Welcome to our review of the Funky 4-Slice Toaster, a breakfast friend with an extra wide girth that we think is one of the Best Toasters you can buy. Its maker – West Sussex-based Funky Appliance Company – burst onto the domestic scene a few years ago with a bulbous, silkily finished iron that adopted a retro/modern aesthetic that you either loved or didn’t love. They called it the Funky Iron and it was, and still is, quite unlike any iron on the market. In fact you can read about it in our guide to the Best Irons and Steam Generators.
Fast forward a few years and Funky has since broadened its domestic appliance range to include a kettle and the shiny helmet-shaped 4-slot toaster we’re reviewing here, which boasts a quartet of separate toast slots that are deep enough to accommodate the tallest of breads and everything else between.
Funky 4-Slice Toaster: price and availability
Sadly, you won’t find it in the USA or Australia, at least not just yet.
Funky 4-Slice Toaster Review: design and features
For me, a toaster should be as slim as possible with all the controls on the narrower end so that it can be positioned between other appliances and not swallow up too much precious kitchen worktop space in the process. This isn’t one of those toasters though it has to be said that it’s still a sterling choice when it comes to features and performance.
I’ll start with the ultra-shiny retro-esque design which is quite stunning for a toaster. The top half of the two-tone ‘Chrome’ variant I received is decked out in stainless steel with a lustrous mirrored chrome finish and the bottom half is pale grey plastic that compliments it well. In the arena of unusual toasters, this one looks more like an Apollo space helmet than a toaster and, at 31.5cm in width, 32cm in depth and 25cm in height, it’s one of the largest 4-slot models on sale, so you will need a lot of worktop space to accommodate it. This model comes with four separate slots that measure a smidge under 13cm in length and a substantial 3.5cm in width.
All toasters toast – admittedly some better than others – but only a handful of models are equipped to deal with a wider variety of breads. Well you can tell the Funky was designed in Britain because it will fit an extra large Warburton Toastie slice vertically in each slot. Granted, fitting extra long slices of bread into a model with double-length slots isn’t really an issue because you can lie the slices horizontally. However, even a double-length two-slot toaster will only manage two slices of Warburton’s at a time while this baby can do four at once.
Heading to the front end, the Funky features two sets of independent controls, one for each pair of slots. That’s a major plus in my book because it means you’re not wasting precious energy by having four sets of elements blazing when you may only need two.
Each control set comprises a simple knob with a toasting scale from 1 to 6, a reheat setting, a defrost function and an easy-to-see eject button that lights up in red when you push down the carriage. As I mentioned in my recent Sage The ‘A Bit More’ toaster review, I’m a fan of toasters that don’t keep you guessing when smoke starts to pour out of the slots. With this one, it’s plain to see that a simple tap of the red-lit upward-facing arrow will stop all the fire alarms from going off.
The front end is topped off with two large and slightly cheap feeling triangular sliders that can be lifted about an inch higher than their pop-up position so it’s easier to retrieve small items like buns and small pita breads without burning the fingers. Sadly, it doesn’t feature a lift-and-peek function.
The Funky Toaster is available in six tasty colours – Chrome, Black, Rose Gold Pink, White, Cream and Grey.
Funky 4-Slice Toaster Review: performance
The Funky performed exceptionally well in all my tests, from hot cross buns and pita bread to extra large slices of Warburtons. Few models toast bread 100% perfectly evenly but this model made an excellent fist of it. In fact, the only time it toasted one side more than the other was with hot cross buns – the crust side was approaching the burned side of burnt. Mind, that’s to be expected given that this model doesn’t have a specific crumpet or bun setting like those models from Sage and several other brands.
What I especially love about this model is the carriage system which lifts an extra inch so I don’t have to reach for my wooden tongs. It looks stylish on the worktop too though it’s way to large and space consuming for my liking.
Funky 4-Slice Toaster Review: verdict
In many ways this is the perfect toaster. Yes it’s extremely large – much larger than it needs to be given the excess amount of outer casing that surrounds the framework – but it’s exceptionally well designed, from the aesthetically groovy casing to the energy-saving dual controls and wherewithal to accept supersized slices of bread, what have you. Warmly recommended.
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