XT Tamper - How it came about

Posted November 26 2012

 A word on the XT Tamper from Paul Pratt

The accidental brainwave

Over a year ago I asked a potential customer why he would choose another tamper over mine, one that was multiple times more costly. His reply was simply because he could adjust the handle to suit his hand, using the spacer/washer system.  I mulled it over for a few days and came up with the XT tamper. The idea was not to replicate but to make something better, much better.   

The idea for having a stepless adjustment was easy, working out how to do it was the tricky part.  I made a prototype from aluminium on my lathe and had a working proof of concept just several days later. 

I sat on the prototype for several months, then one day my friend Chic Kelty came over to chat, I showed him the prototype tamper I had, and he took it away with him. Literally a few days later he had drawn up the XT tamper and had dismissed my use of materials. He was adamant that it should be made entirely in stainless steel and by investment casting.   A few days after that we had ironed out all the details and the XT tamper was born.  


Pretty soon the tamper evolved from simply being an adjustable handle to being the tamper to end all tampers. Chic and I were on the same page and if we were going to do anything, we wanted it to be the best it can possibly be without compromises. So we looked at the design and manufacture from the ground up.

Soon the tamper had evolved from a simple adjustable handle to being something much more. It was soon to feature:

  • Stepless height adjustment
  • 100% stainless steel
  • Lightweight and perfectly balanced
  • Using new production methods
  • Handmade in-house
  • A functional work of art
The biggest decision we made early on, and one that would prove to be the biggest challenge, was to not have anything to do with CNC machines.  

Why are tampers so big and heavy?  I bet the standard reply to this would be because it results in a better tamp, big heavy tamper = consistent tamp.  Whilst there is some truth in that, we came to a different conculsion.  Having experience with manufacturing, we agreed that tampers are the way they currently are because of the way they are manufactured, by CNC cutting a solid barstock of metal on a lathe.   It is pretty easy to do so and you end up with big solid heavy tampers.  We wanted to do it the hard way.