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Battery operated pepper mill, thoughts? Reviews?

Hey All: I wanted to get people's reviews and views of battery operated pepper mills. I wanted to get one as a gift for my So who saw one with the light and the whole deal at a restaurant recently and flipped. Looking at the shopping sites they seem to have a wide range of prices from about 20 bucks to 100, it's hard to get a bead on what is the best and what's just hype. I know a lot of people love the magnum, but it's not battery operated. Anyone have some 411 or personal experience?


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    1. re: Chowtimore

      I bought two of the Gravitis at BB&B for $19.99 each and I had coupons too. i received one for Christmas and was underwhelmed until I began to use it. I had two good Peugeots, one for black and one for white. Now I grab the Graviti first. Saw something last weekend that said it can be used for a salt mill.

    2. If it is battery operated, it's hype. Get a big, sturdy Peugeot mill, which your SO will still have long after you're gone (or at your 25th anniversary).

      1 Reply
      1. re: Hungry Celeste

        If you have a problem with the Peugeot mills, you can get a pepper mill with a hand crank to make them turn with less effort. Penzeys sell them. http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzey...

        Alton Brown modified a pepper mill to be powered by a cordless drill, but I think he was going for MacGyver-esque laughs.

      2. I agree with Celeste, unless you've got some kind of disability which prevents you from using a mechanical pepper mill, use a mechanical pepper mill. I like the grinding mechanism of a William Bounds mill.

        1. I had one, it's now hidden away somewhere. The Unicorn Magnum peppermill is the very best I have ever used. Very easy to fill, and to adjust the grind is easy, It is $45, and you will never need another one. The only downside is, that it only comes in black!! I think they make a small one too, but I love the big one.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Mother of four

            Agreed. A quarter turn and you get a lot of pepper from a Magnum. Somethings just don't need batteries.

          2. A restaurant was gauche enough to use a batter operated pepper mill? Yikes. Kinda like the time a new bartender at work brought in one of those screwtop corkscrews; we tried using it once and realized very quickly that some things are just better the old-fashioned way. The Unicorn Magnum comes very highly recommended from a great many people; I got the little one from IKEA for seven bucks and it does an absolutely splendid job of grinding things.


            3 Replies
            1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

              Maybe I misunderstood your post, but the peppermill from IKEA is not a Unicorn Magnum.

              1. re: Mother of four

                I should have said "I got a little grinder from IKEA for seven bucks". Hope that clears things up.

                1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                  Thanks,I was about to say, "What a deal"!!!!! When I saw the picture I knew the deal went south!!!!

            2. Spend the money on quality peppercorns, not batteries!
              Some jazzy gadgets are more work then wonder.
              A quality peppermill can be had for prices high & low but quality pepper should be your goal. I tend to crack pepper with the back of a steel knife and savor the "corns" instead of pulverize 'em.

              1. If the man wants a battery powered pepper mill, get him one (I'm taking for granted your SO is a man, since it falls into the power tool category). We have a pair (one for salt, one for pepper). Don't know who made them (I'm thinking brookstone, but could be wrong). Both are stainless steel and heavy (they look nice and feel well made). They come in handy when you're cooking and just want to add a little bit here and there withough going into the dining room to get the ones in there. From experience, they work, they're handy, and if someone has their mind set on something, there are no substitues.

                2 Replies
                1. re: HunterJay

                  Thank you HJ I'm a chef so I know from quality and understand people's love of the Pugeot et al, but this really was more of a gadget question. Thanks for the tip!

                  1. re: HunterJay

                    We got these for our wedding over a year ago and have been happy with them since: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

                    Yes, maybe pricey for the pair, but I think they're just what your SO is looking for. My husband seems to find pleasure in using them as well (and he's far from a chef!)

                  2. I bought a Graviti grinder when I spotted it at Sur la Table a couple of months ago. Got it because there are many times when I'm cooking that I can't use both hands with my regular pepper mill, and I thought it would be nice to be able to just pick this up, turn it over, and voila! That's really the only time I use it, though, because I don't want to replace the batteries too often. I still use my regular crank pepper mills, too.

