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Thread: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

  1. #1
    Senior Member javabeen's Avatar
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    Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I looking at upgrading from my Iberital challenge to either of these grinders to go with my Vibiemme Domobar Levetta.

    Ive been reading and reading and they both seem to be rather similar. Good grinder, good consistency, good doser, similar price. This makes choosing between the 2 difficult. >:(

    So, what are CSers thoughts on this one if you had to chose one based on grind quality and consistency and useability?

    Also interested to hear from curent owners of these grinders too.

    Cheers
    Javabeen.

  2. #2
    TC
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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    Difficult choice Java- the m4 is quieter, throws less left and sweeps better. I like the wire rather than fork as it does not accumulate old coffee.

    The m4 can be had in chrome which many like. I suspect its a slight touch slower than the Mazzer.

    I prefer the dosing action of the mazzer (silver or black)- but would honestly be happy with either.

    Chris

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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    Definitely a question Ive been asking myself for the past few months... I personally think Im heading toward to MM - tough one though

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    Senior Member javabeen's Avatar
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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    Thanks guys,

    I am leaning towards the MM too, but want to make sure Ive explored all choices at the $700ish price bracket.

    Any M4 owners out there able to contribute on their experiences with it?

    Cheers,
    Javabeen.

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    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    Chris sold me my Macap 16 months ago and its been faultless.

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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    How about a Comak K3 in either the touch or elite? I think they are nore bang for your bauck than a MM to be honest.

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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    Chris sold me a MC4 7 months ago and would not change it for anything else!!

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    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    Got our Macap M5 in July last year. It has been great!

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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    Dont write off the Compaks javabeen. Ive all but finished a comparo between it and the MM which may be of use to you once its done, but the Compaks definitely a contender and notably cheaper.

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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    I dont think the Compak K3Es are that much cheaper than the Maz M.

    If youre ralking the Compak K3T, then you do save some $$ over the Max and Macaps. Between $150-200+.

    I am in a similar situation. I do think that Mazzers will have better resale value then the Compaks if you intend to upgrade in the future.

    I havent decided myself. Its Compaks vs Mazzer M.

  11. #11
    Flo
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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    Hey javabeen.

    I have a Mazzer Mini and I like it! But, as you know, if you ask 10 people their opinions, you are more than likely going to get 10 differing opinions.
    For me, it was the reputation that Mazzer has that was the decision clincher. I suspect that all of the aforementioned grinders will do an excellent job though and it will all come down to your personal preferences.

    The MM throws the grounds to the left; possibly moreso than the other grinders but Im only guessing. The dosing action is positive and feels good. The MM also doesnt sweep all of the grounds out of the doser. Im sure each grinder has its own idiosyncrasies and if you can, try and have a play wth each one to see what you do and dont like.

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    Senior Member javabeen's Avatar
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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    Wow, thanks for all the replies!

    Flo, I think youve convinced me to go with my gut instinct and try them out and see which one "fits" me best.

    Ive come to the conclusion that I need to get the grinder that is going to give the best grind, doser and other niceties aside. The problem is theres barely any difference in the grind between the Maz, Mac and Compak!

    Javabeen confused!!!!

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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    Its ok mate, youre not alone on that.... Ill be picking one (just not sure which) up soon too and these are my options also... Ive the same umms and arrs.
    YZa

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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    Quote Originally Posted by shawn_low link=1204112340/0#9 date=1204176158
    I dont think the Compak K3Es are that much cheaper than the Maz M.
    Last time I checked the K3E was $630, the MM $790. $160 is probably significant enough to be considered a factor by most though the Touch is certainly cheaper again.

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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Pullman link=1204112340/0#13 date=1204196252

    Last time I checked the K3E was $630, the MM $790. $160 is probably significant enough to be considered a factor by most though the Touch is certainly cheaper again.
    Ive seen the MM as low as $640-700. Australia. New.

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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    Im just going on the RRP. In both cases Im sure lower prices are available, but probably by the same margin which gives the same net result of a cheaper K3E. FWIW I didnt pay anything like $630 for my K3E, or $790 for my Mini for that matter, but the K3E was still about 20% cheaper.

