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The AmazonBasics KT has a slightly hard to access crumb tray, and the buttons feel a bit flimsy. Accordingly, we felt all of these models provided a typical user experience. We tested user friendliness by having multiple testers complete different tasks using each toaster and then grading how intuitive each was all before they had their morning coffee, to make things more realistic.

This isn't too big of a deal unless you have kids, in which case you'll want to make sure the toaster is well out of their reach both during and after use. A setting that produced a perfect medium brown one day might make something black and overdone the next.

The industrial brushed steel design seems to be generally-appreciated by the crowd, as well as the LED lights that indicate the toasting time. Conclusion Choosing a toaster can often feel like an afterthought when outfitting your kitchen, but putting a little care into your decision can lead to years of much happier breakfasts. The Breville made decent toast from frozen bread but again tended to burn the edges.

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An ideal piece of toast has an even color and crispiness across the entire slice. Darth Vader received a 1 on our bagels toasting test. The Hamilton Beach Keep Warm tended to burn the top of the bread a bit, which wasn't a huge issue but certainly isn't ideal.

If you're picky about your waffle,s this probably isn't the best choice.

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Another concern that has been brought up several times in this model's reviews is that its body gets hot during operation, which makes it impossible to touch or move around while it's being used. The Darth Vader model sacrificed a good bit of consistency to burn the Star Wars logo into the toast, a worthy goal but one that left some bites being much crunchier than others.

The Heller single slot toaster maintained gooey backsides, but the cut sides were quite charred on the bottom and somewhat underdone at the top. If you're still not sure check out our buying advice article.

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From left to right: This means every bite is right at your preferred level of toastiness. Most of the models we tested scored in the average 6 to 7 out of 10 range in our bagel toasting test. So while there were some models that clearly toasted bread better than others, all were able to produce decent, edible slices. It also leverages its leverless technology to offer the functionality of taking a peek at your toast without canceling the cycle.

Those that place a high premium on toast quality should consider one of our top scorers. The Jelly Bean toasted somewhat evenly, but even its bagel mode left the backside of the bagel quite crunchy instead of the gooey goodness we were striving for.

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From the name itself, the A Bit More feature, which allows the user to add more time if the desired toasting level hasn't been reached after a cycle, is also a commonly-mentioned plus point in reviews. If you're interested in one of the models that scored a 5 in our ease of use testing, we recommend you check out its individual review to get a more detailed discussion of its ease of use attributes.

All toasted one-half of the bagel face a bit more than the other.

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The Darth Vader model, which scored a 4, has its controls on the backside of the unit, meaning you have to poke your head around to see what shade setting you're in. To simplify the process we gave each model we tested an overall score.

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Heller single slot toaster this machine makes it incredibly easy to select settings, monitor the process, and come out the other end with your preferred level of toastiness. This necessitates moving the entire toaster when you want to empty out the crumbs, which can be quite a pain.

Two models scored a 6 in this test: The CPT often burned one vertical crust and had trouble properly toasting the difficult area adjacent to the crust. This makes choosing a toaster more complicated than ever before.

Test Results and Ratings

When this isn't the case, such as in the heller single slot toaster above, getting your preferred slice in the morning can become a debacle. It also left some tolerable but noticeable scorch marks on frozen waffles. The Smeg 2-Slice made some fantastic bagels in our testing. Its lack of a defrost or frozen setting left it struggling to thaw frozen items.

The Cuisinart has mode buttons that light up, clearly indicating that reheat mode is engaged. Surprisingly one of the most inexpensive models we tested, the Best Buy Award winning Oster Jelly Bean made some of the best toast in our testscoring 9 out of 10 in this metric. It is essentially just a chunk of metal or plastic with some basic electric heating elements inside. In our grading scheme, a score of 5 denotes average.

That isn't to say that this simplicity has shielded them from technological innovation. Some models tend to burn edges, leave conspicuous white spots near the crust, or toast the bottom of the slice more than the top. Many people also seem to enjoy the convenience brought by the plug's finger hole detail. Take a look at our buying advice article for more info.

It also made toast that was almost perfectly even and delectably crunchy. The AmazonBasics makes a great bagel at an affordable price.

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Some models tend to toast more on the inward side than the outward side, producing toast with a light side and a dark side hitherto referred to as Star Wars toast. It has a nice interface with backlit buttons, but it uses a trapdoor crumb tray instead of the slide out style. In an age when it feels like every new product on the market is trying to be a do-it-all swiss army knife, toasters have remained refreshingly simple, specialized, masters of a single task.

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These models utilize variable defrost cycles that slowly thaw and then toast, producing golden waffles with minimal scorching and handling frozen bread with ease. Similarly, a perfect slice will also have evenly toasted sides.

This user friendly model features a sturdy, easy to remove crumb tray, a well utilized leverless design, a countdown that indicate the time remaining in the cycle, and intuitive controls that provide clear feedback. Honestly, until the Smeg came onto the scene, we thought that slot toasters were incapable of making a truly great bagel.

Moreover, this long-slot toaster's body is also reportedly very easy to clean.