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Thread: Smart Grinder vs. EM0480

  1. #1
    Member ThankDog's Avatar
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    Smart Grinder vs. EM0480

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Is the Smart Grinder better and if so, how much better? Is it $50 better? Would I be more likely to want to upgrade from an EM0480 sooner than I would from a Smart Grinder and therefore how valuable is either relative to the time it will be used before upgrading? Are the resale values of either particularly disparate? Could I sell one second-hand for a greater percentage of initial investment over the other?

    I bought an EM0480 but just noticed that the Smart Grinder is only $50 more from the same store. So I'm wondering if it's worthwhile to return it and get the Smart Grinder instead.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lukemc's Avatar
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    In my opinion yes return it and swap if you have the extra $50

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    +1 Smart grinder is significantly easier to use and cleaner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThankDog View Post
    Is the Smart Grinder better and if so, how much better? Is it $50 better? Would I be more likely to want to upgrade from an EM0480 sooner than I would from a Smart Grinder and therefore how valuable is either relative to the time it will be used before upgrading? Are the resale values of either particularly disparate? Could I sell one second-hand for a greater percentage of initial investment over the other?

    I bought an EM0480 but just noticed that the Smart Grinder is only $50 more from the same store. So I'm wondering if it's worthwhile to return it and get the Smart Grinder instead.
    Hi ThankDog

    My 480 has done a heap of great coffee since 2010 and is now relegated to doing plunger grinds for iced coffees. It is finally showing a little wear however it is still up to spec for espresso. I would save the $50 after you find it performs well. Use the white paper test and see how the particle spread is on a grind of (say) 10 or 11 (assuming it is close to calibrated).

    TampIt

  5. #5
    Member ThankDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    Hi ThankDog

    My 480 has done a heap of great coffee since 2010 and is now relegated to doing plunger grinds for iced coffees. It is finally showing a little wear however it is still up to spec for espresso. I would save the $50 after you find it performs well. Use the white paper test and see how the particle spread is on a grind of (say) 10 or 11 (assuming it is close to calibrated).

    TampIt
    My only problem with that is it would mean using it which would then mean I couldn't return it.

  6. #6
    TC
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    Be aware that the store you purchased from is not legally obliged to return it due to a change of mind. It will depend on their returns policy as to whether they choose to assist.

    My thoughts? Whatever. 5% of pretty much nothing is nothing.

    Both are entry level grinders and both will be suitable for entry level machines and skills. Going by your machine posts, cheaper is better, so it's probable that you have the most suitable alternative already.

    I'd doubt that you'd need two hands to count the number of CS'ers who own or have used both so you're unlikely to get anything of significant value in answer to your question.

  7. #7
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    I have only used the Sunbeam a few times, and I have the Breville SG. Cant comment much on grind comparison etc due to limited use of the Sunbeam, but the SG IMO is worth it for the mess free factor alone. The Sunbeam I found amazingly messy, the SG is essentially mess free.

    Cheers

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    As to upgrading from the SB to SG, I wouldn't look at that as much of an upgrade - I doubt most could taste a difference, its more in usability.

    When I got my 0480 the SG didn't exist. If it did, and I read the various posts about the two on this forum, I'm pretty sure I would have got the SG. Only you can decide about the value of $50 in your espresso plans.

  9. #9
    Member ThankDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete39 View Post
    Only you can decide about the value of $50 in your espresso plans.
    Yah, I just don't know what the differences are in order to make that decision.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThankDog View Post
    Yah, I just don't know what the differences are in order to make that decision.
    Mate, I'd just stick with what you've got and learn to use it. Learn a consistent repeatable technique, and if/when you decide that you can't improve your coffee to a standard that you're happy with, then worry about changing a grinder that you haven't even used yet. I'm sure someone will jump in with an 800 word de-construction of this suggestion, but you'll really have more fun and learn more if you just have a go and stick to the very basics (no triple half nelson tamping manoeuvres *yet*). And none of this would stop you from keeping up the post per day rate!

    have a good one.
    Journeyman likes this.

  11. #11
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    I thought you couldn't afford a tamper! Take that $50 and buy a tamper. I've seen 58mm ones, available from a melbourne b&m retailer, for $30. Not a sponsor so I won't link.

  12. #12
    Member ThankDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    Mate, I'd just stick with what you've got and learn to use it.
    That seems to be an answer to a question that I didn't ask.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hildy View Post
    I thought you couldn't afford a tamper!
    Being able to afford something and spending the money on it aren't always one and the same thing.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThankDog View Post
    That seems to be an answer to a question that I didn't ask.

    OK mate. You're on your own. Continue scattering posts across numerous threads.
    Hildy, chokkidog, TC and 2 others like this.

  14. #14
    TC
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    FWIW- I reckon this is all one big con and has nothing to do with coffee or learning. I'd like to hope the mods are onto who this might actually be as I suspect there are other motives. I have read enough garbage thanks. I'm blocking the rubbish and looking forward to the return of normal programming

  15. #15
    Member ThankDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    FWIW- I reckon this is all one big con and has nothing to do with coffee or learning. I'd like to hope the mods are onto who this troll might actually be as I suspect there are other motives. I have read enough garbage thanks. I'm blocking the rubbish.
    Wow.

    Really. Wow.

    I genuinely wanted to stay out of the cat-fight that seems to be going on here. I didn't want to take sides. But this just takes the cake. The sheer arrogance and elitism that is going on here is staggering.

