Pros: it's cheap, easy to use, and requires no maintenance
Cons: it doesn't hold a lot of beans, and it can be difficult to clean
My wife and I are big coffee drinkers. We have a coffee maker and use it almost every day. We've always bought ground coffee, but last year as a present we received a basket full of different flavored bags of coffee beans.
The next day we went shopping for a coffee grinder. Apparently there are a lot of fancy grinders out there, but they were all too expensive, and we just needed something cheap that would work. We came across the Mr. Coffee 2.3oz coffee grinder at Target for under $20, so we took a chance and bought it.
We've used the grinder many times since then, and it works reliably and consistently. It is very simple to operate -- simply pour the beans into the grinder, attach the lid, and push down on the switch. The grinder comes with a user's manual, which specifies the amount of time to grind for the desired fineness of the coffee. In about 10 seconds you have ready-to-brew coffee.
The grinder holds enough beans to make about 12 cups of coffee. This may sound like a lot -- it did to us -- but if you drink a lot of coffee, it's really not that much. We've started grinding several batches at a time so we don't have to keep doing it every week.
The Mr. Coffee grinder is electric, corded with a two-prong plug, so it will fit in older outlets as well as modern three-hole grounded outlets. When it's turned on, a metal blade chops up the coffee beans, similar to how a blender works. After seven months of use the blade is still sharp, and just as effective as the first time we used it.
The grinder is safe to have around children -- it comes equipped with a safety switch that won't let it turn on if the lid isn't properly in place. It also comes padded with rubber feet so it won't slide across the counter as you're grinding.
The main problem with the grinder is cleaning it. The basin where you pour the beans in is stainless steel, but because of the electronics underneath it the grinder can't be put through the dishwasher. The lid is easy to clean -- it's just a plastic cup -- but the grinder itself is too small to really work a sponge or paper towel in there, and the blade makes for even less room to move your hand.
The Mr. Coffee 2.3oz coffee grinder comes in white, black, and chrome, and can probably be found at most home goods stores such as Target or Wal-Mart. It is also available online from the Mr. Coffee Online Store for $17.99 (plus shipping).