BLACK+DECKER WMB500 vs CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Side-by-Side Comparison

Matthew Lee
Matthew Lee
Reviewer
Nguyen Ntk
Nguyen Ntk
Visual Specialist
Reviewed
Our recommendations are made independently through research and testing following our review procedure. We may receive commissions from purchases made via our links at no additional costs to you.
Tested Using Methodology v1.1
Updated Dec 8, 2022
Tested Using Methodology v1.1
Updated Dec 8, 2022
BLACK and DECKER Belgian Waffle Maker In-depth Review
Mini Waffle Maker Review In-depth Review
Power
1000W
0W

Our Verdict

7.4
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.7/10
  • Design (20%)
    8.7/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    7.7/10
6.8
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.2/10
  • Design (20%)
    8.8/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    6.6/10

Despite being the budget pick in BLACK+DECKER’s portfolio, the WMB500 has decent performance and build quality. The quality of the waffles, however, isn’t going to wow you. Nonetheless, if you’re not too picky and only want a simplistic waffle breakfast, the WMB500 should be more than enough.

As for the Crownful 4-inch mini waffle maker, the most distinguishing feature of this model is its lightweight and compact size. It’s about as big as a softball. As a result, this model is super popular among travelers. The Crownful can easily fit inside a backpack and make fresh waffles on the go.

The quality of the waffles was mediocre, according to our chef. But it’s to be expected from such a cheap and small waffle maker.

Performance

6.7
Performance Scores
  • Self-Mixed Recipe (50%)
    6.8/10
  • Birch Benders Mix (50%)
    6.5/10
6.2
Performance Scores
  • Self-Mixed Recipe (50%)
    7.1/10
  • Birch Benders Mix (50%)
    5.3/10
6.8

Self-Mixed Recipe

7.1
BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Self-Mixed Recipe
Top
BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Self-Mixed Recipe 1
Bottom
BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Self-Mixed Recipe 2
BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Self-Mixed Recipe 3
Color: 7
35% * 7 = 2.5
Texture: 5.5
25% * 5.5 = 1.4
Taste: 7.5
40% * 7.5 = 3.0
  • Heat Level: N/A
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes

The coloration was decent despite the waffle’s wells looking slightly burnt, and some spots on the crust looked undercooked. It received only a passable grade due to having a low aeration rate. Fortunately, it picked up the slack with its tastiness.

Color (7) — 35%

  • Color tone: Very dark brown - Light brown (both)
  • Color distribution: Even

The crust has a very delectable light gold tone around the perimeter and on the raised lines of the waffle pattern. Inside the deep wells, the color has a darker brown color.

The color distribution is great for the waffle. Both sides have relatively similar color tones and gradients.

Texture (5.5) — 25%

  • Texture: Mediocre
  • Aeration level: Medium; air bubbles have begun filling the interior of the waffle. However, their sizes were small and their numbers were few

The concentration of air bubbles within the waffle’s core was way less than ideal. Most of the bubbles were concentrated near the crust, leaving the core dense with un-aerated batter. The result is a rather chewy waffle.

Taste (7.5) — 40%

  • Flavor: Sweet with a buttery aftertaste
  • Mouthfeel: Slightly mushy

The waffle tastes great, according to our chef. The BLACK+DECKER WMB500 was able to unlock the potential of the batter, releasing its sweetness and buttery aftertaste. But the mouthfeel was less than ideal due to the dense interior of the waffle. Its chewy texture ruined the tasting experience.

CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Self-Mixed Recip
Top
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Self-Mixed Recip 1
Bottom
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Self-Mixed Recip 2
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Self-Mixed Recip 3
Color: 7.25
35% * 7.25 = 2.5
Texture: 7
25% * 7 = 1.8
Taste: 7
40% * 7 = 2.8
  • Heat Level: N/A
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes

Our chef gave the CF-WM01's waffle a good score, citing the beautiful, lightly browned crust. The waffle's texture was soft, thanks to a decent aeration rate. But the waffle was still developing, and the air pockets hadn't expanded to their maximum size. Our chef also gave the waffle a good score in the taste section but didn't rate it highly as the waffle has a slightly cloying taste of the raw batter.

Color (35%) — 7.25/10

  • Color tone: Dark brown (Top) — Light brown (Bottom)
  • Color distribution: Uneven

The crust has an appealing shade of light golden brown. Within the deep wells on the waffle, the colors are darker, turning to a light golden brown.

We noticed the wells at the top of the waffle tend to be darker than the bottom. On some tests, the wells on the top side looked like they were charred, while the bottom remained lightly colored. This inconsistent heating pattern alludes to an unbalanced heating grid.

