Russell Hobbs Futura 4-Slice Toaster Review

This compact toaster falls into a medium price range but it is high on style. Its curved front merges seamlessly with the top creating a look that’s almost reminiscent of vintage art deco.

The well-made exterior casing is manufactured from stainless steel that’s been brushed and polished to give it a beautiful velvety appearance. The dual slider controls follow the contours of the front while the knobs for setting the temperature are placed between them.

The black plinth at the base helps the Futura to capture an unmatched elegance in the kitchen but does it toast bread as perfectly?

Futura Features

With a weight of only 1.9kg the compact Futura is a much daintier toaster than some models but it isn’t short on features. For a start either of the two toasting carriages can be used as a two-slice toaster.

There is a browning control that lets you choose how toasted you want your slices to be ranging from pale brown through to a much darker hue. There is a cancel switch that enables you to stop the toasting process whenever you want.

If there is any left over toast that hasn’t yet been buttered it can be reheated without causing it to burn and it usually regains its crispness. The slider controls activate a convenient high lift option that pushes the toast up to put it within easy reach which is helpful when toasting smaller slices.

When you are in a hurry and there is not enough time to defrost any bread from the freezer this toaster will cook it straight from frozen. The large crumb tray slides out from the back of the machine and collects a great deal of debris before it needs emptying.

How Versatile are the Toasting Slots?

Although the Futura has classic good looks opinion seems divided on its effectiveness as a toaster. Each of the four slots can accommodate a slice of bread that is 2.6cm thick which is a respectable depth for any toasting loaf. However, many owners are disappointed to find that they are restricted to toast that might be thick but only has the small dimensions of a 400g loaf.

If you want to use the larger slices of a standard 800g loaf you must first cut each slice in half as turning a tall slice sideways still won’t make it fit into the slot. The toasting slots are wide enough to take hot cross buns or English muffins if they have been cut open.

How effectively does the Futura toast?

Once you have placed your favourite slices of bread into the slots the Futura quickly does the rest. There are seven heat settings which offer great flexibility particularly if you are also using the browning feature. The lower heat settings are not very effective in toasting the bread.

The toaster performs well when turned as high as number five producing toast that has a good crispy texture. A noticeable fault is that it sometimes toasts unevenly with one side of the slice of bread toasting much less than the other.

The toasting effect also appears unbalanced when half of the toasting slots are not in use. The highest setting of number seven is fierce and frequently burns the toast. The overall quality of the toast is delicious with an appetising crisp texture.

Conclusion

The four-slice Futura is a convenient, compact toaster for making large quantities of toast. However, you have to bear in mind that the toasting slots are unusually restrictive in size.

For toasting slices of bread from a small loaf the Futura performs well but having to cut larger slices can be irritating, cancelling out the convenience and speed of toasting. If you only purchase small loaves then this compact toaster is a perfect choice.