This is the first pepper mill I've ever owned. For years I avoided buying one because the nice ones—well-made, comfortable to hold, easy to crank—can be relatively pricey. Finally I gave in and purchased this while shopping at Whisk in Brooklyn. Granted, I have no comparison, but this classic model from Peugeot has been excellent.
I love the traditional look of this pepper mill. It's not too modern, which isn't my taste, and it looks like what a pepper mill should look like, in my opinion (I feel like this is the style of pepper mill being twisted over every plate of pasta in every restaurant in America).
The wood is smooth and soft and wipes clean if I grind with dirty hands (the finish almost feels like it's being seasoned over time). It never clogs or catches when I crank it, and it's pretty easy to fill by unscrewing the cap, lifting off the top, and pouring peppercorns into the body.
I also love that the company, which is French, also makes cars. A purely trivial detail, really, but it's cool. And Peugeot guarantees the grinding mechanism for life.
Two more observations:
1. I didn't realize until recently that turning the brass cap on top dictates the size of the grind. A totally new-to-me feature, and I've had this thing for two years! The knob is small, and turning it too much in the "coarse" direction makes it feel a bit loose, but still a nice design feature.
2. Sometimes I wish I had the 9-inch model (mine is 7 inches). I think the grinding motion might feel more comfortable with more room for leverage.
(Images: Elizabeth Passarella)