This Black+Decker programmable coffee maker is one of the top rated machines on Amazon. This is your basic, no frills, automatic drip appliance. It’s also known as the “Darth Vader” coffee maker and you’ll soon understand how it got this name. Black+Decker isn’t exactly known for their coffee makers so it raises some eyebrows when we see its popularity on Amazon. Does this coffee maker meet the exacting standards of, say, a B&D cordless drill? Let’s take a closer look at what this coffee maker can and cannot do and try so we can make an informed buying decision.
Features of the Black+Decker Coffee Maker
The Basic Features
Every appliance will have a few things in common. Here’s a run-down of some basic features that answer some common questions.
Type of Coffee Maker: Automatic Drip
Type of Coffee Beans Used: Ground coffee beans.
Any vacuum-packed bag or can of coffee will do here. It’s recommended to use one heaping tablespoon of coffee per cup of coffee – that’s a standard, five ounces of coffee equaling one cup.
Type of Filter Used: Basket style paper filters with an 8 – 12 cup capacity. You can also use GOLDTONE mesh reusable filters.
The filter basket is removable and dishwasher safe. This really helps to cut down on the cleaning time which is always a real plus in our book. When you want to get out the door in the morning, you can’t take too much time cleaning up and coffee makers really need to be cleaned up right away to prevent mold from forming. The control panel can also be wiped up with a damp cloth. You don’t have to worry about unplugging the machine first.
The coffee filter basket closes with a flip-top lid. It flattens out at the hinge so when it’s open, it creates a very convincing silhouette of Darth Vader. There are a lot of coffee drinkers out there that are joking about how they have gone to the Dark Side for their morning brew.
Reservoir: 12 cup capacity.
The older versions of this model were difficult to see because you had to fill to a line inside the reservoir and it was just a black bump in the plastic. That meant you were trying to read black on black first thing in the morning! Black+Decker got wise to this issue and the newer versions have a clear viewing section embedded in the reservoir so you can see exactly how much water to add.
Carafe Material: Glass.
The lid/handle is permanently attached to the decanter. It does pop open for easier clean up. It is a bit of an oddly shaped carafe. It’s doubtful that any other carafes you own from previous coffee makers will fit in the B&D DLX1050B so you’ll have to find other uses for your old carafes.
While it has a capacity of 60 ounces, the handle felt a little too flimsy in our hand for us to take a chance on running the coffee maker to fill it to the maximum capacity. This apprehension was verified in some reviews where the buyer noted that their handle had broken. This can become an issue since the carafe isn’t easily replaced.
Number of Cups That Can be Brewed at Once: 4-12 cups at 5-ounces each.
As we stated above, we didn’t push the machine to the full 60 ounces. We did filling it to 50 ounces and that worked out well. The machine heats up quickly and drips efficiently.
You can get a Duralife™ replacement carafe here.
Warming Plate: Yes.
The hotplate has a non-stick surface which is a feature that usually goes unappreciated until coffee stains are burned into the plate, which can scorch and ruin the carafe. Having said that, you shouldn’t try and warm your mug with the hotplate on any coffee maker unless it’s specifically designed for that.
Auto-Pause for Filling a Cup Mid-cycle: Yes.
The Sneak-a-Cup™ feature has been designed to prevent dripping. This is one of those features that can be more of a nuisance than a benefit if it isn’t designed correctly. This Black + Decker coffee maker seems to have designed well. However, you do need to line up the lid and the spout correctly or there will be problems with spillage.
Also note that the filter basket will more than likely overflow if the carafe isn’t placed back on the burner within 30 seconds.
Automatic Shut-off: Yes.
The Black+Decker DLX1050B will automatically shut off after two hours. This seems a little extreme although there were complaints that allowing the machine to run for “just” two hours isn’t long enough! While we agree in principle with their argument, if coffee is left on a burner for too long, it will burn and turn bitter. It’s better to make less and brew extra pots of coffee if needed or try transferring the coffee into a thermal carafe, which not only saves energy and money, it can extend the life of your coffee maker.
The smallest amount of coffee recommend is 1 cup or 5 ounces of water. One heaping tablespoon of coffee per five ounces of water.
Brew Strength Options: One setting.
- Black (with Darth Vader lurking underneath the lid).
- Black/Stainless Steel
- White/Stainless Steel
Other Features to Note:
- There’s a two year warranty on these coffee makers. That’s a little better than some companies will offer.
- Eligible for Amazon Tech support for up to 90 days after purchase.
- This coffee maker can be returned for a full refund within 30 days of purchasing.
This is your basic “delayed brewing” type of program. Set the clock and set the time you want the brewing to begin up to 24 hours in advance. The digital display has a black background with green LED lights. This is a surprisingly refreshing change from stand blue lights. Programming this coffee maker is simple. You can program it to start brewing up to 24 hours in advance. You can also program how long the coffee maker will remain on. Alternatively, you can turn it on and off manually if you need to stop it early or just want to get the machine up and running.
There’s also a power indicator light to keep you from running out the door with it on. The display and power indicator lights are a little dim but that works out well if you’re in a smaller home or apartment. Brighter lights will keep you awake at night.
