The quick answer to the best manual coffee grinder: 1Zpresso JX Pro
There’s nothing like being able to have freshly ground coffee no matter where you are. Manual coffee grinders are a great way to get ground coffee, whether you’re camping or at the office.
Today I’m going to go over what I think are some of the best manual coffee grinders, but let’s go over what you should be looking for before choosing one.
8 of the Best Manual Coffee Grinders Being Reviewed
- JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder
- Hario Skerton Pro Ceramic Coffee Mill
- Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder
- Handground Precision Manual Grinder
- 1Zpresso JX Pro
- Timemore Nano
- Comandante C40
- Kinu M47
Considerations Before Choosing A Hand Grinder
Before we get into the reviews for the best manual coffee hand grinders, there are a few things that we can go over to help you make your choosing easier. You should consider how you’re making coffee and your budget.
How You’re Making Coffee
Depending on how you’re making coffee can impact your choices on hand grinders. If you’re brewing coffee that needs finer grounds (turkish, espresso, aeropress), you’ll need something that can produce them consistently uniform.
If you’re going to be using this for coarser brewing (french press, drip, cold brew) you’re going to have a lot easier time grinding your coffee. Basically any hand grinder can do coarse grounds, but only some will give you consistently sized ones.
Hand grinders can get expensive. They can even get more expensive than some electric coffee grinders. But the price of hand grinders cover a very wide range. You definitely will get what you pay for, but that doesn’t mean the less expensive hand grinders aren’t any good.
To be transparent about it, the lower priced coffee hand grinders are going to be better for your coarser style brewing. If you prefer espresso, I would recommend investing a little bit more and get something that’ll give you consistent grinds and has a number of adjustments.
This is the cheapest of all the grinders available on this list. You’re going to get what you pay for with this hand grinder.
The Javapresse is a step adjusted hand coffee grinder. It has 18 steps for you to mess with to get a grind size that you need. One thing I don’t like about the adjuster, is that it has no markings to indicate where you are while grinding. You’ll have to remember how many clicks you turned.
JavaPresse works better as a medium – coarse coffee grinder. The grinds are decently consistent, with a few fine and coarse pieces that get by. This hand grinder can get you espresso sized coffee grounds, but you’re going to be at it for quite a while. Other users have reported that it can even take up to 10 minutes just to get espresso grounds.
It’s pretty easy to take apart and clean. The only problem is in the catch bin. Your coffee grounds will get stuck in this little indent at the bottom of the catch bin. You’ll have to clean this part a bit more often than in the body.
Overall it’s a very affordable and decent hand grinder. I would only recommend getting this if you’re just starting to grind coffee and mainly using it for coarse coffee grounds.
- Holds a lot of coffee, while still being compact
- Easy to fill in bean hopper
- Wide and silicon grip makes it more stable while grinding
- A few fines when grinding for french press
Next up we have the Hario Skerton Pro Ceramic Coffee Mill. Hario is known for making numerous coffee related products, like their Hario V60 pour over device. Just like the V60, this hand grinder is made with quality.
It’s a great little hand grinder that can actually hold quite a bit of beans at once. The Hario can hold up to 60 grams of coffee in the hopper. If you make coffee often for more than one person or you like making a few cups, this is a great option.
I really like the coffee bean hopper area on the Hario. It has a very large opening and is bowl shaped. Other hand grinders that have a straight cylinder body can cause difficulty when you’re trying to put beans in them.
This model was improved upon its previous models, the Hario Skerton and the Hario Skerton Plus. They’ve added in more supports so that it doesn’t wobble as much while grinding, which leads to more consistent coffee grinds. Hario also made adjusting the grinder a lot easier as well.
If you’re just starting to grind your own fresh coffee beans, this is a really good starting point for manual coffee grinders. It’s not too expensive and produces consistent enough grinds at the drip range for a starting out home barista.
Here we have the Porlex Mini Coffee Grinder, the perfect travel grinder. It’s lightweight with a stainless steel body that’s pretty durable. The main feature that the Porlex has that the others in this category don’t, is a way to store the handle.
On the rubber ring that you use for grip around the body of the Porlex, there’s a slot to hold the handle. It’s a nice little feature to have when you’re traveling, so you can keep things organized and tidy.
This grinder does better at grinding for coarser brewing methods like french press or pour over. You can try to use this for espresso grounds, but it will give you some inconsistency that’ll be noticeable in your espresso shots.
After digging through articles I found that grinding at a finer setting can really cause a lot of wear to the portion that connects the handle to the grinder body. I would definitely avoid this grinder if you wanted to make espresso with it.
