Four-slice toasters are pricier than two-slice models, but they are very handy for those with large families or who host a lot of overnight guests. They do take up more counter space. We didn't find as many professional reviews for four-slice toasters, but we still found plenty of user reviews.
The Breville Die-Cast 4-Slice Smart Toaster BTA840XL (*Est. $180) , the four-slice version of the BTA820XL covered earlier in our report, gets reviews similar to its smaller sibling. While it doesn't earn the top rating in one professional test of 38 toasters, it does earn excellent scores for ease of use and very good scores for its color range, landing near the top of the pack among the eight four-slice toasters tested. The Breville Die-Cast 4-Slice Smart Toaster BTA840XL is virtually identical to the two-slice model, with features such as lift-and-look, which allows you to lift the lever to check on the toasting process without interrupting the cooking cycle, and the "just a bit more" button, which allows you to add browning time without restarting the process. It also has a bagel setting, extra-wide slots and a self-lowering lever. The four-slice model has separate controls for each pair of slots. The Breville four-slice toaster gets somewhat better user reviews than the smaller two-slice version. The majority of user reviewers at Amazon.com give it a 4- or 5-star score (in nearly 135 owner-written reviews), despite the high price.
At about half the cost, the Cuisinart Countdown Metal 4-Slice Toaster CPT-190 (*Est. $90) earns top marks from one consumer testing organization, earning excellent scores for ease of use and performance with a full batch of toast and very good scores for color range and its ability to produce successive batches with ease. The Cuisinart Countdown Metal 4-Slice Toaster CPT-190 has six browning levels, one-inch slots and two separate control panels, each controlling two slots. A blue LED light indicates if the toaster is in bagel, defrost or reheat modes and a backlit LCD display counts down the time remaining to produce a batch of toast. Owners posting to Amazon.com offer middling scores; more than 100 owners contribute to an average rating of 3.5 stars out of 5. A few owners say the bagel setting is ineffective, and not all bread fits in the slots; its 1-inch width is sufficient for most uses, but certain types of bread are too long. A number of detractors say it toasts on just one side, but other owners say this is only a problem when only one slice of bread is toasted at a time.
The Cuisinart Metal Classic 4-Slice Toaster CPT-180 (*Est. $375) is recognized as a winner in several review sources. The Washington Post consults with a customer service manager from Bed Bath & Beyond for toaster recommendations at various price points; the Cuisinart CPT-180 is named as a best buy in the mid-range category. It has a brushed stainless-steel finish, slots 1.5 inches wide to accommodate muffins and bagels, six browning settings and bagel, defrost and reheat functions. Like its two-slice younger sibling, LED indicator lights show what function the toaster is currently using. Owners posting reviews to Cooking.com and Viewpoints.com are mostly positive; the toaster earns an average rating of about 4.4 stars out of 5 in a combined total of nearly 100 owner-written reviews. Owners say it has a sleek retro look and many praise its dual controls, which operate two slots independently of the others. There are some complaints of uneven toasting, and at least one owner points out that the manual dials don't lock into position, so it's easy to accidentally bump the dial to a higher setting.
If you don't want to fork over nearly $100 for a toaster, you might consider the Cuisinart Compact 4-Slice Toaster CPT-140 (*Est. $50) . This toaster has bagel and reheat modes, extra-wide slots, a removable crumb tray, stay-cool sides and an extra-lift lever (which lifts bread items a bit higher, saving you from sticking utensils down the slot to rescue toast). One quibble: There are no visual clues about which way to orient a bagel, a feature most toasters do have (hint: the cut side should face out). This four-slice Cuisinart averages 3.5 stars out of 5 in about 55 reviews on Amazon.com. The major complaint: You guessed it -- uneven toasting. Users posting to Viewpoints.com are more positive, with nearly 30 owners contributing to an average rating of 4.37 stars out of 5. Some are less than thrilled with the plain white appearance, and several users say the defrost feature doesn't work well, especially for bagels. Most owners, however, appreciate the toaster's multiple functions and say that it only produces uneven toast on occasion.
Editors at Cook's Illustrated magazine prefer manual dials to digital controls, but if you like the thought of a digital toaster, consider the surprisingly low-priced T-Fal 4-Slice Digital Toaster Long Slot (*Est. $45) . This toaster has two long slots instead of four individual slots and can accommodate four slices of bread. Like most toasters, it has bagel, defrost and reheat settings, but it differs in that its controls are digital instead of manual. The slots automatically adjust in length to fit different-sized bread slices or bagels, and a high-lift feature raises finished toast out of the slots so they're easier to grab. A digital countdown lets users know how much time remains in the toasting cycle; the majority of owners say the digital controls are simple and intuitive to use. The T-Fal 4-Slice Digital Toaster Long Slot works especially well for bagels, owners say.
The T-Fal 4-Slice Digital Toaster Long Slot lands near the middle of the pack in one professional roundup of eight four-slot toasters, earning excellent scores for ease of use and color range.
Owners posting to Amazon.com say that it's not as bulky as most four-slice toasters, and many like its sleek black appearance. Overall, this toaster earns an average rating of 3.5 stars out of 5 in about 170 owner-written reviews. On the downside, there are a few complaints of uneven toasting and malfunctioning units.