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I bought two SMKF products together - this leveler and a palm tamper. I'm a little undecided as to whether I need both, but I am currently using both in my espresso making process. They're heavy, and feel and look very well made. The adjustment mechanism works really well - this was something I wasn't sure about when I ordered - you loosen the top part, and it allows you to adjust the bottom, then you tighten back up. A great system that stays in place and yet is very easy to adjust. The leveler works exactly as it is supposed to - not sure what the $100+ versions do that this doesn't. The leveler and tamper are together giving me very consistent shots. Glad I got it.
Update: I've been using this a while now, and think its very beneficial. However trying to adjust it after its been used for a while is next to impossible. I guess the mechanism tightens on itself over time, so after a few weeks, trying to undo the top part to allow adjustment of the depth seems impossible, with it being overtightened. I had to get vice grips the first time round, and sadly that marred the finish a little (even though I used a protector between the grips and the leveler). The second time it jammed, I was able to get it undone using one of those bottle openers, for really hard to undo bottles. Other than that, still happy with it. Just knocking a star off for the difficulties.
I purchased a few of these from different sellers and had lots of trouble with the adjustments not being enough to do the basic job of tamping and leveling 18g of espresso in a portafilter. This one actually has the adjustment length and lots to spare, its well built and heavy. The thread cut on the main shaft is kind of poor, they're flatter on one side than the other so its sloppy manufacturing, but it doesn't hinder the use or function of the product. Once you have it set and dialed in, you never need to change it anyhow. I've stopped tamping shots altogether now, this is a bargain compared to some $180+ tools that do the same thing.
First leveller. Nice weight and crosshatched grip on both upper and lower halves. The stainless levelling surface is shiny smooth and have 3 fins with rounded edges. Fits well. Adjusts easily with infinite height settings. Managed to dial in puck height to just be below brew screen surface. The weight of the leveller basically tamps sufficiently that tamping is not necessary (and I understand is less common now). The consistency of the levelling and auto-tamping gives perfect infusion each time, as tasted and seen with my bottomless portafilter. Quality is excellent. Price is excellent. Recommend a buy.
This thing is much heavier than it needs to be, but I like that, it makes it feel like a quality crafted piece of equipment. Not sure if the design is the best, but seems to work and looks like it's doing a good job. This is priced much much more sanely than some of the other brands that look the same or very similar! I will be getting a naked portafilter soon and should be able to better judge how my espresso extractions are coming out. But I expect they should be fine. I'll update the review if necessary :)
Having had some trouble getting consistent extraction from my espresso machine I realized that I was not loading the portafilter consistently. This device makes it easy and I am getting much more consistent quality brews out of my machine. So far the quality is excellent and the 2 screw depth setting mechanism is staying put. Very happy with this purchase and the quick shipping.