Cuisinart Touch to Toast Leverless 2-Slice CPT-420 Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
Read on for more details on how the CPT-420 performed in each of our tests.
Bread Toasting Quality
The CPT-420 below average in our bread toasting test. It churns out toast reasonably even across the face and between both sides. It lost some points for tending to under toast the area above the bottom crust, but where it lost points was its consistency between cycles. Sometimes the high setting would produce fairly dark toast, while other times made pieces that looked decidedly medium. This cycle inconsistency never resulted in burnt toast, but it did make it much more challenging to get the toast you were hoping for on the first go around. So while the CPT-420 can produce a reasonably good piece of toast, it takes a few games of Russian roulette to get your preferred slice. We felt this warranted a score far below some of the higher scoring competition that consistently produced similar slices of toast when keeping the shade setting constant.
Ease of Use
The CPT-420 has a decent amount of weight, imparting a feeling of quality to its user experience. The controls are easy to use. The shade is selected via a digital readout, meaning you can choose the exact same setting time after time. That same readout displays a bar graph that counts down to the completion of the cycle. The crumb tray is high quality, but we would prefer that it remove from the front rather than the back. Having to pull it out from the wall can get a bit tiresome to access the crumb tray. The motorized elevator is smooth and quiet, but we were disappointed that it didn't offer a function to check on your toast mid-cycle like the Breville Die-Cast 4-Slice Long Slot.
Ultimately the CPT-420 took home an average score of 5 out of 10 from our ease of use testing. While the countdown meter and predictable shade settings were nice, it just didn't seem to utilize its leverless technology fully. We feel that a function allowing you to take a mid-cycle peak at your toast, like those of the Breville, would have improved the CPT-420's user experience significantly. Without it, the CPT-420 felt a bit like a regular toaster trying to wow the crowd with new technology that didn't add any value.
Bagel Toasting Quality
No model we tested excelled in bagel toasting, except for the perfect scoring Smeg. The CPT-420 did relatively well in this test, scoring above average. It could toast the face of bagels relatively evenly, with just a few light patches. It lost the top spot because its bagel mode left the backsides of bagels just ever so toasted, cutting into the doughy/crunchy ratio we were looking for in bagels. Overall, if you want to make bagels in a traditional slot toaster, the CPT-420 isn't a terrible choice. However, we think you'll be much much happier with the bagels that come out of a toaster oven.
Frozen Food/Defrosting Toasting Quality
Similar to the other Cuisinart model we tested, the Cuisinart CPT-160, the CPT-420's defrost setting slowly thaws frozen items before upping the power and moving to full toasting temperature. However, we saw better results in our testing from the CPT-420 than from the CPT-160. The CPT-420 made fairly decent toast from frozen bread, tending to leave only small underdone areas near the bottom corner crusts. It also made nice crispy waffles with only a few spots of over-browning and no scorching. Its test results put the CPT-420 towards the front of the group in defrosting.
Should You Buy the CPT-420?
The CPT-420 is reliable and adequately handles all toasting needs. However, it was outperformed in our tests by cheaper levered models, and we feel the more expensive leverless models are a better value. If you're enamored with leverless technology and want to find it at the cheapest possible price, you will be happy with the CPT-420. Still, in all other circumstances, there are better options available. The CPT-420 is the cheapest leverless model we tested, though it lacked some of the panache of the more expensive models.
What Other Toaster Should You Consider?
If budget is a concern, there are three other options in our review that are less expensive and scored higher overall than the CPT-420. If you don't mind pressing a lever, you have better options. The Amazon Basics KT-3680 is one of the least expensive we've ever tested, and yet, it still managed a high toast quality test result. If you need long slots or room for four pieces of toast, then the Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 could be a contender with a high-ranking overall score and a similar price to the CPT-420. Alternatively, if the price is not a restriction, we love the Smeg 2-Slice both for its toasting attributes and impressive leading-actor looks.