Convince me why I shouldn't use paperclip for WDT

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DamianWarS
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#1: Post by DamianWarS »

more and more I come across people using paperclips for their WDT weapon of choice. I've seen these tools go in the hundreds so this begs the questions when a paperclip is pennies and abundantly available why spend so much?

MatGreiner
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#2: Post by MatGreiner »

Using a paper clip did not obviously make consistent improvements for me. Using a LeverCraft WDT makes a notable improvement in quality and consistency.
The narrow needles and/or the multiple needles in a small circle are what seem to matter. That would suggest that acupuncture needles in a cork will do the job well. Hundred not needed, but a paper clip left me wanting.

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MNate
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#3: Post by MNate »

I think the finer the thickness the better. Any thickness though, if I bring it straight up from the bottom to the top would leave too much of a channel, I think. But if you move it around as you come up, grooming layers up to the top, if you will, then I think thickness or number of tines is immaterial.

So yeah, go for it, imho.

mtbizzle

#4: Post by mtbizzle »

One feature of WDT tools with several thin needles (I DIY'd one with acupuncture needles) is it allows you to "rake" more,... I think? Mine seems to work well for "puck rake" use v.s. deep WDT. I use a keyboard keycap puller with snipped ends (result is 4 thick wires, like a paperclip) to do a "deep WDT" for de-clumping before I pour into my portafilter, then "puck rake" with a thin-wire WDT tool, to make the top of the puck roughly level before tamping.

jevenator

#5: Post by jevenator »

The goal is a complete randomization of grounds in your basket, removing clumps if any and to prevent any new ones from forming. This cannot be effectively done with one point of contact with something thick as a needle.

I've used a Londinium Tool for the longest time with success but switching to 0.3mm Acupuncture/3D Printer nozzle cleaners increased the fluffiness and ease of distribution of grinds.

Now I use the one that came with my LCU and enjoy it a lot.

Plus a paperclip sucks to hold and is not doesn't promote good ergonomics for stirring hundred(s) of baskets over a month at home.

DamianWarS (original poster)
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#6: Post by DamianWarS (original poster) »

mtbizzle wrote:One feature of WDT tools with several thin needles (I DIY'd one with acupuncture needles) is it allows you to "rake" more,... I think? Mine seems to work well for "puck rake" use v.s. deep WDT. I use a keyboard keycap puller with snipped ends (result is 4 thick wires, like a paperclip) to do a "deep WDT" for de-clumping before I pour into my portafilter, then "puck rake" with a thin-wire WDT tool, to make the top of the puck roughly level before tamping.

suppose I have a thin wire that also costs pennies, what reason would I have to use something else?

mtbizzle

#7: Post by mtbizzle »

DamianWarS wrote: suppose I have a thin wire that also costs pennies, what reason would I have to use something else?
Potentially, arguably, for the "rake" function? I imagine you can do this pretty well with just a paper clip. I feel like I would prefer what I have with several small needles, sort of like a finer comb. I know this isn't the question, but my DIY version was less than $20

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mgwolf
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#8: Post by mgwolf »

I have used all kinds of WDT tools, starting out with the original one used by Weiss -- anatomy dissecting needles. The one I use now works the best -- made it with a wine cork and $7 worth of 3D printing needles. I sanded the tips so they won't scratch. They work great. I have 5 needles in the cork and they work much better than one of anything (including paper clips).

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Brewzologist
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#9: Post by Brewzologist »

mgwolf wrote:I have used all kinds of WDT tools, starting out with the original one used by Weiss -- anatomy dissecting needles. The one I use now works the best -- made it with a wine cork and $7 worth of 3D printing needles. I sanded the tips so they won't scratch. They work great. I have 5 needles in the cork and they work much better than one of anything (including paper clips).
+1. My experience exactly, but I only used 4 needles in my cork. I usually do deep WDT and then slowly bring to top of the coffee bed to finish. By far the most consistent method of WDT for me.

Nate42

#10: Post by Nate42 »

The only downside to a paperclip is it is potentially too thick. If a paperclip works for you, then it works for you. I think it can do fine provided your grind wasn't that bad to begin with, and you can do some side tapping to close up any channels the paperclip itself might have caused. I use a probe that came with my monolith, which is thinner than most paperclips but thicker than a lot of ultra narrow needles people use. It does fine. I do both side to side and straight down tapping to level before I tamp.

The original WDT tool was a single thin dissection needle. I have to admit to never having used these new multi needle tools. But I don't see why they give you anything other than maybe finishing the job faster.

Another trick you can do is stir inside a dosing cup, which can be done with a larger implement (people have used chopsticks even) and then dump the dosing cup into the basket. The size of the tool matters less with that method because the act of dumping it form the dosing cup to the basket does one last bit of randomisation and closes up any gaps caused by the tool. You still need to level which you can do by tapping. The dosing cup method is no longer truly WDT as WDT specifically refers to using a thin implement inside the portafilter itself, but it accomplishes something similar.