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Thread: Help me decide - Compak K8 or K3 Touch

  1. #1
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    Help me decide - Compak K8 or K3 Touch

    I'm upgrading from a Smart Grinder and have the opportunity to chose between either a K8 or K3 touch, as both are the same price -- [edit] They're second hand [/edit]. I'll be single dosing 95% of the time so would certainly be looking to mod the K8. I have seen some threads in the US where they've actually fitted a factory OD chute but they were paying $100 US for that over there. I'd hate to know what it would cost us here. If you were in my shoes, which would you choose?
    Last edited by Hipsi; 14th June 2018 at 10:32 AM.

  2. #2
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    I thought the K8 was a lot more expensive than the K3.

    If you are single dosing the K3 touch should be fine for you. A bit of playing to get the time and grind right then it's nice and easy to get your dose. I gind into a small container, give it a quick shake to make sure all the grinds are separated then fill the basket from there.

  3. #3
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    The K8 is a more expensive grinder but I've been offered a pretty good price. What I failed to add to my first post is that they're both used.

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    Senior Member JMcCee's Avatar
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    I would go the smaller doserless K3. The K8 sounds like overkill and is a beast, like a 13kg and over 60cm high beast.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMcCee View Post
    I would go the smaller doserless K3. The K8 sounds like overkill and is a beast, like a 13kg and over 60cm high beast.
    Height is no problem for me, I'll probably ditch the hopper anyway (or go with the short one if I settle on the K3). I'm also eyeing off a Quamar M80. If I'm honest though, going for a dosing grinder means I won't be able to help myself but mod with timer etc and realistically, I'm most attracted to the K3 due to its simplicity and there's no need for me to do anything to it.

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    K3 probably better for your need, good resale value too

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hipsi View Post
    The K8 is a more expensive grinder but I've been offered a pretty good price. What I failed to add to my first post is that they're both used.
    Ok. Makes more sense if they are both used items. You can often pick up more commercial style grinders for close to same money as the home barista grinders. Simple case of supply and demand. One telling factor is the 2nd hand market. Smaller grinders sell much quicker and closer to their original retail price. Main reason being is Larger commercial level grinders are impractical for home use when you’re only pulling a few shots a day. The smaller ones like the K3 are much better suited to ‘grind as you go’.

    Bigger is not always better. Go the K3.
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  8. #8
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    Fact is its like comparing a V8 vs a 1.0L motor.
    Both used so you should be prepared to replace burrs on either.
    Burr costs will obvious;y vary from what would expect to be around $50/60 for the K3 and maybe up to $80 or so for the K8.( my rough estimate)


    *My K3 I found to have a not so rock solid Top Burr Carrier.
    Meaning that it was often difficult to hone in on a setting..
    THO they are owned widely here and largely universally loved.

    K8 ( I haven't touched one in years) but believe it to be micro-metric. Meaning infinitely adjustable.
    These will have a larger total retained grind chamber retention ( amount in the grind chamber till cleaned).
    Note by this I mean a totally different issue than 'Beans in Grinds Out' retention.

    You dont say how - what manner in which your making your coffee - so that is a large factor in considering what your matching the grinder to.
    One basic rule of espresso coffee for instance is - generally invest in a better grinder than the level of your machine.
    The K8 therefore would last longer into your coffee travels ...allowing for some future upgrades.

    GL with whatever you choose.
    *edited to correct a fact that became muddled due to effect of time...like sands thru an hour glass....!
    Last edited by EspressoAdventurer; 14th June 2018 at 05:24 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by EspressoAdventurer View Post
    Fact is its like comparing a V8 vs a 1.0L motor.
    Both used so you should be prepared to replace burrs on either.
    Burr costs will obvious;y vary from what would expect to be around $50/60 for the K3 and maybe up to $80 or so for the K8.( my rough estimate)


    K3 IS a stepped adjustment grinder with a not so rock solid Top Burr Carrier.
    Meaning that it can be you find yourself caught between 2 settings - this happened to me often when I had one.
    THO they are owned widely here and largely universally loved.

