If you prioritize convenience and speed, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro is a great pick with promising features, but also has a few drawbacks.
In this Breville Smart Grinder Pro review, I’ll give you a detailed look at this device, share some alternatives, and help you answer the question: Is this grinder worth it in 2024?
Breville Smart Grinder Pro Review Key Takeaways
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro is a sleek grinder with a backlit LCD screen that blends right in with Breville’s lineup of espresso machines.
It’s user-friendly, with 60 grind settings that are easy to navigate for beginners, and smart dosing that makes each grinding session faster and more convenient. However, there’s some clumping due to static with espresso grinds (which is easy to fix), and I noticed a few fine particles with coarse settings.
Overall, the Smart Grinder Pro boasts of quality build and performance with additional features for a smooth and smart grinding session that’s worth investing in even with its above-average price point.
Features of the Breville Smart Grinder Pro
Let’s get to know the Breville Smart Grinder Pro better by looking at its main features:
Sleek Design & Durable Build
With its sleek stainless steel construction and modern LCD screen, I think the Breville Smart Grinder Pro is a stylish addition to any kitchen. Its look also complements the style of most espresso machines, especially those also made by Breville, creating a cohesive coffee corner on your countertop.
If you want more personality on your grinder, there are also ten other color choices, just be sure to check their availability.
The backlit LCD display is easy on the eyes, along with the dial and buttons that come with their own lighting. I appreciate this detail when I need to brew my coffee very early in the morning under a few dim lights in my kitchen.
The Smart Grinder Pro also has a pretty solid build with its stainless steel and durable plastic parts. Its weight is heavy enough for the machine to stand firm and keep it sturdy during grinding.
To keep your brewing setup tidy, there’s a slot underneath the machine where you can wrap the excess cord. I love this feature in appliances, can’t understand why don’t all of them have it.
Easy to Use
The Smart Grinder Pro has a user-friendly interface. Navigating through its multiple settings is straightforward with its intuitive display and dedicated control buttons.
You can digitally set the grind time, grind size, and the number of espresso shots or cups with the dial and buttons just below the LCD panel. With so few buttons, I figured out how it works instantly even if I haven’t read the manual yet.
For experienced baristas, you can also start and stop the grinding manually to get your exact dose. The pause button also comes in handy when you need to even out the grounds in your portafilter before proceeding with the cycle.
Versatile Grind Settings & Smart Dosing
Equipped with 40mm stainless steel conical burrs, this grinder has 60 grind settings, spanning a spectrum that goes from espresso fineness to the coarse French press. There’s some clumping with espresso grinds due to static, but this is easy to fix after grinding. I use a WDT tool to remove the clumps, which I do on higher-end grinders as well.
I also noticed that on coarse settings, there were more fine coffee particles than I would have liked to see. Not game-breaker more, just a bit more.
This machine’s versatility goes hand in hand with the digital timer with 0.2-second increment control, delivering accuracy not only in grind size but also in the dosing. Compared to the built-in grinders of Breville machines that have 0.5s increments, this 0.2s adjustability here is nice.
The noise of a grinder can be a dealbreaker, especially if there are people in the house who need proper sleep through the morning. It’s good news that the Breville Smart Grinder Pro is a quiet machine, with noise levels reaching just 70 to 80dB, which is impressive when compared to other automatic grinders.
If you encounter a “clacking” sound inside the machine, it’s most likely an impeller issue prevalent in older models. I’ll discuss more about this later in this article.
Talking capacity, the 18-ounce (510 grams) bean hopper on the Smart Grinder Pro is quite generous. It can hold enough beans for several cups of coffee without needing constant refilling. Plus, with its UV-tinted plastic and airtight lid, you can be confident that your beans will stay fresh.
But remember, air still enters the coffee beans in the hopper through the burrs, so you don’t want to store the beans there if you’re not using the grinder actively.
All things considered, the Smart Grinder Pro stands at a reasonable price point. It’s not the most affordable grinder out there but it covers a lot of ground in terms of different brewing methods while offering some intelligent features that make grinding convenient. The quality of its construction also makes this machine worth your money.
Here’s the specification of the Smart Grinder Pro to determine if it will fit in your small kitchen spaces:
- Capacity: 18oz Coffee Bean
- Dimensions and Capacity: 6.3″ x 8.4″ x 15.3″
- Construction Materials: Housing and conical burrs are made of stainless steel, body panels are made of durable plastic.
- Grinding Mechanism: Stainless steel conical burrs are installed in the machine to minimize grinding heat that could rip off the essential oils of the coffee beans.
- Warranty: 1 Year Limited Product Warranty
- Power and Voltage: 165 Watts (110-120 Volts)
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro includes the following accessories:
- Portafilter Cradles – Small 50-54mm, Large 58mm.
- Grinds Container with Lid and Sealing Cap
- Conical Burr Cleaning Brush
Impeller issues with older models
Impeller issues of the Breville Smart Grinder Pro used to question the machine’s durability and warranty. Users complained that the cog underneath the conical burrs wears out after 1-2 years of use. Such issues of a small component of the grinder lead to more significant problems like clogging, which prevents the motor from operating.
You can get aftermarket replacements for the cog, but Breville doesn’t sell it directly. The problem is that the original part is metal, but I’ve only seen 3D printed replacements.
