A couple of weeks ago my boyfriend and I moved into our first house together. Previous to this we have both always lived in rental accommodation and as a result we didn't have much in the way of kitchen appliances. Our priorities on moving in were a washing machine and a toaster so we headed off to the local retail park to see what Curry's, Comet and Argos could offer. We got our washing machine in Comet (but that's another review - coming soon!) but didn't think much of their toaster choices so we headed next door to Argos to flick through their colourful glossy catalogue.
I had already decided we were definitely getting a 4 slice toaster - my boyfriend wasn't so sure we needed that over a 2 slice but I used my powers of persuasion to convince him that it was a much better idea to be able to eat our breakfast at the same time. I had also decided, in my thrifty way, that we weren't going to get an £80 toaster, after all we only want it to toast bread and similar items so no need to go crazy on it. I spotted the Cookworks 4 slice toaster and after a bit more gentle persuasion this is the one we walked away with.
About the toaster
Obviously the toaster holds 4 pieces of bread (or other similar item such as crumpets) and as such has 2 levers on the front with 2 corresponding heat dials, so on those occasions when you only want 1 or 2 slices you only have to use half the machine, not heat up all the elements. On the top there are also 3 buttons for each toasting slot - cancel, reheat and defrost. It is a plain, white plastic toaster - it doesn't look flash or expensive but it doesn't look nasty and cheap either.
Using the toaster for toasting is unsurprisingly straightforward - put a slice of bread into the toasting slot, press down the control lever and the bread pops up when it is toasted and the toaster switches off. When you first buy this product you will probably need to do some experimenting with the heating dial to set it to produce the level of toastiness you prefer.
The cancel button I believe is a fairly standard button on most toasters, just press it to stop the toast toasting and make it pop up. However I am fairly bemused by the 'defrost' and 'reheat' buttons.
Personally, in the past, I have always just stuck frozen bread in the toaster, whacked the heating control up a couple of notches over what I usually have it on and voila toast! I have never experienced a 'defrost' button on a toaster before so naturally I was intrigued to try it out - again it is very straightforward, put the frozen bread in the toasting slot, press down the control lever and then press the defrost button which will make the LED button illuminate. The difference with using the defrost button over the normal function is that it defrosts the bread first and then toasts it, which extends the toasting cycle. I must say that after using this function my toast was indeed defrosted and toasted although to be honest it didn't taste any different from when I used to just stick frozen bread in on the normal cycle. As for the reheat button I must admit I have not used this and to be honest I doubt I ever will - why would anyone want to reheat toast?
Another function of this toaster which I have yet to mention is actually, in my opinion, a lot more useful than a reheat button and that is the high lift function. Basically all this means is that the lever can be pushed up a little bit which in turn pushes the toasting racks up to make it easier to remove those trickier items like crumpets without the need to stick a knife in the toaster
So far I have been very impressed with the toaster. It toasts well and evenly and doesn't take an age to get the desired results. I am unlikely to take full advantage of the defrost and reheat functions but it is reassuring to know they are available. At £16.99 I think this is a very well priced toaster and I would highly recommend it.
If, like us, you don't generally bother reading instruction manuals especially for something as obvious as a toaster then let me share with you a valuable piece of information which is in the manual - when you first use the toaster set the heating controls to 1 and push down the control levers letting the toaster operate empty - do this twice before you put any bread in or you will end up with some pretty foul melting-plastic-smelling toast like we did 
As a family we love toast and crumpets! A while ago our toaster died and so we had a good look round on the internet and decided to go with this Cookworks toaster that cost £15.99 in Argos.
The toaster came in a big flimsy box and had some plastic bags covering it, I do remember there was no polystyrene inside which I found a bit weird considering it is a bit fragile.
The toaster is made out of a white plastic, it is a 4 slice toaster only with this toaster it is like having two separate ones! Each side works independently and has got two slots for the bread, a defrost, cancel and reheat button, browning selection dial and lever.
Before we started using the toaster we followed the instructions in the manual to put the toaster on with no bread a couple of times, there was a horrible plastic smell but once we had used it a few times the smell eventually disappeared.
The browning controls go from 1 to 7, the higher the number the darker the bread will go. My husband and son tend to have theirs on 3 because the like their toast quite light whilst I like mine on 5 as it gives it a nice toasted look without it being black!
The bread gets browned really nice and evenly though it does not quite reach the edges.
One of the things I love about this toaster is the slots are quite wide and so I can easily toast thick bread or crumpets without them jamming in the toaster, but it also works very well with thin bread as the slots adjust and hold the bread in place.
We tend to freeze our bread and every other day we defrost a loaf overnight, only sometimes I forget to take the bread out of the freezer! Luckily for us the toaster has got a defrost function so all I have to do is pop the frozen bread in the toaster, press the defrost button and then it first defrosts the bread and then toasts it.
