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Help please for grinder recommendation

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  • Help please for grinder recommendation

    Hi all, Ive done a bunch of research already on grinders and have narrowed it down to a few that seem to get positive feedback but still there is one that I am unsure about. So here I am looking to get a final consensus before laying down my hard earned dollars.

    I currently have a Sunbeam EM0480 and not impressed with its inconstancy of grind, honestly its so hit and miss. I only bought it because I had purchased a machine and was short on cash (rookie mistake I know).

    Coffee machine I am using the grinder with is Rancilio Silvia V3 and making only 2 double shot coffees per day.

    Main features Im looking for are, doserless, steppless (preferred) and grind on demand

    Grinders I have narrowed too:
    - Compak K3 Touch
    - Eureka Mignon
    - Rancilio Rocky

    Grinder that interest me but just unsure on:
    - Breville Smart Grinder

    Obvious concerns are availability and cost of spare parts.

    I know the Rocky is a proven and long term performer but I dont like that the hopper isnt removable. Ive also had issues in the past with my Sunbeam where the difference between steps has been a real pain and dont want this with the Rocky. Also the grind on demand feature on the Rocky is a two handed operation.

    The Breville seems to get great review but I just cant get over the fact that its ....Breville.

    Really appreciate anyones help to give me a more educated final decision. 

  • #2
    Re: Help please for grinder recommendation

    Hi nabsie and welcome to Coffeesnobs

    The rule of thumb seems to be buy the best grinder you can afford. The Breville is highly rated in the under $500 bracket, the Compak K3 touch and Mignon are probably more highly rated than the Rocky. (and are around the $500-600 mark)

    Depending on where you are you might be best off going to a sponsor and seeing the machines in person, to get an idea of how they operate when YOU are using them.




    • #3
      Re: Help please for grinder recommendation

      hi Nabsie,

      Sorry I cant offer you any help, but Im in the same boat as you, so would love to hear how you go.

      Im looking for a good doserless, stepless grinder around $400ish too...I dont have a machine (just a stovetop) but planning for the future and want a grinder that will last (minimal plastic parts?).

      p.s I struggle with the idea of a Breville style grinder too


      • #4
        Re: Help please for grinder recommendation

        Hi Nabsie,

        I was in exactly the same situation as you, fed up with the EM0480 after 6 months of inconsistent shots from my Silvia.

        I wouldnt consider the Rocky as you can get the far superior K3T (also rebranded as a Wega 5.8 instant) for marginally more OR the Breville which outperforms it for much less. Not really sure about the Eureka.

        I ended up getting a Mazzer mini this week (which obviously doesnt fulfil the doserless requirement) and have been blown away by the difference a good upgrade makes.

        Good luck choosing!



        • #5
          Re: Help please for grinder recommendation

          Hi Nabsie,

          I have a Eureka Mignon, Ive been pretty happy with its performance. Ive had it 6 months and it is very consistent. I bought it from the chaps at Espresso Italia in Perth, who do quite a good deal for CSers. I have to confess that I chose it partly for its looks, its a handsome grinder, thats for sure. It is a consideration given that you have to see it on the bench all the time. (Next to the Faema, which is no oil painting). The only thing that bugged me at first was the location of the timer dial - its underneath. What a ridiculous place to put it - every time you want to make a fine adjustment to the timer, you have to hold the whole grinder up in the air with one hand (no mean feat, its heavy) and turn the dial with the other hand. But once you get the setting right you forget how inconvenient it was. Previously I had a Nemox conical burr grinder and it was just okay, did the job but none of the rock-solid consistency of the Eureka.

          Oh, one more thing- the Eureka is a wee bit messy to use, but who cares! Its so drop dead sexy-looking, Im happy to sweep up after it!


          • #6
            Re: Help please for grinder recommendation

            @SniffCoffee: Thanks for the recommendation to get along to a sponsor and check out the machines. Will certainly do that once I can narrow it down a little bit further. Which I think I am slowly getting there.

            @timmyj: Ill let you know where I land. At least youre doing things the right way round....not like me :P

            @Arnie81: I think after reading some further Rocky V Smart Grinder reviews I have safely crossed the Rocky off my list, so appreciate your help there. The stepped adjustments, non-removable hopper and lack of bang for buck would steer me to the Breville. I totally love, love, love the Mazzer Mini and would buy one in a heart beat if it didnt have a doser.

