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Just What I Wanted... Until it Broke **Updated Review**
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:
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.