If you're on a budget, can only have one grinder in your house and make many different types of coffee, you can't go wrong with a Rancilio Rocky Doserless! Highly recommended!
Positive Product Points
Sheer versatility for everything from espresso to french press
Easy to use and clean
Can be a clean grinder to use as long as you pay attention to what you are doing
User replaceable burrs making this the last grinder you may ever have to buy (new burrs make it a new grinder all over again)!
Heavy commercial internal components (identical to the Rancilio MD-50 commercial grinder or so I have read)
Great all around performer, lives up to the hype, truly a solid performer
Motor so strong that when turned on it dims the vent hood light over my counter! That's power baby!
Negative Product Points
Stepped adjustment makes it less than ideal (when compared to a stepless grinder) for the super fussy espresso people (please note for the typical espresso person the Rocky can deliver very nicely as the steps are not so far apart that adjusting is impossible (notes on a simple modification to make the grinder stepless below)
Grinds retention, but this can be worked around by grinding a bit and discarding, this doesn't really bother me but it is something I noticed
Before we get to the detailed review take a look at a simple and effective way to make the Rocky Doserless STEPLESS for the ultimate adjustability for espresso making:
The Rocky is the best grinder I have ever used for grinding coffee. Bare in mind I have not used a Mazzer ($479). However the rocky really has it where it counts. First it's heavy. This is a serious grinder, as I understand it has the same internals, as it's bigger brother the Rancilio MD-50 commercial grinder. This package makes it a super home grinder.
The burr housing itself is nested in a seriously heavy brass assembly. The grinding environment is quite strong thus making grinding great (see my mod above on how to make the grind even better). The burrs are also a nice size for grinding coffee without heating it thus preserving aromatics.
The overall build of the Rocky is solid and well looking. It really doesn't look bad on the counter, and it's a proven performer and frankly I believe it lives up to the hype. This is simply the best grinder in the $300 price class.
I found this grinder easy to use and easy to clean once I removed the finger gaurd (the screw holes will collect beans) and removed the hopper stop screw (so I could remove the hopper and top burr together rather than taking the hopper off the top burr then removing the top burr). There really isn't anything else that juts out at me as out of place or overly problematic (although an easier to clean chute would be nice). I don't see any really serious problems here. I really like the doserless design even for espresso.
Cost vs. Value (10):
Here for less than $300 you get a machine that is comparable to machine costing a few hundred more. That's saying a lot. I don't want to over hype this machine, but at this price point for its ability and components it a serious value on a tremendous grinder! Cost vs. features found is what makes the Rocky such a great package. At $300 a tremendous value for the serious coffee lover or causal coffee drinker.
The Rocky looks nice on the counter. It could look better. It's not ugly, but it would stick out next to a Mazzer (but then again they are $475 too) or the upper end shiny espresso machines. I have no problem displaying mine though.
Overall Rating (9):
At this price point the Rocky is a great value. Here is where I really knit pick I know, and because of this I can't give it a full 10, but folks this grinder is really close for it's price. I simply love the Rocky and highly recommend it for any brewing method especially anything non-espresso or even espresso (when coffeegeeks claim a grinder is capable of espresso it is really saying something about said grinder, don't take it lightly). This is the ultimate grinder for the press/drip vacuum brewers out there and a truly capable and good (but not perfect) espresso mill (see my mods above to make it much better for espresso).
Would I buy again (Yes):
It's true; I would buy this grinder again in a heartbeat. I enjoy mostly espresso but make drip for company so this grinder suits my finicky espresso needs and also easily handles my social parties. If you're on a budget, can only have one grinder in your house and make many different types of coffee, you can't go wrong with a Rancilio Rocky Doserless! Highly recommended!
Bought from wholelattelove.com but after a week the grinder began to malfunction. Called them and they immediately paid for shipping back to them where they made full repairs (replaced a faulty motor). Since then the grinder has worked in top-notch condition.