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KitchenAid ProLine Grinder - Christopher Boffoli's Review
Posted: April 27, 2004, 12:08pm
review rating: 7.1
feedback: (2) comments | read | write
KitchenAid ProLine Grinder
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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 384,139 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: 7.4
Manufacturer: KitchenAid Quality: 8
Average Price: $200.00 Usability: 8
Price Paid: $220.00 Cost vs. Value 5
Where Bought: Williams Sonoma Aesthetics 8
Owned for: 6 months Overall 8
Writer's Expertise: Professional Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: Dualit-like industrial design, heavy and durable, most details done right, other major things overlooked. Not bad overall.
Positive Product Points

Very solidly built with good details.  Good powder-coat paint finish.  Glass hopper for beans and grinds are durable and easy to remove for cleaning. Burrs produce uniform grind without unnecessarily heating beans. A bit quieter than other grinders.  Excellent static control. Grounds hopper "seats" nicely on the base. Good documentation.

Negative Product Points

Shape of grounds hopper fools the eye, results in spillage. Whole beans do not feed cleanly from the hopper (worse with oily dark roasts). Heavier than it needs to be. Adjustment and cleaning is tricky. WIll not do a proper espresso grind, despite constant adjustment. Expensive.

Detailed Commentary

I purchased this grinder after using a Braun burr brinder for a number of years.  The design of this "Pro Line" is very industrial and solid.  Everything had a solid feel.  The design is intuitive and the details have been looked after. The grinds hopper centers itself on the base. The bolts that hold the grinding gears in place are nicely knurled.  The machine is a bit quieter than others, but still quite loud. The gun-metal gray powder coated paint is creamy and easy to clean. The use of glass for the grinds hopper seems to virtually eliminated static electricity, which was a HUGE problem with the plastic hopper on my Braun grinder which used to spray more grinds on a two foot radius of the grinder than I actually used to make coffee.  The thick glass beans hopper is nicely threaded (and gasketed) and removes easily for cleaning.  Manuals and documentation are excellent, as is the warranty product (as would be expected on a grinder this expensive).  There are some flaws that detract from my satisfaction with this grinder.  First, the beans do not feed into the grinder very efficiently.  I have taken to using a long plastic stylus to poke them down into the grinder opening.  This problem is worse with dark roasted beans that tend to be a bit stickier, and conversely less a problem with medium and lightly roasted beans.  While the solidity and industrial nature of this grinder are part of the basis of its appeal, it is heavier than it needs to be (perhaps even by ten pounds). And because it sits on a rubber base (probably designed to minimize noise and vibration), it will not slide easily to the front of the counter when I want to use it.  If you are able to use this unit in place, it may be a non-issue.  I have noticed that I repeatedly ding the edge of the grinds (lower) hopper when I am measuring out coffee.  Despite the fact that I have perfect vision, I suspect this is due to the design of this hopper.  The glass is lighter than the beans hopper (upper) and the top rim of the grinds hopper slopes in slightly at the top.  When the grinds hopper is mounted into the grinder, this makes for a very nice hourglass shape in the overall design.  But the fact that the top rim of this lower hopper is slightly smaller than its base actually fools the eye and makes the user catch the measuring spoon on its edge, spilling beans.  And I always forget this and repeat my mistake.  Very frustrating.  Probably the most significant problem is adjustments to the grind mechanism.  It is easy enough to remove the nicely knurled screws and to remove the grinding mechanism for cleaning and adjustment.  But even when I followed the instructions carefully it was tricky to reassemble the mechanism.  And despite many adjustments, I have been unable to get a fine, clean espresso grind.  If anyone has a trick or technique on this, I'd appreciate an e-mail.

Buying Experience

Mixed feelings on a really solid, nicely designed grinder.  Kitchenaid seems to have paid close attention to a lot of the details.  But they have overlooked some others.  I'd like to see their engineers address the bean feed and fine grind issues first.  This unit may be more than most coffee drinkers need.  However, if you primarily grind for ADC or press, it will produce a uniformly event grind.

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review rating: 7.1
Posted: April 27, 2004, 12:08pm
feedback: (2) comments | read | write
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