Ive been racking my mind about what grinder to buy for home use. Then i thought "duh, ask the good people on barista exchange". I only care about it is it grinding espresso well. I own a Rancilio Silvia espresso machine. I know theres probably going to be alot of people recomending the Rancilio Rocky. But im really trying not to spend that much, any suggestions will be much appritiated.

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Sooo.. What's the budget?
Without knowing a budget, I'll say look around for a used commercial grinder that prob just needs a deep cleaning and a new burrset. You can find them at a variety of price points if you look hard and have some time to wait.

I do not recommend the Rocky, though lots of people do. Too clumpy. Lots of people recommend the Vario, though I've not used it so can't speak to that.

Don't skimp on your grinder.

Also, I know there have been lots of good recommendations here in the past. You might try the nifty search feature and see what pops up.


Joona Suominen said:
Sooo.. What's the budget?

Budget hmmm... ok id say i couldnt justify spending more than 170 right now. (I dont have a job at the moment) But every single morning i wake up i think "damn, i need to grinder. The one i have sucks" See i used to just grind my espresso at the cafe i worked for commercial grinder. So now i either need a new grinder or a job...


Brady said:
Without knowing a budget, I'll say look around for a used commercial grinder that prob just needs a deep cleaning and a new burrset. You can find them at a variety of price points if you look hard and have some time to wait.

I do not recommend the Rocky, though lots of people do. Too clumpy. Lots of people recommend the Vario, though I've not used it so can't speak to that.

Don't skimp on your grinder.

Also, I know there have been lots of good recommendations here in the past. You might try the nifty search feature and see what pops up.
Ive sort of looked for older commercial grinders on ebay, but so far they have all surpassed 200 near the end of the auction. I know not to skimp on a grinder(im reminded every day how a crappy grinder ruins everything). There has to be something out there that uniformly grinds beans fine enough for espresso that isnt 350 bucks. Im open to anything, including hand crank grinders as long as they work for espresso.
I'd look at some old Zassenhaus hand grinders until being able to foot at least a grand for a nice Mazzer or Compak.
Have you ever used a hand grinder for espresso? cause i havnt, Im just worried if it will be able to grind fine enough.


Jeff Jaworski said:
I'd look at some old Zassenhaus hand grinders until being able to foot at least a grand for a nice Mazzer or Compak.
No, but they will. A lot of people actually wouldn't hesitate to match up the grind on an old Zass or something similar head to head with that of what a Robur can put out(not kidding).

Maybe, just maybe if your lucky you might be able to score a used Super Jolly on CL for something like 350. I'm sure it will be pretty beat up and in need of new burrs, but if your into fixing stuff up it shouldn't be insanely hard to strip out all the components, sandblast it, and then paint it to make it look better than new.

Check this out ---> http://espressorun.blogspot.com/2007/08/airbrushing-mazzer-major.html


Dustin DeMers said:
Have you ever used a hand grinder for espresso? cause i havnt, Im just worried if it will be able to grind fine enough.

I have a coupla grinders that will choke your machine, easy. I also have a handful that will make you question the state of your current grinder. (some) Hand grinders are the same quality burrs as motorized grinders, they simply turn slower. Motorized grinders are simply faster, and require larger burrs so that they can be faster and not (too much) warmer from the friction created by the grinding.
Like hand saws and motorized saws, you can buy both of great quality that make precision cuts, and also buy cheaper versions that are made poorly and make marginal cuts. The motorized versions are just better equipped to do larger quantities faster.
As I've always said, get the best quality grinder you can afford, and then see how much you have left or your espresso machine.
Grinders make espresso, espresso machines just make water hot and push it through the grounds at pressure.
You won't be happy with a grinder under $170. I'll save you a lot of headache and just come out and say that. If you save money now, you'll save regret later.

