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Black+Decker TR3500SD Review

A good, inexpensive option that does just about everything well
Black+Decker TR3500SD
Credit: BLACK+DECKER
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Price:   $40 List | $34.98 at Amazon
Pros:  Good toast, decent bagels, inexpensive
Cons:  Hard to clean crumb tray
Manufacturer:   BLACK+DECKER
By Benjamin Hickok and Steven Tata  ⋅  May 18, 2022
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67
OVERALL
SCORE


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

Our Verdict

The Black+Decker TR3500SD provides good all-around performance that won't break the bank. It makes good toast, handles frozen waffles quite well and preps a surprisingly good bagel. If you can find the Black+Decker TR3500SD on sale, it is a great low-cost option. If you hope to make other items and need more versatility, a good toaster oven might be the product to add to your appliance lineup.

Editor's Note: The Black+Decker TR3500SD was updated on May 18, 2022, in order to reassess its performance compared to the newest members of our lineup.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Black+Decker TR3500SD
Awards  Best Buy Award  Best Buy Award  
Price $40 List
$34.98 at Amazon
$30 List
$28.49 at Amazon
$35 List
$39.99 at Amazon
$40 List
$35.10 at Amazon
$26 List
Overall Score Sort Icon
67
74
73
70
62
Star Rating
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Pros Good toast, decent bagels, inexpensiveStrong toasting, small storage, easy to use, budget friendly, good strudelBudget-friendly, easy-to-use, great strudelsInexpensive, toasts 4 slices at once, toasts bagels evenlyGood toasting, inexpensive
Cons Hard to clean crumb trayMediocre bagels, wafflesSubpar bagel toastingNo specific bagel mode, toasting can be slightly inconsistent overallMediocre defrosting, poor cleaning access
Bottom Line A good, inexpensive option that does just about everything wellIt 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 cheapThis toaster delivers the best bagels you can get at such a low price
Rating Categories Black+Decker TR3500SD Cuisinart CPT-122 Oster 2 Slice Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 Amazon Basics KT-3680
Bread Toasting Quality (35%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Ease of Use (35%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
4.0
Bagel Toasting Quality (15%)
7.0
5.0
5.0
9.0
8.0
Frozen Food (15%)
7.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
5.0
Specs Black+Decker TR3500SD Cuisinart CPT-122 Oster 2 Slice Elite Gourmet ECT-3100 Amazon Basics KT-3680
Weight 2.7 lbs. 3.7 lbs. 3.5 lbs. 6.4 lbs. 2.5 lbs.
Dimensions (L x W x H) 10.0" x 6.5" x 7.4" 6.5" x 11" x 7.2" 11.7" x 6.9" x 7.3" 14.7" x 7.1" x 7.7" 10.7" x 6.4" x 7.6"
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 No
Color/Finish Options Stainless Steel White, Red, Black Gray Black Plastic/Stainless Black Plastic/Stainless
Exterior Housing Material Stainless Steel Plastic Stainless Steel Stainless Steel Plastic
End of Cycle Indicator None None None None None

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Black+Decker TR3500SD has all the functions you need in a toaster: backlit buttons, bagel and defrost modes, and quick heating elements. The one place it falls short is its trap door style crumb tray, which can be a bit of a pain to empty. Overall, the Black+Decker TR3500SD did quite well in our testing but fell a bit short of the performances exhibited by the best products we tested.

Performance Comparison



Black+Decker TR3500SD toaster
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Bread Toasting Quality


Bread toasting is likely the most essential aspect of performance for most people, and the Black+Decker TR3500SD did quite well in our testing. This result was above average and just a bit behind the top scorers.

Black+Decker TR3500SD toaster - good toast with just a few inconsistencies.
Good toast with just a few inconsistencies.
Credit: Steven Tata

The TR3500SD was able to get nice, even crispiness across the entire face of the bread, resulting in a delightfully crunchy toast. However, each piece also had some seemingly random hot spots that were crunchier than the rest. This irregularity didn't affect the taste too much, but it wasn't quite as impressive as the toast that some of the best models could produce.

Ease of Use


Black+Decker nailed the interface but fumbled a bit on the crumb tray, resulting in average ease of use performance. We felt that this flaw made it harder to clean. As crumbs tend to pile up quickly, it is better to have a toaster where one can easily slide the crumb tray out for quick dumping and cleaning.

Black+Decker TR3500SD toaster - the tr3500sd's intuitive, backlit controls.
The TR3500SD's intuitive, backlit controls.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The shade knob and buttons on this machine feel solid and supple. Buttons are conveniently backlit and make it clear which mode is selected. Our only complaint is the crumb tray, which uses a less than ideal hinged trapdoor design. It requires lifting the entire toaster to remove crumbs rather than just sliding out.

Bagel Toasting Quality


We were pleasantly surprised with the TR3500SD's bagel toasting performance. The backsides of bagels made with this machine were slightly warm but still soft and gooey, just the way they should be. The front side was toasted well with no burned spots, but one side tended to be much darker. We'd put these bagels on the right side of acceptable, but certainly short of incredible.

Defrosting Quality


The TR3500SD again performed quite well in our frozen food testing, putting it just behind the top models.

Black+Decker TR3500SD toaster - cooked all the way through, but with some clear hot spots.
Cooked all the way through, but with some clear hot spots.
Credit: Steven Tata

The defrost function worked quite well, thawing all of the frozen pastries all the way through before actually toasting them. Like its toasting performance, it did produce random hotspots in frozen pastries, leaving some bites much crunchier than others. It did a bit better with frozen waffles, getting most of the ridges just a bit brown and leaving the pockets on the fluffier side.

Black+Decker TR3500SD toaster - crispy ridges and fluffy pockets.
Crispy ridges and fluffy pockets.
Credit: Steven Tata

Should You Buy the TR3500SD?


Overall, the TR3500SD is quite good for a toaster with a list price that is easy on the wallet. This model provides great performance given its low price, but we do not recommend it as there are better-performing toasters that are also affordable.

Black+Decker TR3500SD toaster
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

What Other Toaster Should You Consider?


If all you need is a great piece of toast and price is an issue, the Cuisinart CPT-122 creates impressive toast and does a better job while remaining cost-effective. It even makes better bagels, but it is harder to clean and use than the TR3500SD.

Benjamin Hickok and Steven Tata

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