If you are a lover of amazing tasting coffee you are probably picky about your grinds (you should be)
When you find yourself on the go and in need of your own grinds look no further than a portable coffee grinder for your everyday coffee needs – but – hopefully you’ll get one that’s easy to use and leaves you with a precise and consistent grind.
This article will ensure that you choose the best hand coffee grinder and not waste your money and time on 90% of the junk out there.
Manual coffee grinders (also known as coffee mills) are not all created equal; material, size, function and warranty are just a few factors that should be considered when buying a grinder.
Lets take a look at the good, the bad and the downright ugly in manual hand coffee grinder…
What Should You Consider When Looking for the Best Manual Coffee Grinder?
Don’t ignore the following:
1. Size (or lack thereof)
If you want to grind on the go you’ll want to consider buying a coffee mill that incorporates a sleek, cylindrical shape that makes it easy to store and easy to grip.
Less is more when it comes to portability, however, if you’re not concerned with travelling with your hand grinder, something nice and vintage looking may suit you more.
We talk about portable coffee grinders as being small and compact. This means there’s a limited amount of beans you can crank in one go.
It’s important to be realistic – you want a coffee grinder that has the right capacity for you. If your looking to cater coffee for more than 2-3 people, expect to get a good arm workout.
3. Quality of Material – Will It Last?
Grinders can come in all kinds of materials, but consider stainless steel or ceramic as the best possible option as it is durable, easy to clean and looks great on the countertop next to your coffee machine.
Tying in with point #1 – if you plan to travel with yours, avoid ceramic and stick to stainless steel (or hardened plastic).
It it almost impossible to avoid plastic completely, buy you may want to consider investing in a grinder that has a good quality burr – this is ultimately what your grind consistency depends on.
4. Grind Settings
How many settings does your coffee grinder have and how easy is it to change between them? It’s no good to have something that ‘just grinds’, you’ll need something that grinds to different tastes.
You’ll also want a grinder with functional applications that will produce the same results no matter where you are grinding; Precision and consistency are key.
A cheap s**tty quality hand grinder will not grind consistently, leaving your brew over or under extracted.
Having said that, no grinder (manual or electric), is absolutely perfect. (Although, a good quality electric can produce better results)
If you want to perfect your grind, you want to consider a coffee sifter. A system of tiered sieves that creates uniformity – which ultimately will enhance your brew.
5. Longevity – Are your parts replaceable?
Machine grinders come with warranties, manual grinders often don’t.
You don’t want to buy something you use a couple of times before it stops producing consistent results or even breaks down!
Well-made products will often offer long-term or lifetime warranty as their products are manufactured with precision and expertise.
It’s important to note – how often and how well you clean your coffee grinder will significantly impact both the longevity of your burr and quality of your coffee.
The 8 Best Manual Coffee Grinders (in our opinion)…
Instead of the old ‘trial and error’ method of buying something online and finding out for yourself whether it’s great (or it sucks), we’ve done the hard yards for you and reviewed a bunch of manual grinders.
Note: If you are planning to make turkish coffee specifically, you’ll need a super fine grind, and most likely, one of these special turkish grinders.
For everything else, the grinders below are perfect (you may want to learn how to grind coffee first!)
Here they are:
#1 – HandGround Coffee Grinder
(For Home Use – most brew methods)
- Hopper capacity: 100g (4+ coffees per grind)
- Weight: 789g
- Dimensions: 6” x 4” x 8.5”
- Burr material: Alumina ceramic burr
- Number of grind settings: 15
I have a good feeling that the creators of the HandGround hand grinder have scratched their own itch – I know this because I was frustrated with the available hand grinders on the market, up until I used this.
The HandGround is simple to use and delivers consistency on par with a great electric burr grinder.
This consistency is unmatched in the hand grinder market.
It’s as simple as set, load, grind. Throw your beans into the hopper, set your grind setting and turn the handle (which surprisingly, does NOT feel like you are doing an arm workout, as with other hand grinders).
You’ve got 15 grind settings, meaning you can brew for almost any brewing method all the way from cold brew (super coarse) to espresso (fine).
