The price and build quality is that of 'the last grinder you'll ever buy', but better grinders will come around, I'd wait for those.
Positive Product Points
No wire Stepless Good taste; consistent! Easy cleaning One shot per grind Pretty
Negative Product Points
Static Ergonomics Bad lock knob location Redistribution Channeling Stickers
Pros: - No wire. Allows for placing the grinder anywhere in the kitchen. Awesome
- Stepless. The adjustment is brilliant on this. Very precise, with a large margin for fine adjustments.
- Taste. Excellent, but my opinion is irrelevant on this issue though, since I've not tested many other grinders.
- Cleaning. This was the second reason why I wanted this grinder. And after using it, I’d say this is the KEY feature. Super easy to clean with a vacuum cleaner. The tumbler thinggy is a bit annoying to clean though, but the world is not a perfect place :)
- One shot. No hopper. Perfect for switching beans since you only grind one shot at a time. But the zero retention thing only works if you get rid of static issues.
- Manual feel. I love this.
- Looks. It is a beauty. Big conversation starter also. And since there are no wires, you can display it anywhere (there is a neat tumbler to carry the grounds to your espresso machine, should it be far away from the grinder).
- STATIC. I previously said it was not an issue. It is a major issue. Certain beans are affected more than others, and when they are, if you're in winter temperatures, get ready. The wiper helps with the funnel, but the bottom part of the burr assembly has a LOT of grinds left. Even with the water trick, this is not 0 retention. With lots of tricks, you can lessen the effects of static, but it is annoying.
- Ergonomics. If you have a lot of RSI pain in your wrists and/or neck pain, the ergonomics of this make it painful to operate. Just a heads up.
- The lock knob for the burr is badly located. The rotating handle is constantly in the way of the lock knob. Not a deal breaker, but most annoying.
- Redistribution. Redistributing the grounds is not optional with this grinder. Thing is, there is no ‘one technique’. For everyone, something different works. I urge you to read the HG one thread on Home Barista forums for the different things people are doing to get the best results. Only buy if willing to put in time and effort to learn the best techniques for great results. I still think this is the biggest weak point of the grinder. Getting a good grinder should eliminate variables in your espresso pulling, not create more. But I expect this won't bother people with more skills than I.
- Channeling. It is getting better, but there is still some at the beginning of every shot. Still annoying with naked PFs.
- Stickers. You have to use stickers to put references on the burr dial wheel. This work of art needed micro markings engraved much like the ones you would find on an Incra ruler (for woodworking) or something classy like that. The stickers stand out and are ugly.
Would I buy again:
No. I love the machine, don't get me wrong. But it has too many quirks and flaws for the price. If money is not an issue, it is a great product to have in the mean time, but otherwise, I'd suggest one buys a cheaper baratza and waits for the next grinder breakthrough.
The guys at HG-one are fabulous. GREAT service. Always reply to email. Love them! Very expensive to ship to Canada. Ends up at around 1300$
Three Month Followup
Been more than 3 months now, but here's an update:
- Finish is holding up, so is the hardware. Looks to be solidly built for sure. - Channeling still an issue, but only at start of shot. I've accepted that I need to hold the cup against the naked PF for the first second to avoid a (albeit small) mess. - Shots taste great, very reliable results