Dualit COMBI 2x2 65-Slice Toaster

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Sure, it's great design, but it toasts with the best of them...

Oct 22, 2005
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Ease of Use:
  • Durability:
  • Ease of Cleaning:
  • Style:

Pros:Toasts good, and looks good doing it (OK, toasts 'well' for the grammar hounds)

Cons:Need the latest gadgetry, digital readouts, or an alarm in your toaster? Look elsewhere...

The Bottom Line: This is the Toaster icon - after using it for a year, I must conclude that this accolade is well-deserved.


If you're reading this, you probably know about this toaster. And it's every bit as amazing as you've been led to believe.

Or maybe you've stumbled upon this review by mistake, or maybe you're doing research on "great toasters"...

Either way, I hope you enjoy my review. Here goes.

I got this toaster (the Combi 2x2) at a Williams-Sonoma Outlet store (at Woodbury Common in upstate NY). It was one of four 2x2's on display - the remainder were the standard two-slice burner. They were refurbs, and they had minor cosmetic blemishes. Very minor. Mine just had a small patch of metal (in the rear, mind) that looked like it was swiped once or twice with a brillo pad. The cord with three-prong plug was in perfect shape, the feet were intact (no wobbles), and the knobs and switches looked good as new. Having toasted with a Dualit before, I knew what to expect, so when I plugged it in at the store I was confident that the toaster was in working order when I heard the wondrous ticking of the knob and when I heard the crackling towards the end of the toast cycle (more on this later). OK, so it works, let's get on with the review:

FIRST LOOK
I admit it; one of the main reasons I bought this toaster was because of its looks. It's old english industrial - sturdy, heavy, all-metal except for some black plastic bits and pieces used sparingly. Actually, the plastic almost feels like wood, it's a grainy matte finish. Anyways, aesthetically it's a marvel and warms me ol' cockles when I look at it. It's not about how expensive it is (my price revealed later) but really how it's just so comforting to look at on your kitchen counter... you better not hide your dualit in a cabinet!

...BUT HOW DOES IT TOAST?
If only toasting, you use the two right-most slots and set the switch above the timing knob accordingly. About the knob. You twist to your desired level of burn (this will take some practice to get preferred crustiness perfected) and you hear the knob ticking away (it rotates back to 'zero' also) just like an old school egg timer. There's something about the ticking sound that's so... I can't put it into words, that's how wonderful it is.

Now, when the timer gets to zero, there's no ding and the toast doesn't pop up. You may be thinking: "Broken refurb!" Nay, I say. Dualits have a warming element that keeps your toast warm for another 10 minutes or so (and it's these elements that make a crackling noise during your toast cycle. DO NOT BE ALARMED, it means your Dualit is working). To eject your toasted's, you push down on the lever and your goody's are pushed up. The slots are wide enough for toast, english muffins, bagel halfs, I even got challah bread in there (if that doesn't impress you, do understand that they were thick slices...).

Once I figured out what knob setting I like my toast (about 2.5), my toasties come out perfectly the way I want it every time. Toast is toasted on both sides (hey, some toasters forget this small detail) and always warm.

We use the toaster about 3-4 times a week, and no problems yet over a year after we brought this tank home.

One can use the two left slots for regular toasting, but I advise using the sandwich baskets even when just toasting, since the pop-up lever only works for the two slots on the right. Bread toasts well in this manner as well. About the sandwich maker...

...GRILLED CHEESE? YES, PLEASE!
You can make hot sandwiches with this thing, but I hope you're not used to hot sandwiches stacked three inches high. Since you have to use the basket when using these slots, the thickest sandwich I could make without a mess was with two slices of cheese and two pieces of ham, all on "thin sliced bread." The grilled ham and cheese came out very well - nice n' toasty and the cheese is nice and melted, but sometimes too much cheese makes it ooze out and causes a little mess. I hand wash the baskets. Other than these, there really isn't too much cleaning to do, other than the occasional wipedown to get the chrome shiny and new.

There's a single full-length crumb tray that goes under all four slots.

This toaster is the best toaster in the world whether it's plugged in or not, and when it's toasting or not. It's artsy craftsmanship makes you feel like you have a work of art in your kitchen, and it functions as a toaster beyond expectations (which were high to begin with).

FINAL THOUGHTS
My practice in the kitchen calls for functionality before design. Great appliances evenly balance the two. The Dualit 2x2 is one of those appliances.

[Bought my Dualit Combi 2x2 for $90 after coupon in summer of 2004]


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 90

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