Rancilio Rocky Coffee Grinder Review & FAQ (2017)

The Rancilio Rocky Burr Coffee Grinder Doser & Doserless Guide and Review

The Rancilio ROCKY Burr Grinder with Doser is for the advanced coffee and espresso aficionado who want to take their coffee experience to the next level.

rancilio rocky coffee grinder review

The Rancilio Rocky coffee grinder offers the same legendary quality as the Silvia home machine and makes a perfect match. But the Rocky is also a great grinder for other espresso machines or even drip or French press coffee makers. Available in two designs the original doser version or the doserless version.
In the true Rancilio tradition, the Rocky is one of the most commercial like home grinders available. With large burrs, a powerful motor and finely adjustable grind settings, the Rocky will be a welcome and long term addition to any home espresso bar.

The Rocky grinder boasts more than just a commercial look. Behind the stainless steel panels are commercial quality components. The first time you hit the rocker switch to turn on the Rocky, you will see and hear the difference. A powerful commercial motor drives commercial quality grinding burrs.
The grind is uniform and can be finely tuned to the finest Turkish grind or a coarse French press grind. With this range, the Rocky is suitable for any type of espresso machine. (Many home grinders can not grind fine enough for espresso makers with non pressurized filter or filter handles). The 10 oz bean hopper helps keep your whole bean espresso fresh.
It also means skipping you run-of-the-mill grocery store grind and giving you the power to control how your coffee will taste like.

The Rancilio Rocky is arguably one of the most famous and well reviewed coffee espresso grinders on the market today. It's been around for a while: over 10 years in fact, and not much has changed except for the growing respect that consumers and its competitors have for the grinder.

We regard the Rocky as the best overall grinder on the market today under $400. Find out why as you read through our in depth Rancilio Rocky coffee grinder review and guide you will see matching one of Rancilio's workhouse of a Rocky coffee grinder up to your home espresso setup, will have you never looking back.
Also at the end the review we have included a very detailed FAQ and Troubleshooting section, to give you an idea of what other researching the Rocky are asking and the problems owners are running into.

A Closer Look at The Rancilio Rocky Grinder 

Looks and Feel of The Rancilio Grinder

Some people would probably feel that a dedicated grinder should not be this big – after all, it’s just a grinder. At 5.2″ x 9.75″ x 13.75″H it is indeed rather large and can actually rival the size of a typical coffee machine or espresso maker.
Overall the original rocky grinder had a bit of a “plastic look”, with a black matte finish on front and silver-white color at the back. The bean container is made of clear plastic and the same goes for its ground coffee container.
For years, people had been almost begging Rancilio to update the Rocky's look to match their other great consumer appliance: the Rancilio Silvia. In 2001, Rancilio came through, and the stainless steel version of the Rocky was born.

Rancilio Rocky Grinder review
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The rocky coffee grinder
The rocky coffee grinder with tamper and portafilter

The Rocky: Commercial Grade Burr Grinder

Rancilio Rocky Coffee Grinder doser doserless

It goes without saying that this is the most important part of any dedicated coffee bean grinder. The Rancilio ROCKY comes with 50mm steel grinding plates of premium-grade quality and construction. This tempered-steel plates move slowly in order to prevent possible heat buildup which can affect the taste of the coffee beans. The grind wheels on a Rancilio Rocky are for the most part easily replaceable, it will be a straightforward DIY'able project should you ever need to change them.
The Rocky is a serious tool and investment, built around two key components – a commercial burr set (grind wheels) and a 166-watt commercial motor. In fact, the motor in the Rocky is pulled from a commercial Rancilio grinder, the MD 40. The result is a quiet, powerful beast that will slice evenly through beans, delivering you consistent, ultra fine shavings that will produce the best espresso you might ever have.
 It is also good to know that the motor that runs the grinder is insulated, which means additional protection against overheating.

Tinted Ground Coffee Container and Bean Hopper, Grind Dial

rancilio-rocky coffee grinder review

Most people probably don’t know this, but sunlight or even regular light can actually affect the status of coffee beans. So Rancilio smartly engineered their ground coffee container and Bean Hopper with a blue tint finish to serve as protection from UV light. The hopper is capable of storing more than. .5lbs of coffee beans and can be lifted easily for cleaning purposes.
At the bottom part of the bean hopper is the machine’s grind dial, clearly marked and easily accessible, it twists as per user’s specification, and offers exactly 55 levels of control on how your coffee grounds will come out like, which is impressive especially when most of the built-in grinders of coffee and espresso makers support only 6-fineness settings.
This wide array of settings will allow the user to have options of very coarse to ultra-fine, with a lot of choices in between, be it a Turkish style of grind or French press coffee brewing, you have the power to control the output.

