Appliances

Product overview

Welcome to New Zealand’s trusted, independent source of practical consumer information. Join us now to access all our information and Consumer advisers when you need them.  

Toasters

14may toasters hero default

Which toaster toasts perfectly every time?

The 27 toasters we tested varied in price from budget to premium. We put them through a series of toasting tests, ease-of-use assessments and electrical safety checks.

From our test

Join us now for instant access

Join more than 100,000 members today and you'll get:

  • Independent info
  • Thousands of test results and research you can trust
  • Everything in one easy place
  • Expert support a phone call away if things go wrong


About our tests

In our latest test we also toasted Burgen bread (a multigrain bread similar to Vogels). Because of this changed test method you can’t compare the overall scores of the latest toasters we’ve tested with earlier tested models.

Which type?

There are many types and styles of toaster available. Here’s what to consider.

  • Size: If your family has a big appetite for toast and breakfast is a rush, a 4-slice toaster may be just the thing. It’s also useful when you’re loading up the toast plate for a weekend “big brekkie”.
  • Styling: Most manufacturers put a lot of effort into the appearance of their toasters. We don’t rate on styling because it’s too personal. But if you’re keen to buy a toaster you like the look of, don’t forget the features you want as well.
  • Slots: The slot width should be enough to take thick slices, crumpets, muffins and bagels. There should also be a “cage” which centres the bread within the slot, so that thin slices don’t get burnt.

4-slice toasters have 4 slots across the toaster or 2 slots along its length. The 4-slot models usually have separate levers for each “pair” of slots and some also have separate browning controls for each pair. The separate levers mean you can toast in just 1 pair of slots – and the separate browning controls let you use both pairs of slots to toast 2 different types of bread (or the same bread to 2 different levels of done-ness). The 2-slot models don’t usually have this advantage but they can toast wider slices of bread (useful if you bake or buy “artisan” loaves) and they’re less bulky.

  • Construction material: The exterior should be easy to clean and have no dirt traps. Stainless steel often requires more “elbow grease” than plastic does.
  • Wattage: You’re a lover of wholegrain toast? Go for a higher-wattage toaster – these generally do a better job on dense grainy bread.

Features to consider

Toaster features vary a great deal – and often it’s this, as well as quality of toasting, that accounts for differences in price.

  • Controls: These should be easy to read and operate. And they shouldn’t be close to the toaster’s hot areas.
  • High-lift lever: This makes it easier to remove small items or crumpets without burning your fingers.
  • Crumpet and bagel buttons: Allow you to cook 1 side more than the other.
  • Reheat button: This is convenient but not essential – you can get the same effect by popping the toast back on a very low setting.
  • Defrost or frozen button: Adds thawing time to the toasting cycle. It’s useful if you toast bread straight from the freezer.
  • Crumb removal: A removable slide-out crumb tray is easier to clean than one that’s hinged. The tray should be emptied and cleaned frequently to avoid a build-up of crumbs.

Safety

If safety is a particular issue in your situation, look for cool walls, cord storage, auto switch-off and a cancel button.

  • Cord storage: The power cord can be wound around a loop at the bottom of the toaster, to stay out of reach of children and keep the bench tidy. Some models have a handy lock to secure the stored cord.
  • Auto switch-off: If your toast gets stuck, this useful feature will switch off the elements when the time is up, even if the carriage is still down. Other toasters will turn off only when the carriage lever moves up by 1cm or so.
  • Cancel button: Handy for quick retrieval of toast that’s getting burnt.
  • Safe use: Toasters are fairly safe as long as they are treated sensibly. Don’t insert fingers or objects into one which is plugged in. Don’t operate them on wet metal surfaces, under low shelves, near curtains, or within reach of small hands. Remember not to shut them away in cupboards while still connected to a power point.

Breville awarded Top Brand

The Top Brand award recognises brands that perform consistently well across product testing, reliability and customer satisfaction.

We have awarded Breville our 2016 Top Brand award for toasters. It has very good test performance, plus good reliability and owner satisfaction.

Reliability

We received information on 3130 toasters in our 2016 appliance reliability survey.

To see which brands are trustiest, become a paying Consumer member or log in.

×