Rancilio Rocky Grinder Review: What the expert reviews are saying?

rancilio rocky grinder review

There are three components to making the perfect cup of coffee. The first is putting together your preferred brewing process (ie. an espresso machine). Next, you will want to get the best espresso beans you can get your hands on. Lastly, you need the right grinder.

Even if you have the best espresso machine and the best beans, your coffee will be atrocious if you have a bad grinder. The grinder ensures a repeatable and consistent grind which ensures of an extraction that enhances the end cup

That's where the Rancilio Rocky Espresso Coffee Grinder comes in. Here's our review of this amazing product. It revolves around both the Rancilio Rocky and its upgrade, the Rocky SD.

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The Rancilio Group

Rancilio is a leader in budget coffee grinder equipment. They sell their coffee machines in over 100 countries around the globe. The company's respected for its build, design, and detail when it comes to innovation and technology in coffee culture.

In operation for over a century, Rancilio has a hand in coffee shop chains, coworking environments, hotel chains, QSRs, petrol stations, restaurants, offices, cafès and bakeries, and cafeterias.

The company's brands include the Rancilio Silvia M and the Rancilio Silvia E; there's also the well-regarded MD. There are home and coffee shop grinder lines, fully automated Ergo machines, and more.

The Rancilio Rocky coffee grinder is a sound solution for home-brewed espresso.

The Rancilio Rocky Review

rancilio rocky Coffee Grinder

Here's the 411 on what you can expect from Rancilio's top espresso machine.

Construction 4.5 (out of 5 stars)

The Rancilio Rocky (model number HSD ROC or HSD ROC SD) has a sturdy build. The grinder materials include 50 mm tempered flat steel burrs powered by a 140-watt motor rotating at 1725 rpm. That's a lot of juice for a blade grinder.

Now that kind of performance might make you think there's going to be a racket when you turn this baby on. But it surprised us! We got an efficient motor that doesn't come with the noise found in other home coffee grinders.

Grind Quality - 4.5 (out of 5 stars)

The spoiled coffee-loving drinker has expectations of non-commercial brewers. This is thanks to the advanced nature of good coffee grinders. So grinding burrs are not only in high demand; consumers look for barista-quality drinks.

The Rocky and the Rocky SD are members of the manufacturer's line of grinders. What they all have in common is consistency. An assurance you'll get a great taste from your shots.

The Rocky has over 50 grind settings for putting together anything from finely ground coffee to a succulent French press. Go with a coarse grind size setting and get nice coffee chunks.

You can produce a fine powder. Yes, the kind that clogs the average doser model. Not the Rocky. (Don't expect Turkish coffee. Even the Rocky won't do that).

This Rancilio coffee maker grinds well for a non-pressurized portafilter holder. Ten of the settings are solely for espresso grinds.

The only drawback I've encountered here is that Rocky doesn't have the speed you might want. Not that it's unreliable. If you get up in the morning, there may be no problem waiting 20 seconds for a weight of 15 grams at the machine's zero grind setting. But a business might find that burrs operation a detriment.

Portability - 4.5 (out of 5 stars)

The Rancilio Rocky Doserless and Doser both may have a great burrs grinder, but the company didn't create a compact machine. Though considered a standard size, it's nowhere near as compact as comparable or entry-level products.

The Rocky's pretty much a heavyweight at 15.4 pounds. So you will need a good space for it, and you won't likely move it around the kitchen.

Design - 4.5 (out of 5 stars)

The machine is industrial chic; you have a stainless steel casing and blue hopper with a black front panel. The bean hopper is of sturdy plastic and holds 10.5 oz. The hopper's blue tint helps protect beans from UV rays. 

I'd suggest if you don't partake of espresso much, don't store coffee beans in the hopper. This way, you reduce the possibility of your beans going stale faster.

Maintenance - 4.5 (out of 5 stars)

rancilio rocky grinder

The manufacturer built this factory tested home doser and doserless to be a sibling of a commercial coffee machine. It was a great way to ensure the consumer who likes a good espresso at home will get the taste they find at a cafe or restaurant.

That means there's maintenance involved to keep your Rocky in working condition. Give it a thorough cleaning every two months, or as needed. Get the grinder calibrated at least once a year. Or two, based on how much coffee you grind on a daily basis.

For the commercial user, this coffee grinder will need a daily maintenance operation. Keeping it free of coffee dust and debris will extend the device's lifespan.

The Rocky loses a few points for Rancilio's construction of the top burr and hopper. It takes a little effort to remove them from the grinder.

The top burr is finely threaded. Screw it back too quickly or harshly, and the possibility of cross-threading goes up. Repairing that will be costly.

Now, a common issue with many coffee grinders is they don't cotton to oily beans. The Rancilio Rocky is no different. If you choose to use super dark beans, prepare to put a little more care into cleaning the unit.

Grind Range - 4 (out of 5 stars)

There are 55 grind settings for managing your grind size. Start at number one for espresso, which is extra-fine. The last grind setting, 55, is for French press. You can set it to pour-over coffee. You can adapt the Rocky to pretty much any coffee taste.

The 50 to 55 range is excellent for cold brews. It's also cool that the Rocky can fine grind and brew espresso without needing a pressurized portafilter. The Rocky machine offers unfettered coffee brewing flexibility. Here's why that matters.

User Friendliness - 4 (out of 5 stars)

The Rancilio Rocky is a relatively expensive choice. In that regard, we're disappointed in the lack of features. Yes, there are dozens of quality customizations, but operations for making grinding simpler are not incorporated.

There is a pulse grinding button on the front panel; press it, and coffee grounds pour out the spout. The device has a removable portafilter.