Dosing Lever, Powerful but Quiet operation

rancilio-rocky-fine grind

A handy dosing lever is located on the side of the machine which allows the user to specify the amount of grind that goes into the Portafilter. A single twist will churn out approximately 7 ounces of coffee, so you have an idea about the amount each time.
One of the impressive features of this machine (that is often overlooked) is its quiet operation. Even though working at very high output power, it’s still able to maintain a minimal amount of noise during operation.

Rancilio Rocky Grind Quality

rancilio-rocky-fine grind wality

The Rancilio Rocky’s output was decent enough for entry to mid-level coffee makers and is usable even on an Espresso setting. It was able to provide consistent results that will work well with most of your blends.
The Rocky was designed around the idea of being an espresso grinder, though you will be able to achieve any grind with ease grind, be it french press pour over, or even a super fine Turkish grind.
From Coarse to Very Fine, it was able to show good results and was able to do so at a fair price.

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Rancilio Rocky Grinder Grinder Pros & Cons

The Rocky's Pros

  • Superb and Powerful Burr Grinder – 50mm burr set – Same powerful 166 watts/110v motor that Rancilio's uses in its commercial grinders

  • Heavy Duty Housing and Construction

  • Large 10 ounce hopper – At 10oz this is a sensible capacity hopper, the rocky is a home grinder and not commercial you really don’t need a hopper that will hold 5 lbs, Tinted hopper cuts down on UV damage hopper stored beans.

  • Quiet operation

  • Dosing lever – Most portafilters will fit the dosing receptacle, the Rocky can used with pretty well all espresso machines

  • 40 Settings for the Grind – settings offer a very fine tuning tuning of your grind (actually the control can be moved beyond the 40 settings, leaving you closer to 55 settings)

  • Cleaning The Rocky – Overall general cleaning is easy and practically no dust in coarse grinds

    rocky doser bean hopper 1
    List Price: $355.00
    Current Price: $345.00
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The Rocky's Cons

  • Large frame —The Rocky weighs as much or more then many espresso machines,

  • A bit pricey — I am not trying to say that the Rocky is over priced the quality to expense ratio is in a good place, I am simply saying that it's not a cheap grinder! You get what you pay for, however if you are not serious home coffee connoisseur, don’t require more advanced grind control, or maybe just not grinding coffee often...you need to ask yourself if you need this high of a caliber machine?

  • rocky clickit lid

    Clinging Grounds — The design can sometimes leave significant grounds at the top of the chute after every grind. You can get a little to sweep them out with not much trouble though. Additionally you can get an after market “Click-Clack” brand jar lid for the top of the hopper to create an air tight seal for flushing.

  • Early Models Quality — Though I never experienced it personally, there is enough anecdotal evidence to be pretty sure that Rancilio suffered from inconsistency in the quality of Rocky units when they were first released. However I also know people who have used there early Rocky's from day one, and grinding almost daily without a hiccup(But keep in mind, no matter how wonderful your coffee equipment is, without proper maintenance and cleaning your grinder will not last you)

  • Steeped Grinding- the Rocky is stepped,(lacks micro-adjustment and big steps)which does make grinding for espresso less convenient, but that does not effect the quality of your espresso grind.

Review Wrap up: The Rancilio Rocky Coffee Grinder

the rocky review wrap up

If you are serious about coffee, a dedicated grinder like the Rancilio ROCKY coffee Grinder is a necessary step in achieving coffee nirvana. It will allow you to have complete control over your grinds, which is important if you want the best possible taste from your coffee beans.
If you don’t mind shelling a few hundred bucks, the Rancilio R
ocky coffee grinder with doser or doserless will be an excellent choice.
When you first unbox your Rocky there is a good chance you will find it covered in ground coffee also. Each Rocky grinder is tested with several ounces of coffee just to make sure that everything is working right…and I think they are kind of proud of that fact, which is why they leave the grounds on it! Personally I could not be more pleased with this machines. I’ve shopped around and reviewed many other grinders…tried some friend’s machines…but I have never found anything that made me want to trade-in or trade up to. For the money, this is, without a doubt, the best grinders you’re going to find.

