetely not in the toy division like some other products of the like are in.
I had to give this 4 stars**** only because of the inability to clearly see the setpoints on the controls that are printed so small. That's My Opinion Anyway!

Oooops! one more important item, is the fact that there are multiple slots to position the shelves / rack etc for the different applications of cooking / heating / toasting etc."NICE"
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on April 25, 2011
After a long search, I was unhappy with the selection of toaster ovens in my price range - my price range being as inexpensive as possible! My old Black & Decker toaster oven that I bought at my neighborhood drug store lasted for at least 10 years. I was totally happy with it. The cheaper new ones are not the same - they all have that timer dial for toasting with a space of 1cm (or less) to determine the shade of toast. I just don't like that type of control knob.
Anyway... I decided to spend a little more to get what I really want, and this Cuisinart has all of the functions that I like - the generous shade control, nicely spaced options on the function and temperature dials, an on/off switch for toasting, and a pull-out crumb tray.
It has two heating elements on both bottom and top which seem to help the oven heat up quickly and toast evenly.
Like all toaster ovens I have encountered, the top and back do get hot - the sides not as much.
I could not find the true dimensions of this toaster oven anywhere (even on Cuisinart's website & I don't know where Amazon's "product dimensions" measurements came from) so I'll post the dimensions as I measured them here:
16" W
9" H
13" D (That is WITH the "feet" on the back that prevent it from sitting flush against the wall [presumably for safety], but WITHOUT the handle, which adds 1.75" to the depth)

It is bigger than I am used to, but definitely not the biggest out there.

I am very, very happy with this toaster oven and am only withholding a star because I've only had it for a few days. That fifth star has to be earned for durability!

****UPDATE November 2012****
Well, it is NOT getting that 5th star. In fact, I changed my review to 3 stars based on . I have been happy with this toaster for 1.5 years. Then an element failed. It started basically melting and cracking, and I fully expected it to burst into flames at some point.
I contacted Cuisinart. The toaster iss still under the 3-year warranty, and they offered to send a replacement. I have to mail the current toaster to them, which would cost me about $20, and I would also have to pay Cuisinart $10 for processing/shipping the new one.
$30 seems like a lot of my money to spend replacing something defective, so I am still undecided about going forward with it, though I suppose it is worth it unless I simply want to buy a lower-end replacement. I do still like this toaster as a whole and have found it to perform well until its failure.
I've had two previous really cheap toasters that lasted 10 years each, so I'm very disappointed in the longevity of this one.
Update #2 - 2.75 years after update #1:
I wound up getting a replacement toaster oven locally in late 2012, but I just had to lay to rest that second TOB-40. Yup - again a heating element melted and warped, surely about to crack open and spark. It dropped so low I could not slide out the crumb tray. I am not giving the Cuisinart toaster ovens a third chance. I am dropping this review to two stars - I like the toaster's functionality and design, but the heating element issue is ridiculous.
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VINE VOICEon August 27, 2011
My more expensive, super fancy Krups toaster oven recently kicked the bucket after about 4-5 yrs of service, and it was time to replace it. While my Krups was a good toaster oven (before it died), it took up a lot of space on the counter, it was expensive to buy, and frankly it had a lot of features (convection) and interior space that I just don't use and don't think are necessary in a toaster oven. So when I shopped for a replacement, I decided to go downmarket a bit.

Problem is, the toaster oven market is bifurcated towards two extremes and IMO neither is ideal. On the low end, are super cheap pieces of junk. On the higher end, are expensive behemoths that take up all your counter space and have a lot of features that most of us will never use. Now I'll admit, for someone who lives in say a small apartment and doesn't have a regular oven, the second type may make sense. But I live in a house with a regular kitchen and I have a regular oven and a cooktop, as well as a gas grill and a big green egg. What this means is, I'm not going to be roasting a whole chicken or searing steaks or baking any cakes or cooking thanksgiving dinner in my toaster oven. What I mostly use my toaster oven for is 1) toast! and 2) heating up things like leftover pizza or empanadas or really anything else that will get soggy in the microwave but you don't want to wait for the regular oven to preheat when alls you want to do is heat up a single item, and 3) odd things like maybe an open faced sammich or something. So really, anything small that you want to heat up quickly yet still have it be crispy. I have a hunch a large percent of toaster oven owners use them pretty much like I do and want a quality product but don't want a $300 large convection toaster oven taking up all our counter space, but also don't want to trust the $20 hunk of junk that looks like it will die in 2 weeks and can't toast evenly.

This toaster oven is a good choice because:

1) It's simple - toast, bagel, bake, broil. The analog controls are simple to use, and unlike a digital keypad it "remembers" what your last setting was (for say toast darkness or oven temp), which you are likely to use repeatedly. Some reviews complained the controls are hard to read, and I don't find this to be a problem although I do have good near-sight vision. The crum tray is easy to remove, clean, and replace.

