Featured image of the article on testing the Normcore V4 Tamper.

Review of the Normcore V4 tamper

When it comes to extracting an espresso coffee, the expertise of a barista truly shines, and it is universally acknowledged that a quality tamper is an essential element. Beyond the simple act of pressing, modern tampers, such as the Normcore V4, are specifically designed to maintain a consistent pressure force with each use.

Design of the Normcore V4 Tamper

Normcore tampers are available in several sizes, ranging from 45.5 mm to 58.5 mm, making them compatible with all standards, except for the renowned 57 mm of Lelit. The tampers are also offered in white or black, with a base made of stainless steel or titanium, and a flat or ridged surface. Needless to say, the possibilities are numerous!

Each kit provides three springs, which develop forces of 15 lb (6.8 kg), 25 lb (11.3 kg), and 30 lb (13.6 kg). The Normcore comes with the 25 lb spring pre-installed.

I find the design to be successful. It is entirely made of metal, and the black color I chose blends well with my equipment, especially my Fellow Stagg EKG kettle.

The Normcore V4 tamper is quite comfortable to hold. Its handle fits well in the barista’s hand. However, unlike the MHW 3Bomber, the Normcore V4 does not have a rim for the fingers to rest on.

The Normcore is equipped with a guide that rests on the edge of the filter. This allows the user to tamp straight, an essential aspect to ensure uniform water flow through the coffee puck.

The kit includes a “cap” that prevents the base of the tamper from coming into contact with the work surface when placed down.

How consistent is the spring force of the Normcore V4 tamper?

I have found no flaws regarding the consistency of this tamper. It applies the advertised force with each use. However, I do not use the 15 lb (6.8 kg) spring because I find that my coffee pucks are not sufficiently tamped. On the other hand, I have used the 25 lb (11.3 kg) and 30 lb (13.6 kg) springs extensively.

What about coffee retention?

I have noticed slight coffee retention between the guide and the base of the tamper. This situation is common with all tampers equipped with a guide. Although the retention is minimal and does not contaminate the coffee, it is recommended to clean this part from time to time to avoid any buildup of residues.

Normcore V4 vs MHW 3Bomber

As you may have read in this article, I also have the MHW 3Bomber torque tamper. Having used both products for several months, I have enough experience to compare them.

In some aspects, I prefer the Normcore V4. I prefer the 58.5 mm diameter (rather than the 58.35 mm of the MHW 3Bomber). Additionally, I have a preference for flat bases on tampers, as I find that ridged bases do not enhance the aromas. Moreover, the ridges can cause coffee retention between them.

However, in other aspects, I prefer the MHW 3Bomber. I like its torque feature with the satisfying click it produces. Additionally, I appreciate the grip provided by the rim on the handle, where I can rest my fingers for better stability.

Both products are of very high quality, but the choice ultimately comes down to making compromises.



For several years, Normcore has been producing quality accessories for the coffee world. The V4 version of the tamper is a success in my eyes. Indeed, it offers the possibility to choose the pressing force by replacing the springs, the grip is excellent, and the product is well-designed.

However, it is a pity that the tamper is not truly torque-based, as the “click” sound when pressing is pleasant to hear.

Positive Points

  • Beautiful design
  • High-quality materials
  • Excellent grip
  • Presence of a guide
  • Consistency of applied force
  • Available in 58.5 mm (and many other standards)
  • Available with a flat or ridged surface
  • Includes a cap
  • Affordable price
  • Several springs included

Negative Points

  • Not truly torque-based
  • No finger rest integrated into the handle
  • Slight coffee retention between the guide and the base

I give it a rating of 5/5.

Rating: 5 out of 5.


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