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  • Kitchenaid Coffee Grinder Review: Blade or Burr For Coffee Grounds?

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    When it comes to the argument of blades versus burrs, the answer, as far as quality goes, is almost exclusively burr. However, if you’re looking at it from a price perspective, the answer could also be blade. Kitchenaid offers both types of coffee grinders at excellent quality, so which should you choose?

    Of course, whenever you have the opportunity (and budget) to do so, it’s best to go with quality. A burr grinder will give you a better quality cup of coffee every single time. As such, while Kitchenaid’s Blade grinder is excellent in its own right, we’ll be looking at the burr grinder in this Kitchenaid Coffee grinder review.

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    Before You Buy

    The Kitchenaid Burr Coffee Grinder is a sturdy, heavyweight coffee grinder that costs a pretty penny. This is unit starts in the mid-$200 range, so it’ll set you back a decent bit, but it seems to go on sale often, too. If you keep an eye out, you may be able to snag it for an impressive price.

    Unsurprisingly, the Kitchenaid Burr Grinder hearkens back to Kitchenaid’s enormously popular line of stand mixers. It looks like a strange combination between a stand mixer and a propeller plane, but it’s a piece of countertop eye candy nonetheless. Looking at this model, you can’t deny that it’s one of the best-looking (and most unique coffee grinders out there.

    Functionally, this coffee grinder doesn’t have any special features over simpler grinders in a lower price bracket, aside from its high-quality steel build and unique look. As such, this seems to be a bit more of a prestige item than anything else.

    About the Kitchenaid Burr Grinder

    This model of the Kitchenaid Burr Coffee Grinder has been in production for years. Kitchenaid Coffee Grinder reviews exist of people who have used theirs for decades (and are still going strong)!

    While this is a no-nonsense grinder without so much as a screen on it, it promises a consistent, quality grind every time. Ostensibly, it also promises to hold up for years and years, though it seems to depend on the model that you purchased as well, as some years have been sturdier than others.

    Newer models, in particular, don’t seem to operate as well as older iterations on this design. As they say, “They don’t make ‘em like that anymore.” Newer Kitchenaid Burr Grinder models tend to clog easily, overheat, and even break down catastrophically.

    Things we like:

    Room for improvement:

    Kitchenaid Burr Grinder Features

    Surprisingly, this coffee grinder doesn’t have that many unique features to its name despite its steep price tag. It does offer a good product when it works, but aside from how it looks, it seems to lag behind its competitors in the same price bracket.

    Design

    Bar none, the most striking feature about the Kitchenaid is its artistry. Indeed, it looks almost like a piece of art, and someone unfamiliar with coffee brewing might not even be able to tell that it’s a coffee grinder at first sight. While it’s definitely a bit alien-looking compared to other mills, it’s unique in a good way.

    Unfortunately, the design of this unit seems to be its most significant pull. If you buy this unit simply because it looks cool, you may end up regretting it somewhere down the road.

    Firstly, note that while the design of this unit looks cool, it’s not the most practical. In particular, the glass bowl that catches your coffee grounds after processing them is challenging to work with. It’s not ergonomically shaped, so it can be challenging to hold onto, and the glass unit, while static-resistant, breaks easily. However, you can simply replace the glass unit with a regular bowl if you need to.

    The top part of this unit is a bit better than the bottom, but could still use some improvement. The hopper lid, for example, doesn’t thread onto the glass portion, so it pops off too easily.

    Overall, while the unit looks cool, it’s bulky and oddly-shaped. This unit is one that needs to have a permanent place on your countertop, as it’s shaped too strangely to fit well into a cabinet. Additionally, its cast-steel body and steel burr blades are durable but quite heavy. You don’t want to be lifting it all the time!

    Coarseness

    Choosing the coarseness of your Kitchenaid Burr Coffee Grinder is very easy: there’s one large dial on the end of the mixer that controls the coarseness. Unfortunately, the dial only has fifteen settings, a number that’s dwarfed by most other grinders in its price bracket.

    Do note, however, that while this unit only has fifteen settings on the coarseness dial, the burrs can be independently adjusted by removing the dial and following the directions in the Owner’s Manual. By doing this, you can achieve the coarsest or finest possible grind that the Kitchenaid is capable of.

    When this grinder is working correctly, it produces a consistent, quality grind that makes excellent coffee, all the way from espresso to french press. However, the unit has persistent issues with clogging and a weak motor that can affect the final quality of the grind.

    KitchenAid Burr Grinder KCG0702OB, 7 oz, Onyx Black

    Quality

    One of the persistent issues with this unit seems to be its quality. It appears that the most recent version of this model just isn’t up to the quality of previous ones. While some people report little to no problems with it in their Kitchenaid Coffee Grinder reviews, others report smoking, feeding issues, and poor-quality materials, such as snapped screws.

    Even though the body of this unit is cast steel, it seems that the manufacturer may have lowered the quality of other pieces over time. While I can’t say this for sure, of course, there are enough negative testimonials for you to second-guess purchasing this unit.

