Towson, Maryland-based Stanley Black & Decker sells 33 different coffee makers, so it's best to consult your owner's manual for specific questions about the operation of your model. In the manuals it supplies, the company reminds consumers that a good cup of coffee requires four elements: good water, fresh coffee beans, even saturation of the coffee in the water, and a proper proportion of water to coffee.
The first two elements are up to you. The coffee maker takes care of the rest.
Set the Clock
Many Black & Decker coffee makers feature a delayed brewing function that turns on the coffee maker at a preset time. Even if you aren't using this feature, it's a good idea to set the clock to the correct time of day just in case.
To set the clock, be sure to plug in the unit. The display will flash "12:00." Press the HR button to set the hour. The display cycles from 1 to 12, then "PM" appears in the top right of the display and it repeats the cycle. Release the button at the correct hour. Press the MIN button to select minutes and release it at the current time.
Using the Delay Feature
To program the unit to start brewing at a particular time of day, press the PROG button and select the time you want brewing to begin, using the same buttons you used to set the time of day. Once you've set the time, the display will flash several times, then revert to the time of day. At this point, press the AUTO button to activate the program.
To brew coffee, you first need to add water. Fill the reservoir with cold water to the line denoting the number of cups you want to brew. Do not fill the reservoir past the line indicating its maximum capacity or you'll have a big mess on your hands.
Next, you'll need to use a filter. Put a filter into the filter basket in the top of the machine. Be sure to use the proper filter for your machine. You can consult your owner's manual if you aren't sure which one to use. Some Black & Decker models, specifically the ones that grind coffee, don't require a filter.
Once the filter is in place, you'll want to add your coffee of choice. Spoon coffee into the filter. The company recommends 1 heaping tablespoon per 6-ounce cup, but you may want to go up to 2 tablespoons, depending on how strong you like it. Distribute the coffee evenly in the bottom of the filter to ensure proper saturation.
Set the carafe in place with the pour-through lid on it and press the ON/OFF button to begin brewing. If your unit has the Sneak-A-Cup feature, you can remove the carafe at any time to fill your cup. This interrupts the brewing process for 20 seconds. If you need to turn off the machine completely, press the ON/OFF button again.
Grind and Brew
If your coffee maker includes a grind function, add beans in the same proportion as ground coffee: 1 to 2 tablespoons per cup. Select the grind setting according to the number of cups you're brewing. After filling the reservoir with water, press the ON/OFF button once. The machine will grind the beans and brew the coffee immediately afterwards. Be sure to set this to OFF if you're brewing already ground coffee.
Cleaning Your Coffee Maker
You should clean the coffee maker after every use by throwing away the grounds and filter, as well as washing the filter basket and carafe by hand or in the dishwasher.
You should treat the coffee maker with vinegar once a month to prevent scale buildup from hard water. Fill the reservoir approximately half full with white vinegar, then fill it the rest of the way with water. Put a clean filter in the filter basket. Push the ON/OFF button to start the brewing cycle.
Let the carafe fill about halfway, then turn off the coffee maker by pushing the ON/OFF button once again. Let the coffee maker and carafe soak for 15 minutes, then turn on the machine to complete the cycle. Discard the vinegar solution and filter, then fill the reservoir with fresh water and run the machine through a brewing cycle to flush out the vinegar. Repeat brewing cycle if the vinegar smell isn't completely gone.
Chris Deziel is a contractor, builder and general fix-it pro who has been active in the construction trades for 40 years. He has degrees in science and humanities and years of teaching experience. An avid craftsman and musician, Deziel began writing on home improvement topics in 2010. He worked as an expert consultant with eHow Now and Pro Referral -- a Home Depot site. A DIYer by nature, Deziel regularly shares tips and tricks for a better home and garden at Hunker.com.