2) It works - nice even toasting. Heats up quickly for reheating items. I was surprised at how light it was out of the box, but it works well so this doesn't appear to be a problem.

3) It's a fair price - way cheaper than the expensive convection ovens, but not so cheap as to be garbage

4) Small footprint - doesn't take up much counter space yet still big enough for everything I want a toaster oven to do. Honestly if something can't fit in this thing I have no problem firing up the regular oven.

Now, there seem to be 2 basic complaints on this model and I don't find either to be a problem:

1) No timer - who cares? I'm only using it for toast (which does shut off when it reaches desired darkness) and to heat up small stuff that only takes a few minutes, I can hang around and keep an eye on it. Again, this seems like more of a problem for people who want to bake a cake or something and I don't know why you'd want to use a toaster oven to do that.

2) A lot of people complain that the toast comes out too dark - I'm puzzled by these complaints as I find it extremely easy to set the toaster to desired darkness. The medium setting comes out pretty much what I'd expect medium toast to be, and more importantly you have infinite adjustability with the analog controls so it shouldn't take you much experimenting to figure out how you want it. One person even complained they had this for over a month and couldn't get toast that wasn't burned - I'd say this person either got a defective unit, or they are severely challenged when it comes to the operation of small electronics and/or employing the trial and error method.

Overall - there should be more toaster ovens in this segment. If you don't routinely roast whole prime ribs or do hard core baking in your toaster oven, this should suit your needs well.

Edit: Well, 3 1/2 years later, one of the coils was coming apart and my girlfriend threw the Cuisinart away because she claims that's a fire hazard! Replacement is a Kitchenaid unit purchased from Costco (which also doesn't have a lot of unnecessary bells and whistles, although it's a bit bigger). The new Kitchenaid definitely does not toast as quickly or evenly as the trusty old Cuisinart! I wish we'd just bought another as it's replacement. 3 1/2 years isn't too bad for a toaster oven that was used fairly often and not really taken care of, rarely cleaned etc. I stand by my old 5 star review.
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on March 11, 2013
I agree with the other 1 star reviews here. We have had our oven not even 2 years and the heating coil is split, which is probably extremely dangerous. Additionally, the dial no longer works to change the oven from toast to bake to broil. Supposedly, the product comes with a 3 year warranty, but when you read the info you see you have to pay to ship the oven back plus $10 for them to ship you a new oven (the latter is not allowed in CA clearly because it's an extremely dubious business practice). I intend to file a complaint with the BBB and Consumer Reports about this product. I agree that the outside walls of the oven get so hot it is unsafe. You cannot have anything on or near the product when it is in use. This is my first Amazon review ever because it is the first time I've felt a product is bad news.
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on December 13, 2012
Unfortunately this toaster oven just hasn't lived up to the Cuisinart name. While it is roomy and does a good job at baking and toasting, one of the elements is literally splitting open after just over a year of use. See the photo in the customer submitted photos above.
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on December 8, 2013
As many other reviewers have said here, the Cuisinart TOB-40 toaster oven has defective heating elements. After less than 2 years mine, too, developed a split in one of the elements that created a glowing red "hot spot". This is a serious fire hazard. I feel lucky that the split happened in one of the bottom elements; if it had happened in one of the upper elements I probably would not have seen it until it was too late.

As they did for the other customers, Cuisinart offered to send me a new TOB-40 but I have to pay for shipping to return the old one. From reading the reviews here, it is obvious that this is a common problem for this oven. Cuisinart should recall and replace them all at their own expense. However, they will probably wait until they get sued for someone's death in a house fire before they take that step.

Considering the company's poor quality control and their irresponsible stance in view of this known fire hazard, I strongly recommend AGAINST purchasing any electronics from them.

*** UPDATE 12/13/2013 ***

I reported this problem to the Consumer Products Safety Commission on their web site. They sent an investigator to my house 3 days later. He said that this is a dangerous situation and the CPSC will launch an investigation. I hope that Cuisinart recalls this item voluntarily but if they don't maybe the CPSC will prod them to do so.

By the way, I did get my replacement TOB-40 today (that was quick!). They told me to return the old one at my own expense. However, on further reflection, I didn't sign anything agreeing to return it and the product is defective. If they want it back, they can pay for the shipping. Phooey on Cuisinart!
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on March 21, 2011
I need to replace an old Toastmaster toaster oven. The toaster was super-simple: Set the desired toast darkness, and press a lever to start toasting. After almost 20 years, it died. I thought it would be easy to find a replacement for it, but to my surprise, they don't make toaster ovens that simple these days.

My main requirement for needing a toaster oven as opposed to a vertical loading toaster was that I like to make toasted open-face sandwiches. Unfortunately, most of the toaster ovens that I saw while researching had several problems:

1) They required you to turn a dial to set the darkness each time.
2) The amount of space between light and dark was minimal, so getting it the way you want each time would be no easy task.
3) An annoying ticking sound.

