Do Kafatek, Weber, Versalab or Option-O Service Second Hand Grinders? - Page 2

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
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#11: Post by Jake_G »

bettysnephew wrote:In defense of Denis, the first owner should have dealt with Kafatek when an issue turned up, not immediately sold the grinder.
They actually did deal with Kafatek first. They were told the grinder was fine and to just use it as it was. They took Denis at his word and decided, since there was nothing wrong with the grinder per Denis, they would sell it.

The second owner dropped the safety funnel (not the grinder) and also decided it wasn't for them, given its performance. They sold it to the third owner, who sent it to me. Denis understandably (sort of, but not really) didn't want to service the grinder once Eric owned it, because Eric was a competitor, importing and selling the Ultra at the time. I say sort of understandably because Frank at Titus had no issue selling Eric a Nautilus and supporting it in the spirit of healthy and friendly competition. But that's neither here nor there, I suppose.

Anyway, Eric sent the grinder to me and I fixed it. It has since moved onto its latest owner. I really enjoyed using it once the issues were corrected. After all this. I can vouch for Frank being a fantastic person to deal with, even though my personal interactions have been limited to friendly public conversations here on HB. I like Denis, too. He just comes off as a bit more gruff and protectionist of his brand. Just a different communication style.


- Jake
LMWDP #704

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#12: Post by jrcdzn »

Sure, my point is that even on those high-end items, even if you can't fix them yourself, there may be local resources or knowledge on how to help without the expectation that the manufacturer is held responsible or takes on the burden to support a second or third or found on the side of the road, item.

This is not to say they won't. Some do help as much as possible and may even guide you to a local resource. La Marzocco did so recently with me. It saved me from having to ship my machine and introduced me to a local group that I know will use LM parts as my machine is out of warranty, saving me the headache of trying to ship it to Seattle.

LewBK (original poster)

#13: Post by LewBK (original poster) »

Agreed, but given the bespoke nature of some of these grinders and their--I hesitate to use this word--cultish following and discussion of their unique tolerances, etc. wouldn't the ideal person/people to repair them be the manufacturers themselves? Moreover, there is this assumption that extending service is an unprofitable activity. I think Best Buy makes quite a bit of money offering extended warranties. In fact, the better made a product is, the more lucrative it is to offer an extended, preferably transferable to second buyers, service contract for that product. A well-made grinder should rarely need to be repaired, which means if these manufacturers truly believed in their grinders why not sell an extended transferable warranty for those who want it for an extra $100 or so? I bet you in the case of a company like Kafatek or Weber, given their devoted fan base, buyers would willingly pay extra for such an extended warranty. The manufacturer makes more money, and the buyer can sleep easier at night knowing their grinder will be repaired by the skilled craftspeople who made it if it fails. All of that said, I would like to know which of the aformentioned premier makers offers the best service? I've seen a post, I think but I'm not sure, that Versalab has some of the best service on taking used grinders back for repair. Finally, I would like to remark on the humor of finding a used Versalab or Monolith "on the side of the road." Wouldn't that be nice?

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#14: Post by ira »

I would add to that and say that I would hope most of those boutique grinders are made well enough that offering 10 year warranties on everything other than wear parts, electronics parts and user damage should be no problem. There really is nothing in my Monolith likely to ever have an issue other than the motor controller and modern electronics hardly ever break. Same with the newest Versalab, other than the belts and wipers needing occasional replacement, the rest should last forever.


#15: Post by erik82 »

I also don't see LWW having any problem with repairing a second-hand grinder out of warranty. They're very helpfull with everything you aks them about the grinder and give great support. Although the grinders are built very well and should last a long time. And if anything on my EG-1 should ever break it's the control box and with the V1 can just order a new one and don't have so sent the grinder across the world. The rest of the grinder should last a very very long time.


#16: Post by rmongiovi »

I've been told that when you purchase from a boutique grinder manufacturer you're at their mercy as far as support goes. It's important to consider their track record before laying down that kind of cash.


#17: Post by erik82 »

The big problem with this is they're ALL not long enough around to be able to predict if they'll still be around in 10 years. And you need about 10 years to be able to say anything sensible about it. So if that's what you think you should avoid all of them for the next 10 years and just buy a MK or Mazzer. Or like many here have faith and trust in the manufacturers or else we'll never have better products and innovation as the major manufacturers don't really do this.

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#18: Post by ira »

Versalab has been around longer than 10 years as I considered one for my first grinder about 13 years ago.


#19: Post by flyingtoaster replying to ira »

I can't bother with a company who hasn't updated their Geocities web page in 10 years.


#20: Post by Plinyyounger replying to flyingtoaster »

You should taste the coffee though! Haha
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