This is one of the most well made grinders at this lower price point. I would recommend it if you’re mainly going to be using it for larger grind sizes.
- Markings on the body tell you how much beans are in there in grams
- Side mounted handle
- Not really designed to be held up while grinding
- It’s not the fastest grinder out there
For our last low budget model, we have the Handground Precision Manual Grinder. This is a very well built hand grinder that’s made of both glass and plastic.
Having clear parts makes it easy for you to know how much coffee you have in the hopper and what has already been ground up. There are easy to read markings on the hopper as well that measure 10 grams of beans out for you. The Handground also has nice, visible markings for the grind settings.
I really like that this has a side mounted handle unlike the other hand grinders on this list. Rotating the handle in a sort of rowing motion feels a bit easier. This hand grinder works best when set down on a flat surface. The design really doesn’t seem like it was meant to be held up like the others. There are no distinct grip features on it.
The catch bin could be improved a little bit. It is made of glass and does create some static. That means clumping up for your coffee grounds.
One of the most different features that this coffee hand grinder has, is that it can hold up to 100 grams of coffee. A really great feature if you plan on making coffee for more than just yourself, so you don’t have to fill up the hopper as much.
A problem that I found about this hand grinder, is that it can’t hold all 100 grams of ground coffee in the catch bin. If you do plan to grind all 100 grams at once, you’ll have to empty it out part way through while grinding.
This is a pretty great grinder if you’re looking to make coffee for multiple people.
Here we have the 1Zpresso JX Pro, the first hand grinder on this list that can give you fine and consistent enough coffee grounds for good tasting espresso.
There is a regular version of this hand grinder, but the Pro gives you a lot more adjustment settings. These settings will let you really dial in on how fine your espresso is.
The 1Zpresso’s construction is very sturdy and durable. It is mainly made of stainless steel, along with a plastic lid and wooden pommel. This manual hand grinder does weigh quite a bit. It’s pretty slim and easy to hold, but can get tiring after since it weighs more than some of the other hand grinders.
It’s a pretty easy to clean hand grinder. Only a few grounds will be left on the inside after a grind, but you don’t have to worry about this too much if you’re grinding coffee daily. The new coffee will push out those grinds for you.
If you do decide to take it apart for cleaning, you might find difficulty setting the adjustment back to zero. This doesn’t matter too much, your new zero will just be at a different point.
This is a great grinder if you want to start getting good tasting results from your espresso. It has quite a number of adjustments for you to really get your espresso shots right and the overall build quality is really nice at this price point.
The Timemore Nano is another well constructed hand grinder for coffee. The body is made of aluminum, making it super lightweight.
Along with a lightweight body, this thing is very compact, making it perfect to take with you on a camping trip or if you’re traveling somewhere. The handle of the Timemore is collapsible which adds to the compactness overall.
The body of this hand grinder has a raised diamond texture. This’ll give you a lot of extra grip when you’re grinding.
It produces very consistent grinds from moka pot all the way to french press. Although, it does lack some of the fine tuning needed for espresso.
I actually wouldn’t recommend getting this for espresso, unless you get the titanium burr set that Timemore offers. The titanium burr set will really get your coffee beans fine and consistent enough that you want in your espresso. They also cut down the time by a lot for you to get espresso, compared to the regular stainless steel burrs.
It does have a small issue though, it doesn’t have a huge capacity for beans. It’s roughly around 15 grams depending on the beans you use. It’s really only made for about a cup or you’ll have to grind coffee multiple times.
This hand grinder is the perfect way to get freshly ground coffee when you’re on the go.
- Well made handle makes grinding coffee smooth and easy
- Very aesthetic look with wood veneer and glass
- Quick grind
- Can be hard to get a hold of one
- If you want more precision for espresso, you will have to get a separate attachment
We have the Comandante and it’s going to be the first luxury hand grinder we’ll be going over. It’s one of the most well known hand grinders that is currently on the market. This coffee grinder is pretty hard to get a hold of right now, but is worth it if you can.
Starting with the build of the Comandante. It has a very aesthetic looking wood exterior for the body, with stainless steel for the inside. The catch bin is made out of glass, so I would try to avoid taking this as a travel grinder.
Adjusting the Comandante is really easy to do by taking off the catch bin and holding down the crank/lid. It does not have any indication markings for where you’re at, which can make it hard to tell what grind setting you’re currently at.
