This grinder is barely adequate for drip coffee, but definately better than a blade grinder.
Positive Product Points
The 551 grinder is compact, fairly quiet, holds a reasonable amout of beans. It is a lot better than a blade grinder and a little better than the DeLonge burr.
Negative Product Points
This grinder has a bad static problem. The timer stopped shutting the grinder off and the hopper started developing stress cracks after about 6 months of use. The grind is a mix of powder, gravel, and boulders. I did not realize the degree that coffee flavor was compromized until I used a good grinder. It is not designed to grind directly into the portafilter because the grind shoot shoots the grounds forward instead of down. Be careful not to grind unless the hopper is securely in place or you will get a big mess.
I was pretty happy with the improved coffee flavor after upgrading from my Krups blade grinder. However, I was not happy with the mess made from the static. Whenever you opened the hopper after grinding coffee would shoot out everywhere. However, if you do not clean the hopper and let the coffee oils from the beans build up, you do not get as much static. But, just clean it once and wow, the electrostatically repelled coffee goes everywhere.
Although this grinder is defenately an upgrade over a blade grinder, it is not a very good grinder. The grind is way too inconsistant. There is so much powder that it keeps you from grinding fine because the coffee ends up too sour and the large coarse chunks keeps the coffee from getting any flavor. There is way too much powder for french press and does not grind anywhere near fine enough for espresso. I would say it is worth $50, but you do get what you pay for. I know that for some $50 sounds like alot of money, but it is not alot of money for a coffee grinder.
If you can afford to, I would highly recomend saving up a little more money and getting a Solis Maestro on sale or close-out. The price has dropped from $130 to $109 or less since its replacement--Maestro Plus--was introduced. This really is the minimum grinder worth buying if you want to get the best flavor out of your coffee. There is so much difference that you can almost use half the amount of coffee to get the same strength, smoother better flavor, and no bitterness. If you cannot afford this, the 551 is definately better than preground coffee or a blade grinder. It is probrably the best grinder in the $50 price range.