electronic brain surgery since 2001

Finding the Best Toaster

Toast has been mentioned in this blog surprisingly often. I like toast, so when, after 8 years, my current Toaster started to misbehave I needed a replacement.

This turned out more difficult than you'd think.

My old toaster was a Russell Hobbs “21293-56 Legacy Black” which seems not to be available anymore. What I liked about it (when it still worked reliably) was that it was super fast, the toast was evenly browned and the slits were large enough to hold american style sandwich toast and wide enough for Toastabags.

So why did I not buy a similar model again? Because apparently I am an absolute idiot.

Instead I bought a toaster that was on sale and “recommended by Amazon”. That toaster sucked. So I ordered 8 more to “scientifically” compare them.

Below are my findings…

How I tested

First of all: I did not want to waste any food and even though I like toast, my capacity to eat it is limited.

So tests took place over two weeks or so and were only done with single slices of toast. Putting only one slice in, is not optimal. In all cases, the side towards the center will be darker than the outside side, because there is no second toast shielding the bread from the heating coils of the far side. In the pictures below I will only show the outer side of the toast.

Before I started with toast, I let each toaster run on high and empty after unpacking, to burn off any factory crap. The smell coming from a toaster running for the first time is not fun!

For testing I used a setting that should give a medium toasted toast. Usually that's about at half of the provided scale. For some manufacturers the dial had to be brought to about one third.

I then timed how long it took to toast one slice of toast to that setting when starting at room temperature. I then immediately followed with a second slice starting with a still hot toaster. The toaster should accommodate for it and not burn the second slice. The pictures show the cold start (left) and hot start (right) results.

Finally I had a look at the results to decide how even the bread was browned. Since all tests were done with American style sandwich slices, especially the edges were of interest.

BTW. all toasters had wide enough slits to fit a toastabag with two slices of bread and some cheese between.

Severin AT2589

As you can see the results suck. The edges are completely untoasted, there's quite the difference between the cold and hot starts. In the picture you see how the sandwich toast barely fits.

  • Amazon Price: 30.47 EUR
  • Power: 800 Watt
  • Cold Time: 2:09
  • Hot Time: 1:54

Philips HD2581/90

Hot and cold start results are an excellent match in browning. However the browning is relatively uneven.

  • Amazon Price: 27.99 EUR
  • Power: 830 Watt
  • Cold Time: 2:12
  • Hot Time: 1:49

Braun HT1510BK

The hot run is only slightly darker than the cold one, but again there are some smaller areas untoasted. Especially the upper edge seems to be a bit too high above the coils. Still this seemed like an almost okay result.

  • Amazon Price: 32.31 EUR
  • Power: 900 Watt
  • Cold Time: 2:10
  • Hot Time: 1:35

Waldwerk Design Toaster

This is a weird one. It is somehow marketed as a “small business” endeavor with some greeting card by the founders in the package and a focus on design. But really it felt like not that high quality at all. The tiny oak handle is fun, but the rest is just meh. The sheet metal top deforms visibly when heated and the whole device lifted when I pushed down the lever. The toast is also subpar, with the lower edge for some reason not toasted well at all.

  • Amazon Price: 49.90 EUR
  • Power: 925 Watt
  • Cold Time: 2:28
  • Hot Time: 2:10

Aigostar ‎AIG-8433325192594

The cheap no-name brand option I tried. Surprisingly, this was the first toaster to deliver toast in under two minutes! The results are lacking at the edges again and have a visible difference between cold and hot, but for the price this isn't the worst you could do. The mechanism felt a bit squeaky, so I wouldn't count on this toaster to last long.

  • Amazon Price: 24.99 EUR
  • Power: 900 Watt
  • Cold Time: 1:58
  • Hot Time: 1:28

Bosch TAT6A513

Bosch is a trusted brand in this household, but again the test results weren't great with basically three edges still white. What's worse, in follow up uses, the timer was completely unreliable so this might have been a faulty unit!

  • Amazon Price: 44.77 EUR
  • Power: 800 Watt
  • Cold Time: 2:16
  • Hot Time: 1:50

Russell Hobbs 24370-56 Inspire

This is in my opinion the best looking toaster so far. Results on the other hand aren't great with even the hot start time being over two minutes.

  • Amazon Price: 39.99 EUR
  • Power: 1050 Watt
  • Cold Time: 2:26
  • Hot Time: 2:02

Russell Hobbs 21680-56 Vintage

Finally a really fast toaster again! I love the time indicator at the front showing you how much longer you have to wait for your toast. The results aren't perfectly even though, especially around the edges again.

  • Amazon Price: 59.99 EUR
  • Power: 1300 Watt
  • Cold Time: 1:34
  • Hot Time: 1:10

Russell Hobbs 26552-56 Colours

This toaster looks nearly identical to my old one. It has the highest power of all and subsequently is the fastest of the bunch. Though most of that power is probably used to heat the much longer slits – they are nearly long enough to fit four German style toast slices, but just barely not. This means that some of the energy will always be wasted. Toast results aren't too bad but not perfect.

  • Amazon Price: 52.19 EUR
  • Power: 1600 Watt
  • Cold Time: 1:24
  • Hot Time: 0:56


Toast technology has not advanced in the last 8 years. I liked my old toaster and should have simply gotten it's successor.

I'm still undecided about the Russell Hobbs Vintage vs. Colours. The latter is a bit faster and easier fits Toastabags. It's probably also easier to clean because it has less fancy surfaces.OTOH it wastes some energy and I really like the timer gauge of the Vintage. Maybe I'll flip a coin…

Oh and of course I only found out that Project Farm made a toaster test video after I did all my testing myself. Though I don't think his toasters are available in Europe:

review, toast, toaster
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