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Mar 30, 2011 05:11 AM

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.

        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:


            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.