In the realm of coffee grinders, the Timemore Sculptor has emerged as a noteworthy contender. This grinder, with its stand out design and innovative features, has been the subject of our rigorous testing and evaluation.
Our hands-on experience with the Sculptor has provided us with a comprehensive understanding of its capabilities, strengths, and a few potential areas for improvement.
In this review, we will share our findings, offering an in-depth look at the Timemore Sculptor’s performance, grind consistency, and overall value. Is this grinder for you? Read on to find out.
Summary: Timemore Sculptor Coffee Grinder
- Outstanding performance, producing consistent grind sizes
- Unique, attractive design that looks great in any setting
- Low coffee retention rate
- Produces delicious espresso and filter coffee
- Insanely good value for money
Timemore has done a fantastic job with these grinders. They’ve really pushed the boundaries of what we can expect from a grinder in this price range – Kyle Roswell
Design and Build Quality
The Timemore Sculptor is a well-designed coffee grinder that stands out for its unique, aesthetically pleasing design and extensive features.
The grinder is equipped with a fail-safe mechanism built into the motor, which is designed to prevent damage. This feature ensures that the motor stops when it encounters resistance, protecting it from potential damage and prolonging its lifespan.
The Timemore Sculptor comes in four models: the 64, 64s, 78 and the 78s. All four models deliver impressive performance, but there are some differences to note. The 78 model, for instance, is equipped with a more powerful motor and larger burr set, which can handle a wider range of grind sizes.
The motor of the 64 model may present some challenges when grinding super dense, light roast coffees. Even at the highest – 1200 RPM – setting, there is still some dips in the power as it tries to grind the coffee. While this won’t be a huge issue, it will have an affect on particle distribution due to the inconsistent RPM.
Two things we found that helped were:
- Using the highest RPM setting
- Adding beans in slower trickles as you grind to prevent any stalling
Still, the 64 models make delicious filter coffee. Both the 74 and 74s perform extremely well and didn’t have the same challenges with lighter roasts. They also produced top class espresso and filter.
Another potential drawback of the Timemore Sculptor 64 and 64s is the process of changing out the burrs. While it’s possible to switch out the burrs, the process can be quite challenging and time-consuming and is far more complex than some other grinders. Furthermore, switching out the burrs could impact the motor and alignment of the grinder, which may affect its performance.
The Burrs of the Timemore Sculptor
The Timemore Sculptor comes with different burr options depending on the model. The 64 and 78 models feature what Timemore calls “turbo burrs.” These burrs are essentially ghost burrs that Timemore has patented. They cut the coffee rather than crushing it. This results in less fines and a much more uniform ground.
The downside is that won’t get great results for espresso; for this you will definitely need one of the S models.
The coffee produced by these burrs is incredibly juicy, clean, and sweet, making them ideal for filter coffee.
The 64 and 78 models also offer a unique adjustment system. It’s a soft stepped adjustment that allows for a physical click on each number, but you can also use the space in between each number, making it capable of being stepless in a way. This hybrid system offers flexibility and precision in grind size adjustment.
The 78 model, in particular, has a burr geometry that closely resembles the EG1 from Weber Workshops, another premium brand in the coffee world. This burr is not the exact same, but there’s heavy inspiration. The coffee it produces is incredibly clean and sweet, making it suitable for both espresso and filter coffee.
The 64 model, on the other hand, seems to have burrs heavily inspired by Italmill’s espresso burr, often found in the Turin DF64. The coffee produced by this model is a bit sweeter and less astringent than the Italmill’s, making it a good option for espresso.
When it comes to grinding coffee, the Timemore Sculptor stands out for its unique calibration system and consistent performance. This coffee grinder is designed with a flexible calibration system that allows users to adjust the grind size to their preference. This is achieved by unscrewing and repositioning a component, a feature that offers a high level of adaptability to different burr sizes.
The Timemore Sculptor is equipped with vertically mounted burrs, a common feature in many grinders. However, the way these burrs are mounted inside the grinder is unique. They are spring-loaded, which allows for adjustments to accommodate different grind sizes. This feature, coupled with a robust auger that controls the feed rate into the burrs, ensures a consistent grind size, a crucial factor in brewing a great cup of coffee.
The grinder shines when it comes to brewing filter coffee, especially when using the turbo burrs on the 078 model. It can also handle espresso, but it requires more precise adjustments due to the smaller range for espresso.
In our testing, after dialing in our beans, the Sculptor created deliciously thick-bodied, chocolatey shots and juicy filter coffee that really highlighted the tasting notes of the coffees.
As well as delicious coffee, the Timemore Sculptor excels with its low retention rate. This is achieved through its moving auger and tight internal construction, which leaves little room for coffee to be trapped. The grinder also features a “fines collector” that vibrates to eject any remaining chaff or fines into your cup, ensuring that every grind is as fresh as possible.
Retention and Fines Collector
One of the standout features of the Timemore Sculptor is its fines collector, a unique component designed to deal with coffee retention. Retention refers to the small amount of coffee that remains in a grinder after the grinding process, which can affect the freshness of subsequent grinds. The Timemore Sculptor addresses this issue with its innovative fines collector.
