Help! I really need a new toaster that I'll be happy with. At Christmas I bought myself a beautiful Dualit. I LOVED its looks. I really wanted to love it but had to admit it could not toast well at all, even tho I was preheating like the directions suggested. Thank goodness I was able to return it. Price is not a big issue. I think Alton Brown likes the Braun toaster. Thanks.
I've had a Black & Decker two-slice toaster for years, I've been pretty happy with. Michael Graves design from, I believe, Target. Reliable. It toasts fine. Not unattractive on the counter.
Only thing I'd look for in my next toaster is one that can toast longer bread than standard sandwich. (If I buy a round loaf, I have to chop off the ends.)
I have a toaster (cheap) bought at Bed & Beyond about 12 years ago that has the word "Princess" "embossed" on it somewhere - i think that is the brand name. It does a pretty good job. However, the best toaster I've every used was my grandmother's - from the 1950s, still has the "fabric" covered electrical cord - my sister has it now. Perfect every time.
My mother's Sunbeam toaster with the cloth cord (lucky me I do have her Sunbeam waffle baker, 4 big perfect waffles at a time, orig. 50's cloth cord)made the absloute best toast. If I could find one of those in a appliance repair shop or thrift store I would snap it up in a heartbeat. You just dropped the bread in and it lowered itself automatically.
In the past 32 years I have gone through a number of toasters and toaster ovens. None were as good as that Sunbeam but I have an Oster toaster now, it says Sunbeamon the bottom, It is housed in white plastic, has the long slots and makes pretty okay toast. It was cheap as well.
I have had my eye on the Dualits for several years, Im'm glad to hear that I should spend my money elsewhere.
I gave up on the two-slice toaster years ago; all of my "irregular" bread won't fit in the damn things. A good ol' $25 Black & Decker toaster oven works great for odd sized stuff on the "toast" setting, and it is great for reheating or even cooking small things. I do like the under-counter mounting, which frees up valuable space.
GE Classic 4-slice Toaster. Chrome. Retro styling. I bought it at Walmart about 2 yrs ago. It has a defrost setting too. I'm really happy with it.
I've had two Cuisineart long-slot toasters in a row. They're great for oversize slices. However, both of them burned out after a couple of years.
Last time I got a KitchenAid, which had been recommended. The slots are wide enough for bagels, and it has a single-side button and a warming function. However, I hate it, since the slots aren't long enough. Also, after two months, it no longer browns very well.
I'm shortly going to get another long-slot model. They're made by Cuisineart, Braun, Krups, Sunbeam, Delonghi, Oster, Russell-Hobbs and Toastess.
The Braun models are at the link.
I'm looking for recommendations, too.
Find a restaurant supply house. The industrial ones are made to toast a hundred slices in a day and usually work better. They aren't cheap, pretty or space saving, but I think you will find they work better.
Slate tested eight toasters and recommends the DeLonghi Aluminum 2-Slice...
"Meet everyone's favorite. The DeLonghi elicited actual oohs and ahhs. When you place a piece of bread in the slot, the toaster senses it and the bread automatically descends. When the bread is finished toasting, it rises slowly to the surface. This rising is accompanied by a pleasant "ding!" If your temperature control has already been set, it's possible to make toast without ever touching the toaster. It's magic, I tell you."