I've been using this clear $50 retro toaster in my kitchen for a week — here's my verdict

The DASH Clear View Toaster looks gorgeous on your kitchen counter but I wasn't impressed with its toasting ability

The DASH Clear View Toaster review
(Image: © Future)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The DASH Clear View Toaster has an attractive and colorful retro style, but numerous drawbacks make it hard to recommend. The main selling point of the large front-facing window seems more of a gimmick and the large footprint means this won't be a good appliance for those with smaller kitchens or limited surface areas.


  • +

    Stylish and attractive

  • +

    Allows you to view toast while toasting

  • +

    Easy cleaning and handling

  • +

    Quiet operation


  • -

    Takes up a lot of space for a two-slice toaster

  • -

    Toast shade doesn’t always conform to settings

  • -

    Glass front gets very hot

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DASH Clear View Toaster: Specs

Slices: 2

Material: Plastic

Dimensions: 15.7 x 6.6 x 7.8 inches

Weight: 5.41 pounds

Settings: 7 + Bagel, Defrost, Reheat

Cord length: 37 inches

Color options: Black, Aqua, Gray, Red, White

The DASH Clear View Toaster is a striking and extremely affordable toaster at just under $50 from Amazon. But while it looks the part, there are some drawbacks that are hard to overcome when it gets down to usability. Anyone looking for form over function would be best advised to look elsewhere, as would those with large families or living in shared accommodation — despite its size this is only a 2-slice toaster. 

The hallmark of the device, though, is clearly the large front window that lets you watch your toast (or bagel) being cooked. After spending many breakfasts with the DASH Clear View Toaster, I certainly appreciated the aesthetics (it has a pseudo-retro vibe that's really striking) and the practicality of seeing your toast cook to just the right level of golden brown. 

But, unfortunately, that unique front window also revealed some shortfalls, like the fact it was actually pretty hard to accurately gauge toasting level and the overall result didn't seem to conform to the settings. 

Does the DASH Clear View Toaster offer more than a surface-level experience? Let's dive in and find out what I thought after using this retro toaster in my kitchen for a week. 

DASH Clear View Toaster: Price and availability

The DASH Clear View Toaster is available for $49 from Amazon. It comes in five color choices: Aqua, Black, Gray, Red, and White to complement any kitchen decor. 

DASH Clear View Toaster: Design

Despite its relatively space-consuming footprint of 15.7 long by 6.6 inches deep and 7.8-inches high, the DASH toaster only toasts two bread slices at a time. That may partially account for its light weight of 5.41 pounds, among one of the lightest toasters we've tested. The extra length presents the toaster’s signature feature — a picture window through which you can see your toast darken as it’s cooking. 

The single length also accommodates longer bread slices that otherwise may have to go through a regulation toaster twice, or get cut in half for the whole thing to get toasted at the same time. The settings are easy to decipher on a round knob that runs from 1 to 7 with all shades accessible in between. 

The toaster has an elegant, designer look, though the glass can get awfully hot. From the front,  where the glass is located, temperatures range from 82 to 141 degrees, while on the side, temperatures range from 80 to 115 degrees across different settings. The glass temperature recorded very high, and was hot to the touch. And while you wouldn’t be hurt if you tapped the glass with your fingers or brushed your hand against it, you would not want to rest your hand on the glass for any length of time.

Because the heating element glows orange, it’s not that great for accurately gauging the progress of your bread as it cooks. Energy consumption was a modest 0.042 kWh at 2:22 minutes for the full capacity (two slices) medium setting. 

DASH Clear View Toaster: Performance

The DASH Clear View Toaster is a toaster where we felt it necessary to conduct backup shade tests straight away. Certain anomalies we noticed in testing the accuracy of the toaster settings suggested, at times, that the DASH didn’t seem to know the difference between light and medium settings — even on bagel tests.

While the single toast test yielded even shading and consistent results, there was very little difference in shade between setting #1 and setting #4. We tried toasting from both sides of the toaster’s single slot separately to see if there was a difference, but there was none. 

For the high toast setting I expected and saw an appropriate dark color on the front side, with a slightly darker back side, and light grill marks appearing on both sides in some tests, but not others.

When it came to toasting bagels, the difference between light and medium was negligible as bagels at both settings came out really light on the cut side. The highest bagel setting gave a darker result, but not what most people would expect from a dark setting. The DASH high bagel setting shade would be barely medium for any other toaster. 

Defrosting needs a bit more time as initial toasting at both medium and high settings yielded almost the same shade. In addition, my waffle was very light for the highest setting — nearly identical to the shade of the middle setting. All told, there are other options that will give you a better toasting experience.

DASH Clear View Toaster: Ease of use and cleaning

DASH Clear View Toaster crumb tray (Image credit: Future)

The DASH has the usual controls I would expect from a toaster, including Defrost, Reheat, and Bagel settings. Its dial knob is a smooth mover that lets you adjust the shade levels from 1 to 7 and anywhere in between.

When you push toast down with the lever, any extra button-based function glows red. A Cancel button in the middle of the shade dial instantly pops up your bread, should you change your mind as you watch your bread toast through the glass.

Removing accumulated crumbs from the bottom of the toaster is accomplished via a long pull-out tray located at the bottom left hand side of the unit. There’s no resistance in pulling the tray out to empty and wipe clean. 

The DASH’s most distinctive feature offers a bit more than meets the eye. Already the glass front is a novelty, but glass can get dirty and look untidy and opaque if you don’t clean it regularly. DASH makes it easy to keep the glass panel looking pristine by allowing you to remove it completely from the unit. A latch at the bottom of the toaster lets you easily disengage the glass from the toaster body, wipe it clean both front and back, and even wet and dry it before clicking it back into place. As a safety measure, the glass panel clamp must be secure or the toasting lever will not work.

All the information you’ll ever need about the DASH Clear View toaster can be found in a brightly colored instruction manual that offers detailed safety tips, user instructions, and even toast recipes.

DASH Clear View Toaster: Verdict

DASH Clear View Toaster test results (Image credit: Future)

If you’re designing an updated and stylish kitchen or want a sophisticated look to your toaster, the DASH Clear View Toaster is a fine pick given its price. However, its calling card, the glass front, is a bit gimmicky because it’s hard to accurately gauge exactly how dark your toast is just by looking through the glass at the red coils. Meanwhile, there's no other excuse than the glass for this toaster to have such a large footprint considering it's only a 2-slice toaster. The other downside we noted was the accuracy of the toast settings; low and medium settings were consistently too close in shade. So while we appreciate the overall aesthetic, it's hard to recommend this toaster as it appears to be mostly style over substance.  

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Jackie Dove

Jackie is an obsessive, insomniac tech writer and editor in northern California. A wildlife advocate, cat fan, and photo app fanatic, her specialties include cross-platform hardware and software, art, design, photography, video, and a wide range of creative and productivity apps and systems. Formerly senior editor at Macworld and creativity editor at The Next Web, Jackie now writes for a variety of consumer tech publications.