Excellent grinder, but needs periodic cleaning. The design and the plastic materials can be improved.
Positive Product Points
Excellent and consistent grinder, day in and day out.
Negative Product Points
Noise level is relatively high. Also, the switch is located at an awkward position and it took a little while to get use to it. The coffee hopper has a design flaw.
Periodically the grinder don't feed the beans in the hopper and the conduit for the coffee moving down gets clogged up. The remedy is to remove the hopper and clean the inlets to the burr. It takes a good 1/2 hour for this and it is needed every few months, even though it is used just a few espresso's a day. I didn't have this problem with my previous grinder which was an older generation of Baratza imported from Switzerland.
There is less problem when the coffee is lightly roasted and oily heavily roasted coffee beans guarantees that clogging will take place. Here are some of the things I do to clean the grinder: 1- reset the grinder back to zero. 2- remove the three screws that attach the plastic hopper to the main body. You may need a special screw driver to achieve this task. A slender long magnetic screw driver is the best and I just bought one for this purpose. 3- Remove the hopper, while at the same time making sure that brass housing doesn't rotate. If it does, the grinder setting will shift and placing the hopper back will be a problem. 4- use a blade to scratch the coffee cakes attached to the brass housing without scratching the surface of the three guides that lead to the burr. 5- I usually clean the hopper with a soft sponge and liquid soap. Make sure that the screws are removed from the hopper and set aside. 6- Thoroughly dry the hopper after washing and making sure that no moisture is present on the hopper surface. Even when drying the hopper surface with a dry clean cloth, it is a good idea to let the hopper sit in a dry place before reassembly. 7- finally put the hopper and screws back. Again during this step, you need to be careful not to rotate the brass housing. This step many not be trivial and several attempts may be necessary to align the hopper screw holes with the holes on the brass housing.
There is another design flaw with this grinder and it is the housing of the screws inside the bean hopper. For some reason, the screws sit too low with respect to the opening of the housing for the three screws. Used as designed and coffee bean will get stuck inside the screw housing. If so, one needs to break up the beans to reach the screws for later cleaning or tuning.
I use this grinder at setting 8 for espresso only and use it along with a Passquini Livia 90. The combo generates one of the creamiest coffees one can find and beats most espressos made on professional units.
Mechanically this grinder is simple and first rate. But the hopper plastic as well as the plastic guide for the ground coffee can use for heavy duty materials with improvements in esthetics. In my case, after 4+ years of use, the plastic guide has cracked up.
I received the grinder not tuned and ready to use. There was no manual and initially the vender had no clue how to tune this machine.