Choosing A New Toaster – Need Help!
“Beloved.” Not an adjective I’d have used until about a week ago, when I started trying to find another one like it.
As even the blurry photo shows, age has cracked the top and dulled the plastic, so although it’s still fully functional it isn’t exactly a thing of beauty. Never was. But it’s not exactly ugly, either. And more to the point, it’s very well designed.
The case is only 4” wide, 6.5 ” tall and 13.5 ” long. The slot has plenty of room for two large pieces of toast. There’s a lever to lower and raise the bread and an accurate dial for doneness control. A good sized door on the bottom makes it easy to remove not only crumbs but also larger items like errant raisins and broken-off pieces of pound cake.
In other words: it doesn’t eat the counter; it’s not warted with dirt catching extra protuberances; it doesn’t have a sliding cleanout drawer that will stall if confronted with lumps, and being neither black nor stainless, it doesn’t show fingerprints.
We bought it about a decade ago for 20 or maybe 30 dollars, at Kmart or Sears or some similarly not-fancy place. It was not then nor is it now a fancy toaster.
What is does appear to be is irreplaceable.
I have been looking – in person at Best Buy, Target and Sears, online everywhere I could think of including but far from limited to: Amazon, Ebay, Bed,Bath and Beyond, Hammacher-Schlemmer and The Museum of Modern Art – utterly without success unless you count the $214.00 Alessi , which on top of the expense and the pretentiousness gets mediocre reviews for actual toasting ability.
It’s clear at this point that space saving horizontal designs are not popular with mainstream toaster makers. The salesman at Sears had no idea that such a thing even existed. While there are several “long slot” options, there aren’t many compared with box models, and although they’re horizontal they’re not notably space saving; all of them are big and clunky compared to the incumbent Maxim Microchip.
I looked for that, too, needless to say. Possibly still available in Australia. I confess I didn’t follow the links.
This is obviously a rant, but it really is also a call for help. Any and all leads most welcome. Just so you know before you write, I’m already far too familiar with Cuisinart, Breville, Hamilton Beach, DeLonghi, West Bend, Waring, and Frigidaire.
There’s one from a company called Cloer that’s reasonable in the size department, but the few detailed reviews were so scathing – and the brand so rare – it seemed unwise to gamble.
Desperation has led me to ignore decidedly mixed reviews and order the 4-slice Tfal. It’s the closest in size to the Maxim and reasonably inexpensive, so I won’t be heartbroken if the negative reviewers had it right or if – far better!!! – one of you helpful readers please oh please comes up with something nifty that I’ve overlooked.