Finally I came across this Cuisinart TOB-40, and this was the toaster for me. It was exactly what I needed in a toaster oven. It solves those 3 problems: You can set it and forget it. Adjustments to toast darkness are easy because there is a dial dedicated to setting it. There is an on/off button and *no ticking*. It also has the bonus of the rack that extends automatically when the door is opened.

If you're like me and need something that's more of a toaster than an oven, but is suitable for making open-faced sandwiches and for toasting larger items such as muffins, I'd highly recommend this one.
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on March 11, 2015
I've always had great experiences with Cuisinart products which is what led to my purchase of a TOB-40 toaster over. I was attracted to this model due to the great company reputation and warranty. This unit was replaced under warranty in Oct 2014 due to a faulty heating element. Cuisinart was great about replacing it as long as I paid shipping for the replacement unit as well as shipping back to them for my broken unit. I still figured this was better than purchasing a completely new unit. If you do some searches on the web, the faulty heating element seems to be a known issue. Some people have also reported this to the Consumer Products Safety Commission as this could be a fire hazard and were hoping for a recall. My replacement unit worked great until just the other day.

After using the oven to toast waffles for my kids, the toaster was turned off and out of the blue the glass completely shattered and exploded. Thankfully, my kids were not near the unit as they could have been injured as a result of this explosion. I've included a picture of the unit post explosion for you to see. I called customer service and spoke to a rep who basically said that since the warranty was tied to my original unit and that transferred to the replacement unit (which has now expired) there was nothing that they could do on this defective 4 month old unit. I asked to speak to a supervisor and spoke with Shelby who gave me the same answer that there was nothing that could be done. I could understand if my unit just stopped working after an extended period of time. But this is a serious issue on a relatively new unit that could have resulted in serious injury.

I'm very disappointed in the customer service and policy that is in place by Cuisinart. I would have hoped that keeping a loyal customer happy would be more important to them instead of worry about saving the money on a product that costs them less than $100 to replace. You've now lost a customer for life and I strongly urge anyone interested in purchasing their products to think twice.
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on April 5, 2014
There are a lot of things I like about this toaster - it has a big capacity, but a relatively small footprint. It gets things hot.

My first complaint is that when it is done toasting, it beeps 5 times really loudly. These really loud beeps sound just like a fire alarm going off, which is really disconcerting. If one person is trying to sleep while another is trying to make toast, the beep is loud enough throughout the house to wake everyone else.

I could live with that, but after I had the toaster for a while, the heating elements started to warp. As they warp, the protective coating on the heating elements peels back. I'm afraid this is going to make a toaster fire far more likely. The warping continues to get worse, so it won't be much longer before this toaster doesn't work. For something as expensive as this, it should last longer.
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on August 18, 2012
The first Cuisinart TOB-40 Toaster Oven I received was defective: the dial that controlled the darkness of the toast didn't work. If the dial was set anywhere but at the lightest setting, the toast was burnt. At the lightest setting, it produced hot bread. I tried moving the dial in tiny increments hoping to find a "just right" setting, but no luck. The dial simply didn't work.

I phoned Cuisinart. They didn't come right out and admit that my toaster oven was defective, but what they said amounted to the same thing: "It's an issue with the toaster oven itself." (I suppose the other choice is: "It's the fault of the stupid customer.") They were willing to replace the toaster under the warranty (I'd only had it 3 days) but -- here's the catch -- they wanted me to pay return shipping (the package probably weighs around 30 lb) PLUS give them $10 to ship me the new one. What incredible nerve!

So I went to Amazon's returns and explained that the toaster they shipped me was defective. They immediately shipped me a replacement (same toaster, same model) and even paid the postage to send back the defective one. Cuisinart: 1 star; Amazon: 5 stars.

I'd give Cuisinart a zero-star rating if I could. The second toaster had exactly the same defect.

I didn't return it. We needed a toaster and it's a hassle to get the thing back into its original carton and lug it to the post office (my husband and I are in our mid-70's). Also, it didn't seem fair to ask Amazon to pay two-way postage TWICE when it wasn't Amazon's fault -- it was Cuisinart's!

So I'm using this defective toaster oven. I bought a wonderful little timer from Amazon (the Polder 898- 90) and I set the timer to 2 min 45 sec when I make toast. The toaster dial is worthless. The manufacturer's boast ("Always even shade control monitors the temperature and adjusts timing to consistently toast to the shade selected every time") is a pants-on-fire lie.

There are other things wrong with this toaster. The door doesn't close tightly. As others have noted, the "auto slide-out tray" function is a joke. The controls are poorly designed, especially for older users: the (black) dials have a slightly raised (black) ridge that's supposed to serve as the pointer, but under normal lighting conditions the ridge is almost invisible. I have to feel the knob to tell which way it's pointing.

Twenty or thirty years ago, we had a Black & Decker toaster oven that served its purpose perfectly and never gave us any trouble. They don't make 'em like that anymore, alas.
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