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Searching for the perfect toaster

I am tired of trying to find the toaster that gives me an even(on both sides)piece of toast for breakfast!!

Is there anyone out there who can help me find a four-slice version that will do the job? It would be great if I could toast the odd bagel as well.

Am willing to spend whatever is needed to end my search!

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    1. re: LovinSpoonful

      Thanks for the website.I checked it out and the toast looks perfect-just wished they'd turned it around so I could check out the other side!!

      1. re: suppertime

        I am disappointed by my Dualit. It worked very well for a few years but I now have a problem with burned and unevenly toasted bread.

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/754988

        1. re: erica

          Which dualit model do you have?I was looking at the dualit lite four slice and comparing it to the breville four slice online to see which might be better.It is confusing!! There seems to be quite a difference in price between the dualit models and I wonder if there is that much difference in the performance.

          1. re: suppertime

            I have a two-slice Dualit Lite that is probably the least expensive model. It looks like this:

            http://www.amazon.com/Dualit-25375-2-...

            A big issue for me is that they have no customer service.

            1. re: suppertime

              Here in the UK (where they are made) the Dualit Classic is considered something of a status symbol/design icon, and they are of course 10 times the price of a cheap plastic machine. The price is to some extent offset by the fact that they work well, and should last for years. I recently visited my old school and the same actual machines (different timer and colours from new ones, so I know!) are still there 33 years later, and they weren't new back then.

              1. re: Robin Joy

                Thanks for the info.Do you mean that the Dualit lite is cheap plastic? I don't really care about the status or design really-just would like a great performing toaster!!

                1. re: suppertime

                  I have a Dualit that is about 8 years old and still going, it works fine, fairly even toasting on both sides. Expensive, but long lasting.

                  1. re: suppertime

                    No, I'm sure the Lite model is fine, but it won't have the same build quality (or cachet) as the Classic. And, whatever your level of design botheredness, they do look good! By cheap plastic I meant the brandless ones I can buy in a supermarket for under $10.

                    1. re: Robin Joy

                      Have you heard about the durability and performance of the Lite model?It sounds great but most of the people that have reported problems seem to have them with this version,not the Classic. I have also heard that there are electrical issues with overheating.

                2. re: suppertime

                  I was given a Dualit Lite a few years ago having previously used the Classic. I was SO disappointed by the Lite's uneven toasting that I got rid pretty quick. I always found the toasting to be very even with the Classic. The Classic Combi is also great for toasted sandwiches or for toasting bagels. Note that all the Classic models have replaceable toaster elements which is how they can last for many many years.

          2. Is a toaster-oven out of the question? After going through a few toasters I decided to try a toaster-oven. A Breville Smart, to be specific. It works wonderfully well at making toast. The slices come out even and hot, unlike my last toaster, a Viking, where they only came out even. And yes,the bagels come out pretty crispy, sliced or not.

            4 Replies
            1. re: David11238

              I actually just bought the Breville smart toaster oven and am planning to use it at our cottage.I've been using it at home for a couple of weeks and it does do all things well but is really too large for the counter space.

              1. re: David11238

                +1 on the .Breville, makes wonderful (I can't believe that I used the word wonderful and toast in the same sentence) evenly darkened toast AND works equally well as a little oven for warming things. Good and solid too.

                1. re: jnk

                  +2 on the Breville. I love mine, and my old toaster is now living in the basement until the next garage sale.

                2. re: David11238

                  We don't have room for a toaster-oven, but if we did the Breville Smart Oven would be our choice. Instead we bought the Breville toaster and love it. It works entirely with push buttons (very cool), makes perfect toast, is >1 year old, is used daily with no problems. Highly recommend it!

                3. i have been happy with my tfal avante 4 slice toaster

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: srsone

                    This thread is perfectly timed. I have been making toast in my toaster oven and it does a great job of toasting store-bought, packaged bread, you know the kind, like Wonderbread. Beautifully golden browned and even all over. But I only use that bread when I have my grandkids over for breakfast, cuz that's what they like. (Aacckkk) I buy artisan bread which is denser and crustier and that toast comes out of the toaster oven unevely toasted and burnt along the crust while the center is almost still white. Now I'm looking for a toaster and have looked at and like the KitchenAid model. It gets very good reviews. Anyone out there have one? Does anyone use artisan or homemade bread in their toaster?

