The Star Democrat

The less expensive option can be the best

- MARY HUNT Mary invites questions and comments at https://www.everydaych­, “Ask Mary.”

Dear Mary: Does anyone make a decent, simple, reliable pop-up toaster? I don’t need it to do anything but make evenly toasted toast!

— Bev


Bev: I was wondering the same thing. After a good deal of research, I narrowed the field to the Hamilton Beach KeepWarm 2-Slice Toaster. I am so happy with it that it has become my new pick for the Best Inexpensiv­e. Here are the reasons I am such a fan:

• The bread slots handle all thicknesse­s of things to be toasted: bagels, Texas toast, English muffins, thinsliced bread and regular sized bread.

• When I press down on the handle, clamps gently move into place to hold the toast straight and upright. And when the toast is ready, I just lift up the handle, which gives the toast a boost and makes it easy to remove.

• The Keep Warm feature is really nice! It keeps the toast warm for three minutes without over-toasting.

• It has a Defrost option (nice!) as well as a special setting for bagels.

• I love that it is very lightweigh­t, which lets me easily store it in a lower cabinet (I like a clean, clear countertop).

Going in, my two concerns about this toaster were the low price and the negative reviews I found online. After more than a year of toasting, I have not encountere­d a single problem with this lovely Hamilton Beach Keep-Warm Toaster. I recommend it highly! It costs about $25 on Amazon and is available at Walmart.

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