The smell of a crispy toast in the morning. Is there anything better? I’m the type of person who can eat the toast by itself, and I know there are many more like me – cheers to all you guys, I know you’re out there!
Recently I wrote about 4-slice toasters, and how to pick one for your kitchen. For a family like mine, and occasions when boys have friends sleeping over, a 4-slice toaster really makes the difference.
But, the chances are that you’re more likely to have a regular, 2-slice toaster in your home, or you’re considering getting one.
My first neighbor and a good friend Jessica know that I’m a kitchen geek, so she asked me to help her to make a decision which toaster to get since their old has hit the bin.
Her kitchen doesn’t have space for the 4-slice toaster, so we’re browsing through the latest 2-slice models on the market.
I’m going to share my experience and my selection process with you today, followed by reviews of the five popular 2-slice toasters we picked together.
In the end, you’ll see which 2-slice toaster Jessica bought, and you can implement the same process without the hustle!
Things to Look For in a 2-Slice Toaster
Luckily I’ve had my hands on over thirty toasters over the time, so I know there are things to look for in a toaster:
1. Toasting Functions
You probably want your toaster to have multiple functions.
You might think – the more the better.
My experience has taught me that it’s not the right way of approaching this subject. In general, it is like that – it is better to have more functions, but toasters with a lot of functions are usually more expensive.
And, more importantly, why would you buy a toaster with 20 options if you would only use 3? That’s a waste of money.
The most common functions are:
- Bagel – upper half toasting only
- Defrosting – It defrosts and then toast the toasts
- Reheating – I find this feature very useful, I often don’t eat right away and my toasts often get cold but I don’t want to burn them, so I just reheat them, it is like toasting but it doesn’t burn your toast. If you are like me this is a great feature.
Size matters, especially if you have a small kitchen. Personally I don’t like a toaster that takes up too much space, but usually, the more functions toaster has, the bigger it is.
So if you want more functions, you will probably have to make more room for a toaster. You should consider the internal and the external size. Internal size is often overlooked. You should compare the internal size with your cooking needs and see if the toaster is a fit for you.
Related: Most Recommended Long Slot Toasters
You want your controls to be visible, easy to read and use. If you don’t understand the controls how can you use the toaster’s functions?
Toasters are usually made of plastic, aluminum, and steel. There are combined models as well, which is often a case when you look ”under the hood.” For me, the stainless steel is the best build combination.
Why? It is stainless (which is always a good thing), and, I don’t know, there is something about steel that makes an appliance look better.
The only downside is that it is heavier than the plastic ones, but you won’t have to lift a toaster too much, so I don’t think that this is a big disadvantage. Another factor is heating; steel toasters tend to heat more than aluminum ones.
The toaster is going to be visible and it will affect the look of your whole kitchen, so the appearance is something you have to consider. Good color and shape choices can make a big difference, especially if you’re a perfectionist like me.
Price is always a thing you have to consider especially if you’re on a budget. Even if you don’t have limited sources why would you waste your money on a toaster that is too expensive but doesn’t do more than a cheaper one?
Maybe you don’t think the brand is an important thing when you are buying a product, but I think you should definitely consider it. If you are conflicted between two toasters, the brand name can be a detrimental factor in the decision.
You should pay attention to the reputation of the brand. If they have a good reputation they are more likely to have good products which last. Check out do they have many complaints on Amazon.com, and inspect the reviews online.
The same goes for the price; some brands offer more for the money paid, and you should consider that.
How to choose a good 2-slice toaster?
First, you need to define what exactly do you want.
After that compare your needs with the features that the toaster offers. If it is a match, great, we proceed. You have to place the features you want in a toaster by importance.
Hint: Make a list of features by their order (like I listed them above) and use that list to compare the models you’re interested in.
Let’s say that the size is really important to you, and the appearance is secondary.
You wouldn’t pay attention to the toaster’s appearance, but measure the exact dimensions and compare them with your countertop area designed for the new toaster.
