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Hario Skerton mods, or can I get a good grinder under $100
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Hario Skerton...  
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thepilgrimsdream
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Joined: 16 Dec 2013
Posts: 32
Location: Philly
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Jan 14, 2014, 11:00am
Subject: Hario Skerton mods, or can I get a good grinder under $100
 

I mostly have done aeropress/French press at home, but I broke a coffee geek rule by purchasing a rancilio s27 without a grinder to match it?

Is there a temporary fix for me to grind espresso or should I just wait and save for a used super jolly or vario?
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,675
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Tue Jan 14, 2014, 11:45am
Subject: Re: Hario Skerton mods, or can I get a good grinder under $100
 

LOL, it is not OUR rule..... it is a requirement for making espresso, well good espresso anyway! :D

There are hand grinders for under $100 that will do the job but a bit slowly. I don't use them so I can not offer advice to which one to get but you will get an answer to that pretty quickly.

Nice pickup on the machine :D

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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Burner0000
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Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,052
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Tue Jan 14, 2014, 12:30pm
Subject: Re: Hario Skerton mods, or can I get a good grinder under $100
 

A modded Skerton will get the job done for a few drinks but I'd get a good motorized grinder if your going to pull more than a few shots.  If you get the grinder off the shelf you can go t your nearest hardware store and swap out the grind adjustment wheel (with the teeth) and replace it with an M8 posilock nut.  Presto you have a stepless hand grinder. Use a small wrench and the handle to adjust.  Once you dial to 0 (where the burrs wont move) counter clockwise to 6-7 o'clock.  This is espresso territory on the Skerton.
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canuckcoffeeguy
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canuckcoffeeguy
Joined: 22 Aug 2013
Posts: 169
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Mypressi Twist v2
Grinder: Vario / Hario Slim
Vac Pot: I have a Dyson vacuum, but,...
Drip: Bialetti Brikka/Bodum...
Posted Tue Jan 14, 2014, 12:54pm
Subject: Re: Hario Skerton mods, or can I get a good grinder under $100
 

I have experience using a modified Hario Slim for espresso grinding (very similar to the Skerton burrs, if not the same).  And thanks to Burner0000 for the how-to-guide on modding to stepless!

I used my Hario Slim for a couple of months, paired with a MyPressi Twist, and got very good results. I was surprised how good the results were.

HOWEVER…it takes quite a bit of elbow grease to grind for espresso with the Hario Slim, due its small burrs. I’m talking nearly 2 minutes of furious and frenetic arm twisting to grind 18 grams for a double shot. I got used to this from a physical point of view, but when dialing-in a new bag of beans, you might need to grind 3 or 4 times before getting it right.

So be prepared to get a small workout grinding. And, it’s better to dedicate your Hario to espresso if that’s what you’re using it for.

Overall, you can get very good results with a modified Hario, but I recently purchased a Baratza Vario and my shots have improved.
Not only is it much faster grinding a double shot, of course, the grind is much fluffier, making for easier distribution.

But if you’re financially limited for the time being, the Hario Skerton or Slim will serve you well –considering its low cost – until you save up for something better.

As has been said over and over on this forum, the grinder really is more important than your machine.
CCG
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canuckcoffeeguy
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canuckcoffeeguy
Joined: 22 Aug 2013
Posts: 169
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Mypressi Twist v2
Grinder: Vario / Hario Slim
Vac Pot: I have a Dyson vacuum, but,...
Drip: Bialetti Brikka/Bodum...
Posted Tue Jan 14, 2014, 1:01pm
Subject: Re: Hario Skerton mods, or can I get a good grinder under $100
 

And just to reiterate: don't bother using a Hario Skerton for espresso, UNLESS you do the stepless mod suggested by Burner0000. The stock stepped version will not give you the precise adjustments needed for espresso.
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Burner0000
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Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
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Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Tue Jan 14, 2014, 1:17pm
Subject: Re: Hario Skerton mods, or can I get a good grinder under $100
 

canuckcoffeeguy Said:

And just to reiterate: don't bother using a Hario Skerton for espresso, UNLESS you do the stepless mod suggested by Burner0000. The stock stepped version will not give you the precise adjustments needed for espresso.

Posted January 14, 2014 link

++++++++1

I was able to get what you would call espresso with the Skerton out of the box but it was either to bitter or to sour.

