Though I've been slow to get the message, a good grinder like the Breville makes a world of difference in your coffee enjoyment.
Positive Product Points
Clean, Functional, design in a product that performs as advertised at a reasonable price.
Negative Product Points
Fairly noisy, in spite of reviews to the contrary. Easy to overfill the outflow container. Requires regular dusting in the outflow chamber.
It has taken several years of poor buying decisions to finally recognize the value of a decent(even good) grinder.
In my post whole-bean experience I began with an inexpensive but stylish blade "grinder". Went through 2 of those before I realized that I was brewing with a combination of large bean chunks and burnt bean dust. So I moved up to a Cuisinart burr-grinder and was pleased, initially, with the ground product. After a few months, however, I began to realize several irritating attributes of this machine: it was terribly messy, it was unable to grind some beans(too oily?), and its output was not really very adjustable(very little difference between "fine" and "coarse" settings). After a year of tinkering with it and coping with its lesser qualities, I decided to relegate the little guy to our waste-transfer-station and invest in a step-up in quality.
This forum really helped. Thanks to the other reviewers in this community, I was lead to the Breville grinder we are reviewing here. The unit is fairly compact and very well designed to fit easily under upper kitchen cabinets and look stylishly understated. The hopper is not large but satisfactory for 3 14-cup grinds. It is noisy while grinding but not raucous. The grind quality is VERY adjustable and the output is predictable and consistent. It seems to handle all types of beans(oily or not) equally well. The output canister is conveniently placed and designed so you can monitor the level of the ground output. This is good since, at a coarse level of grind and a longer timer setting, the output chamber can easily be over-filled with no good outcome. Whether by design or by accident, the output chamber cleans easily and dumps its contents without problem. ( My earlier grinder seemed to static-charge the grind so it adhered to everything!) Finally, I appreciate that the designers have made the power cord length adjustable to minimize counter top clutter and tangling.
In retrospect, I realize that I was chasing a false economy with the earlier grinders. Ultimately, I spent more on several poor machines than i would have with the Breville. In my effort to avoid spending money, I only avoided several years of good tasting coffee. I have no idea of how much better the higher-end grinders might be than this unit but I doubt they have a better cost to value relationship.
Purchased from Amazon.com. Price was competitive and their customer service and delivery time was excellent.
Three Month Followup
After 3 months, this machine continues to satisfy. I have no reason to modify any of my positive comments nor do I have anything negative to add. Perhaps it is sufficient to admit that when I packed for our summer vacation, I took this machine along. This is one of those apparent extravagances that ultimately prove to be money well spent.