Researching for a cheap grinder; Budget £125 max

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

#1: Post by RemcoNL »

Hello dear reader,

In my previous post i described my intent to buy a baratza encore to go grind my beans to espresso quality.
To my surprise this idea was net welkomd as a great machine for this task.

But now I would like to know what kind of grinder could both fit my tiny budget as well as grind good enough for an espresso from my soon to have gaggia classic.

With my budget I don't expect a new one, but hope that ther eis someone out there who used his or her grinder with pleasure and decided to upgrade and sell second hand.

Some advice as to where I should look would be much appreciated.

Thanks for the replies on my previous post, it prevented me from buying a baratza encore and getting super frustrated with the question in mind like; Why won't my espresso machine do espresso?

Have a great day to all,


Team HB

#2: Post by baldheadracing »

The upcoming Encore ESP should be interesting. It has a finer adjustment mechanism designed for espresso, and has the upgraded M2 burr from the Virtuoso. More details: New $200 Baratza Encore ESP does espresso

However, I think that it will cost closer to 200€.

I suspect that under 125€ implies hand grinders or a used electric.

Good luck!
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

RemcoNL (original poster)

#3: Post by RemcoNL (original poster) »

thanks for the quick reply.

What used grinder ahould I look for? I thought the baratza encore would be fine, conical burrs and suck. But maybe thats not but which is fine enough then? My current skillset isn't even high enough to see good from bad. With sime comes hopful experience

Team HB

#4: Post by baldheadracing »

Used grinders ...

Ascaso's - the 38mm conical versions produce marginally better espresso but don't have the build quality of the all-metal 54mm flat versions.

Lelit's - same 38mm mechanism as above.

There are also many private-label grinders that use the same 38mm mechanism.

As it takes some experience to identify a worn-out 38mm grind mechanism, I would go with the 54mm flat. Ascaso i-1, imini i-1, isteel i-1, etc. You should be able to find a used one with your budget. Note these are espresso grinders; they can't grind for pourover (unless modified).

As an aside, one common modification for i-1's is to flip the polarity of the drive motor. This lets you use Ditting 54mm burrs - Baratza Vario steel burrs, Mahlkoenig x54, etc. Stock burrs are fine for traditional espresso.

You might find an older Eureka Mignon.

... or an old commercial grinder. A 100€ one is likely to be a mess in need of work, but some deals can be had.

Good luck!
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

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#5: Post by ShotClock »

You might be able to find an Iberital MC2 in that price range. I bought one in the UK more than 15 years ago, and it's still getting daily use. It's built like a tank, and will get you going making espresso.

I think that it might be a better idea to try and find something used in that price range though, as you are right at the bottom end of useable grinders. A good hand grinder can be found in that price range, but you will have to be happy to spend the time and effort in hand grinding. Many, including me, aren't prepared to put that effort in on a daily basis.

Most important - beyond acceptable equipment - is to understand how to adjust the taste of your espresso based on grind and dose settings. There are many fantastic articles on this website by Dan Kehn, Jim Schulman and many others. Hopefully they will be as useful to you as they were for me. Good luck!


#6: Post by Pressino »

The 1-Zpresso JX-Pro is a hand grinder that comes in at just $10 over your budgeted cost and will admirably perform your required tasks.

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Team HB

#7: Post by Jeff »

Depending on local cost, the Kingrinder K6 would be my pick to cover espresso and filter on your budget. It is close to the 1ZPresso K-series in the cup.

RemcoNL (original poster)

#8: Post by RemcoNL (original poster) »

I found a sage smart grinder pro that fits my budget, maybe that one is capable enough for a gaggia classic?


#9: Post by luvmy40 replying to RemcoNL »

If it is the newer version with the adjustable internal burr holder, it should be OK with classic, darker espresso style roasts.

Team HB

#10: Post by baldheadracing »

RemcoNL wrote:I found a sage smart grinder pro that fits my budget, maybe that one is capable enough for a gaggia classic?
The issues with the SGP are: the older ones were, to be very kind, not good, and there is no easy way to tell which version is being sold; and, in all versions, there are some plastic bits that wear out and the cost to replace those parts makes the grinder uneconomical.

Maybe if was an unused gift and 50€. Maybe, but probably not. I thought that you wanted something better than an Encore, not arguably worse?
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada