The Hammacher Schlemmer Best Breadmaker
- Priced Right, Retains Value
- Build Quality
- Crust settings go from dark to darker – light setting doesn’t work well.
Intro – The Best Breadmaker:
The Best Breadmaker from the Hammacher Schlemmer Catalog is very nice. Indeed, it is likely the best breadmaker available outside of your grandmother and her wonderful bread making hands. The delivery takes about 4 days if you are in the midwest, and the breadmaker itself comes in a retail box that is packaged away inside of a plain brown cardboard box which is great if you are trying to be low-key about your purchase. (Say a seasonal gift or a birthday for instance)
Looks – The Best Breadmaker - Hammacher Schlemmer:
It comes with a manual, a non-stick bread pan, a paddle, a special hinged panel, and the bread machine itself. The first thing you see (once you get all the tape, packing material, and other stuff out and the unit sitting on your counter) is the look of it. It is by far one of the nicest looking bread makers available on the market today. In fact, compared to about 30 different models currently available it is the best looking bread maker. It has a Beautiful stainless steel body, with a black handle, stainless buttons, a stainless steel knob, and a crispy backlit LCD control panel. So for looks we give it a star.
Functionality – The Best Breadmaker – Hammacher Schlemmer:
The bread we made in this unit was very tasty. The LCD control panel is very easy to use (no manual was necessary at all to operate the machine). The Best Breadmaker makes a 2 pound loaf of bread in about 3 hours from start to finish. The bread maker has a hopper that you can put things like nuts, dried fruit, seeds, and various other spices into. During the kneeding process the machine will dump those extras in the bread at just right time to distribute them evenly in the dough. This is an exceptional feature that we used almost everytime we made a loaf. The bread machine will allow you to make loaves ranging from 1 pound to 2.5 pounds in size. The bread machine allows you to select a crust (light, medium or dark), however the light crust setting is recommended as the crust setting is a lot like every other bread maker we have used over the last 10 years… not very useful. Light crust translates to medium/almost-dark crust and anything past that is just hard. We still can’t give it a star for functionality because crust is a line item and you either get it right or you don’t. If the crust setting had worked properly we would have definitely given it a star for functionality. The Best Breadmaker will also make jelly, although we didn’t make any with the unit.
Price Point – The Best Breadmaker – Hammacher Schlemmer:
The Best Breadmaker isn’t the most expensive machine around, however it is not the cheapest. Given the fact that it has a number of features, the look, and the target market they are selling it to the price point is just about right. So at $249.99 I’d say it was worth the cost. Resale value on this product is good as well. The average resale value for a used one on the Internet is only $70 less which shows the product holds its value well. This is a good indication that people who have purchased their Best Breadmaker don’t want to give them away. Furthermore, there were only a few used ones for sale, which speaks volumes all by itself. (One people purchased the unit they didn’t get rid of it). So we are giving it one star for the Price Point.
Build Quality – The Best Breadmaker – Hammacher Schlemmer:
Build quality is clearly important and the Hammacher Schlemmer Best Breadmaker has what it takes to get a star in this category. The stainless steel breadmaker has a heft to it. It’s not too heavy (coming in at 16 1/2 pounds), but it is that ‘quality’ heft that makes you feel like you have something that was built the right way. The LCD screen has a backlight that makes the options pop out and easy to read. There is a lot of customization features, although we would have liked to see one feature that allowed you to set the length of time for a ‘rise’ to 8-12 hours. While that period of time wouldn’t have been good for bread, it would have allowed you to make yogurt in the breadmaker which would have been handy and ‘yet another reason to buy’. Some units have this, some don’t. I’m not taking a star away for not having a feature that I wanted I’m just throwing in a wish in hopes that the manufacturer reads this and says “Wow that’s a great idea”. The extra ingredient hopper is a great idea, it dumps the extras in your bread at just the right time which really made this machine stand out for me. In addition it bakes the loaf on its side like a traditional loaf of bread. Some bread units bake their bread vertically and you get too much crust and steam. The extra attention to detail is important the Hammacher Schlemmer Best Breadmaker lives up to the reputation well. The hinged paddle that snaps down to punch the loaf down after the first rise is a shining example of that. In addition it doesn’t take up a ton of counter real estate, it is 13″ (height) by 15 1/2″ (wide) and 9 3/4″ (deep).
Support & Warranty - The Best Breadmaker – Hammacher Schlemmer:
The support was absolutely terrific, when we received our unit it was actually damaged. The side of the unit had a dent in it and it made a funny noise. They shipped me a new one immediately and it was clearly damage free. To me that’s the best type of response. I don’t want to have to go through a lot of hassle when I get a product and it is damaged. I want a new one shipped out quickly, and that is exactly what happened. So they get another star for Support.
All in all I enjoy using the Best Breadmaker. It’s very easy to use, looks good on my counter and makes great bread. Shipping time was very quick, and the Hammacher Schlemmer people stood by their product. That gets them 4 out of 5 stars. If you are interested in buying one of these units you can do so by going to their online catalog.