We Tried Amazon’s Bestselling Toaster — Here’s What We Thought of It

updated May 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Amazon)

The AmazonBasics 2-Slice Toaster is a best seller and it’s really cheap. But does it make good toast? I relied on years of experience testing toasters to see how this model compares to the best and the worst of the pop-up toasters.

Here’s what I thought.

The Good News

There’s a lot of it.

  • It makes good toast! Whether you like your toast dry but pale, golden brown, or almost but not quite incinerated, this toaster pops up two slices that are evenly colored on both sides. Unlike many it doesn’t leave stripes, and even when you use the darkest settings the sides stay cool enough to touch.
  • It’s consistent. When we toasted five batches of Wonderbread, one right after another, every slice came out looking exactly the same. How great for those days when you have a full house for breakfast!
  • It has roomy slots. Have you ever tried to stuff a bagel half into a toaster? It never turns out well. But these slots are big enough for half of a really fat bagel — or a long slice of country bread — to fit comfortably.
  • It’s easy to use. The buttons for cancel, frozen, and bagel settings are really big and glow red so they’re easy to see and press. Plus, the manual is exceptionally thorough and even shows you how your toast is supposed to look at each of the settings.
  • It’s not bad-looking! No, it’s not going to win any design awards and no one’s going to come into your kitchen and drool over it, but with its rounded matte-black finish (which won’t show fingerprints) and brushed stainless on the control side, the AmazonBasics looks like it costs more than it does.

The Bad News

Honestly, we struggled to come up with negatives.

  • The frozen setting doesn’t add value. Honestly, we found frozen waffles came out faster and better on the regular toast setting.
  • You need to use the lever for small items. When you toast something small in diameter, like an English muffin or a bagel, you need to use the lever if you want to grab them without risking singed fingertips.
  • The dial isn’t exact. You pick a setting by turning a dial and, as you turn it, the settings don’t lock into place so you’re kind of approximating.

The Bottom Line

The AmazonBasics 2-Slice Toaster is a really great toaster and a total steal at $20.