"For the money this is a good machine. It has a lot of options, is one of the few to make a 2.5-pound loaf. The bread isn't over or under baked and easy to change the settings if you prefer a little more or less baking time." Scarlet Fever, Amazon.com
Meets Expectations - Variety of settings and four loaf sizes; typically produces great results, but not consistently.
Straightforward - Intuitive settings but requires babysitting in case the paddles detach during kneading cycle.
A Looker - Sharp-looking appliance looks great on the countertop and has a relatively small footprint.
Ultra-Quiet - So quiet, it's practically silent, and it doesn't wiggle across the countertop.
In theory, the West Bend Hi-Rise is a fabulous bread machine. It boasts 11 settings, including a custom homemade setting, 3 crust options, delayed-start, and 4 loaf-size options: 1, 1.5, 2, and 2.5-pound loaves. The pan is horizontal, so the bread is shaped more like store-bought loaves, and there's a double pan available separately for making two smaller, vertical loaves.
Unfortunately, this bread machine is rife with issues. Amazon reviewers repeatedly report paddles that detach during kneading, peeling non-stick coating, and malfunctioning controls. It's backed by a one-year warranty, but many owners say the West Bend Hi-Rise dies just after the one-year mark.
-Malorie Sellers, Home & Garden Editor, March 2014