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    Senior Member javabeen's Avatar
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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    OK, heres my shorlist in order of preference:
    1. Mazzer Mini
    2. Macap M4 (short hopper)
    3. Compak K3 elite

    I think its going to be the MM due to its infinite stepless grind adjustment.

    Does anyone know if the Macap M4 and the Compak K3 Elite are stepless? Maybe Im reading old review on CG.

    Cheers
    Javabeen.

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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    I think they all are, certainly the K3E is, but the main difference with the MM is the spring-loaded burr carriers which completely removes the play from the burr carrier. The K3E has a bit of wobble each way before the burrs actually move - no big deal cos you can easily feel when the burrs are about to move, but not quite as easy to come back to a given setting if you rely on a scale. Between the K3E and the MM (cant comment on the Macap), if moneys not an issue and youre a function over form guy Id take the MM every time. If aesthetics have a high level of importance and youre happy to save a buck then seriously consider the K3E, the doser for example is a work of art. Both grind as well as each other, its just the peripherals which make the difference.

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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    Thats remarkably my tentative shortlist too... The thing is, is that theres not too much air between them. Youve gotta try them all though to get the best feel for it. I think thats what it comes down to for me. Ive tried no. 1 & 2, but not the K3 ....yet. Its definitely a personal thing though.

    Yeeza

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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    Quote Originally Posted by javabeen link=1204112340/15#16 date=1204246309
    OK, heres my shorlist in order of preference:
    1. Mazzer Mini
    2. Macap M4 (short hopper)
    3. Compak K3 elite

    I think its going to be the MM due to its infinite stepless grind adjustment.

    Does anyone know if the Macap M4 and the Compak K3 Elite are stepless? Maybe Im reading old review on CG.

    Cheers
    Javabeen.
    All are stepless Java, with the M4 available in both stepped and micrometric- employing a very fine worm drive. With the K3E, you need to work around the auto cutout flap which covers the grinder throat and makes it tougher to clean and also the tamp permanently located on the front of the doser. Other than that, its a fantastic grinder!

    I have mentioned to Michael from Diamond, that the perfect CS grinder would be a K3G (geek spec.) with no tamper or cutout- a WBC style of grinder in either silver or polished. I think Compak would have a category killer then...

    Hopefully, one day ;)

    Chris

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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    I think you should try them all if you can. Some things that look good - or bad - on paper can feel very different when you actually use them. Also, some things that seem like faults or features can take on a different perspective. For example, the problems that the MM has in throwing to the left and not sweeping clean are extremely easy to fix, but it will depend on whether you want to have to do anything to fix them. The throw problem is most easily fixed with a piece of doubled up black gaffer tape fixed round the inside edge of the doser exit chute. The same tape can be fixed to the bottom of the sweeper blades to make them sweep clean (plenty of instructions on the net). I did both mods about a year ago and have not had to redo anything. Both are easily reversible.

    You need to try the position of the pf support in the K3; I found it to be rather high and not so comfortable in practice. Cleaning up after use on the MM is very simple, as the tray is so well designed, as is the doser. However, grinding is a messy business, however you look at it - get a good brush.

    I think all grinders are very similar in terms of quality of grind and build strength. All are designed for commercial use as supplementary grinders. To be honest, over the life of the grinder, I dont think the initial price should be a consideration.

    Just my opinion. Happy hunting!

    matt

  22. #22
    Senior Member javabeen's Avatar
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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    Yeah, I think Im going to try them all out with the intention of getting the MM. To me its ultimately about the grind quality and as Greg put it, function over form.

    Javabeen.

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    Senior Member javabeen's Avatar
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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    Quick update, I went for the MM over the Macap M4, its sitting in its box under my desk at work ATM. I was able to check them out side by side and play with them thanks to Chris from Talk Coffee. Here are my findings:
    - I preferred the Mazzers doser simply because it felt more solid. The pulling action of the doser lever on the M4 was soft and clicked but it felt too plasticy for me. Again this is a personal choice. The M4 reminded me of my current Iberital Challenge but a better version of it
    - I preferred the grind collar on MM as it can be quickly changed from fine to course to go from espresso to plunger etc. The M4 was stepless micrometrical via a wrom drive mechanism and although Chris told me there is a mod you can do, I want to keep the mods to the minimum. Again, I grind for plunger to take to work so need to be able to switch quickly
    - I prefered the MM as it basically had less plastic and felt more solid.

