Considering the affordability of this model, we didn’t expect it to have a very premium design from the get-go. The design assessment confirmed it. The waffle maker has a cheap-feeling plastic housing, so it definitely won’t be the most good-looking model you’ll have come across. Despite the mediocre appearance, the build quality is very good: the lid hinges are solid, and the waffle plates are well-built.
Like many other mini models, the Holstein waffle maker lacks a control panel.
The Hamilton Beach 26031 boasts a sleek, luxurious design crafted from stainless steel. We’re quite impressed with the build quality of the ceramic waffle plates. The smooth coating and solid feel of the plates in hand leave no doubt that Hamilton Beach has paid close attention to its construction.
We also liked the control panel. It’s highly intuitive and easy to use, consisting of a single dial for controlling the browning level and two indicator lights.
The Holstein 4-inch Waffle Maker is user-friendly. Much of the operation is simplified due to the lack of a control panel.
Once the indicator light at the top shuts off, pour in your batter and wait until your waffle is cooked to your liking. Due to its compact size, all of the surfaces on the waffle maker become piping hot after a few cooking sessions, so make sure to wear oven mitts while handling it. It’s because of this reason that the Holstein doesn’t score very well in our safety tests.
Cleaning the waffle maker after cooking is easy. The plastic housing doesn’t grip aggressively onto the dried batter, and the waffle plates’ non-stick coating ensures that it’s a mess-less affair.
The Hamilton Beach 26031 has been given a high ease of use score thanks to the simple controls and effortless operation.
Our trials revealed that the lid and flipping mechanism worked wonders. Safety tests also showed that the Hamilton Beach 26031 is generally safe for most people to use — no excessive hot spots or structural flaws.
To make things even better, the waffle maker already included a drip tray and removable plates, making it a breeze to clean.
Though our chef was satisfied with the waffle's quality and noted it as “decent”, it didn’t stand out from the other mini models in our test.
The Hamilton Beach 26031 did excellently in all of our cooking test sessions. The texture and taste of the waffles were impressive, according to our chef. However, the coloration of the waffles could still be improved. Most of the waffles we made had dark colorings, which wasn’t ideal.
Pros & Cons
- Highly affordable
- Compact size and lightweight
- Handling is simple and smooth
- Acceptable build quality
- Excellent cleanability rating
- Luxurious aesthetic by incorporating premium materials (stainless steel and ceramic)
- Does a great job in all of our performance tests
- Removable and washable waffle plates
- Easy to clean thanks to the included drip tray
- Mediocre cooking performance with our self-mixed recipe
- Cheap-looking design
- Lacks a control panel
- Safety rating is very low
- The spin-lock mechanism at the handle is finicky
The Holstein Housewares HH-09125016B is a mini waffle maker. It has a lightweight and super-compact form factor that’s about the size of a softball. The mini design makes it a popular choice for travelers since it can fit snugly in a backpack for freshly-baked waffles on the go.
Its small 4-inch waffles also make for great mid-day snacks or a quick breakfast at home.
Meanwhile, the Hamilton Beach 26031 has a more traditional, full-size design. It makes larger 7-inch waffles.
According to our performance tests, both waffle makers did their job well. The Hamilton Beach 26031 had a higher score and made tastier waffles overall. Meanwhile, the Holstein only got a passing grade.
Not to mention how the Hamilton Beach 26031 is far more premium with its stainless steel baking chamber, while the Holstein has an all-plastic design.
Behind the Comparison
Matthew Lee is a writer and editor for HealthyKitchen101. With over 8 years working for various outlets and agencies, specializing in tech review and other subjects of note, such as current affairs.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef passionate about delicious and healthful foods. At HealthyKitchen101, she develops recipes and collaborates with our Research, Testing, and Review lab to evaluate the performance of cooking appliances. Her assessments add a strong authoritative voice to our product scoring process.
Lap is Head of the Research, Testing, and Review Team (RTR Team) at HealthyKitchen101.com, where he directs and supervises the testing of kitchen gadgets and appliances.