Pros: Heavy duty, can lift full dutch oven as well as the lid
Cons: Doesn't fit in my tiny kitchen drawers
In the 30+ years I've been cooking with dutch ovens, I've used everything from coat hangers and pliers to cheap garden gloves to lift the lid off of a dutch oven, usually with a dozen or more hot briquettes uncomfortably close to my knuckles. My results were not great. Dropped the lid into the dirt many times. Frequently dropped hot briquettes into my dinner.
Then I bought one of these lid lifters about 10-12 years ago. Don't know how I lived without it. I forget what I paid, but I'm sure it was not expensive. (I haven't found any Lodge products that weren't a good value.)
The lifter is made from heavy duty steal with a nice black finish. (3/8- 1/2 inch diameter steel rod stock.) It doesn't appear to be paint or powder coating. I'm thinking a more durable finish, similar to gun blue. The cross pieces are welded onto the main handle with good, solid, clean welds. The top cross piece provides a nice grip. Wide enough to use two hands if you are dealing with a particularly large lid. The hook angle is just right. Easy to get under the lid's loop handle without letting the lid slip off. The lower cross piece is angled back and when you lift the lid, comes into contact with it, stabilizing it. No more hot charcoal falling into your dinner.
Hard to come up with a con for this tool. It's a little large (15" long), so it doesn't fit into my small condo-kitchen drawers, but i usually use my dutch ovens outside anyway, so I keep it with my grilling/BBQ gear. This is an excellent value and is highly durable. Impossible to rate for cooking evenness and I'm not sure if the ease of cleaning rating applies. Most I've ever had to do is brush some dirt off of it, which was easily accomplished with my bare hand or a paper towel.
Overall, this is a great tool and a great addition to any dutch oven aficionado's tool kit.