                    1. re: The Drama Queen

                      I did all kinds of research for just a silly toaster! Finally settled on a 4 slice Kitchen Aid, with a bagel function, too. (Not at home right now, so don't remember the model). Works great for 2 years now. Luckily, it also came in a black/stainless finish which matches the other appliances--a minor consideration, but...

                      1. re: The Drama Queen

                        I was happy with my Kitchen Aid for about two years and then it seemed to lose its' power.Same thing with the Cuisinart which lasted all of three years.This time I am hoping that I can find the one that lasts. Dualit keeps popping up as the most durable but I'd be REALLY ticked if after the big expense to purchase the Classic model,it caved after a couple of years as well.We are a family of four and not really hard on our appliances but have had no luck at all with toasters! The new Breville seems to get consistently good reviews as well and is quite a bit less costly.So I am not going to jump into buying something without checking with others first.

                        1. re: suppertime

                          Thanks so much for the information. I'm beginning to think that the toaster manufacturers build an obsolescence factor into every toaster. The time limit seems to be 2 years. I'm kidding of course......or am I?

                          1. re: The Drama Queen

                            ive had my tfal for 7 or 8 years now...

                            1. re: The Drama Queen

                              Drama: I think you hit the nail on the head with that comment. I wish I could figure out how to fix the Dualit. It is annoying to have spent so much and have the thing fail in about 5 years...but I guess that is how electronics are made nowadays.

                              1. re: erica

                                I agree Erica, Dualit is one of the better toasters but the price can get pretty high up there. You'd think for that kind of money it would outlast YOU.

                            2. re: suppertime

                              I've had a Cuisinart (Costco purchase) which I bought maybe 6 years ago. It has several buttons, one of which I forget to use because it seems you push it AFTER your bread goes in -- or something silly like that so that it will toast equally on both sides. Otherwise, I turn it around and put it down again.

                              I use artisan bread in mine, which I make myself, usually cut by my spouse, not always equally thick/thin, so it does take some attention.

                              I'm not sure than any toaster would really satisfy my needs for artisan bread.

                            3. re: The Drama Queen

                              The Drama Queen: "Does anyone use artisan or homemade bread in their toaster?"

                              Yes. And it raises an issue that has not been discussed in this thread earlier: the "logic" of the lift elevator and the shut-off mechanism. Just as in real estate, where the three most important things ase location, location, and location, in toasters, three major concerns outweigh all minor concerns:

                              1. Will the toaster reliably shut itself off?
                              2. Will the toaster reliably shut itself off?
                              3. Will the toaster reliably shut itself off?

                              Toasters are generally a low price commodity item, and cost-cutting in manufacturing is common. An easy place to cut costs is to make one mechanism perform two jobs. In some (until recently, it was most) toasters, the heater element shut-off mechanism is integrated with the toast pop-up mechanism. A mechanical switch or electrical contact is tripped or circuit broken when the toast pops up. What happens, then, when the ragged surface of a slice of artisan bread or an unevenly sliced bagel causes the pop-up elevator to jam? The toaster keeps on heating.

                              Seeing the recommendations in this thread of Daulit, I keep recalling the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) 1994 recall of Daulit toasters because those toasters showed initiative -- a good quality for a bright child in a classroom, but not desirable in an appliance with a heating element -- in turning themselves on unbidden by their owners. That was 16 plus years ago, and I am sure the makers of Dualit toasters have addressed the problem but I am old and crusty and have a hard time letting go of that memory.

                              Once you get beyond the three most important criteria that I listed above above, the next two are:

                              4. Slot width: most toasters now have a mechanism that with a cage inside a wide slot that moves in to make the slot wider for thin-sliced bread. The two wrinkles to watch for here are whether the mechanism works on both sides of the slot, so the bread is centered between the heating elements (better) or whether the mechanism pushes the slice from one side only, away from one heating element and toward the other (worse); and whether the narrowing mechanism also moves the heating elements closer to the slice, or actually move the slice away from the heating elements. The latter is common, while the (better) move-heating-elements-in approach is very rare.

