One of the, or maybe the best choice for home use in my opinion - if it performs adequately.
Positive Product Points
- See positive points in the other reviews, I agree with all of those - Relatively easy to make relevant modifications - No leftover coffee grounds
Negative Product Points
- Not enough clicks on the dial (requires modification) - Dial wobbles (perhaps possible to be fixed with a modification) - No grinding directly into portafilter (requires small modification) - Reports regarding grind fineness variances seem to suggest issues at production
Again I refer you to all the previews reviews, the sum of them seems to give a good enough impression of this grinder. I write this review mainly to cover some points which have not been covered as detailed yet, in my opinion.
"No leftover coffee grounds"
In my Cunill Brasil - which I consider to be a professional type grinder - coffee grounds remain in various areas of the device. These coffee grounds are emitted/pushed out with the next grind (cycle) that you start. (My estimate is that at least 7 gram remain inside the device this way.) The KitchenAid does not have this problem, at all, seemingly.
This seems to make sense as professional grinders are typically in constant use throughout the day, so that the coffee grounds which remain inside the machine do not remain inside for too long, and thus staling is not an issue.
I have seen reviews where people suggested to ignore the "pro" bit of grinders and get them for home use, too.
In the light of this suspected difference between home use and professional devices, it may make sense to keep this issue in mind.
"Reports regarding grind fineness variances seem to suggest issues at production"
The reviews on this site seem to suggest that KitchenAid has or had issues in production. It is just not acceptable to ship espresso grinders which do not manage to grind fine enough out of the box, in my opinion. This should be fixed.
Maybe testing each grinder is an option, much like some espresso machines are being tested right after having been assembled?
I have seen the effort KitchenAid support people invest in helping customers get things straightened out, with replaced devices, replaced parts, etc. By moving some of the effort into production perhaps KitchenAid could cut down on the (certainly very costly) after sales support incidents (which happen to affect the image of KitchenAid in any case).
One must keep in mind that KitchenAid might have made modifications to the device which old variants still in stock at stores don't feature. So if you have issues, maybe contact KitchenAid to have their people verify that you have the latest version of the machine.
I do fully agree on buying somewhere where returning the device in case it doesn't perform adequately is no effort to you. Mine worked ok, I may buy another two soon, so I'll see if these perform properly, too.
"No grinding directly into portafilter"
The grinder does not provide a way to grind directly into a portafilter (unless you hold the portafilter under the exit hole, which lead to too much coffee grounds being sprayed about for me), but this one can be fixed too.
Actually the modification is so simple (1) remove a screw, 2) remove plastic plate which holds glass coffee grounds catcher in place, 3) put something (I use - yes - a 99 cents cookie mould) on the coffee grounds exit hole which keeps the grounds from spraying around) that KitchenAid should consider offering a solution of their own for this, as it adds a very nice feature at minimal costs.
I made a little page showing the modification with a bunch of (pretty poorly shot) pictures: Click Here (home.arcor.de)
I bought from a little shop via eBay, no complaints on my part here, though I meanwhile discovered a (cheap enough) local shop, which I always prefer over shopping via internet.