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KitchenAid ProLine Grinder - Jesse Robinson's Review
Posted: October 19, 2004, 1:33pm
review rating: 4.3
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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 396,977 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: 5.6
Manufacturer: KitchenAid Quality: 6
Average Price: $200.00 Usability: 5
Price Paid: $199.00 Cost vs. Value 5
Where Bought: Williams Sonoma Aesthetics 7
Owned for: 2 weeks Overall 5
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned: Mazzer Mini (afterwards)
Bottom Line: Could have been a contender, but it's just some more junk.
Positive Product Points

Looks great.

Negative Product Points

Hopper design is poor, doesn't feed beans properly.  Sideways screw feed forces beans into blind areas, jamming grind adjustment.  Provided hopper lid about 1/2" too small for jar.  Catch jar is flimsy and almost certain to be broken.

Detailed Commentary

A very stylish grinder.  It does have an adjustment to make the grind finer than the factory settings, but I didn't find this necessary to get pretty good espresso grounds.  

Unfortunately, it looks like Kitchenaid got in a hurry and just didn't manage to finish it.  The geometry should allow for a very simple, serviceable straight-through feed system, but instead they have a poorly designed method of attaching the hopper jar and a screw feed to force the beans sideways into the burrs.  Various places in the jar attachment catch and hold beans stubbornly.  The threads on the feed screw go all the way to the end, and invariably jam one bean under each side.  This, in turn, jams the grind adjustment mechanism so badly that it is impossible to turn it finer without dismantling the feed and cleaning everything out.  

The upper jar is fairly stout glass, and should work okay in the long run.  It comes with a lid with an elastomeric seal, which sounds like a good idea---except that you can move the lid about 1/4" in any direction before touching the side of the jar.  The jar supplied for catching ground coffee would be about right as a cheap candle holder.  It is so flimsy that breakage is almost inevitable.  They have a spring-loaded flange under the grinder that is supposed to engage the lower jar, but this is a hit-or-miss proposition at best.  It usually manages to throw some coffee around.

It could have been a decently priced, competitive grinder, but as currently implemented, it is basically some more junk.

Buying Experience

I bought this from the Williams Sonoma at Baybrook Mall in Houston, Texas, at the same time I bought the ProLine coffee machine.  I have never heard anything but praise for their customer service, including their essentially unconditional return policy.  So I was frankly stunned when I had to return the machines, and was subjected to icy hostility and interrogation by the manager.   She glared at me as if I had offered to feast on her children, and demanded a detailed account of my reasons for returning the machine.  Haven't been back.

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review rating: 4.3
Posted: October 19, 2004, 1:33pm
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