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Thread: First Time Buying Grinder - Need Some Advice

  1. #1
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    First Time Buying Grinder - Need Some Advice

    Hi Guys,

    I've been doing a bit of research on grinders and feel slightly overwhelmed with all the different options out there. I read Dimal's sticky about choosing a grinder for the first time however haven't been able to settle for a grinder. This grinder will go with a Profitec Pro 500 (yet to purchase) and I will be making espresso's 99% of the time so a grinder suited for this would be optimal. My budget is anywhere from $500-1000 (1000 is really stretching it).

    Any suggestions or advise is welcome.

  2. #2
    Senior Member WhatEverBeansNecessary's Avatar
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    For general advice, get the best grinder you can afford. The grinder really is the key piece of equipment in the whole setup.

    Having said that, in the used hardware section here you can often find very well looked after grinders used only in a domestic setting. Often they are much cheaper than adverstised on gumtree/ebay as most of the members want to pass on their gear without fuss and see it go to a good home. Steer clear of the ex cafe grinders (unless they are in pretty good nick) as they often get a beating in the cafe and almost always the burrs need replacing.

    Personally, I bought a Mazzer Super Jolly from a fellow forum member and am still happy with the performance. I would love to go to a big conical soon, but it's more than adequate for my needs to date.

    Edit: There are two Super Jolly's, a Kony and a robour for sale in the hardware section at the moment. All very reasonably priced (the kony slightly over budget).
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  3. #3
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    Thatís a relatively high end espresso machine and since you are mostly drinking straight shots youíll really notice the nuances of a good grinder.

    Youíre going to hate me saying this, but Iíd lift your budget a touch to about $1200.

    This gets you into a class of grinder that you wonít ever need to upgrade. Iíd suggest the Profitec T64 or the ECM equivalent.

    These are both fast, produce excellent quality grounds, and have accurate timed dosing.

    Odds are if you buy a $500 grinder youíll find yourself wanting to upgrade quite soon, maybe within a year.

  4. #4
    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    Having been through a few grinder myself I can suggest a Eureka of some sort would fit the bill. Its only an opinion and the bottom line is whatever you get you want to be happy with. Trying to get your hands on something you like before you buy can help. There are many different names and varied prices for grinders. I feel what ever you do i would aim for something that doesn't clump. I went through a Breville smart grinder to a compak K3T to a macaap M4D and now to a Eureka Zenith. I have to say in hind sight had i known i wold have gone for the Eureka in the first place. The zenith is a little over the price range you said but they have some which come in under that also.

    Worth a look, but as i said i go for something that grinds a consistent grind without clumping.

    Also would you think secondhand? worth looking into

    Cheers,


    Chris

  5. #5
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Why not a Mazzer Mini Dave, within your price range, an excellent grinder, built like a tank and will do everything you need.

    The young Turks on the forum will have you believe that speed is everything and that the Mazzer range are antiquated monoliths, not so, I've owned a Mini for going on 10 years, it's never failed me.

    As far as the larger Mazzer grinders are concerned, they are big and heavy, not really suited to a home environment, although some do use them.

    Mini's show up quite regularly, secondhand, in the for sale area at reasonable prices, no need to spend over a thousand dollars to get a very capable grinder, bear in mind, bling adds absolutely nothing to whats in the cup.
    https://www.coffeeparts.com.au/machi...ctronic-silver
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  6. #6
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    Macap M4D or Eureka ATOM.

    Second hand M4D's can be had for as little as 400 bucks if you look hard enough.

    I've seen two ATOMs for less than 900 on here, however they're around the 1.1k mark new.

    You won't regret the purchase of either grinder and functionally they're far better than a Mazzer Mini or Super Jolly.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for input guys however I should have mentioned I was looking for a grinder more suited for domestic use. Aside from the Eureka Atom and Mazzer mini the other grinders mentioned are quite large and wont fit in my kitchen. I've had a quick look at the Eureka Atom and the Rocket Fausto and from what I have seen these look well suited for my purpose.

    Can anyone list any pros and cons between the Atom and Fausto? Or any other quality grinders that aren't so big.


    Thanks

  8. #8
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    The M4D is surely the same height or maybe slightly shorter than an ATOM?

    There's someone selling an almost new M4D in QLD on Gumtree for $550 - definitely consider this!
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  9. #9
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anst1ssa View Post
    The M4D is surely the same height or maybe slightly shorter than an ATOM?

    There's someone selling an almost new M4D in QLD on Gumtree for $550 - definitely consider this!
    Agree, a rare opportunity...

