Mahlkonig DK27 Coffee Grinder
A great machine by any definition. Perhaps slightly over-engineered, but those who own them swear by them.
Recommended for: Anyone who can afford one. You’ll pay a premium, but this is a rugged, capable machine.
Are you in the business of selling world-class coffee by the pound to your customers? If you are, then you need a grinder that’s capable of growing with your company and handling just about anything you can throw at it.
While there are many manufacturers currently producing industrial-grade grinders, there are only a handful that have a reputation for excellence, backed by world-class post-sales support. Mahlkonig is one of these, and the people who own their equipment swear by them.
A Mahlkonig grinder isn’t a business expense, it’s an investment, and with proper maintenance, you can expect to hand the machine you buy today to your children, and possibly their children.
The Mahlkonig DK27 is affectionately known as “The Big, Enduring One.” As the largest grinder, the company currently makes, it’s got the capacity to handle just about anything you can throw at it.
Yes, it’s expensive, but people are willing to pay a premium for quality, and that’s the chief selling point of every machine Mahlkonig makes. While you can find cheaper machines, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better quality grinder.
We’ll cover everything that “The Big, Enduring One” can do in the sections that follow so you’ll have all the information you need to make an informed purchasing decision.
Ready to see what this model can do? Let’s get right to it!
An Overview of the Mahlkonig DK27 Industrial Grinder
Form Factor, Footprint & Aesthetic
The Mahlkonig DK27 LVH boasts of having a relatively small footprint, and while that’s technically correct, there are machines that surpass it in capacity with an even smaller footprint. Nonetheless, given its dimensions of 63” x 31.3” x 48.4,” you won’t have any particular difficulty finding a permanent home for the machine.
That’s a very good thing, given that it weighs in at a hefty 341.7 pounds. Once you position it where you want it, relocating it will be a daunting task!
Regarding aesthetics, at first glance, you’ll find that it looks a bit like a giant-sized Kitchen-Aid mixer. While it’s not an unattractive machine, it’s hardly something that could be considered a work of art. Clearly, the product engineers spent the bulk of their efforts on function over form. This is an all-business machine. It’s designed to get the job done, not look pretty while it’s doing it.
Hopper Capacity & Speed
The Mahlkonig DK27 has an impressive capacity, with a hopper capable of holding 66 pounds, and a grinding mechanism that can create up to 572 pounds per hour of Turkish coffee, and up to 616 pounds per hour of medium ground coffee. For all but the largest operations, this is more than enough to keep pace with demand, and as we’ll mention in a later section, it’s got plenty of extras and finishing touches that ensure you can run it on a near-continuous basis if you need to.
Burr Configuration, Materials, & Grind Settings
The grinding burrs on the Mahlkonig DK27 LVH are a wonder, but they also add significantly to the overall cost of the machine. They’re 180mm in size, arranged in a flat configuration and constructed of wear-resistant tungsten carbide steel.
Virtually indestructible, they’ll certainly save you on maintenance, but give the already impressive quality and longevity of the machine, it almost feels like overkill.
Grinder adjustment is stepless and handled via a simple grinding wheel mechanism that allows you a great deal of freedom and flexibility in terms of dialing into exactly the grind you’re looking for. While we prefer stepless grinders, we do note that it does increase the slope of the learning curve slightly. You’ll want to do a few small test batches to make sure you’ve got the grind exactly where you want it before proceeding with a production run.
Use and Cleaning
The grinding discs themselves are easy to access so that cleaning won’t be an issue, and the controls are simple and straightforward. For most people, you’ll spend more time learning to fine-tune the grinder adjustment wheel than you will mastering the rest of the controls.
The thing that truly makes the Mahlkonig DK27 LVH shines though, are the “extras” and finishing design touches that are built into the machine.
Instead of focusing on aesthetic touches, the product designers chose to spend their time focused on enhancements that make the machine easier and more convenient to use as compared to other industrial-grade grinders in its class. For example:
Unlike the impossibly tough grinding discs, we don’t see these extras as being more evidence of over-engineering, they’re thoughtful additions that seek to make the machine an extension of yourself. Once you zero in on the exact grind you’re looking for; you just don’t have to think about the rest.
While some of its competitors can be described as finicky or temperamental, once you master the basic controls and gain some familiarity with the grinder adjustment wheel, using the machine becomes almost as easy as breathing, which goes a long way toward explaining why people who own one seem more like fans than customers and are reluctant to use anything else.
Pros & Cons of the Mahlkonig DK27 LVH
In our view, the DK27 only has two negatives, with one helping to inform the other.
The biggest drawback is price. It’s easily the most expensive machine in its class, and while it’s true that you get what you pay for, it’s also true that at least where the grinding discs are concerned, they’re probably overkill, given the durability and longevity of the machine, even without them.
Its greatest strength lies in the cumulative weight of all the extras and refinements, born of decades of design experience that make the machine incredibly easy to use. Combine that with the world-class post-sales service and support, and you get a machine that’s difficult not to fall in love with.
Mahlkonig DK27 Review Conclusion
We love the Mahlkonig DK27 and recommend it without reservation to anyone who can afford one.
We will note, however, that owing to its hefty price tag, investment or not, it might be too costly for some people. Sometimes, you can find it on sale, and the more steeply it is discounted, the more attractive it becomes.
It’s a machine worth spending extra money on, and once you have the pleasure of using one, it will spoil you, and you’ll miss those finishing touches when you switch to some other machine.
Sources & Resources
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