I used this Hamilton Beach tiny toaster for a week — and it's perfect for smaller kitchens

The Hamilton Beach 2 Slice Extra Wide Slot Toaster is a diminutive lightweight appliance that fits neatly into small spaces.

Hamilton Beach 2 Slice Extra Wide Slot Toaster
(Image: © Future)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The budget friendly Hamilton Beach 2 Slice Extra Wide Slot Toaster is small and light and fits neatly into tight spaces and small counters. The low cost and ease-of-use made it easier to overlook some of the inconsistencies that came with the actual toasting. As an entry-level option, this toaster is hard to beat.


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    Compact footprint is a space saver

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    Quiet operation

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    Large slots accommodate most bread thickness


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    Some inconsistent performance

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    Crumb tray does not detach for cleaning

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Hamilton Beach 2 Slice Extra Wide Slot Toaster: Specs

Slices: 2

Material: Stainless steel

Dimensions: 11.3 x 7.48 x 7.48 inches

Weight: 2.46 pounds

Settings: 7 + Bagel, Defrost

Cord length: 28 inches

Color options: Black/Stainless Steel

The Hamilton Beach 2-Slice Extra Wide Slot Toaster has a lot to recommend it for anyone looking for a compact but straightforward new toaster. The lightweight design limited to two slots means that unlike a larger toaster (think the KitchenAid 4-Slice Toaster) it'll suit smaller kitchens or those with less counter top space. If you're living solo or rarely need to toast often then this is a toaster you should consider. Especially considering that, at less than $30 at Amazon, it's one of the more affordable toasters I've tested recently.

Despite the smaller design, there's enough versatility from the Hamilton Beach 2-Slice Extra Wide Slot Toaster to fulfil most breakfast requirements. It has all the toasting power you require for sliced bread, bagels, English muffins, or frozen waffles. It’s easy to use with a button-based operation, and a latched crumb tray at the bottom.

Are there drawbacks? Well, during my time with the toaster I noticed a few inconsistencies in the actual toasting of the bread — especially at lower settings. This wasn't as pronounced at higher settings or if you're using it multiple times to, for example, defrost bread. Given the relatively low price and ease-of-use, a few missteps are acceptable. But that being said, this is a toaster for the grab-and-go crowd rather than any toasting aficionados out there.  

Hamilton Beach 2 Slice Extra Wide Slot Toaster: Price and availability

The Hamilton Beach 2-Slice Extra Wide Slot Toaster is available in a black/stainless steel color scheme on Amazon for $28

It’s also available at a dollar more over at Best Buy for $29

Hamilton Beach 2 Slice Extra Wide Slot Toaster: Design

Despite its small size and rounded body — at just 11.3 inches wide by 7.48 inches high by 7.48 inches deep and a wispy 2.46 pounds — the Hamilton Beach 2 Slice Extra Wide Slot Toaster manages to get the toasting job done. Its black body and stainless front piece holds the levers and controls together at the front of the unit. 

The toaster offers seven shade settings with a ratchet-based moving dial that you can freely place wherever you want, even between settings. The lever rises higher than the slot line so you can remove the toast without burning your fingers. 

Three prominent clicky buttons — Bagel, Defrost, and Cancel — sit to the left of the lever. They glow bright blue when depressed, letting you keep track of the toaster’s operation. 

Despite its small size, the toaster is well insulated with moderate exterior temperatures. The front ranged from 83 to 97 degrees while the side ranged from 80 to 106 degrees, pulling 0.029 kWh of energy at 2:33 minutes of operation, at the full capacity middle setting. It has the shortest cord at only 28 inches of all the toasters we looked at, in keeping with its small size.

Hamilton Beach 2 Slice Extra Wide Slot Toaster: Performance

Toast shade was erratic at lower settings, but stabilized at higher settings. The toast was darker than expected in low settings, though the lowest setting had almost no color at all. We sometimes saw grill marks and observed that the toast was much lighter on the flip side and very brown on the main side for both light and medium settings. Plus, its toasting pattern is brown but patchy and not always consistent between slices or front to back. 

Setting No. 2 was alternately too dark compared with other toasters I've tested or just right for a light setting, though toasting was not always even at the lower setting. The bagel setting does what it’s supposed to do, which is toast on the bagel’s cut side and warm on the back side. However, testing at the No. 6 setting yielded more even and consistent results. 

Defrosting will take a bit more time for the Hamilton Beach, as the setting is designed to first thaw the bread and then toast it. So it was no surprise that a defrosted waffle on the medium setting barely registered any brownness, while the results for the high setting weren’t much darker. You may have to repeat toasting for defrosted breads or put them on a higher setting, but I still noted inconsistencies between front and back sides.

Hamilton Beach 2 Slice Extra Wide Slot Toaster: Ease of use and cleaning

Hamilton Beach 2 Slice Extra Wide Slot Toaster crumb tray (Image credit: Future)

Using the Hamilton Beach toaster is a no-brainer. As a two-slice unit, you place the bread into the slots, set the desired shade, and push the lever down. A Cancel button is available in case you want to pop the toast up early. The appliance shuts off when the toasting function is finished and toast pops up with no noise. If you’re in the room, you’ll hear the toast pop up, but there’s no alarm or buzzer to wake family members out of a sound sleep. 

Unlike some toasters that instruct you to turn the unit upside down to dislodge errant crumbs, the Hamilton Beach warns against such cleaning techniques. Instead, it instructs users to tilt the toaster angle slightly sideways and tap the sides to dislodge any stuck crumbs. The crumb tray at the bottom of the unit is held by a hinge, which you can access to move the tray down for cleaning. It does not detach. 

Not much fuss was exerted for the manual, which was a folded leaflet that deals mostly with safety procedures and precautions. It also includes an illustration of the toaster’s parts and features and a step-by-step how-to procedure.

Hamilton Beach 2 Slice Extra Wide Slot Toaster: Verdict

Hamilton Beach 2 Slice Extra Wide Slot Toaster toast test (Image credit: Future)

The Hamilton Beach 2 Slice Extra Wide Slot Toaster is ideal for people who have limited space for appliances or who prefer a two slot toaster. 

The unit is super lightweight and simple to use with essential functions that are easy to keep track of. Its slots are plenty wide to accommodate thick breads. While I'd hoped that lower settings would yield toast looking a bit more consistent front to back, the toaster performed better with less patchiness at higher settings. 

One thing to note is it may also need more time for defrosting bread directly from the freezer.

Finally, in keeping with the grab-and-go aspect, this toaster doesn't offer up any colors besides black or any real standout or unique features. It's a simple appliance designed to handle the basics at a reasonable price for those who don't want to fuss too much over their morning bagel. I'd have no problem recommending it for students or those who don't toast their bread every day.

Anyone wanting a more advanced toasting experience may want to look into one of the best toaster ovens or one of Hamilton Beach's pricier 4-slice toasters instead.

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Jackie Dove

Jackie is an obsessive, insomniac tech writer and editor in northern California. A wildlife advocate, cat fan, and photo app fanatic, her specialties include cross-platform hardware and software, art, design, photography, video, and a wide range of creative and productivity apps and systems. Formerly senior editor at Macworld and creativity editor at The Next Web, Jackie now writes for a variety of consumer tech publications.