There’s one thing every coffeeholic is intensely particular about:
The raw aroma and powerful flavor of FRESH coffee.
And it doesn’t come from a skilled barista alone.
Nor with just a fancy-looking coffee machine. It all starts with the coffee grounds.
Manual coffee grinder
If you are a serious coffee lover, you are well aware of the fact that grinding roasted coffee beans freshly beforehand always makes the best coffee. And that’s where a manual bean coffee grinder comes in.
Thanks to their convenient size, simple operation, and portability, manual coffee grinders or coffee mills provide you with fresh coffee ground enriched with flavor-boosting coffee oils. Things your coffee doesn’t get enough when you use pre-ground, store-bought coffee grounds.
Manual coffee grinders or hand grinders feature a straightforward design. Still, they must be well equipped to grind coffee beans as per your desired size, perfectly and persistently every single time (can’t compromise on the taste of coffee, of course!)
In this buying guide, we have reviewed everything you need to know about manual coffee grinders. Starting with the key features to look out for when looking for a high-quality coffee grinder, we will enlist and review our hand-picked manual coffee grinders.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
What Are The Key Features You Should Consider When Looking For The Best Manual Coffee Grinder?
Coffee grind is the most vital element every coffee connoisseur is particular about. After all, the taste of your coffee heavily relies on its grounds. That’s because once your coffee bean is ground, all of its precious flavor-enhancing components start reacting with air, pulling down the taste of your coffee.
Freshly ground coffee, on the other hand, is intensely aromatic and brew irresistibly flavourful coffee you can’t stop sipping on.
That is why you should spare some time looking out for the best manual coffee grinder that can perfectly grind your beans freshly at the time of brewing.
Understanding the key features of a high-quality grinder will save you from banging your heads on your coffee table, as you’ll be able to devour each sip and live every coffee moment every time you brew your coffee with perfectly grounded coffee beans.
Following are the key features you should be looking out for before investing in a manual coffee grinder:
A good manual coffee grinder does its grinding job to the fullest, regardless of its size. That’s because size is not an attribute that determines the quality of your coffee grind.
However, the size of your grinder is important based on your intended use. If you need a good grinder you can use at home, a large-sized grinder with sturdy construction will be perfect. You can easily place it in your kitchen without worrying about breaking it.
However, if you are looking for something you can rely on the grinding job while you travel (can’t compromise on coffee while traveling, of course), a compact-sized, cylindrical grinder will be your best bet.
Figure out where and how you plan to use the grinder and make a decision accordingly (no harm in getting both, though 😉
A manual coffee grinder is almost always conical in shape. It makes the process and flow of coffee grounds easier. Just get one which fancies you the most. We have reviewed manual coffee grinders in the best shapes and sizes, so you have plenty of options to choose from!
Yes, portable grinders are compact, convenient, and travel-friendly. However, they also have limited capacity as they can only burn a limited amount of coffee beans in one go. For 1-2 servings, a smaller manual coffee grinder will be more than enough.
A larger-sized grinder is obviously more capacious and can accommodate grinds for 3-4 cups or more.
Bonus Advantage: You won’t need to dedicate an ‘arm day’ to your workout regime. These huge manual grinders will do the job.
The handle length of coffee mills is a highly overlooked feature when it can make or break the entire crushing process. You need to ensure that the handle length of your coffee grinder is optimal – too short ones will 2x your arm workout, and too long are difficult to operate. Get the right length, and you are good to go.
Quality of Material – metal or ceramic burrs?
Manual coffee grinders work really hard. You can’t keep crushing beans after beans without stressing yourself. That’s exactly why the quality of manual grinders is important.
“Grinding is hard work. Make sure your coffee mill is ready for it!”
Typically, the conical burrs of these coffee mills are usually made from stainless steel or ceramic. While both are highly durable materials, they do come with their own set of pros and cons.
Stainless steel manual grinders are rough and tough, they’re easy to clean, and they never break! If you need something to take care of your beans while you travel, the SS ones are a life-saver!
Ceramic coffee grinders are equally durable, though they are breakable and are better suited for use at home. However, they are definitely not the best options for the clumsy coffee squad!
To be honest, the metal ones are our personal favorites. They can be pricey, but they are totally worth each penny.
And comes the most critical feature – the grind settings! Does it produce consistently uniform grinds? Is the grind size precise enough? Although you do get more options with grind settings in electric coffee grinders, manual ones can do the job as well.
With the manual ones, you are in the driver’s seat as you decide which grind size to go for. You can always take help from manual filters to achieve a finer and uniform grind size.
Nevertheless, if you need a wide array of settings and options for grind size, go ahead and get an electric coffee grinder.
Durability – how long will it last?
There’s no doubt about the fact that durability is the measure of the quality of manual coffee grinders. Are the components of your grinder replaceable? Does it come with a warranty?
Though not all manual grinders come with a warranty, some do. Some high-end coffee mills come with a warranty. However, the way you keep your grinder also impacts its longevity. How often you clean it and how well you do it are as significant as investing in a good grinder in the first place.
