No matter how you brew your coffee, a high-quality burr grinder is a must if you want to get the best flavors from your coffee beans. A good burr grinder will give you consistent grinds and let you fine-tune your grind for a variety of brewing methods.
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro and the Fellow Ode are both high-quality burr grinders capable of producing excellent freshly-ground coffee for home coffee connoisseurs. However, they each have their strengths and weaknesses. Read on for our comparison of the Smart Grinder Pro and the Fellow Ode.
Breville Smart Grinder Pro Overview
Based in Australia, Breville makes a wide range of home appliances and kitchen products, including coffee and home espresso products, which they’ve been producing for over 20 years.
The Smart Grinder Pro is Breville’s entry-level home espresso grinder. It’s designed for ease of use and versatility. It offers up to 600 grind settings, making it capable of grinding for a broad range of brewing methods, from espresso to French press and everything in between.
With its emphasis on versatility and a wide scope of grinding options, the Smart Grinder Pro does sacrifice some grind quality as it struggles to produce consistent grinds at the coarser end of the range.
Still, the Smart Grinder Pro is a durable and well-designed machine built with quality components, including a great set of stainless steel conical burrs. It has programmable settings and is very easy to use, offering a grind quality that is nearly on par with much more expensive grinders.
Things we like
- Versatile and highly adjustable, with a wide range of grind settings
- Settings are programmable, making it easy to repeat your grind choices
- Produces above-average grind consistency for its price range
Things we don’t like
- Uses a timed dosing system that makes it hard to grind by weight
- Grind consistency isn’t as good with coarser grind sizes, making it less suitable than other grinders if you’re mostly grinding for French press or drip
Fellow Ode Overview
Based in San Francisco, the Fellow Ode has been in production since 2020 after a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised $1.2 million. The brand started in 2013 and produces design-forward specialty coffee products for home use.
The Fellow Ode is a unique home coffee grinder, as it’s designed specifically for filter coffee. Most grinders — including the Breville Smart Grinder Pro — aim to produce a wide range of grind settings at the risk of sacrificing some grind quality in certain ranges.
Rather than risk their grinder being a “jack of all trades, master of none,” Fellow opted to limit the scope to master the medium-coarse grind range. The Ode is suitable for brew styles like filter coffee brew methods, French press, and cold brew, but it isn’t capable of grinding for espresso or other brew styles that call for a fine grind.
What it does, is it does well, thanks to a thoughtful design and excellent components. The Fellow Ode is built of steel and aluminum, has a compact and elegant design, and is sturdier than it might appear. Its profile is shorter than most grinders, and it tucks easily away on the counter.
At the heart of the Fellow Ode is a large set of professional-quality flat burrs and a powerful motor that’s computer-controlled to maintain a consistent grinding speed.
Things we like
- Precise and consistent grind quality, thanks to cafe-quality flat burrs and smart motor speed
- Spring loaded knock button clears grinds retained in the chute
- Great design: the compact, heavy, handsome matte black body is shorter than most grinders, and it fits easily on the countertop
Things we don’t like
- Its grind range is limited, and it’s not suitable for brew styles that require a fine grind
- Expensive — about $100 more than the Breville Smart Grinder Pro
- Fins in the catch cup are awkward
Comparison: Breville Smart Grinder Pro vs Fellow Ode
|Breville Smart Grinder Pro||Fellow Ode|
|Dimensions (WxDxH)||22 x 16 x 39 cm||11 x 24 x 24 cm|
|Burrs||38 mm conical burrs (stainless steel)||64mm flat burrs (stainless steel)|
|Grind Settings||600 (60 macro settings each with 10 micro settings)||31|
|Motor Speed||450 rpm||1400 rpm|
|Grind speed||1-2 grams per second||3-4 grams per second|
|Capacity||Hopper holds up to 18 oz (510g)||80g single dose hopper|
|Noise during grinding||~80dB||~60dB|
The Smart Grinder Pro has 60 stepped settings that can be adjusted with the knob at the grinder’s side. The grind range can be further adjusted with ten manual settings on the top burr. Effectively, this means the Smart Grinder Pro can produce 600 different grind sizes.
