Fantastic 800 rpm conical burr grinder for espresso that easily rivals $700+ commercial grinders
Positive Product Points
It is one of these rare to-good-to-be-true finds. You will read the review and think that it impossibly can beat those big boy grinders. Well, believe it or not, but this little grinder is really great. Small footprint, doserless, stepless for a few more bucks, does not clog up at all, does not retain grinds, looks nice, stainless steel body, automatically reduced revolutions during grinding to 800rpm, hefty conical burrs, ultrafine mocca grinds are possible.
Negative Product Points
None of these are a nuisance, but I want to mention them: Is a bit messy if grinding into portafilter, the pf holder is does not work with commercial pfs. The pf switch is placed a bit too low and is a bit hard to trigger. Has a cheap plastic hopper, but it holds up. Is a bit noisy, but it beats any blender, blade grinder or similar household gadget easily.
Get it for espresso. It is unbeatable even for the regular price of $200. Update it to stepless and you will smile when reading about $600-800 "titan" commercial grinders that are as effective as this baby. It looks actually not too bad and has a nice stainless steel housing. It easily fits under cabinets...
I am using it for espresso in combination with a lever machine. I developed the bad habit of adjusting towards grind settings that choke any pump machine I tried. With the lever machine, it is not much of a problem for me to pull a espresso/ristretto with the 'powder' this grinder produces. There still is another 1/3 of a turn to the stop point. So, it definitely will work for mocca.
The grinder is very user-friendly. No maintenance at all. It sees all sorts of freshly home-roasted blends and oily beans in my house. I never had to clean it and it never clogged up. There is no build-up in the chamber, around the burrs or elsewhere after one year of several shots per day.
The grinder was messy due to my technique. I tried to grind straight into the portafilter, but my lever machine has a 58mm commercial pf. The holder is too narrow for it. I now use a small jar and have no mess. Initially, about 1/2 spoonful of grinds were retained in the grinder. They usually fell out whenever the hopper lid was opened. The problem was solved by lifting the lid off the hopper during the last 2-3 seconds of the grinding process. All grinds will fly out and zero mess now.
The burrs are conical and therefore very effective in generating homogeneous grinds. They are hefty, made of solid stainless steel and definitely look professional. They show no sign of wear after one year of use.
The motor is a bit noisy, but it really gets less noisy when grinds hit the burrs. It slows down to 800 rpm, which effectively prevents grinds from taking heat damage. It still does not take more than 10-15 seconds to grind 20 grams of beans at fine settings. Actually, it is not really THAT noisy compared to many other household gadgets.
This grinder was tested side by side with 6-8 times more expensive commercial grinders. It turned out to be as good as these grinders. I am not surprised. Ok, it probably would overheat if one threw a few pounds straight at it. But who grinds more than a handful of beans at a time anyway?
Out of the box, the adjustment steps were good enough to cover my espresso needs. I upgraded the grinder for a few bucks to stepless within the first week, so I didn't play too much with the stepped version. This upgrade is highly recommended. It takes 5 minutes and does not require any skills. It's explained elsewhere in this forum (thanks a million!). After the upgrade to stepless, it is a piece of pie to dial between all sorts of roasts and blends. If it broke, I would buy it for the list price of $200ish without any hesitation. Meanwhile, I keep looking for more of them on ebay. My girlfriend is drooling over mine since a good while and I can use one for my office.
Refurbished for $99 plus shipping from ebay. Probably the best deal I ever found on ebay... It came in the original box directly from the Lux distributor. Whoever refurbished my grinder left the test grinds in the machine. I didn't mind - a sign that it was tested and would work. If I see it again on ebay for this price, I'll buy it immediately.