Manual coffee grinders are a cost-efficient and quality alternative to electric grinders, and travel much easier, too. With a little more manual work, these grinders can provide the same consistent grind as their electric counterparts at half the price.
There are so many benefits to working with a manual coffee grinder, but with so many manual options on the market, it can be a daunting task to find the perfect manual coffee grinder for you. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best manual coffee grinders on the market in hopes to help fast-track your search.
Best Entry Level: Hario Skerton Plus
The Hario Skerton Plus is a cost-efficient manual grinder that is perfect for entry-level users. This manual grinder provides coffee lovers with an inexpensive means to have freshly ground coffee at home. In comparison with most manual grinders, the Hario Skerton Plus leans to the middle of the price bracket. With ceramic, conical burrs providing a range of grind settings, this grinder is versatile enough to satisfy entry-level and adventurous brewers alike.
Made from BPA-free plastic, stainless steel, silicone, and glass, this hand mill is sturdy. It’s even dishwasher safe. The ceramic conical burrs allow users to grind coffee beans from cold brew coarse to near-espresso fine.
Outfitted with a strong grind shaft and burr stabilization plate, this manual grinder provides a smooth, consistent grind. The silicone base provides a secure platform for the Skerton plus and prevents the mill from moving while grinding coffee beans. The Skerton Plus has a detachable crank to make storage easy and free up countertop space.
With any coffee grinder, the finer the grind, the more required time to achieve the particle result. Many users have mentioned this hand grinder doesn’t grind fine enough for near-espresso fine. Likewise, beans have a tendency to get stuck in the unit hopper. The Skerton pro may require a shake from time to time to clear jams.
- Ceramic burr grinder
- Non-slip rubber base to stabilize the device
- Easily disassembled for storage and travel
- Stepped grind adjustment
- Less suitable for grinds finer than near-espresso grade
- Beans tend to get stuck in the hopper
Best For Espresso: 1Zpresso JX-PRO
The 1zpresso JX-Pro hand grinder is the perfect fit for users looking for something durable and easy to use. Constructed of wood, polycarbonate, rubber, stainless steel, and aluminium alloy, the JX-Pro is built to last a lifetime if well-maintained.
This hand grinder comes equipped with 48mm conical burrs to allow for premium grind consistency. With an internal fixing included between the burr and central shaft, users will not have to worry about wobbly burrs. Likewise, this model includes a fine adjustment dial design with 40 clicks in a full rotation. Each click shifts the grind setting by 12.5 microns, allowing for over 200 possible settings.
The JX-Pro easily assembles and disassembles for cleaning. No additional tools are needed for grinder maintenance. When put back after cleaning, this hand grinder doesn’t need to recalibrate, which eliminate extra hassle! Also, the sleek, modern design accents any kitchen space.
Users have found this grinder excels with espresso-fine grind settings, but struggles to maintain consistency in coarse settings. With 200 grind settings, there is a learning curve to finding the setting that fits your preference.
- Easy to clean
- Fine adjustment dial design
- No recalibrating after cleaning
- 48mm conical burrs
- Grind is inconsistent at coarser settings
- Learning curve with fine grinding adjustment
Best for Travel: Lido 3 Hand Grinder
The Lido 3 conical burr coffee grinder is the perfect travel companion. Designed specifically for on-the-go coffee drinkers, this hand grinder comes with a folding crank handle with an integrated funnel for easy bean loading. Likewise, the Lido 3 includes a 70-gram hopper capacity and is constructed of BPA free plastic.
Equipped with a Swiss-made stainless steel conical burr set, the Lido 3 delivers an even and uniform grind across all settings, ranging from espresso-fine to coarse. Built like a tank in terms of quality materials, this grinder features a replaceable bearing system for complete grinding stability and consistent particle size. There is also a micrometric external grind size adjustment system to grant users total control over their ground coffee.
With an anti-static plastic catch jar for fresh grounds, users can easily grind a larger portion of coffee at once to use. The Lido 3 are built with a buy it once lifetime quality, ensuring all users a reliable manual coffee grinder. With quality though comes weight. This device weighs approximately 1,000 grams, which is heavy for your average hand grinders. Furthermore, users have also mentioned that their grinder needed a few uses before consistently achieving an espresso-fine grind consistency.
- Comes with a carrying case and anti-static catch jar
- Micrometric external grind size adjustment
- Designed to be travel-friendly
- Buy it once lifetime quality
- Higher-end of the price spectrum
- Needs to be broken in
- Quality build makes for a heavy model
Upgrade Pick: Comandante C40 MK3
While the Comandante MK3 hand grinder is an investment, it is the perfect upgrade pick for coffee lovers looking to perfect their manual grinding routine. Constructed of quality materials like stainless steel, BPA-free plastic, natural oak, and wood veneer glass, the MK3 brings a classic look to a supreme grinder.
