Breville BCG450XL Conical Burr Grinder
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- Conical burr grinder with ultra-fine to coarse adjustable settings
- Variable timer with 10 to 30 seconds of grind time
- Removable bean hopper holds 5 oz of coffee beans
- Stainless-steel/polymer base offers start and stop control, plus on/off switch
- Measures 5-1/4 by 7 by 11-1/4 inches
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The Breville conical burr grinder has anti-static technology. It has a stainless steel/polymer base with start and stop control, as well as a on/off switch. It has a removable bean hopper that holds 5 oz of coffee beans. Ultra-fine to coarse adjustable settings. Beautifully designed.
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Amazingly, the thing that broke on this was the on/off switch. This is actually the second time this has happened. The plastic tabs that hold the switch to the body of the grinder break and the switch gets pushed into the unit making it impossible to actuate with your fingers. The last time this happened, about 2 years ago, I was able to disassemble the unit and install a replacement switch. Where the original switch lasted 5 or 6 years, the replacement didn't fare as well. The internal wiring isn't long enough to wire in a third switch without completely disassembling the grinder and replacing the power wires (I don't feel comfortable splicing inside the appliance, especially with the small clearance to work).
The steel grinding elements look as new as the day it was purchased and the motor still sounded strong. It's s shame that somethign as trivial as plastic tabs on the back of a button are forcing me to get a new grinder. That being said, almost 8 years still seems like a decent life span for a grinder. Cost per use works out to about a nickel. [$120 / (7.5 years * 350 uses/year)]
Overall review of the grinder is good. It grinds coffee well in a varaiety of coarseness. I have used it at medium coarseness for drip coffee at parties, very coarse for french press, and almost as fine as it would get daily for espresso. It's a bit loud, but that is to be expected for a machine that is grinding beans, no?
I think writing this review has convinced me to re-buy this grinder.
The grinder does a very nice job doing a medium grind for my Krups #4 cone filter coffee maker. Very little dust. Will grind enough coffee for 8 cups in less than 15 seconds. The timer is too vague with the setting to consistently repeat, and because the grinder puts out so much ground coffee, a second or two can make a big difference. So I just manually count the seconds and press the button again to turn it off. On colder dry mornings I am starting to get some static electricity cling on the plastic ground coffee container. So far, a couple of taps with a wooden handle knocks all the coffee out. We'll see how that is when it gets really cold and dry in Jan and Feb. This part would be a lot better if it was glass. Also the instructions say to unplug the grinder after use. Usually this is just a safety measure. But the power supply inside this grinder apparently is always On when it's plugged into the AC outlet, and the unit gets noticeably warm to the touch being plugged in, including warming the beans! With my laser thermometer I measured about 95°F around the timer knob area in a cool 75° house. So you need to unplug or otherwise turn off the power to it when not in use. I have mine plugged into a switched AC outlet.
UPDATE 9-20-13 Last week the Breville jammed on some ALDI coffee beans (so much for a bargain!), and I could not un-jam the grinder without forcing the normally drop-in part of the conical grinder. It was locked up solid. So I got 3 years out of it. I did unjam it but something is broken, still grinds coffee but much noisier now. On to something new. I wouldn't buy another one of these mainly because of the convoluted design of the coffee catch bin. Big-time static problems in the winter with darker grinds of beans.