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Versalab Grinder: Anyone here who bought one but doesn't really like it?
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Nathan
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Nov 2010
Posts: 148
Location: Montreal
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia v3
Grinder: Vario
Vac Pot: Hario
Posted Sat Apr 23, 2011, 6:52am
Subject: Re: Versalab Grinder: Anyone here who bought one but doesn't really like it?
 

My god, I think I spent an hour reading this controversy. It's really quite amazing. There's some real drama about the Versalab, it's creator, and Jim.

I'd was going to comment more, but I feel like I'd rather write a 1000-word essay to do it justice.

Somebody please do a documentary on it.
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,753
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, 2 Macap M4s, OE...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Mon Oct 22, 2012, 9:30am
Subject: Re: Versalab Grinder: Anyone here who bought one but doesn't really like it?
 

JonR10 Said:

A guy who once was a moderator here had poor experiences with his, and I also know of more than one other person who will not post about it because they want to avoid online flame wars.  Jim has been vocal, and here are some links to pertinent threads.

Click Here (www.home-barista.com)

Click Here (www.home-barista.com)  

Click Here (www.home-barista.com)  

Click Here (www.home-barista.com)

Posted April 11, 2011 link

Does anyone know if Versalab has addressed any of the issues Jon provided links to?  In particular, the internal design problems that Jim Shulman found (I think it was the second link above).

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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BLrdFX
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BLrdFX
Joined: 29 May 2012
Posts: 223
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: L-I
Grinder: HG-One, Kony-E, VL, Lido2
Drip: Chemex
Roaster: Quest
Posted Tue Oct 23, 2012, 7:17am
Subject: Re: Versalab Grinder: Anyone here who bought one but doesn't really like it?
 

I have had my Versalab M3 for almost 2 months and have ground about 11 different light to medium roast blends (several pounds total) through it.

The drive belt and the grind setting do not slip.  I have enjoyed the ease at which I can switch between drip grind and espresso grind.

I do not know about bearing issues because I have not had to dismantle the grinder.  I do know that the main shaft is .003" (3 thousands) out of round as measured with a dial indicator on the shaft just before the taper going into the feed cone.  The burrs seem to engage evenly when the machine is off and the burrs are tightened together to just show touching and the shaft is turned manually, but that is hard to prove since it would mean taking the grinder apart and see exactly where the touching occurs.

I have had good customer service so far.  My questions have been answered politely and promptly.  My request for drawings and my thoughts on Modding the M3 were all met with an expected courteous response.  They know I single dose the grinder and they say it was not designed to do it, but I personally cannot see a difference between using their hopper system or a shot glass/cup with 18 grams of beans.

The single dosing in a home environment really shows how much popping of beans occurs with the M3.  It is a pop monster!!  I made caps for the top cone and the bean popping is a thing of the past.

I also have been working on the idea of making a stainless steel base plate so it is easy to clean, or to at least a smooth powder coated finish.  The wrinkle black finish is terrible for retaining dust, dirt and grounds.

BLrdFX: IMG_0001_2.jpg
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BLrdFX
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BLrdFX
Joined: 29 May 2012
Posts: 223
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: L-I
Grinder: HG-One, Kony-E, VL, Lido2
Drip: Chemex
Roaster: Quest
Posted Tue Oct 23, 2012, 7:30am
Subject: Re: Versalab Grinder: Anyone here who bought one but doesn't really like it?
 

Grounds retention is minimal and it is from static.  I get about .4 grams retained by static.

Aluminum bean popper cap.

BLrdFX: IMG_0002.jpg
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rbh1515
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Feb 2003
Posts: 1,281
Location: Milwaukee
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: LM GS3
Grinder: Mahlkonig/VersalabM3
Vac Pot: have one
Drip: no
Roaster: got that too/never use it
Posted Fri Nov 2, 2012, 10:43am
Subject: Re: Versalab Grinder: Anyone here who bought one but doesn't really like it?
 

I have had mine for close to 2 months and have been very happy.  I was hesitant to buy one, but I was extremely curious to try it out.  It seems like people either love it or hate it.  Kind of strange.
Pluses:
Extremely easy to adjust.
Minimal to no adjustment between different blends.  In fact, my wife only drinks decaf, and I have been able to use the exact same grind for the decaf blends so far.
Beautiful extractions--amazing tiger stripes and mottling on the surface of the espresso--and the taste is definitely better.
No channeling at all!
Easy to use.
Cool looking.
Minuses:
The top large pulley wobbles (although the shaft seems fine)--most people I have corresponded with have this
popcorning--yes there is a fair amount.  I am getting a cover.  For now I hold my hand over the opening while grinding
More retention than I thought I would get--have not measured it, but its not much.  I have been doing the swipe across anyway

So far so good.  We'll see in a year.
Rob
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