Don’t Put Fork in a Toaster, Here’s Why


Woman putting fork in a toaster

Have you ever used a fork to remove a slice of toast from your toaster? Did you realize then how close you were to an injury or worse?

While it seems like an innocent way to remove the slice, unfortunately, injuries caused by sticking a fork into a toaster are more common than you may think. 

Let’s take a look at why putting your fork into a toaster is a bad idea.

Should You Put a Fork in a Toaster?

The short answer is: NO, you should not put a fork in a toaster. Using a metal utensil, especially a fork, can result in your injury and damage your toaster.

The long answer includes the explanation of why it is such a bad idea. So, why should you not put a fork – or literally any metal utensil – in a toaster?

First, let’s talk about how the toaster can injure you. 

If you use a metal fork to dislodge the toast or to remove a broken-off piece, you are literally using the fork as a conductor for the electricity to pass through and shock you. This can have fatal consequences. Within a moment, depending on the shock your body receives, the toaster can electrocute you, as the electricity will pass from the toaster, to the metal utensil and to you. You might believe that unplugging the toaster will solve this problem, but the circuit can still be running through the appliance, which will cause injury. So, keep yourself safe and keep the fork away from the toaster.

Secondly, inserting a metal object into the toaster can damage its insides. Forks can easily damage, scratch, or bend the thin elements of the heating system even if you are very careful, which will result in the toaster shocking you when you plug it in again. By using a fork, you can remove the heating wires’ Mica coating, which works as an insulator for the power. In other words, you can easily damage the toaster in this manner, which will require you to buy a new one for your own safety.

You should also not use plastic forks in the toaster, especially not when the appliance is still hot. Plastic forks are flimsy, made out of cheaper plastic which will definitely melt when inserted into the toaster. These plastic materials will melt and drip into the toaster. Even if this does not cause a problem right away, leaving the melted plastic in the toaster will easily create a fire hazard. The melted plastic will catch fire, cause the toaster to burn which will lead to property damage and injuries easily.

The Dangers of Using a Fork in a Toaster?

As mentioned before, using a metal utensil in the toaster while it is plugged in is a bad idea. Using the same metal utensils when the toaster is not plugged in is also a bad idea.

Whether the injury you receive is immediate or if it happens later while the previously damaged toaster is in use does not really matter when you are the one who gets injured or worse.

Worldwide about 700 people die yearly on average from malfunctioning toasters. This number is around 300 in the US. While the specific reason for the accidents is not specifically stated in the statistics – i.e. we do not know the exact number of deaths happening from using a fork in a toaster – this number is still frightening. The number is even more terrifying when you know that using a metal fork in your toaster can cause such issues down the line, days or months after you have accidentally damaged the heating systems insulation coating.

When Can You Put a Fork in a Toaster?

Ideally, you should never use metal utensils in your toaster! Metal forks, knives, and spoons should not be inserted into a toast, while the toaster is plugged in. Even if the appliance is not technically turned on, if it is plugged in, the toaster is still receiving electricity through the cord. 

However, if you MUST use a utensil to remove something from the toaster – be it a slice of stuck toast or a broken-off piece – there are two safe ways to do it. 

The first one is to make sure the toaster is NOT plugged in and you need to be extremely careful. Even when the toaster is unplugged, inserting a metal fork into its toasting slices can cause damage later. If your toaster damages the thin metal of the heating elements when the appliance is unplugged, it can cause the toaster to shock you when it gets electricity once more. This static shock can cause injuries, so you must be careful when using metal utensils.

The other way is to use wooden utensils. It’s still safest to ensure the toaster is not plugged into the outlet, but the wooden utensils will eliminate the metal acting as a conductor which can shock you. Reusable, wooden chopsticks are a good way to go.

Protect both yourself and your toaster! With both above-mentioned methods, the slightest push will be enough to dislodge the stuck toast slices. Additionally, being careful will reward you in the long run.

Step Away from the Fork!

Stay safe and keep your metal utensils, especially your forks away from your toaster. 

Not only can you electrocute yourself in a matter of seconds, but you can also cause problems that are not visible immediately. Using utensils which are not made to be inserted into the toaster will put you (or the person who uses the toaster) at risk of immediate death, different injuries caused by electricity, and fire hazards.

The best way to not damage the toaster is to not pose around its inside at all. However, if you have to, reach for a wooden utensil and only do it when the toaster is unplugged. They will not damage the toaster, not melt in the toaster, and will not cause injuries to you or your family members. 

Toasty Guru

If it starts with T and ends with OASTER I'll review it! Alongside reviews, I'll be doing some handy guides and comparisons. A lot of toasty stories to come! Welcome to the Toaster Report, I'm your host, Toasty Guru.

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