Rancilio Rocky Technical Features

4.7 x 9.8 x 13.8 in
Doserless -5.4 lb
Doser - 19.2lb
Coffee Hopper:
Capacity -10.5 Oz 300g
Variable Dose:
Doserless – N/A
Doser - 0.2 Oz/7 g
5.5-7.7 lb/h

Burrs Diameter:
2.0 in / 50 mm
110 V / 230 V
50/60 Hz
165 W

Rancilio Rocky Coffee Grinder FAQ'S

What the difference in a Doser Vs. a Dosserless Coffee Grinder?

A doser is the part of a grinder that dispenses the ground coffee after it is ground. The biggest difference is that with the doserless it will deposit the grinds directly into your portafilter where as with the doser you will need to pull the lever to deposit the grinds. The doser is nice if you are going to be pulling multiple shots. You can grind a set amount and use the grounds as needed. The doserless is nice in the fact that if you are just pulling a single shot you are only grinding enough beans for that shot.

Can the Rancilio Rocky Grinder with a doser be converted to doserless?

Unfortunately, the dosing mechanism on the front of the grinder cannot be removed and replaced with a non-dosing chute. If you’re really interested in changing styles, You might be able to find a Doserless model for a bargain!

How Messy is the Rancilio Grinder with a doser Vs. A doserless Rocky Grinder?

The non-doser (doserless) Rocky can be a little messier that the doser version, but the spout directs the ground coffee into your portafilter quite well. Coffee falling from the spout after you remove your portafilter and finish grinding is probably a more prominent source of mess. The non-doser Rocky does not come with a container for ground coffee, but you can remove the portafilter holder to accommodate a container of your choice.

How often should I clean the Rancilio Rocky? & How Do I clean The Rocky

A wipe down, after each grind is good practice. A more thorough weekly cleaning is recommended if you are using the grinder often,... if you using it less frequent, and you know it will be setting unused for an extended time, I would clean immediately after you last grind. Vacuuming while brushing is the most effective and easy regular cleaning option.

What is the best grind time for the Rocky Grinder?

The grinding time is affected by how fine you are grinding your coffee. The finer the grind the longer it takes to grind a set amount. If you are following the Golden Rule and you are using a coffee that needs to be ground coarse to get a 25 second shot it will grind quicker than a different coffee that you have to grind finer to get your 25 second shot. We don’t measure the grind time because it varies depending on the coffee, humidity, tamp pressure and the machine you are grinding for.

What are the best grind setting for a Rancilio Rocky Grinder?

Every Rocky is calibrated a little different. Start at a setting of 8, and then time your shots according to the Golden Rule. The Golden Rule states that your tamp pressure and the amount of ground coffee you use stay the same. The only thing you change is your grind setting. The Golden Rule is a formula that when followed will lead you very quickly to the proper grind setting.

What Grind setting to use for the Rancilio Rocky's pressurized portafitlers

Start at around 11 and see how your shots time out and taste. The Solis SL70 and SL90 have a pressurized filter basket. This means that your grind setting does not have to be perfect because the filter basket will restrict the water flow through your coffee, thus producing the pressure needed to create espresso. If you do a double shot and it takes longer than 28 seconds you have ground to fine for the filter basket to work properly. Try grinding a little coarser. For more good information on pressurized and commercial portafilter please see the following link: Portafilters

Will the Rocky Grinder be recommend for Chemex grinding?

YES..I would suggest you try a setting of 20 to start and adjust from there. It really depends on what you like in the way of coffee and espresso. Thanks.

Can I dose ground coffee from a Rocky into something other than a portafilter? Like a French Press

This machine will be great for French Press. It will grind coarse enough and you can dose into a coffee scoop so you should be set, however you may find it easier to use a Doserless Rocky for this purpose. The Doserless version would dispense grounds directly into your 1/4 scoop, so you wouldn’t have to keep dosing 7 grams of coffee at a time to fill it, the Rocky should be perfect for your needs!

Can you switch back and forth between The Rancilio Rocky Burr Grinder's settings?

The Rancilio Rocky is a very heavy-duty grinder that would probably be the last grinder you ever need to purchase. It also sounds like it would probably be the grinder for you. It can grind properly for all the types of coffee that you brew and with its numbered grind it is easy to set.

