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What's wrong with the BCG820?

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  • What's wrong with the BCG820?

    I'm on the hunt for a new grinder. I scored a cheap EM0480 recently and I've finally got it working well. This has made me realise that my old Nemox Lux is probably ready to go. I had hoped to have a few hundred to spend, but I'm looking at $200 max at the moment, which doesn't buy much here in NZ. What it does buy you is a brand new BCG820. Full retail is NZ$399, but Harvey Norman seem to have it permanently marked down to $199. This is great, but it's raised my suspicions. Why so cheap? And all the time too. Is there something wrong with it? Is a new model coming out soon? I've read heaps and it sounds like the BCG820 is pretty much the best you can get in this range. I know it won't grind any better than my Sunbeam, but it's quieter, less messy, more adjustable, and obviously would be brand new. So do I spend my $200 knowing that it's no going to last a lifetime? Or do I hang onto it and keep going with the Sunbeam until I can afford a decent grinder like a Macap, Compak, Mazzer etc?

  • #2
    You may be better to look for a 2nd hand better grinder. My in-laws have had an 800 (dead in 18 months) and now a 820 (dead in under 12 months). They know what they're doing and are not heavy users. No stones, metal or other rubbish- per favour of our destoner.

    I'm hoping that they will get a replacement 820, flog it NIB and replace it with a Macap M2M which won't break.

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    • #3
      It's an appliance and has a use by date. Breville don't make any money if their grinders work for years and years with customer's not needing to buy a new one.

      They are easy and fun to use but longevity is the deal breaker. I use a Compak K3P at home and the difference in grind quality between it and my BCG800 at work (used for many shots every day for 2 years without fault) is minimal.
      However, the Compak is 100% guaranteed to outlast the Breville.

      Another thing to consider is space limitations. The Breville is smaller than most offerings from Macap, Compak or other high end grinder manufacturers.

      I think in summary, you would be best to use your Sunbeam until funds permit the purchase of a Macap, Compak etc. You will probably end up happier.
      If you can save up around $1200, I would suggest buying a Mazzer Mini Electronic. I was at a conference a few weekends back and my friend had his Expobar Minore IV and Mini Electronic there. Ran faultlessly all weekend and the grinder was excellent.

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      • #4
        Full retail here is under $300 and they are often available for $200. Had mine 4 years and still happy with it.

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        • #5
          I don't have much experience with any grinders except the 820. I'd love to purchase a good quality Macap or Compak or something similar, but I just can't justify the money at the moment.

          I got my BCG820 packaged with my BES920. It died last week, less than 6 months since I started using it.

          I didn't pull it apart to see what failed, mainly because I wanted to keep the 2 year replacement warranty valid, but it sounded like an gear had stripped in the grinder.

          I took it back to Harvey Norman and said it was broken and they gave me a new one, no questions asked.

          The new grinder appears to do a better job than my old one ever did. One observation I made was on fineness of the grind, for the same coffee, from the same roaster, I set the old machine's burr to 2 and ground at 12-13, the new machine's burr is set to 2 and I grind at 19-20. I had assumed they should all be very similar, given they are a mass produced item and would be made to the same specifications. This leads me to believe that my first one was a bit dodgy from the start....or.... my new one has issues and will also die early. As long as its within the 2 year period, I'm not too fussed.

          I probably make about 15-20 coffees a weekend for myself, family and friends, the coffee tastes really good, better than I can get elsewhere in town and the grinder handles it well.

          Cheers,
          Marty

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          • #6
            I've been through two BCG820. First one lasted about three months and then the clutch began slipping (easiest way to describe it), the second one lasted about two months, the third one went straight to eBay.
            Many of the roasts where quite light from local places such as Axil in Melbourne, but when the second one started complaining about Lavazza beans from the supermarket I knew I had a problem.
            Purchased Macap M2M about three months ago and haven't looked back.
            Regards
            Drew

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            • #7
              Thanks for all the replies. A good mix of views and experiences to help me out. So I guess at $200 brand new with a full warranty it's probably a pretty good deal, as long as I'm prepared for the possibility of getting a dud. They seem to be a well designed grinder with good features, but at the appliance level so built with cheap parts that won't last a lifetime. So I might just wait for something better, but decent 2nd hand grinders are rare as rocking horse poo here in NZ and they aren't usually cheap. The other option I guess would be to buy a Lido2 which I can get for around $250.

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              • #8
                I have a SG 800 and it's still going strong after 4 years.

                Last weekend I got a BES920+BCG820 combo from HN. I paid $40 more to buy extra 4 year (replacement) warranty for the 820. So, for the next 5 years I'm covered. This is a good grinder; appliance or not.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jazzman View Post
                  ?....... I paid $40 more to buy extra 4 year (replacement) warranty for the 820. So, for the next 5 years I'm covered.
                  The warranty won't make you a coffee at 6am when your grinder finally fails !
                  And how many bad grinds do you have to suffer before HN will agree there is something wrong.
                  I suggest you hang on to that other grinder...just in case.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by LeroyC View Post
                    The other option I guess would be to buy a Lido2 which I can get for around $250.
                    Wouldn't be a bad option - the grind quality is superb, has no grind retention, it'll last forever and may well even be faster - I can do a double basket in under 20 seconds with mine - similar to my old Macap M4.
                    You'd just not want to do too many dinner parties - it is a good workout!
                    Cheers Matt

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DesigningByCoffee View Post
                      Wouldn't be a bad option - the grind quality is superb, has no grind retention, it'll last forever and may well even be faster - I can do a double basket in under 20 seconds with mine - similar to my old Macap M4.
                      You'd just not want to do too many dinner parties - it is a good workout!
                      Cheers Matt
                      Cheers, I was wondering what the Lido is like to use. At least it's only a 20sec workout, unlike my current hand grinder which is about 200sec workout!! I'd be keeping my Sunbeam anyway so would use that for multiple coffees.

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                      • #12
                        It's fast, there's no issue there. It can be a little bit of a workout, but I'd rather it be fast and slightly difficult then slow and easy. It's good if you have young kids and make one in the early morning, electric grinders make such an awful racket, and take up serious real estate in the kitchen , getting you in trouble with the boss.

                        When guests are over and they are trying to chat to you while you crank this thing it can be really annoying.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by pyrmontboy200 View Post
                          When guests are over and they are trying to chat to you while you crank this thing it can be really annoying.
                          If they want to engage, have them grind their own! Speeds up the process also.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by blend52 View Post
                            The warranty won't make you a coffee at 6am when your grinder finally fails !
                            And how many bad grinds do you have to suffer before HN will agree there is something wrong.
                            I suggest you hang on to that other grinder...just in case.
                            You realise that you're talking about a grinder I've been using over the last 4 years?

                            Thanks for the reminder but I will take my chances!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jazzman View Post
                              You realise that you're talking about a grinder I've been using over the last 4 years?

                              Thanks for the reminder but I will take my chances!
                              you cannot ignor the catalog of failures reported for these grinders.
                              I hope your luck holds for a few more years !

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