Leveling tamper

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
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coffeemania

#1: Post by coffeemania »

Looking to get some recommendations on leveling tampers. I used to have a "The Force" Tamper which I liked, but I always wondered whether that "punch" at the end with that specific tamper caused more harm than good.

I am currently using a St Anthony Model S.

I am considering the following options:
* Normcore tamper (hear it is good, some complain about a grinding noise, concerned about puck vacuum without tapered design)
* KafaTek LevTamp (if i can get my hands on one)
* The decent tamper (does not seem to come in 58.5mm)
* Bravo tamper (available through WLL)

Any feedback/advice would be appreciated!

thecoffeefield

#2: Post by thecoffeefield »

The force tamper doesn't punch. It basically tamps all the way up u til a certain point then it retracts. That click at the end is not a punch. In my opinion, and I've been very consistent with this, the force tamper is the last tamper you will ever need. Any tamper you buy aside from the force is simply because you want to not need to. I've had the force tamper for close to 8 years and no complaints

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Jeff
Team HB

#3: Post by Jeff »

thecoffeefield wrote:The force tamper doesn't punch. It basically tamps all the way up u til a certain point then it retracts
That's not what I see here

ira
Team HB

#4: Post by ira »

The force tamper definitely hits at the end. You will still I believe, find that most people who use them, stay with them. You can adjust the impact force if you want.

romlee
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#5: Post by romlee »

I have the Decent V5.

What I like:
1. I have small hands and am short (5'4" on a nice dry day). The shape is perfect for my hand as I can easily touch the leveling top plate and feel the tamper settle into place. The height is just right because the "bulb" of the handle doesn't feel as if it's poking me in the palm. Since I'm short the height of the handle allows me to press directly over the handle without standing on the balls of my feet or stand on a step stool.
2. I'm a lazy tamper. Once the top plate is in contact with the rim of the basket I just press down. I don't have to think about whether I square to the tamper and basket.
3. The 15 pound spring has just enough resistance so I can feel the tamper base compress and then get feedback that it's done. Remember, I'm short: I benefit from the weaker spring and compact handle which means I can easily tamp and level the puck.
4. Tamping action is smooth with no discernible friction.
5. Easily taken apart for cleaning. Doesn't loosen up until you want it to be.
6. No-stick coating actually works as advertised. Just give a week or so to break-in.
7. No, it isn't as tight in my VST 18g basket as my Cafelat VST tamper but it also doesn't suction out the puck when withdrawing the tamper. It's a reasonably good fit with the VST and EP HQ baskets I use everyday.
8. It's silent. No squeaking, grinding or pinging. I'm the one who's usually making the sounds.

All in all, beautifully made and well-thought out. It just tamps a level puck without me having to think about it more than I have to or want to.

What I don't like:
1. It's expensive.

But, what do I know?
“Be curious, not judgemental.” T. Lasso

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Jeff
Team HB

#6: Post by Jeff »

Did they change the Decent Tamper yet again? Several of them were designed so that the "calibrated" spring did nothing except make it harder to press down on the handle. A 15# spring meant that you had to press down with 35# of force to get 20# of force against the puck. All I see is the v3 and the v4. Many of the DE videos are confusing as the design has changed so many times and there is little clarity as to what marketing claims are being made for which version. Both Ben and Ray are very good designers at DE. They focus on the machine and not the accessories.

The Force Tamper is square to basket and is an adjustable impact tamper.

The Bravo tamper is square to basket and is a adjustable, force-indicating tamper.

The Normcore tamper is square to basket and appears to be a fixed, force-indicating tamper (with alternate springs available).

The LevTamp is square to basket and, from the web page, is not a force-indicating tamper.

The EazyTamp is square to basket and apparently force indicating.

romlee
Supporter ♡

#7: Post by romlee »

Jeff:

It was a mini-vacation down the rabbit hole. It took some time to figure out the difference between the versions. And, yes, some of the descriptions and videos are out-of-whack or out-of-date. V4 is the most current, I believe. I bought mine in March 2022.

The Normcore leveling tamper is most similar (Both are non-calibrated and can use springs of different stiffness although only the 15 pound spring is shipped with the Decent V4) to the Decent V4. I purchased and tried both side-by-side and kept the Decent. But, like I said, what do I know.
“Be curious, not judgemental.” T. Lasso

PIXIllate
Supporter ♡

#8: Post by PIXIllate »

I can confirm the Kafatek Levtamp is square to the basket and has no force indication, just enough spring to return. I've been very happy with mine but, as with most things Denis, it's not often or readily available.

michael

#9: Post by michael »

Tough to get a kafatek tamper these days though the decent is very good as well 8)

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Jeff
Team HB

#10: Post by Jeff »

FWIW, I decided to find out what all the buzz was around the Eazytamp. I've ordered one, AU$198 to California, or about US$140 at today's exchange rate. There are three different handle options for shape. Unfortunately adding a spare handle also added another AU$26 to the shipping, so I guessed.

Edit: They write "Eazytamp" with a single capital letter. I'll try to remember that from here on out.