I have put this through some hard use in the past three years. Speaking of "hard," we have hard water here in southwest MO. So, I run some vinegar through it once a month and this has kept it working as good as new. Also, it takes less than 10 minutes to brew a full pot.
It grinds fairly evenly for a blade grinder. I now have a conical burr grinder, which I mainly use for my press or espresso maker, but I still use this on mornings that I want to ďwake up to coffee.Ē It does a good enough job, and I donít want to grind the night before with the burr grinder and leave it setting in there. I love the fact that only a few seconds after grinding, here comes the hot water! Thatís fresh! Now, if Iím making a pot later, I will use the burr grinder and dump the grounds in just before turning it on. Just remember to push the ďmillĒ button, which turns the light on, which, in turn, means the grinder is off. (You get used to it)
I listed the cleaning as a negative, but itís really not so bad. Itís not as easy as throwing a paper filter away, but it takes only a little effort to get it clean. One can tap the upside down filter to dump the grounds in a compost can, trash can, or let them go down the disposal. I then use the spray attachment at the sink to spray out the remaining grounds. I wouldnít recommend using a very stiff brush or rough cleaning pad. Occasionally, Iíll put it through the dish washer (along with the grinding compartment, lid, and pot). My filter is still as good as new after three years of constant use. The other plus here is that the filter does a good job and lets all the oils through that get stopped in a paper filter. The result is more flavor. I do, however, like for the filter to be dry before grinding and making another pot. Otherwise, more of the grinds stick to the sides of the filter basket instead of falling to the bottom.
The grind settings go 1 through 7. For some reason, I find that mine is just right (for most beans) at the 3 setting. More than that produces a bit of silt in the pot. Also, one must remember that any flickering of the electricity will reset the clock, timer, and the grind setting goes to the default setting of 4.
There is also the issue of the latch breaking that holds the grinder lid in place. Yes, this has happened. I use a medium rubber band to hold it in place. I loop it through the latches that hold the bottom of the grinder assembly onto the base and then onto the button at the top that I formerly pushed to unlatch it. If this is not secure, a safety feature will not let it grind or brew. Iíve read that others simply place a weighted object on top to hold it closed.
The other negative is the hot plate shuts off after only an hour. This is not a big issue with me since coffee loses flavor after that long anyway. If Iím around the house that long, I just go ahead and put it in an insulated carafe. Or, you can turn it back on, but remember to push the ďmillĒ button or it will run the grinder again!
Over all, I have been very satisfied with this product. I mainly keep using it because of its convenience. I primarily use it for morning coffee, or if I need to make a whole pot for guests. Otherwise, I use the press for that afternoon cup.