If the toaster matches the prerequisite size, then you check out how it looks and imagine it on your countertop.
When it comes down to two toaster models, I like to make a list of advantages and disadvantages and compare them, having your kitchen and personal needs in mind.
Should you pay more for a 2-slice toaster?
With more money, you don’t get many more features, but you will get a toaster that is better looking and brings a better quality of a toast.
Burned, uncooked or half-cooked toast can be a pain. If you make toasts regularly (like I do) and want to maximize your experience than the answer is yes. You should definitely pay more for a toaster but that is only if it isn’t a drastic difference, giving 500$ for a toaster is not necessary in my opinion.
In the picture, we see the range of quality of the toasts that depends on the price too.
Additional Useful features to look for
- Digital countdown
- Removable crumb tray
- Low power usage
Related: Best Bread Knives
Most Recommended 2-Slice Toasters: Detailed Reviews 2020
When Jessica asked me to help her, we had one interesting afternoon, reviewing and comparing toasters that are currently very popular on the market.
Here’s how they compare to my toaster standards:
Hint: We made a table for you to use for comparison so you can know and utilize it when you choose from several models of toasters.
|Features||1.Black Decker TR1278B 2-Slice Toaster||2.Hamilton Beach 2 Slice Cool Touch Toaster||3.Cuisinart Toaster 2 Slice Brushed Stainless Steel||4.Cuisinart CPT-122 2-Slice Compact Plastic Toaster||5.Hamilton Beach 22810 Warm Mode 2- Slice Toaster|
|Material||Combined plastic & Stainless Steel||Metal & Plastic||Stainless Steel||Plastic||Stainless Steel|
|Removable Crumb tray||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Extra Wide Slots||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Dimensions||9.09 x 8.58 x 12.32 in||13 x 9.5 x 8 in||8.5 x 11.4 x 8.3 in||11 x 6.5 x 7 in||7.48 x 11.6 x 7.48 in|
|Cool Touch Exterior||No||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Color||Black and Red||Black||Red and Silver||White||Black|
TR1278B from Black+Decker is a lightweight 2-slice toaster, weighing only 2.5 pounds. Both I & Jessica expected a heavier appliance from its dimensions. The black plastic combines nicely with the stainless steel in this build (Update: there is a red one, and it’s even cheaper).
Compared to the other four toasters we picked to review, its size is somewhere in the middle; neither too big or small, so it can fit in the narrow countertops and is big enough at the same time. The cord is 3 feet long, and can be wrapped under the toaster if you don’t need it.
It has three functions:
The heat setting ranges from 1 to 7. It has a drop-down crumb tray underneath. It has an extra lift and extra wide (but not that lengthy) slots for bread. It might happen that your bread slice might be too lengthy, and you’ll have to rotate it 90 degrees to fit the trays, which will leave the top of the slice out of the toaster. With the standard-sized bread, you’ll be fine.
It toasts evenly, and depending on how you like your toast, you’ll have to adjust the length of toasting. The recommended setting by manufacturer is 4, but you can use the 7 freely if you need it faster but prepare to hold the finger on the ”cancel” button.
Important:The toaster gets really hot while working, so don’t touch it with bare hands, especially on the top side. The same goes for the crumb tray. Leave the toaster to cool off before trying to clean it.
Bagel-wise, this toaster is amazing. Especially when you use those fresh (wider) bagels. The wide trays really do a terrific job here. Frozen-wise, nothing happens. Tried to inspect it, and researched a bit, it turns out this function is just the cosmetics.
Overall, both me and Jessica were quite satisfied with this toaster – it does what is supposed to, and it’s a fair bang for the buck. If it could be cool to the touch, it would be great, but that’s not the case.
