Since you’re here looking for information about the Rancilio Rocky, it’s pretty clear that you know that a good cup of coffee starts with consistenly ground coffee beans.
Unless your coffee grounds are consistent and even, you will have a hard time brewing a good cup. That’s just how it is! Cheap blade grinders will grind coffee, but the result will be a mess that you’ll be lucky to get a drinkable cup out of.
That’s why burr grinders are the way to go, and in this Rancilio Rocky review, we’ll take a look at a high end burr grinder from one of the most well-established names in coffee.
Rancilio Rocky Review: The good and bad
The Rancilio Rocky is a commercial grade coffee grinder but it’s meant for home use. The stainless steel burrs are capable of grinding coffee beans in a wide variety of grind settings and the motor is powerful and reliable.
The Rocky SD is a doserless model, which means there is no setting for outputting a specific amount of grounds. You’ll have to eyeball it or weight it to get the right amount of coffee grounds for your brew.
There’s also a model with a doser called the Rocky SS, which can dispense an exact amount of coffee grounds every time.
Design and build quality
The Rancilio Rocky is very well-built as far as coffee grinders go. The most important part, of course, is the 50 mm stainless steel burrs(made from tempered steel), which are rated to handle commercial grinding needs. The burrs are powered by a 140 watt motor which is more than enough for even large amounts of coffee.
Additionally, the motor has an overheat protection function which will automatically turn the motor off if it starts to get too hot. Motors can get too hot from prolonged use or a jam somewhere due to a stone or something similar getting stuck in the burrs.
You fill coffee grounds in the hopper, which is tinted blue to keep harmful UV rays out of your coffee. UV rays can speed up the degradation process.
Still, it’s not a good idea to leave beans in the bean hopper, and you should ideally fill enough beans for the brew you’re making every single time and leave the hopper empty otherwise.
After all, the bean hopper is not airtight, and it’s always better to store your coffee beans in a coffee storage container.
Dimensions: 4.7 x 9.8 x 13.8 in
As you can see from the dimensions, the Rancilio Rocky is not that big. 5 inches wide is not going to take up much space on your countertop, and it can actually fit really nicely right next to your coffee machine or espresso machine.
However you should note that the grinder is quite heavy at nearly 15 pounds! The smaller size is deceptive.
When you open the box, you may find that there is some coffee dust on your machine. You did not get a used machine! Rancilio actually tests every machine before shipping.
The Rocky is pretty easy to maintain, too. It comes apart with a bit of tinkering and you just need to clean up the burrs and put it back together.
It’s also useful to calibrate the grinder once every two years or so to make sure the grinds are nice and consistent and remain that way.
Ease of use
One of the most important things about a good coffee grinder is that it should be easy to use! Complicated grinders only make things harder. The Rancilio grinder falls halfway between very difficult and very easy to use.
Since this is a doserless coffee grinder, there is no dial for you to select how much coffee needs to be ground. Instead, there is just one button that you push which turns the motor on.
As long as you keep the button pressed down, the motors will turn and grind coffee beans.
The grounds will come out through the spout and fall into anything you place below, like a pour-over funnel or a bowl.
The Rancilio Rocky doserless grinder also has a removable portafilter holder upon which you can mount a portafilter to directly grind espresso into.
You’ll have to keep a close eye on the coffee to know when to let go of the button so that you have the correct amount of coffee.
One solution to get around this is to weigh the beans before putting them in the hopper of the burr grinder, and let the burr grinder grind all the beans into the portafilter or whatever you’re using to brew.
Adjusting the grind settings is a bit interesting.
Below the hopper, you’ll be able to see a large dial with markings on it from 0 to 55. This is the grind settings. Next to that on top of the machine, there is a little button.
To adjust the grind settings, you first turn the switch on at the bottom of the machine to get power going to the motor. Next, you hold down the button with one hand and twist the hopper with the other until the little arrow lines up with your desired coarseness or fineness.
It’s a little cumbersome and other grinders are definitely easier to use where you just have to turn a dial without having to push any buttons at the same time. The video below demonstrates how to do this at about the 1:40 mark.
Levels of grinds
Since the Rancilio Rocky is a nearly commercial-quality machine, you can expect that it has a LOT of grind settings that you can play around with.
You have a total of 55 settings you can try. This leaves you plenty of room to brew your favorite coffees and tweak them as you see fit.
So whether you’re making french press, drip coffee, espresso, cold brew, or anything in between, you’ll be able to grind for it using the Rocky.
Since the notches go from 0 to 55, you can expect that 55 will basically split a bean into between 4 and 8 pieces and call it a day!
For french press coffee, stick to 40 and move a couple of notches up or down to adjust to your preference.
Espresso will usually be between 0 and 10, though you may find yourself working closer to 0 for best results.
Since a drip coffee requires a medium-find grind, you can start at 25 to 30 and work up and down depending on your personal preferences.
The Rancilio Rocky coffee grinder is built to last. Everything about the grinder screams quality from the tempered steel burrs to the sleek, solid exterior.
With regular cleaning and maintenance, there is no reason the Rancilio Rocky coffee grinder will not last you a very long time.
You can also use it in settings where multiple people will come and go, like an office or a small gathering, since the guts of the machine are meant for commercial use.
It may difficult to run a coffee shop with it, though!
Is it worth buying, though?
Rancilio grinders tend to be on the expensive end of the grinder spectrum, so is it worth dropping so much coin on a grinder?
If you’re really into your coffee and want something that’s reliable, consistent, and at the top of its game, the Rocky is definitely a good pick.
No matter if you want to brew french press, use an espresso machine, make pour over, or cold brew, this machine can do it all.
It really boils down to how passionate and serious you are about your coffee.
Sometimes being very passionate about a hobby helps you justify the cost. However, we’re not suggesting that you can’t get good coffee grounds unless you have the Rancilio Rocky.
It’s a great grinder, but other grinders can get the job done, too, even if a little less consistently.
- The Monolith Grinder is another high-end espresso grinder
To conclude this Rocky review, let’s revisit the features of this grinder: the good and the bad.
Overall, this is a solidly built doserless coffee grinder. The stainless steel burrs and powerful motors ensure you get a nice and consistent grind at whichever grind setting you choose. The portafilter holder lets you grind right into the portafilter to then put into your espresso machine.
However, it’s not the end-all be-all of coffee grinders. Less expensive grinders do offer similar performance, and in some cases, are actually easier to use.
If you have the budget and you’re looking for a high end coffee grinder that is reliable and has a lot of grind settings for you to play with, the Rancilio Rocky doserless is definitely worth considering.
Frequently asked questions
Are there similar but cheaper grinders than the Rocky?
Yes, for sure! Check out our list of the best burr grinders for more information. The Baratza Encore is one of the best value-for-money grinders, with 40 grind settings and the ability to pulse grind or grind specific doses of coffee.
How often do I need to calibrate the Rocky?
The Rocky needs to be calibrated once every 1 to 1.5 years depending on how much you use it. This video tutorial is an excellent resource to help you through the process.
How often do I need to clean the Rocky?
As with most grinders, it’s a good idea to clean it every one or two weeks to get any coffee dust or loose coffee bean particles out of the system. The more often you clean it, the better your coffee grounds will be and the better your coffee wil ultimately be.
Last update on 2021-01-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API