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My Stepless Modification for the Rancilio Rocky
Doserless Coffee Grinder

By Tim Eggers
February 11, 2007

Why go stepless?
Simply to offer unlimited adjustability for espresso making. Grinding for espresso is much different than grinding for other methods where as a very small adjustment can alter the finished flavor of the espresso. The Rocky is a great grinder and very versatile because it is stepped. On the other side this makes it a little less good for strictly espresso making (but we can take care of this). The Rocky can offer a great espresso grind but due to the steps it may limit some peoples desire to super tweak their grind. Now it's not a problem! Another distinct advantage I have seen with my set-up versus others I have seen online is that my modification maintains a rigid grasp of the bean hopper (thus also the upper burr) making for a very consistent grind due to the complete elimination of grind drift. I'd love to be able to test this set-up next to a Mazzer Mini (which offers a very rigid grinding enviroment due to 3 high tension springs)...

How do you adjust the grind? Shouldn't there be an adjusting knob?
No, adjusting is simply done by turning the hopper. The real slick feature of this modification is that adjustments can be made without loosening the clamps. The clamps offer more then enough hold to eliminate grind drift but also allow me to turn the hopper using a firm grip and both hands. Also due to the rigidity of this set-up adjusting is easy to accomplish and the smallest of adjustments are easy to dial in.

Is it reversible?
Yes, this modification does not permanently alter any part of the Rancilio Rocky Doserless grinder. It can be completely removed thus reverting the grinder to its stock factory configuration.

Is it expensive?
No, less than $5.00!

Is it hard to perform?
No, it took me about 5 minutes with a few very basic tools like a razor box cutter, screwdriver and the two pipe clamps. That's it!

How can I modify my grinder? What will I need?

What you need:

Clear plastic tubing (available at most any hardware store, or check the fish aquarium isle at Wal-mart for air pump tubing)
Razor blade or Box cutter
One very large or two smaller pipe clamps (available at any hardware store)

Here is how I did it step by step:

I split the tubing with the razor (BE VERY CAREFUL) and used this to cushion the metal edge of the Rocky's metal housing (see photo below).
Next attach pipe clamps so that they compress the housing around the hopper.
Adjust the pipe clamps so that you need both hands to turn the hopper (be sure to depress the spring loaded pin handle). Test tension by grinding beans and watching the dial, the dial should not move at all!
That's all there is to it, you now have a stepless doserless Rancilio Rocky coffee grinder!

Here is what it should look like:

Note these pictures are for demonstration only, you perform any of these modifications at your own risk! Always follow manufacturers instructions.

See the espresso:

More espresso videos!

For comments or questions please join in the discussion here:
My cheap and easy stepless Rocky mod...

Read my review of the doserless Rancilio Rocky here.

Thanks for looking!