I recently bought this grinder to replace my Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill
. The motor died on that unit after approximately 4 years of daily use. I wanted to replace it for approximately the same price but due to certain annoyances I did not want another Cuisinart.
Here's what I like better about this Saeco unit:
1. Bean Hopper. It is a bit smaller but the large majority of beans are held in the cavity of the unit. The cover is a tinted plastic. This minimizes the exposure to light. The Cuisinart holds more beans but all the beans sit above the unit in a clear plastic hopper.
2. Grind Chamber. It's also smaller and this makes it easier for me to dump into my drip coffee maker without making a mess. The anti-static plastic seems to work somewhat better than the cuisinart but you still need to use a brush.
3. Grind Knob. The knob on the side of the unit to control grind is much preferred to the cuisinart where you twist the bean hopper. My wife had a mishap with this and broke the long end of the hopper. This seems to be a very popular replacement part so I don't think this is an uncommon occurence.
4. Burr Cleaning. Removing the top burr for cleaing is very easy. Set to fine grind and give a quick twist.
5. Finesness of Grind. I am simply a drip coffee drinker so I don't pay too much attention to the quality/fineness of the grind. I do roast my own coffee though and prefer a finer grind due to the smoothness/freshness of the beans. The Saeco unit hits about the same level of fineness at its fourth lowest setting compared to the cuisinart's lowest. Obviously if you are grinding for expresso neither of these two units are for you but the Saeco will produce a finer grind.
6. Quieter. The Saeco unit is noticeably quieter. The burrs must turn somewhat slower so grind times are a little longer.
7. Phyisal Appearance. I find the appearance of the Saeco unit is superior. It takes up much less room on the counter, it doesn't have that annoying looking bean hopper on top, and has a cool blue power light that is on when the beans are grinding.
There is one thing I like less about the Saeco and that is that the opening on the unit where the ground coffee flys into the grind chamber tends to clog more than on the Cuisinart. The Saeco unit is so light and compact that I normally just hold it over the drip basket and give a quick swipe with the brush.
Overall for a $50 burr grinder either unit would work well for most people, however having worked with both I think the Saeco is a much better choice.