Sunday, April 17, 2011

Update On Our Grain Roller/Flakers

Back in March I blogged about the two grain roller/flakers we ordered and received. The electric one came first (see post of March 24th) and we were super-pleased with it.

It's the Messerschmidt Flaker Mill Attachment for the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer and works slick as can be. I've been very happy with it and would recommend it.

In my post the day after the one on the Messerschmidt, I said the manual hand-crank roller/flaker had arrived but was not the one we had ordered!

According to the research we'd done, the best hand-crank model is the "Marga Mulino" made in Italy. The website from which we ordered gave quite a bit of information on other manual flakers including that on the Norpro (sometimes called Shule) which is made in China and is a less desirable copy of the Marga Mulino.

Although we thought we were ordering the Marga Mulino, the manual flaker we received was the Norpro or Shule (Shule being the name embossed on the tool). We went back and read the information on the website and did find that the wording left something to be desired (not good for a website); it was confusing and could have been misinterpreted which evidently we did because we thought we were ordering the Marga Mulino but received the Shule.

We contacted the company and although they were not happy to have us return the Shule roller/flaker for a refund (we had not used it), they finally agreed to allow us to do so. We sent it back and anxiously waited for the refund to appear on our credit card which it eventually did. Whew!

Now I'm hesitating attempting to order a Marga Mulino again . . . from a different source, needless to say. Why? Well, the electric roller/flaker works so quickly and effortlessly. The flaked grain comes out just about as fast as you pour the berries in. The amount of energy used is minimal. Should grid power ever be out for any period of time, we do have our solar back-up system which we use for about 50% of our power anyway.

So at this point, the money that would go for a manual roller/flaker has been transferred to another envelope to be used to purchase something that currently ranks a little higher on the list.

I sure would be interested in hearing from any of you who have used any brand of manual roller/flaker. Good, first-hand experience is always the best to have.

21 comments:

judy said...

SORRY ,I HAVE NOT,BUT BACK BEFORE I ORIGINALLY E-MAIL;ED YOU I READ YOUR BLOG ABOUT YOU MAKING OAT FLOUR-ARE YOU ALLERGIC TO WHEAT FLOUR-? I HAVE A APPT. SET UP ,BUT STILL HAVE NOT FOUND OUT WHAT HAPPENED TO MY ENERGY LEVEL-I AM ON A MISSION THO-GOOD LUCK WITH THE ROLLER

Leigh said...

Thanks for the update on the manual flaker/roller. I've wondered about it because I figured that would be the route we would eventually go (though I do have a Kitchen Aid and could certainly get the attachment for that.) I'm so glad you got the refund! It seems to be getting harder and harder to get valid refunds, especially via mail order. Without experience I obviously can't make any recommendations. I am happy with my Country Living Grain Mill and am considering their roller/flaker. Will have to scour the internet for reviews on that.

MamaTea said...

I don't have any advice for you, as I don't have anything like that, but I'm glad you're posting about it because then I can learn from you!!

Jane said...

I would not do business with a company that is not specific in their ads. That would make me mad. Besides one less thing you need to make a space for in your remodel.

Mama Pea said...

judy - No, no allergies. I just like to experiment with different kinds of flours in baking.

Leigh - Yup, and knowing which websites you can trust, which ones are legit can make one shakey. We were very glad to see the credit/refund come through to our credit card, too! Whew.

Mama Tea - I do so appreciate how we can all learn from each other. And as I said, first-hand, REAL experience is worth so much.

Jane - Well, we thought we knew what we were doing. But with hindsight, the website looked a lot different! I'm just happy they were honest enough to give us the refund. Otherwise, their name would have been featured prominently on this blog with WARNING signs flashing!

Erin said...

I'm glad you had a good experience with the electric one anyways, since that is probably the one we would do, too, we already have the Kitchen Aid!

Tami said...

I have been doing some research on flaker/ rollers. I have read that the one that you thought you were ordering has been changed (rollers are different)and is no longer as good as it was. The older reviews that I read were all excellent and then the newer ones were not.
I have read excellent things about this line of products, including the flaker. You can get manual or electric and the attachments work for both the hand crank or motor base. This company that has them (of course not the only company that sells them)seems to be pretty good. I just ordered my electric grain mill from them and it got here super fast and they included more info on the mill than the manufacturer did. http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/family_grain_mills.aspx
Hope this helps someone. :)

Mama Pea said...

Erin - Yup, the attachment for the Kitchen Aid works reeeeeally well and I'm sure you'd like it if you decide to invest in it.

