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Cuisinart CPT-160 Review

Clean, modern aesthetic, but generally below average performance
Cuisinart CPT-160
Credit: Cuisinart
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Price:   $50 List | $49.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Simple and familiar interface, classic aesthetics
Cons:  Relatively poor bread toasting and defrosting performance
Manufacturer:   Cuisinart
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Jan 26, 2022
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50
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#16 of 16
  • Bread Toasting Quality - 35% 5.0
  • Ease of Use - 35% 5.0
  • Bagel Toasting Quality - 15% 6.0
  • Frozen Food - 15% 4.0

Our Verdict

The CPT-160 received average scores across the board in our toaster testing. If it matches the aesthetics of your kitchen appliances perfectly then it's a good choice, as it offers reasonable performance at a reasonable price. In any other circumstances, however, there are other models (or even a toaster oven) that provide better performance at or below the same price.

Editor's Note: This review was updated to include additional information regarding our favorite toasters on January 26, 2022.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Cuisinart CPT-160
This Product
Cuisinart CPT-160
Awards  Best Buy Award  Best Buy Award  
Price $50 List
$49.95 at Amazon
$30 List
$29.95 at Amazon
Check Price at Amazon$40 List
$34.99 at Amazon
$40 List
Overall Score Sort Icon
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74
73
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67
Star Rating
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Pros Simple and familiar interface, classic aestheticsStrong toasting, small storage, easy to use, budget friendly, good strudelBudget-friendly, easy-to-use, great strudelsInexpensive, toasts 4 slices at once, toasts bagels evenlyGood toast, decent bagels, inexpensive
Cons Relatively poor bread toasting and defrosting performanceMediocre bagels, wafflesSubpar bagel toastingNo specific bagel mode, toasting can be slightly inconsistent overallHard to clean crumb tray
Bottom Line Clean, modern aesthetic, but generally below average performanceIt may not be the most aesthetic, but this toaster is compact, practical, and budget-friendly for its high performanceAn easy-to-use toaster that is also easy on the wallet, and great for strudel lovers, but not for bagel loversThe best option we've found for people seeking a 4-slice or long-slot model on the cheapA good, inexpensive option that does just about everything well
Rating Categories Cuisinart CPT-160 Cuisinart CPT-122 Oster 2 Slice Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 Black+Decker TR3500SD
Bread Toasting Quality (35%)
5.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Ease of Use (35%)
5.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
Bagel Toasting Quality (15%)
6.0
5.0
5.0
9.0
7.0
Frozen Food (15%)
4.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
7.0
Specs Cuisinart CPT-160 Cuisinart CPT-122 Oster 2 Slice Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 Black+Decker TR3500SD
Weight 3.5 lbs. 3.7 lbs. 3.5 lbs. 6.4 lbs. 2.7 lbs.
Dimensions (L x W x H) 10.8" x 7.2" x 7.2" 6.5" x 11" x 7.2" 11.7" x 6.9" x 7.3" 14.7" x 7.1" x 7.7" 10.0" x 6.5" x 7.4"
Standard / Long Slot Standard Standard Standard Long Standard
Available with Long Slot? No No No Yes No
Available in 4 slot? Yes No No No Yes
Color/Finish Options Stainless Steel White, Red, Black Gray Black Plastic/Stainless Stainless Steel
Exterior Housing Material Stainless Steel Plastic Stainless Steel Stainless Steel Stainless Steel
End of Cycle Indicator None None None None None

Our Analysis and Test Results

Below we expound upon the CPT-160's performance in our tests compared to the toaster competition.

Performance Comparison



Bread Toasting Quality


Like all the models we tested, the CPT-160 made respectable slices of toast but with significantly more inconsistencies than most other models. It scored low in this metric, falling well behind the top-performing Smeg. It made toast with conspicuous white areas near the crust and often charred one vertical side while leaving the other reasonably light. While most people wouldn't scoff at this toast, its inconsistencies were evident enough that even the less finicky toast eaters would notice them. The last thing you want is picky Aunt Bertha complaining about her toast when she comes over for breakfast.

Cuisinart CPT-160 toaster - although still acceptable and edible, the cpt-160 made some of the...
Although still acceptable and edible, the CPT-160 made some of the worst toast in our test.
Credit: Steven Tata

Ease of Use


The CPT-160 has fairly basic, intuitive controls. Its mode buttons have adjacent lights that turn on when pressed, making it clear which mode is currently selected. The shade knob is continuous and doesn't click into each setting, so it is a bit more challenging to choose the same setting each time. The lever feels a bit flimsy to use, and the unit doesn't have much weight. Rubber feet prevent sliding when pressing buttons, but lifting the lever to pull smaller items out of the slot tends to lift the entire toaster rather than just the stubborn English muffin. It has a very wide and easy-to-clean crumb tray, but the tray removes from the back of the unit, which is a bit of a bother.

Cuisinart CPT-160 toaster - the cpt-160's basic controls are easy to use, but not quite as...
The CPT-160's basic controls are easy to use, but not quite as streamlined as those on other models.
Credit: Katherine Elliott

Bagel Toasting Quality


The CPT-160 shared common bagel toasting issues with many of the other models in our test. It often toasted one half of each bagel slice a few shades darker than the other. Some cycles produced inconsistencies across slices, toasting one piece much more than the other. The bagel mode does not turn off the outside elements, leaving the backsides of bagels toasted rather than in their ideal warm and gooey state. All of this translated into an average score for the group.

Cuisinart CPT-160 toaster - the cpt-160 made average bagels in our test, sometimes toasting one...
The CPT-160 made average bagels in our test, sometimes toasting one slice more than the other, and often toasting one half of each slice more than the other.
Credit: Steven Tata

Frozen Food/Defrosting Quality


This model's defrost mode takes frozen goods and slowly warms and thaws them before ramping up to full toasting temperature. Generally, we found that models using this technique performed much better in our frozen food tests. While the CPT-160 performed acceptably in our tests, it did not perform as well as other models that utilize this technique. It struggled to make even toast from frozen bread, churning out slices with large white splotches. Even on higher shade settings, the defrost function toasted frozen waffles on the light side, but they were toasted all the way through. This relatively poor frozen bread and mediocre frozen waffle performance earned the CPT-160 a lower score in our defrosting test.

Cuisinart CPT-160 toaster - during our testing, using darker shade setting in the cpt-160's...
During our testing, using darker shade setting in the CPT-160's defrost setting produced light frozen waffles.
Credit: Steven Tata

Should You Buy the CPT-160?


The CPT-160 is a basic toaster that provides basic functionality at its core. With its reasonably low price, few people will find it a dissatisfying purchase, but there are certainly better options and better values to be found.

Cuisinart CPT-160 toaster
Credit: Katherine Elliott

What Other Toaster Should You Consider?


This Cuisinart is kind of cute, but that is all it seems to excel at. The Amazon Basics KT-3680 is less expensive and scored significantly better during testing for both bagel and toast quality, making it our toaster of choice if budget is a concern or you want a basic model that gets the job done. If your goal is the best of the best or you want something that looks a little bit different, then the Smeg 2-Slice is the toaster of choice with top marks for toast and bagel quality and drop-dead good looks.

Max Mutter and Steven Tata
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