Best Inexpensive Grinder? - Page 2

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
phinneygirl

#11: Post by phinneygirl »

What about the Rocky? If going with it, should you go doser or doserless? I've had recommendations to purchase this grinder but don't know which one I want to get. What are pros/cons of each?

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HB
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#12: Post by HB »

The Rancilio Rocky garners lots of recommendations. I had the doserless and was very satisfied with it, although I later upgraded to a Mazzer Mini. As for which model, the answer is "it depends." The thread Pros and cons of doser vs. doserless grinders? broaches the subject; the subsequent poll showed an even division of opinion. Having owned the doserless version, I would opt for the doser because metting out grounds with a practiced thwack thwack thwack helps even out the distribution.
Dan Kehn

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jesawdy

#13: Post by jesawdy »

The Rocky doserless is not a bad grinder... but I would plan on committing myself to using the WDT for consistent results. I have not used the Rocky doser model to speak to the quality of the doser, but as Dan points out, it can break up the clumps.
Jeff Sawdy

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lilotaku

#14: Post by lilotaku »

HB wrote:The Rancilio Rocky garners lots of recommendations. I had the doserless and was very satisfied with it, although I later upgraded to a Mazzer Mini. As for which model, the answer is "it depends." The thread Pros and cons of doser vs. doserless grinders? broaches the subject; the subsequent poll showed an even division of opinion. Having owned the doserless version, I would opt for the doser because metting out grounds with a practiced thwack thwack thwack helps even out the distribution.
Is it the static that makes the grounds clump up due to the plastic chute? I've noticed a few "modded" chutes on the Rocky's, with most people making metal chutes and grounding them. I personally am in the market for a new budget grinder myself and am interested in getting a rocky doserless just due to less moving parts and less cleaning. I wouldn't mind modding the chute to a metal one since i am quite handy with machinery.
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HB
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#15: Post by HB »

lilotaku wrote:Is it the static that makes the grounds clump up due to the plastic chute?
I think most clumping is due to compression of the grounds as they make their way out of the grinding chamber. Static may account for minor clumping, but not the "boulders" that are the bane of some doserless grinders.


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Dan Kehn

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jesawdy

#16: Post by jesawdy »

It's not static (but that can be an issue unto itself). The grinds get slightly compacted and adhere to each other as they are "extruded" from the grinder chute. These extruded clumps (big and small) fall straight into the portafilter and do not get broken up in any way unless the fall disturbs the clump. I assume internal oils to the coffee, etc. help the clumps form. I have never had any significant static issues with the plastic chute on the Rocky doserless (not very dry here). The only time I have static issues is if I try to grind straight into a plastic container. Another chute design for easy cleaning would be a welcome addition.
Jeff Sawdy

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RapidCoffee
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#17: Post by RapidCoffee »

HB wrote:I think most clumping is due to compression of the grounds as they make their way out of the grinding chamber. Static may account for minor clumping, but not the "boulders" that are the bane of some doserless grinders.
I agree with Dan. There's no static problem on my "clump monster". Plastic parts exacerbate static, which is why I opted for a metal spout.

However, there's obvious clumping. I'm convinced this takes place in the horizontal exit chute from the burrs. The initial spray of grinds is not clumpy, then grinds start building up in the chute, and clump as they are extruded.

A doserless grinder design with a vertical path from the burrs down to the basket (such as the Versalab M3) would solve the clumping problem. The Mazzer Mini E uses a small wire screen that helps to break up clumps as they exit the chute. (I've been meaning to try this, but the WDT works so well that I never got around to it.) Apparently the new Macap M4 E doserless does not, and the results are predictably similar to my doserless SJ.

Dosers certainly make sense in a busy coffee shop. For single-shot home grinding, the main advantage of dosers is to break up clumps. FWIW I've been very happy with my modded SJ, despite the clumping issues.
John

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Randy G.

#18: Post by Randy G. »

jesawdy wrote:The Rocky doserless is not a bad grinder... but I would plan on committing myself to using the WDT for consistent results. I have not used the Rocky doser model to speak to the quality of the doser, but as Dan points out, it can break up the clumps.
I have the Rocky Doser model (the original, non-stainless model) that I bought new and have been using daily for 6½ years. Although a doserless model would appear to be a good choice for espresso, there are features that make the doser desirable.

- The "TTT" *1 method of dispensing the coffee gives better distribution and less clumping. The sound is always a part of any barista competition if that means anything.
- A doser makes it possible to grind nearly ½ pound of coffee at a time without watching a bag or container as the coffee drops as you would with a doserless model (some exceptions do exist such as the Macaps with the bag clip).
- When making multiple drinks in a row, the PF can be leveled off back into the doser to save coffee (once the grind is verified).
- The grind can be started, and if the barista is distracted, the coffee will not overflow the PF

Problems that a doser presents:
- it adds one more clean-up chore at the end of a session. But if cleanliness were a priority I would be using the Keurig exclusively.. :wink:

I am looking for a replacement for Rocky- specifically to get one with infinite adjustment. The Rocky, like nearly all grinders in that price range, have a fairly wide adjustment when it comes to espresso, with one click being from three to seven seconds of pull time. it may not be a problem as you start out, but later down the line you will find it restrictive when fine-tuning your espresso.

*1 TTT - v. abbv. for Thwack, thwack, thwack. A method of dispensing finely-ground coffee into a portafilter for espresso use that nearly eliminates clumping by which the user repeatedly and quickly operates the dosing lever during the grinding process to dispense smaller amounts of coffee per dispensing cycle than would normally be dispensed.
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JeremyNelson

#19: Post by JeremyNelson »

Been using an Isomac Prof for a few weeks now (couldn't afford Rocky +, didn't want to settle for Virtuoso/MDF). Once you make the modifications (listed in my review on CoffeeGeek), it grinds very fine. I like it too because it takes up far less space but still has solid stainless steel construction (just have to be careful with that plastic hopper...why they cheaped out there, I don't know).

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cafeIKE
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#20: Post by cafeIKE »

If your burr looks like the lower one here, it's the same POS as in the Isomac Gran Macinino. This grinder cannot be recommended.