CHOICE membership

Toasters review

Very interesting article.

There is a Japanese bakery in Cairns but I have not sampled their wares to date.

Hopefully more than just a bakery, more a bread cafe, it you are curious to try some of the more unusual rolls and buns. :wink:

Seems ‘we’ have become precious in what we need and sometimes buy. Went to the reviews and yes, there are numerous motorised toasters; the review comments were generally complimentary as if motors are ‘all good’. I can understand someone with a wrist, arm, or hand impairment seeking them out, but they do not seem to add anything to the toasting function, they add complexity and more bits to break as well as probably higher profit margin.

Is it me, or is Choice inadvertently supporting taking some products a step ‘too far’ by not calling out design excesses?

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I see the same. It does not seem a hard question to always ask. Does a product feature offer a tangible improvement for the consumer?

Visiting family the kitchen had an Aldi sourced pop up toaster. Designed for the sub-standard sized slice of Aldi bread. How to do the cafe style sliced fruit loaf. There are toasters that are all things. We just used the sandwich press, with the control knob set to “toast”.

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I can never leave the straight line :wink:

Are Aldi slices sub-standard size, or from Aldi’s view are all the others a conspiracy to force larger toasters, shock-horror cutting slices in half to fit, or using grills, presses, or toaster ovens? Or only buying Aldi bread until the toaster fails because their bread uniquely fits in their toaster, a ‘feature’ perhaps only discovered after buying a bakery loaf.

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Not to mention the motorised models had the four highest prices, all over $200. Isn’t this a bit crazy when you can get one that is up with them for function at $29. And that is not counting the complexity factor that you raise which is likely to shorten the life of the machine or lead to horrid repair costs - if in fact they can be repaired.

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Not tested but maybe a deal at only $109.99 (Costco) :rofl:

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This is about the Breville Lift & Look Pro BTA730

In the CHOICE review it is stated in the Cons:

“Many members have commented about this toasters long-term reliability, so we have withdrawn our recommendation.”

Isn’t this because CHOICE originally made a recommendation which catapulted sales of the product.

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I am unsure how whether Choice recommended the product or not has any reflection on its long term reliability, but as more members buy products there is reasonably a larger number of reviews. When consumers are unhappy they are also more inclined to review negatively than when they are happy with their products.

As is mentioned from time to time in numerous topics, Choice does performance testing within its resources, sometimes in its own labs and sometimes with partner organisations. Long term reliability testing sometimes comes up as a ‘sore spot’ because some products work a treat but only for a short time, but that cannot be tested in the labs, although some partner organisations expressly test reliability (eg solar batteries and some others).

A good analogy was the classic Jaguar that was often likened to a thoroughbred race horse that broke its leg every time out unless the owner adhered to an expensive maintenance program, and sometimes even then. One does not discover that in performance testing, but gets the message from consumer/owner feedback. It is commendable Choice takes such feedback seriously, and I am aware staff understand it is a problem in recommendations, but without identifying a workable solution beyond ‘after the fact’ statements as faults or reliability concerns are revealed/discovered.

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No such thing, in toasters. I’ve had cheap, I’ve had expensive, and without exception they all fail to toast both sides equally after some time (usually not that long).

I have accepted the fact that toasters are generally inefficient and I wish someone would start producing the fully manual drop-side toaster again. You can get them on ebay at a ridiculous premium. The designs of some left a lot to be desired and were quite dangerous, but the one we had when I was a kid was excellent. Wider at the base than the top, so it did not fall over when a side was dropped. It really is no great effort to stand by and turn the toast over when it has reached the desired amount of toasted. We (as a society) have become bone lazy.

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Are you saying your toaster is not motorised down and up? :rofl:

I miss them also. Not only would they toast properly, they would keep a few slices warm.

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We’ve updated our toaster review for 2020 (member content).

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Or there is also the universal toast any size or thickness toaster. Most of us have at least one. Ours is a gas powered under bench grill. I think they function pretty well. Not so sure about the electric versions that come with ovens, or cooktops.

I posted a link previously to an example of a Japanese toaster oven that fits well on any bench top and with some style. Not available retail in Oz AFAIK?

It had a built in timer, and although a little under powered (slower) it was very versatile. First hand experience.

I’m not sure we are all bone lazy? Time poor and impatient might be an alternate explanation. Other’s may simply not appreciate the art of toasting bread sufficiently to value the outcome.

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Mine lasted about 15 years…loved it, but from the more recent reviews I’ve read, I don’t think they are made the same anymore!

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Here are some cheaper toasters that performed just as well as far more expensive models in our tests:

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Ok bad dad joke coming:

You could get really browned off by some of those prices.

But honestly over $200 dollars to brown the bread a little or a lot? Wow just Wow!!! Even on the cheaper comparisons the price difference was staggering. Thankfully CHOICE picked the choisest fruit from the bunch to help us get value for money.

Oh for an olden day Sunbeam Flip door toaster…rock solid performance. Comparisons with modern day devices in longevity, build quality, and as long as you watched it the perfect amount of colour achieved to one’s desire show to me a trend to entice more spending for less outcome.

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The correlation between the Choice score and price is 0.33, that is about one third of the price variation is explained by the quality, ie there is not much relationship between the two at all. I did the same test on electric kettles and the correlation was 0.11 - negligible correlation (none would be zero).

These results are not perfect. For example most buyers would be concerned about durability but Choice has not included that in the score. It may be that some of those pricey toasters last much longer than the cheap ones - or not. Lacking any solid data we have no idea.

It must be something about small appliances that looks, bells and whistles and fanciful pricing dominate. Given that some of these items only last a few years this is all the more reason to read Choice rather than go to the retailer and pick one at random or the one the salesperson pushes.

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