    The decision was extremely difficult and I wanted to walk away and have a think. But I went for my gut feeling as there was so very very little to pick on between each grinder. In the end, it came down to a personal choice for me that included:
    1. being able to change grind settings quickly
    2. which one looked like it had less plastic and felt more solid.

    I didnt get to test the grinding quality of each one. With the calibre of both these grinders, I personally dont think Id be able to tell them apart.

    Hope this helps anyone else in my predicament. Ill post more on quality of grind and usability at a later date.

    Thanks again to Chris from Talk Coffee.

    Cheers
    Javabeen.

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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    Congrats on the purchase javabeen and thanks for the kind words...

    At the Mazzer/Macap level its a toughie and ultimately comes down to personal preference...

    Enjoy your new kit 8-)

    Chris

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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    Congrats. Youll love your MM (well, youd love whatever you bought :)). The grind difference would be non-existent between those two grinders, so you were right to focus on usability. I also think its great that people like Chris will so happily let you try things out so you feel right about it. This is the hallmark of a good supplier, and Im sure all site sponsors share it. Whatever advice Chris gives is honest advice, no matter what. He will never sell you anything he thinks is unsuitable for your needs.

    Have fun!

    matt

  26. #26
    Wine_of_the_Bean
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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    You might want to look into a sweep mod for the MM. The older versions were quite average in this regard. Ive done one that doesnt require tape, but its a bit fiddly getting fully into place.

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    Senior Member javabeen's Avatar
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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    Thanks guys,

    OK, heres another update after using it tonight.

    It grinds very quietly, which is magic for a family with kids. Also keeps my wife happy. It has no trouble grinding the PNG Peaberry beans Im enjoying at the moment. They use to take ages to grind with the Iberital and pop all over the place. No longer. 20g ground in about 28 secs with no need to pulse the grinder. Fantastic.

    The shots, oh the shots. Much better tasting than the Iberital. They have lost their sourness and harshness which I though was OK and normal. I did a side by side comparison to the Iberital basing the pours on time. I even calibrated my tamp using scales. Ive been using some PNG Peaberry and the results from the MM are sweeter and smoother. Magic. Also more velvety than from the Iberital.

    I know this sounds crazy but I would not have though such diufferences were possible from a grinder. Ive always know the grinder to be the most important aspect in espresso, but the step up from the Iberital to the MM puts the espresso in a different league!

    Very happy, it can only get better from here.

    WOTB - got any pics and instructions of the sweeper mod?

    Cheers Javabeen.

    PS My Iberital Challenge is for sale in the coffee hardware for sale forum for anyone interested.

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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    javabeen,

    Im not at all surprised at the improvement in espresso quality by your upgrade.

    When I upgraded from the La Cimbali Jnr (a small commercial grinder about $1200 new) to the La Cimbali/DRM conical and flat grinder (in excess of $2000 new) I experienced a similar improvement... I suspect the DRM is providing similar quality to a K10 or Mazzer Robur.

    Some believe these large commercial (very expensive) grinders are only chosen to provide the high volumes in a commercial environment.... and that they do.... but they also provide a better quality grind.

    As Ive said many times before.... buy the BEST grinder you can afford. It will give you the best results in the cup - from any coffee machine!

    Enjoy your new toy!

  29. #29
    Wine_of_the_Bean
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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    Javabeen, my sweep mod is simple, yet a bit fiddly.

    You take a lid of a takeaway box, and using some sharp scissors, cut small rectangular shapes. It is a bit of trial and error getting the right size to fit.

    Take apart the sweep mechanism, and simply fit the rectangles between the top and bottom parts of the sweep.

