How Do I Choose the Best Vintage Toaster?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

While a modern toaster is the first option that many people consider when buying this type of kitchen appliance, a vintage toaster that is in workable condition can also be a great addition when you are trying to incorporate elements of eras gone by in your overall décor. Combining utility with a stylish flair that is hard to achieve with a modern toaster, the vintage or retro toaster can remind you of happy childhood memories and recall days when things seemed simple in comparison to the pressures of today. Fortunately, there are several ways to locate toasters of this type and employ the right combination of function, style, and price to choose the one that is right for your situation.


Unless you are creating some type of collection for display on a kitchen wall, the ideal vintage toaster will be fully functional. To that end, inspect any toaster that catches your eye and make sure all the components are working properly. This means that the cord will not be frayed, and the spring mechanism and timer that causes the slices of bread to pop up when the toast is done will be in perfect working order. Also make sure that there are no components missing, like the dial or switch that allows you to select the amount of toasting desired for the bread.

Along with functionality, also make it a point to consider the general appearance of the toaster. While a few dings or scratches should be expected when considering a toaster that is a few decades old, the idea is to go with a model that is still in presentable condition. The stainless steel body should still gleam when cleaned and any knobs or other outward components should be free of any type of grease or other buildup from the years of use. Also inspect the bread trays on the interior of the toaster to make sure the metal is not corroded or rusty.

Style is very important when selecting a vintage toaster. Depending on your personal tastes, you may prefer the rounded designs that were so popular in the middle of the 20th century, or find yourself drawn to the futuristic designs that entered the marketplace during the 1960s. You may even prefer Depression-era toasters that were side loading rather than top loading. As long as the vintage toaster is functional and the style fits in to your vision for the kitchen, it is worth considering.

As with any purchase, the price of the vintage toaster is important. Keep in mind that you are purchasing style as well as utility. If all you were interested in was the function, then a new toaster from a discount retailer would be sufficient. Be prepared to spend a little more for a good quality vintage model, but remember that if the choice is right, the toaster will provide many years of use as well as be a welcome visual addition to your space.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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