If you're looking for a simple, inexpensive and reliable coffee grinder, the Krups 203 is likely to suit your needs. True, some complain that it's small or difficult to clean, and many find blade grinders are not as good as burr models. Still, for the price, it's hard to beat the performance, ease-of-use and durability of the Fast Touch.
Consistent grinder. The Krups Fast Touch203 coffee grinder is widely considered a top-performing product, with owners noting that it grinds coffee, spices and seeds finely and evenly. There are no settings; instead, you press the button for as long as it takes to achieve the grind you want. Many reviewers say the blades are sharp and the motor is strong, noting that the result is uniform consistency. Some also point out that the model's design (an oval shape with a flat lid), also promotes fast and even grinding. In addition, some reviewers say the model does not produce excessive coffee dust, which can lead to a brew that resembles "sludge." (Some owners point out that using paper filters with your coffee maker, instead of a permanent filter, can help keep coffee from turning muddy.) There are a negligible number of complaints about motor burnout and other malfunctions.
Simple and versatile, but messiness is a concern. Users say the Krups 203 is fast and easy to use – pour in the beans, click on the lid and press a button. Moreover, the flat lid and strong motor help ensure that the coffee beans move efficiently and are pulverized quickly. Many also report using this model to effectively grind spices, nuts and seeds.
However, many users note that ground coffee tends to spill out of the unit when the lid is removed. Some have devised ways to avoid this, such as turning the unit upside-down after grinding is complete, tapping the unit lightly against a countertop to release all the ground coffee and then opening the unit so the lid becomes the coffee receptacle. Many also say the unit can be inconvenient to clean, as some ground coffee, spices or seeds may remain beneath the blades. Some suggest buying a nylon brush and brushing out the grinder between uses. Others advise purchasing separate models for coffee, spices and seeds, to avoid inadvertently blending them. A few reviewers wish the unit had cord storage.
Long-lasting design. Reviewers report that the Krups 203 is a high-quality model that is sturdy and designed to last, despite frequent use. Some owners say they have owned and used the same model for several years, with one owner boasting that his model functioned a full 25 years. Reviewers say the model's motor is powerful, and the construction is solid and sturdy. This Krups unit earns hundreds of positive reviews, with very few users reporting any malfunctions. The unit includes a one-year warranty.
Compact, sleek and stylish. The Krups Fast Touch 203 gets relatively few comments about its appearance. Those mentioning it shower the Krups with praise: One reviewer describes the unit as "stylish," while another calls it "nice looking." Several describe its compact design as a boon, since it requires little room and can be easily stored. While some find the capacity too small, there are few complaints about its looks. This model is available in white or black.
On the noisy side. Coffee grinders in general are noisy appliances, and the Krups 203 in particular gets a considerable number of complaints about sound. To be sure, some say the model is quieter than others they've owned, but just as many call it loud. Overall, most reviewers don't address this issue. One recommends placing a towel under the unit to help muffle the grinding sound.
Review Credibility: Very Good More than1,200 owners post reviews of the Krups 203 to Amazon.com. This grinder earns an overall score of 4.4 stars (out of 5). Most owners say this is a great basic grinder that's sturdy, and a quick and consistent performer. Owners who use it to grind nuts and seeds say it does a fine job at that, too, although there are complaints that it's not easy to clean, and ground coffee tends to spill when you lift the lid after grinding.
Review: Krups 203 Electric Coffee and Spice Grinder with Stainless Steel-Blades, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of January 2013
Review Credibility: Very Good Nearly 120 owners rate the Krups 203 on Cooking.com, with more than 95 percent awarding it a rating of 4 or 5 stars on a 5-star scale. Nearly 80 owners also write full reviews. Almost without exception, owners say it performs well and is easy to use. Very few users complain about this model, although one finds it hard to clean and another says the lack of cord storage is "irritating."
Review: Black 3-oz. Coffee Grinder by Krups, Contributors to Cooking.com, As of January 2013
3. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
Review Credibility: Very Good Although this product test by Cook's Illustrated magazine is an older report, the results are still useful. Editors test nine inexpensive coffee grinders, including burr and blade styles, and make recommendations based on several criteria including design, capacity and cleaning, and the degree to which the temperature of the coffee increases after grinding.
Review: Coffee Grinders, Editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine, November 1, 2001
Review Credibility: Good Epinions.com garners almost 50 users reviews of the Krups 203, where its overall rating is 4.5 stars (out of 5). The majority of owners say this is an inexpensive, reliable and consistent grinder, although some find it messy to use and hard to clean, and some complain that its capacity is too small.
Review: Krups 203 Grinder, Contributors to Epinions.com, As of January 2013
Review Credibility: Good About 70 owners review the Krups 203 Grinder at Viewpoints.com, giving it a combined average score of 86 points out of 100. Many praise its simple design, good performance, and low price, although some would prefer the ability to set it for a specific type of grind (coarse or fine), and some say it's loud.
Review: Krups Fast-Touch Coffee Grinder 203 Reviews, Contributors to Viewpoints.com, As of January 2013
Review Credibility: Fair Although a bit old, this is a good test of coffee grinders used for spices. Three coffee grinders under $30 are tested for their spice-grinding abilities, and the author concludes that the Krups model is a good, inexpensive tool for grinding spices quickly and efficiently. This model is also the quietest among the three tested. The test involved making the Indian spice blend Garam Masala.
Review: Tools of the Trade: We Test a Few Under $30 Grinders; Which Ones Work for Spices?, Editors of SpiceLines.com, Aug. 25, 2006
Review Credibility: Fair About.com names its top eight coffee grinders, including the Krups 203. Editors call this model "just right for folks on a budget," although there's no indication of when or how models were tested.
Review: Top 8 Coffee Grinders, Sean Paajanen, Not Dated