DF83v vs DF64v (I have both)

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
HobWash
Posts: 18
Joined: 2 months ago

#1: Post by HobWash »

Updates
UPDATE 02/26/2024 -- It's going back

Original Post

Some early observations and opinions between my DF83v and DF64v...

Background:
I have had the DF64v for about a month, I use it multiple times daily, and really put it through some serious testing in the first week as I was getting to know it. I have tested both DLC Espresso & SSP Lab Sweet burrs (mostly Lab Sweet).

I have had the DF83v for a few days but have already put several pounds of coffee through it, testing both DLC Espresso & SSP Lab Sweet burrs.

Summary:
- DF83v w/ Lab Sweet Burrs -- I was not able to repeatably produce a quality espresso. Defective burrs?
- DF83v w/ DLC Espresso Burrs -- Tastes as good as DF64v w/ Lab Sweet Burrs.
- DF83v is not as precise/consistent as DF64v due to internal design.
- DF83v *may* have more modding potential.
- DF83v stalled with dark roast @ 1100rpm & 25g. My DF64v (newer version) has never stalled.

Read on for more details...

Inner Build & Design - DF64v wins
DF83v is a step backwards in my opinion.
- No ball bearings between the dial and the burr carrier on the DF83v causes some non-smooth dialing.
- Lots of play in the burr carrier. Depending on how I press/turn the dial, I can actually shift the carrier (and the fixed burr) causing burr alignment to shift. It does seem to spring back into place, but it makes me wonder how much value there is in doing a burr alignment.
- Burr Carrier was super sharp, I cut myself twice. I ended up taking a deburr tool and smoothed it out. This also helped reduce some slight retention I was getting on the carrier itself but trivial.
- Painted numbers on the dial appear to be fading due to so much contact.
- Burr Carrier Springs feel too light and may contribute to shifting in the burr carrier. I suspect they lightened the springs to reduce the force need to turn the dial since they omitted the bearings. Feels like cost savings.

Consistency - DF64v wins
With the DF83v -- I suspect due to the wiggle room of the burr carrier and weak springs and how it shifts slightly when turning the dial, I get slight shifts in alignment which lead to inconsistency when switching between dial settings. DF64v appears to be more consistent here.
- DF83v w/ SSP Lab Sweet Burrs -- I pulled 10 shots without touching the dial setting. Same dose, same beans. The shot time varied by as much as 10 seconds for the same yield. I must assume I got some defective SSP Burrs?
- DF83v w/ DLC Espresso Burrs -- I pulled 10 shots again -- All within 3 seconds, most within 2, pretty good.
- DF64v w/ SSP Lab Sweet Burrs -- I pulled 10 shots -- all within 1 second, wow.

Modding - DF83v wins
- Dial Feel
I cleaned out grease and put some superlube and it made a big difference but not great.
Given the internal space, I see there is enough room for some 55x67x3mm needle thrust roller bearings. This would greatly improve the dial feel. If I can just find bearings of that exact size.
- Burr Alignment
I measured about 4mm of "spare" space between the dial and the carrier's mating face. This is enough to install 3 grub screws positioned radially around the carrier face that can be used to align the burr carrier (and also the fixed burr). This would allow for burr alignment without shims. This would be a really cool upgrade!
- Carrier Deburring
There were a lot of sharp rough edges on the carrier. I actually cut myself. A deburr tool helped a lot if you plan to handle the carrier more than twice.
- Plasma Generator for DF64v ?
I have purchased the plasma generator upgrade and looked into installing it into the DF64v. It is not easy. The switch sends a 5v signal to the control board, however, the generator needs 120v. Unfortunately (unlike the non-variable models) the motor voltage is varied by the RPM dial. So to do this, you would need to get a small enough 5v to 120v relay to tee off the power switch and the main power. Is it doable? Yes, but the relay will be difficult to fit, so I have given up on this project.

Appearances - DF64v wins due to size
DF83v is HUGE. It's so much bigger in person. If space is not an issue, fine, but it's also not especially "pretty" due to its enormous size.
DF64v is not small, but it is a nice size and looks very nice. However this is subjective. "SIZE" is the take away here.
Both feel super premium to touch. All Metal with a nice anodized surface. It looks 2x the price.
My DF83v dial indicator (the shiny V at the top) is not centered and makes it look cheap.

The Dial - DF64v wins
The DF64v has a very smooth dial operation where the DF83v is very stiff due to lack of bearings. Both function just fine, but the DF64v definitely feels nicer to dial. Another thing to note. The dial on the DF64v has the lines and numbers under some protected glass-like finish that will never wear off (plus you don't touch them), however, the DF83v, the lines and numbers are painted on the dial and mine have already shown slight change in color due to a ton of dialing in the past few days.
I will say, I like that the DF83v dial indicator (the V) points EXACTLY at the dial line/number. Whereas the DF64v there is some space. I fixed the space by adding my own non-permanent mark on the grinder. Fixed. But it was nice that the DF83v came out of the box with a better solution.

Bells & Whistles - DF84v wins (only due to plasma generator)
- - Plasma Generator -- Let's be honest -- I only bought the DF83v because I REALLY wanted the plasma generator and it works great. Such an improvement. That being said, I 3D printed an air-tight funnel for my DF64v that solved the mess-problem.
- - Magnetic Cup -- The DF83v has a magnetic cup and it annoys me more than not. When placing it, the magnet pulls the dosing cup into place with a loud "TING" as it hits the guide, not awesome but not terrible. The slightest rubber lining around the guides would have been nice.
- - Magnetic Shoot -- Both have it. DF64v's feels more useful and just appears cooler as it is squared off and the magnets are stronger, but in practicality, the DF83v doesn't NEED it as much as it produces less mess. So it's kind of subjective here.
- - Off Switch -- I REALLY wanted an off switch on the DF64v and now that I have it on the DF83v, I don't like it. The DF64v is meant to leave on and it is nice once you get past the idea of leaving it on. The DF83v you really SHOULD turn off as it produces some heat when left on, so it must be pulling some power. Fine right? I wanted to turn it off in the first place... Well, the switch is pretty bulky. If the on/off switch was more like the motor switch, it'd be nice.