Tami - We've been coming up with the same conflicting info on the Marga Mulino. (Nuthin's easy!) I think that's part of the reason we're holding off on the manual flaker. Thanks much for your other information which is very interesting.

russ and bianca said...

hi we're in ireland and recently purchased what we thought was a marga mulina flaker from a religious sounding group in america, because it was the only website that seemed to offer the marga mulina flaker that we could find - and received a shule. included in the package was a typed statement stating that the shule was a marga! but the wording on the website was definitely confusing if not downright misleading but we are unsure as to whether or not to trust sending it back!!! also they mentioned a 3 yr warranty yet didn;t include this in the package they sent - and when we quered this they said if we ever have trouble with the product that they would handle the warranty issues themselves on our behalf. wondering does this sound like the same group you sourced your 'marga' turned 'shule' flaker too?! (either we are being hyper-cynical or naive... but aren't sure which...!!!)

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Russ and Bianca - It sounds to me like you ordered your flaker from the same company we did. Apparently they haven't done anything to eliminate the confusion their website puts forth.

Although it sounds like a convoluted bit of business ownership trading hands, we have since come to believe that the flaker labeled Shule is indeed the same flaker previously called the Marga Mulina. (Seems Marga Mulina has had the better name and reputation than any of the other brand flakers so why they don't change the name stamped on the flakers the Marga Mulina company is now making mystifies me.) BUT according to what we've been able to find out, we do now believe that the flaker you've received that is stamped "Shule" is being made by the sample company that previously called the flaker the Marga Mulina. Confusing? Sure is. So I supposed we would have been just fine to keep our Shule instead of returning it to them. I don't know what you'll feel best doing, but I would keep the flaker stamped with the name Shule if we had it to do over again. Hopes this helps.

Inge Anderson said...

If you have the Messerschmidt Flaker attachment for your Ktichen Aid, you should be able to get the hand crank attachment for it. At least that's the way it is sold now: The Flaker is a unit, and it comes with adapters for Kitchen Aid and Bosch or a wooden stand that clamps to a counter top and cranks by hand.

The hand cranked version works very well and nearly effortlessly. (My 3yo grand-daughter loves to crank it.)

Mama Pea said...

Inge - Thank you very much for taking the time to send this info to me. Much appreciated!

nickany said...

I realize this post is old, but has been revisited within the last four months... just wanted to share that I'm contacting Marcato right now to hopefully get replacement parts because after less than twelve uses the handle (or maybe the hole that receives the handle?) is stripped and will no longer turn the rollers! It's still under warranty, so we'll see how their customer service is! I'm anxious but hopeful to get this fixed - not cheap, maintained perfectly, only ever flaked rye or oats. Going to google the Messerschmidt for my KitchenAid while I wait for their response!

Mama Pea said...

nickany - Oh, that is SO frustrating to get a piece of equipment that is poorly made. Especially when you've paid money for one that should be reliable. With the little use yours has had, it sounds to me like shoddy manufacturing of inferior parts is the only explanation. I sure do hope the company stands behind the product and you are fully reimbursed. Thanks for sharing this information with the rest of us. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Are you able to change the thickness it flakes the oats at?

Mama Pea said...

Anonymous - Yes, to a certain degree.

Anonymous said...

can you go from a quick oat thickness to thick?

Mama Pea said...

Anonymous - My model of roller/flaker doesn't have an adjustment for thickness of flakes, per se. The difference I've noticed is from the different oat berries I put through it. Some do seem to come out thicker than others but I wouldn't say I could ever get the thickness of what they call Scottish or Irish cut oats. As for "quick" oats, to get those I think you will have to "pulse" the regular oat flakes in a blender (that's how I do it) as the "quick" oatmeal flakes are more cut up into smaller chunks . . . after being rolled.

I have heard that this same model I have (purchased in 2011) is now available with an adjustment that allows you to have your flakes come out in different thicknesses from fine to coarse so you may be in luck if you decide to go with this particular newer roller/flaker. Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

I have one and I love it, I bought mine from Lehman's paid more but never had any trouble from them and was glad I did. I have had mine for over two years make lots of oatmeal

Anonymous said...

The religous company your ordered from got so many complaints about that fake model that they stopped ordering it from a certain plant and now they order from the one who guarantees it's the model people were used to of old. Plus their pricing model is second to none. I'm about to order it pending learning about the kitchen aid attachment. if it works well as a handle crank but can be used electric so it doesn't heat up the grains but does it faster I may be open to buying that one instead. we don't have a backup power grid to support us if the power goes out.

Mama Pea said...

Anonymous - Thanks for passing along this info. Much appreciated. Good luck in your search for just the right model.