There's no getting around the fact that the dualit range of toasters is pricey. I really don't know how they justify charging the exceedingly high prices for their top models, those appliances really must toast spectacularly well. However, I felt that the cream dualit "lite" model was so beautiful that we could just about stretch to it. I was banking on the fact that it's a good name, so hoping that the toaster would last well too.
Really, I chose this toaster primarily for it's looks. I searched and searched, but couldn't find another cream toaster of a comparable or cheaper price that could hold a candle to this one in the looks department. Whilst I wouldn't judge a person on the basis if their outward appearance, a toaster has only two main functions: looking nice on my worktop and toasting. As I assumed that for fifty quid-ish the toaster would toast, looking good was the only criteria left to fulfil. Well folks, I'm sure you'll all be delighted to know that this toaster does indeed look beautiful next to my coffee maker and kettle. We've had it for a couple of years now, and it still looks as good as ever - I just wipe it over every now and again, it comes up looking like new. The only failing, looks wise, is that, whilst the cream toaster and kettle from the dualit range match perfectly, they are not a perfect match to the coffee maker, which is darker.
Now I've reassured you of the aesthetic pleasure my toaster brings to my life, I guess you'll want to know if it actually works. Well, it does. It toasts bread in the normal fashion. It does not impart any special degree of rarified toastiness, it just toasts it as per normal. Two slices at a time.
There are other functions, as follows:
* The slots accept a variety of thicknesses of bread, even a halved roll or hot cross bun. However, as with previous toasters we've had, the extra thick parts of anything being toasted do tend to get charred. Also, there is still a slight tendency for subsequent items to toast faster (therefore potentially getting burnt) than the first item toasted per session, as it were.
* Frozen bread button. Press this, and frozen slices are defrosted and toasted in one operation, without needing to adjust timings. It helps, but isn't foolproof.
* A rack (included with our model) fits on top of the toaster for warming through croissants. You press the croissant warming button, then just run the toaster as normal. We don't have croissants that often (I'd love to, but would be the size of a house...), but I really like this feature and find it works well. Our first rack did break, but this may have been down to being stuffed into a somewhat overfull drawer when not in use.
* Toasted sandwich making cages. You just make a sandwich (buttered on the outside is recommended), then put it in the cage and toast as per normal. This woke pretty well and makes a nice change to ordinary sandwiches. We found we needed to experiment with filling quantity and timings to get the insides properly warmed through before the outsides charred, but this is doable.
Overall, we are happy with our choice of toaster. My husband would have been happier to pay £3.99 for a plain white value toaster, but then we wouldn't have been able to warm croissants, would we ;-)
The only other thing is, the first one of these we bought did break and trip the power in the house. However, I think that was just a fault with that particular item, as John Lewis willingly replaced it with another one which works perfectly.
The main plus point for this toaster is its attractiveness in the kitchen. It has a modern yet slightly retro design, and of course coordinates with other Dualit products such as kettles. I have had this toaster for over two years now and it remains attractive and has not begun to look worn out. On a practical level the toaster works well. It has a dial setting which can be adjusted according to the product being toasted. The toaster works quickly. The slots are wide and accommodate bakery items such as crumpets, bagels and muffins as well as regular sliced bread without burning them. The crumb tray is easy to remove and easy to clean, and generally holds any crumbs which may fall from toast. All in all the toaster looks good and functions well, although admittedly it is expensive for an appliance which can be bought for a lot less.
I appreciate that many people would wonder why you would spend £50 on a toaster, when you can now buy one in Argos for £3.50.
From a purely functional aspect, it is a powerful machine that makes decent toast at a fast speed. Bagels and tea cakes are also done beautifully. It also feels like it is built to last. I have had mine for nearly 2 years now, and it functions just as well as the day I bought it.
From a asthetic point of view, this toaster has become a classic, having a modern look but reflecting the designs of yesteryear. The soft cream coloured plastic sides have a lovely smooth feel and the chrome is very smart, although it is a pain to keep clean sometimes. It may be an expensive toaster, but it is technically brilliant and adds a bit of glamour to your kitchen. Most people have their toasters on display perminantly and use them daily, so for me the extra spend was worth it
If you care about style when it comes to kitchen gadgets then look no further than Dualit. A british company that offers style in abundance and quality but for a price. Ofcourse if your not bothered about what it looks like and just want toast first thing in the morning then the price of this toaster would probably leave you needing a lie down. I did shop around for a while before buying this one but when it came down to it I couldnt match anything else for looks on the high street.
I have now had my toaster for just over a year and it still works as well as the day I bought it. The slots are extra wide so you dont have to worry about your toast getting stuck, and prizing it out with any sharp implements! The dial on the side is exactly that, a dial to choose the level of browning on your toast, it ranges from 1-8, however I only use three and I should think level eight would be like a slab of charcoal.
Also on the dial in the middle is the bagel button, which allows you to warm one side whilst toasting the other, no fiddley switches to press just one button and your done. There is no cancel button, you just lift up the lever and out it pops. The springs work very efficiently and on its first few uses would toast the bread and then catapolt it out across the kitchen !!! be warned.
At the bottom of the toaster is your crumb tray, it pulls out very easily allowing you to empty the crumbs and rinse clean and reinsert again for use.
For overall maintenance it cleans very well, as with all stainless steel appliances it could do with a polish once in a while otherwise if it sits on your worktop and is used daily its bound to get splashed and watermarked.
Price wise, well as I said before you can certainly buy cheaper but it looks good, works really well and allows you the option of doing bagels and buns and the appliance automatically adjusts to fit whatever it is you are toasting.
Where to buy, well I purchased mine from Next, at the time it was not available to buy in Argos, although you now can.
Next £45 Black/Cream
Argos £54.79 Black/Cream
For overall performance, I rate it 5/5
For looks/style, I rate it 5/5
For price, I rate it 3/5
Short name: Dualit 25072