Whether you prefer an automatic drip coffee maker or the meditation of a perfect...
If I were writing this review based entirely on first impressions, I confess I’d probably have to edit my language; the installation of this model was an absolute nightmare. I hadn’t anticipated problems since I’d used the older model Black & Decker SpaceMaker for more than a dozen years, and even still had the holes drilled in my cabinets.
Imagine my chagrin when I discovered the screws on the updated model aren’t in the same place, the directions seemed to have been translated through several languages before arriving at (nonsensical) English, and the screws and mounting hardware had to be monkeyed with before they would work with my (perfectly standard) kitchen cabinet design. I finally ditched the instructions altogether and just tackled it from a problem-solving standpoint. By the time I finally got the thing installed, I was already ready to send it back—except at that point it was stuck to my cupboard.
SDC740 coffee maker product features:
Since I’ve started with the problematic start of my relationship with the SDC740 coffee maker, I’ll go ahead and share the couple other disappointments I’ve experienced with it—but I’ll say up front that I’m mostly enjoying the machine, so keep reading. I was pleased with the prospect of the larger capacity (twelve cups, compared to the eight-cup capacity of the older model), but I hadn’t anticipated how much more space this would take up beneath the cabinet.
Because it’s significantly bigger, there’s considerably less clearance beneath it, which cuts into its “space-making” characteristics. We’ve dealt with this by storing some coffee-making items (sugar bowl, squat coffee canister, and our favorite mugs) in the short space below the machine. It’s not the space-use I would have chosen, given other options, but it’s handy anyway to have those articles close to hand.
My other dissatisfaction is in the matter of the custom carafe, which is advertised as “unbreakable,” but which cracked in our dishwasher—and which is not covered by the machine’s warranty. Buying a replacement carafe from Black & Decker would have cost nearly half the price of the entire original unit, but I was fortunate to find one on Craigslist for considerably less. Those are my complaints about the model—and reading through the commentary in Consumer Reports (which I didn’t read until after my purchase and installation), I see that my own experiences are all too common with this model. Having said that, I’m at the end of my criticisms, and I do have some brighter points to share about my coffee maker.
Although the design of the mounting hardware was uninspired, to say the least, the design of the machine itself still earns kudos from me. The backlit window of the water reservoir makes it easy to measure as I fill, the retractable cord stores its own extra length within the unit so there’s exactly enough cord to reach the outlet, and the Save-a-Plug feature lets us plug our existing Black-and-decker SpaceMaker can opener directly into the SDC740 coffee maker so there’s only a single cord going to the wall outlet. The auto programming allowing us to wake up to already-brewed coffee is an absolute necessity now that we’re used to it. It looks sharp, I have to say—guests comment on it all the time—and most important of all, this machine makes a great cup of coffee. Or twelve.