We like this toaster's simple looks and such features as digital shade control, a countdown meter, and a done chime. And its thick 1.5-inch slots were able to handle sliced baguettes and bagels easily. Even so, its manual lift-lower mechanism was inconsistent: In a number of instances, it didn't latch into place and start the toasting cycle. And despite its thick stainless steel walls, this toaster gets hot to the touch. [$90; kitchenaid.com]
Photograph by Michael Pirrocco
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