Breville Dual Boiler Vs Rancilio Silvia Pro: A Detailed Comparison

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When comparing the Breville Dual Boiler vs Rancilio Silvia Pro, you’ll find they’re pretty similar, not just in price but also in functionality. Yes, I’m not kidding!

Both of these machines lack a built-in grinder, feature dual boilers, and come equipped with powerful manual steam wands, among other features. Still, the Rancilio Silvia Pro is considered the better choice overall. Compared to the Breville Dual Boiler, it steams milk faster, is easier to use, and features a nifty 3-way solenoid valve, among others.

Breville Dual Boiler Vs Rancilio Silvia Pro: Specs & Features Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Rancilio Silvia Pro X Espresso Machine, Black
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine BES920XL, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Rancilio Silvia Pro
Breville Dual Boiler
Dimensions/Weight
15.3 x 9.8 x 16.5 inches/44.1 lbs
20.1 x 17.2 x 17.2 inches/30 lbs
Interface
Button-Operated Interface
Button-Operated Interface
One Touch Drink Options
2
2
Built-in Grinder
Grinding Settings
Heating System
Dual Boilers
Dual Boilers
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
15 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Manual Steam Wand
Manual Steam Wand
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/5 inches
Dual/4 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
2 L/None
2.5 L/None
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
$1,990.00
Price not available
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Rancilio Silvia Pro X Espresso Machine, Black
Model
Rancilio Silvia Pro
Dimensions/Weight
15.3 x 9.8 x 16.5 inches/44.1 lbs
Interface
Button-Operated Interface
One Touch Drink Options
2
Built-in Grinder
Grinding Settings
Heating System
Dual Boilers
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Manual Steam Wand
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/5 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
2 L/None
Filter
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
$1,990.00
More Info
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Image
Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine BES920XL, Brushed Stainless Steel
Model
Breville Dual Boiler
Dimensions/Weight
20.1 x 17.2 x 17.2 inches/30 lbs
Interface
Button-Operated Interface
One Touch Drink Options
2
Built-in Grinder
Grinding Settings
Heating System
Dual Boilers
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Manual Steam Wand
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/4 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
2.5 L/None
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
Price not available
More Info

Last update on 2024-06-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Breville Dual Boiler Vs Rancilio Silvia Pro: Differences

The Silvia Pro won 4-2 against the Dual Boiler, after all. For a clearer understanding of what sets these two apart, take a look at my comprehensive side-by-side comparison!

Coffee Flavor & Brewing System

Winner: Rancilio Silvia Pro

Built-in Grinder 

The Dual Boiler and Silvia Pro are non-grinder machines. Both Breville and Rancilio offer their own separate espresso grinders, but those are an extra purchase.

Oh, by the way, the Dual Boiler also comes in a sweet combo called the Dynamic Duo, which includes the machine itself and the Smart Grinder Pro grinder. Opting for this bundle can actually save you a bit of cash compared to snagging each piece on its own.

the dual boiler with the smart grinder pro
The Dual Boiler with the Smart Grinder Pro

Dosing & Tamping

Speaking of their accessories, there are really only good things to say. Both machines feature 58mm commercial-size portafilters that are impressively well-built and sturdy. 

The Silvia Pro comes with two single-wall baskets, while the Dual Boiler includes both single- and double-wall baskets. Maybe Rancilio thinks that their espresso machine is so top-notch that no one would ever think to use it with pre-ground coffee, or I just think too much.

the silvia pro with its 58mm portafilter and single-wall basket
The Silvia Pro with its 58mm portafilter and single-wall basket

The Silvia Pro uses a really nice tamper that has a stainless steel flat base and a classy black wood handle. In my opinion, it is better than the stainless steel, plastic-handled tamper that comes with the Dual Boiler. But don’t get me wrong. The Dual Boiler’s tamper is good and can be attached to the machine for storage.

Heating System

One of the key features that really justifies the price of these machines is their dual-boiler system. That’s right, they’ve got two boilers – one for brewing and one for steaming. Both also have PID temperature controllers for precise and stable temperatures.

The only hiccup is that they take around 15 minutes to heat up. On those chaotic mornings, this can be a bit of a problem. But both can be programmed to turn on automatically in advance, so there’s nothing to worry about. 

Brewing System

Both the Dual Boiler and Silvia Pro have adjustable pre-infusion, which is an important and very easy-to-understand feature. But if you’re scratching your head wondering what exactly that is, let me break it down for you.

Pre-infusion gently saturates the coffee puck with water at low pressure, allowing the coffee to expand and “bloom.” This is similar to what happens when you brew filter coffee, leading to a more even extraction and reducing the chances of channeling.

Plus, both machines come with 15-bar pressure pumps. Why is this important? Well, the coffee world has pretty much agreed that you need at least 9 bars of pressure to pull a truly good espresso shot.

The Silvia Pro comes with a nifty advanced feature called the 3-way solenoid valve.  This valve steps in to cut off the water flow to the portafilter immediately after your brew is done. That way, there aren’t annoying post-brew drips from the spout. As a bonus, it leaves you with a drier puck of ground coffee, making disposal a breeze. 

Design & Convenience

Winner: Breville Dual Boiler

Dimensions & User Interface

Breville Dual BoilerRancilio Silvia Pro
Dimensions20.1 x 17.2 x 17.2 inches15.3 x 9.8 x 16.5 inches
Weight30 lbs44.1 lbs

They are both available in the brushed stainless steel option, which seems to be the most popular. But if that’s not your cup of tea, the Dual Boiler is also available in black sesame and cranberry red options. Likewise, the Silvia Pro also comes in a couple of color options, including pink.

