Summary: A true workhorse of a machine. Sturdy, reliable, and amazingly well-priced. Recommended For: Anyone who runs a serious, volume coffee business and can take full advantage of this model’s impressive output.
Are you interested in launching a business roasting and selling specialty coffees by the pound? Are you already running such a business and looking for a great, industrial-grade grinder that can keep pace with your operation?
If you answered yes to either of those questions, then you’re going to love our in-depth look at the Ditting KF1800.
By any reckoning, this is an impressive grinder, and won top honors in our roundup review of industrial grinders.
As you’ll see in the sections that follow, it doesn’t really have any flaws, but it does offer a feature set that might turn some potential buyers off. We’ll go over everything the 1800 can do, feature by feature, so you’ll have all the information you need to make an informed decision.
Let’s jump right in and see what the machine can do!
An Overview of the Ditting KF1800 Grinder
Form Factor, Footprint & Aesthetic
The first thing you’ll notice about the KF1800 grinder is that despite its impressive output (which we’ll cover in the next section), it’s an almost shockingly small machine, measuring a scant 20” x 20” x 65”. Don’t let its relatively small size fool you though. It’s solidly constructed and weighs in at a hefty 309 pounds, so this is not a machine you’ll be moving around a lot. Once you figure out where you want it, odds are it’s there to stay.
While it’s not an ugly machine, it’s evident that Ditting’s product engineers spent the bulk of their time focused on function, and didn’t put much effort into form. The only real option on offer where the look of the machine is concerned is that you can get it in either brown or charcoal.
No one would describe it as a stunning, artistic design; it’s simply functional. All business. It looks like the serious piece of industrial equipment that it is.
Given that, it’s likely to be an inconspicuous addition to most any workroom. The good news here is that you’re not paying a premium for elegance in design, and instead, getting more in the way of raw functionality. Most business owners would regard that as a good thing.
Hopper Capacity & Speed
This is probably the most critical component of our Ditting KF1800 review, and the main reason this grinder won top honors in the roundup review we mentioned earlier. It has an impressively sized 66-pound hopper, and the machine is capable of grinding an impressive 12 pounds per minute (720 pounds per hour), and features a simple slide-gate cut-off, making it easy to start and stop grinding.
Mess is minimized thanks to the addition of an extended discharge tube, which deposits the fresh grounds into the waiting bin below. This is one of the hallmarks of the overall design, that stresses simplicity over high tech solutions.
It should also be noted that given the grinder’s tremendous speed and output, the company has seen fit to install a dedicated cooling fan so the machine can be operated on a continuous or near-continuous basis.
Burr Configuration, Materials, & Grind Settings
The Ditting KF1800’s grinding discs are stainless steel (which, compared to their ceramic counterparts, are known for producing a slightly more consistent grind), 180mm in size, and guaranteed for up to 100,000 pounds of freshly ground coffee.
It gets better though because this is also a stepless grinder. Again, note the absence of high tech solutions here. Just turn the grinder adjustment knob until you zero in on precisely the grind you’re looking for. You can offer your customers everything from Turkish to Ultra Coarse, all from the same machine.
Note that as awesome as this feature is, it does slightly increase the slope of the learning curve, as your employees will need to experiment with smaller batches to get comfortable with finding the “right” settings you’re looking for. That’s not a bad thing, given the vast flexibility on offer, but it is something to make a note of.
Use and Cleaning
One of the many things we like about the Ditting KF1800 grinder is the fact that it’s a lesson in simplicity. You won’t find any advanced electronics here, and you will find that every component of the machine is easy to access, which makes cleaning a snap.
Our recommendation is to clean the machine any time you switch from one type of bean to another, and at the end of each work day, but of course, use your own judgment and trust your eyes. If you notice that the grind is suddenly inconsistent, or the speed falls off, it’s a clear indication that it needs some immediate attention.
In terms of using the machine, nothing could be simpler. Beans go in the top, adjust your grind setting to taste, make sure there’s a collection bin in place to catch the grounds, flip the switch and watch the show.
The only thing we’d point out here is that given the 1800’s grind speed, it can empty a fully-loaded hopper in less than six minutes, which makes it essential to make sure you’ve got the grind setting where you want it before you commit. If you’re not sure, run a very small test batch before forging ahead with a full production run.
Pros & Cons of the Ditting KF1800 Grinder
We love everything about the Ditting KF1800. As we said at the start, there aren’t any downsides to the machine, although the rugged simplicity of its design may be underwhelming to technophiles who are looking for more high-tech bells and whistles.
Admittedly, Ditting could have added a few high-tech enhancements to good effect. For instance, having a TFT (Thin Film Transistor) touch screen that enabled an alternate means of grind setting selection would have been a nice touch and a great convenience.
Having some statistics gathering sensors and computers on-board that could tell you how many pounds of different grinds you’ve produced would have likewise come in handy, but we can’t fault the company for sticking to the basics and creating a world-class machine.
When you couple its relatively simple design with Ditting’s reputation for excellent construction and superb post-sales support, then further compare its price and performance with every other competitor on the market today, it’s hard to say no to this one. Many people who own them have had them in service for literally decades, and they’re still going strong.
Ditting KF1800 Review Conclusion
The Ditting KF1800 is a real workhorse. The company played it fairly conservatively with the design, opting for simplicity and performance over elegance and high-tech features, and it’s a decision we applaud.
In our view then, this makes the 1800 rather a self-selecting machine. If you like analog controls and simplicity of design, you’re going to love it. If design aesthetic and high-tech conveniences matter more to you, then despite the fact that this is a well-priced, rugged brute of a grinder, it’s probably going to leave you feeling underwhelmed.
We highly recommend it though, to anyone who can come close to making use of its impressive speed and capacity.
Sources & Resources
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