Hard to beat if you need a dedicated espresso grinder at a good price point.
Positive Product Points
Great inexpensive stepless grinder dedicated to espresso. Simple and effective design that can create coffee powder if you ask it to, and tweak your grind to dial in your shots.
Negative Product Points
Somewhat noisy, and the hopper does not feed beans consistently at times (bean dependent).
Up until 6 months ago, I had been using store ground beans until I got a SB Sirena machine for my birthday and found I wasn't getting everything out of the machine. It was pretty clear that the next step was to get a decent grinder. Since I only drink espresso, it made sense to economize by gtting a dedicated espresso grinder. Reading online here led me to the Le'Lit PL53.
I ordered mine from the Coffee Philter <http://www.coffeephilter.com/>. Upon arrival I fired in some test beans, did a tamp and loaded up the Sirena, and stalled it out. I backed off the grind by one turn of the dial- the 2nd try also stalled the machine. Eventually I zeroed in on the proper grind setting. There is quite fine control on the grind with the stepless control dial- one full turn is a fairly small increment in grind size. I find that fine-tuning usually happens when I try a new coffee bean, or even if the weather changes.
Using the PL53 is pretty straightforward- put beans in the hopper and then press the portafilter up below the chute to press the microswitch that controls the grinder. There is no timer or doser, so you eyeball the amounts. Spilling is pretty common so the small mess catch plate gets filled up pretty fast. From what I have seen, the grind is nice and fluffy without clumping.
The design is utilitarian in shiny chrome. The body design is clearly made to be reasonably attractive but inexpensive (at least it's not molded plastic). The chute can be removed to clean out old coffee and clean up toward the burrs. I have not yet tried disassembling the machine to get at the burrs and see how they are replaced. After 6 months of 2 shots/day I hope I am still far from needing to replace them.
The only downsides I can identify (and not having any previous grinders to compare to) are that it is noisy (can't have a conversation during grinding), and the feeding of beans into the grinder can be inconsistent with certain beans. Beans can stop freely flowing in from the hopper, so the grinding burrs speed up without any beans to grind. The solution is to pull back the PF to stop the grinder momentarily to allow more beans to fall in. Not a big deal really and only seems to happen with some beans. Right now I am mostly using 49th Parallel Espresso and it doesn't happen with these.
Very good- shipped double boxed and came quickly after ordering. No need for any service yet. The manual was pretty useless but operation is simple enough to not be a big deal.