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Thread: Secondhand grinders

  1. #1
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    Secondhand grinders

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Well Ive been lurking around this website for a while now, and finally feel like I am game enough to ask a few questions!

    Having diligently taken onboard the idea that you buy the best grinder you can afford, I realize that Im probably going to be looking at a secondhand one. Is the age of a grinder (assuming its only been used for domestic use) important? Would 5years be asking for trouble with say something like a Rocky or Compak K3 (because they would be within my budget) - how old would be OK? Am I right in assuming that replacing burrs is the main issue with older grinders?

  2. #2
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    Re: Secondhand grinders

    Burrs and maybe bearings or motor issues (longer term) but age is not really a problem with grinders as such if they were a good one to start with.

    If you have the bench space or approval to use some more of it ;) then even some of the slightly older medium sized commercial grinders will cost you no more than a second hand K3 or Rocky which bring much closer to new price and if you buy right will get you a better grinder for the same $$.

    Happy hunting.

  3. #3
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    Re: Secondhand grinders

    Beanflyer, could you suggest some medium sized commercial grinders to look out for? Are they all around 600mm high, or can you get smaller hoppers?

    As you can see I am rather new to all of this, but keen to learn!

  4. #4
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Secondhand grinders

    Hi poet, and welcome to CS.

    Generally speaking, the better the grinder the bigger the size. :(

    Smaller hoppers are available, and even better, some of us have found substitutes that are more than adequate for holding a couple of coffees worth of beans at a time. These range from short acrylic tubes, to, my favourite, a cut-off stainless cocktail shaker. :D

    Greg

  5. #5
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    Re: Secondhand grinders

    Well thank you for that Greg, and I commend your ingenuity!

    I really hadnt even seriously considered commercial machines, well, because they are commercial, and may have got flogged to death. So as mentioned above would appreciate some suggestions as to which ones I might consider - and Im still wondering how old is too old, if your not looking for trouble.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Pavoniboy's Avatar
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    Re: Secondhand grinders

    I went for a 2nd hand Fiorenzato Doge. It was a risk as sight unseen and had been used commercially, but cheap.

    Got it, stripped and cleaned it, new burrs and has served me wonderfully for nearly two years now. Never skipped a beat and Im very happy.

    A lot of grinders will run for ever (as long as not abused). Id highly recommend 2nd hand. The sight unseen bit is a big risk though (even though it worked for me) - try to get one you can check over and use before buying.

  7. #7
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    Re: Secondhand grinders

    The main thing that is important when buying second hand is that you can get new burrs for it. Most other potential problems can be sorted by other means if needed.

    As to brand there is and has been dozens of brands so recomending a brand to look for is a bit hard as most of them will do the job well for you so look for good cosmetic condition and sold as working (doser models especially), assume you may need to add a set of burrs to the cost (regardless of seller) and that the size and style suits your bench.

    The couple of DRM Cimbalis I got from evilbay a few years ago have had new bearings a few months ago (because I thought it was a good idea) and new burrs. I did 20kg of coffee for a commercial job a few months ago in a weekend with them.

    The best option if you can is even if you are buying off evilbay try and arrange to go and see the grinder and see it working, some sellers may oblige.

  8. #8
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Secondhand grinders

    Site sponsor OMaras auction used grinders regularly.
    Theyre in Sydney so arent your best option but maybe you can find a local place that does similar.

  9. #9
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    Re: Secondhand grinders

    Thank you Beanflying for the tip about accessing new burrs, definitely something to factor into the cost.

    Hmm, Im starting to get the idea that I shouldnt look at anything too old, definitely *not on evilbay, and nothing that requires stripping and cleaning (my OH has hidden the screwdriver set from me after a few misadventures - not that hes much better!)

    Guess Im going to have to wait for a CSer to get a bad case of upgraditis..... :)

  10. #10
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    Re: Secondhand grinders

    Quote Originally Posted by 405F5544300 link=1276484523/8#8 date=1276594963
    and nothing that requires stripping and cleaning
    Hate to tell you but all grinders need stripping and cleaning from time to time time to get just a little handy ;)

  11. #11
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    Re: Secondhand grinders

    Poet,

    this is a very difficult question without guidance from yourself.

    Your Budget and intended use? Thats what CS needs from you to be able to respond proper like ;) !

    Regardz,
    A.

  12. #12
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    Re: Secondhand grinders

    Well A, it must be obvious that I am pretty new to all of this, and my needs (and budget) are modest to say the least *:)

    I guess the reason for my original post was to get a feel for how dicey it would be to buy secondhand given my lack of knowlege. Ive had some great feedback which has settled my mind about a few things, and got me thinking about some other issues.
    I think my original question has been answered, but still curious about commercial grinders.

    Not sure about my budget at this stage as I may chicken out and buy new, but I was originally thinking Rocky/ Compak K3 would suit my needs and experience.

  13. #13
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    Re: Secondhand grinders

    Hello poet, thank you for coming back with some feedback.

    In your situation you should buy a new grinder and in addition to the two mentioned, you can add the Eureka Mignon. It costs a little more than the rocky but is a better grinder.

    All three are "small commericals" and will last many many years.

    If you look ahead and think there is a possibility you will upgrade your coffee machine some time in the future, take note that the Mignon and the K3 will be more suitable as the standard of your coffee machine gets better.


    Regardz.,
    Attilio
    very first CS site sponsor.

  14. #14
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    Re: Secondhand grinders

    Thank you Attilio - its all very useful info for me....

    Its rather daunting tiptoeing around in here - some of the pictures of peoples coffee making equipment is mind boggling, more like space junk than kitchen equipment. I think it must be a man thing *;)

  15. #15
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    Re: Secondhand grinders

    Whoops! Perhaps junk wasnt the right word - no offense intended to anyone - its just Ive just never seen such exotic equipment before, and it reminds me of space machines.



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