I posted a video of the stalling issue here:
★ Helpful

StoicDude
Supporter ♡
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#2: Post by StoicDude »

Thank you for the thorough write up

malling
Posts: 2917
Joined: 13 years ago

#3: Post by malling »

I have the LS no consistency issue here and my burrs only partially broken in.

DF seems to be best avoided on several of their first gen. This is a complete new route they went, It probably takes them a couple of G before it might be worthwhile. I also think this underlines the issue by launching so many different products in such a short span, they seemed more interested in flooding the market with a new product than have a few and get those up to a higher standard.

HobWash (original poster)
Posts: 18
Joined: 2 months ago

#4: Post by HobWash (original poster) replying to malling »

Glad to hear no issues for you. Which grinder are you using?
My LS are great on my DF64v. My hope is that this is a one-off.

My gut tells me the DF83v is an attempt to pack in more features but also cut some corners to be EVEN MORE cost competitive (which they were already). I would have gladly paid $100 more for bearings, tighter tolerances and stiffer springs (why does that sound like a car?)

LukeMarley301
Posts: 3
Joined: 3 years ago

#5: Post by LukeMarley301 »

You have made me regret my decision of preordering the DF83V somewhat, im upgrading from Eureka mignon XL and consistancy and workflow were my biggest aims in the upgrade.

Im wondering if DF64.com would allow me to swap for the DF64V instead.

From your review, i can only assume you will continue to reach for the DF64V over the 83v more often?

If it arrives and has any stalling issues it will be getting sent back anyway.

Ive not dropped over £800 to be having problems with consistancy or dial markers rubbing off.

Thanks for your well thought out review.

HobWash (original poster)
Posts: 18
Joined: 2 months ago

#6: Post by HobWash (original poster) replying to LukeMarley301 »

I do not think you will experience much improvement in coffee flavor coming from a Eureka Mignon XL.

As for workflow...
Do you tend to stick with one grind setting most the time? Or do you switch frequently?
If you stick with one grind setting, just get the DF83v because the plasma generator helps A LOT with the mess. Don't worry about stalling, it's minor -- the fix is to just pour a little slower. No big deal.
If you switch A LOT, then I recommend having two grinders anyway, but if you can have only one, then I'd go with the DF64v and 3D print a solution to keep the mess down.

As for which one I will reach for more. Well my intention was to use both.
I plan to keep my DF83v locked into one grind setting specific for my usual coffee (my own roast)
Then use my DF64v to adjust between other coffees I like to try.

malling
Posts: 2917
Joined: 13 years ago

#7: Post by malling »

I'm
HobWash wrote:Glad to hear no issues for you. Which grinder are you using?
My LS are great on my DF64v. My hope is that this is a one-off.

My gut tells me the DF83v is an attempt to pack in more features but also cut some corners to be EVEN MORE cost competitive (which they were already). I would have gladly paid $100 more for bearings, tighter tolerances and stiffer springs (why does that sound like a car?)
The burrs are currently in a Niche Duo and besides its quirks it works fairly well and is consistent, was also the case with the other burrs I had in it. I'm thinking of replacing it with a Wug2 83a down the line if no one else bothers making a more affordable 80mm grinder, as it would also allow me to still swap to these burrs. But unlikely to happen before next year.

So I think you might got one off or you haven't seasoned/broken in enough, some cast can take 20kg before the burrs start performing

Pelepeno
Posts: 1
Joined: 3 months ago

#8: Post by Pelepeno »

I'm curious about the play you mention. Is it because slop in the thread? That could be solved with some Teflon tape I guess .

robotuser
Posts: 19
Joined: 3 months ago

#9: Post by robotuser »

HobWash wrote:I'd go with the DF64v and 3D print a solution to keep the mess down.
Thank you for the writeup.

I'm researching DF64V. Sounds like there's a mess situation to be aware of out of the box? Grinds flying out? Would love to see some pics/threads (sorry if I missed any).

What are some popular 3d mod to handle that situation?

HobWash (original poster)
Posts: 18
Joined: 2 months ago

#10: Post by HobWash (original poster) »

Pelepeno wrote:I'm curious about the play you mention. Is it because slop in the thread? That could be solved with some Teflon tape I guess .
Here is the best way to observe the "slop"
Turn the dial to setting 0 where you are a hair off "chirp"
Now apply some small pressure to the dial on the left. You hear chirping on the left.
Now apply some small pressure to the dial on the right. You hear chirping on the right.
This tells me, the dial face is able to shift enough to move the carrier and misalign the burrs.

To answer your question about the threading:

There are two sets of threading.
1. The threading that mounts the dial to the locking ring.
2. The threading that mounts the locking ring to the housing.

There is play in the threading between the dial and the locking ring because it needs to turn easily to adjust the grind. You would not want to use Teflon tape on the dial as it would lock it up.

As for the threading between the locking ring and the housing, we could use Teflon tape here, but it is already VERY snug, machined very well.

The only thing keeping the burr carrier stabilized is the springs and the dial face which compresses the burr carrier into the springs as the dial tightens.

I suspect there are two main issues.

1. The threading of the dial has too much slop like you said, but that cannot be helped with this design as the dial needs to turn.
2. The face between the dial and carrier is too narrow which does not give much stability.