If we rewind in time just about 3 years ago, my wife and I were looking with our quite limited budget for a good quality coffee grinder for our money.
We went through a store in Denmark where I currently live and looked at coffee grinders, taking our time and trying to find the best fit for our budget and needs.
We had heard that Wilfa was a nice brand when it comes to coffee and coffee grinding, so after some discussion we ended up going with this guy, the Il Solito CG-110.
Little did I know the fateful decision that was.
I’ll give a more full and specific review in the sections below, and at first I thought it was a “fine” coffee grinder, but as time went by, the grinder went way downhill.
After a couple years I wanted to smash it to pieces… but I decided that maybe it was better than grinding my coffee with a mortar and pestle. Maybe…
I realize that this model is difficult to find in USA, and in my opinion, that’s a good thing.
And because it ended up to be such a dud purchase, I won’t even bother trying to put any link for you to view or purchase it.
It’s for your own good, trust me.
I’m not sure which one is worse, this Wilfa or the awful, over-hyped and over-marketed JavaPresse manual grinder, which I also had fun reviewing…. but not so much fun paying any more than 5 bucks for it!
Overall, I’d give the cheap, plastic CG-110 a generous 3 out of 10.
So read on to find out why!
(But just as an very interesting side note, if you want an amazing, high quality coffee grinder that functions beautifully, check out the Wilfa Uniform Coffee Grinder… which is, funny enough, also made by Wilfa and the legend himself James Hoffman recommends. I bought it recently and am loving it.)
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A Good Start
When I first got the CG-110, it seemed like a fine coffee grinder, like maybe many other standard ones you could find.
It had an ok adjustment for fine and coarse grinds and I got pretty used to what to set it at for pour over, AeroPress, French press, etc.
And I think it worked ok for maybe 9 months, or thereabouts, I can’t remember exactly.
So that was the good start.
Then I got to the first problem I had with it… when I’d adjust the grind size sometimes, the burrs would come out and I’d have to set them in again and tighten it with the grind setting.
It’s a pain.
You’re just supposed to have to do that if there’s a problem or it gets clogged or stuck or something, but because the material is so cheap, it happened on a regular basis, to the tune of 2 or 3 times a week.
So, it was a nice 9 months where everything worked alright and I could enjoy my coffee in peace.
But let’s get to all the other annoying things about this coffee grinder…
As I’ve already stated, most of this thing is made out of plastic, which in it self isn’t really a problem.
But especially with the grind adjuster, it became so irritating when it would get stuck, or the burrs would come loose like I said in the last section, and it seemed like it was falling apart after pretty normal use.
Sure I’m a daily driver when it comes to my coffee, but I don’t use a grinder more than three times.
The plastic dials for the grind setting and for the amount setting, the one on the front, felt so cheap and fidgety after a while.
Even the ridiculously inexpensive, classic blade grinders seemed like such a better option at that point.
This section of the review is going to be short and sweet.
This thing ridiculously noisy.
It’s probably the loudest coffee grinder I’ve ever heard.
It sounds like a mini chainsaw.
Let me put it this way: if I’m rating the loudness of this thing, it gets 11 out of 10.
When it comes to the design of it, there aren’t too many problems.
It’s an ok design overall.
But there’s no automatic shutoff.
What it does have is a dial right on the front for how many “cups” you want to grind for.
I say “cups” because as far as I’m concerned, the good old CG-110 is neither accurate nor consistent.
It seemed like after the number three, it didn’t matter if I had it in five, seven, 12, whatever, it was more or less the same amount.
It’s designed that both the lid and the catcher need to be in place for the grinder to operate, which is a good design.
Other than that, not too much to say about the design.
Ease Of Use
When it comes to this factor, there’s not too much to say.
The general ease of use is ok.
This is of course disregarding what I’m about to talk about after this, which kind of goes along with ease of use.
But at the beginning, when everything was actually working and not broken, the ease of use was A-OK.
I say yet again, this is where the Wilfa CG-110 truly and utterly bombs.
I can’t remember how long it worked for no problems, but it certainly wasn’t more than a year.
Even a year is being generous; I’m pretty sure it was nine or ten months.
The biggest problem was the top burrs, that they would keep coming loose.
This was a super annoying problem, because I’d have to empty out all the beans, put the top burrs back in, secure them in by adjusting the grind size back and forth, and then start over.
The even bigger problem was, sometimes it would come loose again right after, when I grinded the beans again.
Fast forward about 2 years with this bummer of a coffee grinder… after I used it for French press once, the grind adjustment dial stopped working completely.
I could put it on the finest setting or the coarsest, and it would only grind a French press thickness.
The grinds were so big, it looked like it was cutting the beans just in half.
I mean, sure, I like French press, but I like other brewing methods too!
This was the absolute icing on the cake for me, there was no redemption whatsoever for this sad coffee grinder.
The durability factor on the Wilfa CG-110 is the worst thing about it.
If you want a coffee grinder that’s way too expensive for the value you get, that will start breaking down after about a year, then this is the perfect one for you!
This grinder was a miserable investment.
I honestly think I’d prefer anything over this grinder.
Which on the other hand is quite surprising, because Wilfa is a Norwegian company, and I would’ve expected more quality from that.
See, I don’t know if this is a good thing or a right thing or not, but I’m really a “brand” kind of guy.
What I mean is, for me… “If one Ford car is bad, all Fords are bad. If one iPhone is bad, every model of the iPhone will be bad. If one Android is bad, all Android phones are bad. If one flavor of Starbucks coffee is bad, they all must be bad. So if one Wilfa coffee grinder is bad, THEY ALL MUST BE BAD.”
I don’t know if this mindset is good or if it’s true; I think only sometimes it is.
But this is what I automatically assumed about Wilfa… that since this one was so awful, if they made other ones, they’re most likely bad.
I just couldn’t help but think it.
And that’s why it’s so surprising that I actually allowed myself to be convinced to get the Wilfa Uniform coffee grinder, which for a few months has been great.
One of the deciding factors to even give the Uniform a chance after going through the trauma of owning an Il Solito CG-110 is that I saw a video of the legendary James Hoffman reviewing the Uniform.
He gave it a second review after owning it for three years, and it was still working great he said, and it was his favorite coffee grinder.
So I had to be convinced/reminded that, in fact, many brands do have a lower line of products and a higher line of products, and that they can have a vast quality difference.
It’s such a strange thing to me, and maybe not so good for brands when there’s such a vast difference in reliability between lower line and upper line products.
But Wilfa is apparently one of those brands.
And since this review is about the Il Solito CG-110, I can confidently say, wherever you are in the world… USA, Europe, wherever, do not get this grinder.
It’s not very cheap, and it is simply not reliable.
I hope you enjoyed reading this review, and that it was helpful, or at least a little funny!
If you have any questions or comments, please let me know in the comments section below and I’ll be so happy to hear from you!