For the price, the freshness, and the fun, it is hard to go wrong with the HWP.
Positive Product Points
Easy to use. View of beans helps during roasting. Results seem reasonably repeatable. Price is reasonable.
Negative Product Points
Small roasting capacity. Machine noise makes it difficult to hear the ‘cracks‘.
I have done 17 roasts in the past month, and I am getting used to how it works. It could not be easier to use. Measure out the beans, set the dial and go. I always watch the whole process to get a better feel for how things work, when to expect the cracks, what they sound like and so on. It is also recommended for safety reasons. The small roasting capacity is not all negative. I am forced to roast more often, resulting in fresh coffee all the time. Also, a mistake with a 3 oz batch is not as big a deal as with an 8 oz batch. I feel that it is essential to see the beans as they roast. I would have great difficulty judging the end point just by time, sounds and smell. I think the HWP is a great choice for the beginning roaster. I may decide to move up to something better in the future, but this may just be all I ever need. I read other reviews which indicated that it might be unwise to roast indoors because of smoke. I find that roasting indoors works fine as long as I do it under the ventilated hood above the cooktop. However with the fan OFF, it will set off the smoke alarm.