How Much Counter Space Does it Use?
Counter space can be a deal breaker in many kitchens. This coffee maker doesn’t sit like a mini fridge on your counter but you won’t be able to hide it in the corner either.
Its dimensions are 11.6 inches deep by 9 inches wide and stands 13.9 inches high. The coffee is loaded from the top with the lid flipping upward, so you need to plan on some clearance room for the lid as well. As a general rule, that height will be close to equaling the 11.6 inch depth of the machine.
Weighing in at about 10 pounds and with a power cord about 24-inches long. It’s easy enough to pull out from underneath overhanging cabinets/shelving to fill the basket and reservoir. There’s a compartment in the back of the coffee maker that will store any extra length of cord. This is a nice safety feature.
What the Comments Say
Praises From Reviewers
- This is an everyday workhorse type of coffee machine. Most people who fall in love with this coffee maker aren’t looking for bells and whistles. Many, in fact, are looking for machines without a lot of features or programmable options.
- Several people commented on how cleanly the machine stops dripping if you use the Sneak-a-Cup feature. Again, the lid needs to be lined up properly for this to work the way it should. It’s also one of those things you won’t forget to do twice.
- Customer Service seems to have been rewired for a better consumer experience. There was a time when you could call to complain about your machine and get no results. These days, Black + Decker goes out of its way to give you a great experience. If you’re not happy with your purchase, just give them a call.
Drawbacks to Consider
Even the highest rated machines can have quirks or problems that can throw us off our game. Here are a few things that have been noticed:
- The carafe feels a little cheap. This could be a problem since it isn’t easily replaced. Keeping the coffee maker at a low price point meant cutting corners somewhere and we feel it’s with the carafe. The handle is loose and the glass is thin.
- While we like the display, some people felt that it was difficult to read. They mentioned the light being too dim to see against the backlight. This is usually the case when there is less than optimal lighting in the kitchen – both, too dim or too bright (think about how hard it is to read your cell phone in bright sunlight).
- The plastic parts of this coffee maker are not BPA free. This can be a deal breaker for some people.
For shame, Black+Decker! When are manufacturers of any type of product that is used to create food and drink going to step up to the plate and keep us safe without us hounding over you!
We hope your next version is a step in the right direction.
BLACK+DECKER DLX1050B 12-cup Programmable Coffee Maker makes coffee or can run hot water for tea and that’s about it. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Many of us just want to fill our mug and head out the door without much fuss and this coffee maker fills the bill. Its 12 cup/5oz capacity and 24 hour advanced brew programming features are enough to get any family rolling in the morning.
It doesn’t take up a lot of counter space. It fits about how you would expect an average coffee maker to fit. You will need that extra space for filling from the top or be willing to pull the machine forward on the counter every time you want to use it. That could be a problem if you’re planning on purchasing this for an elderly person.
Easy cleanup, a price that’s easy on the wallet and a thoughtful, no-drip design are some of the best reasons we can see that make this coffee maker a top choice for many households.
Resources for the BLACK+DECKER DLX1050B
If you’re looking for the DLX1050B manual, you can download it from Black+Decker here.
Basic Cleaning Procedure for BLACK+DECKER DLX1050B Coffee Maker
- Be sure the unit is unplugged and has cooled.
- Be sure that the machine has been turned off, unplugged from the wall and allowed to cool down.
- Open the cover and remove the filter basket. It should lift up straight out if you use the handle.
- Throw out the paper filter and coffee grounds.
- Use the top rack of the dishwasher to clean the carafe, carafe lid and the filter basket. Alternatively, you can use hot, soapy water.
- Using a soft damp cloth, be sure and wipe down the coffee maker’s control panel and surface. Carefully wipe down the hot plate. Don’t use any abrasive materials on these points.
- The shower head is removable. Leave the lid up and pull it out from the locking tabs.
- Rinse off the shower head and wipe down the interior of the lid with a soft, damp cloth.
Descaling the BLACK+DECKER DLX1050B
Decalcifying the c is pretty straightforward and should be done once a month with regular use. Mineral deposits left by hard water can clog your coffeemaker. Cleaning is
recommended once a month.
- Make sure the coffee maker has been cleaned of any coffee in the filter basket and carafe.
- Place the carafe on the hot plate.
- Place a clean paper filter in the filter basket.
- Using distilled white vinegar, fill the water reservoir up to the 6-cup level line on the water window.
- Switching to cold water, fill to the 10-cup line.
- Close the lid and turn on the coffee maker.
- Watch closely until the water level drops to 5. At this point, turn off the coffeemaker for 15 minutes. This allows the water and vinegar solution to work to soften any mineral deposits.
- Turn the coffeemaker back on and finish the brew cycle.
- Turn off the coffeemaker, throw out the used filter and empty the carafe.
- Fill the water reservoir to the 11-cup level with clean water.
- Place the carafe back on the hot plate.
- Run the cycle again to rinse out the vinegar.
- If any smell remains, you can repeat the rinse cycle.