2006 Guide to Best Kitchen Tools: Pepper Mills
“We sought models we could recommend for cooking purposes, not merely for tabletop use. We tested 22 peppermills from 15 manufactures. We evaluated the mills based on their range and consistency of grinds, ease of adjusting the grind, output, capacity, and general design.”
“Best Overall: Unicorn Magnum Plus …This 9-inch mill cranks out a lot of pepper with little effort. It also holds a lot of peppercorns about 1 1/4 cups. We were able to adjust it to four distinct ranges of grinds –from fine to coarsely cracked- all of which were quite even in consistency. The black plastic housing is sleek, easy to wipe clean, comfortable to grip, and durable. It loads easily through a large hole on the side. A tiny nut on the mill’s underside adjusts the grind, so there’s no need to reset after filling. It also comes in a 6-inch version.”
“Testing for Perfection: The Daily Grind” December 2004
“The Best: Unicorn Magnum … a sliding collar door makes for very easy filling, capacity is generous. A tray to contain pepper dust is included in this smaller model of the Magnum Plus. Smooth, even, extremely fast, very easy to change grind.”
Testing 26 pepper mills in 1996.
“The Magnum Plus…Best…perfect for the kitchen, given speed & extra large capacity. Widest range of grinds. The Magnum Plus has a number if distinguishing features that make it my first choice for kitchen use, including a super-large capacity and blinding speed. The large hole on the side of the mill is an easy way to load the peppercorns. For serious pepper users, this is the best choice.”
“Wares: Pepper Mills” August 2001
“The Magnum… truly a grinding machine… meets all criteria… big capacity, dispenses pepper quickly, wide range of grind, and durable nickel plated steel grinder.”
Test Kitchen the Taming of the Peppermill: Three that Work, December 3, 1997
“A good peppermill should have a precise grinding mechanism, hold a goodly number of peppercorns, have the ability to grind thousands of times without faltering and be so appealing it beckons to be used.
Unicorn pepper mills are better than good. They are severely simple columns of tough ABS plastic that look like something from Darth Vader’s pantry and perform beautifully. Each has a hidden hole on the side for filling and a superb steel grinding mechanism on the bottom that is easily adjusted from fine to quite coarse.
Tom David, a former house builder, designed the first in the Unicorn line, the Peppergun, for waiters and chefs. It is about six inches high, and has a squeeze lever that can be operated with one hand.
The six-inch-tall Magnum grinds peppercorns with a turn of a hand; a matching white mill for sea salt has a non-corroding nylon grinding mechanism.
The nine-inch Magnum Plus is the fastest, easiest, and most commodious of peppermills. Perfectly balanced, it turns almost effortlessly and gives a cook the ultimate power with pepper.”
Tired of the same old grind?
The spiciest innovation in peppermills is the Unicorn Peppergun. Designed and made on Nantucket Island, MA., the Peppergun thoroughly grinds fresh peppercorns when you squeeze its handles. Grind size is adjusted by a thumb screw, and a loading window on the side allows for easy filling. The Peppergun holds 50 grams of pepper, three times the amount of most mills. Inventor Tom David spent six years perfecting his design, securing patents and searching for the finest steel mill. The result is nothing to sneeze at. The Peppergun won the silver medal at the Paris Inventors Exposition in May. It’s available in black or red. Also available: a salt model with non-corroding nylon mill (white only).
“Smart Splurges: Pro Picks: Pepper Mills” May 2005
#1: Unicorn Magnum Plus” …the difference between a twist of fresh pepper and store-bought ground pepper is like night and day. The Magnum Plus took top honors.”
“Equipment Update: Pepper Mills” Jan/Feb 2005
“We have yet to find a pepper mill that can approach the Unicorn Magnum Plus, winner of our July/August 2001 test; it offers the ultimate in grinder quality and speed. The Magnum Plus is an overgrown version of the Magnum. The Magnum grinds just as quickly and effectively as the Magnum Plus. In the test kitchen, we really appreciate the huge 15-tablespoon capacity of the Magnum Plus, but the Magnum’s 7-tablespoon capacity is fine for home use. All in all, for cooks who want a less expensive option than the Magnum Plus, the unassuming Magnum is a great choice.”
“In Search of a High Performance Pepper Mill” September 1999
“The Magnum… everything I want in a pepper grinder".
A sensible, comfortable design
A strong sturdy construction so the mill lasts a long time
A way to adjust the grind from fine to coarse An efficient grinding mechanism that produces a lot of ground pepper with little effort.
A large capacity and a convenient refilling system so replenishing peppercorns is an occasional, trouble-free event.
A lot of pepper mills meet two or three of my requirements, it’s an unusual pepper grinder that captures all four traits.
It’s easy to find peppermills that can grind on one extreme or the other, but few mills excel at both ends of the spectrum. This is where the Magnum, which is made by Tom David, Inc. on Nantucket, stands out; it truly grinds from very fine to very coarse.
Peppermill test, July 2001
“More than half of the mills tested did their jobs well, but the Magnum Plus is a superstar. Its grind quality is exemplary, it’s output astounding, and it’s capacity huge. If that weren’t enough, it’s also easy to fill and comfortable to use… In looks, the Darth Vader of peppermills. Very easy to adjust the grind, and dazzlingly effective… Recommended… huge capacity, awesome speed.”
The Physician’s Guide to Quality
“Tom David, Inc. has done it again… Tom has put his expertise to the drawing board and has come up with the Minimill, a personal peppermill extraordinaire. It is a mere 3 inches, discreet and powerful. It has an adjustable grind to enable you to enjoy pepper in the precise quantity that you prefer. Whether you’re in a plane at 35.000 feet or a roadside diner, fresh ground pepper need never be farther away than your pocket or purse. Just the right size to slip into your jacket pocket, briefcase or handbag and take it wherever you go.”
Pick of the Pepper Mills, May 1997
“There are dozens of mills out there…to find the king of them all, we tried 29, from 18 manufacturers.
The Winner: The sleek 9-inch Unicorn Magnum Plus was superior on every count. It has an easy-to-adjust mechanism in the base that gives the most distinct grinds, from superfine to coarsely cracked. It’s fast, too, producing _ teaspoon of pepper in 5 seconds, and the barrel holds a cup of peppercorns- twice as much as any other candidate. If you love fresh pepper, this is for you.”
“Magnum Mill Produces a Peck of Pepper”
"Tom David, Inc. has come out with yet another excellent grinder called the Magnum. It holds more that 50 grams of peppercorns, works extremely fast and adjusts from powder-fine to the kind of coarse grind that’s perfect on robust greens such as a Caesar salad.”