Breville The Smart Grinder

Last updated date: July 11, 2019

DWYM Score
8.8

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We looked at the top 1 Burr Grinders and dug through the reviews from 9 of the most popular review sites including BestReviews, The Coffee Chronicler, CNET, Tech Gear Lab, The Coffee Concierge, Dripped Coffee, Your Best Digs, Clarion Cafe and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Burr Grinder you should buy.

Overall Take

The LCD display allows you to easily choose from one of 60 different grind sizes on the Breville Smart Grinder. Each grind is consistent and speedy, and the aftermath is easy to clean, thanks to the removable chamber. The Breville's cradle also accepts espresso portafilters, a convenient plus for those who use them. We like its sleek design and its quiet operation. In our analysis of 81 expert reviews, the Breville Breville The Smart Grinder placed 1st when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note July 11, 2019:
Checkout The Best Burr Grinder for a detailed review of all the top burr grinders.

Expert Summarized Score
8.5
9 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.4
653 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Boasts consistent closing and easy-to-remove hopper for no-mess use
- BestReviews
This grinder is fast and consistent at most settings from ultra-fine to medium.
- The Coffee Chronicler
It has an attractive stainless steel design, LCD screen, plus cradles that accept espresso portafilters.
- CNET
April 21, 2017 | Full review
The Breville's mess-free operation posts another top score of 9. There are virtually no escaping coffee grounds during grinding or while transferring the coffee to the brewer. Any mess under the burrs where the grind chamber rests is easy to wipe up, yet the Brevillemakes things even easier by making this area removable—just pull it out and dust it off or rinse it.
- Tech Gear Lab
Two magnetic portafilter holders
- The Coffee Concierge
It has 60 grind settings – one of the highest to date and every setting has a difference that deserves to be tested.
- Dripped Coffee
February 1, 2019 | Full review
The digital LCD screen was easy to read, and lights up in the dark. Its digital timer program, Dose IQ, made it easy to create repeatable results or grind the proper amount for multiple cups.
- Your Best Digs
The bean hopper allows you to change your coffee easily. This hopper holds over 1 pound of coffee and features a locking mechanism that closes off the bean flow.
- Clarion Cafe
June 20, 2018 | Full review
Digital LCD display with numeric grind time and size setting indicators makes precision grinding much easier
- The Coffee Maven
February 5, 2019 | Full review
What experts didn't like
The coarse setting Produces grinds that are somewhat finer than expected
- BestReviews
The grinder also sometimes locks up and stops grinding when the setting is too coarse.
- The Coffee Chronicler
It's programmable but only for the number of cups or espresso shots you want, not for full pots of drip.
- CNET
April 21, 2017 | Full review
Its biggest drawback is the cluttered controls with options and settings that aren't necessary for making good coffee.
- Tech Gear Lab
Grounds container lid is not airtight
- The Coffee Concierge
This grinder doesn’t grind coarse enough for a French Press
- Dripped Coffee
February 1, 2019 | Full review
The lid on grinds container doesn’t fit perfectly in the open position. I am not sure if this an issue with my specific unit or not, but the lid on the grind catcher does not fit in the little indented spot when the catcher is attached to the machine.
- Clarion Cafe
June 20, 2018 | Full review
Coarsest grind size is still too fine for French press
- The Coffee Maven
February 5, 2019 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

Breville's Smart Grinder Pro features Precision Digital Time (adjustable in 0.2 sec increments) to give you complete control over dose and grind time. The perfect coffee needs a precise amount of freshly ground coffee beans. But adjustments in grind size require different grind times to achieve a consistent dose. Choose among 60 different grind settings to achieve maximum flavor potential to suit your favorite brew. Grind settings allows you to go from the finest Espresso to the coarsest French Press. Further extend the grinding range by tuning the adjustable Upper Burr to either coarser or finer without the use of tools. The Breville Smart Grinder Pro automatically doses the same every time you grind making it easy to achieve a consistent dose.

