TAMPERS: Decent vs. Force vs. Bravo

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

#1: Post by blutch »

I have read a bunch of posts on these tampers, but I can't find something that addresses which one would be best. Also, I'm confused about something.. all I've read is that you need "about 30lbs of pressure" for a good tamp. I have no idea what that is and don't own a bathroom scale. :) BUT - the Decent is now at 15Lbs of pressure and I think the Force is at 20. I want a calibrated tamper because my shots are inconsistent. I've narrowed it down to the tamp, but I can't decide on which one!

I tried the St. Anthony kit and just sent it back. I change beans and didn't like taking 3-4 shots to fiddle with it each time I switched. A calibrated seems to be the ticket, but I'm stuck between these three. I would love to know your opinions!

B

111a111sk

#2: Post by 111a111sk »

Bravo can be adjusted between 26 and 37lbs (12-17kg)

If I remember right, the consensus is that the tamping force past 8kg (17lbs) makes no difference. So Decent is most likely just fine.

The Force tamper has sort of a punch/impulse mechanism, not quite sure about that.

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Jeff
Team HB

#3: Post by Jeff »

The current Decent tampers are not calibrated in any way. Their spring pressure merely fights you and adds to the force you need to apply. With a "15#" Decent tamper, you need to put 30# of force onto the handle to have 15# onto the puck (30 to handle - 15 lost to spring). Designs like the Bravo have a low-force spring to return the square-to-basket ring into place, with another spring that is used for the force-indication function. Apparently the original one was force-indicating, but all of the later ones are not.

BaristaBob

#4: Post by BaristaBob replying to Jeff »

I've used every Decent Tamper they have manufactured. They have all been great, however, I believe the newest (V3) that uses a 15 lb. spring will only fight you for 15 lbs., after that it's up to you...you might be applying 16 lbs force or greater. Personally, I can't comment on the Bravo since I have never used one, but the Force Tamper is spring loaded. My Force Tamper is set to 20 lbs. and yes the "punch" that it applies had me worried at first but given that all the force is directed within the rigid confines of the filter basket no worries. After almost a year with this tamper my pucks have never been more consistent (I only WDT with the Levercraft tool and tamp). At least for me the most important attributes for a great tamper is size...at least 58.5mm, a leveling plate, and consistent force (either from a spring or a barista's expert touch).

Bob
Bob "hello darkness my old friend..I've come to drink you once again"

Amberale

#5: Post by Amberale »

The way I see it, if you only use one bean or rarely change then a "normal" tamper with a depth adjuster should work well.
If you use a lot of different beans(giving a different head space for the same weight dose) then The Force should give a more consistent tamp.
I'm in the market for a TF at the moment.

blutch (original poster)

#6: Post by blutch (original poster) »

Amberale, what is a TF?

Bob, which Force tamper do you have? How does it work.. you press and when you get to the right pressure, does the spring release it? This kind of tamper seems to be the most consistent.. plus a leveling plate makes a lot of sense to me. I thought both the Bravo and Force did this.. I guess I'm still a little confused. I don't really know what it means when people say "It starts to fight you at 15#s. I need something more precise than that I think.

$200 is a little pricey for me to just experiment with something. I'd like to know more about how they work before springing (har har) for one. :)

B

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Jake_G
Team HB

#7: Post by Jake_G »

blutch wrote:what is a TF?
I believe that's shorthand for "The Force" tamper.

Cheers!

- Jake
LMWDP #704

Auctor
Supporter ♡

#8: Post by Auctor »

Another thread on this same topic:

Bravo Tamper vs Force Tamper - what's more foolproof?

I ended up purchasing Bravo, but find myself going back to the stock ECM tamper. Tamping reminds me of putting (a golf ball) - it feels difficult to dial in at first, but once you practice a bit and find your touch, having the very real feedback of a regular tamper makes a big difference in consistency and control.

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Brewzologist
Supporter ♡

#9: Post by Brewzologist »

Jeff wrote:The current Decent tampers are not calibrated in any way. Their spring pressure merely fights you and adds to the force you need to apply. With a "15#" Decent tamper, you need to put 30# of force onto the handle to have 15# onto the puck (30 to handle - 15 lost to spring). Designs like the Bravo have a low-force spring to return the square-to-basket ring into place, with another spring that is used for the force-indication function. Apparently the original one was force-indicating, but all of the later ones are not.
Jeff; In another thread I recall you were looking into whether there might be other spring weight options for the Bravo. Any luck there?

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Jeff
Team HB

#10: Post by Jeff »

Gilberto shipped mine with a lighter spring. I don't remember the force, but it's light enough that it doesn't bother my wife's wrists and fingers. I have very vague memories of discussions around that spring becoming his standard. I'd contact him for more information.