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No, The Number On Toaster Dials Does Not Mean The Number Of Minutes You Toast For

Engineering lesson of the day.

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You've probably seen this on the internet 469292 times. This month.

Every day, this claim gets made.

Gob-smacking non book-related fact of the day: the dial on the toaster? Those numbers are MINUTES. Not 'level of toasted'. Read it and weep.

blinkbox Books@blinkboxbooksFollow

Gob-smacking non book-related fact of the day: the dial on the toaster? Those numbers are MINUTES. Not 'level of toasted'. Read it and weep.

12:57 PM - 17 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Am I the only one who didn't know the numbers on the dial of a toaster were how many minutes you're toasting your shit for?

Peyoncè@peyjovaFollow

Am I the only one who didn't know the numbers on the dial of a toaster were how many minutes you're toasting your shit for?

11:26 PM - 29 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

I have literally JUST discovered that the numbers on the toaster dial are for minutes and not how "toasty" the bread will be 😕

s.Mishkaat.k@MKaat19Follow

I have literally JUST discovered that the numbers on the toaster dial are for minutes and not how "toasty" the bread will be

12:08 AM - 29 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

People, Tom Scott had your back two months ago.

View this video on YouTube

He's set all these toasters to "2".

The toasters range from cheap to expensive, from left to right.As Tom explains, toasters don't have timing chips - they have a bi-metallic strip: two pieces of metal, which heat up and expand at different rates, so the strip slowly begins to curl – the dial changes how far that strip has to curve before it triggers the component that makes the toast pop up. Although, as one commentor has pointed out, more modern toasters use a capacitor charged by a variable resistor that switches off once it reaches a specific voltage.
youtube.com

The toasters range from cheap to expensive, from left to right.

As Tom explains, toasters don't have timing chips - they have a bi-metallic strip: two pieces of metal, which heat up and expand at different rates, so the strip slowly begins to curl – the dial changes how far that strip has to curve before it triggers the component that makes the toast pop up.

Although, as one commentor has pointed out, more modern toasters use a capacitor charged by a variable resistor that switches off once it reaches a specific voltage.

Anyway, we have our first bits of toast popping up one minute in.

As Tom points out - how would the dial meaning "minutes" even help you? You'd still have to experiment to get it the right level of toastiness.
youtube.com

As Tom points out - how would the dial meaning "minutes" even help you? You'd still have to experiment to get it the right level of toastiness.

Well done Tom.

Now go forth and spread the word.

NBC

Alan White is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Alan White at alan.white@buzzfeed.com.

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