# eli5: Why in the older toaster we had to put a bread on a specific side if we were only toasting a single one.

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eli5: Why in the older toaster we had to put a bread on a specific side if we were only toasting a single one.

In: 3

Some toasters had a “single slice” setting, either manually with knob or by using a small switch activated by a slice of bread pushing down on the bottom of the bread tray (or more accurately, by the absence of a slice on the opposite side).

This would cause the toaster to only turn on the heating elements on that side.

When you only use 1 side of the toaster, one side of the bread gets toasted from the element that would’ve been on the other side of the other slice, so it gets double the toasting elements just with one slightly further away.

The simplest way without switches, sensors and stuff to balance this toasting so both sides toast evenly with either one or two slices was to simply offset the middle element such that it balanced the 2 vs 1 elements when only one was used – but that requires there to be a specific side for it.

More expensive toasters, and the general reduction in cost of switches, sensors and complexity has led to now it just using the elements that are required removing the need for the balancing.

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eli5: Why in the older toaster we had to put a bread on a specific side if we were only toasting a single one.

In: 3

Some toasters had a “single slice” setting, either manually with knob or by using a small switch activated by a slice of bread pushing down on the bottom of the bread tray (or more accurately, by the absence of a slice on the opposite side).

This would cause the toaster to only turn on the heating elements on that side.

When you only use 1 side of the toaster, one side of the bread gets toasted from the element that would’ve been on the other side of the other slice, so it gets double the toasting elements just with one slightly further away.

The simplest way without switches, sensors and stuff to balance this toasting so both sides toast evenly with either one or two slices was to simply offset the middle element such that it balanced the 2 vs 1 elements when only one was used – but that requires there to be a specific side for it.

More expensive toasters, and the general reduction in cost of switches, sensors and complexity has led to now it just using the elements that are required removing the need for the balancing.