The grinder is more important than the coffee maker, so the saying goes. If you love deliciously tasting coffee, then you understand the importance of starting with properly ground beans.
It is the secret to tapping into the rich aromas and deep flavors that great coffees are known for. Real coffee enthusiasts know that the best way to get all these is to closely monitor the grinding process.
This is why manual coffee grinders come handy. They are portable, versatile, and give you a great deal of control of the outcome. If you are here, it means you like your coffee fresh and hot, and you are paranoid enough to not let anyone do the grinding for you.
Luckily, we have a couple of suggestions for the best manual coffee grinder that will probably suit your needs. We have also included a detailed buyers’ guide. This is so that you know what to look for when you go out shopping for a good manual burr grinder.
How Was This List Made?
This review of the best manual coffee hand grinder is a culmination of tens of hours of online research. We browsed hundreds of pages of coffee grinders to know what some of the best products were. Then checked the manufacturer’s sites to compare information and certain subtle details so that we can present you with the real facts.
Finally, we also read reviews left on Amazon, followed discussions on coffee blogs, Reddit, and other social media platforms. This was to give us the real picture of every item before we presented it to you. As such, this is a solid review, backed with solid research. Hence, it has the credence you need to bring to an end your search for a great coffee grinder.
Best Manual Coffee Hand Grinder
1. Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Mill
There is no denying that Hario Skerton is among the most iconic manual coffee hand grinders today. The reviews on Amazon and other coffee blogs and forums are full of praise for this grinder.
As such, it usually comes as a natural choice for most people interested in affordable and high quality manual grinders. So, what makes it have such a stellar reputation?
The grinder features a sporty new burr design that gives it an incredible aesthetic appeal. The burr won’t wobble like most of the past designs. This makes it relatively stable for you to have a good grinding experience.
Real coffee lovers know the kinds of changes they can make to the taste and flavors of their coffee. This is by playing around with the texture of the grind.
The Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Mill comes with grind settings that you can easily adjust by making just a few “clicks.” It is what you use to produce varying textures of your grind for varying flavors and aromas.
The grinder also comes with an ergonomic handle that won’t hurt or make you feel tired when grinding. It has a nice solid feel for you to exert the force you need for proper grinding without any feeling strained in any way.
You will also love the fact that the ceramic burrs are durable, and the entire set up is dishwasher friendly. This means that you will find it a breeze to wash it and keep it in good condition.
Verdict: The Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Mill comes with a lot of bang for your dollars. If you are a beginner or a casual coffee drinker, it is a highly recommended option.
This is mainly because of its versatility, portability, and ease of use. True coffee geeks, however, might find it limiting when it comes to portability and speed consistency.
2. JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder
Compact, versatile and affordable are some of the adjectives that come to mind when you see this JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder.
It comes in a beautiful slender design. It’s small, lightweight, and contains every feature you may need to grind your beans to your satisfaction. In other words, it is not only pleasing to the eyes but also, it will get the job done.
With the built-in adjustable grind selector, you have fifteen options to choose for the grinding. With such, you have the versatility to enjoy virtually everything you want. Whether you want strong espressos or you prefer the smooth French Press coffees, this machine has it all for you.
Since it is 100% manual, you don’t have to worry about wires, batteries or external sources of power to grind your coffee. If you have some strength, then you have all the power necessary to do the grinding. It gives you the power to grind fresh coffee anywhere in the world, with or without electricity.
Its ceramic burr assembly is designed with a patent-pending locking mechanism. This will not only allow for quality grinds but also will enhance the consistency of the entire process.
The hand crank is another feature worth admiring in this coffee grinder. It features a convenient and removable mechanism that not only makes it easy to use but also eliminates 90% of the noise usually associated with electric grinders.
Also worth noting is the 18 click settings on the adjustable grind selector. This guarantees 100% precision control on how fine or coarse you want your coffee to be.
Verdict: If you are looking for a compact and affordable manual burr grinder, then this is one of the best you will find in the market today. Considering its price range, it is a real game-changer, especially for traveling coffee aficionados who may want to have a taste of great coffee occasionally.
