Truly, I bought this toaster because it made me laugh. Bright canary yellow, lots of chrome, no fluff -- it seemed like the perfect retro accessory for my funky, retro kitchen. And it is.
Recommend this product?
As a toaster, it makes great toast, and pretty quickly. Dualit claims a patent on the heating elements, which lurk behind something that looks to me like mica. I try not to be impressed unduly by these things, but in this case I think what they've created is pretty special. Although these elements need to be pre-heated to give their best results, they do preheat quickly, and once hot, produce even, lovely, crispy toast.
A mechanical four-minute timer (yes, mechanical!) simply stops with a click, and turns off the elements at the specified time. The toast does not pop up; rather, a mechanical lever allows you to raise the toast when you are ready. This nifty old-fashioned feature has two benefits. First, it keeps the toast nice and toasty. Second, if you press the lever down firmly and rapidly, you can launch the toast into the air and catch it (with a little practice) neatly on a ready plate. This second feature prevents burned fingers, and is particularly entertaining to toddlers and breakfast guests.
A switch allows you to toast two slices or four, reducing energy demands slightly. Occasionally, though, this switch aggravates the daylights out of the person who attempts to toast 4 slices with the switch in the wrong position. Also, for some peculiar reason (probably physics rearing its ugly head), it makes uneven toast if you only make one or three slices.
The slots, advertised as "wide slots", are 28mm (which is just slightly over an inch for the metric-challenged). For toast, that measurement works beautifully, but for most bagels, very thick "Texas toast" and sandwiches, I often wish the slots were an 1/8" wider.
I bought the sandwich cage which lets me toast smaller pieces of bread that might otherwise get lost. Making sandwiches with it is also possible, but the bread needs to be thin and the fillings thinner. We love the cheese sandwiches we make with it. Finally, some fat bagels can be squished and toasted with the cage. (We eventually added a second cage for this purpose.)
The slots are deep, so for the most part even very wide slices can be toasted.
The slide-out crumb-catcher tray does its job admirably, and is easy to empty and clean.
With no fancy electronics and its overall rugged construction there is simply very little that can go wrong. And for over two years of heavy day-in day-out use (we love our toast here!) nothing has.
We love this funky thing. I would buy it again, even were my kitchen stark and modern.
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Amount Paid (US$): 308.11