The Dualit Newgen toaster review (pop-up version): the best toaster money can buy and a Great British design classic.
Dualit Newgen is an updated version of the classic Dualit toaster that's been around for decades. I would say it's the best toaster you can buy. If you consider the price of it to be a bit mad, I can't say I'd disagree with that per se. However if you look on the Newgen as a purchase that will bring you pleasure every day for the rest of your life, then it suddenly seems like a bargain. Well okay maybe bargain isn't quite the right word, but you catch my drift.
The Dualit Newgen is available in 2- and 4-slice models. Dualit also makes 3-slice and 8-slice toasters that are not branded as Newgen but which are extremely similar in appearance – the only obvious visual giveaway is that the slot selectors are different. The 'real' Newgen models come in a remarkable 22 different colour options, so there really is a Dualit toaster for everyone (who can afford a Dualit toaster).
I've been living with mine for a couple of years now, and despite being sent the very finest toasters in all of the world to try in that time, I am always happy to go back to my Dualit. Why? Well now, let me talk you through it…
Dualit Newgen: price and availability
Dualit Newgen is available in fine retailers and vendors throughout much of the world. In the UK it costs £150 for the 2-slice version and £200 for the 4-slice.
In the USA the 2-slice is around $240 and the 4-slice $350 . In Australia pricing seems to be all over the place but expect to pay something in the region of AUS$400 for the 4-slice and upwards of AUS$320 for the 2-slice.
Prices vary a lot, in fact, but our handy price widgets above will let you know the best Dualit Newgen deals near you right now.
Dualit Newgen: design and build
This toaster has a very British look to it, but not in a parochial way. It's kind of industrial, kind of homely, kind of old fashioned and kind of timeless. It's a classic design. From the metal panels – available in 22 different finishes, as noted – to the whirring clockwork timer to the satisfyingly clunky mode selector, everything about the Newgen is a tactile yet practical treat.
Despite its premium nature, the 2-slice Newgen is very compact. The 4-slice is naturally somewhat bigger, but it's not a hulking great thing like the KitchenAid Artisan toaster.
Toasters are not exactly a hotbed of innovation, but Newgen has a different design to practically every other toaster on the market. It has several features that I am surprised nobody has thought to copy over the years. No doubt Dualit guards its copyrights and patents jealously, as well they might.
Most notably, where most toasters have either a pull-down, spring loaded handle or a motorised button to move the toast up and down, the Newgen has a nifty little lever. Want to see how your toast is doing? You can pop it up for a look, without turning off the heating elements or resetting the timer. Not done yet? Back down it goes then. If it's done, simply cancel the timer and turn off the elements by turning the timer back to its starting position.
The genius of the toasting lever does not end there. If you want to keep your toast warm, you can have the elements off, but the lever down. This means that the residual heat from the toasting is used to keep your toast toasty. Or, at least, above room temperature.
The mode selection knob cleverly lets you choose how many of the 2 or 4 slots to use at any given time. This saves on electricity costs and is particularly handy on the larger model.
The Newgen also offers the option of toasting bagels on one side only, if that is your preference. I have no idea why you would want to do that but if you do, the option is there. The rotary timer also includes an option for defrosting frozen bread before toasting. Really, this is just 'toasting' the bread for a short period of time, to defrost it, after which you toast it again to actually toast it.
The Newgen was created for commercial use and as such, every element of it, including the actual elements, can be replaced or repaired. Every toaster comes with a one-year warranty and two years on the heating elements. After that, should any part wear out, Dualit will fix it, for a cost. If you look online, you'll find practically all the parts available – most of them are quite cheap – as well as tutorials on how to fit them yourself.
This means that in theory, your Newgen should last you a lifetime, with minimal fuss and grief.
Despite that, Dualit do provide some rather alarming safety warnings with this toaster. In order to fully feel safe, you apparently need to make sure it is not directly below a wall unit and Dualit also recommends you unplug the Newgen when not in use. I have to say I have not really followed either of these instructions, and – touch wood – my house has not so far burned to the ground. You really ought to follow the instructions though, just in case.
Dualit Newgen: toasting performance
Of course, none of the above would mean much if the Newgen didn't create impeccable toast. Given that a toaster costing perhaps as little as one tenth the price of the 4-slice model can happily produce perfectly adequate toast, the Newgen really needs to deliver on this score.
I'm glad to say that, with minimal practice, the Newgen does indeed deliver damn fine toast, bagels, crumpets and other things you can cram into a toaster. The excellent heating elements and wide range of timings offered by the clockwork timer mean you can do everything from lightly warming bread to getting a proper char on more artisan styles of bread.
Because the Newgen toasts very consistently, and you can pop the bread up at any point to see just how it's doing, it's also hard – though admittedly not impossible – to ruin your toast.
The slots are also a good size, and able to take breads of many different shapes and sizes, and slices of varying thicknesses. The good amount of travel on the lever-controlled toast raising and lowering mechanism means that smaller bits of toast don't have to be dug out with tongs, while taller bits are browned from top to toe.
I'm not going to pretend that making toast is usually some kind of epic struggle with cheaper toasters. However, I do feel like you're getting your money's worth with a Dualit Newgen. It removes most of the minor irritations you get with cheaper rivals, and produces excellent toast on a very consistent basis.
Dualit Newgen: verdict
Of the 'Big Three' toasters – Sage/Breville Smart Toaster, KitchenAid Artisan and Dualit Newgen – there's no doubt that Dualit's is my favourite.
Yes, it's a luxury product. I'm aware that most people would find spending this much on a toaster a bit ridiculous. However, if you have the money to spare – or you just really bloody love toast – this is not a purchase you'll regret. It will class up your kitchen a treat, but it doesn't have the slightly obnoxious, 'look at how expensive I am' design vibes of certain other high-end toasters I could mention.
In short, if you want the best, when it comes to toasters at any rate, then Dualit Newgen is it. It's a design classic that will never go out of style, so long as there are people in the world who crave toast.