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Buying a USED Mazzer SJ Grinder - advice please

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  • Buying a USED Mazzer SJ Grinder - advice please

    Hi everyone and thanks so much for your help so far in my journey.

    There is a possibility I can get a used Mazzer Super Jolly but I would like to know what to watch out for in buying used.

    I know that this is a great machine built to last forever but are there things I need to look for or attend to? Questions in no particular order:

    1. There is currently coffee left in the machine, unsure age, could have been weeks. Is this a problem and does it cause any problems for the burrs?

    2. The burrs - I dont know how to assess the burrs for age and need for replacement - is this an easy to learn skill or not? If they are ok now, how will I know when I need to replace them?

    3. Servicing - is an initial "service" recommended for a machine of unknown history?

    Anything else?

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Re: Buying a USED Grinder - advice please

    Commercial Cafe grinders dont usually present any problems except if something is obviously broken, or if say, the auto on /off switch is not working....so basically you need to switch it on and test operation. If it works...it works.

    Otherwise you can simply expect to do a bit (a lot) of cleaning because in most work situations, no one ever cleans a grinder. Just chuck the left overs in the grinder away, use a vacuum cleaner to suck it out, wipe with soft cloths, wash the hopper iin warm soapy water etc. etc.etc.

    Dont be concerned with the state of the burrs. Most of the stuff that has been written in forums like this is just scare mongering. A set of burrs, depending on the type of coffee used and the adjustment as set up by the particular operator, should be good for somewhere over say 400 kilos give or take.....

    Use it to make coffee. If the coffee is good, dont worry about the burrs. If the coffee is not good, and you think it is attributable to the burrs, change them.

    If you are concerned than by all means get the burrs changed, then at a "domestic use" rate of say 300 grams coffee a week, at an arbitrary lifetime for the burrs of say 400 kilos, you wont need to worry about it again in the lifetime of the grinder at your home (because that equates to 1,333 weeks or 25.5 years   - use before they theoretically go blunt...).

    Chiz,
    Attilio
    first / original CS site sponsor.

    PS please note however it is entirely overkill to buy this model grinder for home use and you will have trouble if you want to place it under overhead cupboards because of its height. The only reason for buying something like this for home use is if the price is cheap, and you have the space...Otherwise buy a macap M4 or a mini mazzer or a compak K whatever or some other good model but more appropriately sized grinder where the quality of the grind delivered is not in question.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Buying a USED Mazzer SJ Grinder - advice pleas

      Hi, I think Ive been sucked into upgraditis even before buying in the first place

      I was advised by some here to consider a used SJ if I was considering a new MM for the same price.

      The more I thought about it, the more the idea appealed.

      Ive heard of something in passing about a problem with "cross threading" the grinder - not sure if this was for the SJ or for any similar Mazzer model.

      Is this a concern and are there any other concerns?

      I would be buying this "sight unseen" with no more than a "dead on arrival" warranty.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Buying a USED Mazzer SJ Grinder - advice pleas

        Cross-threading - it can be done on any grinder where the upper burr carrier screws into a thread but it can only happen when you completely remove the upper burr carrier (which you only need to do for cleaning) and if youre really careless when screwing it back in. Ive had mine apart countless times and have never had an issue. Disregard that as a potential problem for all intents and purposes.

        So long as youre happy with the appearance of the unit and it works, youll be fine as Attilio said. With all due respect to the well wishers, I think youve been a bit scared off by a whole lot of potential problems that youre most unlikely to come across. Easily done when you dont know any better but from my own experience owning a Mini and a SJ the only things you need to consider are 1) space, particularly height (remove the hopper as I have and its no taller than a Rancilio Silvia), 2) price and 3) aesthetics of a second-hand unit. If the worst comes to the worst and you have to change burrs, coffeeparts has them for $AU37.50 (not sure if theyre genuine or not), so maybe $AU120 at the worst, probably cheaper.

        Find one and buy it, you wont look back.

        Greg

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        • #5
          Re: Buying a USED Mazzer SJ Grinder - advice pleas

          Finding one is my biggest difficulty, and because it will be "sight unseen" I am trying to work out how best to assess any options that come up.

          Cosmetics is not a great concern to me (well it is, but not $600 worth).

          Fortunately I have found a local enthusiastic coffee merchant who is knowledgeable in the Mazzers and said that he could change the burrs if I wanted to (I probably wont need to though from your accounts), and sounded like he could offer other basic assistance too. He also confirmed thoughts here that not much really goes wrong with them.

          He said that they are hard to come by in the used market but is going to email his contacts to see what he can come up with

          Its also really cool that his brown beans are $25/kg as opposed to the usual $40/kg in New Zealand. And fair trade at that!

          Now that waiting starts...

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Buying a USED Mazzer SJ Grinder - advice pleas

            On the basis of your advice that you would be buying sight unseen my advice to you is....DONT.

            Buy something more appropriate, local, that you can see and touch and see running.

            In fact, the local person you have been talking to must have something to offer you........you dont NEED to be buying a ***brand*** name sight unseen when this bloke may well have perfectly good equipment of another brand that will be a perfectly good piece of equipment for you.

            Do not fall into the trap of becoming a brand name junkie from reading these forums where only a select few brands seem to be "acceptable" clobber for coffeesnobs. With this type of attutude, consumers often fall into the trap of forcing their local suppliers to get something in for them when there was something perfectly suitable for them there all the time in the local blokes range....but of a different brand....and for which the appropriate after sales service is much more readily available.

            Regardz,
            Attilio.
            first / original CS site sponsor.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Buying a USED Mazzer SJ Grinder - advice pleas

              Hi FC.

              I really have little option if I am to go for a SJ. It could take 10 years to find a local one in my small town.

