Shimming the Breville Smart Grinder BCG800XL for a finer Espresso Grind

I've been tuning up my coffee system for the past several months, coffee is a passion and daily espresso shots has been a routine of mine for many years. Check out my other posts on upgrades made to my Rancilio Silvia machine. Once I got my PID kit installed, I was able to manage temperature and shot time very easily. The next variable which I started working on was grind, and I found that I wasn't quite able to grind fine enough with my Breville BCG800XL grinder. Close, just not close enough.

Breville BCG800XL with Bean Hopper and Cone Removed
Off to the Internet! I found that Breville offered a free shim kit upgrade for this grinder. I called Breville customer service in North America, and found that my BCG800XL was discontinued. I owned this grinder for only five years. I initially thought about purchasing a replacement grinder, but I'm not keen about replacing things when they are still serviceable, and supporting the throw-away society. I decided to see what I could do to shim the grinder myself.

Use the handle of a wooden spoon to hold the burr from turning while removing and reinstalling the nut
Removing the burr is simple and takes approximately 10 minutes with one tool, a 10 mm wrench or socket. I removed the Burr and measured for washer shaped shims, and ordered some shims. 

Shims in place with Burr removed
When the shims arrived, I started by adding the 0.5mm shim. I could choke the machine a full 6 clicks from the finest setting, this shim was too thick. Then, with the 0.3mm shim, I found I could choke the machine at about 2 clicks from the finest setting. Perfect. My optimum grind is now 4 clicks from the finest setting, and I have several clicks finer to fine tune the grind if necessary.

Use the tip of a knife to ensure the shims are centered under the burr, before tightening the nut
Hint when removing and installing the burr - the nut holding the burr is REVERSE THREADED, turn right to loosen (not left). Also - I used the handle of a wooden spoon to jam the burr and keep it from turning while removing and reinstalling the nut.

0.3mm shim on left, 0.5mm shim on right
This fix will work for the following grinders (and possible others):

Breville Smart Grinder BCG800 
Breville Smart Grinder BCG800XL 
Breville The Smart Grinder Pro BCG820BSS 

The Breville kit part number used to be BCG800/116.1. 

I have spare shims available for sale on eBay at this link.


  1. Just installed the 5mm shim....what a difference! I can now use a high flow Portia filter basket and still have good extraction times. Thanks for supplying! Matt

  2. Glad it worked out for you, no problem!

  3. Hello,

    I see you're out of stock on eBay. Will you haver more anytime soon? If not, do you have a web site/part numbers for these shims?


    1. Thanks for your message - I have lots have stock, have updated the eBay listing, you can place your order today.

  4. Just tried the 0.5 mm shim I got from you and I can finally grind fine enough! Cheers

    1. Glad to hear that worked out for you, excellent.

  5. Just picked up a gently used BCG800XL along with a Breville BES830XL espresso machine. Excited to finally get into making espressos.
    Glad to fine this site with the ability to buy the shims.
    What filter basket do you use on your machine? I plan on using the portafilter basket and I read the comments that others found success with the 5mm shim. I suppose it’s trial and error, just finding the right setting on the grinder and going from there.

  6. Hi! So happy I found you, I’m going to order some shims.
    Do you use a portafilter on your espresso machine?
    I’m new to espresso making and watching too many YouTube videos I just have to start somewhere.
    Got a gently used BES830XL Espresso machine and the BCG800XL grinder. I see others found success with the 5mm shim. I suppose it will be a bit of trial and error before finding the right grind.

    1. I use a portafilter on my Rancilio Silvia. Yes - trial and error is required to get the digital grind display on the BCG800XL into the correct range for espresso. Start with the 0.3mm shim, then the 0.5mm, then both until you get reasonable grinds with the display in the "espresso" range on the grinder. The burr is reverse threaded - don't forget this when you make adjustments.

  7. Did u know that the removable top half of the burr already has an adjustable ‘fine tune’ shim?? If you remove the wire handle then u can twist, and the handle connection points act as ur guage. Pretty sure I have the same model.

    1. thanks for the comment - I've double checked my - my top burr is not adjustable as you mention - it's fixed and the two parts - metal and plastic - are keyed together - they can't twist even if you remove the wire handle.