Spacemaker Coffee Makers
For a long time the Spacemaker brand was the go to choice for RV owners, and people with limited counter space who needed their daily cup of coffee. In the last decade Black & Decker have been revamping this product lineup, and modernizing it to make it more appealing. With the older models having such a good reputation for reliability and longevity, can these new product models live up to the brand name? In this article we are going to look at some of the newer product options to see how they fare. Is this still the same brand you can trust? Let’s find out.
Spacemaker product recalls
Unfortunately we have to start off this article with the mention of two product recalls which the CPSC have issued for some of the Spacemaker product line. The first recall was issued in 2009 for models ODC440, ODC440B, ODC450 and ODC460. This recall effected 584 000 units, and the reason for this recall is that the brewing basket could become misaligned. This led to hot water overflowing, which left some people with burns. The recommended action was to stop using the unit immediately, and contact Applica to get a free replacement brewing basket.
The second recall was issued in 2012 for the models SDC740, SDC740B, SDC740BR, SDC740C, SDC740DIS, SDC740R, SDC750, SDC750C and SDC750DIS. This recall affected 159 000 units, and the reason for this recall is that the handle on these models have been know to break, which has resulted in some people getting cuts and burns. The recommended action in this case was to cease using the product altogether, and contact Applica to get a full refund for these models.
Looking at the product manufacture details, we can see that all these recalled models were made in China, which does not bode well for the rest of the newer models. However we feel that we can’t write off an entire product line due to a few bad apples in it.
With that out the way, let’s look at some of the more popular models from this product line.
The SCM2000BD model has been sold since early 2009, and has been one of tho most popular choices for anyone looking for an under cabinet style model. This model retails for around $100, and can produce up to 8 cups of coffee. It has a stainless steel & black combination design, which looks really fantastic with the blue leds. At the top left of the machine is the timer, and next to that are the control buttons. The timer can be set up to 24 hours in advance, and is fairly easy to operate. The main buttons are all to the right of the timer, including an off switch, the auto button, the programming button, and the minutes & hours buttons. The freshness indicator is in the center of all this, and lights up for 20 minutes after the coffee has finished brewing. It comes with a removable water reservoir, although it is a bit of an awkward design as the water level indicator is on the right side of the handle area. This means if you are right handed, it is a little tricky filling it up at the tap as you don’t get a good view of the water level.
The carafe is made out of stainless steel, and it sits on a nonstick plate which keeps the coffee warm. It looks good, but there is the disadvantage of not being able to see how much coffee is in there. On the carafe handle is a pour button, which you need to hold in when pouring your coffee. The carafe is dishwasher friendly, so you can chuck it in there for a quick and easy clean. At the back of the machine is a cord storage hook, allowing you to get the cord out of the way if you need to unplug it.
So it sounds promising, but are there any issues with it? We mentioned the awkward water fill line if you are right handed earlier – this can also be fixed by using a measuring jug to get the correct quantity of water beforehand. However there is one widely reported issue with the carafe, and that is it leaks when you are pouring. It seems to be an issue between the plastic and metal seal area near the spout, and is a common issue. We aren’t sure if it was simply a bad batch of carafes or down to a poor design, but there have been many complaints about this issue. In fairness, Black & Decker have replaced a lot of these under the 1 year warranty, but it is a bit of a risky purchase since there are still recent complaints about this issue.
With this in mind, it is hard to recommend this model based on this issue. If you are still interested in it, we suggest you read some of the user reviews on the Amazon page, and make up your own mind.
Next up we have the SCM1000BD Spacemaker. This model features a sleek all black design, and can make up to 12 cups of coffee. This model has a retail price of around $120, and comes with a 2 year warranty. It has a similar button layout to the SCM2000BD above, but it features round buttons instead of rectangular ones, and has green led lights instead of blue. The features are almost identical between the two, such as the 24 timer, removable water reservoir, dishwasher friendly carafe, nonstick carafe plate, and cord storage hook. The main difference between these models is the SCM100BD can make 12 cups of coffee, and it has a glass carafe. The glass carafe has a cup level indicator on the right hand side, which allows you to see how many cups are currently in there. It fits quite snugly in the carafe holder, and does not move around at all. This snug fit ensures it stays put on those bumpy roads, or even on the rough open seas if you install it on a boat!
Of course there are some downsides to a glass carafe, and that is that it struggles to keep the coffee warm for long periods compared to a stainless steel carafe. This coffee maker shuts down two hours after it is finished brewing. If you pour your coffee after it has switched off, odds are you will end up with a tepid cup of coffee unfortunately. This is not a huge problem, and you can get around this by brewing smaller cups when you want coffee, instead of one big batch at a time. However given the choice, we would take a sturdy glass carafe over a leaky stainless steel one!
Aside from that, this model seems to be a fairly solid choice. There are no obviously talked about design flaws, and the user ratings are all quite good. If we had to choose a model from the Spacemaker coffee maker product range, this would be the top choice. You can find out more about this model, and check the current price on the Amazon product page.
That is a look at two of the most popular models in the Black & Decker Spacemaker under counter coffee maker range. There are some badly designed products in this new product lineup, especially since some of them have been recalled. But there are also some worth looking into, such as the SCM1000BD which has a large amount of positive reviews. Remember to do your research before buying one of these models, and make sure you read a few user reviews to get a true idea of what the product is really like.