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Krups GVX Grinders - William Baguhn's Review
Posted: March 1, 2009, 8:30am
review rating: 9.0
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Krups GVX Series Grinders
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Arrow The Krups GVX Grinders has 38 Reviews
Arrow The Krups GVX Grinders has been rated 5.83 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since October 19, 2005.
Arrow Krups GVX Grinders reviews have been viewed 212,977 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
William Baguhn 9.00
John Doe 8.25
Michigan Broadband 7.67
Arto Vallivirta 7.00
James Swafford 7.00

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 7.0
Manufacturer: Krups Quality: 7
Average Price: $60.00 Usability: 8
Price Paid: $50.00 Cost vs. Value 7
Where Bought: Bed Bath & Beyond Aesthetics 7
Owned for: 1 month Overall 6
Writer's Expertise: I like coffee Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: Reasonable basic grinder.  Treat it like a whirlychop that does a better job.
Positive Product Points

Affordable.  Apparently consistent grind - (on fine settings - +3 month comment).

Negative Product Points

Safety interlocks.  (3 month: hard to get it to go coarse, some sacrificial grinding to change fineness.)

Detailed Commentary

I selected this unit after reading several reviews here.  The complaints that others have had seemed to be from older manufacturing runs, so I thought I'd give it a try.

The top of the catch bin is completely removable, allowing an easy dump of the grounds.

I'm grinding for an AeroPress, and I find that 4 dots up from the finest setting is about right.  YMMV.

It's almost all plastic, but not in an inherently bad way.

It's compact and stylish.  It turns beans into grounds.  If that's your entire criteria for a grinder, stop reading now.

I poked around at another retailer and saw that Black and Decker makes a flat burr grinder in the same price range.  That was an option, too.  I opened the top on both, and saw that the burr sets were almost identical in appearance.  The mounting on the B&D burr set didn't look quite as solid (I forget the exact details, but I think the B&D used 2 screws, where the Krups used 3 to hold one of the burrs on).

There appear to be 3 safety interlocks on the device - one that assures the top cover is fully seated, and two that make sure that the catch bin lid is in place.  Unless you plan on dismantling the grinder and rebuilding it, you're probably stuck with them.  They have not yet caused me a problem, but the top cover switch does seem to be a little touchy.  It looks like if a few grounds got stuck in the cover, the switch wouldn't depress, and then you couldn't grind more.  It also looks like the included brush could get the grounds out of there, negating the problem.  My preference is for "unsafe" machines that don't try to protect me.  I work in a factory with power tools - I can remember to not stick my fingers in there while it's turned on.  The interlocks have not /yet/ gotten in the way - and that's good.

Like every other electric burr grinder I've ever used, sometimes the beans don't feed nicely from the hopper into the burr.  It is obvious when this happens, because the speed and pitch of the motor increases quickly, and the cruncha-cruncha-cruncha sound of beans getting chewed up stops.  Like every other electric burr grinder I've ever used, this is easily remedied by moving the grinder a bit to get the beans dropping again.  ("Moving the grinder a bit" can mean - picking it up and placing it back down vigorously, angling up one side of the grinder and placing it back down vigorously, picking it up and shaking it slightly, etc.  The goal is to get the sticky beans unstuck, so gravity can do its thing.)  ("Every other electric burr grinder I've ever used" would be a few that my father chewed through while I was living there - both consumer grade grinders with big hoppers.)

The timer would potentially be a nice feature if I kept the hopper full - I don't.  I measure my whole beans, dump them in the hopper, grind until they're done, and then turn it off.  The electronic power switch (soft touch, no click) irritates my delicate sensibilities - I'd prefer a big clunky mechanical switch.  I understand that that is not the modern aesthetic, so I'll cope.  The power switch works adequately - push once for on, push again for off.  The timer is reasonably well designed - it does not reset itself every time you grind, so if you get it dialed in for a specific fineness/time combination, you should get about the same amount of grounds every time.

Static - if you're a purist who must remove every microgram of coffee from the catch bin, lest it go stale and contaminate tomorrow morning's first cup, this is not the grinder for you.  There is static buildup, and some of the ground coffee sticks to the inside of the catch bin.  Removing the catch bin from the grinder and tapping it a few times on the counter seems to knock most of it loose.  It's certainly not a problem for the typical home user, a category you might not fall into if you're reading this far into a review of a grinder on the internet.  Krups, if you're reading this - a stainless steel catch bin would be a great idea to mitigate the static.

Unlike other users, I didn't have too much problem with coffee grounds on the counter.  The parts seem to fit together properly and catch the grounds in the bin.  Maybe this is because the static makes all the coffee stick to the catch bin... Not really sure.

It looks like it will go barely fine enough for espresso, but that's stretching it.  If you want espresso, or you want to get your ibrik dirty, look elsewhere.  Some people have had luck moving the burrs closer together, some people have just pushed the adjuster beyond its natural limit while grinding.  These are people who seem to have had problems with their grinder.  If you crank it finer than they designed for, expect that the machine will break down.

The hopper is small - it doesn't look like it would hold a whole pound.  If you want to buy coffee, dump it all in the grinder, and use it for a week, this probably isn't the grinder for you.  Like I said earlier, I don't do that - I measure out my whole beans, grind them, and then use them.  Krups claims that the hopper is airtight, and fine to store coffee in.  This may be true for grocery store coffee, but probably not true for beans roasted yesterday.

I did find a metal shard in my first grinding run.  As with all grinders, I'd suggest looking carefully through the first few batches of grounds, and not using them to prepare coffee.  First few grinds should be making sure the machine works and getting all the manufacturing dirt out.  Next few should be figuring out the range of the grinder - how fine will it go, how coarse will it go.  Next few should be finding the sweet spot for your preparation method.  For me and the AeroPress, that's the fifth finest setting.

Buying Experience

Made a few research trips, looking, poking.  I went to a big box store.  Walked in, picked up, paid money, walked out.  It was cold and icy, but I didn't fall down on their sidewalk or parking lot - they use salt.  Got to laugh at the stacks of boxes of blankets-with-sleeves and ShamWows.

Three Month Followup

The grind is less consistent than I would desire for drip or presspot.  It is hard to go coarse enough for drip or presspot.  These flaws were not evident up front, as my usual preparation is AeroPress, which is quite forgiving.  Hard to clean, no nice way to get all the accumulated dust out from around the lower burr.  I've ordered a Baratza Maestro for the office; once it arrives, I'll evaluate whether I'm getting one for the house as well.  When I upgrade, I intend to send this to someone who grinds her coffee at the grocery store and lets it go stale over the next 2 weeks with the hope that she'll expand her horizons a little bit.

I would buy again, provided I needed a grinder /now/ and nothing better - or cheaper, with the same style burrs -  was available.  It certainly does a good enough job for non-snobs or utility coffee.  My original hesitation at the somewhat less expensive Black & Decker with similar burrs was that the burr mounting looked less secure, but at the significantly more attractive price, I wouldn't let that hold me back again.

One Year Followup

I gave it to my brother-in-law several months ago, as he had /no/ grinder.  The GVX is better than no grinder, but not as good as a real grinder.  The Baratza Maestro seems to be the choice grinder around this price; steel burrs that are solidly mounted and cut the coffee to size rather than crush it into dust.

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review rating: 9.0
Posted: March 1, 2009, 8:30am
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