You won’t be able to brew for turkish coffee (super fine) – but most hand grinders have this same issue.
The main thing is that you can actually choose a setting and use it again and again – something you can’t do with other hand grinders on the market!
I won’t use anything else anymore, because I love damn good coffee, ground with my hand!
Best suited for: Anyone who realises the importance of consisted grinds when brewing great coffee. This is the best hand grinder on the market in terms of quality and performance – hands down.
#2 – Zassenhaus Santiago Coffee Mill Grinder, Mahogany
(For vintage lovers who want to grind for turkish coffee)
- Hopper capacity: 40g (2-3 coffees per grind)
- Weight: 952g
- Dimensions: 5.5″ x 3.5″ x 7.8″
- Burr material: High grade carbon steel conical burr
The expertly crafted Zassenhaus grinder has a beautiful mahogany finish and regarded as one of the finest on the market due to its conical burr, 25-year warranty, and high-quality grind capabilities.
It has other color options too – including a stunning beechwood, and black beechwood finish.
It’s smaller than your typical electrical burr-grinder however it’s a little larger and bulkier than other hand grinders. For its added size comes added style – especially the beautiful mahogany veneer.
Its grind function produces consistent results, and has a HUGE number of grind settings due to its grind size dial – meaning you can grind for every brew method, even turkish and espresso. It’s perfect for espresso.
With a guaranteed 25 year warranty, you know that your purchasing a high performance grinder.
Best suited for: The Zassenhaus is a great buy for the coffee lover who wants a small manual grinder that is as beautiful as it is functional.
#3 – Porlex Stainless Steel Mini Hand Grinder
(For Travellers and minimalists)
- Hopper capacity: 20g (1-2 coffees per grind)
- Weight: 226g
- Dimensions: 6” x 2.3” x 1.8”
- Burr material: Ceramic Conical Burr
- Number of grind settings: 13
Travelling coffee fanatics dont stop raving about the Porlex Portable Coffee Mill that is designed to grind with perfect accuracy and is great for those who are traveling or constantly on the go.
What makes this product a great travel companion?
For one the portable easy-to-grip cylindrical shape makes it easy to hike, bike, pack in a suitcase or stash in the car.
It fits perfectly into the Aeropress making the convenience of packing easy, plus it weighs in at only 10.4 ounces.
The solid stainless steel build makes the porlex easy to clean and virtually indestructible.
The adjustable grinder produces accurate grinds for fine, coarse or grinds in between – and has a neat little dial that will ensure you remember that perfect grind you just produced.
It has 13 settings, each defined by a ‘click’ on the burr wheel.
Find the right grind for your brewer, remember the number, and you’re good to go!
Best suited for: This is a coffee grinder perfect for those who want to take their coffee with them on travels or when exploring the great outdoors.
#4 – Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill Skerton Grinder
(For home use for the family)
- Hopper capacity: 100g (4+ coffees per grind)
- Weight: 566g
- Dimensions: 16” x 11” x 13”
- Burr Material: Ceramic Conical Burr
Ticking all the boxes the Hario is a small, lightweight grinder that has a slip-free rubber base, large storage capacity, ceramic burr for extra grind precision and an ergonomic design.
Super easy to disassemble and reassemble (with a hopper that can attach to a mason jar or other storage containers) means it’s another great manual coffee mill for those on the go, who also like grinding in advance (Let’s be honest, there’s always time for another coffee!).
Easy to use, easy to clean – this grinder will manually blend your coffee beans without sacrificing the taste. It’s designed for those who want a product that will carry through conditions with ease.
Best suited for: Those who love large amounts of coffee on their stress free camping holidays.
#5 – Comandante C40 MK3 Nitro Blade Grinder
(for those who want the best of the best)
- Hopper capacity: 40g (2-3 coffees per grind)
- Weight: 740g
- Dimensions: 6.3” x 2.4”
- Burr material: High-Alloyed, High-Nitrogen Stainless Steel Conical Burr
Handcrafted in Germany, this incredibly good looking manual coffee grinder is the ultimate mix of sexy engineering with incredible functionality.
Top quality materials make this grinder tough and more resistant to wear and tear. Double axle bearings and a stainless steel burr means your grinds will be more consistent.