The Silvia Pro keeps it sleek and functional with just 4 buttons, a steam knob, and an LCD display. The display is small, but it really is a workhorse. It displays the temperature of the brew boiler when the machine is on but not in use and it can also double as a shot timer when pulling a shot. What’s more, you can also dive into some customizations on this display.

the silvia pro's control panel
The Silvia Pro’s control panel

The Dual Boiler also keeps things simple with a pressure gauge, a small LCD screen, and a few buttons. The pressure gauge shows you the exact pressure profile your espresso is getting, whereas the LCD screen displays the water temperature, the current time, how long your shot has been pulling, and more.

the dual boiler's user interface
The Dual Boiler’s user interface

Spout Type & Cup Clearance

Breville Dual BoilerRancilio Silvia Pro
Spout TypeDualDual
Cup Clearance4 inches5 inches

I believe that both provide enough cup clearance for all the espresso cups. Their drip trays are removable, so you can easily take them out to make room for super-large cups. Still, the Silvia Pro has an advantage with its wider cup clearance, allowing it to fit taller cups.

Water Reservoir & Bean Hopper

Breville Dual BoilerRancilio Silvia Pro
Water Reservoir2.5 liter2 liter
Bean HopperNoneNone

The Dual Boiler boasts a tank that’s half a liter larger than the Silvia Pro’s, allowing you to pull a few extra shots before needing a refill. Both of their tanks are removable, but you can just fill them right from the top of the machine as long as you’ve got enough space above.

the top slot for refilling
The top slot for refilling

The Dual Boiler also has a small window on the front so you can easily keep an eye on the water level. Even better, it includes a water filter to ensure your coffee is brewed with impurity-free water and reduce the frequency of descaling the machine.

Milk Frothing System

Winner: Rancilio Silvia Pro

Both of these machines boast stainless steel manual steam wands, perfect for professional-grade steaming. Yes, you can definitely create world-class microfoam for latte art with these, but there’s quite a learning curve to get it just right.

The wands aren’t insulated, so they can get pretty hot. Just don’t worry! Both are equipped with a rubber collar for safe and pain-free handling while you steam away. Plus, they’re super flexible, thanks to being attached to a ball-shaped joint.

the dual boiler's 3-hole steam wand
The Dual Boiler’s 3-hole steam wand

The Silvia Pro’s wand has a 4-hole tip, enabling it to make fantastic foam faster than the Dual Boiler with its 3-hole wand. Just to give you an idea, the Silvia Pro can steam milk in about 22 seconds, while the Dual Boiler takes roughly 48 seconds for the same task.

the silvia pro's steam wand has 4 holes
The Silvia Pro’s steam wand has 4 holes

Drink Options & Programmability

Winner: Rancilio Silvia Pro

Drink Options

Breville Dual BoilerRancilio Silvia Pro
Espresso
Hot Water
Espresso
Hot Water

Both have a tap for hot water coming out, which is great compared to older models that do double duty with the steam wand. With hot water, you can make an Americano or just brew tea.

Programmability

Adjustable SettingsBreville Dual BoilerRancilio Silvia Pro
Coffee StrengthNoNo
Coffee TemperatureYesYes
Milk Foam TemperatureYesYes
Milk Foam TextureNoNo

Both allow you to adjust the pre-infusion as well as the temperature of the brew and steam, which is great for experimentation to dial in your shots. Both also let you manually control the amount of water poured into your cup.

Other features

Winner: Tie

Drain The Boilers

Both allow for draining the brew and steam boilers, which is incredibly handy for those times when you need to store the machine for the long term or if you’re planning to transport or ship it. The Silvia Pro makes things easier using its LCD display, while the Dual Boiler requires you to unscrew a few screws on the front.

the dual boiler requires you to unscrew a couple of screws to drain the boilers
The Dual Boiler requires you to unscrew a couple of screws to drain the boilers

Auto On/Off

Both have an auto-on feature, but the Silvia Pro doesn’t have an internal 24-hour clock like the Dual Boiler. This means you’ll need to do a bit of mental math to estimate the time you want your machine to automatically turn on. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it can lead to less precision compared to the Dual Boiler with an internal clock.

In turn, the Silvia Pro gives you the flexibility to adjust the time after which it automatically shuts off. This contrasts with the Dual Boiler, which has a fixed auto-off setting that kicks in after 20 minutes of non-use.

Quick Rundown Of Rancilio Silvia Pro

Rancilio Silvia Pro X Espresso Machine, Black
  • Dual Boiler: A 1-liter steam boiler and 300ml brew boiler offer simultaneous brewing and steaming.
  • Steam, Optional: A focus on brew temp stability keeps the steam optional, only at pressure when you need it.
  • PID Control: Dedicated brew and steam circuit PIDs offer excellent temperature management, and can be adjusted to-the-degree.
  • Soft Preinfusion: The Silvia Pro X brings adjustable, low-pressure preinfusion for improved shot quality.
  • Shot Timer: The front-facing PID screen doubles as a shot timer when brewing.

Last update on 2024-06-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Dual boiler with dual PID controllers.
  • Adjustable pre-infusion.
  • High-quality accessories.
  • Powerful steam wand.
  • Helpful 3-way solenoid valve.
Cons
  • Very heavy.
  • Costly.

Quick Rundown Of Breville Dual Boiler

Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine BES920XL, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • Please refer to user guide or user manual or user guide (provided below in PDF) before first use

Last update on 2024-06-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Dual boilers.
  • Large and easy-to-refill water tank.
  • Powerful steam wand.
  • Intuitive control panel.
  • Adjustable steam temperature.
Cons
  • No built-in grinder.
  • Bulky.

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References

5/5 - (5 votes)