Rancilio Rocky Review
A major player in the home brewing game that often gets overlooked is the grind of your coffee.
While you likely already know how important a burr grinder is (no chopped beans here, please!), the importance of getting the right burr grinder cannot be emphasized enough.
If you’re not grinding your coffee evenly - a major downside to those nasty, low-quality grinders - you’re going to end up with subpar coffee no matter how much time, effort, and money you put into the rest of the process.
But never fear! We’ve found one of the best grinder options out there. Here is our Rancilio Rocky review with all of the pros and cons for your humble consideration.
The Rancilio Rocky – In a Nutshell
The Rancilio Rocky grinder is one of the top grinder options in the coffee world, possessing a track record of consistency and dependability.
This black and stainless steel grinder is a tough-as-nails addition to your coffee brewing equipment. It has two flat, tempered steel burrs and 55 grind settings that can produce some of the finest and coarsest coffee grounds out there.
It's the quintessential machine for those who are committed to finding the ultimate grind (that will keep them going through their daily grind).
Things to Consider Before Choosing a Grinder
Here are a few things you should keep in mind when shopping for a grinder, so you can make sure you’re not shooting yourself in the foot before you even start!
Burrs are the heart and soul of a good grinder. Good burrs are made of steel or ceramic. Steel wears out faster but is cheaper and easier to replace; ceramic lasts longer but is more expensive up front.
Flat vs. conical burrs can make a minor difference, with conical generally being better… and more expensive. But either way, it’s not worth getting hung up over. Both can work wonders on your beans.
What Kind of Brew Do You Do?
From a coarse grind for French press, medium-coarse for a Chemex, all the way to a fine powder for your espresso or Greek coffee , knowing the perfect grind for your preferred coffee brewing method can help dial in what you need in your next grinder.
A good sign of a high-end grinder is lots of settings. When you have dozens of different grind levels, you should be able to find exactly what you need for your brew method of choice.
It’s tempting to go for the biggest size out there, but have a care. You don’t want your beans sitting in the hopper and getting stale. Try to determine the maximum amount of beans you grind at once, and make sure your new grinder can accommodate that amount.
Rancilio Rocky Review
The Rancilio Rocky grinder offers a huge selection of grind settings and produces a truly even grind.
This machine streamlines your coffee making experience and increases the quality of your cuppa at the same time.
The motor is incredibly quiet, which means you won’t wake up the whole house when you turn it on. But what really sets this grinder apart is quality. It is a solid machine that is built to last.
Every model is tested — as in, they actually grind coffee beans in it — before hitting the “shelves” on your local Amazon page. You might even find a few “testing” grounds leftover when it comes out of the packaging!
Just make sure to hang on to that Rancilio Rocky manual, as this thing is built so tough, you may be replacing individual parts way down the road before you’ll be replacing the whole thing.
A Beast of a Grinder That Comes With or Without a Doser
In this review we’re looking specifically at Rancilio’s SD (sans doser) and SS (with doser) models, which are two of their smaller models of commercial-grade machines.
The machine weighs in at around fifteen pounds without the doser and nearly twenty pounds with. It measures at 9.8” wide x 4.7” deep x 13.8” high, so bust out your measuring tape and make sure you have room on your counter before making the investment!
The Rancilio Rocky doserless coffee grinder has that small and sleek Rancilio Rocky doserless spout, as well as a removable rack on the front to hold a portafilter. If you’re confident that you can measure exactly how many grounds you need by eye, or you simply want more control over the process, this model is the way to go.
If having a steady, dependable amount of coffee grounds every time is your preference, though, you’re going to want the model that comes with the Rancilio Rocky doser. It’s designed to deliver exactly the same amount of grounds every time.
It’ll Outlive Your Other Coffee Equipment
As we said, Rancilio Rocky grinder parts are made to last.
The Rancilio Rocky burrs are two identical, commercial-grade burrs. Each is 50 mm thick, flat, and made of tempered steel. The hopper is large enough to hold half a pound of beans and is tinted blue to protect any beans in there from detrimental UV rays.
The machine is designed to be as stable as possible while in use and even has an overheating override feature. That’s right, it’ll shut itself down if the motor overheats!
It’s beautifully simple to take apart, too, making it easy to clean. You can see the device being taken apart and put back together in this video:
Keep in mind that, while built to last, this machine will still require some TLC every once in a while. However, the Rancilio Rocky really requires a minimal amount of maintenance to keep it in good working condition.
You’ll want to clean and calibrate your grinder every six months to a year and a half, depending on how often you use it.
Here’s a great video that helps you set up a cleaning schedule and takes you step-by-step through how to clean and calibrate your Rancilio Rocky grinder.
A Myriad of Settings Equips You with Options
The Rancilio Rocky grinder settings go from 0 (delivering an ultra-fine grind that would clog most machines) up to 55 (an ultra-coarse grind that you could use alongside gravel to cover your driveway). You should have no problem finding the exact grind size you need to brew your perfect cup.
One criticism we’ve seen, that isn’t unusual for many burr grinders, is that once the coffee is in the machine it’s difficult to adjust the settings unless the machine is running. This is because the beans in between the burrs get in the way.
Of course, unless you’re leaving beans in the hopper long-term (which we don’t recommend) this shouldn’t be much of an inconvenience.
Not Sold? 2 Great Alternatives
Breville Smart Grinder Pro - If flash and features are more attractive to you than quality parts, you may want to check out the Breville Smart Grinder Pro. It’s slightly less expensive than the Rancilio, has conical burrs and tons of grind settings, and boasts a digital display LCD control panel that allows you to save your favorite grind settings.
Read our review of the smart grinder pro here.
The Baratza Encore Grinder - If you’re just getting into the more elite grinder game and you want something affordable but still a step up from a typical, cheaper grinder, consider the Baratza Encore grinder. Still boasting an impressive 40 grind settings, the Baratza Encore machine is consistent and typically less than half the price of the Rancilio.
Read our review of the Encore here.
The Verdict – What Do We Think of the Rancilio Rocky Grinder?
There’s no question that this is a kingly option for a home grinder.
Built to last, equipped with a ton of grind settings, and easy to take apart and clean, the Rancilio Rocky Grinder is an elite choice for the home brewing fanatic.
If you’re having trouble getting a consistent grind, this machine will eliminate the problem and bring stability to one of the most important parts of your brewing routine.