Have had the Simplicity for a few weeks now, here are my impressions:
1. It grinds fast!
I mostly use light to medium light roast level beans for espresso, v60 and aeropress. For espresso it takes about 30 seconds to grind 17 grams, for v60 I do 30 grams in about 45 seconds. I don't grind too fast, so you could definitely get even shorter grinding times if you hustle.
2. Grinding is very smooth and low effort (relatively speaking.)
The grinding action is simply superb and I actually ENJOY the grinding process. My only experience with hand grinders prior to this was the crappy Hario and there simply is no comparison. It's like comparing a horse drawn carriage and a Bentley... the horse will get you there eventually, but you won't enjoy the ride, it will take you forever and you'll be stiff and sore at your destination. I'm a 200lb male with a large hand and grinding feels incredibly effortless; my 95lb wife can get through a dose of beans, but it takes some effort on her part. I would probably look to get an electric grinder if you're a small human, for everyone else, this thing will feel easy.
3. The grind quality is amazing!
I've had some of the best tasting coffee I've ever made with this thing. I know Kinu grinders are said to be more suited for espresso (which they do an amazing job for) but in my experience it produced amazing v60 cups as well. I used to use an Encore for pour overs, but Simplicity makes a much better cup, so I've completely switched to manual grinding for all brew methods. Visually speaking the grounds left in the filter look much much more uniform in appearance with a few to no visible boulders and very little residue that looks like mud on the sides of the filter. The Encore produced more boulders and definitely much more fines. I bought a used Encore, so perhaps it wasn't a totally fair comparison. I thought I'd eventually buy the optional pour over burr, but at this point I am so happy with my pour overs that I don't see myself getting the other burr.
4. It's built like a tank!
It weighs around 2lbs, so not sure how travel friendly it will be, but I know it will last a few lifetimes. It's easy to take apart and put back together for cleaning. There is not a hint of wobble anywhere. I'm actually looking forward to the day when I'll be passing this grinder along to my future grand kids in like 50 years.
5. Adjusting the grind setting is intuitive and a breeze
There is a bit of a learning curve with the dial in process during the first few brews. Kinu makes a few different models and a few versions/generations of some models and each one has a slightly different range for each brew method. Some grinders end up at the "0" mark when screwed all the way down, while others don't, which will throw off your starting point a bit. Kinu support told me "The rule is 2 full rotations for espresso and 4 full rotations for filter" so that gives you a good starting point. For my particular grinder I've had the best results for espresso at 2.6.5 to 2.9.0 range and v60 at around 3.9.0 to 4.2.0 Since there is a bit of a learning curve, I'm considering adding it to the "CONS" list too, but once you get your working ranges, reproducing the grind setting is such a breeze that I decided to leave it in the "PROS" list as well.
1. Thumb stop could be designed better.
This is the only real beef I have with this grinder, and only when grinding larger doses. As mentioned in the review videos for the M47, the thumb stop, in the way it was designed to be used, is not ideal. In my experience it is much more comfortable to hold the stopper at the first knuckle of the index and middle fingers as demonstrated in the review video. I also wish the thumb stopper extended further down the body of the grinder, so you could hold it with the entire hand, which would offer a better grip. In the grand scheme of things it's not that big of a deal, and shouldn't really be a big knock against the product. You won't have any issues with grip when grinding for a shot or two, or a single serve of filter coffee.. but the times I was grinding 45-50 grams for guests, I did wish the design was a little better. I'd be curious to buy the rubber band from the "Phoenix" model to see if it's any better.
2. A lid would be nice
For 90% of the time that I've used the grinder a lid is not needed as the beans tend to stay inside the hopper where they belong. The two times I've had a a couple of beans jump out were: a) when I tried to grind at a very fast rate.. and I'm talking about very fast.. enough to make you break a sweat. b) when the hopper was filled pretty much to capacity at about 50 grams. There are some 3D printed lids you can find ppl selling through Instagram so I might end up doing that. Although, as mentioned earlier for the most part I don't really feel the need for a lid.
1. Catch cup feels cheap
Compared to the rest of the grinder, the catch cup feels out of place. It's made out of thin ABS plastic and feels very light and flimsy. The "O" ring on the cup makes it a bit annoying to take off. It's only a partial knock since this is the reason the Simplicity is $75 cheaper than the original. There is a cost trade off and the manufacturer makes it very clear. What's really nice about the Simplicity, is that it's compatible with the more premium "magnet" catch cup that can be purchased from the manufacturer, and which I eventually intend on doing.
2. Adjusting the grind settings has a bit of a learning curve
As mentioned above, it might take you a few tries to find that specific range setting for your preferred brewing method, but once you do, it's all smooth sailing.
Overall I am more than satisfied with this grinder. I did a ton of research prior to buying the Simplicity and had very high expectations for the grinder once I made my decision. It not only met all of my expectations but even managed to exceed them! I am thoroughly impressed by the grinder, so huge kudos to Kinu for making such exceptional products!