Hey guys. I just received a Hario Skerton, and I was previously aware of the issues it has with grinding course due to the fact that the lower burr moves around at courser settings. However I am noticing an issue that I am not sure is "normal" for the Skerton. The lower burr, even at fine settings, is not completely "flat" in relation to the upper burr. One side of the burr is slightly higher than the other side, and it jiggles around a good bit when moving the handle.
I was under the impression that at fine settings, the burrs were aligned properly. Is this a problem specific to my Skerton or is this how all of them are?
This is correct, it uses the other beans to level the burrs. I've got 2 Skertons pushing nearly 40#'s of beans through them. I only grind fine though. The lower bur when empty will cock over to one side. if you want to see it level start grinding then unscrew it and take a look, the whole thing works on pressure.
The Hario and the Porlex grinder work exactly the same way with the burrs floating around, relying on the beans to push them apart at the set distance. I did some easy modifications in an attempt to improve consistency a little. Paper shimmed the outer burr into place, glued the inner conical burr to its plastic mounting piece, and put in a tenser spring: click here
In the end, I don't think it really makes this grinder that much better, probably due to the behavior you are describing: the shaft can still wobble, and thus the burrs aren't level to each other. At really fine grinds, however, the burrs should pretty much touch and level each other out for better consistency.
The OP's observations and the 2 responses address 2 different issues with the Japanese ceramic burr mills....
What the OP is observing may be an actual deformation of the inner burr. These burrs are made in a mold and about 10% of the inner burrs have what appears to be a 'wavy' top surface (the big end), especially detected when turning the burr and observing it in relation to the outer burr. Some inner burrs are mounted crooked on the axle shaft and can be reset but if you have a wavy burr that's just the way it is....a factory defect of sorts.
Yes, the burrs are self centering by design as noted, but when I come upon a waver when doing a bearing upgrade I don't even bother to spend the time trying to work it out....the new owner will, I am sure, first thing examine the burr alignment with a magnifying glass and the slighted bobble or wobble will be noted. Hario or Kyocera assume, I think, that the new owner will just grind coffee with it rather than micro-analyze the thing visually so the tolerance for burr alignment and form is fairly low.
The issues that are pointed out here are just a couple of the reasons we decided to make our own grinders...we become weary making excuses for the shoddy manufacturing of many new hand grinders...but at what to some people is a disposable price I suppose we should not expect more. It becomes tiresome and difficult to say, "whadda ya want for 50 bucks?", but that seems the general attitude for a lot of things these days.
My Skerton was never perfect either. Acceptable, but not perfect. There's somewhat shoddy QC over there, I think. Also, if you're wanting an upgrade and want to stick with a hand grinder, definitely take a long look at the LIDO. I found myself wanting a new grinder when the Skerton arrived almost immediately, not only because it takes forever to grind but because the steps are too large for espresso and it's too inconsistent at course settings without mods.
Symbols: = New Posts since your last visit = No New Posts since last visit = Newest post
Forum Rules: No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards. No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum. No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum. Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards. Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics. Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies. Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies. Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts. Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.