Upgrading from an Ascaso M311 grinder

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

#1: Post by Wimp »

Dear all,

I am looking to upgrade from my ascaso grinder mostly because I want to experience what a more premium grinder could give in flavor. I have got the m311 250W 700RPM with 54mm burrs. Now the grinders that I am eyeballing because of price and looks are the eureka mignon specialita and the mahlkonig x54. What I was wondering is, would these grinders be considered an upgrade from what I already have at the moment in terms of flavour? I know they will beat the hell out of the ascaso in terms of messiness and loudness but because the burr size is roughly the same I was wondering what kind of difference I can expect. Hope you can help me with some advice!

Kind regards,
Wimp

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baldheadracing
Team HB

#2: Post by baldheadracing »

First - note there have been revisions of the Ascaso grinder over the years so I can't say for sure what follows will work with your particular grinder.

As a budget route, 54mm Ditting burrs should fit in your Ascaso - for example, the X54 burrs or the steel burrs used in the Baratza Vario.

However, you'll have to reverse the wires going to the Ascaso's motor as the Ditting burrs turn in the opposite direction from the stock Ascaso burrs. I found it easiest to switch the wires where the wires attach at the motor control board at the bottom of the grinder rather than at the motor itself.

You may have to do some shaping of the three wipers on the lower (moving) burr carrier, but I can't remember if those wipers are slanted or squared off.

Unfortunately, you'll still have the noise and mess and retention - which is probably why few people do the burr swap. You'll also probably benefit from doing an alignment.

As for taste, my opinion is that the stock Ascaso burrs are okay for traditional Italian-style espresso. The Ditting Vario steel burrs taste noticeably different; a difference that I prefer all day every day, especially with any medium or light roast (and find much tastier for filter coffee). However, taste is subjective. (I have not tasted the X54 burrs or the current Mignon burrs.)

If you will be buying new, then I would suggest going up to 64mm flat like the DF64 (albeit with user modifications) or the 63mm conical Niche Zero.

Good luck!
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

Wimp (original poster)

#3: Post by Wimp (original poster) »

Thanks for the advice, might look into that because Im not necessarily seling my ascaso. I looked into the df64 but the problem is that it doesn't have a hopper. I do not switch up my coffee frequently and although I throw in some different beans every now and then I also do this by the package. And while the niche is praised all over the web, it is much more expensive than the others where I am from.

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baldheadracing
Team HB

#4: Post by baldheadracing »

Ah yes, the differences in pricing between markets. The X54 and the Niche seem to be in the same market segment here.

Have you had a look at the massive European-market grinder comparison test underway at https://www.kaffeemacher.ch/blog/espres ... n-zuhause/ ?
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

bgnome

#5: Post by bgnome »

baldheadracing wrote: As a budget route, 54mm Ditting burrs should fit in your Ascaso - for example, the X54 burrs or the steel burrs used in the Baratza Vario.

However, you'll have to reverse the wires going to the Ascaso's motor as the Ditting burrs turn in the opposite direction from the stock Ascaso burrs. I found it easiest to switch the wires where the wires attach at the motor control board at the bottom of the grinder rather than at the motor itself.

You may have to do some shaping of the three wipers on the lower (moving) burr carrier, but I can't remember if those wipers are slanted or squared off.
I did this with the Vario steel burrs in my Ascaso i1 Mini. I swapped the wires at the motor, but it would have been easier to do it at the board. The sweepers are squared, so it was fairly easy. Also required a slight alignment. Easy upgrade!