Breville installs sturdier impellers in the newer models, so this problem is fixed.
What Others Say
- Reddit user dr_bepis finds the Breville Smart Grinder Pro worth the bucks since it can make fine espresso shots. The filter meets the standard and is intuitive to use. However, it added that the Smart Grinder Pro price would also enable him/her to buy a cheaper alternative in the guise of JX Pro or a Eureka Mignon grinder to get better grinds.
- Chaigo1, also a Reddit user, expressed its concerns about Breville SGP for its inconsistency in grinding very fine espresso on some harder coffee beans. Yet, it works fine with robust beans.
- Using the grinder, Anders of Reddit recommends using fresh coffee beans on Breville Smart Grinder Pro to ensure that it will not clog in your machine. That’s because old, stale coffee is very porous, pressuring in the filter basket for portafilter.
Breville – Is It a Trusted Brand?
Breville (branded as Sage in Europe) is a household name connected to the most trusted home appliance around the world.
Breville is the fruit of constant product innovation and manufacturing of a small home appliance company in Australia founded in Sydney (where the headquarters is currently located) in 1932. Aside from state-of-the-art coffee machines, Breville is also a home appliance manufacturer of innovative grinders, toasters, blenders, microwaves, toaster ovens, and kettles.
Alternatives to the Breville Smart Grinder Pro
Prefer quality over high-tech features? The Baratza Virtuoso outsmarts the Breville SGP with its versatility, grind size range and grind consistency. It doesn’t have mind-boggling grind setting customization and is more straightforward to use. It’s not as cheap as the Breville, but worth the look if you’re going to be using the grinder daily.
The Baratza Virtuoso grinder combines elegance and functionality, featuring a sculptured metal design that enhances both kitchen counters and coffee shop workspaces.
It offers intuitive control and a consistent quality grind, positioning it as both efficient and user-friendly. The Virtuoso is designed for durability and maintainability, promoting environmental sustainability through its long-lasting, repairable build.
This is an amateur-friendly coffee grinder that offers a higher-quality grind consistency. Though it’s half the cost of the Breville Smart Grinder Pro, the quality output and ease of use are worth the bucks. The Encore ESP variant also does espresso.
The Baratza Encore features 40 grind settings and commercial-grade conical burrs for a wide range of brewing methods. It's designed to be user-friendly with a simple ON/OFF switch and a front-mounted pulse button and comes in a compact size suitable for home use.
The grinder is built with quality parts, including 40mm hardened alloy steel burrs and a robust DC motor, backed by Baratza's reliable support and a one-year warranty.
Rancilio Rocky SD grinder
Care about reliability over features? If you want a low-key grinder when it comes to maintenance but can prepare high-quality grinds, the Rancilio Rocky SD is one of the multipurpose home grinders to choose from. It is built to last from the heavy-duty motor to its sturdy metal body.
The Rancilio Rocky Espresso Coffee Grinder features 50mm commercial-grade grinding burrs and a powerful 166-watt motor, enabling quiet and efficient operation.
It is designed for direct grinding into a portafilter and includes easy-to-use controls for variable grind settings.
Breville Smart Grinder Pro vs Built-in Grinders
You might be asking, why not just buy a Breville coffee machine with a built-in grinder? Here are some considerations when you’re torn about these two choices:
- Intended Use: Built-in grinder machines like the Breville Barista Express are suitable for simple, convenient home use. Separate grinders are better for coffee enthusiasts interested in experimenting and fine-tuning their espresso.
- Quality and Experimentation: Separate grinders offer more control and precision, important for those who view coffee brewing as a hobby.
- Upgrade Flexibility: Separate grinders allow for individual equipment upgrades without needing to replace the entire machine.
- Budget: While separate grinders can be more expensive, used or ‘open box’ options offer a budget-friendly path to higher quality.
- Space and Convenience: Machines with built-in grinders save space and are more convenient, a significant factor for limited kitchen spaces.
- Personal Experience: Many users start with built-in grinders and transition to separate grinders as their interest in coffee brewing grows.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are answers to some common questions about the Breville Smart Grinder Pro:
Yes. The Breville Smart Grinder Pro has 40mm stainless steel conical burrs that ensure a good grind consistency for espresso and cold brew.
Burr grinders are an excellent tool for preparing coffee grounds if you prefer a consistent grind size and flavor-packed coffee. Yet, if you lean towards ground consistency and quality, burrs are recommended.
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro has a bit of a learning curve, but it offers great versatility for people who want to experiment with taking full control of its 60 grind settings and grind time increments.
If you want to get one of the best electric burr grinders on the market, this is your grinder 100%. The IQ technology is a time saver and you’ll be incredibly accurate with your measurements. However, if you’re going for regular coffee and not espressos, then consider the Baratza Encore.
The Smart Grinder Pro isn't pro enough to use in a café, but it does a good job in the home kitchen. It has stainless steel conical burrs with 60 grind settings ranging from espresso fine to French press coarse. An electronic timer can be set in 0.2 sec increments for consistent dosing.
The hopper has a large 18 oz capacity, it's easy to transfer beans, has a single dosing accessory, and can grind directly into multiple containers, including portafilters.
- 60 settings from espresso to coarse
- Lots of accessories
- 18 oz hopper