    Whatever. I was genuinely trying to learn and genuinely wanted to get into things but it seems some people are adamant to just to be cruel and mean for no real reason other than to feel superior to others.

    So I'm done. You've won. I'm gone and won't come back. Congratulations.

  16. #16
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    Well, in case anyone else reads this - I have a (now retired) EM480, and my mum has a smart grinder. If it was a choice between the two I would go for the breville. Why? Because it is a LOT quieter than the Sunbeam.

    Much prefer my K3 though

  17. #17
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThankDog View Post
    That seems to be an answer to a question that I didn't ask.
    Rather than being standoffish about it, you might instead appreciate the guidance of someone who's been through this and knows the questions that you should be asking in the first place.

    You're essentially on a racecraft forum asking the difference between a Toyota Corolla and a Honda Civic. By the time you are capable of appreciating any difference you will be ready to step above both of them (and that won't be for a long time).

    You've said yourself that you tend to get caught up in hobbies and throw yourself in a bit quick; here is someone, telling you, very politely, that you're getting too caught up in things that are unimportant, and you're getting your back up?

    You're looking at upgrading grinders, but I've gotta ask, how many espressos have you actually made yet? (preground and double-wall filter shots doesn't count).

    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    >blocking the rubbish
    >looking forward to the return of normal programming
    Pick one :P
    saroadie likes this.

  18. #18
    Senior Member noidle22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThankDog View Post
    Wow.

    Really. Wow.

    I genuinely wanted to stay out of the cat-fight that seems to be going on here. I didn't want to take sides. But this just takes the cake. The sheer arrogance and elitism that is going on here is staggering.

    Whatever. I was genuinely trying to learn and genuinely wanted to get into things but it seems some people are adamant to just to be cruel and mean for no real reason other than to feel superior to others.

    So I'm done. You've won. I'm gone and won't come back. Congratulations.


    But for srs, if you do come back, how come you didn't ask this question before you went out and bought the grinder? As someone else mentioned, some stores will refuse a return based on the fact that you just don't want it anymore.
    I'd suggest just stick with it, it's not a bad grinder like the other guys have said, and the shim for $1 is available if need be.
    Resale shouldn't be a factor in the initial purchase unless you are setting out for it to be an investment or asset. A Sunbeam or Breville entry lever grinder will never be either of these. Looking at resale in a year or two, look at eBay or Gumtree to get an idea of the depreciation for domestic appliances. It's not brilliant.

    Consider the more expensive, Italian brands, and they're items which can fetch quality resale due to the relatively cheap costs of replacing blades or burr sets and the professional and reliable build quality. Look at any Italian made coffee machine or grinder from the 60's onwards, they still go for heaps of money.
    I bought my 1977 La Pavoni Europiccola for $220 which needed basically a full seal and gasket rebuild, massive descale, rust removal and brazing of rust damage and respraying of the base. When that machine was on sale in 1977, i bet it didn't even cost near the equivalent of what I paid for it, 36 years later and in poor condition. Admittedly, my specimen wasn't worth $220, but they're incredibly rare in my area so I needed it. A good condition Europiccola is far more expensive than that even.

    In regards to the guys having a go at you, don't worry about it. This forum is certainly more strict that any other forum I've visited but it's got a lot of quality information. You need to remember, like I was reminded once, some sponsors have invested into this site so anything that's a threat to their business is taken seriously, as it should be. There's still guys here willing to help.

    If a mod does have a problem with anything you've written, you can sort it out with them directly if you receive contact from them.

    Don't act upon the threats from people, remember...

    Or just try to deal with it in a respectable manner.
    Journeyman likes this.

  19. #19
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    As someone who owns a Breville BCG800 and has used a Sunbeam EM0440 extensively, (sorry haven't used the EM0480)
    • Grind "quality" is essentially identical, Breville has slightly smaller steps (than the 440, not sure about the 480), so fine tuning is a bit easier.
    • Ease of use the Breville wins hands down every time.
    • The adjustable automatic dosing on the Breville will allow you to get a more consistent dose than the manual dosing of the Sunbeam.


    I would get the Breville.
    Pete39 likes this.

  20. #20
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    Looks like the discussion might be about more than grinders, but as another who owns both I'll add my bit. The Breville has no significant grind retention, which is an issue with the Sunbeam; it's worth the difference in cash for that alone. It's cleaner, quieter, and does a significantly more consistent grind. I regularly use a Rocky, and I think the Breville is on par for grind quality. The electronic dosing is handy and provides for a much easier to use machine in a domestic (space-limited) situation than say a Rocky doser. The Breville has a darkened hopper and a sealed lid, so I'm more likely to leave a larger quantity of beans in there than I would the 480.
    Thats my buck-fifty opinion.

    Gra.

  21. #21
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    One other thing I forgot, the shape of the sunbeam hopper / outlet hole seems to cause it to clog and require a good shake to let beans through again from time to time. Probably happens every few shots or so. Breville has never clogged.

  22. #22
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    My sunbeam doesn't clog either...

  23. #23
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    I have both.

    I use the Breville at home, and the Sunbeam at work.

    Both are used with SB6910 machines.

    I have shimmed both, and they perform the same.

    However, the Breville is quieter, and the ease of leaving the group handle in the grinder to turn off automagically after dispensing exactly the amount of coffee grounds that I want is something that you get used to very quickly.

    Also, the Breville does not have a static clumping problem.

    I will buy another Breville if the EM480 dies.



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