How to adjust Dualit/Starbucks/Solis grinders
How to adjust your Dualit/Starbucks/Solis grinder, by James Nelis
I know that there are instructions about how to do this elsewhere on the web, but I found that in reading them they seemed rather more complicated than the actual experience was, so I decided to write a picturial guide about how to do it.
|Although your grinder may not need adjusting, have a listen to the .wav file here.|
|This is my grinder being adjusted from the coarsest setting to the finest setting. The change in noise towards the end is the burrs rubbing against each other. My grinder came like this so there was no real adjustment needed, but I've read on the net that they do vary a lot, and if I'd heard this before I wouldn't have needed to try this.|
|Figure 1, right: the grinder in question. The first thing to do is remove the hopper, top burr and grind collecting pot , then the timer switch, which is a bit stiff the first time it comes off but it gets easier each time.|
|I'm not sure if this is common to every grinder of this type but my top burr has a lot of play in it, so I made some little cardboard shims and inserted them around the burr and its holder. Apparently the free play tightens up as it's adjusted, but I found that with out the shims the nasty burr grinding against burr noise happened a good 3 clicks before the end of the grind adjustment, and with them it only happened on the last click. On this picture they are on the left and right sides and at about 7 and 2 o'clock positions, and the burr is in good and tight.|
Anyway back to the grinder: the above is what you should have in front of you. Turn the grinder so that you looking at the bottom of it. The outer casing is clipped on in four places. The easiest way I found to remove it is one side at a time. The pictures below (Figures 4 & 5) show the highlighted clips and the two flat blade screwdrivers I used to create a gap between the base and the casing.
When you have the screw drivers wedged in as in Figure 5, place one hand on the main casing and the other in the grind pot compartment and pull in different directions. Hopefully this side should pop out, then do the other side. This should give us the situation shown in Figure 6 below:
The grey cover pulls straight off the top and exposes the grind adjustment wheel, leaving us with the situation in Figure 7 above.
Figures 8 & 9 below show the grind adjustment control before and after adjusting it. My grinder was marked at the factory with a red dot, which made life a bit easier. To adjust the grinder so it can go finer pry off the white ring in the left picture. This is a bit flimsy so please be gentle, it does tend to be a bit sticky. When you have done this you should see a ring with lots of holes directly underneath the ring that you removed. These holes line up with posts on the removed ring. One hole adjustment in an anticlockwise drection will allow a finer grind.
You may be able to try the new setting to see if the burrs touch by reattaching the timer wheel turning it and the grind adjustment wheel to see if the burrs touch. If not try moving another hole on the adjustment ring.
Reassembly is exactly the reverse process. Happy grinding.
Obligatory warning: LIVE EXPOSED ELECTRICS.
Any adjustments or operations described in this article are performed at your own risk!
All photographs provided by and used with the permission of the author
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Good article. This definitely would have helped me when I adjusted my solis ages ago. My only comments/additions are: The timer switch can be a little fragile and isn't always easy to remove... try "wiggling it" gently. Follow James' advice and use 2 small flat headed screwdrivers for removing the main cover; this is probably the trickiest bit, so take your time and don't force anything. Before adjusting the ring, using an indelible pen, you may want to mark how the adjustment ring was originally set (not all of them are set the same at the factory and my had both a red and a black mark already on it), just so that you may return to this setting if necessary. If you hear the burrs grinding together you want to back off a bit as metal filings in your espresso don't generally add positively to the flavour.
Last but not least.... don't touch the plug! It may just have been my unit, but a considerable amount of electricity used to be stored in my machine whereby touching the pins of the plug with the unit unplugged would result in a small but disagreeable electric shock!
Whilst this grinder does not feature the adjustment range of many better models, I found that it was cappable of grinding fine enough for my silvia.
"don't touch the plug! It may just have been my unit, but a considerable amount of electricity used to be stored in my machine whereby touching the pins of the plug with the unit unplugged would result in a small but disagreeable electric shock!"
Yeah mine does this as well, I think it may be a common feature, if that would be the best way of describing it.
Also thats my real name on the top of the article as I'm not sure how many people here know it, so if anyone has any questions ask away
Hi, nice article. I just wanted to add my own experience doing this 'mod' I owned this grinder about 2 1/2 years ago and was aware that it wasn't grinding fine enough. So I explored and discovered for myself the factory set white adjustment ring as you have described. I adjusted the position of the ring to give a finer grind and was very happy with the results for a few days.....and then the motor blew! I figured at that point that there was probably a reason that the factory set it there! I did endeavour to find a replacement motor to no avail, so had to get a new grinder. Thought it worth sharing as I don't know if the manufacturer has upgraded their motor but there is no reason why it wouldn't happen again.
good article. I just wish i saw it one day earlier ;-) I bought a used one of these online and found the grind wasn't fine enough so i took it apart and modified it by shaving a little bit off the end stopper tab to bring the adjustment down one more notch. seemed to do the trick though.
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