For us a bit vision challenged (have to wear reading glasses), I have found grinding directly into the basket (the Sette works well for this) yields a nearly level grind, which makes a straight tamp easier. Previously, I was pouring the grind from a small grind catcher into the basket. Hit or miss on an even distribution. I love the provided tamper. I have no issues with channeling.
That said, I was wondering about my gauge. With a time tested grind fineness (over 350 shots from the Robot) I can never seem to reach 6psi without seriously bend over the Robot an exerting way more pressure than I did to get the same sort of shot profile on my former Cremina. The pre-infuse is about 10 seconds, yield 2 grams, the rest of the shot, using a declining profile the final 3rd takes about 30 seconds, including the pre-infuse.
I'll drag out a scale, but is there any chance my gauge could be blocked, clogged, etc? Having owned a Cremina, La Pavoni, etc it just seems like a whole lot more effort. If I loosen the grind, the shot gushes, and I never reach more than about 4.5 psi. at 5psi, the shots look beautiful and taste wonderful...so I'm just curious. Love my Robot.