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27
May

Timemore Sculptor 078 & 078S Review - Is It Over Hyped?

0 commentPost by : Jasmin Tétreault
Timemore Sculptor 078 & 078S Review - Is It Over Hyped?

Until now, Timemore hadn't released an electric grinder and they decided to enter the market with a wave. The Timemore Sculptor was the most backed coffee grinder on Kickstarter and it's now out. After testing the 064S, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the 078 series. These grinders are not just bigger; they also bring technology reserved for higher-priced grinders to a more budget-friendly price.

The 078 & 078S models are the bigger versions of the Sculptor family.  The 078S features 78mm flat burrs make for espresso and the 078 has 78mm ghost burrs, which we'll get into later. Driving the burrs is a variable-speed brushless motor. The 078 and 078S are designed to meet the needs of both espresso and pour-over enthusiasts. Let's explore the Sculptor's performance, and features, and see if they match the hype. Get ready for an honest review. Let's grind!

Design and Build Quality

Unboxing the Timemore Sculptor 078, the construction feels durable and the grinder was heavier than I imagined. After opening it, I could tell the internals were strong and designed for precise grinding. At first glance, it has a modern look, similar to high-end models like the Mahlkonig EK43, and stands out with a single-dose design. 

The grinder has a premium feel, but some accessories let it down. The power button wobbles and the catch cup feels too light. Enhancing the RPM dial placement and adding a display screen would improve the experience. Timemore's looks stylish in any kitchen.

Features of the Timemore 078

  • Variable RPM motor

  • 78 mm burrs

  • A magnetic catch cup

  • A rotational fines knocker

  • A magnetic lid

  • A magnetic dial indicator that can easily be removed for recalibration

Timemore Sculptor 078 Variable RPM

Variable RPM

Variable-speed motors are common in high-end grinders. The Timemore Sculptor 078 & 078S brings this feature to budget models. With an adjustable RPM of 800-1400, it lets me experiment with a different brewing variable. Honestly, I didn't see much change at higher speeds, but the 400-watt motor didn't stall, even with light roasts at the lowest RPM. It handled every type of bean effortlessly.

There is currently a debate in the coffee industry over the importance of RPM adjustments. Some argue that lower RPM reduces fines, while others believe it enhances grinder performance. More data is needed for a definitive answer. Similar to the DF83V, the Sculptor 078S & 078 allow for RPM adjustments, potentially offering a particle size distribution advantage.

Timemore Sculptor 078 Turbo Burrs

78mm Burrs

The Timemore Sculptor 078 and 078S both have 78mm flat burrs that are designed to deliver exceptional grinding performance. Each grinder has a specific use, the 078S for espresso and the 078 for filter coffee. The 078 utilizes Turbo Burrs, which are essentially ghost burrs.

Ghost burrs have a different design to burrs typically found in coffee grinders. The burrs have pyramid-shaped spikes that cut the coffee beans resulting in more unimodal grind size and less heat generation. This design is ideal for pour-over and drip coffee but will not go fine enough for espresso. On the other hand, the 078S is equipped with burrs optimized for espresso, providing the fine control needed for pulling the perfect shot but still can make filter coffee.

Catch Cup

Contrary to the catch cup on the Timemore Sculptor 064S, the catch cup on the 078 is weighty and feels great in the hands. The pull isn't as strong but it slides smoothly into place and fits perfectly on a 51 mm portafilter, ideal for La Pavonis, Delonghis, and older Brevilles.

The catch cup's exterior has a nice finish and it doesn't have a lid which makes workflow easier. While the grinder efficiently directs grounds into the cup, it tends to accumulate static.

Timemore Sculptor 078 Rotary Knocker

Rotary Knocker

To solve retention issues, the Timemore Sculptor 078 introduces a new feature, the rotary knocker. This design reduces grind retention by snapping internal tension in the chute, effectively clearing retained grinds. The rotary ring has a nice feedback and a satisfying click.

Using the rotary knocker, I usually get retention within +/- 0.1-0.2 grams. Sometimes it's a bit higher when beans get stuck in the grinding chamber. There is still some static in the Sculptor and most of the retention ends up being chaff. I think an anti-static feature would improve the experience.

Dial Indicator

Since the 078 and 078S have different uses, Timemore chose to use a different grind adjustment system. On the 078S, it's a stepless adjustment, which makes it possible to fine-tune for espresso. The espresso range is marked from 0-5, and while this might seem limited, each number has 10 subdivisions. When dialing in espresso, my settings typically fell between 1-3. For filter coffee, the grind setting usually ranges between 8-10.