                              5. The nature of the heating elements themselves. Most common (because they are cheapest) are simple zig-zag wires, which tend to give very local heat. Rare, but better are elements that look externally like smooth glass rods: they radiate a broader pattern of heat than bare wires do. A few years back, Bosch experimented with heat panels; I never saw one in person, and do not know how the experiment, which theoretically was promising, worked out.

                          2. I am thinking we are going to go with a toaster oven too. I have an old toaster oven (Italian name, I can't remember) and it makes more evenly toasted and hotter toast than the three toasters we have had!

                            1. Anybody remember Greg Behrendt ("She's Just Not That Into You") and his "Uncool" DVD - the bit about the toaster on display on a pedestal during his act. Evidently he did extensive research into the perfect four-slot toaster.

                              1. I can say without a doubt, Dualit classic is the only toaster I can live with. I am a toast fanatic, and the Lite version just didn't meet my expectations. I returned it promptly, and searched for the classic. Being from las vegas, and traveling to Los angeles a lot. I have the fortune to drive by the william-sonoma outlet. I called to make sure they had a 2 slot toaster( all I need) in stock. The refurbished classics are an amazing deal, I got mine for $125(a 50% discount compared to brand new)... Best toaster I've had in my life, and sturdy as all hell. 4 years after said purchase, I still "Oooh" when i see my perfect toast.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: BedazzledLV

                                  Thanks for the info.I thought I needed a four slice model but am hearing that the Dualit toasts much quicker than the competition,so maybe a two slot version will do the trick

                                  1. re: BedazzledLV

                                    I too am from Vegas and have made several trips to San Diego. Never knew there was Williams-Sonoma outlet. Did I understand you to say the toaster was "previously owned" model or are they factory seconds? I wasn't aware that W-S sold refurbished appliances. I purchased all my LeCreuset cookware from the outlet in Gilroy, California and can't for the life of me find the flaw in any of the pieces. Thanks for the tip. BTW, where is the W-S outlet located?

                                    1. re: The Drama Queen

                                      Oh my! You are in for a treat! The William sonoma outlet at The Primm outlet mall is quite big, and atleast a dozen dualit toasters. Most their items are old stock and seconds I assume( I can't tell the difference in seconds either)... But I got a salt & pepper grinder which retailed for $100 for $25... And then my refurbished toaster. You still have the great William sonoma customer care, but pay 50% of what you'd pay for brand new. I believe they may be returns or store demonstration toasters. But they have been thoroughly inspected to guarantee they work perfectly... And boy is mine a work horse, I do a 30 sec pre heat, and I can pop out perfect toast every 2 minutes. For those that need the 4 slot, the heating element can be adjusted for bagel, and # of toast. If you have problem with longer breads like oroweat, toast them on their side, I've never had a problem since they seem slightly deeper than wide (the perfect design IMO since there is more even toasting. And the no flying toast is great since if you aren't ready to eat it, leave it in it's slot and the ambient heat will keep it hot. Dualit toast is evenly brown, crust not overdone, super crunch on the outside, and perfect center that is still moist and very delectable... They are the only toaster I've had that doesn't dry out the inner part of the breadslice that seems to make toast completely dry. I don't know if I'm describing it correctly but this makes the toast devine. I even eat mine plain sometimes. Unheard of for a butter girl like myself.

                                  2. When my Breville quit after about two years, I used my Cuisinart grill with flat plates and got excellent even browning. But you have do the timing. I now have a Zojirushi Zutto which works fine but evenness of browning depends on bread. Best with Musli bread (Whole wheat with almonds, oats, golden raisins & honey) from a local bakery. You might want to consider a panini grill and use it for toast among other uses.

                                    12 Replies
                                    1. re: amrx

                                      Toaster update
                                      I bit the bullet and purchased a Dualit classic four slice toaster from a Paderno store in Halifax.The owner was kind enough to allow me to literally "check it out" with several types of bread before I decided.The bread toasted perfectly and I was assured that they have never had any complaints with quality although he also said that it is not a top-seller because of the price!Hopefully this will be the last toaster I have to buy.

                                      1. re: suppertime

                                        Are there different models? And Classic is the model you bought?

                                        There indicates there are 52 Dualit toasters here at
                                        http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_nos...

                                        And yes, you did bite the bullet! It would take a lot for me to pay the price.
                                        I hope it lasts you and you get a perfect slice each time.