    Mal.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Arcade's Avatar
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    If I was going again at that budget, the only one I'd buy is the Mahlkonig Vario. Mine's been a beast for about 5 years now. Almost no retention, great consistency, easy adjustment and I love the 3 timers on it (I use them all). It also takes very little counter space. The only downside for me is it's a little loud, and a little slow.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave86 View Post
    Aside from the Eureka Atom and Mazzer mini the other grinders mentioned are quite large and wont fit in my kitchen. I've had a quick look at the Eureka Atom and the Rocket Fausto and from what I have seen these look well suited for my purpose.
    The S-64 / T64 both have a very compact footprint for fast 64mm grinders. Both outperform the Fausto in the same price range and footprint.

  12. #12
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    Thanks guys,

    I have narrowed down my choices to the below.

    -ECM S-64
    -Eureka Atom
    -Compak E5 OD

    ECM S-64

    I really like the look of the S-64 however had a look at reviews on a number of different forums and noticed that there were some mixed reviews (significant clumping, retention & gets hot), not sure if this was just down to a faulty device however has made me slightly hesitant.


    Eureka Atom

    Haven't found much negative feedback on Eureka Atom other than slight clumping, everything else looks to be positive. Only downside for me is aesthetics of the machine.


    Compak E5 OD

    Haven't been able to find much feedback\reviews on the machine other than a few youtube videos. Aesthetics look great however I don't want this to be the deciding factor, would much rather a good cup of coffee opposed to a nice looking grinder.
    Does anyone have any experience with the Compak E5? Would love to know a bit more about this machine.


    Any other feedback\thoughts is appreciated.

  13. #13
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    Grind by weight of the sette 270w is a good thing! Im grinding into the basket as its kind of unstable going straight into the pf- seems the vibrating handle upsets the weights. Also into filter means the grinds have enough room without backing up into the nozzle.

    Around $600...and noisy. Good otherwise!

  14. #14
    Senior Member Arcade's Avatar
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    Between those I'd personally go the Compak. Build quality is probably a notch above those others. Londinium endorse these for their machines saying after extensive testing, they couldn't pick a significant difference to the E8. That's a fairly credible vote right there!

  15. #15
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    I am with Arcade's earlier post - for home use Mahlkonig (NOT Baratza) Vario (now up to gen3). Strictly a Turkish to espresso grinder unless you go for the $30ish steel burrs which then do coarser grinds (and no longer do espresso well).

    I have 2 * gen2's (2013, done 200+kgs & 2014) and a gen3 (2016) - all flawless (Swiss made), compact, quiet, no retention worth stating, no static / clumping or any of the other ills which drive me spare these days. Too many friends have Roburs or other Mazzers with the most amazing arrays of wire grids, funnels etc to stop static / clumping - IMO something a decent grinder should never do in the first place.

  16. #16
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Yeah yeah...
    Heard all that before ad nauseam...

    Depends on one's point of view. If you want to buy something that is more aligned with that of Appliance Manufacturing, or of Commercial/Industrial quality that will last for decades and still work just as well as it did on the first day it was purchased.

    Stick with commercial/industrial build if you expect it to last and retain a good resale value when you feel like upgrading...
    Grinder Comparison.JPG

    Mal.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Erimus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anst1ssa View Post
    The M4D is surely the same height or maybe slightly shorter than an ATOM?

    There's someone selling an almost new M4D in QLD on Gumtree for $550 - definitely consider this!


    Not for sale anymore, he's withdrawing it.
    I messaged the guy and he replied that he'd changed his mind and might be hanging on to it now.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Arcade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Yeah yeah...
    Heard all that before ad nauseam...

    Depends on one's point of view. If you want to buy something that is more aligned with that of Appliance Manufacturing, or of Commercial/Industrial quality that will last for decades and still work just as well as it did on the first day it was purchased.

    Stick with commercial/industrial build if you expect it to last and retain a good resale value when you feel like upgrading...
    Grinder Comparison.JPG

    Mal.
    I'm dubious of any claims that there is a positive correlation between weight and quality. I simply don't see how they're related when it comes to coffee grinders. Gold bars, absolutely, but not grinders. Mazzers are great but not without their shortcomings such as a lot of spots for grounds to be retained. The last Major I refurbished amazed me with all the crevices that needed to be cleaned out, not to mention the difficult adjustment collar.

  19. #19
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    I guess it all comes down to whether you consider the experience and knowledge of people with decades of experience that is backed up with engineering knowledge to be worthwhile...

    That article excerpt I copied above was comparing with a Mazzer but you could substitute any of the major manufacturers' names in there. Horses for courses as always but don't be fooled by claims of outstanding performance that doesn't actually stand the test of time.

