When the DF64 coffee grinder came on the market, it was a big hit with home baristas thanks to its high quality, excellent performance and eye-catching affordability compared to alternatives.
The DF64 Gen 2 is now available, leading to questions about what differs in the upgrade from the original. In this article, I will provide an in-depth comparison of the two models, with particular emphasis on the upgrades and changes in the Gen 2.
- The exterior of the DF64 Gen 2 is higher spec. However, there is a more limited range of color options.
- The power button is in a more accessible position on the Gen 2.
- The Gen 2 has an anti-popcorn device as a standard.
- The Gen 2 burrs are comparable with high uniformity SSP burrs.
- The newer model has a more convenient wave spring for better grind consistency.
- The Gen 2 has a plasma generator to reduce static in coffee grounds.
- The declumper is improved in the Gen 2 for better performance.
The DF64 Gen 2 includes many improvements, some obvious and some more subtle. I have used the original model for some time, here is my DF64 hands-on review. While it is an excellent grinder, it’s not without its frustrations and flaws, which I have become familiar with over time.
Thankfully, the new model addresses many issues while enhancing the overall coffee brewing experience.
There are several notable differences between the first-generation DF64 and the second-generation model.
The DF64 Gen 1 came with a vinyl wrap with various color options. However, the Gen 2 is currently only available in black or white but with a higher-quality painted surface.
The Gen 2 also has a polished adjustment ring, which is not only practical but enhances the elegance of the grinder’s design.
Meanwhile, the two models are essentially the same size.
There is also a slight tweak in the design of the bellows, and you can swap the bellows between the two models.
Another notable upgrade is a wooden lid in place of the metal lid of the original, which offers a more premium aesthetic to give the impression that this is a high-end product that will look good in any contemporary kitchen.
The dosing cup in the new model is built from metal rather than the transparent plastic of the original. As well as adding a more premium touch, the new metal dosing cup is also easier to clean.
Another welcome change is the relocation and design of the power button. In the original model, the power button is placed at the front and center of the machine. However, I found this inconvenient because it necessitated reaching up under the dosing cup to access it. That has been addressed in the Gen 2, with the power button now placed to the side.
The color of the power button has also been changed from white to red. However, this is one of the few areas where the Gen 2 is not as good as the original, in my opinion. That’s because I prefer the white metal back-lit design of the Gen 1, which looked classier.
The DF64 Gen 1 has a small indicator that resembles a coffee bean at the front. Unfortunately, though, it is too discreet and difficult to align with the numbers on the adjustment collar. Indeed, I needed to purchase a 3D-printed dial indicator to improve the user experience.
The Gen 2 addresses this with a polished adjustment ring, which looks superb and offers a smooth feel when adjusting the grind settings.
Another significant difference between the two models is the material used for the top adjustment collars. The Gen 1 has a cast aluminum collar that is powder coated, while the aluminum collar on the Gen 2 is polished. This not only adds to the aesthetic appeal of the Gen 2 but also gives it a more durable feel.
Unlike the Gen 1, the Gen 2 DF64 has an anti-popcorning device as a stock feature. Previously, I reviewed the DF64V grinder and loved the anti-popcorning lid. I’m delighted it is also present in the DF64 Gen 2.
The design significantly reduces the chances of coffee beans flying out during grinding. While you would need to purchase a separate anti-popcorning accessory for the original model, seeing it come in the box as standard with the upgrade is pleasing.
In my testing of the DF64V, the results showed that the feature works well, too, with almost no beans escaping the grinder, even at the 1800 RPM grinding speed.
The DF64 Gen 2 features a new burr set, which elevates it over the original. Having said that, the DF64 has undergone several iterations since it was first released, with version 5 of the Gen 1 including the same burr set as the Gen 2.
As a result, the stock burr design of the Gen 2 has similar to the burrs of the DF64V.
The stock burrs are 64mm stainless steel flat burrs. However, you can upgrade if you prefer DLC burrs or SSP burrs for better grinding performance, as they are compatible with both DF64 coffee grinders.
Burr Carrier And Springs Comparison
With regard to the internal design, the DF64 Gen 2 excels with the enhanced design of its burr chamber, which is a combination of the DF83 and DF64V. The main difference is there are fewer openings, which means there is minimal retention and easier access.
The first generation model has three springs, which are difficult to remove and replace. Also, if you lose one of them, you need to purchase another, as all three are essential for installing the flat burrs correctly. The DF64 Gen 2 has addressed this issue thanks to its wave spring affixed to the chamber.
The new spring design also improves the grind consistency as it is more stable during the grinding process.
Static Retention – Plasma Generator
One of the common frustrations of coffee grinding is static. That’s because when beans are ground at high speed, they typically produce static, causing tiny particles of coffee to stick to the grinder and create a mess.
The RDT (Ross Droplet Technique) is a simple procedure that helps reduce static build-up. However, with the plasma generator in the Gen 2, you will no longer need to apply it before grinding.
Inside the grinder are two small probes that generate a tiny amount of plasma. In this instance, plasma is essentially a small spark that helps neutralize or reduce the static electricity in the freshly ground coffee. This means the grounds will no longer become charged with static, and therefore, particles won’t stick to the sides of the grinder.
The plasma generator significantly improves the user experience, as it was unavailable in the Gen 1.
The reference to a “declumper” in a coffee grinder has to do with the part that helps ensure the grounds come out smoothly and are not clumped together.
In the Gen 1, one of the common complaints from users concerned the design of the declumper. That led to many upgrading to a DIY alternative . Thankfully, the designers have taken note with some significant improvements made to the declumper in the DF64 Gen 2. Now, the grounds emerge smoother and more consistent.
Another bonus with the declumper in the newer version is easier accessibility for users to modify it if necessary.
Value For Money
All DF64 flat burr coffee grinders are manufactured in China. However, it’s worth noting that many distributors rebrand them, with one example, among others, being the MiiCoffee, Turin. However, whichever rebranded version you choose it is essentially the same.
There is not a great deal of difference between the cost of the Gen 1 and Gen 2. For that reason, if you are in the market for a new versatile espresso grinder with state-of-the-art grinding technology, it is worth buying the newer model.
For those who already own the DF64 Gen 1 grinder and are considering upgrading, it’s a good idea to consider their DF64V and DF83 models, too.
The DF64V has variable RPM, while the Df83 is extremely robust with larger 83mm flat burrs.
The DF64 series flat burr grinders are among the most highly regarded and sought-after. One of the main reasons for that is the exceptional value they offer compared to alternatives. For that reason alone, if you are in the market for a single-dose coffee grinder that doesn’t break the bank, one of the DF64 series is the best option.
It’s not just value for money that makes DF64 grinders hard to beat either, with considerable quality and high performance in abundance. That is even more obvious with the DF64 Gen 2. Its numerous practical upgrades significantly enhance the coffee grinding experience and address the shortcomings of its predecessor.
As I have discussed in this article, those improvements include the integrated anti-popcorn device, a new metal dial indicator, superior build quality and a revamped burr design. Overall, the result is an affordable grinder that doesn’t compromise quality.
 Best declumper design for DF64? – https://www.home-barista.com/grinders/best-declumper-design-for-df64-t83495.html