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lominator Jun 12, 2010 09:01 PM

After being frustrated with my finicky Peugeot grinder for quite some time now, I am thinking of getting a Unicorn Magnum Plus. I don't really like the plastic look of it, but am wondering if it is all that they say it is cracked up to be? Any opinions?

  1. s
    snax Jun 20, 2010 04:24 PM

    As an Australian I love the fact that the pepper mill wass made in Nantucket. Such a strange and fun name to say.
    I guess it would be like a pepper mill being made in Uluru or Wagga Wagga if you are American.
    I've been very happy with the grinder, I prefer the Magnum grinder as it comes with the little tray to catch the pepper dust. He sits in my cupboard very happily next to my matching white salt grinder. I think they will be very happy together.

    1 Reply
    1. re: snax
      scubadoo97 Jun 21, 2010 08:58 AM

      Just a note, if your Magnum didn't come with a catch tray, mine didn't the plastic lid to a Crystal Lite tube or similar fit's perfectly.

    2. Chemicalkinetics Jun 14, 2010 08:48 AM

      I think a better question would be: "Who does not like Unicorn Magnum Plus?"

      10 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
        smkit Jun 15, 2010 05:29 AM

        I have both the Unicorn Magnum Plus and the Oliver Hemming, and I now use the Oliver Hemming almost exclusively. But I had used the Unicorn for years before I switched. They are both great grinders though. I can't say I dislike the Unicorn Magnum Plus, but here are some differences.

        The Hemming looks better IMO, is way easier to fill, still grinds very well, and has a ceramic grind mechanism which is more versatile (i.e., you can use it for salt too). Both are great mills and the Unicorn does grind faster, but unless I need A LOT of pepper (pepper crusting meat or quickly peppering large batches of fast-cooking eggs), I don't notice it at all.

        Some of the minor things I didn't like about the Unicorn were:

        * even though the loading hole was big, I still usually had to use a funnel (snipped envelope corner). The combination of my smaller hands and the loading hole being on the side would often result in small amounts of spilled peppercorns when refilling.
        * It leaked a lot of pepper wherever I stored it. Smaller models come with 'collection trays' to put under the grinder but the Magnum Plus doesn't.
        * After a year or so of use, the loading door came open very easily and resulted in spilled peppercorns on a handful of occasions as it would inadvertently come open during grinding. It wasn't a big deal unless you didn't notice it open AND accidentally tipped it over, but it did happen a few times and of course that would be when you were most frantically cooking.

        Just my 2 cents.

        1. re: smkit
          Chemicalkinetics Jun 15, 2010 05:56 AM

          Thanks Skmit. Your feedback is very informative. Almost every reviews I read rave about it and comment the "look" is its only problem. I have a poor pepper grinder which I am trying to retire now. It actually tighen as it grind, so I have to constantly loosen the knob every few turns. Thanks.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
            liu Jun 15, 2010 07:45 AM

            Nice review, smkit!
            As I posted upstream, I, too, have an Oliver Hemming Spice Boy which we love. Mine is white and sits nicely on a table. The funnel at the top makes for an easy fill and the ceramic grinder is very effective.

            Chemicalkinetics, I hear your concerns. For many years, I struggled with other pepper mills; either the grinding adjustment slipped or the grind was not even or the pepper compartment door opened to spill the peppercorns or the mill was not producing enough pepper and it took too long to grind or ... but with the Oliver Hemming, there are no problems. It works better than anything else I have tried:


          2. re: smkit
            Bada Bing Jun 15, 2010 12:14 PM

            As a Unicorn Magnum Plus owner, I can second two of smkit's misgivings: I have spilled some peppercorns trying to fill it, and the loading door on mine is loose enough that it stands open often and has sometimes led to a spill. In my case, the unit doesn't leak ground pepper, though.

            The Hemming does look nice. It seems barely available and very expensive in the USA, or?

            1. re: Bada Bing
              Chemicalkinetics Jun 15, 2010 01:19 PM

              Yes, it seems very expensive in US.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                smkit Jun 15, 2010 04:55 PM

                I got lucky and bought my Oliver Hemming for $18 on eBay brand new.

                Also, to reduce the pepper droppings, I learned to grind my pepper and then shake the mill afterwards. That helped. It may also depend upon what the grind setting is.

