Products like this are tough to review because it''s all about getting what you pay for. You can''t give a Ford Escort one star because it doesn''t ride like a Cadillac. :) In this case, we have one of the lowest price mill grinders you can get. My prior coffee...
Products like this are tough to review because it''s all about getting what you pay for. You can''t give a Ford Escort one star because it doesn''t ride like a Cadillac. :)
In this case, we have one of the lowest price mill grinders you can get. My prior coffee grinding has been with blade grinders. I had been shaking them gently while grinding just to get better uniformity. I''ve been through 3 blade grinders in 3 years due to broken blades, or warn out lid switches, etc.
This time I decided to try a mill grinder and found this one. I wasn''t ready to spend $150+ to grind my coffee (as much as I love my coffee a certain way). After using this product a few times, here are my observations:
NEATNESS. It is true that it is messier than using the blade grinders I used before. It is a bit dusty. However, I have been able to minimize this issue after grinding using the following steps: (a) leaning the grinder forward and tapping the back, (b) gently pulling out the filled grind bin, (c) covering the opening with my hand (leaving the lid on), tilting the bin at an angle, and tapping again on the counter to make a nice pile for pouring, then (d) removing the lid and pouring directly into the coffee grind basket of the coffee pot, lightly tapping the bin. Even doing this, it''s a little dusty, but not horrible.
GRIND UNIFORMITY. Grind uniformity isn''t amazing, but it''s way better than a blade grinder.
CONTROLS. The number-of-cups switch, which is really just a way of setting the automatic grinding time, is way off. At least the way I like my coffee (which is about a tablespoon of whole beans per 6oz coffee pot cup). For me, I have to take the number of tablespoons of beans I''m using, multiply by 3, and that''s the approximate timer setting. So for 6 "cups" that''s max setting on the timer of 18. For more cups, I have to run it twice. I think there''s much room for inexpensive improvement for the product in this area. The timer should be much more generous. Also, to turn it off manually, you have to slide the switch to the off position. It would be more convenient if pressing the START button was really a START/STOP, but not a huge deal...
MAINTENANCE. I could imagine that if I ground a variety of flavored coffees in this machine, it would be a bit of a hassle to clean it between each change-over. It does leave some grind and chunks behind. But for me, I''m pretty much consistent in the type of coffee I use, so no biggy for me. I do clean it out anyone once in awhile. The nice thing about the unit is that the removable pieces are dishwasher safe.
MORE MAINTENANCE: There are several negative reviews that have said that their Cuisinart DBM-8 just stopped working after some time. Mine did exactly that after approximately 2-1/2 years of use. I decided to take the unit apart and found that, over the course of 2-1/2 years of grinding coffee a couple of times per day, there were a lot grounds into the cavity of the grinder workings compartment (see[...]). This comes from "blow back" of grounds when grinding beans back through the exit shute of the grinder. A little bit blows back on each grind, and how much probably depends upon how finely you grind your coffee. (We grind ours at about 30% of way around the indicator, from the finest position). In the 2-1/2 years, the unit accumulated at least 8-12 dry ounces of coffee grounds. It resulted in the slider switch being insulated and never allowing the unit to turn on. After cleaning out all the grounds and using a Q-tip to gently wipe the slider switch with 91% isopropyl, the unit works fine again.
My recommendation is, if you are mechanically inclined, take the unit apart every 6 months or so and clean out all the coffee grounds. That would include both the bottom cavity and the top cavity (they are accessed separately). The bottom cavity is accessible by pulling off the replaceable rubber feet and removing 4 screws. To get to the top cavity, you need to remove 4 screws that you can see recessed deep in the bottom cavity (you''ll need a long stem, small or medium Phillips head screwdriver). There''s another screw near the top where the grounds container goes. So that''s 5 screws to get to the top cavity. You''ll need to take out 4 more screws to remove the slider and push-button circuit card so you can clean it up before re-attaching it.
A possible design improvement for the unit would be a better seal or some kind of gasket around the small, square connection between the grinder and the grounds bin.