Pros: Nice grind, lighting, easy to adjust settings
Cons: Noise, Static, durability
I purchased my first Smart grinder nine months ago. I was thrilled with it and thought I had found the perfect grinder for a French press grind that would change settings quick and easy.
I was able to set the grinder to 8 cups and toss a precise charge (+/- 1 gram). This was worked well daily for 9 months until the machine started to produce a lot of static and began tossing a charge that was off by up to 20 grams. Luckily I had bought the unit at a local store that swapped it out for a new unit.
Unfortunately the second copy is not nearly as accurate as the first and it produces more static.
The Hopper holds 13 ounces of beans and has a nice tight fitting lid. It has a quick release feature which I find of little value as you have to turn the machine up-side down and shake out the beans between the hopper and burrs (about 3 oz) or grind the machine empty before removing the burr.
The upper burr removes for cleaning.
Settings are super easy to use and dial in. This will no doubt be a big plus for a lot of users. The face is lit which is a nice feature for those early morning coffee grinding sessions. Unfortunately this machine makes enough noise to wake the neighbors. It is really loud.
The Smart Grinder comes with a cleaning brush and some other small attachments. 1 year warranty is a bit weak for a machine this expensive.
For the first nine months I was very pleased with this machine. In fact I thought it was great. However after having it die after 9 months of daily use and getting a not so great second copy has left me with a less than stellar out look on this machine. Currently I'm considering returning it for a refund and getting the Baratza Virtuoso which will certainly be my next grinder either way.
I find it hard to suggest this machine. The Cuisinart burr grinder retails for roughly $50. They are more than adequate for any thing other than espresso but even the Smart grinder won't suffice in that regard at a much higher price point. The upgrade in the smart grinder Vs the Cuisinart amounts to a more consistent grind, a little more convenience (when it throws the right amount in a charge) and it looks pretty schnazzy. Beyond that the static and longevity are problematic at least in the two units I have had.
These are priced the same at all e-tailers and stores that I found. If you decide to buy one I'd suggest going with a local store that can exchange the grinder hassle free or honor the warranty should the need arise.