            2. re: smkit
              GeezerGourmet Jun 15, 2010 07:19 PM

              As noted by smkit, the worn loading door opening with spilled pepper corns all over the work station is a real annoyance. I got so fed up with it that I installed in each peppermill a small stainless steel screw to keep the darn door closed. Works fine. Once tapped, the screw backs out easily with a proper sized screwdriver.
              Problem solved.

              1. re: GeezerGourmet
                liu Jun 16, 2010 08:38 AM

                A great idea and nice work, GeezerGourmet!

                1. re: GeezerGourmet
                  scubadoo97 Jun 20, 2010 06:15 AM

                  excellent fix GG. I resorted to a little piece of black electrical tape which blends in very well. This is the only issue I have with this grinder. What it does very well is grind pepper. Over all I still think it's one of the best grinders on the market even if it's a little tricky to fill and the loading door opens. Again, I'm willing to over look these issues because it grinds so well. Maybe Unicorn will find a way to over come these issues.

                2. re: smkit
                  sbp Jun 20, 2010 06:04 PM

                  Sorry, a bit late to the game. I love my Magnum plus, and second all your comments. The only thing I would add is that on mine, the grind setting seems to "lose its place" very quickly. If I screw it down to a fine grind, after a day I notice medium coarse again and have to tighten it back down. A minor annoyance give the massive quantity of pepper it can grind in just a few twists.

              2. liu Jun 13, 2010 10:21 PM

                Are all of you loving your Unicorn Magnums or the Magnum Plus?

                7 Replies
                1. re: liu
                  lominator Jun 14, 2010 12:15 AM

                  Thanks for all your info everyone. Ordered a Magnum Plus on line today.

                  1. re: lominator
                    liu Jun 14, 2010 08:31 AM

                    Hi, lominator!
                    Did you shop price? From whom did you order?
                    Does it come with a base to catch the little debris?

                    1. re: liu
                      DGresh Jun 14, 2010 09:04 AM

                      just to note, yes that little tray is also a nice feature. My counters tend to get damp a lot, and my old grinder always had soggy pepper on the bottom.

                      1. re: DGresh
                        liu Jun 14, 2010 04:16 PM

                        DGresh, thanks for your response.
                        Do all the UMPlus grinders come with the little tray or is it a separate purchase?

                        1. re: liu
                          Bada Bing Jun 14, 2010 04:36 PM

                          Mine had no tray. That was several years ago. I didn't even know current ones came with one.

                          1. re: Bada Bing
                            tochowchick Jun 14, 2010 07:18 PM

                            My small matching Magnum salt and pepper grinders came with the trays but the Magnum Plus did not come with a tray...

                            1. re: tochowchick
                              liu Jun 14, 2010 08:01 PM

                              Thank you, tochowchick, for this information.

                2. d
                  DGresh Jun 13, 2010 06:11 AM

                  it's not as "pretty" as the classic kind. What I really like about it is that it holds a LOT of pepper. I always dreaded filling up my standard one, with the little opening, and it seemed like I was doing it every week or so. Now it's more like every two months. It also grinds very quickly.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: DGresh
                    Bada Bing Jun 13, 2010 06:23 AM

                    I have the Unicorn and can echo every point that DGresh makes here.

                    1. re: Bada Bing
                      fauchon Jun 13, 2010 07:19 AM

                      Me too...

                      1. re: fauchon
                        tochowchick Jun 13, 2010 04:11 PM

                        I love my Unicorn Magnum...also have the smaller Magnum pepper and salt grinders....I love freshly ground pepper and I love my Magnums...or should that be Magna????

                        1. re: tochowchick
                          lulou23 Jun 13, 2010 09:52 PM

                          Yes, I too love my Magnums, I have the tall pepper and short salt. I usually chose style first but in this case I don't even notice the "cheap plastic look" of these due to great performance. Never had a problem.

                  2. liu Jun 12, 2010 10:18 PM

                    A few months ago I ordered an Oliver Hemming Spice Boy pepper mill with a ceramic grinding mechanism. It might be the last pepper mill we ever purchase.

                    It has a large funnel design for easy filling and the grind is extremely generous and even. Truly, it is the best mill we have found and Dream Icon is a wonderful company to order from:


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