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Thread: Isomac Professionale vs. Breville BCG820

  1. #1
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    Isomac Professionale vs. Breville BCG820

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all,

    Would there be any noticeable difference between the Isomac Professionale and the Breville BCG820 Smart Grinder Pro ?

    Not sure which would be better.
    I note they are similar in price, however the Breville can be had on sale for $200, which is $150 less than the professionale.
    Breville looks to have a timing/dosing system and finer adjustments.
    The Isomac certainly looks the neater unit.
    If they have equal performance I'll choose the Isomac for that reason.

  2. #2
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    G'day hallph...

    The Isomac is basically a small prosumer quality grinder, whereas the Breville is an appliance with lots of plastic and built-in obsolescence.
    The Isomac unit will last you for many, many years of hard use and will serve as an admirable backup grinder should you ever upgrade to something in the line of a Macap, Mazzer, Compak or similar later on.

    Both have their uses and I guess it's longevity in service that is the main differentiation between the two...

    Mal.

  3. #3
    Senior Member noidle22's Avatar
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    Isomac:

    Positives:
    -Simple
    -Fast
    -Good grind consistency
    -Mains power switch


    Negatives:
    -Can't adjust it whilst it's running (if you try it'll spin the burrs together and break stuff)
    -Poorly suited to non-58mm portafilters
    -Step gaps are fairly large
    -Grind retention is significant (about 5gm if I would make a guess)
    -Plastic burr/motor retainer can become brittle with age and break (new part is only $35 or so and is easy to fit)

    Breville:

    Positive:
    -Well equipped with handy features
    -Small steps
    -51/54mm and 58mm portafilter compatibility
    -Clean, minimal spillage or spray
    -Easy to clean and store

    Negative:
    -Fairly slow
    -No mains power switch
    -It's an appliance (small service life, <5 years)
    -No spare parts available

    In my opinion, I would rather use the Smart Grinder on a day to day basis as it is capable of a good espresso grind, is easy to clean and looks good on the bench.

    However, in terms of in the cup performance, I found the Isomac to be consistently better. I would recommend it over the Smart Grinder for this reason.

    Personally I am not a fan of the grind retention, general appearance and messiness of the Isomac so I would take the Smart Grinder.

    However I did neither of these and bought a K3 instead. If you want to not worry about upgrading again in the future, I would consider it or a model from Macap.

  4. #4
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noidle22 View Post
    However I did neither of these and bought a K3 instead. If you want to not worry about upgrading again in the future, I would consider it or a model from Macap.
    Ditto...

    If the OP's budget can be stretched a bit further, no argument...

    Mal.

  5. #5
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    My grinder journey has been Lelit --> Isomac Professionale --> BSG.

    I would take the BSG any day - quieter, neater by a mile (catches most grinds), hands free operation, easy to adjust, the only one that you can remove hopper without beans going everywhere, and a straight vertical path with no retention.

    Both the Lelit and Isomac gave me issues with retention and eventual clogging. Both have a horizontal component of grind path.

    /my $0.02

  6. #6
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    Thanks all. Seems there is no clear winner, each with their own pros and cons.

    I'll be pairing it with a gaggia classic with OPV and PID - so probably the grind quality from either would be ok?
    The BSG does tempt me as it's neater, quieter, and generally easier. Would definitely be easier to change from pourover to espresso settings

    Will give it some more thought!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by noidle22 View Post
    However, in terms of in the cup performance, I found the Isomac to be consistently better. I would recommend it over the Smart Grinder for this reason.
    I have a Lux which is almost the same as the Isomac aside from styling and IME, the grind quality of these little Italian, plastic mounted conicals are fantastic.
    There's a small amount of grind retention but I just give it a tap while grinding a very small dose to clear the chute before grinding for my first shot. Coffee is a messy business so I don't find the Lux any worse than any of the other grinders I've used (inc commercial ones)

    The Breville (like the Sunbeam EM0440 upwards) use the same burrs but they use a much less sturdy plastic carrier and the Breville's mounts are the worst of the lot which makes them noticeably worse in the cup (like the old Solis 166/Starbucks Barista/DeLonhi KG100)


  8. #8
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Isomac Professionale vs. Breville BCG820

    I've owned both a Nemox Lux and Sunbeam EM0480. As mentioned above they both have the same burrs, but are housed differently obviously and can be compared quite well to the Isomac and Breville. Of the two I preferred the Sunbeam. It was surprisingly well made, a big solid chunk of cast metal, it was quieter, it was faster, and even though I only had my eyes to judge I think that I was getting a more consistent grind from it and therefore a better extraction. They were both messy, no doubt about that. When I finally got around to making a portafilter funnel I wondered why the hell I hadn't done it sooner. I've since upgraded to an Anfim, but still use the PF funnel. They're a no brainier really, easy to use and save time and money by keeping things clean.
    Admittedly I had to tinker with both grinders to get them working at their best, but once they were sorted they were both great. I ended up modding the Nemox to be stepless which didn't improve the grind quality but certainly made it a better grinder overall. (See pic)
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1440107899.390194.jpg
    Based on my experience with the Lux and Sunbeam if I was considering the same choice as the OP I'd go with the new Breville Smart Grinder. It's true that there's possibly a bit more risk involved due to its appliance quality build, but I'd say that problematic ones are still a minority and if you get a good one you won't be disappointed.
    It sounds like they have much the same grind characteristics as the Sunbeam EM0480, but are quieter again, a bit easier to 'shim' due to the added burr setting adjustment, and are a lot less messy if maybe just a little slower. I agree that the Isomac is simpler and has the potential to last longer, but I still don't think it's a good enough grinder that you'll keep it forever. You really need to go the next step up to Compak or Macap to get into grinders that are keepers. Just my opinion, take it as you will.

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    Maybe I better start saving for a k3..

    Would I notice much difference with my Gaggia classic with PID/OPV mods, using a k3 versus the BSG or isomac?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    I agree that the Isomac is simpler and has the potential to last longer, but I still don't think it's a good enough grinder that you'll keep it forever. You really need to go the next step up to Compak or Macap to get into grinders that are keepers. Just my opinion, take it as you will.
    I'll agree to disagree on this one. Also just one man's opinion.

  11. #11
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Lux, Iberital, Lelit, the Isomac equivalents are all excellent grinders in their own right (especially those with infinitely variable adjustment) and plenty of people hang on to them for many years, including some very well known people in the industry.

    Don't write them off just because they're not Macap, Mazzer, Compak or what have you...

    Mal.
    kaanage likes this.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaanage View Post
    The Breville (like the Sunbeam EM0440 upwards) use the same burrs but they use a much less sturdy plastic carrier and the Breville's mounts are the worst of the lot which makes them noticeably worse in the cup (like the old Solis 166/Starbucks Barista/DeLonhi KG100)
    I need to correct this earlier post of mine - for some reason my search (and memory) brought up the wrong grinder.

    This Breville (BCG820) has the same burr carrier arrangement as the Sunbeams


    The one used by the Isomac (and Lux) is still sturdier system, though, which is the reason for the superior grind.



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