Its grind is consistent enough to maintain the integrity of the flavors. Also, once you learn how to use it, your coffee can be ready even before the water starts to boil.
3. Premium Quality Stainless Steel Manual Coffee Grinder
This is a premium quality stainless manual coffee grinder that assures quality, precision, and consistency when working your beans. It is not only appealing to the eyes but also it comes with advanced functionalities to take your home coffee grinding to a whole new level.
It features a durable ceramic conical burr that comes complete with a measuring base – no more scooping with this option. Apart from saving you from scooping, the measuring base will help you get the right amount of beans every time.
Being one of the best hand crank coffee grinders, this grinder also comes with an adjustable grind selector which gives you the versatility to fine-tune how fine or coarse you want your grind to be. All you have to do is work out the knob clockwise or anticlockwise until you get your preferred size of grind for rich and aromatic coffee.
The fact that it is possible and doesn’t require any external source of power to grind your coffee comes with the versatility to be used anywhere and at any time.
Whether you are a coffee enthusiast who wants the best coffee at home, or you are a regular traveler who doesn’t want to leave their love for coffee behind, this is the kind of grinder you need to stay sorted at all times.
The inclusion of the silicon grip on the cylinder is another feature that sets it apart from most of the best hand coffee grinders you will find in the market today.
The silicone grip is your solution to loose handles. It gives you the ability to hold gently during the grinding process. With it, no need to worry about losing the grip and compromising the quality of your grind.
Verdict: If you desire style, elegance and superior performance in your grinder, then this best manual hand coffee grinder will suit all your needs. Its blend of sophistication, features, and price makes it a versatile option if you need a high quality grinder, but you don’t feel like breaking the bank for it.
4. Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder
The Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder has for a very long time been considered as one of the best travel-sized coffee grinders. Though small in size, it comes with every feature necessary for producing great coffee.
The entire grinder is made of stainless steel, and this implies that it is virtually indestructible. It is fitted with a small set of ceramic burrs capable of producing consistent grinds when you use the fine settings.
When you move away from the fine settings, the uniformity decreases. With such versatility in the grind settings, it is a great choice for Aeropress and pour over coffees.
The design of its handle is also something worth mentioning. Unlike other grinders in this category, its handle is not made of materials softer to that of the body.
The handle also features stainless steel construction with a comfortable knob. These come with the right ergonomics to enable you to get the best results without expending a lot of energy.
Verdict: This is a mini grinder that will not take in more than 20 grams at a time. It is ideal for travelers and single users who don’t crave too much coffee per day.
If you have a partner who is a coffeeholic too or you want a more versatile grinder for day to day use, then this may not be the perfect choice for you.
5. Hario MSS-1B Ceramic Coffee Mill
The Hario MSS-1B Ceramic Mini Mill Slim Hand Coffee Grinder comes with the style and the versatility you won’t find in most manual burr grinders you will find in the market today. Its design is such that it will fit into spaces where normal coffee grinders would not dare fit.
And, with the capacity to handle more than two cups of beans at a time, it will suffice the needs of single users or couples who don’t drink too much of the brew.
The burrs are made of ceramics, hence, an assurance of its quality. The burrs are quite small, and since they don’t feature any settings, it will be up to you to work out the right settings. However, the consistency will be maintained for most of the grinding process.
Another feature worth noting about this grinder is its consistency. It is not only lightweight but also easy to handle.
With the ability to unscrew the bottom, you have the versatility to dispense the freshly ground coffee directly into an Aeropress or any other machine you prefer for making your coffee.
Also, this makes it easy to clean so that you can be assured of great coffee at all times.
If you are concerned by its longevity, then you will be surprised to learn that this machine may outlive you.
Though the body doesn’t fully feature stainless steel construction, it is strong durable to make you not think of buying the best hand grinder for espresso in a very long time.
The burr grinders will also not wear down easily. As such, you won’t have any reason to replace them, except after very many years of consistent use.
Verdict: The Hario MSS-1B Ceramic Coffee Mill may not be a high-end model. However, for users interested in a versatile and portable best coffee grinder, it will always be an option.
Just like all hand grinders, it is time-consuming to use. However, its operation is straightforward, and its longevity also dwarfs a majority of the models you will find in the market today.
