Toasters - Systemic Fault?

We are now using at least our fourth toaster in less than that many years. They all seem to fail at the same place. I wonder if this has happened to other people too?

The point of failure is the horizontal piece of thin folded metal that the toast rests on (between the arrows in the pic).

All the toasters I have looked at recently have identical mechanisms with the toast platform being supported only at the end where the depressor is located. The other end floats unsupported in a vertical guide slot.

What I have found is that with time under normal use the unsupported end flexes up and down relative to the supported end. This ongoing flexion causes metal fatigue which weakens the platform at the supported end. It then starts to droop at the loose end.

This can be rectified, but it happens more and more frequently. If you are lucky, the platform just sags straight down. If it flexes sideways as well, the unsupported end can come out of the guide slot. If it is out of the slot the platform cannot be fully depressed, so the toaster won’t start.

Are we just unlucky, or have other people encountered this?


Hi @meltam,

Did you want to post the make and model of the toaster in question?


We don’t experience that problem, our point of failure tends to be the element burning out in a spot thus rendering the whole element useless.


My Sunbeam Cafe series toaster appears to have a ‘connection’ on both sides of the toast platform but doesn’t, but it is pretty robust. It has been going for about 12 years, never a fault. FWIW the elements are replaceable. I checked the current advertisement and they have 5 year warranties. Not cheap but built like a tank. It is a bit slow to toast from cold, but so are commercial units.


FYI @phb : The last two or three toasters were the Russell Hobbs four slice. The reason I didn’t specify that in my post was that all the other toasters I tested appear to have identical platform mechanisms, and when I tested them they all drooped relative to the non supported end.

I think that part of the problem is that the platform is made out of thin metal stamped/folded into the desired shape. I have taken previous toasters apart to try and fix them, and found the platforms are made of quite soft and malleable metal.

It’s deceptive @PhilT. The range of brands I saw in the stores look like they are supported at both ends, but if you look closely, one end is floating inside the vertical slot.

If I remember correctly, in the old days there used to be a vertical wire running at both ends and the platform was wound around those at either end to keep it stable as it went up and down.


We’ve never experienced this failure mode over a sample of >6 toasters. We usually retire our (cheap) toasters when my partner decides they are cooking too unevenly.

Is your bread unusually heavy, thick or sticks to the sides?


Good question.

We frequently make a our own bread, and thick slice so it still fits comfortably into the toaster. Perhaps as a consequence, our slices of bread are slightly heavier than the shop bought. None-the-less, just being a bit heavier slices of bread shouldn’t break toasters.