There is always talk about how hand grinders work great, and indeed they do... if you have 6 minutes to grind your coffee in the morning. No offense to the suggestion, but $100(ish) for a hand grinder is just out of the question for me. I've used hand grinders in the past, still use them when backpacking, but outside of a "no electricity" option, they just frustrate me. Every one's opinion is going to vary, I suppose that's just mine.

If you are looking for an espresso grinder, either take Brady's advice and troll Craigslist and eBay for a while hoping for a steal or just find some way to save up for a while and get something like a Vario. Plan about $350 for a grinder. There aren't any shortcuts here, unless you decide to take the handmill route, but you've read my opinion on that. It may seem frustrating (because it is) but it's just the hard truth when it comes to the (lack of) entry level home grinder market.

-bry


Chris said:


Dustin DeMers said:
Have you ever used a hand grinder for espresso? cause i havnt, Im just worried if it will be able to grind fine enough.

I have a coupla grinders that will choke your machine, easy. I also have a handful that will make you question the state of your current grinder. (some) Hand grinders are the same quality burrs as motorized grinders, they simply turn slower. Motorized grinders are simply faster, and require larger burrs so that they can be faster and not (too much) warmer from the friction created by the grinding.
Like hand saws and motorized saws, you can buy both of great quality that make precision cuts, and also buy cheaper versions that are made poorly and make marginal cuts. The motorized versions are just better equipped to do larger quantities faster.
As I've always said, get the best quality grinder you can afford, and then see how much you have left or your espresso machine.
Grinders make espresso, espresso machines just make water hot and push it through the grounds at pressure.


Awesome analogy(about the hand saw vs electric saw). How long have you used hand grinders for? I honestly dont care about the time it takes to grind it by hand. Its takes me about 20 minutes in the morning from start to finish anyway. Any specific hand grinders anyone recommends? or is Zassenhaus the best? if so what model? Ill also check craigslist for any good deals on electrics right now.
I use the Hario Skerton for espresso at home. Right now I can't afford an electric grinder that will do as good of a job as the Skerton. I only make one or two double shots at a time so it's manageable to grind by hand but it does take some effort and about five minutes to grind per double shot. I have however been thinking of attaching my electric drill to the crank shaft on the top of the grinder. This may ruin the grinder though so I have yet to try. For my application the Skerton does a better job than the Rocky. I get a ton of clumps with the Rocky and no clumps with the Skerton.


Dustin DeMers said:


Chris said:


Dustin DeMers said:
Have you ever used a hand grinder for espresso? cause i havnt, Im just worried if it will be able to grind fine enough.

I have a coupla grinders that will choke your machine, easy. I also have a handful that will make you question the state of your current grinder. (some) Hand grinders are the same quality burrs as motorized grinders, they simply turn slower. Motorized grinders are simply faster, and require larger burrs so that they can be faster and not (too much) warmer from the friction created by the grinding.
Like hand saws and motorized saws, you can buy both of great quality that make precision cuts, and also buy cheaper versions that are made poorly and make marginal cuts. The motorized versions are just better equipped to do larger quantities faster.
As I've always said, get the best quality grinder you can afford, and then see how much you have left or your espresso machine.
Grinders make espresso, espresso machines just make water hot and push it through the grounds at pressure.


Awesome analogy(about the hand saw vs electric saw). How long have you used hand grinders for? I honestly dont care about the time it takes to grind it by hand. Its takes me about 20 minutes in the morning from start to finish anyway. Any specific hand grinders anyone recommends? or is Zassenhaus the best? if so what model? Ill also check craigslist for any good deals on electrics right now.
The Skerton is a good entry level hand grinder, but there have been some complaints about off-kilter shafts causing uneven grind. Zassenhaus is always highly recommended, I've used 3 or 4 of them over the years and they were all great.

Not sure how many different places are carrying Zassenhaus, but I know there is a wide array of people carrying the Skerton. Tom (sweetmarias) carries Zassenhaus I know... can't think of any others.

-bry

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