Usually cheap coffemakers aren't a big deal. I mean, after the advent of the ubiquitous "Mr. Coffee", we were bound to get inundated with cheap imitations (such as this and the Sunbeam model), as well as the overly hyped gems such s The Bunn (used to be incredibly good), and the Cuisinart (poor imitation of The Bunn.) Nowadays, as with desktop and laptop computers, they have become so commoditized as to make the old saying, "You get what you pay for", a questionable prospect. In this case, however, you most definitely get what you pay for. This thing is cheap for a reason.
Recommend this product?
Design --2 Stars
It looks functional at first. In fact it looks, on paper anyways, as if it is darned near idiot proof. I, however, can be a real first class idiot, so it wan't too hard for me to take this thing to task. For openers, the coffee/filter cannister has a whole in the bottom where a dome in the lid of the coffee carafe's lid pokes through to let the machine know that it is time to start letting the watter through. Great idea--EXCEPT----The filter and coffee in the canister must be arranged just so, or the gravity feed basis for the design defeats itself and can create quite a mess. I've had water back up over the filter and drip down to the burner while dumping coffe grinds into the carafe on more than one occasion.
We've had it for 6 months now and it starts every morning without a single wince. The timer on it works well, but again, if you don't set the filter and cannister up just so, and position the carafe's lid just right, you could be wakin up to one heck of a mess. It has certainly happened to me on more than one occasion. Just because the design sucks doesn't give me the right to wail on it for being unreliable, because it isn't. It does what it is asked to do--even if it is awfully persnickety about set up.
Hey, you get what you pay for with this thing. We got it cheap, but that's also what we got. Lower price with lower performance. We used to have a Bunn way back in the day when those were indestructible. It was worth the $100. This thing cost us less than $20, and it isn't even 1/5th the machine the Bunn was. If I was feeling rich, I'd probably buy another Bunn. This thing really kind of sucks. It's like driving that old '66 Rambler your Grandma gave you--it doesn't drive well, it doesn't ride well, it doesn't even run that well---but it does start everytime.