Your next (first?) great coffee grinder will meet a few key criteria:
With an impressive array of features and consistent, reliable grinding performance, there’s a good chance this grinder is for you.
Get reliable, consistent grinding with the included conical stainless steel burrs. Compatible with almost all portafilters and has enough clearance to fit a whole filter basket. Truly gives you flexibility across the grinding spectrum, but has issues with coarse grinding for French Press.
600 different grind sizes is pretty remarkable. LCD display makes changing grind size and time settings extremely easy. It’s nice being able to see numeric values for each as opposed to just “this notch is coarser.” Magnetized attachments are a nice feature.
Stainless steel burrs aren’t as good as ceramic burrs, but in this price range you’ll never find ceramic burrs. Brushed metal exterior has good heft, look, and more durability than similar all-plastic grinders.
On the plus side, stainless steel burrs won’t break and the brushed metal exterior adds to appeal. Users have not reported many motor failures. Needs to be cleaned regularly in order to avoid clogs. Comes with a 1 year limited warranty.
Top marks in this category as this Breville Smart Grinder Pro review will clearly show the range of performance for this model in a relatively low price range.
While not as notable as top grinder brands like Baratza, Breville is a leader in kitchen appliances and has been a big name in coffee for a long time.
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro comes fully loaded with a robust set of conical stainless steel burrs.
These burrs work well with beans of all types, but beware frequent usage of super oily espresso beans. If you make one or two espressos per day, you shouldn’t have much of a problem with regular cleaning.
If you want to make more than that, you might want a dedicated espresso grinder. Check out the Baratza Sette 30 for an entry-level espresso grinder in the same price range as the Breville Smart Grinder Pro. I’d recommend the Baratza Sette 270 if you want something more robust.
Six hundred grind sizes — that has to be a typo, right?
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro has two different grind size adjusters:
That’s 600 different grind sizes, giving you unprecedented fineness control in this price range.
This is a major improvement on the previous model from Breville, the older Smart Grind (not Pro), which only offered 25 different grind settings with no micro-level adjustments.
The table below (from the Breville Smart Grinder Pro user manual) shows which settings you should use for each type of brew.
A simple, easy-to-read LCD display tells you exactly what you’re doing.
In the image above, you can clearly tell you’re on grind size #36, right in the drip coffee range according to the bar indicator on the top. You’re also grinding for 3.8 seconds.
Note: This grinder allows you to control grind time in 0.2 second increments.
Bonus Feature! The Grind Amount knob on the left side of the interface doubles as a Program button, which can save the Grind Time and Grind Size settings you love. Simply press and hold until the grinder beeps, and — BOOM! — settings saved.
Best of all, if you want to scale up for multiple shots or cups, just press the middle Shots/Cups button and the Breville Smart Grinder Pro will recalculate the Grind Time for your new volume.
In the quest for a do-it-all grinder, Breville has made the Smart Grinder Pro compatible with two different sized portafilters:
Both attach magnetically to make sure your grounds are deposited directly into your portafilter.
Not an espresso drinker? No problem. The Smart Grinder Pro also has enough clearance to fit a full-sized coffee filter basket under the spout.
The grinder also comes with a plastic ground coffee canister made from the same UV-resistant plastic as the bean hopper, helping prolong your coffee’s freshness.
Pro Tip: Always grind your coffee right before brewing. Grounds can begin to lose their flavor, aroma, and all around freshness in as little as 15 minutes! But if you’re an early riser and don’t want to wake the family every morning, well, go ahead and pre-grind.
Take a look right under the spout where the grinds come out. You’ll see a start/stop button to give you a little more control over your grind. It has two functions:
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro’s bean hopper has a 1 lb capacity and is made from UV-resistant plastic. This prevents the early degradation of your coffee beans, meaning you can feel OK about pouring in the whole bag.
The bean hopper also features a lock/unlock switch, shown above. Need to access the burrs or want to pour out the beans in the hopper? Move the switch to Lock and the flow of beans is turned off for easy, mess-free removal.