Unlike the Fellow Ode, the Smart Grinder Pro can grind fine enough for a decent shot of espresso. However, what it offers in versatility, it loses in precision. The Smart Grinder Pro struggles to produce a consistent grind at the coarser end of the range.
The Fellow Ode has 30 grind settings. On the inside of the hopper lid, there’s a grind size chart that shows which settings are best for different brewing methods. It’s not suitable to grind for espresso but offers settings and great performance for drip coffee, pour-overs, AeroPress, French press, and cold brew.
Both the Fellow Ode and the Smart Grinder Pro have high-quality stainless steel burrs that should hold their edge well for a long time. The difference is in the shape and size of the burrs. The Ode uses 64-millimeter flat burrs, while the Smart Grinder Pro uses significantly smaller 38-millimeter conical burrs.
Most commercial grinders use flat burrs like the ones in the Ode. Flat burrs are generally faster and more efficient than conical burrs. On the other hand, conical burrs are cheaper and retain fewer grounds.
The Fellow Ode addresses the issue of grind retention by mounting the burrs vertically, so coffee grounds fall out more easily.
Another difference between the burr types is that flat burrs break the beans into more uniform particle sizes, while conical burrs break the beans into two different particle sizes. This means flat burrs generally produce a more consistent grind size.
Both the Ode and the Smart Grinder Pro are designed to grind beans on demand per cup of coffee, instead of grinding in bulk. However, there’s a big difference in how they approach measuring and grinding each dose of coffee.
The Fellow Ode is a single-dose grinder, meaning you’ll measure each dose before you grind it. This will give you control over the exact quantity for each grind.
The Smart Grinder Pro is designed to store your coffee beans in the hopper and dose out your grind according to the time and volume settings that you program instead of grinding by weight. It does take some getting used to, especially if you’re accustomed to weighing your grind.
Both of these coffee grinders produce a consistent grind. In terms of performance, the main difference between the Smart Grinder Pro and the Fellow Ode is that one favors a wider grind range, and the other offers more precision.
The Smart Grinder Pro grinds for a wide range of brew styles. It delivers consistent grinding for fine and medium grounds, meaning even extraction for espressos and pour-overs. Its consistency drops off at the coarser end of the spectrum. You might find more fines floating in your French press, leading to over-extraction in those brews.
The Fellow Ode doesn’t grind fine enough for espresso, but it excels in the medium grind range, producing a very consistent and precise particle size for drip coffee makers. This is partly due to its burrs, as mentioned above, and also because of its smart motor speed, which prevents the grinding speed from accelerating and losing consistency at the end of the grind when fewer beans create less resistance.
The Fellow Ode is also faster, grinding beans at a significantly faster rate than the Smart Grinder Pro. The Ode grinds about 3-4 grams of coffee per second, compared to The Smart Grinder Pro’s rate of about 1-2 grams per second. This is primarily due to its larger set of burrs — more surface area for cutting the beans produces higher grind speeds.
Cleaning and Maintenance
The Smart Grinder Pro is very easy to maintain. The hopper and top burr can be removed without any tools, giving easy access to brush out the lower burrs and grind chamber.
While daily cleaning of the Fellow Ode is a simple matter of brushing out the chute and wiping the machine surfaces, the task of cleaning the burrs is a bit more involved. A screwdriver is needed to remove the grind dial and access the burrs to scrub them off.
The Fellow Ode is an excellent grinder with a limited grind range that excludes espresso grinds. Within its grind range, it excels. It’s a beautifully designed, fast, and quiet grinder that produces a consistent grind and outstanding flavor quality.
If you have the budget and you’re grinding for filter coffee and French press, the Fellow Ode is more than capable and will look great on your counter.
If you’re looking for a grinder with a bit more versatility at a lower price point, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro is a better choice. With the Smart Grinder Pro, you’ll be sacrificing some of the speed and grind quality that you’d get with the Fellow Ode, especially in the medium-coarse grind range. But you’ll gain a wider scope with the capability of producing a finer grind while spending about $100 less.