Cuisinart grinder improvement

analogdino

New member
Mar 17, 2015
20
0
Thornhill, Ontario, Canada
Hi All.
I'm trying to get Cuisinart to improve their coffee grinder. Here the email exchange a while back:

For product design management
To whom it may concern.

We have Subject Burr Mill (grinder.) It works well enough, subject to the comments below.
Grind size:
The average setting (fine - medium - coarse) is very easy, however the amount of "fines" produced at any setting (above "fine") is excessive. The grind-size should be determined solely by the burr separation. In this unit I sense that, within the burr gap, there is an excessive "ballistic" action due to excessive grinder speed. As you know, this is why blade grinders are very poor, they are all ballistic action.

I did not measure the motor speed, but my guess is that it is close to 3,600 rpm (typical of a two pole AC motor)... I did not pursue this.

To test this premise I ran the grinder (in the workshop) from a variable AC source (Variac) to cut the speed. It will run down to 75 VAC at a slower speed, at which fewer fines are produced. However, it will not start or run at 70 volts due to low torque.

How to fix:
Reduce grinder speed. This could be done by using a 4 pole AC motor to get 1,500 rpm, or better by using a DC motor and speed control... for the DC motor I would target around 1,000 rpm maximum to minimise ballistic action and the production of "fines" when a medium or coarse grind is wanted.

Other:
Apart from the above, it is a pity that this unit will not grind directly into the espresso machine filter handle. Transferring ground coffee from the plastic box to the filter cannot be done without fine ground coffee being spilled (I do it over the sink.) I imagine an adapter could be made to allow the handle to be inserted under the burr outlet... I've not tried to design this!

On the subject of the plastic box, it is not very strong. It would be better if it were metal, whence it could incorporate the above mentioned handle filler.

I trust the above will lead to an improved grinder in due course.

Comments welcome...

Very best,
etc...


Their reply:

Hi Roger
Thank you for your email and our apologies for the delay as we're currently experiencing extremely high volumes. Your feedback is very important to us. I am forwarding your comments to our Quality Assurance team thank you for taking the time to write to us.

NOTE: Your reply will be answered according to your position in the queue, please avoid sending multiple emails as this will put you farther back in the queue and increase your wait time. Thank you for your patience.

Warm Regards
S.M - Conair Consumer Service Representative

My reply:

You said:
"... please avoid sending multiple emails as this will put you farther back in the queue and increase your wait time. Thank you for your patience."


Indeed, a good point. But you've had long enough!
Was my note actually sent to the product people? I am trying to help you make a better grinder. If you don't want advice, then please just say so... don't just ignore it.

Note: Since there is no thread attached to your reply, I have copied my original letter below. [not here]

Thank you.
Name etc...


Their reply:
Hi Roger
As mentioned your email was sent to your Quality Assurance team, thanks.

NOTE: Your reply will be answered according to your position in the queue, please avoid sending multiple emails as this will put you farther back in the queue and increase your wait time. Thank you for your patience.

Warm Regards
S.M - Conair Consumer Service Representative


Then total silence... this was well over a month ago. I hesitate to write again!

So, I conclude that Cuisinart is not interested in any of this and that their "customer service" is just a vehicle for a sales pitch and warranty claims. I'm not trying to dump on Cuisinart... we have a number of its products in the kitchen and most work very well.

I'd appreciate comments from this august group; many thanks for all replies.
Cheers,
Roger


 

Mr.Peaberry

Member
Aug 7, 2013
890
2
Hello Roger!

I totally love your approach, but must ask why Cuisinart? Do you own stock in the company? There are many coffee grinders on the market that do a good job at producing an excellent grind. I have a Baratza Settee, which I love except for the fact that the grind size is more focused on the finer and espresso grinds than the coarser grinds used for french press or cold brew.

This is just an opinion, but I doubt that Cuisinart believes that there is any benefit to improving their product, as is often the case with brand names. As long as sales are strong and the product is profitable, the attitude seems to be "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", even if the improvement is beneficial to the end user. Product improvements tend to take place as sales start to flatten, and/or rebates/discounts no longer generate increased sales. Any change to a product that is performing well could actually diminish the profitability, and that is worse than having an inferior product in that slot. Cost of development and marketing a redesigned product is only regarded as a necessary evil to uplift an underperforming product.

Thanks for posting. You learned me something...I never considered that burr speed was the main culprit in creating those pesky fines, but it makes perfect sense!

Doug

FYI - The August group does not convene for a few more months. :shock:
 
OP
A

analogdino

New member
Mar 17, 2015
20
0
Thornhill, Ontario, Canada
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #3
Doug, thanks for your comments... I agree (but, of course, I don't own the company... or, as an engineer, I would have fixed it!)
I may explore other grinders in due course, but for now I'll just put up with the Cuisinart unit "as is". The excess fines don't affect the espresso brew, but they make my French-press brew a bit "muddy" so I just make a bit more in the cup and try to leave the fines at the bottom when I drink it.
Cheers,
Roger
 

Mr.Peaberry

Member
Aug 7, 2013
890
2
I have not used my french press in months, but when I do, I will pass the coffee through a filter if I feel like a less muddy cup. Every once in awhile, I crave a muddy cup, so that's when I reach for the good ol' FP!!

Cheers,

Doug
 
OP
A

analogdino

New member
Mar 17, 2015
20
0
Thornhill, Ontario, Canada
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #6
I've forwarded this thread to Cuisinart for it's information... I don't think it will reply!
Stay well all...
Cheers,
Roger
Well, well, they did reply! See below:

"COVID-19 : Please be advised that processing, delivery & response time will take longer than usual.
Dear Valued Customer,
"Thank you for emailing us.
"This is an automatic response to inform you that your message has been received and placed into our email queue. A member of our Customer Service team will respond to your email in the order it was received.
"Should you require immediate attention, our Customer Service Representatives are readily available to answer your questions and offer their assistance. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-472-7606 M-F between 9:00am to 4:30pm EST. (excluding all holidays and weekends.)
"We look forward to hearing from you soon,
"Best Regards,
"Customer Care Team: Conair Consumer Products Inc.
"Please do not "reply" to this automated message."

We shall see...
Cheers,
Roger
 
Top