Pretty good quality grind for a Rancilio Silvia's needs but requires constant maintenance due to grinds jamming the burr.
Positive Product Points
The grind is pretty even, a little clumpy but not bad. The steps between different levels of fineness are gradual enough for my taste and the digital interface is easy to use.
Negative Product Points
Out of the box the grinder did not grind fine enough for my Rancilio Silvia. After I was sent a shim kit from Breville it now grinds fine enough but requires constant maintenance to to the burr jamming on beans during every grind.
After trying to find the best grinder available in the sub $250 price range in 2011 I decided on the Breville Smart Grinder. Breville is known for quality consumer products and being in the lower price range of grinders capable of grinding espresso for the Rancilio Silvia, I wanted to be sure I had customer service available if I was disappointed.
Upon receiving the grinder, I expected it not to grind fine enough for me out of the box as I had read reviews that were consistent in stating that. I contacted Breville and they shipped me a "shim kit" to adapt the grinder allowing it to be usable with the Silvia. I installed the kit and it worked well for a couple of months. I like to vary roasts, when one bag (8-12 oz depending on the roaster) is finished I fill the hopper with a different roast for the next bag. After a couple months I ran into a roast that the grinder would get jammed on once every couple of grinds (Ritual Coffee, San Francisco). Since then the grinder has gotten more and more prone to jamming. Now it jams every time I grind, once or twice per double espresso. I am not sure the roaster has anything to do with the jamming (I would lean toward blaming the machine or myself first), just thought I would mention it for reference as to when I first noticed the problem
To fix this problem I remove the hopper, clear out a bunch of the beans that still remain in the machine, locate the jammed bean and remove it. I can then replace the hopper and cross my fingers hoping to not get another jam before the grind is done.
Overall this grinder has been frustrating to use. It did the trick for a cost lower than what I thought I was going to have to pay, but it has not been a satisfactory experience and now has me in the market to go back up to a higher price range. A lot of hassle that I would have avoided if I had known.
I bought the grinder from Bed Bath and Beyond. They didn't have one in stock and didn't plan on re-ordering more so they located one in another store. They were a couple weeks later than expected to receive the item in-store but otherwise were good in finding one for me. We'll see how they are with the return.