Macap M2D micrometric
Purchased about two months ago, (think it cost about $540), seriously contemplated a wide range from the Eureka Mignon to a used Super Jolly and various larger used Compaks.
Major influences on my decision making process were physical size, ease of use and WAF.
Another big assist was an intelligent explanation on the actual influence of burr size regarding flat plate grinders for domestic use.
Unlike our American friends on Home Barista - and not having bottomless pockets - bigger is not automatically better personally. when build quality and correct alignment are taken into consideration.
My path so far has been a Hario ceramic hand grinder - bloody hard work for espresso; a Zassenhaus Quito which is not good enough for espresso despite the advertising, its burrs are crap; Cunill Tranquilo which grinds well but is very industrial (big, clunky, noisy, ugly but strong and efficient), Feld2 - lovely little hand grinder; then the M2D.
One of the biggest things for me is an aversion to complex electronics, the only reason for choosing the M2D over the M2M was being able to set the timer for my wife to run her shots when I'm away. And for a $50 premium, not a bad deal.
It's very understated in the matt black finish and so darn compact. Especially after SWMBO saw a Mazzer Major in the flesh...."No Way!" would be putting it politely.
The upgrades over previous models include a metal portafilter rest and trigger button. Plus moving the timer from underneath the base. The micrometric adjuster was the clincher after the Cunill.
It was a bit of a leap of faith but honestly, having done a terrifying amount of web crawling (Including GeekKopi's own review, lol) and applying a lot of somewhat obsessive analysis and research, the Macap was a bit ahead in terms of bang for buck which I must admit is a prime consideration personally.
Only a few kilos through it so far, but its settling in well, very consistent output with minmal waste or clumping. We dose into a s/s cup or use a funnel on the filter basket depending on mood and its pleasingly tidy. Very little if any splatter. Grinds about 1g/second which is just fine for our 8-15g range, in fact it gives time to distribute the dose from the spout and retains very little.
Push a few grams of sacrificial beans through before making a cup and its golden.
I acknowledge that the big conical grinders offer a whole other experience and perhaps one day, a Niche Zero or one of its single-dose imitators (bet on it, they'll be coming) will also grace my bench, but the littlest Macap is a joy to use and fulfills my needs and expectations well. Coffee it produces beats the chicken soup out of 95% of the cafes in our region.
Honestly, I'd have to say its way better than just a beginner grinder and suits my needs (up to 2-3 coffees at a time, four to five times a day) rather admirably.