I keep hearing about how good these grinders are for the price, but haven't seen any formal reviews on them (here or anywhere else). Obviously the PL53 is out of stock at 1st Line and it seems that will be the case for at least another month or so, maybe longer. The PL043 is in stock at LatteMaestro and I was curious if anyone knew the difference between the two grinders?
I was going to get a Rocky, but with the recent price increase, I think I'll stay away. My other option is the Ascaso I-Mini, but those are out of stock everywhere, too.
The last time I looked, most decent grinders had cutting burrs in addition to the motor and switch. I have used a LaPavoni PGC clone (Maximo) to great success, I originally purchased for $120 new
Vaneli's has a stepped conical grinder with what appears to be the trespade burrset (same as the PGC) for ~$170 (Click THIS) It should be capable of grinding for good espresso....not the most robust build but probably good enough.
Can you say why you are not impressed with it? What specifically don't you like? I too am looking at it instead of the higher-priced Rocky. The small amount of reviews on home barista indicate it has an easy to clean chute, is stepless and doserless ( a plus for small users like me) and doesn't require any user calibration or mod (also good for people like me). It supposedly has less clumping than Rocky. I really didn't see anything negative about it.
My concern is the lack of more reviews plus if there is only one distributor, isn't that risky in terms of repair and parts (all opinions welcome). What if that guy went out of business, for instance?
I have been using the PL53 daily for 7 months now. (3-5 doubles a day.) It has been very well behaved. I grind into a small stainless pitcher (to measure by volume) then fill the basket. I have not had to do any 'clump busting' of any kind. (I suspect this is mostly due to the grounded metal spout.) The burr carrier however is plastic and there can be some static build up in there, breaking off to form a larger boulder size clump now and then, but this is maybe after a week so time to clean the spout. (Also, I don't use oily beans so I have no idea what might happen if you put 'sticky stuff' through it. ;^) What's not to like? a bit noisy, stops conversation, it's light and so I push it against the backstop to push the botton. $229 for espresso grind that you don't have to stir with a needle, I think it does a great job. Biggest problem with this grinder: it is out of stock! C'mon Jim, just go over and hand carry them back!
Same here re the Ascaso i-Mini. I have two of them & paid $229 for each one. I bought my second one for my second espresso machine (both espresso machines are Gaggia Factory 106 levers). I'm very happy with the i-Mini's compact size, attractive appearance, all metal exterior (all metal, other than the hoppper which is plastic, of course), conical burrs, steppless design, price and performance. I bought my first one from 1st Line. They were out of stock on the i-Mini when time came to buy my second, so I bought it at Seattlecoffeegear.com instead. Had to pay sales tax there, as I'm in Washington State, but it was in stock and they got it to me almost overnight. Pleased with both vendors and especially pleased with the i-Mini.
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