The C40 MK3 has a stepped grind adjustment which is basically a plastic knob that allows you to control the grind size in ‘clicks’. This dial means you can repeat the setting in a quick and painless way. With a great range of grind settings, turkish coffee has now become a possibility!
Best suited for: Those travelling coffee connoisseurs and coffee enthusiasts who don’t mind spending a bit more bang for their buck.
#6 – OE Lido 3 Manual Coffee Grinder
(For travellers who want the best of the best)
- Hopper capacity: 70g (4+ coffees per grind)
- Dimensions: 13.5” x 3”
- Burr material: Swiss made steel Conical Burr
The photos of this grinder do not do it justice. For one of the larger capacity grinders on the market, the Lido 3 is certainly an upgrade from the OE Lido 2. With a Massive 70g capacity, you can brew more than 4+ cups of coffee at a time (Yippee)
Made from aluminium, stainless steel, silicone and BPA-free plastic, the semi transparent casing allows you to see the beans as they fall into the burrs (Which means more mesmerizing time looking at your grinding contraption)
With a full grind range, the Lido 3 can be used for any brew method. The only downfall is the process of setting adjustment which is slightly more complicated and take some time getting used to.
Although the weight and size of this grinder means it’s not as lightweight and portable as others on the market, you can still fit this one in your travelpack (But may require a slight grind between the knees for stability).
Best suited for: Those who enjoy travelling and sharing their love of the great coffee aromas with other coffee enthusiasts.
#7 – ROK Coffee Grinder, Aluminium
(For Home Baristas and true coffee hipsters)
- Hopper capacity: Grind as you go
- Weight: 2041g
- Dimensions: 8.3” x 6.3” x 11”
- Burr material: Stainless steel conical burr
Although the ROK Coffee Grinder is significantly larger and bulkier than others on the market, it contains a non-slip ring that prevents sliding or wobbling when used; which ergonomically, means it’s better for you (and you’ll be able to grind your coffee quicker with a little less elbow grease). Simply attach the base to the table and grind away.
Made from die-cast aluminium, this grinder contains a set of 48mm stainless steel containers burrs and has a vertical (as opposed to horizontal) grinding method – which sets it apart from other grinders on the market.
Best suited for: Although it’s not so travel-friendly, this good looking design is best suited for the home baristas who want a great addition to their benchtop, who would rather have a coffee date at home, than a coffee date on the go.
#8 – JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder
(A great cheap alternative for travellers)
- Hopper capacity: 40g (2-3 coffees per grind)
- Weight: 266g
- Dimensions: 1.8” x 7.5” x 1.8”
- Burr material: Ceramic conical burr
- Number of grind settings: 18
Compact, affordable and slender. The JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder is a small, lightweight grinder perfect for those who aren’t too concerned with style but still need something that is functional and portable.
It consists of a durable stainless body with a ceramic conical burr and a detachable hand crank (which means it’s great for packing on the go). It features a dual plate system which makes it feel more stable when grinding and produces consistent results.
The JavaPresse has adjustable knob underneath the burr which means you are using a click system to change your grind settings but be weary – they may take some time getting used to.
It may look simple but don’t be fooled, this grinder has been on the market for some time and we can see why – perfect for those who want fuss free, functional, affordable quality grinds.
Best suited for: Practical money savvy travellers who enjoy a good brew on the go.
THE VERDICT: Which Hand Mill Grinder Do We Prefer?
While the above are all good options…but….we can’t go past the HandGrounds coffee grinder!
Why? Because it does what its intended to do better than any of the others – grind coffee beans perfectly with your hand!
The fact that turning the crank does NOT feel like a whole body workout is just a bonus – but a nice bonus at that!
It’s a little bulky for travelling, but unless you are a gung-ho minimalist you’ll still be OK travelling with this grinder.
We are super impressed with the quality and performance, and I’m confident you’ll be to!
The HandGround will take your coffee grinding game from to a 9. If you want to get to a 10, or beyond, you’ll need a secret weapon; the KRUVE.
We hope that after browsing the above product reviews you have a great idea of what the best hand grinder is for your needs 🙂