Hand coffee grinders have become a staple in every coffee lover’s home. They are easy to use, easy to store, quiet, and can achieve grind consistency that competes with electric machines many times more expensive.
The Hario Skerton has long been one of the most popular hand grinders on the market, loved for its compact size and ergonomic design. Another popular grinder is the Porlex, which like Hario is made in Japan, and it is designed to be durable and is a good option for travel or the outdoors.
Both grinders have been improved from their original design and remain two of the most popular entry-level grinders on the market today. The Hario Skerton Pro was released after the Plus and features a whole new design. The Porlex II grinds 1.3 times more coffee than the Porlex I and has better burrs and click adjustments.
In the following article, we will compare and discuss the key similarities and differences between these grinders to help you decide which one is better suited for your needs and preferences.
Porlex claims their Tall II grinder is one of the most portable hand grinders on the market and they’re not wrong. The slim design allows it to fit in the side compartments of most backpacks and even inside small kitchen drawers. With a robust stainless steel construction, this grinder is designed for camping, hiking and travelling (although we recommend the Porlex Mini II if you intend to use it mostly for travel).
The Hario Skerton Pro and Plus don’t stray far behind in terms of portability. Despite them being slightly bigger than the Porlex grinder, the Hario grinders can also fit in most backpacks and travel easily.
All three of them are very easy to pull apart and clean with a bristle brush.
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The Hario Skerton Pro and Plus both have ceramic conical burrs which shave coffee beans instead of cracking them, offering a more consistent grind. The Plus, which was the first grinder of the two to be released in the market, features a little plate around the burrs for consistency as some complaints arose relating to consistency on coarse grind settings.
The Porlex II Tall also has ceramic burrs which, along with the new click adjustment, offers an average of 37 microns change between each click.
Both the Haro Skerton Pro and Plus have quite a large grinding capacity. They are able to grind between 100 grams and 75 grams of coffee accordingly, making them two of the largest hand grinders available.
If you tend to grind coffee for more than one person, these are the best options for you.
The Porlex II, on the other hand, can grind up to 35 grams of coffee. This means that you’ll only be able to grind around 2 cups of coffee at once depending on the coffee ratio you are using.
Even though these grinders are designed to be quite portable, some differences do exist when it comes to the actual size.
The Porlex II Tall has a very slim design compared to the Hario grinders, fitting in most places including office drawers and backpacks. It is a great option for those that go camping often or don’t have a lot of space available.
As we mentioned previously, both the Skerton Pro and Plus are slightly chunkier and larger than the Porlex (the Pro being the largest grinder of the three).
Being the largest grinder in this list, the Hario Skerton Pro might not be the best option if you are looking for something in the smaller range and instead may want to opt for the Plus or the Porlex II Tall.
When it comes to the grind size, the Porlex II is able to grind fine enough for espresso and coarse enough for a french press. Thanks to the ceramic burr, the Porlex delivers consistency when grinding for filter coffee and with finer settings.
Hario’s Pro is not meant to grind for espresso. It works best with medium grind sizes and manual brewing methods.
The Plus can grind fine enough for espresso but it will take you around 2 minutes to do so (when using 14 grams of coffee). Take into account that a Hario coffee mill grinder can hold more beans than the Porlex, so is more suitable for larger quantities, such as that required for filter coffee.
The Porlex burr grinder is made out of stainless steel, making it very durable.
On the other hand, the Skerton Pro is made out of stainless steel, plastic, and glass, meaning that you need to be more careful when handling it. The Plus is made from similar materials.
If you are looking for something sturdier, opt for the Porlex II.
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Making your Selection
Choosing between The Hario Skerton Plus, Pro, and Porlex comes down to how much coffee you’d like to make on a daily basis and how much of your coffee budget is available for your grinder.
The Porlex II has the higher price of the three and it is only able to grind 35 grams of coffee at once.
Hario’s grinding capacity goes up to 100 grams, which is a significant difference.
Both the Pro and Plus are considerably cheaper than the Prolex but out of the two, the Pro definitely has some improvements that are worth the slight difference in price.
When it comes to materials, Hario’s glass construction may be a turn-off for those who are camping or travelling a lot or simply want something less breakable.
If you are only brewing coffee for yourself or someone else, these three options are great. However, if you usually brew a lot of coffee at once, we wouldn’t recommend the Porlex hand grinder due to the smaller capacity.
See our article on the best manual coffee grinders.
Hand Grinder FAQ
Is the Hario Skerton Pro good for espresso?
While the Hario Skerton can work for espresso, it is meant for medium grind sizes and manual brew methods such as a V60, Kalita and even Aeropress. This grinder doesn’t have a micro grind adjustment, which means that grinding on a fine setting might take a long time and the burrs may not deliver a consistent result. If you want a manual grinder specifically for brewing espresso, this might not be the best option.
How do you clean a Hario Skerton pro?
In order to clean the Hario Skerton Pro, you must first disassemble the hand grinder according to the instruction manual. Then use any kind of brush to clean the burs and inside the grinder. As the Hario Pro has ceramic burrs you can clean them, along with the rest of the grinder, using a mild detergent that has been diluted with water. You can also use grinder cleaner if you want to be more thorough, just make sure to grind beans and discard them after your cleaning so that you get rid of any excess cleaner.
Here is a good instructional video.
How do you adjust the grind on a Porlex?
Adjusting the grind on a Porlex involves turning the adjusting wheel located at the bottom clockwise if you want a fine grind setting or counterclockwise if you want a coarser grind setting. If your handle is not turning, this probably means that the burrs are too tight and you need to adjust the wheel to a looser setting.
Where are Porlex coffee grinders made?
Porlex coffee grinders are made in Kagoshima, Japan. The ceramic burrs are made in the same factory as well, ensuring lasting quality and consistency.