This precision manual grinder is durable and easy to maintain. The high-alloyed, high nitrogen stainless steel burrs prepare uniformly ground coffee every time. These conical burrs take some getting used to, though, as they are sharper and more water-resistant than other burrs. Every burr set in a Comandante MK2 grinder will outlast most other burrs as well.
The MK3 has double axel bearings further add to the machine’s precision, allowing users to prepare ground coffee for Turkish coffee, French press, and every setting in between.
This easy to use coffee grinder comes with a clear and brown jar for grinding and storing beans. The MK3 has a grind setting dial on the bottom of the burrs, which easily allows users to adjust the grind sizes.
Users have mentioned that the Comandante takes a bit longer to achieve a uniform grind than other manual coffee grinders on the market. Likewise, the cost of this grinder may intimidate some. However, the calibre of this grinder ensures it will last for years after purchase.
- High-alloyed, high nitrogen stainless steel burrs
- Double axel bearings
- Grind setting dial
- Quality is reflected in the cost
- Grinding takes longer than others
Best Grinder for French Press: Timemore C2 Coffee Grinder
The Timemore C2 manual coffee grinder is a compact stainless steel grinder with a modern, cast iron look. This device is designed to be the perfect manual grinding tool for smaller households, as its yield is approximately 30g of ground coffee.
With a high-precision CNC grinding core, the Timemore easily cuts coffee beans and reduces them to a consistent grind. The ergonomic design, textured surface and labour-saving hand crank make sure the grinder is easy to use and efficient with grinding time.
Likewise, the Timemore allows users to easily shift from one grind size to another by turning the adjustment nut at the bottom of the device. There are a total of 36 adjustment steps on this grinder.
This coffee mill excels with medium to coarse grind consistencies, making it the perfect pairing for coffee lovers who brew French press or drip coffee. For coffee drinkers striving to achieve finer settings, this grinder may not be the best for you. Many users have discussed the grinder’s struggle with producing uniform, fine coffee grounds.
As a compact machine, the Timemore can only work with 30 grams of coffee at a time. This may not be suitable for larger households or those looking to grind once for the rest of the week. The Timemore is not a great grinder to travel with since it’s primarily stainless steel, this device is heavy.
- CNC grinding core makes for quick grinding time
- Durable and easy to clean
- Ergonomic design
- Not suitable for espresso
- Hefty to travel with
- Small grind capacity
Best Value for Money: Kinu M47 Phoenix Coffee Grinder
The Kinu M47 Phoenix Grinder delivers a high-quality experience in portable, manual coffee hand-grinders. This hand mill features precise and reliable results for espresso lovers, and filter-style coffee drinkers, too. The Kinu Phoenix grinder uses step-less grinding with micrometric grind adjustments of 0.01 mm to ensure users have complete control over their desired grind consistency.
The Phoenix uses four steel ball-bearings that are fixed into position to provide the smoothest action while grinding the perfect cup of coffee. With 50 divisions per revolution of the settings, users have a wide selection of grind size options to choose from. What makes this model even more unique is its Black fusion coating on its conical burrs. This treatment reduces wear and tear on the burrs, allowing them to last longer, and reduces static build-up while grinding.
The Kinu M47 Phoenix Grinder is the lightest of the M47 Kinu grinders, utilizing a steel body, ABS plastics on the hopper, catcher, and a silicone grip handle and o-ring that attaches the catcher to the body. Ultimately, the build quality of this device ensures the production of uniform grinds every time.
While the Phoenix grinder’s performance compares to high-end electric grinders, this device does take some getting used to. Many users found the adjustment settings confusing and found little help in the instruction manual. The price on this grinder may intimidate beginning manual users, too. For established manual grinders, the Phoenix is a great value for money spent.
- Black-fusion treated burrs
- 0.01 mm adjustment increments on hand crank
- Durable and travel-ready
- Higher-end on the price spectrum
- Navigating the grinding adjustment can be confusing
Most Versatile: Porlex Mini II
Known as the original “grind anywhere grinder”, the Porlex Mini II is a compact hand mill designed to provide a smooth, even grind on the go, or a cost-efficient alternative to an electric burr grinder. Released as an upgrade to the Porlex Mini, this manual coffee grinder comes equipped with a newly-designed burr set and increased precision and efficiency in its grinding.