              So the choice is:

              Unseen used SJ with uncertain history vs. Local brand new MM

              By all accounts here the SJs should work forever? Not sure if thats right but thats the impression Im getting and if a minor service was required then it would still come in under the MM price.

              What problems would you forsee buying a used SJ then Fresh_Coffee? I will be guaranteed against "dead on arrival" but nothing further after I assess it to be "working".

              Why do I want a Mazzer? Its not simply the brand. Having seen the Rancilio Rocky (and knowing about the stepped grind adjustment), I believe that anything less (knowing me) will result in upgraditis, and I dont want to get into that situation - especially in my small town with no easy used market to upgrade from.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Buying a USED Mazzer SJ Grinder - advice pleas

                Dont worry about the ***stepped adjustment*** chestnut.  It falls into the same category as the "my burrs might be blunt" chestnut.

                Stepped adjustment is not a problem with semi commercial and commercial grinders and in some instances it is a distinct advantage.....it is really only a problem in low end grinders.

                Avtually if I were to be looking at a used super jolly sight unseen as opposed to a new mm for a similar price...for home use...I would be taking the new mm. Any price differential will be completely forgotten in a couple of years time. Thats only my personal opnion and it is tempered by my PS above. The SJ wont do anything for you that the mm wont do for you in domsetic use except allow you questionable bragging rights like "mines bigger than yours". And as already stated, the SJ is too big for a domestic kitchen. Honestly...it does nothing for you. Its kind of like buying a 10 wheel Mack prime mover for the wife to drive the kids to school with every morning, just because it was a good price and youll never vhave to upgrade again???????

                Possible problems already given above.

                All that said there is no doubt a semi commercial or commercial grinder like mazzer, macap gino rossi, simonelli, compaq, faema, la cimballi etc etc etc etc etc will be a nicer proposition than the rocky but we are not talking commercial use.

                Choose your weapon and go for it you will be happy either way but atleast you go into it with your eyes open.

                Oh another possible problem with buying a used grinder.......if it is not packed properly for despatch and dare I say in the original packaging (and noone ever keeps that)......it could arrive with a broken hopper, down where the neck goes into the top if the adjuster ring....and that is an expensive little spare part to order.

                Regardz,
                Attilio.







                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Buying a USED Mazzer SJ Grinder - advice pleas

                  Originally posted by Fresh_Coffee link=1226270246/0#7 date=1226278385
                  The SJ wont do anything for you that the mm wont do for you in domsetic use except allow you questionable bragging rights like "mines bigger than yours". And as already stated, the SJ is too big for a domestic kitchen. Honestly...it does nothing for you. Its kind of like buying a 10 wheel Mack prime mover for the wife to drive the kids to school with every morning, just because it was a good price and youll never vhave to upgrade again???????
                  I couldnt entirely agree with this in the context of a blanket statement because it depends what the home user wants. For many the Minis perfectly adequate, sure its more the right size for home, but having used both I find the SJ superior because 1) its ~30% faster and 2) it has a decent metal dregs tray thats big enough to catch all the mess and keep the benchtop clean and doesnt rely on flimsy plastic lugs that break within three months to keep it in place. If space isnt an issue, some may be prepared to pay a bit more for the sake of faster grinding and a cleaner benchtop. Others may not. Its an individual thing. Best to state the facts and let the user decide how those facts fit their requirements.

                  Greg

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                  • #10
                    Re: Buying a USED Mazzer SJ Grinder - advice pleas

                    What about taste?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Buying a USED Mazzer SJ Grinder - advice pleas

                      Mines bigger than yours....





                      ps... I have not used the MM but the SJ sure is a nice bit of kit and looks the business next to the commercial machine. It has a massive motor and weighs a bomb and one might expect that you would give it to you kids one day...I dont know whether the MM has quite the same longevity of not but I personally wouldnt exchange mine and I bought mine new of Chris knowing what the extra (albeit not much extra on the deal he was doing) was for.

                      Cheers

                      PS. Fresh Coffee - I agree that this forum tends to recommend the same few pieces of equipment time and time again, but perhaps that is because its members have used, tested and known of different machines and have decided what they like...and are generous enough to share that information with people who might not have had that exposure...provided the reasons are given for their recommendations I dont see the problem

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Buying a USED Mazzer SJ Grinder - advice pleas

                        Runfast - according to the US Titan grinder project challenge the SJ outgunned the big king of Mazzer for some shots. Those reviews also assert that the SJ is a step up quality wise from the MM but I dont think Greg came to that conclusion in his tests here.

                        Cheers

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Buying a USED Mazzer SJ Grinder - advice pleas

                          Unfortunately Greg, many used SJs here have lost their dregs tray! And the distributor quoted me about $80 for a replacement - ouch!!

                          But yes, the plastic tray on the MM sucks as it would break my heart when it broke as it seems destined to do

                          Fresh_Coffee Im from a small town in a small country - there is limited choice when it comes to equipment so buying locally generally means Mazzer or Isomac. Or of course the Rancilio Rocky.

                          Ive stated before that one reason Id like to brag that "mines bigger than yours" is simply to completely quell the need to upgrade and therefore that itchy feeling of upgraditis.

                          Used Super Jollys can be had for slightly cheaper than a new MM. But by many accounts here I would find value in the SJ if it was cheaper than the MM due to its features as long as I had space for it.

                          Does the SJ doser sweep dry or just better than the MM?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Buying a USED Mazzer SJ Grinder - advice pleas

                            depends on model....mine sweeps well by the MM of the same vintage changed to sweep just as well as I understand it.

                            Cheers

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Buying a USED Mazzer SJ Grinder - advice pleas

                              I wont be too disappointed if it doesnt sweep completely clean.

                              I was surprised at how "dirty" the MM is though - I didnt imagine it would be as bad as I saw on a basically brand new machine.

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