We have had this toaster for several years. We use it several times per week. We use it for toast, frozen waffles, and bagels. Our favorite function is the defrost, which we use for the frozen waffles. Toasting Evenness Both sides toast equally well. You do have to turn it down when toasting only 1 piece. I have put 1 piece in either side and there is no difference in the way one side toasts to the other. Our last toaster there was definitely one side that was always darker. Safety The Outside of the toaster stays cool to the touch . The cord is still in great condition. Ease of Cleaning The bottom tray comes out easily enough. It is hard to get all of the crumbs out of the inside behind the elements. The stainless steel exterior is easily wiped off. Durability We have had this toaster for years and use it several times every week. It still looks like new and works great. Design I like the sleek look of the stainless steel. It fits nicely on my counter-top without taking up too much space.