On a scale of 1-10, 10 being good espresso it was maybe a 4..

OEM Skerton
0- - *- - - - - - - - 10

Modded Skerton

0- - - - - - - - - *- 10

Lastly if you decide to get a Skerton and wanna try other brew types a must will be the OE PFP low bearing upgrade that will give you better course grind.  Turns it into a full range stepless hand grinder.  NOT suggested but if you wanna take it a step further you can replace the clear plastic washers with metal ones to prevent wear on the body of the grinder and an m6 acorn nut on top of the grinder you can use a LOW RPM drill for easier faster grinding.
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canuckcoffeeguy
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canuckcoffeeguy
Joined: 22 Aug 2013
Posts: 169
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Mypressi Twist v2
Grinder: Vario / Hario Slim
Vac Pot: I have a Dyson vacuum, but,...
Drip: Bialetti Brikka/Bodum...
Posted Thu Jan 16, 2014, 1:35pm
Subject: Re: Hario Skerton mods, or can I get a good grinder under $100
 

thepilgrimsdream I'm curious. Did you ever decide on a manual grinder…or to wait and save for an electric?
CCG
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thepilgrimsdream
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Joined: 16 Dec 2013
Posts: 32
Location: Philly
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jan 16, 2014, 3:01pm
Subject: Re: Hario Skerton mods, or can I get a good grinder under $100
 

I am planning on modding my hario tomorrow.

Today I tried to dial it in without modding, I used some trader joes french roast that was left over from the holidays I didn't care much about. This was actually my first test run. I realized I didn't own a tamper(which I just ordered). So I used the plunger from my aeropress to the best of my ability, which seemed to be very similar to a 57mm size. Only one setting produced a decent shot and decent crema, I do realize that my settings will vary when I put my precious Red Bird espresso in, but I wasn't willing to sacrifice the only good pound of coffee in my house to the experimental stage until I get some more.

Conclusion, I need to mod the hario, it will get me close enough for now. I'm going to wait til my tamper and a new gasket come in before using my red bird though, unless I buy another pound. I'm excited

I still plan on picking up a super jolly in the next few months.
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boar_d_laze
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Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,106
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Thu Jan 16, 2014, 6:09pm
Subject: Re: Hario Skerton mods, or can I get a good grinder under $100
 

Burner0000 Said:

On a scale of 1-10, 10 being good espresso it was maybe a 4..

OEM Skerton
0- - *- - - - - - - - 10

Modded Skerton

0- - - - - - - - - *- 10

Posted January 14, 2014 link

It's good that you're enthusiastic and love your grinder, but if the modded Skerton is an 8, and an EK-43 is a 10, there sure are an awful lot of 9s out there.  

8 out of 10 is way out of proportion.  It doesn't leave enough scope to rate grinders which are a great deal better, but are still somewhat less than excellent to a greater or lesser degree.

Think about the different rungs on the performance/quality ladder represented by grinders popular in the geek community like the Baratza Forte, Baratza Preciso, Baratza Vario, Compak K-3,Compak K-4, Compak K-8, Compak K-10 Fresh, Compak K-10 PB, HG-1 with 71mm burrs, HG-1 with 83mm burrs, Kyocera, Kyocera with OE mods, La Cimbali Max-Hybrid, LeLit PL53, Macap M7-D, Mazzer Mini, Mazzer Mini E, Mazzer Mini E with SJ burrs, Mazzer Major, Mazzer Kony, Mazzer Robur, Mazzer SJ, Orphan Espresso Pharos, and Pasquini Moka --  to name just a few relatively popular grinders and leaving out worthy exotics (exotic in the US, anyway) like Anfim, Ascaso, Ceado, Cunill, Fiorenzato, etc., etc.

On a scale of Inadequate, Barely Adequate, Adequate, Good, Very Good, and Excellent, and figuring the Skerton's extremely reasonable price as a push with its great inconvenience, I think the modded Skerton rates a Barely Adequate; while the stock version is Indadequate.  

That's an analysis of the grinder universe, not a vote against the Skerton.

BDL
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hzad
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Joined: 17 Jan 2014
Posts: 15
Location: SoCal
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Feb 2, 2014, 12:07pm
Subject: Re: Hario Skerton mods, or can I get a good grinder under $100
 

Have been loving my Skerton out of the box, but am about to install the OE PFP bearing that arrived today. Can't wait to try it out after!
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