Muvna Mantis/Lastaforest rotating WDT tool user experience

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
PPapa
Posts: 188
Joined: 6 years ago

#1: Post by PPapa »

I was dead set on getting BH AutoComb, but reading about bearing issues and the grip being imperfect made me curious about this:
https://lastaforest.com/products/spirog ... g-wdt-tool

I don't think the aesthetics are much improved and you need a station for it, but I assume it would be very similar performance between the two?

Any experience would be welcome, otherwise I'll have to wait for a birthday AutoComb :D

Capuchin Monk
Posts: 1277
Joined: 15 years ago

#2: Post by Capuchin Monk »


ira
Team HB
Posts: 5526
Joined: 16 years ago

#3: Post by ira »

Having finally purchased the AutoComb, I'm very impressed with the thought that went into it. Yes, I have the bearing issue, but as someone here pointed out, if you take the protective silicon sleeve off the supplied pliers and place it on the shaft, the problem is not noticeable and BH has promised to send out a kit to fix the problem. It comes with what looks like a lifetime supply of spare needles, a pliers so you can easily change them and the two hex wrenches necessary for the fasteners on the Autocomb. It is surprisingly well designed and easy to use. If you were a shop, I would suggest it would be a better choice. I think if you had this one and the AutoComb side by side you'd find the Autocomb's workflow better. Other than that, it probably makes no difference. And I guess at some level, this one looks cooler.

PPapa (original poster)
Posts: 188
Joined: 6 years ago

#4: Post by PPapa (original poster) »

So I've received my Muvna Mantis, that looks identical to Lastaforest but third of the price.

It's a solidly built, but perhaps not well built! It's all metal and wood, with nice bearings and no 3D printed parts.




It's nice you can remove the WDT and keep the funnel for a tap, but there's nowhere to "park" the top part while you do that.


The needles also feel a bit stiff, despite being thin. I don't think you can replace them, but they're pliable enough they can be bent back.

The height adjustment isn't quick but quite solid and well thought out. Wouldn't want to use it with two different depth baskets.

Will give it few weeks before I decide on BH AutoComb. My hope was I can grind into Grafikus tumbler, place it on the portafilter, release grounds, wdt, tamp and go. I don't think it improves current workflow (that requires dosing funnel), nor it reduces any chance of mess (quite the opposite, so far!).

Mods: any chance the thread could be renamed to "Muvna Mantis/Lastaforest rotating WDT tool user experience"? Thanks!

snorkrat
Posts: 2
Joined: 1 year ago

#5: Post by snorkrat »

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I was hoping to find out if the needles were replaceable and could simply be pulled out and potentially replaced by the "standard" acupuncture needles we see/use on many of the small handheld WDTs (with the handles? cut shorter). I'd still be tempted to order one myself.

PPapa (original poster)
Posts: 188
Joined: 6 years ago

#6: Post by PPapa (original poster) »

I can see why BH AutoComb is priced as is. I think it provides better user experience if you need to automate it.

I have pulled some shots and I'm very tempted to go back to Sworksdesign WDT already, but I have been doing manual WDT since 2017...

Capuchin Monk
Posts: 1277
Joined: 15 years ago

#7: Post by Capuchin Monk »

PPapa wrote: I'm very tempted to go back to Sworksdesign WDT already,
What's causing it?

PPapa (original poster)
Posts: 188
Joined: 6 years ago

#8: Post by PPapa (original poster) replying to Capuchin Monk »

I want to spend few days with all other variables being equal to see if there's difference in consistency between manual and Mantis WDT to be objective. I know manual WDT has not been causing inconsistencies (in taste anyway, I don't have a refractometer) for me.

Subjectively, I don't get as level puck before tamping compared to manual WDT, it's a bit faffy to use and it's really difficult to tap to get bed settled by tapping. You can't do it with the top piece with needles in place, as it leaves holes in the grounds. If you remove top piece, but not the funnel, then you need to rest the piece somewhere safely. Perhaps if the magnet was stronger to keep needles away from the grounds would help, but it's too weak for that.

I also don't find it satisfying to use, even though manual wdt isn't therapeutic for me either.

TLDR: not much perceived benefit with extra faff and less enjoyment.

ira
Team HB
Posts: 5526
Joined: 16 years ago

#9: Post by ira »

A test I've started doing to check the level of the bed is to just gently set my tamper on the puck and check if it's level to the basket. You can't do it with a leveling tamper and it helps if the edge of the tamper is near the rim of the basket so it's easier to see and I can't tell you how good a test it is, but it seems to be a reasonable test.

Capuchin Monk
Posts: 1277
Joined: 15 years ago

#10: Post by Capuchin Monk »

PPapa wrote:If you remove top piece, but not the funnel, then you need to rest the piece somewhere safely. Perhaps if the magnet was stronger to keep needles away from the grounds would help, but it's too weak for that.
Mine works the same way as shown in this clip, both come off at once. Easy-peasy.