Grinder Advice - Brew Only < ~$500 Budget Preferred

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

#1: Post by kingcaz »

Hi all, need some advice on next grinder.

I currently have a specialita, a niche, and a helor 101 hand grinder. For a long time i was using the specialita for espresso and helor 101 for V60. I got the niche back in march and have been using it for the last few months for both espresso and V60. I finally came to the conclusion that I prefer the specialita to the niche. I'm still using the niche for V60 now that I'm addicted to motorized grinder over the hand grinder - HA! But, the niche isnt amazing for the V60. Its leaving some muddy beds with light roast beans, and for the price, i think i can get a better brew specific grinder.

So.... advice time... Thoughts on a grinder to replace the niche for primarily V60 and occasionally auto drip? The two I'm mostly considering are the vario with steel burrs and the mignon brew pro. My only drawback on the vario is its kinda ugly and noisy.... And the brew pro i cant find much written on it except for a review of the filtro on reddit that says it sucks.

Anyone have experience with either for V60 primarily Ethiopian light roasts? Any other suggestions?

Also, anyone have direct experience with the vario for brew against the cheaper baratza options (precisio or virtuoso?)


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#2: Post by burninator »

if ur ok just upgrading to a better manual, then comandante or even the oe apex should be improvements. if set on a motorized grinder, then the vario is quite nice and can be "hyperaligned" to further improve output quality. that being said, the alignment will drift, so you have to repeat the process regularly.

i've has the vario (steel), forte bg, apex, comandante, and now an eg-1. if you prefer the aesthetics of the forte, you can sometimes find a used one within your budget, but you should definitely be able to find a vario, apex, or comandante within budget.

i havent read much on vario vs ode, but seems you need to add ssp burrs to the ode, which pushes it out of your price range.

grinder quality helps, water composition helps, but really good quality beans and technique will go a long way.

kingcaz (original poster)

#3: Post by kingcaz (original poster) »

Thanks for the reply. I'm pretty set on motorized at this point. I'll keep my helor for travel. 500 isn't a hard limit... My thought it I could get a better grind quality for less money than the niche in currently using for pourover. The niche is a noticable step up from the SGP and seems to be pretty on par with the helor for v60. But it does kick out a lot of fines on light Ethiopias.


#4: Post by dchooo »

The used coffee grinder category on CL and other sources are FILLED with potential coffee grinders. You just need to do some research on the right one for you. I found a Ditting KR804 for $280 about an hour away from where I live. I used SearchTempest to locate one. Shhh its a secret. lol


#5: Post by galfert »

I would of thought that with the attention that the DF64 is getting that it would be an obvious consideration.

The DF64 launched earlier this year with some small quirks. The Feilai (FL Coffee) company (they are the manufacture and sell direct and through distributors) has addressed the early feedback and made several modifications to their product, changed the font on the grind scale, modified declumper, added or will soon add anti-popcorn mod.

The DF64 seems to check a lot of boxes:
- reasonable price
- great single dosing grinder - perfect for home use
- near zero retention
- uses popular 64mm flat burrs
- option to use with standard burrs, titanium coated, or various SSP burrs
- quickly go between french, drip, or espresso and repeatability of grind settings is great
- stepless grind adjustment
- quiet motor
- powerful motor with direct drive and no plastic gears used
- mostly all metal design that likely was inspired by Lagom P64
- reviews are favorable and build quality for now seems good - only time will tell as it is new
- several color options
- grind into cup or portafilter
- easy to clean

- Requires RDT (not necessarily a problem)
- some don't like the plastic cup but you can find a metal replacement
- some don't like the look of the bellows or the need to use it compared to the NZ workflow that doesn't use a bellows.
- some don't like placement of power button
- no RPM adjustment like on Lagom P64

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#6: Post by cannonfodder »

I picked up a Bunn LPG on eBay cheap. Took it apart, cleaned it all up, and put in a new set of burrs. Works wonderfully for drip/press pot and been using it for 10 years now.

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