Mass produced appliance vs. artisan machine. Smart Grinder Pro is a game changer as far as features at a given price. But a lot of plastic in its construction. Really about the type of coffee brewer one is. ROK is about a hands on (literally) connection to the coffee. For Espresso, we’ve found the stepless grind adjustment of the ROK gives finer control over extractions. The SGP has limited adjustment in the espresso range. In most cases users will have to control extractions with dosing rather than grind size adjustments. Yesterday we put a ROK up against a Baratza Vario pulling shots on a Profitec Pro 700 DB (will be posting that video today). In our opinion the ROK lived up to its claim of matching the Vario.
Why would someone want to buy a manual grinder over an automatic grinder (example baratza encore which is about U$ 129) which can offer a much greater range of grind?
You will not find many espresso enthusiast recommending the Baratza Encore for espresso grinding. It does not have precise enough grind size adjustment for those serious about dialing-in shots. The ROK has step-less grind size adjustment for very subtle changes. The Encore is a fine choice for brewing methods where grind size is less critical.