Things I liked
- Design & Color options
- Super-wide slots
- Decent power
- Even toasting
- Great for bagels
Things I didn’t like
- The slots could have been a bit lengthier, that would make it perfect
- The crumb tray tends to drop some crumbs out
- The frozen function doesn’t work
The CPT-160 is a toaster from Cuisinart’s successful line of metallic kitchen gadgets, with black accents. This chrome-like bad boy comes in 2-slice and 4-slice variations. Since the latter is too big, let’s concentrate on the former.
Both retro and modern at the same time, CPT-160 is a stunner. There’s no person on earth who wouldn’t notice it in the kitchen. Both Jessica and I fell in love at first sight. Speaking of its build materials, the brushed stainless steel that resembles chrome dominates the build, and it’s paired with dense high-quality black plastics.
The dimensions are 11.4 x 8.1 x 8.1 inches, and CPT-160 weighs 4.2 pounds, meaning – when you set it up, this one isn’t going nowhere. The buttons and darkness adjuster gives a sensation of solid build. The same goes for the removable crumb tray.
Speaking of functionality, you have three modes and a 1,5″ wide slots to work with. The lift lever is going smooth and is capable of raising your finished toast really high to prevent burns on your fingers. A very nice touch.
The first option is bagel, which is nothing than just mild toasting for a long time, not single-side toasting of the bagel halves like it should have been. A bogus function, which doesn’t leave a good impression. The slots are big enough to accommodate even the biggest bagels.
The second one is defrost, and it continues the same pattern of behavior of the first function. So, it just mildly toasts for a longer time, but that’s at least good when you want to defrost something.
The reheat option, on the other hand, is something really useful, especially when you forget about your toast, or have some leftovers. It will bring the slices to edible temperature without burning them, and can keep them in this state for several more minutes. Splendid.
The toasting was a decent experience, and I must say I’m not disappointed. You won’t end with burned slices or have to re-toast them.
Overall, if you’re looking for a fancy looking toaster, this one can be your perfect purchase. Don’t expect some stellar performance out of it, and you’ll be satisfied.
Things I liked
- Great metallic design and look
- Very solid, quality build
- Big and wide slots
- Good crumb tray
Things I didn’t like
- Bagel function is bogus
- Expected more value for the money
With CPT-122 we have a cheap option for people looking for a toaster that is reliable and efficient. I’m looking at this one as a CPT-160’s younger, uglier brother. It’s made of plastics with metal interior, and its classic design is something that can leave you aloof. Maybe it was our experience with CPT-160 that got us looking at this one as an ugly duck.
The toaster is 6.5 wide, 11 inches long, and 7 inches tall, and it weighs 2.6 pounds. It’s definitely very maneuverable, and it will fit many kitchens with ease, thanks to its pure white color. Jessica found it pretty outdated though, while I think that it would be useful from manufacturers to offer more color options.
The crumb tray is removable and functions as a drawer from behind. It’s easy to get it out and clean it. The bad side of the toaster is the hot upper side, which might get you in danger while getting the toast slices out.
Speaking of functions, it comes with standard bagel, defrost, and reheat functions. The slots are 1,5-inch wide, enabling all standard-sized slices of bread and bagels to enter. The bagel function is bogus unfortunately. Noticing a small trend here? Yeah, we too. The bagel function just warms both sides of the pastry, instead of just one, inner side. Well, can’t expect much better from a toaster at this price range.
Defrosting is useful, but it takes time – you can’t expect quick defrosting without the danger of burning. Reheat works as good as all the others. Seen that, done that. Its primary function is decent, and the toast came out evenly.
For this price, Cuisinart offers a three-year warranty, which is a good thing. Overall, this is a classic, decent toaster that will surely provide enough bang for the buck. The decision-making feature is the design. If you like it, you’ll buy it.
Things I liked
- Even toasting, decent toasting power
Things I didn’t like
- Bagel function is bogus
- The design is questionable – some will like it, some won’t
Jessica picked this one since it is very popular currently on the market. It is quite small and light (11.6 x 7.5 x 7.5 inches, 2.5 pounds), making it suitable for many places and different types of kitchens. Its power cord is near two feet, and it goes beneath the toaster, but comes out in the front, which was definitely a strange designer solution.
