Great machine for small space, recommended for espresso, turkish, maybe drip, but NOT french press
Positive Product Points
Sturdy, compact, powerful, consistent
Negative Product Points
Not enough grinding range, hard to re-seat hopper after grinding without cleaning, small ground coffee hopper, must invert machine to empty bean hopper
I purchased this grinder (mine is a Solis 166 purchased for about $120 at a specialty store in Durham NC) as an upgrade to the Melitta / Pavoni burr grinder, and find it to be a big improvement to that machine.
The positive features of this machine are many. It seems to be well built, and I‘ve never had any mechanical problem with it. It‘s simple and intuitive, powerful, relatively clean, and has an attractive design. As an espresso grinder I find it very satisfactory - I achieve a nice fine grind that pulls great shots in my Saeco superautomatics.
That‘s not to say this model is not without drawbacks. My biggest complaint is that the grind range is insufficient to accomodate french press coffee well (it doesn‘t grind coarse enough). I‘m told that the model 177 addresses this shortcoming with an adjustment that essentially yields two complete grinding ranges. There are other flaws, as well. The design of the ground coffee hopper has two problems: it‘s hard to seat the hopper properly without brushing the grinds out of the receptacle, and the hopper is too small. The final design shortcoming is the need to invert the entire machine in order to change beans in the hopper. This isn‘t a huge issue; the machine is light, but at $100+, a detachable hopper would be a nice feature.
I‘ve seen complaints about static with this machine, and must say that from time to time the level does exceed reasonable, but I find it linked to the weather and the beans, and most of the time I find static to be a non-issue.
Given that there are two generations beyond this machine now, it‘s possible to pick them up at bargain prices which makes them even nicer.