    K8 ( I haven't touched one in years) but believe it to be micro-metric. Meaning infinitely adjustable.
    These will have a larger total retained grind chamber retention ( amount in the grind chamber till cleaned).
    Note by this I mean a totally different issue than 'Beans in Grinds Out' retention.

    You dont say how - what manner in which your making your coffee - so that is a large factor in considering what your matching the grinder to.
    One basic rule of espresso coffee for instance is - generally invest in a better grinder than the level of your machine.
    The K8 therefore would last longer into your coffee travels ...allowing for some future upgrades.

    GL with whatever you choose.
    I drink predominantly Espresso. My machine is a N.S. Oscar.

    Using the V8 analogy, I would most definitely choose the K3. I'm all about small engines that pack a punch
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  10. #10
    Senior Member JMcCee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EspressoAdventurer View Post
    Fact is its like comparing a V8 vs a 1.0L motor.
    Both used so you should be prepared to replace burrs on either.
    Burr costs will obvious;y vary from what would expect to be around $50/60 for the K3 and maybe up to $80 or so for the K8.( my rough estimate)


    K3 IS a stepped adjustment grinder with a not so rock solid Top Burr Carrier.
    Meaning that it can be you find yourself caught between 2 settings - this happened to me often when I had one.
    THO they are owned widely here and largely universally loved.

    K8 ( I haven't touched one in years) but believe it to be micro-metric. Meaning infinitely adjustable.
    These will have a larger total retained grind chamber retention ( amount in the grind chamber till cleaned).
    Note by this I mean a totally different issue than 'Beans in Grinds Out' retention.

    You dont say how - what manner in which your making your coffee - so that is a large factor in considering what your matching the grinder to.
    One basic rule of espresso coffee for instance is - generally invest in a better grinder than the level of your machine.
    The K8 therefore would last longer into your coffee travels ...allowing for some future upgrades.

    GL with whatever you choose.
    I thought the K3 Touch is stepless?

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    If it is ...and a quick search indicates THAT it is STEPLESS ...so Ill respectfully take my comment back.
    It has been over 5 years since I had mine.
    And mine certainly did have looseness / movement in the top burr carrier adjustment ring.
    Which I found disconcerting.
    So when I would chase that tight restricted gloopy shot ...the adjustment 'reading' became difficult to read or pre empt due to this
    looseness / inaccuracy. And it was ok too course...Ill creep up n this....shot after shot...oops now its too tight and locked up the flow.
    It became frustrating...so it went to a relative for pour over duty...where it is valiantly working away even today.

    Im just giving my experiences / opinion. And would be very happy to go with a Compak again...which would be a grinder one or so steps up from the K3.

    Of course its the OP choice. GL

  12. #12
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Those two grinders will give you a vastly different user experience, so you really need to decide what your priorities are. Iíve never owned a K3, but have owned the equivalent Anfim grinder. Iíve also owned a Compak K8 Silenzio and a Compak K10 WBC, both of which I modified.
    If your main priorities are along the lines of relative ease of use then the K3 will be the best choice. Itíll be slower than the K8, but itís still a reasonably fast grinder for something thatís pretty much a domestic grinder. Use it with a portafilter funnel from Decent Espresso or Orphan Espresso and youíve got a pleasantly easy to use, good quality grinder.
    However if youíre happy to do a bit of tinkering the K8 could give you better results. Itíll be faster for sure and is an extremely solid and well built piece of equipment. Modifications that must be done in my opinion are removing the finger guard and swapping to a short hopper. You can obviously get the genuine Compak short hopper or you can get the small aluminium one that Orphan Espresso make. It looks much better in a home kitchen without the massive hopper and removing the finger guard allows you to sweep out the chute. Switching to doserless isnít absolutely necessary. I modded my K8 to doserless with a stainless funnel off a donut maker, and it worked well. I left the K10 as a doser unit and was just as happy.
    Hope this helps a little.