Compared to the original Porlex model, the Porlex Mini II can produce 1.3 times more coffee with the same number of rotations. Made of higher quality materials, this hand mill comes equipped with improved ceramic burrs that are designed and produced in Japan. This model stands out from other Japanese grinders that use cast iron burrs.
With a redesigned adjustment nut, the per-click adjustment changes an average of 37 microns. Users will have complete control over their grind, and receive a perfect grind consistency from espresso-fine to coarsely ground.
The Porlex Mini II coffee mill empowers its user by offering consistency across the board. Its simple design makes it as easy to clean as it is to use. As a mini grinder, its compact design doesn’t allow for it to grind large quantities of coffee beans at a time. Likewise, users have mentioned a lack of stability while grinding. Aside from those quirks, the Porlex Mini II offers users a variety of options at a reasonable price.
- Ceramic Burrs
- Stepless grind adjustment at 37-micron changes
- Grinds Faster, Easier, and More Evenly than Porlex I
- Lack of stability when grinding
- Only grinds in small quantities
RELATED: Porlex Tall vs Mini Coffee Grinders
Manual Coffee Grinder Buying Guide
It’s no secret that brewing a great cup of coffee starts with a great coffee grinder. While manual grinders are more simplistic than their electric counterparts, there are many features and factors to consider in selecting the perfect coffee grinder for you.
The following buying guide seeks to provide some helpful context to better navigate the expanse of manual coffee grinders available on the market.
Manual Coffee Grinders vs. Electric Coffee Grinders
While both manual and electric coffee grinders achieve the same end result; fresh coffee grounds, the means in which they use to achieve them are different. Depending on your available time, budget, and the versatility you’re seeking with your grinder, you may lean more toward one grinder style than the other.
Hand grinders are cost-efficient alternatives to automatic grinders and are great for coffee drinkers who want total control over each step of the coffee-making process. All manual grinders provide a hand crank or detachable handle to use when turning the burrs inside the grinder’s core. Most manual grinders come equipped with steel or ceramic burrs and are listed at a fraction of the cost an electric burr device demands.
What these hand mills lack in the convenience of automatic grinding, they make up for in being more portable and travel-friendly. Users can easily pack up their manual grinder and take it with them from place to place. This is a great feature for users looking to produce specialty coffee drinks on the go.
More often than not, manual devices grind in smaller quantities than electric devices and store fewer beans in their hoppers. While users will need to put forward more manual effort to grind coffee beans to their liking, this is a great way to save some money, and still have all the benefits of an automatic grinder.
Electric coffee grinders are more of an investment cost-wise, but provide convenience in terms of larger grind quantities, more grind settings, and a shorter grind time. Since automated coffee grinders aren’t made for travel, they are built to hold more coffee beans and grind in larger quantities. With the help of electric power, these grinders are able to produce consistent and uniform grinds in a shorter amount of time.
Most automated grinders are able to offer more convenient access to grind settings than hand grinders on the market. Users can simply turn a dial or press a button, and the machine will do the rest of the work for you. With manual devices, users can select a grind setting according to preference but need to manually turn a hand crank until the beans reach the desired consistency.
While electric coffee grinders can be an expensive investment, they make a nice addition to any home kitchen bench. While the build quality and features determine the price, many users are able to get their money’s worth.
Since manual coffee devices are built with travel and portability in mind, grind capacity is a factor to consider when picking out the ideal hand grinder for you. Models specifically designed for travel not only have a smaller hopper capacity but produce between 30-40 grams of coffee at a time.
Heftier manual models contain hoppers that hold up to 70 grams of coffee and can produce similar coffee quantities when grinding. Ultimately, these larger coffee mills are too bulky to travel with. Your need for a mobile, lightweight grinder and ideal grinding capacity may rule out some models over others.
In the manual coffee grinder world, there are two types of grinder adjustment systems on the market: Stepped and Stepless grinding. Stepless grind systems allow for an infinite number of grind settings to be available, while a stepped adjustment system is limited in the adjustments that can be achieved.
Since step-less coffee grinders can adjust grind settings up to .01mm in some devices, the number of grind settings available often directly relate to the price of the machine. Some stepped grinders struggle in achieving consistency on extreme sides of the grind spectrum (espresso-fine or French press coarse. As a result, the user’s personal coffee preference is essential in selecting a grinder that performs to your coffee preferences.
Whether you’re looking for the perfect coffee grinding companion for your next trip or searching for a cost-efficient burr coffee grinder for your kitchen bench, our hope is that this buying guide provides you with information to help select a grinder that is the best fit for you.