Overall Product Rankings

1. Breville The Smart Grinder
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 9
2. Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 7
3. OXO BREW Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 4
4. Baratza Virtuoso Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 10
5. JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder
Overall Score: 8.4
Expert Reviews: 8
6. Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder
Overall Score: 8.4
Expert Reviews: 7
7. Bodum Bistro Burr Grinder
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 6
8. Capresso Infinity Conical Burr Grinder
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 9
9. Cuisinart Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill
Overall Score: 7.6
Expert Reviews: 9
10. Secura Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
Overall Score: 7.3
Expert Reviews: 2

An Overview On Burr Grinders

Why buy a coffee grinder? Once you’ve had your first cup of coffee made with fresh ground beans, that question gets answered within a few sips. Within minutes of grinding, the aromas and oils locked inside a coffee bean start to lose their potency through contact with oxygen and air moisture. Simply put: The fresher the bean, the fresher the taste.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

There are two general types of coffee grinders: those that use blades and those that grind the beans between burrs. Take a look behind the counter at any coffee shop, and you’ll most likely see a burr grinder, with good reason. These type of grinders work by pushing the coffee beans down between a pair of serrated plates, or “burrs.” The burrs then rotate, grinding the beans down to a particular size depending on the selected setting. The grounds are pushed out through the sides or bottom into a container, ready to be brewed.

By comparison, a blade grinder doesn’t technically grind at all. It slices the beans with tiny blades. While those blades might rotate faster or longer when the settings are adjusted, they won’t produce grounds of a uniform size. And even though that’s still better than pre-ground beans, the result isn’t ideal for true java aficionados. Smaller stray particles might slip through the filter in a French press, for example, or clog up an espresso machine.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

All this means that yes, you might expect to pay a little more for a burr grinder. That cost can vary widely based on the variety of grind settings, capacity of the container and other bells and whistles.

There’s also material to consider. Increasingly, you’ll find that the burrs in burr grinders are made of stainless steel. The reasons are ones you might expect: Stainless steel is sharp and won’t corrode or rust. It will blunt over time, however, and also conducts heat — which can subtly affect the taste of the oils in your coffee.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

This is why higher-end models may use ceramic burrs. While they aren’t as sharp, they will keep that edge longer and stay cool, no matter how fast the grinder runs.

DYWM Fun Fact

Many of us couldn’t function without our morning joe, but did you know that coffee can be used as fuel for more than just your job? In 2010, a team of British engineers converted a Volkswagen Scirocco into the Coffee Car Mark 1, whose converted combustion engine burned used coffee grounds. While it needed an entire 22-pound sack of beans to travel 55 miles, it nonetheless made an initial run from London to Manchester. Three years later, the updated Mark 2 coffee car broke 65 mph, a land speed record for any java-powered jalopy.

The Burr Grinder Buying Guide

  • When choosing a grinder, you’ll find models that advertise a number of different settings, allowing you to choose between near-microscopic variations in ground size. It’s a particular advantage of burr grinders, which can be adjusted in a more exacting way than their bladed counterparts. So what grind size do you need? It seems like every year there’s a new fad in coffee making, and your method of choice will determine the grind size. In general, you’ll want coarse grinds for French press, medium-size ones for traditional filter brewers or pour-over and fine grinds for espresso. If you only make coffee one way, congratulations! You might not need a huge variety of settings. Still, finding your perfect grind can be a zen part of the process. It all depends on your palate — and the amount of time you have to experiment.
Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media
  • Speaking of time, a grinder with a high storage capacity can save you a lot of it. It can be very convenient to stroll into the kitchen for your morning brew and find a reservoir of beans already in the hopper, waiting to be ground. Many grinders even have an automatic timer that will start the process before you even wake up. Just bear in mind that keeping beans out in the open too long can affect the taste.
  • If you’re buying a grinder at all, you care about the taste. Keep that taste consistent with frequent cleanings. How easy that is can vary greatly between grinders. Some are easy to take apart, and some require tools. Once you’ve got the burrs open and ready to be cleaned, you’ll want to use a brush or some other dry method.
Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media
  • Wipe-downs with a damp cloth are fine for the exterior, but you’ll typically want to keep the burrs as dry as possible, even if they’re stainless steel. If all that sounds like too much hassle, there are cleaning tablets that you can simply run through the grinder periodically, and they’ll take care of the majority of stray oil and grinds.