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KitchenAid ProLine Grinder - Randall Nortman's Review
Posted: April 28, 2007, 7:03pm
review rating: 8.6
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
KitchenAid ProLine Grinder
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More About This Product
Arrow The KitchenAid ProLine Grinder has 74 Reviews
Arrow The KitchenAid ProLine Grinder has been rated 8.01 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 8, 2003.
Arrow KitchenAid ProLine Grinder reviews have been viewed 397,868 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Bill Miano 9.17
Robert Uy. 8.94
Gino Magnotta 8.67
Donny Raus 8.63
Randall Nortman 8.57

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 7.0
Manufacturer: KitchenAid Quality: 5
Average Price: $200.00 Usability: 9
Price Paid: $100.00 Cost vs. Value 5
Where Bought: Amazon Aesthetics 10
Owned for: 2 months Overall 6
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned: Zassenhaus manual box grinder
Bottom Line: A heavy, solidly built piece of counter jewelry that does everything you'd want other than grind coffee well.
Positive Product Points

Absolutely Gorgeous
Built to last
Easy to use
Easy to clean
Low mess, very little static

Negative Product Points

Awful grind quality -- Produces a lot of fine dust

Detailed Commentary

I initially bought the old revision (in red) because it was deeply discounted at $100. I bought it at the same time I got an Aeropress, and used the two together for a little more than two months. I was really struggling with the Aeropress, trying to get it to press easily and smoothly. I thought it was a problem with my technique. Then, on a whim, I went and got my old manual crank Zassenhaus box grinder and gave it a try -- the difference was night and day! With the KitchenAid grinder, I was grinding fairly coarsely and still having problems pressing. With the Zassenhaus, I could grind extremely finely -- espresso fine, almost turkish -- and still have a much easier time pressing. I now have no doubt whatsoever -- the KitchenAid produces a lot of fine dust, even on coarser settings.  This was clogging up the Aeropress filter and making it difficult to press.  I think it would be a disaster for press pot (unless you *like* sludge), and might be a problem in drip as well. It seems to come down to the burrs, which are very dull. These are cast stainless steel burrs which are not machined after casting, whereas other grinders in its price class (and below) have machined burrs that are much sharper. Sharp burrs cut; dull burrs crush.

I called KitchenAid to complain and see if they could offer any advice. The woman I spoke to didn't seem particularly interested in diagnosing the problem or offering advice, and simply assured me that it was a very expensive grinder and I got a great deal, and it had been rated the best grinder (by whom she didn't say). She then offered to replace it with a new grinder of the newer revision, in Nickel Pearl color. I accepted, curious to see if the new one might be any better. I will say that they make good on their Hassle Free Replacement warranty on these things, but I would have preferred a refund (which was not an option after 2 months with Amazon -- they would have given me 50% back, less shipping).

The new revision is better, but not in the ways that count. The hopper lid fits much more snugly, and the metal between the hopper and the grinding chamber has been reshaped so that beans don't get caught up there anymore. These are very worthwhile changes, and they improve the aesthetics and usability of the grinder. (My numeric ratings are based on the revised model, not the original.) But the burrs and grinding mechanism are identical.

It's a shame, really, because this is otherwise a gorgeous, well-built machine with good ergonomics.  You're getting a lot of metal for your money, and it has very good build quality.  If they had just put a tiny bit more quality into the burrs, I think it would be a great machine.  As it stands, I cannot recommend it, and I've put mine up for sale on eBay.

Buying Experience

Typical Amazon experience. You don't get customer service at Amazon, you get a fully automated process and an extremely good price. I didn't even bother trying to return it for a refund, since their policy is very clear that full refunds are given only for merchandise in new/unused condition. Given that I'd used the grinder (and you can *never* get all the coffee out of a used grinder), they would not have given me a full refund. I think I would have gotten 50%. If you're going to try this grinder, buy it from a place with a good return policy.

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review rating: 8.6
Posted: April 28, 2007, 7:03pm
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