It produces some of the most consistent grinds even compared to electric coffee grinders. It can cover all ranges of coffee grinds with it’s 12 clicks per revolution. If you really want to dial in on your espresso with this hand grinder, Comandante has an additional shaft adjuster you can buy called the Red Clix. This’ll double your click range from 12 to 24.
There’s a reason this coffee hand grinder is so well known. It’s super smooth and easy to turn handle makes grinding beans quick and enjoyable. You’re really getting your worth with what you’re paying for this hand coffee grinder.
The last hand grinder we’re going to look at is the Kinu M47 and it’s the most expensive hand grinder on here. It is definitely one of the most well built and heaviest grinders available to you.
It’s body and catch bin are made completely out of stainless steel. The Kinu has this unique little thumb stopper when you hold onto it that’s really comfortable.
I really like that this has a magnetic catch bin. It makes it really easy to take off or put on the main body of the grinder. There are 11 magnets attaching it to the grinder, so you don’t have to worry about it falling off.
The adjustment mechanism is a bit different than some of the others. It can be adjusted without having to take it apart. All you’ll have to do is loosen what I’m going to call the tightening bolt. You can then turn the adjuster that’s directly below it.
Being at this price, it definitely delivers on what it’s supposed to do. This is definitely not a coffee grinder you’ll want to carry around with you. It’s more suited for at home use.
Other Considerations / Tips / FAQ
Number of Grind Settings
A very important feature of all grinders is the number of settings it has for you to use. The more settings a coffee grinder has, the more precise you can be about the size of your coffee grinds and is what leads to good tasting coffee.
Precision is necessary for all types of brewing, but especially in espresso. So finding a hand grinder with enough adjustment settings is especially important if you’re getting one to brew espresso.
Whether you’re grinding coffee for yourself or for many, there’s a hand grinder out there that has enough capacity to do so. With a larger capacity usually comes more weight for the grinder. Just something to consider before choosing one that’s larger.
Having a handle that’s well constructed makes a world of a difference when grinding coffee beans. A good handle will make your grinding experience easy, smooth, and effortless. The hand coffee grinders on this list are all well made, so you don’t have to worry about that too much. If you decide to choose one that’s not on this list, check how well it attaches to the main body before you get it.
Are Manual Coffee Grinders Better Than Electric?
The short answer to this question is, it depends on who you are. Manual and electric coffee grinders each have their own great and not so great qualities about them. Let’s go over a few of them to help really answer this question.
Electric grinders are quite a bit louder than manual grinders. You definitely won’t wake up your house while using a hand grinder. Depending on your situation, one might be better than the other.
With all appliances electrical issues may arise, even in electric grinders. You won’t have to worry about that with a hand grinder, since there aren’t any electrical pieces in them. Although, you might never run into problems with an electric grinder.
If you ever need to replace parts for your manual grinder, the pieces are easy to replace and find. Even the most important part of the grinder, the burrs, can be sharpened or replaced. Trying to replace parts in an electric grinder is a lot more difficult.
The last point i’m going to go over is the convenience of each of them. To put simply, electric grinders are just a lot easier to get ground coffee with than hand grinders. Sometimes it just takes a single press of a button to get ground coffee. A lot of electric grinders will even save your last settings for you. Hand grinders are definitely a work out. Depending on the fineness of your grinds will change how long you’ll have to crank your hand grinder.
Quick Recap: Pick the electric grinder if you want something fast and convenient and choose the manual grinder if you need something quiet and like the hands on coffee grinding experience.
How To Clean A Manual Grinder
Cleaning a manual coffee grinder is a lot easier than you think it’d be. For most grinders all you have to do is take it apart and wipe down the insides and any pieces with a dry cloth. The hard part comes when you try to reassemble and calibrate your grinder.
Little things like getting your grinder to align with the zero point can be difficult, but if you’re not OCD about it, then no problem.
Giving your grinder a few taps after grinding will also dislodge some of the stuck grounds, keeping your grinder cleaner for longer.
It’s really up to you how often you want to clean your grinder. Hand grinders often don’t have a lot of retention of coffee grounds compared to some electric grinders. I personally clean out mine every 2-3 weeks.
Summary Of The Best Manual Coffee Grinder Review
My top pick out of all the grinders on this list is going to be the 1Zpresso JX Pro. It’s a really great place to start at. Being right at the midpoint price range, but is still able to deliver you very consistent sized coffee grinds. It’s also very versatile in the size grinds it can make.
If you’re someone who’s just starting out to grind their coffee and might not quite have the budget for the 1Zpresso, the Mini Porlex is a really great option for you. It’s lightweight, portable, and doesn’t take up any room at all.
After going through this article, hopefully you found something you liked!