Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Russell Hobbs Retro 4 Slice Toaster Review

Verdict

rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star

Pros

  • Very fast
  • Cute countdown timer

Cons

  • Uneven browning
  • Hard-to-reach controls

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £79.99
  • 4 slots
  • 20 x 33 x 28cm
  • 75cm cable

The Russell Hobbs is a pretty straightforward four-slice toaster with one unique selling point: it’s super-fast.

It claims to be speedy, up to 65% faster than Russell Hobbs’ classic model. And I certainly found it shaved a minute off toasting time. But browning is uneven and its controls are hard to reach.


Russell Hobbs Retro 4 Slice Toaster 7

I tested the Russell Hobbs in vintage cream, but it’s also available in red or black.

Many of the controls are on the right-hand side, not the front. This streamlines the front’s design but they may be awkward to get to, depending on where you want to site your toaster. There are three buttons: cancel, reheat and frozen. And variable browning control with a lever that slides left to right, from 1 to 6 and anywhere in between.

Russell Hobbs Retro 4 Slice Toaster 13

Central to its retro design is an old-fashioned gauge on the front, with a needle to indicate toasting time. It’s cute but I’d have preferred easily accessible controls.

Cable lengths are a bugbear of mine. This one is not good at 75cm, but that’s measured from the front right. From the back you get 45-60cm. There’s cable management underneath to store the excess – not that you’re likely to have much.

Russell Hobbs Retro 4 Slice Toaster 6

I toasted two slices of white bread vertically and two horizontally to test evenness, on a middling browning setting of 3.5. You set the browning level with a lever on the right-hand side of the toaster, but the gauge on the front is a countdown timer, so you can keep an eye on progress.

The horizontal slices were done fairly evenly but the vertical ones not so much, and there was a good 2cm at the top of both of the vertical slices that wasn’t cooked at all.

Russell Hobbs Retro 4 Slice Toaster 8

But the remarkable thing was the speed: the Russell Hobbs took 1 minute 35 seconds when most toasters take between 2 minutes and 2 minutes 30 seconds.

The slots are each 3cm wide and can go as narrow as 1cm to grip bread. Unlike many toasters, you don’t push the levers up to give the toast an extra lift, instead it sits extra-high in the first place. Crumpets were cooked well on a 3.5 browning setting and were reachable despite the lack of extra lift, but only just.

Related: Best BBQ
Russell Hobbs Retro 4 Slice Toaster 9

There’s no bagel function, but there are buttons for reheat and frozen. Press one and it lights up and can’t be cancelled without cancelling the toasting process. When you press one of these buttons the timer on the front resets. In fact, the needle goes all the way to maximum then drops back to the new time required.

There are a pair of crumb trays, accessed from the rear.

Related: Best toasters

Russell Hobbs Retro 4 Slice Toaster

This was the fastest toaster we’ve tested, so if you like the retro styling and every second counts then it is worth considering. But I found the controls around the side annoying and the browning uneven.

I’d recommend allowing an extra minute for cooking breakfast and investing in the Dualit 4 Slot Lite or Hotpoint TT 44E instead. And if money’s no object then the KitchenAid Artisan Toaster is rather lovely. Good toast is worth waiting an extra minute.

The fastest toaster we’ve tested – but speed isn’t everything.

Trusted Score

rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have 9 million users a month around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.