            @rapideye2: Thanks for the recommendation of Espresso Italia however Im in Brisbane...postage would be a killer. ;D

            I do like the look of the Eureka too.

            I would love to hear from someone who has used both the K3T and the Mignon for a comparison.

            Not discounting the Breville but I still need some convincing. In saying that it maybe a good choice given my low volume situation?


            • #7
              Re: Help please for grinder recommendation

              I recently changed machines from a Nemox with built in grinder (like a lelit combi) to a Faema (cimbali) heat exchanger. 

              I tried using a cimbali junior grinder, but it was messy, and the grinds clumped up in the exit chute, meaning a fair but of stale grinds if you only do a double at a time.  It looks like it could probably do with new blades which would improve the clumpiness somewhat, but reading heaps of posts etc, it looks like most grinders retain grinds in the chute (between the burrs and doser).  My wife also didnt like the size/look of the cimbali.

              I ended up getting the breville smart grinder on a spur of the moment.  I cant believe how clean it it, there is literally hardly and stray grinds.  and if you do get a bit, it all collects in the removable tray and is easy to clean.  It leaves no mess on the bench.

              It needed the shims to grind fine enough, and on the finer settings the grind comes out a bit clumpy, but for its very convenient features and cheap price, I think its fantastic.  Its also quite small and looks decent.

              Initially, I was thinking of getting something like the k3t instead, but thought I would give the breville a go as its significantly cheaper, it certainly seems to be doing a decent job.  It would be interesting to compare something like a k3t for taste difference to see how much different it would be for the extra dollars.  Some have posted they get better consistency with the breville (compared to k3t), others have said you can taste the difference for the better with a k3t.

              I have been doing more reading (future upgradeitis??  ), and I think if I was going to change in the future, I would get something a couple of levels higher, something like the Macap M4D, which looks to be also quite mess free from the vids I have seen, and has some convenient features, but its obviously a substantially higher outlay. 

              Edit: PS  looks like Espresso Italia has free shipping for over $150



              • #8
                Re: Help please for grinder recommendation

                I got the smartgrinder as my first decent grinder and my experience is pretty much the same as artmans.
                Had the same reservations as you about Breville but it is sold by serious coffee equipment suppliers/sponsors and that won me over.


                • #9
                  Re: Help please for grinder recommendation

                  I have a Silvia V3 and used to have the em0480.  I was set on getting a K3T but settled for the cheaper  Rocky, and sold it almost straight after recieving it because I was a dissapointed.
                  I saw a Smart Grinder on sale for $217 and couldnt help myself as I was getting annoyed with the inconsistent em0480.
                  I would reccomend the Smart Grinder over the Rocky.  I am not considering to upgrade the grinder now as I am getting great consistent results and couldnt justify the extra $ for a K3T (better spent on PID for SIlvia).  The Breville is so user friendly, way more so then the Rocky.  Its in a category of its own for value IMO.


                  • #10
                    Re: Help please for grinder recommendation

                    Ok so I was out and about today and thought I would go check out the Breville while I was going. Absolutely zero intentions of buying anything.

                    I ummmd and arrrrd for about 20 mins before deciding like artman, bugger it, on sale for $240 what have I got to lose! If I dont like it its so popular I could probably just about get my money back.

                    Bought it home got it all setup and cleaned the old EM0480 while I was going. Comparing the burs from both was very interesting. Sunbeam are a bit smaller than the Breville but the actual burs them selves are much finer on the Breville.

                    In use the Breville is a bit slower to grind than the Sunbeam not by much though. Breville is amazingly mess free also while the Sunbeam can get pretty unruly (aka not wife friendly). Breville is also slightly quieter.

                    I set the grind at approx what I thought would work and who would have thunk it, bang on first go The amount still needs some fine tuning but I use a ridgeless La Marzocco double basket which is slightly bigger than the standard Rancilio double.

                    In the cup........OMG! seriously night and day compared to the Sunbeam. I have been hating coffee at home lately but this has got me back on the wagon.

                    IMHO this grinder is amazing value and I would highly recommend it.

                    the results.....