inexpensive pretty consistent grind (well, more consistent than the la pavoni) works when the power goes out good exercise relatively quiet
Negative Product Points
drawer that collects grinds is relatively small requires physical excersion no definitive grind settings
previously i have had a couple whirly blades and a la pavoni grinder with plastic burrs. the blade was okay when i didn't know any better and the burr seemed nice as it held the beans and was easy to adjust the grind and dose but the static was horrible. niether blade nor la pavoni were quiet or pretty.
i got the zass 161MA as i like the brass and mahogany contrast. i thought the open hopper would afford me more room for beans as well as i like the look of it.
it looks nice in the kitchen. there is nothing industrial or plastic about it.
the operation does take some physical effort but i don't mind not using the electricity and i only make a couple cups a day. if i had to make coffee for thanksgiving dinner (16 people) i might get the la pavoni back out or pre-grind.
i find it make much more consistent grinds than the la pavoni with much less mess both at french press and moka pot "settings".
and that is one of the 2 complaints i have about this device: there is simply a nut you adjust to adjust the grind. there is no indication of where you are, no knob with numbers or anything. it is sort of trial and error. but it isn't terribly difficult to find where you need to be. as yet i haven't had any drift, for lack of a better term. also, i don't know if it grinds fine enough for proper espresso. i don't have an espresso machine so for me this is, as yet, not a problem.
the other complaint is the drawer the grinds are collected in hold just barely enough coffee for my 6 cup moka or 8 cup press. fortunately, these are the coffee makers i use the most.
i like my zass. it suits me well.
i looked for a used zass for a while to save a few bucks. but i found on ebay a lot of people were selling mills that could have been a year old or 20 years old and they sold for about $10 less than a new one. so i got a new one from espresso zone. there was a while, in the spring of '05, when it seemed there were few to be had. when i got around to getting a new one there were plenty. espressozone had fine service so far. there was one or two sites with slightly cheaper mills but i went with a known seller.
Three Month Followup
actually, this is a 1 year follow up. i still like my zass. the adjustment nut does seem to slip towards the coarser end so i check it every morning. the rest still seems as good as the day it showed up. well worth the $55.