Hamilton Beach Classic Chrome 2-Slice Toaster review: Yep, it’s a toaster
I got the below response when I polled my colleagues to ask how I should go about putting a $30 toaster into context. The man makes a good point. Breakfast foods don’t get much more ubiquitous than toast — and that makes toasters relevant to just about all of us. And yet, who spends time thinking about toasters? I mean…they’re toasters. They toast.
Maybe that’s the point, though. Nobody wants to waste time thinking about toasters, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want one that works well sitting on our kitchen counter. To that end, the CNET Appliances team is here to help. We spent a good work week with these things, and we’ve got plenty of toasty insight to share, all in the name of a better balanced breakfast.
In that spirit, let me tell you that you can do a lot better than the Hamilton Beach Classic Chrome 2-Slice Toaster. At 30 bucks, and with no distinguishing features to speak of, it’s about as ho-hum as toasters come. I’d characterize the performance as “good enough,” which really just isn’t good enough given how many well-reviewed, equally inexpensive alternatives there are out there, including ones that look a lot less dated, and that put more effort into punching above their price class. Shop around — there’s better bang for your breakfast buck.
Design and features
The Hamilton Beach Classic Chrome Toaster sports a shiny, chrome-bodied build and a fair amount of classic appeal. Points for truth in advertising.
That classic appeal only gets you so far, though, and gets undercut by ugly, black plastic trim and cheap red LEDs. It isn’t “classic” in the 1950s sense, as some might hope (KitchenAid does a much better job of capturing that period’s design aesthetic). Instead, it looks like a cheap countertop appliance from the 1980s, the kind of toaster Marty McFly might have used to make a quick breakfast before zipping off to class on his skateboard.
View full gallery Ry Crist/CNET
Also classic: your choice of presets. You’ll get the usual suspects here, with a button for bagels, a button for frozen items, and a button for reheating things. Pressing a button before depressing the lever won’t do anything — they’ll only turn on after a toast cycle has begun. That seems a bit backwards to me.
For manual toasting, you get a smooth-turning doneness dial arbitrarily marked with nine settings. Other toasters might offer less — the $100 Cuisinart CPT-440 offers just seven, for instance. If you’re wondering if this gives Hamilton Beach an advantage, consider that nine settings doesn’t necessarily mean nine distinct, usable settings. More on that in the next section.
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That, as you might expect, is about it. No toaster is going to wow you with its features, not this $30 Hamilton Beach, nor even a $500 model like the KitchenAid Pro Line Toaster . At the end of the day, it’s just going to toast your bread, which doesn’t leave much room for a feature-rich experience.
If anything, that puts a stronger emphasis on design, and indeed, you’ll find toasters of every size, shape, and color trying their best to stand out from the crowd. A well-designed toaster should make your kitchen look a little classier, or perhaps a little cooler. Despite a slight degree of Brave Little Toaster-esque charm, I can’t say that the Classic Chrome does it for me.
View full gallery Ry Crist/CNET
Bagel, Toast and More
Product Name: Hamilton Beach 22791 Modern Chrome 2-Slice Toaster
Product Description: Hamilton Beach 2-Slice Toaster
- 8.9/10 Rating – 8.9/10
Hamilton beach has been producing kitchen appliances for more than 2 decades, and the quality is always getting better with time. Talking about performance, durability and smart appearance, this brand has never compromised, despite a reasonable price range.
The Hamilton Beach 22791 Modern Chrome 2-Slice Toaster is one of the best toasters from Hamilton Beach. It is ideal for regular home and office use, and can provide toasted bread and bagels for a perfect breakfast or snack. Specs and features are discussed below in detail.
Useful bagel setting
A bagel is best to eat when its crusty sides are well toasted, while the central part is still soft and chewy enough. This is what exactly Hamilton Beach 22791 has made a provision for. The bagel setting toasts your bagel (or bread, if you like) only on the sides, while the center is chewy.
Not only bagels, but regular bread or English muffins can also be toasted this way. These kinds of settings add variety and uniqueness to your regular breakfasts. A toast booster feature allows a little extra browning and easy toasting for smaller pieces of breads.
Easy to grip shade dial
The Hamilton Beach Modern Chrome 2-Slice Toaster Review has made a provision of an easy to grip handle which can be used for selection of the desired shade of the toast. This is useful, because some people prefer their toast only lightly brown, some like it medium, and some like it dark and crisp. The slots are wider enough to accommodate more than just regular breads; this may include frozen pancakes or toaster pastries etc.
An automatic shutoff system prevents the appliance overheating and toast burning. A crumb tray is provided which can be easily slide out and cleaned. It comes with 1 year manufacturer warranty to assure the user can avail the after sales services as well.
Specs and features
- Product Dimensions 5 x 12.2 x 8.4 inches
- Item Weight 6 pounds
- Color: Stainless Steel
- Material: Stainless steel
- Capacity: 2 slices
- Slot width: 1.5”
- Manufacturer warranty: 1 year
- Origin: China
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- Ideal for bagels
- 3 varied toasting settings
- Wider slots to accommodate thicker cuts of breads
- Crumb tray for easy cleanup
- Easy to grip shade dial
- Automatic shutoff feature to prevent overeat
- Toast boost feature for extra browning
- Perfect for home and office use
- No LED display
- Length of slots is less than that in other brands
Although LED display is an important feature, which is missing in this toaster, the compensation is made by an auto shutoff feature. With a little creativity, the bagel feature and all other ones can be used to create more varied breakfast, such as slightly browned donuts, English muffins, frozen waffles, pancakes etc.
It is a well-engineered toaster, which can deliver uniform and consistent performance with every use. It has been designed attractively, keeping in mind the size compactness, durability and reliability. Unlike many other brands, it is not hot to touch because of a cool touch exterior. It is tried by many users and they recommend it to others as well.