    Several CSers over the years have reported longevity issues with the Mahlkonig that you just won't experience with Mazzer, Macap, Compak, Eureka... And the list goes on.

    Mal.

  20. #20
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave86 View Post
    Thanks guys,

    I have narrowed down my choices to the below.

    -ECM S-64
    -Eureka Atom
    -Compak E5 OD

    ECM S-64

    I really like the look of the S-64 however had a look at reviews on a number of different forums and noticed that there were some mixed reviews (significant clumping, retention & gets hot), not sure if this was just down to a faulty device however has made me slightly hesitant.


    Eureka Atom

    Haven't found much negative feedback on Eureka Atom other than slight clumping, everything else looks to be positive. Only downside for me is aesthetics of the machine.


    Compak E5 OD

    Haven't been able to find much feedback\reviews on the machine other than a few youtube videos. Aesthetics look great however I don't want this to be the deciding factor, would much rather a good cup of coffee opposed to a nice looking grinder.
    Does anyone have any experience with the Compak E5? Would love to know a bit more about this machine.


    Any other feedback\thoughts is appreciated.
    If those three Iíd choose the Compak first. The ECM and Eureka are a close second. Iíve seen all these grinders in the flesh but never used any. Iíve owned a couple of Compaks and theyíre great grinders, I donít think youíd be disappointed with one at all. I agree with other comments - spend as much as you can within your budget. Many of the grinders in this price range are excellent grinders and thereís absolutely nothing wrong with something like a Mazzer Mini or SJ, or a Rocky even. However something like the Compak you mentioned, the Eureka or maybe an M4D will just give you a slightly more pleasant user experience. Having just got myself a grinder that is super user friendly after using a range of slightly less user friendly grinders for a few years I can tell you that itís well worth it.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Yeah yeah...
    Heard all that before ad nauseam...

    Depends on one's point of view. If you want to buy something that is more aligned with that of Appliance Manufacturing, or of Commercial/Industrial quality that will last for decades and still work just as well as it did on the first day it was purchased.

    Stick with commercial/industrial build if you expect it to last and retain a good resale value when you feel like upgrading...
    Grinder Comparison.JPG

    Mal.
    ... and the heavy (about three times the weight of any similar sized grinder) commercial Ditting module inside the Swiss made Vario is a "domestic appliance"? Pull the other one. According to Mahlkonig the ceramic burrs in the Vario outlast their own steel burrs by a factor of three. Considering their "top quality tool steel" burrs outlast any of the Italian burrs by some large multiple (start talking in terms of tonnes!), I cannot even give an estimate as to when my older Vario - the one that has done well over 200Kg - will need any maintenance beyond a simple clean. Needless to say, the main module and the burrs are not even on the list. Not too shabby for a "domestic appliance", is it?

    Show me a Mazzer Mini which has done over 200Kg and has no noticeable wear on the burrs, no drop in its even particle spread and no static or dynamic end play. Even my "much bigger brother" Mazzer Major showed wear after the 100Kg mark, whilst any Super Jolly I have ever seen needs new burrs every 80Kg or less because the wear is so severe that the particle spread is rubbish.

  22. #22
    Site Sponsor Casa Espresso's Avatar
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    There is a good condition Macap M4D in chrome available from a CS member looking to upgrade.

    He has just purchase a Synkronika from me.

    Price is $650 ex Perth

    I can PM details if anyone is interested

    Cheers

    Antony
    www.casaespresso.com.au
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  23. #23
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Tampit...

    So much crap in so little time.
    You're doing well mate.

    Mal.
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  24. #24
    Site Sponsor Casa Espresso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casa Espresso View Post
    There is a good condition Macap M4D in chrome available from a CS member looking to upgrade.

    He has just purchase a Synkronika from me.

    Price is $650 ex Perth

    I can PM details if anyone is interested

    Cheers

    Antony
    www.casaespresso.com.au
    Well that was quick!

    Just had a PM from the buyer, itís sold.

    Coffee Snob community working together again!

    Cheers
    Antony
    Www.casaespresso.con.au
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  25. #25
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Certainly was!

  26. #26
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    The chrome M4D I had was a great little grinder. It looks good too.

    I got a Robur now for those really tough beans.

    I think I got away with it, my wife didn’t notice...

  27. #27
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wattgn View Post
    The chrome M4D I had was a great little grinder. It looks good too.

    I got a Robur now for those really tough beans.

    I think I got away with it, my wife didnít notice...
    Did you just tell her it looks bigger because she's standing closer to it, Father Ted style?
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  28. #28
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    Hi Dave,

    Have you settled on a grinder yet?...

    Cheers.

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