An exceptional machine made by a legend in the industry. With the highest capacity and second highest output in its class, there’s not much this monster can’t handle.
Recommended for: Anyone who can make something close to full use of its massive capacity, and who can afford one.
An Overview of the Brunner M8 Industrial Coffee Grinder
Are you in the business of selling fresh ground coffee by the pound to your adoring customers? Looking to replace your old grinder, or buy a new one that can keep pace with the burgeoning demand?
If so, then the Brunner M8 grinder may be just what you’re looking for. It’s a great, rugged machine designed for high output operations, and if that describes your business, then the M8 belongs on your short list for serious consideration.
You won’t find a lot of high tech bells and whistles here. This model is a lesson in simplicity. While most people would count that as a good thing if you’re a technophile and want your equipment to come with the latest in bells and whistles, this one may give you pause.
Not to worry though, we’ll cover everything it can do in the sections that follow so you’ll have all the information you need to make an informed purchasing decision.
Ready? Let’s jump right in!
Form Factor, Footprint & Aesthetic
Given its impressive capacity and output, the M8 has a delightfully small footprint, measuring just 24.4” x 17.7” x 63.9” and weighs in at 264.5 pounds.
We were pleasantly surprised by the (relatively) light weight of the unit. If you take a look at our roundup review, you’ll see that it’s the lightest in its class, even though it’s solid stainless-steel. Excellence in design certainly plays a pivotal role here. Brunner’s product engineers managed to pack a lot of functionality into a relatively small machine.
Relatively small or not though, once you get it where you want it in your workroom, don’t plan on moving it without some help!
Aesthetically, it’s a fairly nondescript machine, and you can tell that the designers were 100% focused on function, rather than form. We don’t regard that as a bad thing at all, but if you’re looking for a high output grinder with a bit of elegance, this one isn’t it. It’s designed to do one very specific job and to do it very well. It doesn’t have to be pretty, it just has to crank out all the high-quality coffee you can sell, and it’s really good at its job.
Hopper Capacity & Speed
For us, this is the real highlight of the Brunner M8 Grinder. While it’s only got the second highest hourly output (660 pounds per hour, versus 720 for the Ditting KF 1800, which took top honors in our roundup review), it’s got the largest hopper capacity, a whopping 86 pounds (versus a 66-pound capacity for every other machine in our roundup review).
We regard it as a good trade, but if you’re looking to maximize output, and other factors aren’t as important, then for about the same money, you can get slightly higher output with the Ditting. Having said that, 660 pounds per hour is more than enough capacity for virtually every small to medium sized specialty coffee vendor. It’s a happy dilemma if you need more output than that!
Burr Configuration, Materials, & Grind Settings
While the Brunner M8 coffee grinder doesn’t boast any fancy computer controls or other convenience features, it is exceptionally well designed and built, and the company did put some effort into offering extras.
For example, the grinding discs are chilled-cast stainless steel, ensuring greater precision and longevity, and the 180mm discs are arrayed in a unique configuration that ensures a gentle, consistent grind, every time.
Grind settings are one area where the M8 leaves us wanting. The adjustment control knob allows you to choose from one of ten available settings and is capable of handling everything from Turkish to coarse-ground coffee.
This, more than anything though, is why we couldn’t give Brunner’s offering top billing on in our roundup review. We much prefer stepless grinders. Ten settings are decent, but a stepless grinder simply gives you more in the way of flexibility. Your preferred grind may fall somewhere between one of the ten choices you’re presented with.
Having said that, the majority of people doing the kind of business with volume that a machine like this was build for will find the offered ten settings to be more than adequate, and it has the added advantage of being extremely simple to use. There’s no learning curve here. Just dial in one of the ten settings, load your beans and go.
Use and Cleaning
Owing to its exceptional design, use and cleaning are both about as simple as it gets. Although technophiles might not approve of the decidedly low-tech approach, one of its unmistakable advantages is ease of use. Combine that with the pre-defined grind settings we talked about in the section above, and it just doesn’t get much easier!
Cleaning is likewise a snap because the grinding burrs are easy to access. While you won’t get any flashing lights or indicators alerting you when the machine could use a good cleaning, your eyes and ears will be your guide. The sound of the machine in action will change if and as the gears begin to get clogged, and your grind will become less consistent.
Just give it a cleaning anytime you switch from one type of bean to another, or when the machine’s performance begins to falter, and you’ll be fine. If you do that and do some cleanup at the end of each workday, it’ll provide you with years of reliable service.
Pros & Cons of the Brunner M8 Coffee Grinder
In our view, the most significant strengths of the Brunner M8 industrial coffee grinder are:
It’s only got two downsides worth mentioning, and one of those isn’t a downside as much as it is a design preference. As we mentioned elsewhere, if your preference is for high-tech wizardry, the M8 is going to leave you underwhelmed.
There’s also the matter of price. It’s not cheap. Then again, given the quality, you’re getting and the longevity of this grinder with proper care, this is definitely a case of getting what you pay for.
Brunner M8 Grinder Review Conclusion
The Brunner M8 grinder is the ideal choice for business owners who are looking to buy a machine and put it to use right away, with minimal prep and training required. In most cases, it will literally take you longer to get it set up where you want it than it will be to train your employees on its basic use, and that’s a very good thing that speaks volumes about both the machine itself and the company that makes it.
We recommend it without reservation to anyone who can afford it, and who can make full use of its capabilities. If you purchase the M8 today, the odds are that it’ll still be going strong when you sell your business or pass it down to your children.
Sources & Resources
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