    For simplicitys sake, I only put one rectangle in, and it was a bit frustrating trying to keep it from falling out while I reassembled the sweep mechanism.

    The rectangles only need to be a mil or so longer than the bottom part of the sweep to be effective.

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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    For all Sydney based snobs..

    We agree! nothing is more helpful then trying out yourself all grinders you consider seriously, and get a hands on feel for the one most likely to make you happy!

    Mini Mazzer Manual, Macap M4 Micrometric & Compac K3 Touch (Doserless) are all available for demonstration in our store. Looking also to get the Compac K3 Elite soon for you to try out...

    Prices are most likely to be cheaper than RRP quoted above, as youre entitled for 5% discount on your first purchase with us! drop in anytime that suits you, no need to book in advance.

    Check our contact us page for directions: http://www.dibartoli.com.au/Contact.html

    Happy to assist with any query! Ofra & Renzo

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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    For those pondering whether the K-3 Elite is worth taking over the Mazzer Mini, http://www.coffeetamper.com.au/kb/reviews/mini-k3/

    Greg
    smokey likes this.

  32. #32
    Senior Member redzone121's Avatar
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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    I have a Macap M4 (bullet proof) in my opinion. I have tried a couple of Mazzers when on a course and the adjustment to change the grind was out of the Ark.

    Good luck JB !
    CB.

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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    To contrast redzone, I find the grind adjustment on Mazzers to be their huge advantage, and vastly prefer it to the other systems Ive tried.

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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    Just got a Mazzer Mini and its a joy to use.

    I tore open the machine to see how it worked and there are some things I liked about it:

    1) Grind adjustment.
    Easy to adjust grind. Its stepless and because the whole top burr mechanism is spring loaded (three springs), there is no play at all. The grind adjustment, once set, stays where it is.

    2) Quiet operation
    Its quieter then other grinders Ive used including the EM04080, Gino Rossi RR.

    3) Grind quality.
    Consistent and very good.

    Some things I didnt really like:
    1) Doesnt sweep clean.
    The chamber will retain a fair amount of grounds. There are mods to help the dosing star sweep better but this design can be improved.

    2) The low fork and left throw of the doser.
    The fork for the PF is a little too low and coupled with the fact that the doser tends to throw grounds to the left = messy table.

    But I like it despite the negatives. Oh, its got great resale value (If you ever decide to part with it). Most people upgrade to Mazzers and keep them.

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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    Quote Originally Posted by redzone121 link=1204112340/30#31 date=1205744133
    I have a Macap M4 (bullet proof) in my opinion. I have tried a couple of Mazzers when on a course and the adjustment to change the grind was out of the Ark.
    Youre joking..... right?

    shawn_low

    I agree about the sweep and throw, but both are very easy to fix. I think we all must accept, as well, that grinding is essentially messy - but, of course, we dont want to waste our precious grinds.

    As for the low fork, that was one of the things that swung me in favour of the mini over the Compak, as I found it easier to manoever the pf when dosing. However, I can see why not everyone would react the same way. Swings and roundabouts, I guess.

    matt

  36. #36
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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    I thought Id give an update having lived with the Mazzer for 5 months now.

    Grind quality is excellent as most would know.

    Adjusting the grind is easy and the results of a fine adjustment can be seen. I do prefer the worm drive adjustment thingy of the M4 though as I previously owned an Iberital Challenge which had the same feature and it was easier. I think this is better for home use than the collar adjustment of the MM simply because its easier.
    But dont underestimate the impact that a small change to your dose can have on your pour... But thats another thread entirely!

    Now the decider for me buying the MM over the Macap M4 was that I needed to switch grind settings from fine for eeeespresso to course for plunger. I rarely do this now as my espresso shots have improved over the past 6 months that I very rarely reach for the plunger. But when I do its so easy to switch the grind. So it will come in handy this Sunday when I make a plunger brew for the fishing trip I have planned. And its just sooo easy to switch back to the espresso setting.

    Now it doesnt sweep clean, but the sticky tape mod works a treat. More of an issue is sweeping out the top of the star in the doser, but theres a mod for that too!