                                        1. re: Rella

                                          Does it strike anybody else (non-marketing types) that it is bizzare that a manufacturer would need to create 52 different models of an item? As if they couldn't get it right the first time?

                                          1. re: GraydonCarter

                                            It would strike me as bizarre if they did, but they didn't, as a quick run through Rella's link would show. Many of the items are non-Dualit, and an item being listed under each available colour distorts the list length.

                                            1. re: Robin Joy

                                              I'm sorry, the url does distort the list of "52 different models." . I didn't go through them all to see if there were 52 'different models,' but it appeared to be. At any rate, it looks like there are many models, of which the colors do distort the list length.

                                              I'd have a hard time going through this list to buy one, though.

                                          2. re: Rella

                                            I bought the Classic Chrome 4 slice which is the second one on the Amazon site that you posted. It does seem like an inordinately pricey machine considering that in the end it IS just a toaster but if I added together all of the others that have failed over the years it may be worth it! I didn't have to pay as much as Amazon advertised, as it was on sale but it was still more than I had planned to "invest".

                                            1. re: suppertime

                                              I like the looks of your toaster. I know I will never buy another toaster that has anything but a plastic housing (and I do dislike plastic housing).
                                              I have burnt my hand/fingers on too many toasters. Ouch! They seem to be magnets for my digits.

                                              1. re: Rella

                                                The dualit's toast leaver makes this a non issue since it lifts the toast high. I deffinitely do NOT recomend the plastic version due to it's inferior results.

                                          3. re: suppertime

                                            In 10 years, when you are using your same toaster you will look back and wonder how much you saved in aggrivation, bad toast and replacements every 12-24 months with other brand. It will make you giddy. I've had mine for many years now with no need for a repair... But when this toaster does need a repair, I know parts are easily available and can be repaired to last another decade or more. They are not built with an expiration date like all the top name brands I've previously shelled out tons of cash for.

                                            1. re: BedazzledLV

                                              Sorry but I own a Dualit (the least expensive model) and it is no longer working well, after about 5 years....I only wish I could find out how to get the spare parts and have it repaired for minimal cost.

                                              See my post here:

                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/754988

                                              1. re: erica

                                                Sorry to say, the 'lite' models(plastic) is cheaper than the classic because it's made of cheaper materials which aren't built to last forever like the classic. Go to the dualit site to inquire for your model. I purchased through William-sonoma who will handle repairs for me.

                                                1. re: BedazzledLV

                                                  Thanks, but no support is offered for US customers and no parts are available. I bought on Amazon.

                                        2. We've got a Cuisinart that is long & skinny with two slots, selected because you can fit either four slices (two per slot) or nice, long rye and challah slices. The slots are wide enough to fit a bagel, and it has a bagel setting so that it toasts the cut side more than the outside. It's worked really well for a number of years, but lately I've noticed it's toasting unevenly and you have to turn the slices upside down and re-toast to get even browning. I've had toaster fires where the element didn't turn off and melted my under cabinet lighting (!!), so all toasters sit where there is nothing above them in our kitchen. I agree, I'd like a Breville, but they're way too big for our counter space and NITB (not in the budget). Not sure DH would go for a Dualit, cost plus a little too complicated for morning brain, ha ha.

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: blaireso

                                            Our smoke alarm is immediately overhead our Cusinart (long and skinny with two slots). So it does go off everytime I make toast. Yesterday the alarm just wouldn't go off on its own, and I found a small piece of bread that was stuck there.

                                            I still like this toaster despite its idiosyncrancies,
                                            I think the main problem is that I forget to click the "two slices" button.

                                            1. re: Rella

                                              I have a nice red Dualit toaster that I got new on ebay years ago for a shockingly good price. It's worked well, no problems, makes good toast - but still, it's only toast. It's a nice little machine - reminds me of the "Brave Little Toaster" - but it doesn't seem at all worth the high prices that are advertised.

                                              1. re: janeh

                                                Lmao .. Talk to us when you've had the same toaster that is as relyable as ever after 5+ years. They are made to last, not break down after 1-2 years of use.

                                              2. re: Rella

                                                See http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6989... and the subsequent comments that are based on real-world experiences.

                                                1. re: Politeness

                                                  Thanks for the link. Quite interesting posts. I've pdf'd it for future reference.