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Best grinder for a budget of around $400
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Best grinder for...  
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danstewart15
Senior Member
danstewart15
Joined: 7 May 2014
Posts: 20
Location: Reno
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Mr Coffee Espresso
Grinder: Hario Skerton
Posted Mon May 19, 2014, 12:46pm
Subject: Best grinder for a budget of around $400
 

Hi,
I'm looking at getting an espresso grinder for around $400,
Probably will try to buy used or refurbed to make my money go the longest way.
Any suggestions?
Thanks!
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walkinghispath
Senior Member


Joined: 18 May 2014
Posts: 17
Location: Worldwide
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: Kitchenaid Pro Line (PID'd),...
Grinder: Kitchenaid Pro Line (Mazzer...
Drip: Krups grind and brew for the...
Roaster: Dog bowl and a heat gun
Posted Mon May 19, 2014, 5:50pm
Subject: Re: Best grinder for a budget of around $400
 

You can't go wrong with any of the commercial grinders from Macap, Mazzer, Cunill, etc.  Just try to find one without a doser so you're not dealing with all kinds of retained grounds for one or two shots a day.  If you happen to have a 3D printer then even that is a moot point as you can just make your own grinds spout.  I've used the Cunill Tranquilo and the Macap M4 and they were both superb.  Next I'll be experimenting with a Kitchenaid Pro Line by modding the heck out of it.  Anyway, hope that helps a bit.
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jwoodyu
Senior Member
jwoodyu
Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 847
Location: Michigan
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Allex Duetto II
Grinder: Mazzer Major
Posted Mon May 19, 2014, 6:58pm
Subject: Re: Best grinder for a budget of around $400
 

I paid less than that for my Mazzer Major on Ebay shipped with new bur set. Been loving it for a couple years with a little patience you can do the same. Doser no dower is purely preference.

 
Yes i have a reason for leaving SCG off my list, yes it is my opinion, yes it is subjective as opinions are by definition, no don't start a flame war because you disagree.
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,180
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Mon May 19, 2014, 7:12pm
Subject: Re: Best grinder for a budget of around $400
 

The used market is as the used market does. There's no telling what you can find if you're patient and lucky.  

In your price range, what you're hoping for is something like Mazzer Super Jolly in good condition, stepless adjustment, and doser/electronics which aren't too bizarre or specialized.  There are a lot of grinders in this light-commercial, 64-65mm flat burr class besides the SJ which are pretty much equal in terms of their in the cup performance.  The differences come in "use" characteristics like messiness, noisiness, retention and so on.  

The ones which I see coming up most online are Mazzers and Rossis, but there are a lot of others.  More often than not, used commercial grinders come out of a (wait for it) commercial environment.    Expect the grinder to need complete disassembly, thorough cleaning, new burrs, and recalibration.

If you don't have the room for a grinder of that size, I wouldn't bother with anything used in the K3/Mini class -- with the possible exception of a Mini E (whether the A or B model).  

The best under $400 grinder which can be found and purchased as easily as any online retail purchase is the Baratza Vario factory refurb.  They're small footprint grinders, very user friendly, and grind at a "good" in the cup level.  

They run $360, and you shouldn't have to wait for more than a week or two before one comes up on the Baratza website.  It's a rare week when Baratza doesn't have several Varios and Vario Ws on the block.

IIRC, Baratza lists their refurbs on a particular day of the week at a particular hour (you'll have to find out when).  There's a lot of competition, and you risk losing the opportunity if you're not online at the right time.

Good luck,
Rich
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MarkPrince
Moderator


Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,590
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Compak K10 WBC
Vac Pot: A bit too many
Drip: Clive Coffee Drip Stand
Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Mon May 19, 2014, 8:05pm
Subject: Re: Best grinder for a budget of around $400
 

I really like the Compak K3, new or used (hard to find used, they're good grinders!); it's built tough, is as good or better than a Mazzer Mini, and I like the looks too. New it's out of your price point, but I've seen used ones go for $400 or less when the come available.

If you want multipurpose, my standard rec is for a refurb Vario (not the -W version) or a Preciso. They have their quirks but really are the best multipurpose grinders under $500.

Mark

 
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jwoodyu
Senior Member
jwoodyu
Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 847
Location: Michigan
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Allex Duetto II
Grinder: Mazzer Major
Posted Mon May 19, 2014, 8:33pm
Subject: Re: Best grinder for a budget of around $400
 

I never thought about the multipurpose vs spro only aspect but can totally see that making a difference.

A $400 isn used Major is not that steep a hill to climb. In fairness the window in my doser window was cracked (easy fix) and it has a few marks on it, bahh who cares.

 
Yes i have a reason for leaving SCG off my list, yes it is my opinion, yes it is subjective as opinions are by definition, no don't start a flame war because you disagree.
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danstewart15
Senior Member
danstewart15
Joined: 7 May 2014
Posts: 20
Location: Reno
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Mr Coffee Espresso
Grinder: Hario Skerton
Posted Tue May 20, 2014, 7:58am
Subject: Re: Best grinder for a budget of around $400
 

Thanks for all the answers guys! it definitely helps,
I was thinking a doser would be ok, if I got a grinder with a doser,
I could easily machine a chute out of aluminum to make it doserless..
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,024
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Tue May 20, 2014, 8:25am
Subject: Re: Best grinder for a budget of around $400
 

danstewart15 Said:

Thanks for all the answers guys! it definitely helps,
I was thinking a doser would be ok, if I got a grinder with a doser,
I could easily machine a chute out of aluminum to make it doserless.

Posted May 20, 2014 link

If you want a doserless, fine, but there's really no reason to go to all the trouble of modding a doser into a doserless. Dosers are useful. There's a common misconception that they are used to hold grounds, which go stale. When used properly, grounds do not sit in the doser. They are removed either right after or while they enter the dosing chamber. Retention in the doser varies from brand to brand and, while there are mods to decrease retention - such as the sweeper vane mod for the Mazzer dosers, some doser just don't need anything (like the MACAP dosers). Some people like dosers because they tend to have less clumping issues, and others like dosers because there tends to be less of a mess on the counter (so I've heard). I use dosers...and always have...so yeah, my comments are biased...take them with a grain of salt. You gotta get what makes you happy.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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danstewart15
Senior Member
danstewart15
Joined: 7 May 2014
Posts: 20
Location: Reno
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Mr Coffee Espresso
Grinder: Hario Skerton
Posted Tue May 20, 2014, 2:18pm
Subject: Re: Best grinder for a budget of around $400
 

I just put a bid in on this MACAP grinder
Click Here (www.ebay.com)
Can't seem to find information on the specific "MXAP" model though..
Any thoughts?
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,722
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Tue May 20, 2014, 2:22pm
Subject: Re: Best grinder for a budget of around $400
 

I am not intimate with that line of grinders but very often the seller has no clue on what they are selling and list things that they think may help. I can't tell you how many Super Jollys are called Mazzer Lougie (OK my spelling probably butchered that but you get the point!)

Good luck

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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