It's cheap. It knocks. It's a box. It's a cheap knock box! Works well, heavy duty, easy to clean, small capacity, fits into a plastic motif kitchen.
Positive Product Points
The Solis Knock Box (the one in the picture for these reviews) is an inexpensive, easy to clean, starter knock box with a replacable dowel knocker thing.
Negative Product Points
Some people may not like the "cheap plastic" look of the Solis Knock Box and if you're making a whole heap of espresso drinks, it fills up quickly and has to be emptied.
Technology is great. Grinders get better motors and burrs, espresso machines get more consistent pumps and dual boilers. Knock boxes get knockier and some even get boxier. That's where Solis comes in. The low-tech Solis Knock Box is everything you expect in a cheap knock box.
For most people when you buy a knock box, it comes down to about three factors:
1) Cost b) Aesthetics 3) Usability (this being the most important)
The Solis comes in at about $30 US, in the low end for a knock box, so in the cost department it's doing pretty well. It's not chromed and shiny like a Bang Bang or some others, but at the same time, it doesn't look like it belongs in a high school cafeteria like so many do.
The usability of the Solis knock box is pretty good. It has a large opening and you can knock the puck so that it falls either above or below the knock bar. It does fill up fast though. If you're entertaining and pulling a bunch of shots (or you're a junkie - go on, admit it), it'll hold about 8 pucks before it needs to be emptied.
Cleaning the Solis is a snap. I simply put it in the sink, wipe off the knock bar and rinse out the knock box. Takes literally about 30 seconds.
Other mentionable items are that the rubber or silicone feet on the Solis really do work. I have tile counters and even when it's wet, the knock box stays where I put it. Also, the molded plastic that the Solis is made of is pretty heavy duty and I don't see it wearing out any time soon.
Though I'm happy with my purchase, I would not purchase another Solis simply because this is an entry level item and if I wanted another knock box, it'd probably be something a little fancier.
Whole Latte Love (Coffeegeek supporter) was very easy to deal with on the phone and very courteous. The item arrived undamaged in a timely manner. They can expect business from me in the future.
Three Month Followup
Followup after about 8 months:
The Knock Box is still knocking as strong as ever. The knock bar shows very little wear and the plastic body looks brand new (this with about 3-4 shots per day for 8 months). The rubber feet are staying on and still not sliding around on the counter.
A new positive I've found for the Solis Knock Box is its size and shape. Because of the open design, it's a perfect double-task item for soaking porafilters, dispersion screen, group brush etc in Cafiza. It's just the right size that that stuff fits, but it doesn't use too much water, hence not too much Cafiza (that stuff isn't cheap -- or easy to come by in my neck of the woods).