Shardor "Cheap" 35 Step Conical Grinder - Kind of Impressed!

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
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#1: Post by Grant »

So, I have a Macap grinder flat burr which I have had for many years. TBH, it is not that great by current standards by any means as I am sure you all know, but that is what my current standard is. That said, my impressions may be off (my standards a bit lower than many here) so take what I say here with some level of healthy skepticism.

That said, I have been more into drip coffee lately for a few reasons and decided to pick up another cheap grinder as adjusting my Macap from espresso to drip settings would be a nightmare of turning and twisting. I didn't even try. I've been using my 1ZPresso J-Max.

I ran across this Shardor grinder mentioned on a BBQ forum (another surprisingly impressed purchaser) and it also gets quite reasonable reviews so just thought I would give it a shot to see what happens - for the price, there was not much to lose if it would just do a drip grind.

I have to say that I was immediately impressed from the very first grind and it only seems to get better the more I play with it. I started only grinding for drip coffee and was amazed that there was NO static at all (as advertised) and the grind was incredibly uniform. There was also little to no noticeable fines. I live in a low humidity area so static is almost always an issue. I do buy good quality, freshly (light) roasted beans (Rogue Wave Coffee in Edmonton is my go-to) and am impressed with the flavors coming through in the cup (using an OXO Brew-8 which brews at SCAA temps).

Anyways, for interest sake, today I thought I would play with the espresso settings too. Once again, I was impressed with the lack of static and the grind quality at the finer setting. I initially started with a mid-way espresso setting (their dial) and was then surprised when it stalled my Elektra A3. Had to go much more coarser than i expected and got a nice, fluffy, uniform grind with little to no fines - visually better than the Macap. And surprise...virtually ZERO three different grind tests of 18 grams, the most it was off was 0.1g. 2/3 times it was 18 in and 18 out. (Scale is accurate to 1/10th).

So, now I am a little in shock this $90 (Can) grinder is grinding much better than my Macap, can easily switch from drip to espresso, and is producing better shots with more clarity and better extraction. Not to mention the Amazon 2 year replacement (gift card value) warranty was an additional $7. If it craters, Amazon basically sends me a gift card for the full purchase cost.

End result is I think my Macap just got shelved. Wonder how long this will seems very solid, not too noisy, and surprisingly well built. I was saving up for a better single dose grinder but this thing might hold me a while. Only real downside I am feeling is that it is not stepless, but the steps are close enough for my requirements - if my shots are off a couple seconds one way or another is within my margin of forgiveness.

I may pick up another one!

Link to the Grinder.... ... to_dp&th=1


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#2: Post by randytsuch »

Interesting find, thanks for sharing.

FYI, I poked around amazon, and found this model with 51 steps ... ast_sto_dp

On sale for $90 and can apply a $10 coupon.

Grant (original poster)
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#3: Post by Grant (original poster) »

Do not see the 51 step model on the Canadian Amazon site at all. I would likely try one for that price...I'll see if I can request it somehow.

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#4: Post by EvanOz85 »

Hard to tell for sure from the pics, but your beans look fairly dark? Any decent, even cheap, conical burr grinder should be able to produce acceptable espresso from darker roasted beans. Try pulling some shots with ultra-lights and it may be a different story.

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#5: Post by Jeff »

Hard to argue with a grinder that costs significantly less than a Breville and makes reasonable, classic espresso. I think it's worth exploring its capabilities.

Easy to argue that my high-end grinders are not optimal for classic espresso.

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#6: Post by another_jim »

48 mm or so sized conical burrs have been the go to for entry level grinders for at least 35 years (I had a Lux in the mid 90s). They make OK espresso and brews; and for the right espresos blends, really good shots. To get a well engineered and quiet one for under $100 is certainly a find.

Chinese consumer manufacturers are beginning to remind me of Japanese ones from the 60s and Korean or Taiwanese ones from the 80s; lots of fly by nighters, but also more and more bringing out well designed and built products. So it's good if we get shout outs for the well built ones -- Amazon and Ali Baba aren't much for filtering out the fly by nighters.
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#7: Post by BKH »

I just bought one. It looks like there are multiple vendors through Amazon but it currently can be found for about $70 with the added 4 year Asurion warranty. It seems to have a similar burr to the breville smart grinder. I'm curious if this can be something I recommend to friends who are just getting into coffee. Usually people scoff at paying $200 for a grinder so maybe this grinder price point will help them on their way to grinding whole bean.

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#8: Post by Pressino »

another_jim wrote:48 mm or so sized conical burrs have been the go to for entry level grinders for at least 35 years (I had a Lux in the mid 90s). They make OK espresso and brews; and for the right espresos blends, really good shots. To get a well engineered and quiet one for under $100 is certainly a find...
The 51-step conical lists the burr size as 40mm (info is in the above link cited for the 51-step machine).

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#9: Post by borntodie »

I know it's immature but I can't read Shardor without thinking Sharter, the one who sharts

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#10: Post by coyote-1 replying to borntodie »

At StarTrek conventions, when "Captain Kirk" would come out onstage the audience would erupt in unison chants of SHAT! SHAT! SHAT!

As for the grinder, I love the idea of the 51 notch item. But there are enough reviews that say it breaks quickly that I'm unwilling to buy one.