On the 078 version, the adjustment dial is stepped, and you can feel the dial clicking when turning it. For filter coffee, this is fine because you don't need to make tiny adjustments but if you did want your dial to but stepless on the 078, it is possible to disassemble it and remove the pin. That way, when you turn the dial to adjust the coarseness, you will not feel any clicking, it will be smooth.

The Lid

It took me a second to understand why there were two magnets on the lid of the Timemore Sculptor 078, but I quickly realized that it allowed the lid to be positioned in two settings, fully closed or half-open. It's a nice feature to prevent beans from popcorning when slow feeding or doing a hot start. Compared to the 064S, the Timemore Sculptor 078’s lid is thicker and feels great. It was one of my complaints on the 064S that the lid was too thin. Overall the lid is well though out and enhances the grinder's usability and workflow.

Timemore Sculptor 078 back

Detachable cord

All the grinders in the Sculptor family have a detachable power cord. It's uncommon to find this feature on coffee grinders and could be useful in some situations. You could swap the cable for a shorter one to keep the counter clean. 

User Experience

The user experience with the Timemore Sculptor 078 has been outstanding so far. Most parts feel robust durable and reliable. The grinder operates cleanly, with minimal static issues, and any residual static can be easily managed with a quick RDT (Ross Droplet Technique). Overall, it’s been a pleasure to use.

Noise level

With a brushless motor, the 078 is one of the quietest grinders I’ve ever tried—you'll hardly notice it’s on. Naturally, it will make some noise when grinding beans, but the sound is minimal and far from disruptive.

Stalling

The 400w motor in the Timemore Sculptor 078 is designed to avoid stalling issues. However, with the 078S when using very lightly roasted, dense beans at the lowest RPM settings, the grinder might struggle. Increasing the RPM mitigates this problem, allowing the grinder to handle even the finest espresso settings with ease.

Timemore Sculptor 078S vs 064S

Performance

Espresso

Over the last week, I’ve pulled numerous espresso shots with the Timemore Sculptor 078S, and they have been great. This grinder is up to par with higher-end models, no questions asked. Compared to the DF83V, it had more juiciness and overall had more intensity than the 064S. The Sculptor 078S produces a clean, sweet espresso with vibrant acidity. There isn't much astringency even when pushing extractions.

Filter

Having tested both the Timemore Sculptor 078 and 078S, I found that each model produces different results. The 078S had slightly more astringency and a fuller body compared to the 078. On the other hand, the 078 was way ahead in complexity and flavor distinction. The 078 would be my top choice for filter coffee. While the Timemore Sculptor 078S is primarily designed as an espresso grinder, it still performs well for pour-over coffee.

When compared to my favorite home filter coffee grinder, the Fellow Ode V2, the Timemore 078 produced filter coffee that thad more clarity, similar to what you'd expect from an EK43. I think the 078 has become my new favorite how filter coffee grinder. When testing the Ode against the 078S, the Fellow Ode V2 had a more refined flavor profile, with greater clarity and overall better quality for filter coffee. However, the 078S still makes enjoyable cup, particularly for those who appreciate a fuller body in their brews.

Conclusion

The Timemore Sculptor 078 and 078S are without a doubt high-performing grinders with exceptional value for their price. The single-dose workflow, magnetic catch cup, rotary knocker, and adjustable RPM (800-1400) make for en enjoyable user experience.

No product is perfect, and the 078 and 078S have a few quirks, such as occasional bean catching in the hopper, the flimsy power button, and static in the dosing cup. Cleaning inside the grinders can also be a bit challenging due to the small screws. However, these issues are minor compared to the overall performance and value these grinders provide.

If you're looking for a grinder that excels in both espresso and great for filter coffee, the 078S would be the better option great choices and on par with a grinder like the DF83V. For filter coffee enthusiasts, the 078 is hard to beat. It has such a nice cup profile and will stay on my counter for my coffees.

For those looking to get the maximum out of their coffees at a reasonable price, the Sculptor 078 and 078S would be a great choice. The hype surrounding the Timemore Sculptor series is well-deserved. The 078 raised the bar in what to expect from home filter coffee grinders.

Timemore Sculptor 078S - All-Purpose Grinder $999.00

Featured in this article

Timemore Sculptor 078S - All-Purpose Grinder

For an uncompromising grind from espresso to French press, Timemore's patented 078S Flat Burrs deliver micro-fine consistency for espresso and uniformity for all brewing methods. Adjust the speed of the Sculptor 078S, from 800-1400RPM and choose from 36 stepless grind settings.