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OXO BREW Conical Burr Review

A good value if you're shopping in a mid-tier price range
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Price:   $100 List | $80 at Amazon
Pros:  Above-average grind consistency, easy to use, relatively inexpensive
Cons:  Can be messy, noisy
Manufacturer:   OXO
By Max Mutter and Michelle Powell  ⋅  Oct 9, 2019
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55
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 12
  • Grind Consistency - 35% 6
  • Cleanliness - 25% 4
  • User Friendliness - 25% 7
  • Noise - 15% 4

Our Verdict

A pared down, less expensive version of its flashier sibling, we think the OXO BREW Conical Burr is slightly more compelling than the higher priced offerings from the brand. It provides good grind consistency and reasonably intuitive interface, plus its habit of spilling grinds and somewhat jarring noise felt less offensive when you haven't spent multiple hundreds of dollars. That being said, we've found other models in the same price range that do a slightly better job overall, so we would only recommend the BREW Conical Bur if you find it on sale.


Compare to Similar Products

 
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Price $100 List
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Star Rating
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Pros Above-average grind consistency, easy to use, relatively inexpensiveGreat grind consistency, intuitive interface, relatively clean and quietGood grind consistency, burly componentsQuiet operation, good grind consistency, great for pouroverAbove average grind consistency, clean operation
Cons Can be messy, noisyNot ideal for French press, expensiveExpensiveCan produce enough static to hang onto grinds, not great at the extreme ends of the grind spectrum (coarse and fine)Slightly pricier than some comparable models
Bottom Line A good value if you’re shopping in a mid-tier price rangeTop-notch performance in every category except for French pressA consumer-level model that is built more like a durable, commercial-level machineGood grind consistency from a relatively quiet machineUnlikely to win any popularity awards, but just as unlikely to displease
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Rating Categories OXO BREW Conical... Breville Smart Pro Baratza Virtuoso+ Krups GX420851 Baratza Encore
Grind Consistency (35%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
6
Cleanliness (25%)
10
0
4
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
5
10
0
8
User Friendliness (25%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
6
Noise (15%)
10
0
4
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
6
Specs OXO BREW Conical... Breville Smart Pro Baratza Virtuoso+ Krups GX420851 Baratza Encore
Grinding Mechanism conical burr conical burr conical burr conical burr conical burr
Burr/Blade Material stainless steel stainless steel high-carbon steel stainless steel stainless steel
Dosing Mechanism timer timer timer scale manual
Dimensions 7.4" x 5.25" x 11.75" 12.5" x 8.5" x 16.3" 6.69" x 6.69" x 12.6" 10.2" x 6.5" X 18.5" 4.7" x 6.3" x 13.8"
Weight 4.5 lbs 6.4 lbs 7.05 lbs 6.2 lbs 6.83 lbs
Cup Material metal plastic plastic plastic plastic
Warranty Two Year Limited One Year Limited One Year Limited Two Year Limited One Year Limited

Our Analysis and Test Results

The OXO BREW Conical Burr offers the quality of a burr grinder at a fairly reasonable price. It isn't our absolute favorite burr grinder in this price range, but we don't think it will disappoint anyone either.

Performance Comparison



Likes


The most compelling aspect of the BREW Conical Burr is the fact that it provides above-average grind consistency. In our testing it managed to keep more than half of its grinds in the ideal size range (a feat that is probably more impressive than it sounds), was able to keep fine coffee dust to a relative minimum when grinding at a coarse French press setting, and produced fairly consistent dose sizes. All this indicates that this machine will give your coffee a better chance of reaching its full potential than most models on the market.

The grind consistency is better than average  but not amongst the best that burr models have to offer.
The grind consistency is better than average, but not amongst the best that burr models have to offer.

While the BREW Conical Burr's grind consistency is good, we'd like to point out that it wasn't the best we observed in this price range. While we don't think many people will be disappointed with its grind consistency, those looking to really maximize their quality-per-dollar will be able to find slightly better options at the same price point.

This model produces a fairly consistent grind  but we've seen better performances in the same price range.
This model produces a fairly consistent grind, but we've seen better performances in the same price range.

We also like this machine's simple and straightforward interface. Just turn a single dial to select the number of seconds you'd like your machine to grind, press the button in the center of that dial to start grinding, and you're good to go. Sure, this model forces you to do some experimenting to figure out exactly how many seconds it takes to grind your ideal amount of coffee, but this process costs way less than getting a fancier grinder with a scale to do the work for you. We also found the machine to be relatively easy to take apart for deep cleaning.

We like the simple  intuitive interface.
We like the simple, intuitive interface.

Dislikes


Grinding is an inherently messy business, but the BREW Conical Burr does very little to minimize that mess. Unlike other OXO models we've tested it doesn't spit grinds out while its grinding. Unfortunately, many of those grinds stay stuck in the chute, so when you remove the grind cup you often get a little coffee cascade onto the counter. The grind cup itself hangs onto some static, and in turn hangs onto some grinds, which can result in a mess when trying to pour those grinds into your coffee maker.

This machine tends to spill a lot of grounds.
This machine tends to spill a lot of grounds.

Grinding is also inherently noisy, but again the BREW Conical Burr fails to dampen that noisiness. It actually isn't particularly loud, as we measured it at an about average 88 decibels. However, it manages to imbue each one of those decibels with maximum annoyingness, as the sound itself is very high pitched and quite grating.

Value


The OXO BREW Barista Brain sells for a mid-tier price, and actually delivers a fair amount of grind consistency for that price. However, we've seen other models in the same price range that can grind slightly better. Additionally, the messiness and unpleasant noise are things that can get annoying after a while, degrading the machine's long-term value a bit.


Conclusion


The OXO BREW Barista Brain is a compelling option for those looking for a good coffee grinder on a budget. Though we think you can get a bit more for your money elsewhere, we don't think this machine will be a disappointment.


Max Mutter and Michelle Powell