It you want a consistent grind, this will do it better for the same price as a blade grinder. Price is best quality. $24. 3 Month Review: CHEAP QUALITY - DO NOT BUY
Positive Product Points
Small footprint Attractive stainless steel and black plastic housing Easy operation More consistent grind than blade grinders Portable for weekend trips, will fit in your suitcase Power cord retention system improves counter top aesthetics Ample hopper capacity
Negative Product Points
Static in grind bin exceeds local science museum exhibit on static electricity. Invite children to your kitchen to learn about this exciting phenomenon. Fine grind is acceptable for espresso, but not fine enough. For $24, it's worth the risk to open it up to see if a "mod" is possible. TBA later. Cannot see the burrs - plastic covering diverts beans into the grinding chamber Beans do not feed consistently into grind chamber, so you get high/low revs of the burrs. A weed trimmer with a burr grinder attachment might be quieter in operation. The static in the chamber causes grinds to obscure the view so you can't adequately determine how much you've ground.
I discovered this grinder through the Arabica branch (grape vine). Some friends of mine were vacationing in Charleston and when stocking up on supplies at Target noticed the Black and Decker Burr Grinder for $23.85. Ron called me to see if they were being sold in Knoxville yet, so if not, maybe we ought to get the inside scoop and pick some up there. I made a trip to Target and discovered that yes, there was indeed a burr grinder for as much as or less than the price of a blade grinder. Considering I'm still saving for a Gaggia or Rancilio, I thought I could spare the $25 for the experiment and modest upgrade from my current (and I admit this with much embarrassment) blade grinder. I quickly took it home and after unpacking, turned the adjustment knob the full and auditory confirming counter-clockwise clicks to the finest grind. I used a fresh bag of Espresso Roast Tarrazu from Sunburst Coffee (www.sunburstcoffee.com), and prepared a double shot from my Saeco.
The crema was there and it was a decent double, but I think a finer grind would have provided better results. Considering the grind size, I prepared a 6 cup pot of drip coffee this morning on the same setting. It also made a decent cup of coffee, but nothing spectacular. I think this time it had more to do with me using an espresso roast bean in a drip pot, where my standard Tarrazu Dark Roast Shade Grown Organic (also Sunburst) typically makes a better pot of drip coffee.
I will continue to play around with the grind settings and determine the mod capabilities of this grinder over the next couple of weeks. Considering the cost of this burr grinder, if it can stand the test of time in regards to durability, I will be replacing all my blade grinders (home, work, girlfriend's house, etc...) with this burr grinder to have a low cost alternative and marked improvement to the grind consistency. Now... what am I going to do with 3 spice mills?
Purchased from Target: www.target.com/Black-Decker-Burr-Coffee-Grinder/dp/B001306640/sr=1-3/qid=1242656132/ref=sr_1_3/182-3833120-9174155?ie=UTF8&frombrowse=0&index=target&rh=k%3Aburr%20grinder&page=1
Three Month Followup
After using this grinder for 3 months, I must admit it is a cheap piece of garbage and you'll do better to save your money for something better. You get a burr grinder from B&D in the same respect that you get a car from Yugo. They are both designed to accomplish a task, and through much noise and sputtering, and breakage of parts, you eventually get to your destination.
Day 2: 3 of the 4 feet completely broke off. Using pliers and a hammer, was unable to remove foot #4 so it is permanently off balance and wobbles. Static is such a huge issue I no longer remove the cover on the grind container, I just shake the grinds out through the chute opening for fear of releasing static charged dark roast all over the kitchen. A very fine deposit of grinds build up inside the container and will not shake out and have to be removed by hand every couple of days. Large grind is not useful for even French Press. Fine grind is not fine enough for espresso. I use the 2nd to finest grind for drip coffee.
Note: Attempted to mod the grind setting, but cannot easily take unit apart as screws are hard to reach and strip easily.
Bottom Line: It does actually grind coffee using burrs and provides a uniform grind on the setting designated. However, the quality is well... there is no quality control with this product. The best the QA did at B&D was ensure minimization of injury lawsuits for moving parts, and totally ignored the intent of the product or its target market. Save your $$ and don't buy this.