    Noise

    An unexpected strength of this Kitchenaid machine is that it’s on the quiet side. Because of its bulky steel casing, the machine seems to keep vibrations to a minimum, and any noise stays trapped inside the machine. If you need a coffee grinder that won’t wake a sleeping house, then this may be something to consider.

    Static

    If you’ve ground your own coffee before, you likely know the issues it can cause static electricity. Fortunately, the Kitchenaid comes with a glass reservoir and hopper. These glass compartments help to minimize static cling, which then helps keep your kitchen from becoming a mess.

    Temperature

    An essential part of the Kitchenaid Burr Coffee Grinder to consider is its resting temperature. Since the majority of this unit is made of metal, it conducts heat easily. As such, the Kitchenaid may be more prone to overheating than similar plastic units.

    Tellingly, the Kitchenaid grinder only goes up to a grinding speed of 450 rpm, which is slightly lower than most other mills in its price bracket. This is probably to reduce the operating temperature of the unit.

    Not only can an overheating coffee grinder affect the taste of your beans, but it can be a hazard, too. A coffee grinder that’s become too hot can malfunction and even cause injury in extreme situations.

    Cleaning

    Unfortunately, cleaning this unit is a bit of a task. The only way to clean the unit is to take off the grind-knob at the front of the unit and clean the inside from there. This port is rather small, and it can be hard to reach any clogs or blockages inside.

    However, some Kitchenaid Coffee Grinder reviews state that running raw rice through the machine instead of coffee beans can be a great way to clean it. I don’t recommend doing this as it can actually harm your grinder, but fortunately, grinder-cleaning pellets exist specifically for that reason.

    Note that this Kitchenaid grinder does seem to require a more proactive cleaning regimen than most other mills. Many reviewers report seeing success by cleaning it weekly.

    Blockages

    Many sources state that it’s the motor in the most recent Kitchenaid Burr Coffee Grinder model that’s responsible for its frequent blockages. An underpowered motor is certainly capable of becoming stopped if your beans become too difficult for the machine to grind.

    Any coffee grinder is capable of becoming blocked, and this is especially true of burr grinders, but because of its shape and design, the Kitchenaid seems to excel at it. As such, while you’ll have something that’s great to look at, you may have to make up for it with extra time spent cleaning it out.

    Measurements

    Unlike many of its competitors, the Kitchenaid grinder doesn’t have a programmable measurement system. Instead, the unit has a simple on and off switch, and you add the number of beans to the hopper that you want. The hopper can hold up to 7 ounces of beans, which is slightly less than the industry standard.

    Unfortunately, this grinder does not have any sort of timer or automatic shut-off. While some would tout this as being simple and hassle-free (which it is, to an extent), it’s a quality-of-life addition that many users will miss.

    Customer Service

    Fortunately for this grinder, the staff at Kitchenaid have purportedly been very generous with customer service help and product replacements. If it weren’t for this, purchasing the Kitchenaid grinder would be much more daunting than it currently is.

    Currently, the Kitchenaid grinder is covered by a risk-free one-year warranty. If it fails due to manufacturing defects during the first year, Kitchenaid will refund or replace it for free, including shipping charges. As such, on the bright side, there’s virtually no risk to you if you want to try this model out and see if it works for you.

    Accessories

    The Kitchenaid Burr Coffee Grinder comes with both a cleaning brush and a coffee scoop in addition to the grinder itself. Spare reservoirs and hoppers are also purchasable if you manage to break the existing ones (which is very easy to do).

    Unfortunately, the design of the lower reservoir that catches your coffee grinds is not ideal. It doesn’t attach to the unit itself, so it’s common for coffee grounds to escape from the reservoir as the machine works.

    The Verdict: Should You Buy?

    All in all, I would think twice before purchasing this Kitchenaid Burr Coffee Grinder. While it should, in all rights, be a dependable, quality unit, there are just too many reports to the contrary to spend more than $200 on this, especially when there are better units for less money on the market.

    Unless you’re really, really in love with the design, I’d recommend skipping over this unit. Fortunately, since Kitchenaid’s customer service seems willing to replace defective units, you can try your hand at it without feeling trapped into keeping it if you so desire.

    The design of this unit is the biggest thing in its favor, but other than that, it does create a respectable ground coffee when it works. The only issue is receiving a unit that works properly, but if you do manage to get your hands on one, you won’t regret it.

    If you are thinking twice about the Kitchenaid Burr Coffee Grinder, consider taking a look at the Baratza Virtuoso+ instead. The Virtuoso+ comes in at the same price point as the Kitchenaid, and while it doesn’t have the same visual appeal, it also comes with 40 standard coarseness settings instead of just 15.

    Additionally, Baratza is well-known for their incredible customer service and the superior quality of their products. While Kitchenaid has been known for its durable products for many, many years, it seems that this designation may no longer be appropriate if the reviews are to be believed.

    If you are still set on purchasing a Kitchenaid grinder, consider buying an older, more reliable model. This coffee grinder has remained virtually unchanged for years, so you may be able to purchase an earlier version that’s more reliable for even less money if you do your research.

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