  1. Ability to change between grind setting: With all grinders you should have the grinder operating when you turn it to a finer setting. This will grind the beans out from in-between the burs so that you don’t damage the grinder by trying to force the burs closer when beans are in the way. With the Non Doser Rocky it is a little hard because you have to push and hold the on button, push the lever release button on the hopper and then turn the hopper. The one problem is that the hopper will tend to spin out of your hand unless you have a firm grip. And since you only have two hands and three things to do this can be a little tricky. It is not a problem if you are just making small adjustments to fine-tune it to an espresso machine but it is a lot harder when making large adjustments. The Dosser version of the Rocky has a rocker arm switch to turn it on that you do not have to hold. This makes the adjusting part much easier. A lot of people think that when you use a doser you waste a lot of coffee but I have not found that to be the case.

  2. Ability to reliably return to a prior espresso setting and get the same exact. It is easy to get it to the same number and you would do it as described above. You will probably find that you will have to get the grinder dialed back in by timing your shots and making one or two adjustments.

  3. Ability to put some cup under the spout when grinding a full cup of coffee for my drip machine. With the non-doser Rocky you can remove the forks that are there to hold the portafilter in a matter of seconds. You can then put any receptacle you want under the chute such as a filter basket for drip coffee or a measuring cup etc. With the doser version you can also remove the forks so you can fit receptacles other than a portafilter under the doser and dispense directly into them.

    Keep in mind that when you are grinding coarse for drip coffee or French press it will grind the coffee much quicker than when grinding for espresso and the non-doser or the doser would work fine. If you were trying to grind for multiple espresso shot into a container at one time it would take a long time. You would definitely rather have the doser version with the on/off switch.

Rancilio Rocky Coffee Grinder Troubleshooting

Rocky is not working. Powered on but will not grind and the motor does not start up

  1. Confirm the power is active

  2. Disconnect and reconnect the power (yep the old “did you turn it off & on”)

  3. Make sure it's cleaned out, and no build up in grinder.

  4. Lastly – Try turning the grind adjustment slightly when the machine is on and see if you feel it catch on one of the numbers, or rock it back and forth a little and see if it catches and then the motor should engage.

*If none of these work you will need to seek professional repair

The Grind Settings On the Rocky Wont Lock

I am having trouble adjusting the grind level. When I press the button, the canister will rotate easily in both directions, however it only 'locks' at about 7. Locks means that the button pops back up and it it prevented from rotating. If I try and set it at a 5, or 10, when I start grinding the vibration sends the unit back to 7 and it locks. What do I do to get it to lock at other positions. XXXXWhat you can do is set it at 5 or 10 and then just move the canister back and forth a little and you should feel it lock or click back in place. Try this and see if it helps. It seems sometime that you need to really kinda of lock it in place. Please let us know if you experience any other problems.

The Grind Settings on the rocky Wont Unlock (return to previous setting)

After doing some coarse grinding, I am unable to return to the previous grind setting. It will only turn a bit in either direction.

Make sure the grinder is running while adjusting it. If it is still stuck, then you may have to remove the hopper and clean out the grinding area.

My shots are fine, but is my grind setting too low

It sounds like you’re doing everything perfectly. You don’t need to worry about your grind setting – as long as you’re adhering to the golden rule and getting great results, you’re just fine. We give 8 as a starting point, but because every bean and climate is a little different, the grind setting that will get you to the golden rule varies. It doesn’t sound like there’s anything wrong with your Rocky at all.

How do I remove the portafilter fork on a Rancilio Rocky Grinder

Yes just give them a nice tug and they will pop right out. The forks are simply shaped so that they are slightly wider than the holes that it rests in. The pressure that results on the forks keeps them in place.

Rocky grinder producing an inconsistent grind on the coarse setting.

If you ant not seeing dusty fines from the larger grinds, you probably have worn or dull burrs causing the inconsistency of the grinds. They will need be sharpened, it is not a difficult process to remove and sharpen them.

I have to hold the switch while it is operating the Rocky grinder.

The Rocky has two switches. It has a main power switch that you have to turn on first. The other switch has to be held while it is operating so I’m afraid you can’t just walk away and let it grind. The base and the back panel are stainless steel and the main frame is die cast heavy aluminum.

Rancilio Rocky Coffee Grinder

Rancilio Rocky Coffee Grinder



    Construction Quality


      Convenience/Ease of Use







            • Powerful Burr Grinder
            • Heavy Duty Construction
            • Quiet operation
            • Dosing lever
            • Overall Quality and reliability


            • Heavy
            • Clinging Grounds
            • Steeped Grinding
            • May Be More of a grinder then you need?
            • Should come with a better hopper lid

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