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Dualit Vario

Dualit Vario

4.3 from 12 reviews

See the Best Toasters in 2019 as rated by Australians on ProductReview.com.au.


Not living up to expectations

I thought if I invested more in a good quality toaster, I'd acquire an appliance which would toast bread evenly. Sadly the Dualit has not lived up to that expectation. While the appliance itself looks great great, it does not toast evenly. I'm still cutting off burnt parts of toast while other areas are pale.

Date PurchasedJun 2016

Perfect Toaster

Bring a piece of the UK home with this hand constructed toaster. Made of steel it’s built to last. Other manufacturers should use this as a benchmark for their own appliances. I am truly a proud owner. Toast comes out evenly cooked each and every time. Try not to touch the outside to avoid fingerprint marks.

Date PurchasedDec 2017

Perfect toast every time!

So when you think about it, Dualit Vario's are not that expensive when you think about it in the long run, (( if you spend $100 every year on a toaster that ends up getting tossed out because it's terrible or just stops working, within five years you have wasted $500)) when you could end up spending the $400-$500 on the Dualit and have it for 15-25+ years :))

This toaster is incredible! I know many people with it and they have had theirs for ever! And I am so proud I am a new owner of this incredible toaster! Perfect toast, crumpets, gluten free toast, toasted sandwiches, muffins every time. It's fast, easy to clean and looks great in the kitchen.

Date PurchasedNov 2016

Best available toaster

Beautiful industrial look and feel and as a bonus it makes perfect toast.
You do need to set the timer by hand; there is nothing electronic in this purely mechanical device. You even need to raise the toast by pushing a little lever. Imagine!
The only reason it does not get five stars is that I miss my ancient Sunbeam radiant control toaster which was automatic beyond belief. It finally died and is not repairable due to parts not available.


Magnificent

This is my second Dualit, my first, which I've had for 9 years, has been left behind with my daughter in Melbourne, and unable to live without it in London, I bought another, replacing the one which was in my flat when I rented it. Not only does this toaster make perfect toast, it looks wonderful in my kitchen. Although the elements are replaceable, I've never had to do so in 9 years, it polishes up beautifully too! The classiest toaster on the market.


10 years and still going strong.....

I have had my 2 slice dualit toaster since 2002 and are very happy with it. I love the analogue feel of the timer, set it to 3 for crumpets 1.5 for toast. Has not missed a beat! I am upgrading ours to a shiny 4 slicer because we now have toast munching kids!!!!!
The sexiest toaster in the world. The manual timer.
Nothing.


Looks great but don't waste your money

I bought the Dualit Vario, thinking I had finally found the nirvana of all toasters. The beautiful stainless steel case is indeed a work of art. However the beauty is only skin deep. Even when you finally figure out where to set the low-tech rotary timer for your first round of toast, the next round on the very same setting comes out charcoal.
Very uncool. A cheap and cheerful toaster from Kmart produces better results than this thing.
Stainless steel construction looks beautiful
Cannot cook two consecutive pieces of toast to save its life


Excellent

This is a fantastic thing to have in the kitchen. The toast it produces is spot on, mine does sandwiches too, so the kids get fed, and fast, when they storm home. It looks great, is user serviceable (note perhaps to the guy worrying about service charges—get your screwdriver out, this is built to the same mechanical exactness as kiddies-grade mechano. If you can't fix it, you probably shouldn't be using it to make toast without adult supervision).
This toaster is beautiful, with its brutalist form-over-function retro good looks. This really is retro—I don't think it has been redesigned since they first built it, beyond the addition of new colours to greet the twentyfirst century. And everything in it can be replaced, so this little brute is going to be with you a lifetime, which is worth considering when you choose one in bright pink.The toast it produces is spot on, mine does sandwiches too, so the kids get fed and fast when they storm home. It looks great, is user serviceable (note perhaps to the service charges—get your screwdriver out, this is built to the same mechanical exactness as kiddies grade mechano. If you can't fix it, you probably shouldn't be using it without adult supervision).
The timer can be a bit temperamental. Over twelve years it has gone missing three times leaving me with a month or so of tapping the timer and watching the toast. I could have replaced it, but this last time a blast of WD40 and some cycle chain lube seems to have done the trick. It is pricey, but it is going to outlast any one of the cheap and cheerful competition, so weight it up yourself.

OK

How come mankind can invent a dazzling technological marvel to transport humans to and from the moon but cannot make a decent toaster? Hang on, what about the Dualit, the Rolls Royce of domestic toasters, designed to not only look good but reliably cook perfect toast for decades? At NZ$499 as opposed to NZ$20 for a throwaway Chinese toaster it's certainly pricey, but I am silly enough to believe in the possibility that an elite corps of British toaster engineers have cracked this final technological problem.

Six years on, 2-4 pieces of toast a day, the elements are near dead and the timer sticks. Which means underdone toast or burnt toast – take your pick.
Aha! You can order the parts and service it yourself! But the cost of these combined items, is 40% of the price of a new Dualit toaster. This does not equate to value for money or a supremely happy customer. I reconsider my options. There's little you can do to restore two tired elements and a post on the internet says that the timer is electronic and cannot be fixed. I am beaten. But on inspection I discover that the timer is not electronic, just a very basic mechanical timer that opens and closes a set of spring-loaded contacts – and it can be fixed if you are prepared to give it a go. And if you are ultimately prepared to buy a new timer, why not have a go? It's fiddly, but it's not rocket science.

