Very good product for the price, especially when on sale!
Positive Product Points
Fast... Easy to use... uniform grind... no static problems... quiet enough...
Negative Product Points
Hopper made of thin plastic. I would like an off/on switch in addition to the timer switch. I would prefer the timer/switch and grind scale to be on the front rather than the side for easier viewing/use. Can not adjust grind while running.
This is my 1st burr grinder, so I have little to compare it to. This one was bought for me from Starbucks by my niece who works there. On sale and with her 40% discount, I only paid $60. This new one is not the same one you see in the photo here and elsewhere on the net, including the Solis and Starbucks web sites. Everything seems the same but for the outer case, which on this newer one is round at the base. Is this made by Solis (of Switzerland) or Dualit, or is it just marketed by Dualit in Europe? The model number on the bottom is "EL70" and I've read on the net that the older one was a Dualit EL60 or Solis 166. The bottom of the box is printed "Made in Switzerland." This may be a cosmetically different Solis model made just for Starbucks.
The Hopper is large and easily holds a 1/2 pound of beans. You turn on the grinder by turning the timer dial, so it comes on immediately. Each number on the timer runs the grinder for 6 seconds. With a little practice, you can determine how to set the timer for the desired amount of ground coffee. I've had absolutely no problem with static electricity causing grounds to stick to the container. I've also had no spillage around the grinder, as the counter top remains clean after use. However, the hopper is made of thin, clear plastic, and when I dropped it on the floor it broke. I called Starbucks to order a replacement hopper and they said they would replace it free under warranty, even though it was not defective. They set up a swap for me at a local Starbucks store.
The unit seems reasonably quiet. It sets on 4 rubber tipped feet. I have not had a problem using it with people asleep in another room. Placing a towel under it quiets it even more, but that is not necessary.
I've examined the grounds under an 8 power magnifier and the consistency of the grind is quite good, with very little "fines" mixed in, and no boulders. I do not make Espresso, so I can not tell you if it grinds fine enough for that brewing process. The burrs seems to be made very well and of high quality stainless steel. The instructions warn you to NOT turn the grind size dial at the base of the hopper while the unit is running, so you can not adjust "on the fly."
The plastic container holding the finished grounds fits snugly into the base and prevents any spillage. After use, there are no grounds "stuck" to it, and there are no grounds spilled onto the counter. I've had not problem with beans getting jammed in the hopper.
As stated, it was purchased for me by a niece that works there. However, my experience with the Starbucks customer service department and a local store for the warranty swap was excellent!