  13. #13
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    Help me decide - Compak K8 or K3 Touch

    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Those two grinders will give you a vastly different user experience, so you really need to decide what your priorities are. Iíve never owned a K3, but have owned the equivalent Anfim grinder. Iíve also owned a Compak K8 Silenzio and a Compak K10 WBC, both of which I modified.
    If your main priorities are along the lines of relative ease of use then the K3 will be the best choice. Itíll be slower than the K8, but itís still a reasonably fast grinder for something thatís pretty much a domestic grinder. Use it with a portafilter funnel from Decent Espresso or Orphan Espresso and youíve got a pleasantly easy to use, good quality grinder.
    However if youíre happy to do a bit of tinkering the K8 could give you better results. Itíll be faster for sure and is an extremely solid and well built piece of equipment. Modifications that must be done in my opinion are removing the finger guard and swapping to a short hopper. You can obviously get the genuine Compak short hopper or you can get the small aluminium one that Orphan Espresso make. It looks much better in a home kitchen without the massive hopper and removing the finger guard allows you to sweep out the chute. Switching to doserless isnít absolutely necessary. I modded my K8 to doserless with a stainless funnel off a donut maker, and it worked well. I left the K10 as a doser unit and was just as happy.
    Hope this helps a little.
    Thanks Leroy. Iím not afraid to mod things. In fact once I get started on something itís difficult to stop. Iíve checked out the OE hopper and I really like it. Definitely think that should be on my shopping list.
    What I guess Iím most interested in however is am I likely to see a difference in the cup?
    Last edited by Hipsi; 14th June 2018 at 11:05 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hipsi View Post
    Using the V8 analogy, I would most definitely choose the K3. I'm all about small engines that pack a punch
    Horses for courses really......some are happy to drive a 3cyl 1ltr Diahatsu Charade
    Where as Others ride a GS in the dirt with a 20% larger motor than that


    K8 .....replace the Burrs.....then your ready for the future machine upgrade.

    Taste...given all things are equal..and you bring out the barista skills

  15. #15
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    I have used a smart grinder, k3, a8 (like a k8 I believe). All doserless.

    A8 was quieter and felt more refined than the k3. grinds were more fluffy. it was quicker. It was less messy. In a home environment it will last a lifetime, as would a k3. If you have the chance have a play with both and see which one you fancy more.

    Cheers
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  16. #16
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    I think Iím starting to lean in the direction of the K8 with the intention to throw a funnel at it similar to this https://www.home-barista.com/grinder...on-t36114.html
    Then at that point I wonít be able to help myself. It wonít be long before I give it an arduino timer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EspressoAdventurer View Post
    Horses for courses really......some are happy to drive a 3cyl 1ltr Diahatsu Charade
    Where as Others ride a GS in the dirt with a 20% larger motor than that
    A little extreme. Your analogy suggests that the K8 is the biggest, gruntiest grinder you can get while the K3 is the smallest, weakest.

  18. #18
    Senior Member JMcCee's Avatar
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    My analogy would be to drive whatever makes you happy, or in this case, grind. There'll be buyers remorse whichever way you go so get both :-p

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMcCee View Post
    There'll be buyers remorse whichever way you go so get both :-p
    Haha yep I know what you mean. I went to sleep last night settled on the K8. I woke up this morning leaning towards the K3. Unfortunately my budget doesn't extend to both

  20. #20
    Senior Member JMcCee's Avatar
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    It is the stepless K8 right? The early ones, or at least some of them, were stepped.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMcCee View Post
    It is the stepless K8 right? The early ones, or at least some of them, were stepped.
    don't know to be honest. Fair question, I presumed they all were. I do know it came from a Gloria Jeans. Part of me wonder if it's maybe had a hard life....

  22. #22
    Senior Member JMcCee's Avatar
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    Well, it's certainly had a hard life grinding crap beans if it's come from GJ and most likely as embarrassed as all get out. Is it a red one?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMcCee View Post
    Well, it's certainly had a hard life grinding crap beans if it's come from GJ and most likely as embarrassed as all get out. Is it a red one?
    No doubt. Not red, it's standard silver.

  24. #24
    Senior Member JMcCee's Avatar
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    I don't know what price it is but if it's stepped then go K3.

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    I think I know the one you're talking about. I saw it online but can't remember where. I imagine being ex-Gloria Jeans is 'well used'. That said these devices are built to last. You should at least budget for new burrs though.

    I did see a used K3 Touch on Facebook marketplace for $199 in Brisbane. At that price you could buy on spec. Again budget for new burrs. If it doesn't suit then move it on. You will get back pretty much what you paid for it.