    Now the best thing about this grinder is just how easy it is to pull apart and clean the burrs. You have full and easy access to the burrs once the collar is removed. This just requires several turns of the collar and there you have it - out comes the top burr and sweep away to clean the bottom burr. This makes it less of a chore to clean so youll do it more regularly. I would not hesitate buying the Mazzer again based on this single feature alone.
    I reckon keeping your gear clean is important for having excellent espresso.

    I hope this useful to someone, anyone :o

    Javabeen.

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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    Quote Originally Posted by javabeen link=1204112340/20#35 date=1219405914
    I hope this useful to someone, anyone :o
    It certainly has been useful to me. Thankyou :)

  38. #38
    sdg
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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wine_of_the_Bean link=1204112340/20#28 date=1204664873
    Javabeen, my sweep mod is simple, yet a bit fiddly.

    You take a lid of a takeaway box, and using some sharp scissors, cut small rectangular shapes. It is a bit of trial and error getting the right size to fit.

    Take apart the sweep mechanism, and simply fit the rectangles between the top and bottom parts of the sweep.

    For simplicitys sake, I only put one rectangle in, and it was a bit frustrating trying to keep it from falling out while I reassembled the sweep mechanism.

    The rectangles only need to be a mil or so longer than the bottom part of the sweep to be effective.
    You dont even need to take a single thing apart to do this.

    1. Cut 6 rectangles of something stiff and thin (I used some card).
    2. Lay Mazzer on its back.
    3. slowly pull the doser lever -- each vane will present itself over the chute to have its piece of card inserted.
    4. Stand Maz up and test ;)

    Believe it or not, this works -- I havent had a piece of card land in my PF yet 8-)

    The trick is having card just thin enough to insert easily, but thick enough to stay put once there.

    Also card, being paper, can be slightly "squashed" to make it a smidge fatter if required.


  39. #39
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    Quote Originally Posted by simone link=1204112340/20#37 date=1219411068
    You dont even need to take a single thing apart to do this.

    1. Cut 6 rectangles of something stiff and thin (I used some card).
    2. Lay Mazzer on its back.
    3. slowly pull the doser lever -- each vane will present itself over the chute to have its piece of card inserted.
    4. Stand Maz up and test ;)

    Believe it or not, this works -- I havent had a piece of card land in my PF yet *8-)
    The trick is having card just thin enough to insert easily, but thick enough to stay put once there. Also card, being paper, can be slightly "squashed" to make it a smidge fatter if required.
    Simone, this sounds like a good and easy mod. What are the dimensions of the 6 rectangles you cut out?

  40. #40
    sdg
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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnaus link=1204112340/20#38 date=1219444651
    Simone, this sounds like a good and easy mod. What are the dimensions of the 6 rectangles you cut out?
    Ack! I just knew someone was going to ask that... :-/

    (some scratching around ensues... )

    Going by the spare which I eventually found tucked inside one of my notebooks, looks like theyre 26 x 15 mm.

    The 26mm is determined by the width of the vane, and presumably the 15mm is (interior) height plus a smidge.

    (not sure how much of a smidge tho -- I made a note about it at the time, but of course I cant find it now!)


  41. #41
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    Quote Originally Posted by simone link=1204112340/20#39 date=1219494626

    Going by the spare which I eventually found tucked inside one of my notebooks, looks like theyre 26 x 15 mm.

    The 26mm is determined by the width of the vane, and presumably the 15mm is (interior) height plus a smidge.

    (not sure how much of a smidge tho -- I made a note about it at the time, but of course I cant find it now!)
    Thanks it gives me some idea for a starting point. I guess you had to use some trial and error. According to WotB the smidge is about a millimetre

  42. #42
    sdg
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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    Im not sure the "smidge" is that important. You dont want them too tall since theyll want to find their correct level as they go round and round.

    But what I still dont quite know is -- if they can move enough to be self-adjusting, why they dont (at least occasionally) fall out :-?

  43. #43
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Maz Mini or Macap M4 - which one to choose?

    Murphys Law will tell you that when you discover why they stay in place, they will start to fall out



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