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Jack Merriman

Content Marketing Manager

In this review, we’re putting two of our domestic-focused coffee grinders against each other in a head-to-head comparison. First up we have the Mahlkonig X54, a 54mm flat burr grinder currently going for £539 on our website, and secondly the Sanremo or Fiorenzato All Ground starting at £739 pounds.

We’re going to compare these two grinders in respect to five broad categories, including:

  1. Price
  2. Design and build quality.
  3. User Experience
  4. Workflow and speed
  5. Taste

…so that you can get an idea of which grinder might be best for you. If you want to learn more, we’ve covered both of these coffee grinders in their own dedicated reviews, which you can enjoy here: Reviewing the Mahlkonig X54 Home Coffee Grinder, A Roaster’s Review of the Sanremo Allground Grinder by Fiorenzato.

Price Comparison

The easiest point to get out of the way first is the price. So, as mentioned, the X54 is £539 whilst the Allground starts at £739 and goes up to £899 depending on the colour option. As we get further into the comparison you can start to decide for yourself which one offers the best value for money, but for the overall price, the win goes to the X54.


Design and Build Quality

Both grinders are made, for the most part, out of solid metals, so both feel solid and well built. But the Allground is significantly more heavy-duty feeling, weighing 9kg compared to 5.3kg.The differences in build quality to me are highlighted most clearly by the extra parts such as the on and off switches, the grind adjustment dials, and the hoppers. The adjustment dial on the Allground feels much nicer to turn and is much more easy to dial in, with the stepped numbers and clear markings as you look down on the grinder, versus the X54’s smaller dial on the right hand side. The Allground’s on and off button feels more premium and is a little easier to access on the right hand side rather than at the rear of the X54.

The hopper feels a little nicer on the X54 with the metal bean gate and the four pins that lock it into place on top of the grinder, whereas the Allground hopper isn’t locked into place at all and the bean gate is plastic. You can also remove the portafilter fork on the x54 which is great if you decide to mainly single dose or grind for filter coffee, whereas the fork can’t be removed on the Allground and instead comes with a ‘uniquely’ designed catch cup.

So there’s some really nice features and some quirks for both grinders but design and build feels very premium on both, though for me the win goes to the Allground based on how much heavier and sturdy the grinder itself feels, along with the slightly more premium buttons and dials.

Of course, how you feel about the design language really depends on your preferences, but more points go to the Allground here which is available in a wide range of colour options whereas the X54 comes in black, white or silver.

User Experience

User experience is quite different between these grinders, though they both offer time-based and on-demand grinding. The X54 has a very simple user interface with a basic screen, four dose settings and a manual start/stop button. You can switch between the doses and fine tune the time settings using the dial, and that’s essentially all there is to it aside from the on and off button on the back.

The Allground is quite different and offers a touch screen user interface which is bright and clear, with three different grinding modes depending on which section of the grinding range you are in either espresso, moka pot or filter.

Dialling in the grind size, to me, is a lot more intuitive on the Allground with an easy adjustment mechanism on the top of the grinder with clear and repeatable markings. The X54 is a little less fun to dial in with the smaller dial on the side. The number markings weren’t always accurate and repeatable: If you’re dialled in at a 5 for espresso, then you grind for some filter coffee and dial it back to 5 you might not get the same grind size results. It’s also a little difficult to dial finer when there is coffee inside the burr chamber which wasn’t as much of an issue on the Allground.

The X54 is stepless which is preferable for a lot of people who are into espresso, whereas the Allground has a stepped grind adjustment mechanism. That may be a dealbreaker for some but in our testing we found the steps between grind sizes where small enough to still let you properly fine tune your espresso and filter coffee, so this wasn’t an issue.

Finally the Allground has one big selling point over the X54 in terms of cleaning, they’ve designed the top burr carrier to be incredibly easy to remove by dialling the grinder all the way coarse and lifting it off. This makes it really easy to clean compared to the X54 where you need a few screws and a little bit more patience.

So because of the more premium touch screen interface, intuitive grind dial and mechanism and improved ease of cleaning, the user experience point goes to the Allground.

Grinder Workflow 

Both grinders offer a similar workflow with the large built-in hopper and grind by time systems really encouraging you to fill the hopper with coffee beans and grind as needed, rather than single dosing.

Once you have dialled in your grind size and set your dose programmes, both grinders offer a very similar workflow during day-to-day use. Simply place the portafilter onto the grinder and in the case of the Allground, press your dose, and with the X54 either push the portafilter into the button or press the manual start/stop button.



The Allground is significantly faster to grind than the x54 making for a slightly speedier workflow. It took around 9 seconds to grind a 16 gram shot, compared to the X54 which took 16 seconds. Though that being said the Allground does take around 15 seconds to turn on fully so that’s something to bare in mind, but usually it’s the kettle or espresso machine that will slow you down not the grinder. Static and mess really isn’t an issue at all with either grinder and both are adjustable so that any size of portafilter can be properly locked into place and reduce mess.



Volume wise both grinders sound quite similar, and when testing this in our showroom we heard 110dbs on the X54 and 107 with the Allground. It’s hard to explain why but I slightly prefer the sound of the Allground, it’s just less offensive to me.

So the actual grinding workflow is very similar for both of these grinders but I’m going to give the point here again to the Allground, thanks to the increased speed and slightly nicer sounding grind.

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Taste Comparison

Taste is probably the most subjective of all of these categories, so I’ll firstly try to explain what I’m tasting before telling you my preference, as yours might be different.

The 54mm flat burrs on the X54 provide a very uniform grind size, giving a lot of clarity in the cup and letting the specific flavour notes of the coffee shine through. The titanium coated 64mm steel flat burrs on the Allground create more of a blended particle distribution and therefore slight variations in levels of extraction, meaning a little more sweetness and body but also less clarity and more blended flavours.

The X54 was very well suited to light roasted coffees brewed either as filter coffees, immersion brews, or high ratio espresso shots. The Allground, in comparison, faired better with medium to dark coffees in shorter, more traditional ratio shots of espresso, and paired very well with milk-based drinks.

So my personal preference is to brew light roasted coffee pushing towards more clarity and acidity, so I have really  enjoyed brewing filter coffees and longer ratio espresso on the X54. The Allground in my opinion better suits the medium to darker roasted coffee with short traditional espresso ratios, and holds up really nicely in milk drinks.

Based on my own personal preference, which might be different to yours, I’m giving the final point for flavour to the x54.


Final Thoughts

So, both grinders are fantastic options for coffee at home, or maybe even for small businesses that want to serve nicer coffee for their staff or guests. On paper, the Allground is more of a premium feeling grinder which absolutely feels like you’re getting your money’s worth and based on the categories in this video I’d say it takes the win out of these two grinders. Though, at £200 pounds less, the X54 is showing great value for money and was my preference based on flavour alone.

Make sure to check out our individual reviews for both grinders down below. Or, to purchase either grinder, click here: Sanremo Allground Grinder, Mahlkonig X54 Flat Burr Grinder.

Reviewing the Mahlkonig X54 Home Coffee Grinder, A Roaster’s Review of the Sanremo Allground Grinder by Fiorenzato.

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