I love the reheat function as usually once I have made breakfast for my son and husband I find that my toast has gone cold, so I just put the toast back into the toaster, press the reheat button and I have lovely warm toast without the toaster going through the whole toasting process.
The toaster lever has a high lift function which is great as I can move the lever up and this raises the toast which makes getting the toast out a lot easier.
In the past with previous toasters I have had to turn the toaster upside down to get rid of the crumbs, but this toaster has got a crumb tray so I just slide out the tray and dispose of the crumbs!
We spent over £40 on our last toaster and in only lasted just over a year so with money being tight we had to opt for a cheaper toaster. We have been using this toaster for 6 months and I have to say that even though we only paid £15.99 for it this is my favourite toaster!
I love that if there is just one of us having toast we can just put one side of the toaster on which is more economical.
Considering this is quite a cheap toaster it is very sturdy and does not look as if it is going to fall apart unlike some other toasters I have seen.
There are a couple of downsides to this toaster one is the electric cord is very short, I had to move a few things around on my worktop so that my toaster would be able to reach the wall socket!
The other is there is no option for single sided toast which we had on our old toaster, luckily with the slots being so wide my husband is able to make single sided toast by putting two pieces of toast in together, not ideal but it does work.
White £15.99 - Argos
Silver £19.99 - Argos
If you want to strike a balance between affordability and performance, the Cookworks 4 Slice toaster could be the one for you.
The search for a toaster that met our requirements was a surprisingly long one. When we have toast, we like to have a couple of thick slices each, so a four slice toaster is the sensible option for us. We were very wary of buying a product that wouldn't cope with our needs as our last toaster, a hand-me-down from the mother-in-law, didn't have very wide slots.
All the toasters that seemed suitable were well out of our price range. I don't know about you, but I consider £40 to £50 a bit on the steep side to have some toast now and again. Then we spotted the Cookworks 4 Slice Toaster at £14.99 from Argos.
The reviews had suggested that it would cope with thick slices and you could see as soon as it was taken out of the box that this would be the case, the slots being very generous. Our slices are ¾ of an inch thick and it accommodated them with plenty to spare. This doesn't cause problems with toasting thinner bread either, as the slots are a variable width and adjust themselves to hold the slice in place.
Two pairs of independent slots, each with their own browning control, also enable me to have my two slices of toast darker than my wife's and toast them at the same time.
The browning controls are numbered '1' to '7', with '1' being the lightest. You may find that the control needs turning higher than you think, as I needed to use '3' for my wife's very lightly toasted bread. It's hard to imagine that anyone would consider the result of either '1' or '2' a slice of toast!
We have found that it doesn't toast the top inch or so of the bread we use. Our slices are five inches tall and will just fit in the slot on their side instead. I also wouldn't say it toasts that evenly, one side being darker than the other and deeper in the middle than the edges. This seems fairly typical of the toasters we have used in the value range though.
There are 'defrost', 'reheat' and 'cancel' function for each pair of slots and 'high lift' levers to make retrieving things such as crumpets easier and therefore safer. It also benefits from 'cool walls', so there is no need to worry when the kids are around.
Cleaning the toaster couldn't be easier. It has a pair of retractable crumb trays that pull out easily, so there is no need to tip the toaster upside down and shake it like maracas to clean it. The cord is a little annoying, as it is only 30 inches long and comes out underneath near the front right hand corner, so it may be a challenge to position the toaster where you want in relation to the nearest socket.
The toaster only comes in white, so bear this in mind if you're trying to keep to a colour scheme with all your kitchen appliances.
Overall, I am happy with this toaster. With some trial and error, it produces toast of a reasonable quality, caters for all tastes at one visit and gives me the peace of mind and wallet that I have acquired a bargain. Everyone's a winner!
* I have also written this review on Ciao
I purchased this toaster after my partner dropped the plug of our toaster in a bowl of water! It was from Argos and a great bargain at under £15 for a four slice toaster, much cheaper than other retailers for a similar design.
The toaster has been fantastic over the 6 months we have now owned it. It is easy to use and clean and very reliable. The two seperate sections allow you to either cook just two slices of bread or four at a time, this saves using any excessive energy useage as if cooking just two slices only one side of the toaster becomes hot. The functions are very easy to use and it has the added facility of defrost and reheat.
The very wide slots also make it easy to toast items such as teacakes, crumpets and thicker slices of bread, this was always a struggle with my old toaster with its narrow slots. The items are always cooked very evenly and crispy. This is a fantastic, great value product which I would recommend for any kitchen and sized family as it is very easy to use and flexible.