Texture (25%) - 7/10

  • Texture: Soft in most parts, but mushy in certain spots
  • Aeration level: Medium

The waffle’s interior has a medium aeration rate, and several air bubbles can be observed in its core. But since the bubbles were still developing, much of the waffle’s core was still solid and mushy. The mushy spots of under-developed batter stood out as an annoying contrast to the otherwise soft and spongy waffle.

Taste (40%) - 7/10

  • Flavor: Sweet and savory
  • Mouthfeel: Soft, but slightly mushy

Taste wise, our chef judged the waffle to have a good blend of flavors: sweet and savory. But the mushy mouthfeel was a turn-off that ultimately resulted in the Crownful getting only a Good score in this section.

6.5

Birch Benders Mix

5.3
BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Birch Benders Mix
Top
BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Birch Benders Mix 1
Bottom
BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Birch Benders Mix 2
BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Birch Benders Mix 3
Color: 7
35% * 7 = 2.5
Texture: 6
25% * 6 = 1.5
Taste: 6.5
40% * 6.5 = 2.6
  • Heat Level: N/A
  • Cooking Time: 7 minutes

The waffle has beautiful coloration thanks to its dark golden brown crust. In terms of texture and taste, the waffle was mediocre. It was mushy and chewy inside, and the waffle was a bit too bland. Nonetheless, the waffle should still be good if you're not picky and want a simple, classic breakfast waffle. This waffle maker certainly won't be able to make anything gourmet!

Color (7) — 35%

  • Color tone: Very dark brown - Light brown (both)
  • Color distribution: Even

The waffle looked great to the eyes. The crust had a beautiful light gold color on both sides of the waffle. Inside the wells, the coloring was slightly darker, but not by much. None of the wells were charred.

Texture (6) — 25%

  • Texture: Mediocre
  • Aeration level: Medium; air bubbles have begun filling the interior of the waffle. However, their sizes were small and their numbers were few

The aeration level was low. Very few air bubbles or pockets exist within the waffle, resulting in a very crumbly and mealy texture.

Taste (6.5) — 40%

  • Flavor: Sweet with a buttery aftertaste
  • Mouthfeel: Slightly mushy

Flavor-wise, the waffle was mediocre. The sweetness was there, and so was the signature salty taste of the Birch Benders mix. However, our chef assessed that the waffle's flavors didn’t seem fully developed. It’s still a bit too bland, possibly due to the underdeveloped core of the waffle.

CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Birch Benders Mix
Top
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Birch Benders Mix 1
Bottom
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Birch Benders Mix 2
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Birch Benders Mix 3
Color: 4.5
35% * 4.5 = 1.6
Texture: 7
25% * 7 = 1.8
Taste: 5
40% * 5 = 2.0
  • Heat Level: N/A
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes

The waffle was light colored and mushy when we picked it up from the plates. It was clear this test was a bust from the start. But surprisingly, while coloration and texture were discouraging, the waffle's flavor was decent. It saved the otherwise mediocre waffle from failing the test.

Color (35%) — 4.5/10

  • Color tone: Pale gold (Both)
  • Color distribution: Even

The waffle has the appearance of being undercooked with its pale gold crust. Some of the wells on the waffle were dark brown, slightly improving its look. But, as a whole, we still found the coloration not up to the mark.

Texture (25%) - 7/10

  • Texture: Soft, but overly moist and mushy
  • Aeration level: Medium

The waffle’s interior developed well. Slicing it in half, we saw prominent air bubbles and pockets inside. It should have resulted in a soft, fluffy waffle. Unfortunately, the waffle has a lot of moisture, making it limp and mushy. We let it rest for 5 minutes to see if it would get better, but the texture did not improve.

Taste (40%) - 5/10

  • Flavor: Distinctly savory and sweet
  • Mouthfeel: Very mushy

The waffle maker did a great job developing the waffle’s flavor profile. That was despite the lackluster color and texture. Our chef judged it tasty, with a distinct savory note, from the pre-made batter mix.

But while the taste was great, the mouthfeel was subpar due to the mushy texture of the waffle.

Design

8.7
design Scores
  • Build Quality (60%)
    9.5/10
  • Waffle Plates (30%)
    10/10
  • Control Panel (10%)
    0/10
8.8
design Scores
  • Build Quality (60%)
    10/10
  • Waffle Plates (30%)
    9.5/10
  • Control Panel (10%)
    0/10

In The Box

BLACK+DECKER WMB500 In The Box
  • BLACK+DECKER WMB500
  • Instruction manual

The waffle maker itself and an instruction manual are the box’s only content.

CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini In The Box
  • Crownful CF-WM01 waffle maker
  • Instruction manual
  • Warranty card

Dimensions

BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Dimensions
  • Length:
    13.1" (33.3 cm)
  • Width:
    10.0" (25.4 cm)
  • Height:
    4.7" (11.9 cm)
  • Weight:
    4.0 lbs (1.8 kg)

The WMB500 has roughly the same dimensions as your average Belgian waffle maker. At 4 pounds, it’s not much heavier, as well.

But the special part is that BLACK+DECKER has used a smart trick to make it more compact and easier to store for the user. The rear of the machine is flat so that you can stand the waffle maker up vertically, making storage easier.

CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Dimensions
  • Length:
    5.7" (14.5 cm)
  • Width:
    5.1" (13.0 cm)
  • Height:
    3.1" (8.0 cm)
  • Weight:
    1.0 lbs (0.5 kg)

The Crownful lives up to expectations when it comes to compactness. You can easily fit the waffle maker inside a cupboard or a traveler’s backpack or duffel bag.

9.5

Build Quality

10
BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Build Quality
BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Build Quality 1

The BLACK+DECKER WMB500’s baking chamber is made from stainless steel. While the metallic shine improves its look somewhat, we noticed that the metal is highly prone to fingerprints and smudges. So, to maintain the look, you must scrub down the waffle maker daily.

Except for the baking chamber, every other part of the waffle maker is made from plastic. That includes the handle, the back foot, and the lid hinges. All the components are well-built, and we didn’t find any obvious flaws during our inspection.

CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Build Quality
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Build Quality 1
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Build Quality 2
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Build Quality 3

Since it is such a cheap waffle maker, we didn’t have high expectations of its build quality when we first received it in the lab. It was a pleasant surprise when we unboxed the waffle maker and found its build quality to be so good.

The top lid is made from textured plastic and has a pattern of raised, concentric circles. Contrasting the black paint of our unit is the light-colored wooden handle at the front, inscribed with the company’s name.

The build quality of the unit’s interior is also good. The lid hinges are solid, and the waffle plates are immaculate.

10

Waffle Plates

9.5
BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Waffle Plates
BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Waffle Plates 1
  • Numberof Plates:
    2
  • Grid Pattern:
    Belgian-style
  • Plate Area:
    50.27 inch2
  • Plate Length:
    8 inches
  • Plate Width:
    8 inches
  • Material:
    Cast aluminum
  • Non Stick Coating:
    Yes
  • Removable:
    No
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    No

The thing that stood out most to us was the coating on the plates of the WMB500. While most models we have tested have a matte, rough non-stick coating, the ones found on the WMB500’s plates are glossy and smooth. Unfortunately, BLACK+DECKER doesn’t disclose the formula of non-stick it uses for the WMB500. 

But while we can’t tell for certain what the coating is made of, we know that it works very well. We have never once had to deal with a sticky waffle during our performance tests.

CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Waffle Plates
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Waffle Plates 1
  • Numberof Plates:
    2
  • Grid Pattern:
    Classic-style
  • Plate Area:
    12.57 inch2
  • Plate Length:
    4 inches
  • Plate Width:
    4 inches
  • Material:
    Cast aluminum
  • Non Stick Coating:
    Yes
  • Removable:
    No
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    No

The cooking area of the plates is nestled inside a raised moat, which acts as an anti-spill channel. It is slightly offset from the moat, creating a fascinating “Hawaiian earring” pattern.

Although the anti-spill channel is meant to catch excess batter and prevent it from spilling out of the machine while cooking, it doesn't work well in practice. The channel is very shallow, so it has very little value unless the spill is minor.

The plates are coated with a layer of non-stick, which works well enough. We have never had trouble scooping out a finished waffle during our tests.

0.0

Control Panel

0.0
  • Indicator Lights:
    Yes
  • Audible Alarm:
    No
  • Timer:
    No
  • Browning Control:
    No

The BLACK+DECKER WMB500 doesn’t have any control feature except an indicator light at the top.

  • Indicator Lights:
    Yes
  • Audible Alarm:
    No
  • Timer:
    No
  • Browning Control:
    Yes

The waffle maker doesn’t come with any control feature. There is an indicator light at the top, which lights up when it’s plugged in, then turns off once the plates have been heated and are ready for use.

Power Cord

BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Power Cord
  • Plug Style:
    Type A (Flat Blade Attachment Plug)
  • Length:
    23 inches
  • Cable Management:
    No

The BLACK+DECKER WMB500 comes with a power cord measuring about 23 inches long. It’s quite short, so having an extension cord close at hand.

There is no “official” cable management feature on the waffle maker. You can wrap the cord around the back foot of the machine, but only while it’s staying flat. However, the cord will prevent the waffle maker from standing upright and makes it even more problematic to put into storage. A solution we have found is to simply wrap the cord around the baking chamber.

CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Power Cord
  • Plug Style:
    Type A (Flat Blade Attachment Plug)
  • Length:
    31.5 inches
  • Cable Management:
    No

The power cable is very long at 31.5 inches, making it an even more attractive option for travelers who may not always have convenient access to power outlets. For those at home, the longer cord means you’ll most likely be able to skip using an extension cord (unless your kitchen has very odd outlet placement.)

But the longer cord can be a problem when it comes to storing the waffle maker, especially when it doesn’t have any cable management feature.

N/A

Accessories

N/A
  • Material:
    N/A
  • Removable:
    N/A
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    N/A

The BLACK+DECKER WMB500 doesn’t come with any extra accessory.

  • Material:
    N/A
  • Removable:
    N/A
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    N/A

The Crownful waffle maker doesn't come with any accessory.

Ease of Use

7.7
usability Scores
  • Handling (25%)
    3.0/10
  • Safety (40%)
    9.9/10
  • Cleanability (25%)
    8.0/10
  • Indicator Light Visibility (10%)
    10/10
6.6
usability Scores
  • Handling (25%)
    8.5/10
  • Safety (40%)
    2.5/10
  • Cleanability (25%)
    10/10
  • Indicator Light Visibility (10%)
    10/10
3.0

Handling

8.5

The handling experience of the WMB500 is easy. When lifted, the lid doesn’t wobble like many other models we have tested in this price range.

Notably, when the lid is pushed all the way back, the hinges have a slight dampening force. It can protect you from a recoiling lid when you’re in a hurry and accidentally use too much force to open it.

As it doesn’t have any control features, all you have to do is plug it in. The waffle maker will handle the rest. Once the waffle plates are heated up, the indicator light at the top will turn off. That’s the signal to pour in the batter. Wait out the cooking time for however long you want, then lift the lid and extract the finished waffle.

The opening and closing motion of the lid is smooth, thanks to the solid lid hinges.

9.9

Safety

2.5
BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Safety
BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Safety 1
BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Safety 2
  • Top Side Temperature:
    156.7°F
  • Bottom Side Temperature:
    104.2°F
  • Handle Temperature:
    111°F

The BLACK+DECKER WMB500 did excellently in this respect, achieving a near-perfect score. Measuring temperatures at three critical points on the waffle maker—the top side, the bottom, and the handle—the figures are all within acceptable limits.

At the top, above the back foot, and near the indicator light, we measured a temperature of 156.7°F.

The bottom is where most people will hold onto when they need to pick up the waffle maker. Here, we measured a cool temperature of 104.2°F, which is merely warm.

The handle’s temperature was warm, but not uncomfortably so at 111°F.

CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Safety
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Safety 1
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Safety 2
  • Top Side Temperature:
    187.9°F
  • Bottom Side Temperature:
    129.6°F
  • Handle Temperature:
    188.4°F

The Crownful has an abysmal safety score. But it’s worth noting that the faults don’t lie with the manufacturer. Like most mini-sized waffle makers, the whole unit has bad insulation because of its small size. After one or two cooking sessions, every surface on the machine will become piping hot: It is unavoidable. Unfortunately, since this is what we measure to determine a waffle maker’s safety score, the Crownful failed miserably in this test portion.

Using a thermometer, we measured the temperature of the waffle maker’s top side, which was 187.9°F.

The bottom side was warm, measuring 129.6°F. It’s still safe to the touch. However, it’s better to wear oven mitts while handling the waffle maker.

The handle was scorching hot at 188.4°F. The hot handle, combined with the hot steam surging from the plates, makes wearing oven mitts a must. The heat is intense enough to instantly cause a burn injury.

8.0

Cleanability

10

Cleaning up after a cooking session is fast and easy. Spilled batter can be quickly scraped off from the exterior of the machine. And since the non-stick coating already works pretty well, we only had to pick stray crumbs and pieces of debris off the plates from time to time.

The stainless steel baking chamber is the real issue in this part. As we said earlier, it’s prone to smudges and fingerprints. You will need to clean it regularly if you want to maintain a pristine look for it. Else, it’s going to lose its luster in a week or two and look very worn.

The Crownful is easy to clean, both from within  and outside. The non-stick coated plates only need a few scrubs with a clean, dry cloth to remove batter residues or waffle debris.

The exterior of the waffle maker, made from a type of smooth plastic, doesn’t grip onto the dried batter. We left spilled batter to dry on the exterior of the waffle maker for a day. We were able to scour it off with a few spritzes of detergent and a cloth without any difficulty when we cleaned it the next day.

10

Indicator Light Visibility

10
BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Indicator Light Visibility

The light is decently bright and is visible even under studio lighting.

The indicator light at the top was decently bright. We could see it even under studio lighting.