The pump will help you with the recirc. and in my opinion this will help efficiency and with clarity of your wort. I don't have a pump, but will be adding soon for these reasons. I have a 10 gallon igloo cooler from home depot that I got cheap that works great for mashing. It isn't worth the slight savings to even mess with the 5 gallon models, I feel that with some of the moderate gravity beers I do (up to 1.070), I push the size of the 10 gallon model. Just my 2 cents.