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Salty Pepper

Let's briefly look at the $100 Zwilling Enfinigy Electric Pepper Mill. Stacking it up against the $7 electric pepper grinder I bought about 5 years ago by mistake, for which this was the replacement, I have some serious complaints. Zwilling ain't the brand they used to be, it would seem.

Why is it bad?

It can't grind while it charges, and if it discharges you can't run it manually. This requires you to own a back-up pepper grinder, because you usually don't need pepper in about 20 minutes or so. Even when the mill is charged, it mills pepper quite slowly. I like flavour, so I'm usually waiting around for a minute or so, or much longer if I'm cooking something. However, the kicker is that the mill is wildly breakable. Mine produced more e-waste than it ever did ground pepper, even including my one successful repair.

What broke?

After about a dozen grinds, less than one full charge of the battery, the button on the side got stuck in the "in" position. There was an audible snap, and the mill wouldn't turn on any more. I put it aside for a few months, after which I dug in and fixed it. It was quite fixable though! After some mild disassembly, a little plastic needed to be shaved off before the button wouldn't catch any more.

However, about 5 grinds later, the mill wouldn't turn on again and battery wouldn't charge. No measurable power draw when plugging the mill in, just complete failure. So, I had recycle what is effectively a new Zwilling pepper mill. Compare this to the $7 el-cheapo one which lasted 5 years, was repeatedly dropped, and never gave me any trouble at all until the plastic gear train wore out.

tags: pepper, salt, small appliance repair