The timer is built with a central division: spring-loaded contactors on one side, and a simple clockwork mechanism on the other (the shaft side). Essentially, you need to gain access to the clockwork mechanism and lubricate it. On my first attempt I prised the entire unit apart (watch those springs!), oiled it with a lighweight oil and reassembled it. It still stuck. So I dismantled it again, cleaned it with mineral turps, dried it thoroughly and re-lubricated with graphite powder rather than oil. (Over time, oil tends to dry out or become sticky, which is probably the cause of the sticking problem in the first place.) I then reassembled it and tested it and two months later it is still working fine.

To avoid disturbing the contactors, it may be worth just unscrewing the nut from the shaft, prising the plastic cover off and soaking the clockwork side of the unit in mineral turps. Then put it somewhere warm to dry thoroughly before puffing a blast or three of graphite powder into the clockwork mechanism and replacing the cover. Test it before returning it to the toaster. If it still doesn't go you may be obliged to surrender the initiative and order a new one. I have no doubt, however, that you will feel much better for having had the pluck to take on one of the biggest challenges yet remaining in the world of mechanical engineering.
Good looks. Sturdy build to outlast other cheaper toasters that die prematurely and are flung into the waste stream. Easy to clean, makes good toast and the timer chirp is strangely comforting.
Expensive – given that it contains just two elements, and a dirt-cheap mechanical timer – which doubtless deters most toaster buyers. Heck, it's a toaster, not a status symbol! (Or is it?)

2 comments
You should make it your mission to invent and produce a decent toaster at a reasonable cost. Like you, we've been through the mill and the best one was a $20 unit bought from KMart that lasted 20 years. Have been through 5 in the last 5 years and still can't get a good one!I have had a duralit toaster and after 15 years it has suddley died, yes it is expensive but a bloody good toaster. I now have a Morphe Richards and it is hopless toast is too dry and crumpets dont cook properly and when they do they are dry. give me a Duralit anytime

Excellent

Our Toaster is a good 30 years old now & going strong still though we have had to have it serviced for new elements during its lifetime. I just couldn't imagine life without it and certainly we did consider this before arranging for the service. The sandwich feature is absolutely wonderful and our teenage daughter lived on toasted cheese sandwiches when nothing else would take her fancy. She is now 30+ years, married and visits regularly and I sometimes think it is more for a sandwich than for her loving parents LOL.... Cannot recommend this toaster too highly. As has been indicated it WAS expensive but it has been worth every penny we spent on the purchase ..... kbelle
A truly wonderfull addition to our kitchen. Easy to clean, very reliable toaster which we would hate to be without.... Fantastic sandwich maker - my choice is toasted chicken.... and many a meal we have had of soup and toasted sandwich over the years.
I honestly cant think of any dislike other than maybe the price.... but believe me it is well worth every dollar you spend on making this purchase....


Excellent

I absolutely love this toaster, we've had our 4 slicer for 10 years & it's been fantastic. I love that the toast doesn't pop up, so if you can't get to it the minute it's done, toast stays warm until you lift it out. Toasts extremely evenly, so if you love your toast then you'll love this toaster.................. if any part breaks you can replace it rather than buying a new toaster. Shop around to get the best price!
Great toaster! Simple design with no fancy buttons. Stylish looking & will never out date. Quality is absolutely superior. Built like a tank.
Expensive, but well worth it.............. if you appreciate quality you won't mind paying for it.


Excellent

One of my favourite possessions - absolutely love it. Sure, they cost a bomb but they last forever. I've been through three cars since I bought this beauty.
Looks fabulous & makes good toast.
I've had it for many years, used every day and never had a problem.
It cost a lot (but worth every cent).

Questions & Answers

Is there anywhere in Melbourne that will service my Dualit Vario?
3 answers
All Appliances in Heidelberg or the Chef's Hat in South Melbourne will tell you where to go (not literally) as will Minimax Brighton, Camberwell and Toorak. Depending what's wrong with it, you can also buy elements from these people. and fit them yourself.Hi Jezza Not sure if this is still relevant as your post is a few months old. If you are near Ashburton, J&T Electronics 254 High St may be able to repair the toaster. Was there this morning and a Dualit was getting repaired. They had nothing but praise for these toasters, wondering if it is worthwhile investing in one.I just had a quote from a repair mob in Heidelberg to replace the timer dial on my Dualit for $140, plus $32 per element - I need five for a four-slicer! - and then labour costs to fit those as well! That's upwards of $300 to service and repair a toaster! Bahahaha, they've got to be kidding, right. No way should have to pay that much to repair a toaster that, it has to be said, never toasted all that brilliantly in the first place. Some of these reviews waxing lyrical stump me. I'm more in line with the ones that say only the first piece toasts properly - then watch out - and thick pieces of bread do burn. And that mechanical dial is terrible. I have three friends with this toaster and we all have broken dials. I bought it because of the concept that there were parts to repair it (loved the idea of no toaster going to landfill blah blah etc), without knowing the parts would require selling off a child or a kidney to fund it. It looks good on the bench, true, but that's the only plus this piece of rubbish appliance has going for it.

Details

Dualit Vario
CategoryToasters
Price (RRP) $549

Visit official website - Download manual

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