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Buy a Sunbeam Em4820?

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  • Buy a Sunbeam Em4820?

    Hello,
    I have been looking for a budget coffee machine ~ sub 250$ aud. I have read some mixed reviews about the sunbeam em4820.Some of the things owners complained about were water leaks and the machine turning on by itself. I understand that the reviews represent way more negitive reviews than positive, because people are likely to complain if they have problems. Do you guys think it would be a good first machine, or is there a better one in my budget? I am more than happy to own a manual.
    Cheers Taine

  • #2
    My advice? Don't waste your time. At least buy an em6910/7000. should be able to get one second hand for that price off gumtree.

    otherwise save a little bit more and keep an eye out on the 'for sale' section here on coffeesnobs. might be able to pick up a second hand single boiler like a silvia, nemox dell opera or lelit combi. will last a lot longer and give you much better coffee than a em4820 ever will.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by iggs View Post
      My advice? Don't waste your time. At least buy an em6910/7000. should be able to get one second hand for that price off gumtree. therwise save a little bit more and keep an eye out on the 'for sale' section here on coffeesnobs. might be able to pick up a second hand single boiler like a silvia, nemox dell opera or lelit combi. will last a lot longer and give you much better coffee than a em4820 ever will.
      +1 for this. One of my daughters had two 4820's. The first one was replaced after a few months of light use, and the second one returnd for credit after afew more months.
      Then I got her a good S/H Gaggia Classic which is a very basic unit, but that was all they needed at the time. It was still going well when they upgraded about three years later.

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      • #4
        I had a Sunbeam EM4820 for a few months before giving it to my brother. I managed to get some very acceptable coffee from it, but only after making some minor modifications and applying my years of experience. For a beginner I'd recommend a Sunbeam EM6910 at the least, but more importantly we need to ask - do you already have a grinder or do you need to get one within that budget as well?

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        • #5
          EM4820's are ok machines when they work but suffer from some quality problems, the worst of which being that the plastic water diverter valve that sends water to where it is needed (group head, steam wand, drip tray) will eventually crack and spray water all through the inside of the machine rendering it useless.

          Along with that, frequent leaks from the thermoblock and sticky buttons make the machine quite unpleasant.

          You might be lucky and get one that works well for a few years but you would be best off doing what the others have suggested, extend your budget and get a machine/grinder that is known to work well and has a good reputation.

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          • #6
            Sorry for the incredibly late reply, i thought i would mention that the sunbeam em4820 died yesterday, the pump stayed on without the heater or buttons functioning. I have decided to up the budget and get a pu6910 so i can grind beans

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            • #7
              Originally posted by TainePC View Post
              Sorry for the incredibly late reply, i thought i would mention that the sunbeam em4820 died yesterday, the pump stayed on without the heater or buttons functioning. I have decided to up the budget and get a pu6910 so i can grind beans
              I'm sure you'll be much happier with that option.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by LeroyC View Post
                I had a Sunbeam EM4820 for a few months before giving it to my brother. I managed to get some very acceptable coffee from it, but only after making some minor modifications and applying my years of experience. For a beginner I'd recommend a Sunbeam EM6910 at the least, but more importantly we need to ask - do you already have a grinder or do you need to get one within that budget as well?
                Hi Leroy,
                My follks have an em4820 and I battle when visiting them because I want a decent coffee at their house haha. What modifications can I do to get acceptable coffee from it?
                Cheers
                Scott

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by scottwright View Post
                  Hi Leroy, My follks have an em4820 and I battle when visiting them because I want a decent coffee at their house haha. What modifications can I do to get acceptable coffee from it? Cheers Scott
                  Hi Scott. The main thing I did was to remove the plastic insert from the portafilter. This leaves a hole in the middle that you then need to plug. I did this with a small cap screw and nut (4mm from memory). If the thread of the cap screw or bolt is a little too long you’ll need to cut or grind it off as well or it will put holes in the tamp mat. I also bought a single wall basket. This machine was only usually supplied with dual wall baskets. With those couple of minor modifications and careful attention to using the most appropriate grind and dose you can get good coffee from it. One thing to be careful of is that you don’t wreck the collar by over tightening the portafilter. In theory the collar is replaceable but I’ve done it once and I never want to do it again. Here’s some pics from testing the last 4820 I had -
                  Attached Files

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by LeroyC View Post
                    Hi Scott. The main thing I did was to remove the plastic insert from the portafilter. This leaves a hole in the middle that you then need to plug. I did this with a small cap screw and nut (4mm from memory). If the thread of the cap screw or bolt is a little too long you’ll need to cut or grind it off as well or it will put holes in the tamp mat. I also bought a single wall basket. This machine was only usually supplied with dual wall baskets. With those couple of minor modifications and careful attention to using the most appropriate grind and dose you can get good coffee from it. One thing to be careful of is that you don’t wreck the collar by over tightening the portafilter. In theory the collar is replaceable but I’ve done it once and I never want to do it again. Here’s some pics from testing the last 4820 I had -
                    Great,

                    Thanks so much for this tip! Can you let me know what single wall basket you went for? The machine seems to have plenty of grunt but it is that stupid mechanism in the portafilter and the double walled basket that makes this bubbly crap crema and typically weak coffee.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by scottwright View Post
                      Great, Thanks so much for this tip! Can you let me know what single wall basket you went for? The machine seems to have plenty of grunt but it is that stupid mechanism in the portafilter and the double walled basket that makes this bubbly crap crema and typically weak coffee.
                      You used to be able to get a set that has a part number of BSWF100 (actually made for Breville 51mm machines) from Breville and Sunbeam agents, but I think it’s now obsolete. You could try contacting agents that are good to deal with like Coffee Clinic in Bathurst or Ewing Electrical in Nowra to see if they have anything. Your other main option is to grab a generic 51mm double shot, single wall basket off eBay and hope it works. They often say they’re to fit Krups machines and can work fine, but can also be hit and miss.

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