The fines collector works by ejecting any remaining coffee particles into your cup, reducing the amount of coffee retained in the grinder. This feature is particularly effective, with the Timemore Sculptor demonstrating remarkably low retention rates in our tests. In fact, after grinding eight to ten kilos of coffee, only 0.18 grams were retained inside the grinder, a testament to the effectiveness of the fines collector.
However, it’s worth noting that the fines collector catches mostly fines and chaff, which you may not want in your brew. For filter coffee, it’s recommended to weigh out an extra 0.5 or 0.75 grams of coffee to account for what the fines collector will catch.
This is a notable improvement over grinders such as the Niche Zero that retain large amounts of coffee without the use of a bellows.
Taste Test and Comparison
The true test of any coffee grinder lies in the taste of the coffee it produces. In a series of taste tests at Coffeeble HQ, the Timemore Sculptor demonstrated its ability to produce excellent coffee, both for espresso and filter coffee.
In a comparison between the Timemore Sculptor’s 64 and 78 models, the 78 model emerged as the clear favorite. The coffee produced by the 78 model was extremely vibrant, with a balanced flavor profile and no noticeable astringency. The 64s model also produced a good shot of espresso, but it was not as enjoyable as the 78.
In our blind taste test comparing the Timemore Sculptor with other grinders including the Niche Zero, the 78 model consistently outperformed the competition. The coffee produced by the 78 model not only matched the clarity of other grinders but also offered a fuller, more robust body.
Things We Liked
- Exceptional grinding performance, producing consistent grind sizes.
- Unique calibration system that allows for adjustment of grind size.
- Low retention rate, thanks to its moving auger and tight internal construction.
- Innovative “fines collector” that vibrates to eject any remaining chaff or fines into your cup.
- The 078 model with the turbo burrs consistently outperformed other grinders in taste tests.
- The grinder is capable of producing a thick-bodied, chocolatey shot, which is preferred for espresso.
- Great value for money, offering high-quality performance at a reasonable price point.
Things We Didn’t Like
- The grinder’s motor can struggle when grinding lighter roasts.
- The process of switching burrs is complex and time-consuming.
- The range for espresso is smaller and requires more precise adjustments.
Who is the Timemore Sculptor Grinder For?
If you want to buy Timemore Sculptor online, then here’s our thoughts on who the different models are best suited to.
The 64 and 64S Models
The 64 and 64S models are excellent all-rounders. They make delicious coffee. They’re also just under half the price of the 78 models.
The espresso it produces is similar to traditional 64mm flat burr cups. Both the 64 and 64s produce espresso with high texture and complexity, albeit a little less clean.
If you make a lot of milk based beverages such as lattes or flat whites, I’d go with the Sculptor 64s. You won’t really notice the difference in shots due to the added milk, so the body of the cup will be a little less noticeable.
This is also the grinder to go for if you’re coming in with a lower budget.
The 78 and 78S Models
The 78 and 78S models are the powerhouses of the Sculptor series. With their larger burrs and more powerful motors, these grinders are capable of handling a wider range of coffee beans and grind sizes.
The 78S produces a clean, sweet, and juicy cup of coffee, making it an excellent choice for those who enjoy both espresso and filter coffee.
However, the 78 model has a more limited espresso range, and you might find yourself operating at the finer end of the grind scale more often. All that said, the espresso it makes is as good as you would find in prosumer and commercial grinders at much higher price points.
The 78s is the option to go for if you have a higher budget and drink a lot of filter coffee and/or espresso.
Do Not Buy The Timemore Sculptor If…
- You frequently grind lighter roasts: The motor of the Timemore Sculptor 64 model can struggle when grinding super dense or lighter roasts. If these types of coffee are your go-to, you might want to opt for the 74s model with turbo burrs.
- You prefer a simple, easy-to-use grinder: The Timemore Sculptor has a unique calibration system and the process of changing out the burrs can be complex and time-consuming.
- You want a grinder with a larger range for espresso: While the Timemore Sculptor can make amazing espresso, the range for espresso is smaller and requires more precise adjustments. If you only brew espresso, you might benefit from an espresso-specific machine like the Baratza ESP grinder.
With an abundance of choice in the ever growing world of coffee grinders, the Timemore Sculptor has proven itself to be a worthy contender. With its unique features, stellar performance, and beautiful design, it offers a compelling combination of looks, value and quality.
The Timemore Sculptor coffee grinder shines when it comes to performance, particularly with its 078 model equipped with turbo burrs. It delivers consistent grind sizes and impresses with its low retention rates, thanks to its innovative fines collector.
It’s cheaper than many grinders in a similar price bracket and in our opinion, outperformed superb alternatives such as the Niche Zero.
Overall, the Timemore Sculptor is a highly recommended addition to any coffee brewing setup. Let us know what you think of the Sculptor in the comments below. Happy brewing.
Coffee expert and industry insider, I’ve dedicated years to mastering the art and science of coffee making. From scrutinizing particle fineness to evaluating burr shapes, I delve into the minutiae that elevate coffee from good to exceptional. Whether it’s a complex pour-over or a robust espresso, my insights cater to those who don’t just drink coffee, but experience it.