For a quick crisp toast, nothing beats the humble bread toaster. Lim Tsiao Hui tried five.
EDITOR'S RAVE: BOSCH TAT861
$169, from Robinsons Centrepoint, Tangs Orchard and major electrical stores
- The ergonomic design controls on the top (instead of by the side), buttons (instead of a knob), and a big easy-to-press lever.
- It had an in-built warmer – a metal stand that popped up when I pushed down a lever.
- Bread was evenly toasted on both sides, in both slots. At Level 1, the bread was lightly toasted; at Level 2.5, it was crisp.
- It had the largest slots to fit bigger slices easily, and a 95cm-long cord.
WHAT’S NOT I had no grouses with this toaster.
VERDICT Well-designed with space for larger slices.
KENWOOD KMIX BOUTIQUE TOASTER
$129, from major electrical and department stores in Singapore
- It came in a range of funky colours – magenta, yellow and orange.
- There was no risk of burning your bread – at Level 1, the slices were pale and warm, and at Level 2, they were evenly toasted and nicely crisp.
- With the controls and crumb tray on one side of the toaster, I could place the toaster perpendicular to the wall to save space.
- I had to squint to see the small numbers around the browning knob, printed on the reflective metal surface.
- The 56cm-long cord was too short.
- The bun warmer – rectangular metal basket – was less convenient than the built-in racks of the other toasters.
VERDICT An effective and space-saving toaster in cheery colours.
BEST VALUE: ELECTROLUX ETS 3130
$49, from Electrolux Concept Store
- Bread was evenly toasted but slightly more browned on one side.
- The country bread was light and fluffy with well-crisped sides.
- The sliding switch – for adjusting the browning – was easier to use than a knob.
- The toaster came with a detachable lid so I could cover it when not in use. With a turn of a knob, a bun rack popped up over the bread slots.
- The 95cm-long cord was one of two the longest ones.
WHAT’S NOT There was nothing to dislike about this toaster.
VERDICT An excellent toaster with useful features and a pocket-friendly price tag.
PHILIPS DAILY COLLECTION HD2586
$49, from major electrical stores in Singapore
- It was one of the two toasters with a detachable lid for the bread slots.
- It came with a sufficiently long 82-cm cord.
- All the bread turned out well-crisped but slightly harder than the ones toasted in the other models.
- They were also the least evenly toasted – one side of the bread, as well as bread in one of the slots, was more browned than the other.
- The heat was intense – even at Level 1, white bread slices were well-browned while the thin edges of the country bread were charred.
VERDICT Hot and intense – good for those who like their bread very well-toasted quickly.
GREAT FIND: DE’LONGHI ICONA
$149, from major electrical and department stores in Singapore
- This oversized four-slot toaster with retro good looks had two sets of controls (all conveniently placed at the front) so I could toast bread to different browness at the same time.
- The toaster comes in red, blue and black, and has an 80cm-long cord.
- The bread was warm and soft at Level 1 and golden at Level 2.
- Country bread came out wonderfully crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.
- Thicker slices fitted well into the slots and there was also a button for toasting bagels.
- The two crumb trays at the back of the toaster were a hassle to empty.
- I had to pull out the heavy toaster away from the wall to reach them.
VERDICT A striking machine that can toast up a feast for big families and parties.
All shops are in Singapore. This article was originally published in Simply Her Mar 2012.
All product and pricing information was correct at the time of the magazine’s publication. We advise readers to check with the store for the latest availability and pricing information.