If you asked me what my favorite food was, you might look at me odd. It's a peanut butter sandwich, but the bread is toasted. I crave it, and it has been my favorite snack when I'm hungry in the middle of the night.
Recommend this product?
Since as far back as I can remember, I have been known to give toasters a good workout. I'll use it two, three, heck, even five times in a day if I'm really hungry. Amazingly, I have not needed any expensive toasters; none that cooked four pieces of bread at once or doubled as a dishwasher or anything. I've more or less stuck to basic, white toasters from Proctor Silex/Hamilton Beach. The 22605 is the epitome of basic.
The 22605 is plain vanilla. It doesn't attract attention, and it sort of blends into a kitchen's surroundings like the kitchen appliance it is. On the other hand, it doesn't ask for much either. To some the plain styling is a negative aspect; to others a positive. Either way, to want a toaster that doubles as a conversation piece probably wasn't a top priority anyways.
Unlike the previous generation model (which I also owned previous to this), the current model is well-rounded... literally. It looks like some convex blob that tries to balance both sophistication and aerodynamics. The knob is round, the lever is round. Even the filaments inside have a smooth curve to them. It's the 1997 Ford Taurus of toasters.
How to Use
There's only four things you will ever do to this toaster in normal circumstances.
1) Pop your slices of bread in the top.
2) Turn the knob to where you want your toast (counter-clockwise makes it lighter, clockwise makes it darker).
3) Press lever down.
4) After a while, you can open up the crumb tray underneath to rid of unwanted crumb build-up.
The 22605 purposely takes longer to toast the first two slices of bread to account for warm-up time. I've noticed that it takes about 15 seconds for all the filaments to fully become red-hot. On the old model it took about five. Maybe it's just me, but the current model seems to take a little while longer, or about three minutes for the first two pieces. It's not a big deal, but if you're hurrying to get to work and want to make some toast in the morning, it wouldn't help you save any time.
When I owned the older model, I would sometimes put in bread and realize five minutes later I didn't plug it in. Fortunately, the current model has a feature that will not let the lever stay down when unplugged. This is a visual attention-getter that I appreciate, since many times I use the same outlet to charge my cell phone.
Want to pop out your toast early? Tough luck, I'm afraid to say. It takes some good effort to raise the lever once it's down, and the force at which it will come up is so strong that flying toast isn't an uncommon sight. I've had a piece actually fly three feet into the sink because I had it set on a setting too high (lowering the knob doesn't help motivate it to stop).
That brings me to another fault... the knob. It will take some trial and error to figure out your desired setting. There are little, if any, guide as to what setting does what. It's mainly just common sense you will need to go by. The more it's turned to the right, the darker it'll be. I like my toast fairly light, so I turn it about a third of the way, or just to the left of center.
Other than the rounded front and back, the toaster gets hot pretty easily on the outside--evidence being the "HOT SURFACES" warning on the front. It is advised to not touch it or move it while it's being used, so I would not feel safe having it near young children or fabrics which could catch on fire easily.
As for cooking larger items like bagels, you might have a problem inserting them in the narrow slots unless you squeezed them flat. I have cooked bagels in it, and it is easy for them to get stuck inside the toaster. Fortunately the lever goes up about two-thirds of the way in these cases, allowing for me to raise the bagels up manually without using knives or forks to retrieve them.
The older toaster I owned had a problem where over time the inner filaments towards the center heated up less and less, leaving me with toast that was brown on one side and light on the other. I do not know if this toaster will do the same after a couple years, however it is cheap enough that it should not be a problem to go out and buy a new one anyways.
Simple, plain, yet functional, the Proctor Silex (Hamilton Beach) 22605 toaster is an average device that does what it's supposed to do and nothing more. It won't get your newspaper in the morning, it won't wash your dishes, nor will it drive to the store and buy groceries for you. It toasts bread, end of story. It is recommended to those on a budget, however if you need something that doesn't heat up so much on the outside (or if you need more than two slots for bread), then I do not recommend it. It works for me, and I have had no problems with it so far, so it does its job fairly well.
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Amount Paid (US$): 25