We have this toaster in our canteen at work and there would normally be about 20 of us who use it. It was chosen because it was one of the cheapest in Argos but it has turned out reasonably well.
I would recommend this because it was cheap and easily used by everyone. I would consider it good value for money.
It holds four slices of bread, two in each slot. What I think is great for a work situation is that each side can be adjusted depending on how you like your toast. I like mine barely crisp but others at work like their toast like ash! I love this because it is also much faster because you don't have to wait for someone else to finish to make your perfect slice. There are buttons which allow you to cancel and reheat the toast but I never use these.
We would have a large enough kitchen so don't take notice of the size but I don't think it would be too bulky for a family kitchen.
In a work kitchen many people don't clean up after themselves so it is an added bonus that this kettle is White in colour and doesn't show the amount of dirt a silver toaster would.
Toasters don't just make toast these days you know, and when you consider how much work surface they use up in your kitchen, that's not a bad thing. This little marvel here (well, actually it's quite big and that's one of the problems with a four slice toaster, but I digress) will not only toast your bread, but it also:
1) Toasts just about anything else like crumpets, muffins, waffles etc., without you having to scrape remnants off the inner sides, because it has extra-wide slots and spring loaded sides which adapt to fit whatever you put in;
2) Reheats toast and the above, by pressing a little button. This greatly reduces the heating intensity which would otherwise burn the items.
3) Defrosts frozen bread, again by pressing a little button. This feature is, I suspect, more of a marketing gimmick than anything else, because I don't know about you but whenever I've toasted frozen bread it's always toasted just fine. Perhaps it might be useful for thicker slices or crumpets.
4) Varies the toasting time by use of the round knobs below the plungers. Extra clever is that each pair of slots has its own level adjuster - this is a great way of solving the arguments about how brown different people want their toast. And they do work quite well.
5) Gives you extra room above where the plunger comes to rest when toast pops up, which means you can force the toast even further up to allow easy removal without burning fingers.
6) Prevents adjacent objects (often the margarine dish) becoming hot due to the coolwall insulation. That's also good news for the electrical wire.
My model came from Argos on one of their sales, and I seem to recall it cost under £30. Bargain. Build quality is average, mine's lasted well so far.
I received this toaster has a gift and i have to say it has been one of the best toasters i have had,does what it says on the box,has some great features like defrost,cancel button,re heat button great if you like me you forget you put the bread in just press the toast back down re heat for a few minutes and your toast is warm.great value for money and easy to keep clean one of the great things about this toaster is the separate controls great for suiting individual's requirements,has wide slots so you can toast crumpets and thick slices of bread with ease .without the sticking to the sides.easy to remove crumb trays for cleaning and a high lift so no more burnt fingers,The only down side would be it doesn't toast the bread around the edges.
I would highly recommend this toaster great for family's big or small.
As a parent of a total of 5 children, making toast for breakfast or tea can be a long laborious process. Two slice toasters just aren't fast enough, while placing six slices under the grill is susceptible to distraction and burning!!
Ergo came a time when we were tired of the toast taking so long and the fire alarm going off a multitude of times, and decided to get a bigger toaster.
As you can imagine, a family of 7 can have restrictions on how much we can spend, so scouring the Argos on-line catalogue for a cheap solution to our needs for at least the next 6 months happened. Actually, strictly speaking I scoured more than just Argos, but you cant get a 4 slice toaster for less than £25 anywhere else!
We happened to see this toaster advertised at £12.99 which seemed waaaay to cheap to be effective, however, it was only needed to last us 6 - 12 months until we could afford a more 'industrial' type.
The box is the usual flimsy cardboard with stiff card inserts holding the toaster safe. All seems recyclable.
Uber cheap at £12.99, and in plain white however they do do the identical Cookworks Signature in silver for £14.99. Infact to be completely honest, the only difference between the two appears to be £2 more for silver plastic.
unlike traditional styled home toasters you dont have to place all 4 slices down at once. We actually really like the fact we can still cook only 2 slices, as it is almost as if you have 2 2 slice toasters in one unit (quite visible in the pic) Timed correctly we can almost have steady stream of toast going out to our bunch of gannets... I mean children!
Each 'plunger' has 3 buttons above it, defrost (for those I-cant-believe-you-didn't-take-the-bread-out-of-the-freezer moments), reheat (for the slow eaters) and Cancel.
Each plunger has a variable setting dial under too, which means you can have 2 slices of charcoal and 2 slices of barely tanned bread if you wanted.
So far as to say we have had this toaster over a month now, it has proven reliability in the face of 5 children and consistency in the fact if the dial isnt moved the next pieces of toast aren't a different colour to the last.
I would say this was a great little buy for the large family (or even nuclear family come to that) and if this toaster lasts well past next year, my money has been extremely well spent!