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Dualit NewGen 4 Slot Toaster review

Seth Barton
26 Feb 2014
Expert Reviews Best Buy Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
180
inc VAT

Still the best toaster you can buy, fast, flexible and built to last

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Specifications

Number of slots: 4, Reheat mode: No, Defrost mode: Yes, Bagel mode: Yes, Muffin rack?: Optional 

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Dualit makes arguably the most iconic toasters in the world, it has been through a few revisions over the years but the basic design and functionality is still prized in professional kitchens around the world. If you're unfamiliar with the design, then it's worth pointing out that the Dualit doesn't work in the same way as any other toaster we've tested, in that it doesn't pop up.

Instead of having an electronic timer, the Dualit has a mechanical one, you simply twist it around to the time required and the heating elements come on for that amount of time. A single, manual lever moves all four slices of toast up and down. So to toast you pop in the bread, twist the timer, pull up the lever to lower the bread, wait till the timer pings and then raise the toast to get it out.

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It all sounds like a bit of a faff, and you can see why pop-up toasters have largely taken over, but the Dualit method does have its advantages. First is that you have to set the timer each time, which means you quickly get used to how long things need, edge it up for bigger, heavier items for example; it even has a mark on it for the first round of toast, when the toaster is cold and needs to heat up.

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As the lever isn't connected to the timer, you can also lift the bread during toasting to check on it without interrupting the timer. This is so handy that some pop-up toasters now include lift-and-look as a feature. And if you didn't toast it enough, just twist the dial for an extra 30 or 45 seconds to finish it off. In short, the very manual nature of the Dualit leads to both greater toasting confidence and a rather perfectionist attitude, both of which we approve of.

Dualit NewGen 4 Slot Toaster

The only other control is the selection switch, which lets you choose from one to four slices, or one or two bagels (where only one side is toasted). It's a brilliant design, as other toasters struggle to toast a single slice, with unwanted heat penetrating through from the other slot and spoiling the balance. There's no cancel button, you simply twist the timer down to zero to turn off the toaster, and no reheat button, just set the timer to 30 seconds if required.

The Dualit appears more durable by design, the simplicity of the timer and lever mean they should last for decades. The Dualit is built like a tank and everything feels lovingly engineered. All the parts are also easily replaceable, we know as we took one largely apart to double-check. And that includes the toasting filament boards, which are usually the parts which break on a toaster.

The filaments are the other big difference between the Dualit and all other toasters we've seen, including its own stablemate the Dualit Architect. Each one is covered by a transparent layer that allows the heat to penetrate through, but keep the delicate filaments save from harm, such as the knife you use to clear out that stuck piece of errant crust. This is what really makes the Dualit tougher than other toasters.

Dualit NewGen 4 Slot Toaster

The filaments in the Dualit are slimmer and more closely packed together. They certainly give out a lot of heat with the toaster coming near the top of those tested in both power consumption and speed at one minute and 56 seconds to produce the perfect slice, using 0.041kWh to do so.

You can see the result below, which are again affected by the Dualit's unusual design. On a typical pop-up toaster the moving section at the bottom of each slot is designed to hold the bread fairly upright, usually with an indentation in the middle. On the Dualit these are just dead flat blades of metal, which means the toast tends to fall over to one side of the slot. This puts it closer to the metal bars on that side, which means you get slightly lopsided toasting but there's a big visual benefit as those bars create attractive stripes down the toast.

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The toast itself was excellent. Crisp on the outside but still moist in the middle, we find that the faster-than-average toasting speed is most certainly to our tastes. Due to the aforementioned leaning the toast is a little more even on the nearer, striped side, while the top of the opposite side tends to be paler. It's not a huge issue though when eating and the toast does look great. A more serious downside is that the slots are not particularly long or deep, so taller bread can't be laid down and pokes out the top when standing.

Dualit NewGen 4 Slot Toaster

The crumb tray is worth a quick mention, it's big, deep and simple, covering the whole of the area beneath the slots and sliding out the front for easy access. No less than you'd expect from a toaster intended for catering use. The lever also pushes the toast high up, so getting hold of smaller items isn't a big problem. There's also reasonably priced and surprisingly effective extras such as the toasted sandwich cages (£11 for pair) and a warming rack for £15 (for items such as croissants)

Dualit NewGen 4 Slot Toaster

The Dualit isn't perfect, those who toast bread taller than 123mm may curse its shorter slots leaving an untoasted stripe across the top of the bread, though most sliced loaves will just squeeze in horizontally. The lack of dual controls also means you can't easily start a second round of toast once one is in progress, or at least you won't have a timer for the latecomers.

Some may not take to its more manual, more perfectionist take on toasting, but we found it empowering and quickly felt we had mastered the device, and mastered toasting, after many years of uncertainty and lurking by out toaster. At £180 (or £200 for this all stainless steel version) it's certainly not cheap, but it should last a lifetime, making it our Ultimate-award-winning toaster. Oh, and it's made here in the UK too, so it's a toaster we can all be proud of too.

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Details

Number of slots4
Browning controls1
Reheat modeNo
Defrost modeYes
Bagel modeYes
Size (WxDxH)360x210x220mm
TOASTING
Toast lift height70mm
Additional lift height?No
Slot width31mm
Slot length123mm
Slot depth118mm
Crumb trayFront
Muffin rack?Optional
Cool to touch?No
Other featuresSlice selector (1-4)
Buying
WarrantyOne-year RTB
Price£180
Supplierwww.johnlewis.com
Detailswww.dualit.com
Part Code85525327

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