Vibratory pumps & Rotary pumps


We often get the question "What’s the difference between a vibratory pump and rotary pump?" and we agree that it’s hard to know. That’s why we have written this article to explain what actually distinguishes the different pumps, as well as what similarities they have.


The most common pump for home machines is the vibratory pump. A piston that feeds the water is moved back and forth with magnetism. A crackling sound from the pump is typical of the technology. The pressure is not adjustable on the pump and they normally deliver about 15 bar. Many machines have a pressure regulator that equalizes the pressure to the correct 8-10 bar. In smaller machines, which often are cheaper, you usually use a vibratory pump that takes 5-7 seconds before the pressure is "right" (you can hear the sound change).


The rotary pump is the most common technique in professional machines. A motor drives the pump that rotates. Most rotary pumps have a set screw to regulate the desired pressure. Compared to a vibratory pump, the rotary pump reaches the correct brewing pressure, and it has a quieter and more comfortable process. The service life of espresso machines with a rotary pump is generally longer than those with a vibratory pump. However, rotary pumps are larger and more expensive than vibratory pumps, so they are not used very often in smaller machines.


To put everything in context, we can look at the semi-pro espresso machines Appartamento and Cronometro R from Italian Rocket Espresso. The former has a vibratory pump and the latter has a rotary pump. The advantage of the vibratory pump in Appartamento is that they have been able to scale the size, however, it can not be connected to water just like all our other semi-pro machines with vibratory pumps. The advantage of the Cronometro R is the speed and quietness. However, the machine is a little bigger, but it can be connected to water. One thing that comes with most semi-pro machines with rotary pumps is the ability to connect to water. Actually, the pump and the water connection are not linked, but the machines are often made with the same combinations (vibration-not water-connectable and rotation-water-connectable). In terms of taste, there is only a marginal difference between the espresso machines. Rotary pumps are slightly better but it is barely noticeable. In terms of time, it takes a little longer for Appartamento to brew with its vibratory pump, but there is a very small difference in time from the rotary pump in Cronometor R.


What is "best" is difficult to say outright, it simply differs from situation to situation. We recommend that you first review what conditions you have, ie if there is a possibility of water connection where the espresso machine should stand, how much the sound matters and how much surface space you have for the machine. Then it is of course good to make a price assessment and,, as previously mentioned, espresso machines with rotary pumps are generally more expensive.