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ROK Coffee Grinder, Aluminum
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- Switch between stepped or step less grinding with an easily removable set of washers
- Grind consistency and stability on par with electric grinders
- Quieter grinding than electric coffee grinders
- Non-slip ring prevents sliding or wobbling while grinding
- Easy to adjust for left-handed use
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Made possible by a dedicated community of fundraisers on Indiegogo, the ROK Coffee Grinder is a manual burr coffee grinder that is suitable for all forms of coffee brewing. Made from durable die-cast aluminum, this grinder uses a set of 48mm stainless steel conical burrs to produce grounds on par with more expensive electric grinders. Unlike other manual grinders, the ROK Coffee Grinder grinds beans with minimal effort, require a mere 62 revolutions (30 seconds of grinding time) to produce a double shot of espresso. Longevity of the grinder is ensured by the quality engineering grade components used in its construction. Each grinder ships with an included grounds cup that can be used for measuring beans and catching coffee while grinding.
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I have read through lots of reviews on Amazon before buying this product. The praises for this product range from "sturdy" to "an heirloom", "great quality" etc. After receicing this grinder and trying it out for 20 days, I can only assume that the people who wrote these reviews have either no idea of engineering and material quality or the reviews were sponsored.
This product is a very nice looking mediocre grinder that could have been "engineered" by a first semester student. It is a very simple piece of aluminum with an even simpler grinder. The quality of this grinder would warrant a price of about $50-75 at the top end. The burr grinder in the center is as simple as it gets (which is not ncessarily bad). To adjust there is a simple metal wheel on the bottom with which you adjust the coarseness of the grind. The numbers are pointless, because you can freely spin the wheel in any direction.The so called "steplesss adjustment " is just removing a washer, so the plate doesn't ratchet anymore. Some "engineering". If you don't mess with the dial, you will produce pretty constant grind results that are by all means satisfactory. The minute you change that, you will
a) never find your setting again because the numbers are useless and
b) will have to go through heaps of coffee to dial things in again.
The cup to catch the beans is a joke. Its made of cheap plastic and is so static that the coffee clings to it. It is also too short, because the grinder will evenly distribute 30-40% of your coffee across the base and your counter but not in the cup. Can you remedy this? Sure, like others have said - just use a different cup that is higher and catches the coffee to minimize spill.
Cleaning? In their "engineering" ingenuity, the company put an adhesive glue strip under the grinder. Good idea, when you are grinding, because there is minimal movement. Bad idea the first time you have to pry this from your countertop to clean the mess the grinder made all over. Now the grind sticks to the glue. The only way to clean this thing is in the sink, but don't touch the dial, otherwise - well - see above. Do this 20 times and the glue strip will become a biotope of kitchen scraps glued to it So it will have to be removed from the bottom of the unit after which the grinder will scratch your countertop so you'll have to replace it with a rubber strip.
The handle is very mediocre quality and is starting to come unbalanced after 20 days of light usage. If this continues, I expect the cheap bearing in the top to wear out, which will likely angle the - cheap- polycarbonate wheels in the top - which will likely break them. Game over. If one of those teeth crack you're done. Adios $200.
So in summary - does this grinder work? Yes for sure. Its like a Range Rover, looks really great, but if you try to use it you'll spend most of your time at the shop.
Can you make it work? Sure - you just have to avoid touching the dial, buy a vaccum cleaner to suck up 40% of your expensive espresso ground that flies all over the kitchen. Can you fix that? Sure, just change the cup.
Can you work around the glue strip? Sure just don't move or clean the unit. If you do, just replace the glue strip.
How long will it last? Well unitl the wheels crack or the $0.20c plate on the bottom gives in. can you deal with that? Sure, just hope it all goes well.
The question is though - can I deal with this for $50? Yes, its an acceptable tradeoff. At $200? No way.
$35 production cost in China, landed cost in US warehouse $42. Sales Price $199= $157 gross profit per unit.
I am all for making money with a great idea. An this is indeed a great concept. Unfortunately it was executed with poor or no understanding of engineering, material and quality control. If you make a $200 product, it needs to work.
1. Beans do pop out the top of the hopper when grinding. I cut a shield out of clear plastic, with a slot for the shaft, that I slide on over the hopper, works great.
2. If your beans are dry there can be a lot of static to cause the grinds to coat the sides of the cup and actually come out of the cup and get on the grinder. I've seen a good mod for this with a glass and an O-ring, but if you run some oily beans through it this does not happen. The coffee from Costco is oily enough this is not an issue. I did purchase some organic coffee that had terrible static, got all over the grinder and had as much on the sides of the cup as the bottom, I ran some oily Costco coffee through it now the Organic coffee is just fine. I wonder if the oily coffee removes the static?
Grinding consistancy seems really good at this time. i will see how it holds. Manual says level 1-10 is for espresso, and it seems true. I ran it with grining level 9 and it just looks like maximum size for espresso. At This size you definitely need pressurized portafilter. Any way it is still for espresso size that is way too small for drip or any other type of brewing so, true!
Statics: not a problem here. Today is 72 F and shiny and breezy. 6mph wind 32% humidity. I started grinding right out of the box without any cleaning to see how it handles statics. I just wiped aluminium cup with wet towel, that is it, I did not clean the grinder at all. Result is what you see in the picture. I will say it is low level. I did this in my office. Even aluminium ground cup has very little statics that I did not have any problem pouring the ground into another cup nicely and neatly. And aluminium cup is coated which I did not expect. Very nice touch. Cup feel like ceramic coated although I dont know what kind of material ROK used, I just hope it will last long.
Bottom pad is super super super sticky. You can use only one hand. I thought it was glued to the surface :-)
Sturdyness is the most atteactive part of this product.
It makes pleasant low grinding noise.
Grinding speed is awesome for the manual grinder. Twice faster than Hario.
I made gound for three cups of coffee now and it was effortless.
I removed infinite level washers and it made nice clicks.
Tip. Do not change grinding levels in the middle of grinding.
So far so good!!!!
I wil update if there is any issues arise.
Update 5/19 2017
So far so good. I found changing grinding level with stepping is hard. So I put the washers back because I had to frequently change the level and it was not good. Consistancy still the with washers. Level Wheel stayed the same position after grinding 12oz of coffee bean and until today. I use about 35oz whole bean everyweek. It started to make squeeky sound. I found sound is from the plastic roller part on the handle so not a big deal.
Sticky pad became little sticky after 2weeks of use. But don't worry washing the sticky pad will bring that super stickyness back!!
Cleaning the burr is little tricky because of limited reach.
Broken coffee beans pop out when there is about 6oz beans left. But i cover it with hand and I think it as signature thing of this manual grinder.
Will update if I find anything major.
—after 3rd grinder.review-----(after a year)----now reduced to 3 stars...
I bought my third one to use at the office....this one is like my first one....burr is not aligned in the perpendicular to the surface....it is not a shaft...if shaft is off center to one point burr touches the outer butt with consist noise which is really big problem...but the inner burr touches outer burr at a specific degree, mine, 9 o'clock. maybe inner burr is not held straight or what? or it could be the outer burr too...I don't know I work in the industrial design field and I can not get this straight. and I do not want to try whole-make-over on this machine...I can but I do not want to....somehow my second one was almost perfect when it comes to alignment. BUT still a lot better than most sub$200 grinders, but it seems like it is your luck. coffee taste definitely different from my second grinder. I lose significant control over targeted particle size... I have micron mesh filters and the first one and second one definitely drop more fine particles than the second one.