This 58 mm coffee tamper is stainless steel: it has a stainless steel base which has been finished with a satiny silver, and a black steel handle that's been finished with a semi-gloss black. Because it's toned-down, and black and grey (satiny silver), we call it our "Black and Grey Gentleman;" starting to age, but still steely strong. The Black and Grey Gentleman weighs in at almost a pound (15 ounces), and it's steely strong. Starting to age? Yes. But virile? You bet!
Most standard espresso machines (semiautomatic and automatic) use a 57 mm or 58 mm coffee tamper. Many people want a coffee tamper that fits snugly into the portafilter, and some prefer a millimeter (or so) of wiggle room, so that they can more easily manipulate the coffee tamper while tamping. But note that the coffee tamper doesn't get pushed down into the bottom of the filter basket (which can be slightly tapered). So it's the inner diameter at the top of the basket that you'll need to measure to size your coffee tamper correctly. At The Coffee Brewers, we tend to believe in a firmer fit (i.e., 58 mm.), hence the Silver & Black Muscle Classic! How much firmer & buffer could you be?
You should read our article on "How to Use a Coffee Tamper Correctly for Uniform Extractions" if you're not exactly sure how to use a coffee tamper. Note that "How to Use a Coffee Tamper Correctly for Uniform Extractions" was written with the professional barista in mind, so there are various moves described that sound complicated, but have more to do with not touching the coffee directly with your hands than with pure function. Using a coffee tamper is not complicated. It doesn't take THAT much muscle, although this coffee tamper is solid and gorgeous - it's the Black and Silver Gentleman!
We recommend that you do not wash these coffee tampers in the dishwasher, because over time, the dishwasher will damage their beautiful finish and discolor their glossy silver base. To clean your Silver & Black coffee tamper, simply wipe it down with a damp cloth - you wouldn't want to damage the gloss on this coffee tamper. Your coffee tamper should not be "dirty" in the first place. After all it's a Silver & Black! This coffee tamper makes a great gift.