I’ve noticed people having trouble online with storing the cord or shortening it when it’s not needed. The simple solution – just put it under the toaster, there is the place for it to make it go around the base.
The build material is alloy metal and thick black plastic – a perfect combination if you ask me. The darkness indicator goes from 1 to 7, and we used it up to the highest setting. Build quality is up to the standards, both in buttons, the interior of the 1.5” wide slots, and exterior surfaces. It is finger-friendly, so you won’t have to worry about getting burned fingers after your toast is done.Which brings us to the interesting part – this toaster beeps when your toast is done. It is the only toaster from our picked models to do that! It will gently remind you when your toast s ready, but it will beep when you start as well. Strange.
On the other hand, if you’re not ready to eat it right away (because your eggs on the cooker aren’t done, for example), the keep warm function will remind you about your toast every minute. It can get on your nerves sometimes, but on the other hand, it is useful. It depends on how you look at this function.
Standard functions include bagel and defrost, and both are actually working fine. (Finally a toaster with a regular bagel function, yay!)
The toast came out even, but both Jessica & I confirmed that you should be careful when using it – it can burn your bread quickly.
Overall, this toaster is a good deal. Some won’t like the beeps, some will like them, it all depends on the person. The functions, the build quality – more than enough for the buck.
Things I liked
- Decent build quality
- Bagel function actually does its job
- Removable tray
Things I didn’t like
- Strange cord placement
- The beeps are useful but annoying
The well-trusted brand from California offers us a toaster with four functions: Frozen Toast, Frozen Bagel, Bagel, and Cancel. Aside of these, a big toast lever/handle that will launch your toast slices up when they’re done is something you surely can’t miss.
The darkness adjuster goes from 1-5 and goes counter-clockwise. It won’t light up the toaster’s ”interface” like other functions, so you can rest assured it works even though there are no lights or signals. Below is a crumb tray, designed as a drawer for easy usage.
The toaster has that modern look, it reminds me of an oven of some sort. The black fits nicely in almost any kitchen, and the build material is metal, combined with some plastic sections. The most importantly, it is cool to the touch while working. Voila!
The cord that comes with the toaster is two feet long, and goes from underneath the toaster, a standard feature nowadays. You can wrap it around the base to adjust it so it doesn’t get in the way.
The slots are 5,5 inches long and 1,5 inches wide, enough for all standard-sized toast breads and bagels. The bagel function works great, heating the one side super-hot, and the other one mild. Jessica was really thrilled with it. The toast slices came out pretty evenly toasted. The heating power could have been a bit stronger though, since it took slightly more time to finish, compared to other models from our list.
When your toast is done, you won’t hear any sound; this toaster will just pop the slices out. The toast can be prepared in two different ways at the same time, which is a great feature.
This toaster is great for bagels, and even English muffins came decent out of it, but it was a tough time getting them out. With a smaller toast slices, you could have problems getting them out – they tend to stuck.
Overall, it’s a decent toaster, considering its price. It will make you some good toast for sure, but don’t expect it will last forever.
Things I liked
- Cool to the touch
- Big slots, ideal for bagels and muffins
- Nice looks
- Defrost functions ok
Things I didn’t like
- It’s slow
Here’s our personal favorite
Cuisinart Toaster 2 Slice Brushed Stainless Steel– Both Jessica & Barbara approved!
This 2-slice toaster is our definite (and expected) winner. The design is modern and great-looking, a design that should be used in an appliance for future.
For the money paid, it brings great visual characteristics, practicality, decent functions, and most of all – even toasted, delicious bread.
Cuisinart is a leading brand in kitchen appliances, and this segment of the market is under their dominance, and this toaster proves it.
Buying it will definitely bring the best to your kitchen. 🙂
Last update on 2020-07-03 at 23:54 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API