I like the Hario Skerton a lot and it is a great hand grinder, but if you are going to use it frequently be prepared to either buy a top bean hopper assembly from time to time (a steel burr shaft vs. a plastic bushing – we know which one will win out over time) or instead maybe modify the grinder by beefing up this weak link.
For my fix I took two washers and the metal coil spring that hold the paper together from the backing of a spiral composition book to fix it. I ended up trimming half the spring off from the standard size notebook. A trip to any hardware store would yield a more finished product but this method works. One washer sits snuggly (thanks to the home made spring) on top of the spring and underneath the "spider bushing" and the other washer sits on top of the upper burr to give the bottom of the spring something flat to ride on. The top washer does not move being wedged into the space where the support legs meet the bottom of the upper black plastic bushing and provides a metal bushing for the shaft to ride in instead of just the just mentioned plastic shaft in the upper bean hopper. The shaft no longer wobbles and the grinding motion is more fluid without the jarring action from a hard bean every so often.
I almost forgot the most important part - the grind size for French press is significantly improved as well in terms of particle size consistency since the spring holds the burr steady through the grind without the side to side shaft wobble that hampers the unmodified grinder's performance that unfortunately gets proportionally worse with every adjustment toward a coarser grind - this inconsistency is a thing of the past with the incorporation of this modification. Hario needs to add something like this modification as standard equipment on new Skerton production and offer it as a kit for older units. It turns a very good hand grinder into a great one with just a little effort and a very small expense.
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