If you are looking for a versatile solution that will let you grind your coffee as you drink it, then this will be a highly recommended choice.
Best Manual Coffee Hand Grinders: Buyers’ Guide
Real coffee aficionados love manual coffee grinders because of their ability to retain most of the flavors, their ease of use, low noise during operation, and their durability.
However, finding the perfect manual grinder is never a walk in the park. Though we have given our recommendations on some of the best manual coffee hand grinders, it is important that you also know how to choose them independently.
This is to help you make the right choices when you are in the market shopping for one. Here is a look at some of the factors you should consider when buying a manual burr grinder-:
The bean hopper capacity
Manual coffee hand grinders don’t come with the capacity to make coffee for your entire family at a moment’s notice. Most of them will require more than a minute of grinding to produce enough coffee for just a single cup.
Besides, the grinding process may not also be a fun experience for a lot of people. Therefore, know that they don’t come with larger capacities. If you anticipate that you will be making coffee for a maximum of four people, then they will be the right fit. However, you will find some with capacities for just one cup. These are ideal for solo coffee enthusiasts or travelers who can’t just leave their love for the drink back at home.
The materials of the conical burr
Most of the conical burrs in hand grinders in the market today are made of ceramics. Most of the best hand grinder for espresso feature ceramics as the principal construction material. But this is not to say that you won’t find burrs made of other materials.
Ceramic burrs are preferred because of their ability to manage heat buildup during the process. This is vital for the preservation of the coffee flavors. Besides, they are also relatively affordable compared to metal burrs, and they also tend to last longer.
Additionally, they are easy to clean. Therefore, be advised that they promise the best performance when it comes to manual grinding of coffee beans.
Coffee Grind Settings
Most manual grinders come with a basic system regarding the grind settings. Most of the time, the system features a plate and a threaded rod combination. The rod is threaded using a nut while the plate is fixed at the base of the burr.
As such, you can tighten or loosen the nut depending on how fine or coarse you want the grind to be. The adjustments will always vary from one grinder to another. Also, some grinders will feature pre-set burr distances. With such, all you need is a “click” to ascertain the right grind settings.
The grinder settings will give you the freedom to have different kinds of grinds for different flavors. If you know you will want to explore with different coffee styles, then choose a grinder with many grind settings.
Side Mounted or Top Mounted hand cranks
The location of the hand crank has a lot of impacts when it comes to the usability of the machine. A top-mounted hand crank may sometimes be difficult to use. This is because it makes it difficult to get a good grip on the grinder.
If the grinder features any glass construction anywhere, you may likely exert a lot of pressure on the top-mounted crank and break it.
With side-mounted hand cranks, however, operating them is relatively easy. This is because they allow for more natural positioning of the hands and motion. With these, you can also use the free hand to hold the grinder for more stability. As such, these side-mounted hand cranks allow for faster and more efficient grinding.
If you love the outdoors or traveling and you don’t want to miss your favorite brew, then portability will be a concern when looking for the best manual coffee hand grinder.
Though most of these grinders are portable, some come with sleek designs that will fit in even very small spaces, and which are highly suited for the outdoors or traveling.
However, if all you will not need to make coffee when you are away from home, then any grinder will do.
Finally, it is a good idea to check on the price when considering the best hand coffee grinder. The idea is not to go for the cheapest.
Always check on the features first before you check on the price. A nice choice will always have a good blend between your preferred features and the price.
You don’t have to break the bank to buy the best manual coffee hand grinder. But you should remember that cheap is always expensive in the long run.
From the review above, our best manual coffee hand grinder is the JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder. It is not only popular among most coffee enthusiasts around the world, but also it comes with a decent set of features for great coffee.
With the built-in adjustable grind selector, the removable hand crank, the ceramic burrs, and the sleek design, it will be a nice addition to your coffee arsenal back at home. Also, it is relatively affordable. Not so many people will not be complaining about the price when you consider the set of features it comes with.
If, however, you are looking for the cheapest option, then the Premium Quality Stainless Steel Manual Coffee Grinder (third choice) will be a good recommendation. And, for those who need the most expensive grinder on the list, the Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder will be your guy.