Commercial like profiles made possible and very easy!
Positive Product Points
Excellent customer service!
Sturdy and durable all stainless steel construction
Welds rather than rivets for extra long life
Very easy to install
Very easy to use, especially when hot
Great vane design for bean mix
Should last a lifetime with very little maintenance
Digital thermometer with thermocouple a MUST have for accurate roast profiling
Rk Motor from rkdrums.com (or similar motor) a must have to really get the most out of the drum
Much easier than I thought it would be
Negative Product Points
Be careful of rough edges on interior under door (no need to reach inside anyway)
Costly, but I don't think I could make one of this quality for much cheaper (nor would I want too)
Small screws that tighten against the spit rod itself through the small tabs to level the drum tend to strip out the tabs they screw through (Would prefer the collar nuts that come with the drum be used to clamp the drum to the spit rod, the rod can be bent slightly to compensate for any wobble during rotation). All in all not a big deal and a modification I could easily make and defiantly not enough to scare me away from using this great drum!
The post that sticks through the door (for the clip that holds the door closed) is just far enough away from the sidewall that beans tend to get caught when dumping the load. Again a minor complaint!
I will first open with some brief comments about me and my level of roasting skill. I have been home roasting for over a year. I began with a FreshRoast +8 and then took up pan roasting. I am used to seeing the roast and am familiar with the smells and sounds also. I consider myself an able roaster but still a novice and always learning.
The RK Drum is a fantastic drum roaster for home roasting coffee beans. It is easy to use, well made and a real treat to work with. Let's look at the RK Drum in these categories build quality/construction, ease of use, design, and overall value.
- Build Quality/Construction -
The build of the RK Drum is very good. Having novice metal working skills myself I can fully vouch for the craftsmanship of the RK Drum (it is better than what I could make with the materials I have access too). No exterior rough edges and every weld smoothed. The fit and finish of the drum itself is good. Best of all the entire drum, every part, and every piece is 100% stainless steel. This thing is a real tank. I don't think you could break it! The walls and mixing vanes are thick with absolutely no flex at all. The hinge for the door runs the whole length of the door for a very secure closure. No doubt the drum will easily withstand a lifetime of heating (expansion) and cooling (contraction) especially since there are no rivets, all welds!
- Ease of Use -
The RK Drum comes complete with mounting instructions for a standard 5/8-inch spit rod. Installation is fast and easy will all tools (one allen wrench) provided with the drum. Installation is accomplished in minutes.
Roasting with the drum is just as easy. Once installed the green beans can be dumped into the drum through the door. The spit with the drum mounted on it is then mounted into the grill and rotisserie motor. Just like that you are roasting coffee!
The design of the RK Drum is also very good. Early versions of the drum had issues with being able to quickly pull the pin to open the door as well as getting a good mix with the standard 6 rpm rotisserie motor.
***These have been completely corrected with the newer design.***
It's easy to open the door and release the hot beans into a cooling tray/colander. The drum also has two vanes that are curved to promote more mixing for even roasts at the slower rpm of the standard motors. The design is great and has been perfected.
- Overall Value-
The RK Drum is a tremendous value on a very capable and easy to use home coffee roaster. It should last forever with little care and truly makes roasting fun and easy. With a digital thermometer using a thermocouple exacting profiles is possible. All in all roasting with the RK Drum is as easy or scientific as you like to make it. Truly one of the most versatile home roasting methods.
To see photos with descriptions of my Rk Drum set-up just click here.
Fantastic! Mr. Ron Kyle has a great product and is very fast to answer any questions. The best customer service/support I have ever experienced. 10 STARS!!!
Three Month Followup
One Year Followup
I have been using the Rk Drum for over a year now and I can see no signs what so ever of any wear. I do store the roaster inside my garage, never outside in the elements. The drum still looks and functions great. No problems what so ever. The only part that I suppose could wear is the nut on the spit rod where the rod rests against the bracket. Due to rotation this is a wear point. Even there I see no immediate wear. I have roasted a couple hundred pounds easily and the results are exceptional. The roaster is still in great shape and I still highly recommend it to anyone looking for the best possible home roasting results! I love the ability to roast up to four pounds with no physical work. Such a nice and easy to use set-up, I wouldn't give it up for anything, and it should last me many more years. The best coffee investment I have ever made!