                    1. We have the battery operated ones from Williams' Sonoma... we love them... a little on the pricey side but haven't had any problems

                      1. When my dad injured his hand last year I got one for about ten bucks from Target. I must say this thing is really cool. When you press the button to grind it also activates a spotlight on to your food.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Oh Robin

                          I just checked Target and they have a iTouchless Automatic Pepper Mills/Salt Grinders Set - Stainless Steel for $19.99 (if you have AAA you get 10% off). They do look pretty cool, what man wouldn't want a flashlight on a pepper grinder (I consider myself a typical man have a thing for flashlights and powertools). Now the only question is is it an LED light or a standard bulb (I like the LED's personally). Would I be disappointed if I got this as a gift, heck no. I may even try to cook a little more, just so I can play with it.

                          1. re: HunterJay

                            Not sure of the "bulb type" but I do remember the one I bought took like six batteries. Yikes! My dad seriously loves it though.

                            1. re: HunterJay

                              What's with the AAA getting 10%off? Is this for everything in Target? First I have heard of this.

                              1. re: Mother of four

                                Online shopping only. Go to the AAA website > member benefits > online shopping and it has the link (you have to use the link to get the discount).

                          2. I soo got suckered into the hype, when I saw one on Nigella Bites a few years back. I ended up buying a Rachel Ray orange one for a good friend of mine, his kitchen is in orange..and picked up a red one for myself. I don't even know where the thing ended up after the batteries ran out, and I don't miss it. If you buy one, get it for novelty purposes.

                            1. It seems like batteries running out is the big problem. I wonder if there's a market
                              for one with a mechanism like in those wind-up, rechargeable flashlights? You'd
                              wind it for a minute or so to charge the batteries and they push a button to grind
                              the pepper.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                If you're going to wind it for a whole minute (or two or three, like the radios and flashlights), why wouldn't you just "wind" it a few seconds at a time when you need your pepper?? Kinda defeats the purpose for anyone who physically "needs" it and seems more than just a bit silly for those without arthritis, etc...

                              2. For what it's worth, I received Peugeot mill as a wedding present in 1971. We use it every day. It doesn't look as nice as it did, but it still grinds like a champ. I have serious doubts that an electric gadget will last as long - or do as good a job.

                                1. Great thread here! I'm also in the market for battery powered mill. My Italian mother, who turned the big 8-0 could really use it. She still cooks alot but doesn't have the strength for a regular mill. Like someone said, there's really a big variance in prices of these things. I'm all for spending extra money for quality, but not junk. So I'm trying my best to read page after page after page of reviews on what peeps are saying. I really like this thread cause it seems that it may be marketers that are populating in part on the well traveled sites like Amazon. But even with having to read through some of these questionable posts, I've reached a bit of a conclusion on getting the Trudeau Graviti mill. BTW, looks like Walmart carries these too. I still got a good 1-2 hours of reading up on reviews on these mills, so haven't yet made up my mind.

                                  The one thing I'd like to add to this thread is the use of batteries. You can now easily use and charge not only rechargeable batteries(Ni-MH), but can also recharge alkaline batteries! The charger isn't some gizmo from NASA or something either. I got mine on sale for $20 at Newegg. My brother ended up getting one as well as my father. So really batteries should be hardly an issue any more. Search for Rosewill RGD-CT505 and see for yourself.

                                  Oh yeah, thanks for the tip on Target having some battery powered grinder. I really like to deal with bigger retailers for any problems that come up. I'll look into that set too.

                                  1. I too have looked a lot for an effective pepper mill. Have probably bought 20 over the years. I now am very happy with the IKEA one. So spend .the money on Winyard or Maldon pepper.

                                    1. I like the Peppermill Supreme 2000. Very powerful and rechargeable. The only downside is that it is large. It does have a light! http://www.distinctive-decor.com/rech...

                                      1. Hey yo,

                                        Thought I'd get back to posting on this thread with an update. I ended up getting a Trudeau Graviti Pepper Mill Grinder via eBay for me momma. At first she was like, wtf? Then after she saw me using it a couple times, I guess things started clicking with her. She ended up taking it back and I'm happy now. The grinder seems well made and feels like it will last for quite awhile.

                                        Good luck on finding one and I wish you the best.