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    I'd go for the K3 if lightly used in a home environment over K8 from GJ's, less hassle afterwards not only maintenance but also no need for mods as you had in mind.

  27. #27
    Senior Member JMcCee's Avatar
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    And capacitors can go on a well used commercial.. Just sayin'.

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    although I'm attracted by the prospect of mods, I think I'm going to take 2 steps back from the K8.
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  29. #29
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Itíll be a step less K8 and potentially a very nice grinder. But unless itís had new burrs and a service in the last 6months Iíd give it a miss if itís ex-GJ.

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    Help me decide - Compak K8 or K3 Touch

    Quote Originally Posted by arcachon View Post
    I did see a used K3 Touch on Facebook marketplace for $199 in Brisbane. At that price you could buy on spec. Again budget for new burrs. If it doesn't suit then move it on. You will get back pretty much what you paid for it.
    I ended up getting this one for $170. Keen to get it home to try it out.
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  31. #31
    Senior Member JMcCee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hipsi View Post
    I ended up getting this one for $170. Keen to get it home to try it out.
    Will look forward to a mini review. Keep us posted!

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    Took it apart for a thorough clean last night. Itís been a very long time since thatís been done, if at all. It even had fluffy stuff resembling mould on the ledge around the lower burr carrier. Gone now and looking much more appetising. Unfortunately I havenít been able to find the ballpark for grind setting after putting it back together. Too coarse/too fine. Iíve been through all of my beans. Need to do another roast now before I can continue.
    This is a 2007 model, doesnít have numbers on the upper burr collar so I donít really know where to set it. I have a small range at least now that I know itís within, just have to keep at it till Iím there.
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    So after a couple of weeks with my K3 Iím happy to say Iím very pleased with my choice. Iíve used it generally twice a day, and loving the consistency Iím getting from it which is a far cry from what I got from my Breville.

    Iím using the touch timer to dose my basket up to about 18g and then top it up with the manual function. That gives me a chance to settle the grinds before the final topup otherwise the mound becomes too high and it spills everywhere. The way I do it there ends up only being a few stray grinds so very minimal cleanup.

    The chute is easy to clean out, itís spring loaded on that angle, just a couple of taps on it and it empties out. The tunnel between the burrs and the chute however tends to remain full of grinds. This is easily cleared with a quick throwaway grind before putting my basket under.

    The collar has a minute amount of play as with all the older K3ís but this is of no consequence as this play doesnít adjust the grind setting, and there are no increment marks for it to line up with. As for the grind adjustment, itís very firm but still quite easy to make a fine adjustment one way or the other as necessary to dial it in to the particular bean Iíve chosen for the day.

    All in all a worthy purchase and certainly well worth the $170 it cost me! Thanks everyone for the advice.

  34. #34
    Senior Member JMcCee's Avatar
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    Great review and very helpful! Thanks for posting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hipsi View Post
    So after a couple of weeks with my K3 Iím happy to say Iím very pleased with my choice. Iíve used it generally twice a day, and loving the consistency Iím getting from it which is a far cry from what I got from my Breville.

    Iím using the touch timer to dose my basket up to about 18g and then top it up with the manual function. That gives me a chance to settle the grinds before the final topup otherwise the mound becomes too high and it spills everywhere. The way I do it there ends up only being a few stray grinds so very minimal cleanup.

    The chute is easy to clean out, itís spring loaded on that angle, just a couple of taps on it and it empties out. The tunnel between the burrs and the chute however tends to remain full of grinds. This is easily cleared with a quick throwaway grind before putting my basket under.

    The collar has a minute amount of play as with all the older K3ís but this is of no consequence as this play doesnít adjust the grind setting, and there are no increment marks for it to line up with. As for the grind adjustment, itís very firm but still quite easy to make a fine adjustment one way or the other as necessary to dial it in to the particular bean Iíve chosen for the day.

    All in all a worthy purchase and certainly well worth the $170 it cost me! Thanks everyone for the advice.
    Ah awesome to hear! Yeah it's a good grinder, and I get pretty minimal spillage too.
    JMcCee likes this.

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