Calling all Versalab experts/owners

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.

#1: Post by Paolo »

You know the old adage saying something like 'imitation is the sincerest form of flattery'.....

well..this will no doubt be very flattering to Versalabisti.....

I have had a Hedone Honne for a few years now. For what it brings to my cup of espresso, it has proven itself to be my favourite grinder.....

but there is a glitch.

Today I installed a new set of flat burrs. This is the 3rd set since I have had the grinder, which I bought new.

The glitch is that as they wear, they gradually run out of adjustment...much quicker than I think that they should.

Third set rubbing point

Espresso setting with new burrs

I expect that this set of burrs will be like the last 2 sets....and that over the next 12-15 months I will need to tighten the grind bit by bit until eventually it will get to the stage where the burrs will start to chirp at the point that I need the grinder to be at to get a great pour.

At last replacement time, I purchased some dial instruments and checked tolerances (as suggested on the VL site) and everything checked out within VL specifications.

I can continue to feed this nasty habit and even justify it because the coffees are so good with this grinder...but does anyone know what I can do to make the burrs last longer?

I have a new SSP set that I am reluctant to install just now. I was hoping that this issue would be resolved before I go down that route.


#2: Post by Quester »

What makes you think the burrs need to be replaced? Even if you were grinding 2kg of coffee every day, the burrs should last a long time.

Please elaborate on "run out of adjustment"? The "pointing sticker" and numbers below it are relative. You can move that sticker. If you need to grind near chirp and it's not fine enough, something is wrong. Have you talked to the manufacturer?

On my Versalab M4, I'm nowhere near chirp, and I'm grinding fine enough for long blooms on my Decent DE1Pro. I also doubt the burrs will need replacing anytime in the next decade. Or maybe two decades.

Paolo (original poster)

#3: Post by Paolo (original poster) »

Hi Quester,

I agree with you that something is wrong.

I put the stickers in their current place when I installed the new flats yesterday to have points of reference.

The 'old' burrs still look and feel great but get to the low end of adjustment (where they start to rub together) over a period of 12-18 months. I don't believe that they are worn out.

My gut feeling is that the grinder was never properly aligned (or bumped out of alignment during freighting) and the only reason why I can get 12-18 months out of them is that during this time they are wearing-in. Once they are worn-in, there is no finess adjustment left.

If anyone has had a similar experience and solved the issue, I would love to hear from you!


#4: Post by Ad-85 »

Interesting grinder. However, I'm a bit concerned about the shaft & belts design.
Paolo perhaps the bearings need replacing instead of the burrs? At this point I would disassemble the grinder and take a look (I never open my grinders not even for cleaning but this one looks out of alignment). Another thought, the coffeemachinist is close to you :mrgreen: pay him a visit and let us know.
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#5: Post by AssafL »

This is the Hedone. Not the Versalab. Same design but they may be different in the details.

Unlikely to be alignment as alignment (assuming all bolts stay put) - outrun- will stay for the life of the burr.

I am thinking of what happens if the top bolts are loose (or not torqued well). At that point alignment will go bad. But it will remain bad once new burrs are installed.

Which leads me to think that perhaps the moving burr carrier bolt loosens a bit causing the moving bottom burr to drop a bit and thus requiring the gap to close.

My hunch is - that if the OP were to disassemble the grinder and install the old burrs - their zero point will shift back to the starting point.
Scraping away (slowly) at the tyranny of biases and dogma.

Paolo (original poster)

#6: Post by Paolo (original poster) »


Yesterday, I travelled to meet a new friend who is a long term Versalab owner who had coincidentally just super-aligned his machine's burrs on the same day that I made the original post. Generously, he offered to check my Honne's burr alignment.

Agreeing with AssafL's advice, the original burrs that I had removed from my Honne a few years ago were re-fitted to my grinder in order to assess the machine's alignment at what I had considered the point that the flat burrs had run out of adjustment and needed to be replaced.

He thoroughly cleaned the inside of the lower burr carrier and the mating surface of the old burr.
He determined that (when the burr adjustment was gradually tightened whilst the machine was turned off and the burrs were rotated)....that a small section of approximately 45 degrees of rotation of the old (lower) burr was rubbing against the upper burr.

This should be a full 360 degrees in a perfectly-aligned machine.

He aligned the lower burr with aluminium shims on the opposite points to the high point at two opposite points.
At one of the shim locations there needed to be 3 layers of foil and the other point needed 2 layers.

After a bit of trial and error, on testing, both burrs are now meeting together (when gradually tightened and rotated with the machine turned off).

The markers on the grey vertical section needed to be moved to accommodate the newly-aligned "old" burrs.
4.4 burrs start to rub 6.8 setting for ACS Evo
There is now plenty of adjustment left that will hopefully remain for the life of the burrs.

There you go! The old and discarded burrs are now back in service, hopefully for many years to come.
Thanks for your input, guys!
A big shoutout to you, Clinton! Long may your Versalab grind!

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#7: Post by AssafL »

Make sure you torque all the screws properly so that it doesn't end up loosening and falling out of adjustment again.

With the Versalab tightening is enough - but that depends on the screw. Perhaps a drop of medium strength Loctite will be good.
Scraping away (slowly) at the tyranny of biases and dogma.

Paolo (original poster)

#8: Post by Paolo (original poster) »

Thanks for your input, AssafL

I am happy to report that nothing in the grinder was loose.

The bottom burr carrier and the bottom burr were out of alignment relative to eachother.

Now that everything is aligned, I am a very happy Honne owner!

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#9: Post by AssafL »

Paolo wrote:I am happy to report that nothing in the grinder was loose.

The bottom burr carrier and the bottom burr were out of alignment relative to eachother.
But the misalignment wasn't there when you installed a new burr. It developed only after a while. Hence there is probably something in the grinder that slips and gets worse. (probably a fastener - a screw - that is the wrong screw - or inadequately torqued).
Scraping away (slowly) at the tyranny of biases and dogma.


#10: Post by boy_lah »

Ah! Paolo....I've not been checking HB in a while so totally missed this. Glad I was able to help! It was fun meeting up and seeing another fellow coffee lover enjoying his cup again!

re Haddon: for those wondering...the units share many similarities visually but having opened it up and worked on both units. Here's my impression, the Versalab is a much more precisely machined unit. That can mean it is super precise tool but also if anything is off; can be a real headache. I've had times when the moving wiper was off a bit, which caused issues + easily broken and expensive to replace. On the other hand, this precision also meant the grinds and distribution from the Versalab is better than the Haddon. The Haddon build is less precise but also more 'robust' ie. less delicate. For me, THE reason to buy the VS is it's crazy simple workflow. I wouldn't not say the Haddon offers the same - I would recommend exploring WDT when using the Haddon. In cup, I would not say they're not the same either. My (v limited) impression is the VS separation of layers is far more distinct. Hope this helps!
LMWDP #369