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Cuisinart Touch to Toast Leverless 2-Slice CPT-420 Review

Cool leverless feature, but lacks performance of other leverless models
Cuisinart Touch to Toast Leverless 2-Slice CPT-420
Credit: Cuisinart
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Price:   $80 List | $79.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Relatively good bagel toasting and defrosting performance
Cons:  Does not fully utilize leverless technology
Manufacturer:   Cuisinart
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Jan 26, 2022
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58
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 16
  • Bread Toasting Quality - 35% 6.0
  • Ease of Use - 35% 5.0
  • Bagel Toasting Quality - 15% 7.0
  • Frozen Food - 15% 6.0

Our Verdict

Cuisinart's entry into the leverless game, the CPT-420, provided reasonable performance across the board in our toaster testing. It is not quite the flashy thoroughbred that you would expect a model with all the trappings of the latest technology to be. Instead, it is a dependable workhorse that will get the job done but won't be showered with flowers in the winner's circle. It does not provide a function that allows you to easily peek at your toast mid-cycle, which is standard on other leverless models. Therefore, the leverless technology feels a bit more gimmicky in this instance, rather than adding any sort of functionality to this kitchen appliance.

Editor's Note: An update was performed on this toaster review on January 26, 2022. It now includes additional information about the toasters we recommend.

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Relatively good bagel toasting and defrosting performanceStrong 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 Does not fully utilize leverless technologyMediocre bagels, wafflesSubpar bagel toastingNo specific bagel mode, toasting can be slightly inconsistent overallHard to clean crumb tray
Bottom Line Cool leverless feature, but lacks performance of other leverless modelsIt 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 Touch to... Cuisinart CPT-122 Oster 2 Slice Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 Black+Decker TR3500SD
Bread Toasting Quality (35%)
6.0
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%)
7.0
5.0
5.0
9.0
7.0
Frozen Food (15%)
6.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
7.0
Specs Cuisinart Touch to... Cuisinart CPT-122 Oster 2 Slice Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 Black+Decker TR3500SD
Weight 4.1 lbs. 3.7 lbs. 3.5 lbs. 6.4 lbs. 2.7 lbs.
Dimensions (L x W x H) 10.2" x 11.2" x 7.8" 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 Beep None None None None

Our Analysis and Test Results

Read on for more details on how the CPT-420 performed in each of our tests.

Performance Comparison



Bread Toasting Quality


The CPT-420 below average in our bread toasting test, sharing the bottom spot with the KitchenAid 4-Slice Long Slot. 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.

Cuisinart Touch to Toast Leverless 2-Slice CPT-420 toaster - the cpt-420 was fairly inconsistent between cycles during out testing.
The CPT-420 was fairly inconsistent between cycles during out testing.
Credit: Steven Tata

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.

Cuisinart Touch to Toast Leverless 2-Slice CPT-420 toaster - the cpt-420's controls are straightforward and intuitive.
The CPT-420's controls are straightforward and intuitive.
Credit: Katherine Elliott

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.

Cuisinart Touch to Toast Leverless 2-Slice CPT-420 toaster - we would prefer for the cpt-420's crumb try to remove from the front...
We would prefer for the CPT-420's crumb try to remove from the front rather than the back.
Credit: Katherine Elliott

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.

Cuisinart Touch to Toast Leverless 2-Slice CPT-420 toaster - the cpt-420's bagel setting toasted the bagel face quite evenly, but...
The CPT-420's bagel setting toasted the bagel face quite evenly, but couldn't avoid toasting the backside just a bit as well.
Credit: Steven Tata

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.

Cuisinart Touch to Toast Leverless 2-Slice CPT-420 toaster - the cpt-420's defrost setting made nice frozen waffles with just a...
The CPT-420's defrost setting made nice frozen waffles with just a few spots of over toasting in our testing.
Credit: Steven Tata

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.

Cuisinart Touch to Toast Leverless 2-Slice CPT-420 toaster - the cuisinart has mode buttons that light up, clearly indicating...
The Cuisinart has mode buttons that light up, clearly indicating that reheat mode is engaged.
Credit: Katherine Elliott

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.

Max Mutter and Steven Tata
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