Unfortunately, there is no doser option, so you have to weigh or monitor the grind quality. (We always recommend weighing your coffee, though. It's a sure way to achieve consistent good taste).

The biggest problem we had here is the grind size and operation. These espresso machines need to be running to switch grinding settings. That means one hand has to be on the grinding button.

Add in you have to press down on the locking button at the hopper's base. Now, you can't twist the hopper without pressing down on the locking button. At this point, you'll be able to review and adjust grind settings.

If it sounds like you need to be a snake to get this done, we'd agree.

Durability - 4.5 (out of 5 stars)

Like all Rancilio machines, the Rocky grinder has a build to last. From the stainless steel body to the heavy-duty motor, it will operate and look good for years.

The steel burrs crush all kinds of coffee beans. It would produce an excellent grind consistency for a small business setting or in an office or coworking space.

Value for Money - 4 (out of 5 stars)

The Rancilio Rocky isn't a low-priced grinder. What you have to ask yourself is if you care about coffee enough to justify a premium price. A coffee geek or pro barista might have no problem coming to a conclusion on the issue.

Everyone has to decide if they're willing to pay for the all-around sound Rancilio performance and superb taste.

Pricing - 3.5 (out of 5 stars)

The Rancilio Rocky coffee grinder is a pricey option. But there's exceptional consistency that coffee pros and small commercial businesses will appreciate. On the other hand, the occasional brewer may not want to bear the expense.

You may like the option for its concise calibration of your grind.

The price is worth it if you'd like to up your coffee game. The commercial-grade burr coffee and 166-watt direct-drive motor are the answer for large batches.

We think you'll happily justify the price if it fits your grinder needs. You'll love this doserless coffee grinder.


Beware the Burr Grinder

All grinders do the same thing, but the aficionado knows that all machines don't produce the same taste. For getting a quality cup of fresh ground coffee, it's about the burrs as much as anything.

The inexpensive electric grinder may not extract the sweet taste you get from a pre-ground bag. Maybe you've come up against below-par burrs in an expensive machine that doesn't match up to the tiny little espresso machine at the office.

That's because the wrong burrs can generate a bad taste in the mouth with an uneven grind. Over- and under-extracted grinds simply ruin your brew. In other units, the heat and friction generated by mediocre tempered steel blades impact a fresh taste.

Well-engineered burr grinders promise a better extraction, resulting in the sweeter and more complex cup of coffee we want. It's the result of an even grind consistency every time; the Rancilio Rocky is that kind of machine. It's a solid flat burr grinder and guarantees a delicious shot of espresso.

Who Is the Rancilio Rocky For

Here why we think the Rancilio is the choice, besides all the positives we've already mentioned.

  • With 55 settings, it's for the drinker who wants to manage any brewing method (except Turkish coffee) with consistency.
  • You want an espresso machine that offers a greater grind consistency and quality precision. The Rancilio is for the consumer who wants a good burr grinder with sound features. And this device promises to deliver consistent grinds and a pure coffee taste.
  • This is an all-purpose burr grinder for the home brewer. Manage your doses for the perfect shot with a range of brew styles.

The price point for this Rancilio Rocky review comes down to deciding how badly you want a solution that's reliable, straightforward, and eliminates the unknown when putting together shots. We think anyone who wants to start the day with a fresh espresso brewed quickly in a near-commercial manner is going to like having a quality Rocky burr grinder.

Who the Rancilio Rocky Isn't For

Let's look at why this grinder might not be for you.

  • You want more versatility and a more affordable option.
  • As we said, the Rocky grinder has a wide range of buttons for grind settings, but the device still seems to be lacking. We've seen models with greater versatility at lower prices. We won't say those other brands provide a better cup of coffee. That's for you to decide.
  • You don't mind an entry-level burr grinder.
  • You may not need to French press or grind fine coffee for espresso. In this case, you can probably find a kinder, less expensive quality grinder.
  • Maybe you want your own cafe. While the Rancilio Rocky doserless comes close, it's not business-grade. There are other options for this. These will likely cost you more but will also take your burrs coffee to all new places.
  • You don't want the Rocky if you want your espresso grinder to have fine-tuned results.

The Rocky doserless model does an excellent job of customizing your grinds. Still, you can find more suitable models—ones with more valuable features, perhaps better burrs, or more powerful motors with high-end commercial quality. If you're that enthusiast, you may want to check out another espresso maker.

The Verdict

There is no beating the Rocky Espresso Grinder, doser or doserless. This is a machine that does all the hard work while you get ready for work or sit back and wait for a good grinder to reach the last drip.

If you prefer a device that lets you enthusiastically micro-dial until you have the perfect return, this is not the grinder for you. But if you're looking for unparalleled design, engineering, performance, stainless steel construction, and top burrs, this is the choice for the kitchen counter or a semi-commercial setting.

This device is excellent for the espresso lover who wants a high-end espresso grinder without a lot of fuss.

Today, a coffee grinder isn't a luxury, an accessory to your lifestyle. It's an enhancement of how you enjoy your day and, ultimately, your life. The Keurig Rancilio Rocky is a wondrous piece of tech for making good drop coffee. 


The Rancilio Rocky has a steep price. It's a tad bit heavy, and the operation can be awkward. But when it comes to quality grinding of beans, you won't find many machines that can go from French Press and drip coffee to chocolate cocoa to a nice cup of tea with such ease. This coffee grinder review of the Rancilio Rocky and the Rocky SD gives you a good idea of what makes this machine stand out.

Author Profile Picture

Parker Russell is a coffee professional and the founder of Black Ink Coffee. As an expert in the field of coffee roasting, cupping (professional Q-Grader) and brewing, Parker has established Black Ink as brand that fuels the grind of dreamers.