Basic Components Of A Manual Coffee Grinder
Manual coffee mills have a fairly simple assembly. The main components of a manual coffee grinder are:
- Burr (Outer and Inner)
- Grinds Container
- Bean Hopper
- Metal Rod
Burr is the main component of a coffee mill. It crushes your beans and is composed of an inner burr (that does the main job) and an outer burr that supports the inner burr. Burrs are usually made of metal or ceramic.
It’s the container that collects all the freshly ground goodness right after crushing. It can be made of metal or glass.
Bean copper is the component that carries your coffee beans. It’s where coffee beans take their last breath before they are finally crushed into sizzling coffee grounds.
Lever is your little arm exercise tool. Rolling it around gets the grinder moving. The more finer grounds you need, the more work you need to do with the lever.
Rod is the supporting element for lever. It is attached with the grinder through the bean hopper.
Best Manual Coffee Grinder Brands
For over 150 years, this German company has stood as the leading manufacturer of coffee mills. Each of their coffee grinders is made with premium materials that brings the most flavors out of coffee beans. With Zassenhaus manual coffee mills, you can grind coffee beans in any size and for any brewing system you can imagine.
The best part? Their coffee grinders are made in accordance with the highest manufacturing standards and come with a whopping 25-year guarantee!
Cuisinart is not a new name in the coffee universe. From coffee makers to coffee grinders, they guys are never short of coffee-making equipment. Built with premium stainless steel, Cuisinart coffee mills are designed as highly durable. The best part? They are also insanely affordable!
This Japanese brand makes some of the best hand coffee grinders out there. All of their coffee mills are super-compact and have a high-quality burr. In short, Porlex coffee mills offer all the benefits of premium grinder without being heavy on the pocket.
Need to brew specialty coffee at home or at cafes? Hario always has your answer. This Japanese-owned brand makes all things coffee – be it coffee makers, grinders, drippers, kettles, etc. the folks have been making premium glass and ceramic products for over a century and their coffee mills are just ah-mazing!
The 10 Best Manual Coffee Grinders
|Zassenhaus Santiago Mahogany Coffee Mill Grinde||25 year warranty period. Reduced noises. Spacious cup holder|
|Peugeot Brésil Coffee Mill||Long crank handle. 5 years warranty period. Spacious bowl|
|Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder||Stainless steel with a static-free body. Modified crankshaft. Portable size.|
|Porlex Jp-30 Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder||30 grams capacity. Ceramic conical burrs. Stainless steel body|
|Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill -“Skerton Pro”||Class design. Non-slip rubber base. Detachable handle|
|Peugeot KRONOS Coffee Grinder||Ergonomic design. 43 grinding positions. Lifetime guarantee provided|
|Rok Manual Espresso Maker Silver||Unique design. Strong, silver built. Easy to clean|
|Cuisinart Coffee Grinder Manual||Budget-friendly. Sleek design. 12 cups capacity|
|MITBAK Manual Coffee Grinder||Aesthetic design. Easy adjustability for grinding. Acrylic window|
|MOON-1 Manual Coffee Grinder||Vintage style. Catch drawer. Cast iron hand crank.|
Zassenhaus Santiago Mahogany Coffee Mill Grinder (Top Pick)
Be ready to make this wooden coffee grinder by Zassenhaus your new best friend in the kitchen. With beautiful craftsmanship, it is varnished in beech wood and is an aesthetically pleasing device. Available in two different shades, natural and dark, you can easily pick out the one that accentuates your kitchen.
Coming to the functionality, it has a conical burr grinder that can grind hard and coarse coffee beans for you in no time. Moreover, what’s important is the grinder will get the job done with minimum heating levels. Carbon steel grinding is efficient and quick.
You can adjust the settings of the grind according to your usage. This can be easily done with the help of the knurled adjustment knob located under the crank. Capacity wise, it can grind around 4-6 cups. Lastly, you can easily extract the grounds from the front drawer for a clean and tidy job done.
Peugeot Brésil Coffee Mill
Next up, we have this coffee mill by Peugeot. Peugeot is a renowned name when it comes to high-quality coffee grinders, and this coffee mill is no less. This walnut coffee mill is about 8.75 inches tall and has a sleek design and built. The coffee mill is made up of wood, including the knob.
Capacity wise, you will be getting space enough for ½ cup or around 8 tablespoons of coffee. This should give you plenty of drawer space. The device is crafted in a manner to provide utmost ease with a completely adjustable manual burr-type mill. With this, you can easily find your desired level of consistency. Furthermore, the adjustability of the mechanical grind will give you evenly ground coffee. Moreover, the grinding is quick and consistent.
The stainless steel feature means the knives used will offer increased durability. Plus, you can avoid corrosion with these knives as well. The hopper can hold in 7 tablespoons of coffee and is made up of durable and high-quality material.
Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder
So are you looking for a durable and portable coffee grinder? Well, here we have the answer for you. This mini stainless steel coffee grinder by Porlex provides utmost efficiency and portability.
Available in the standard silver color, this coffee grinder is 130mm tall and has a diameter width of 47mm. The small size makes it perfect for anyone who wants it to carry it around with them. Capacity wise, it can hold 20 grams and can give you around 1.5 cups of coffee at a time. It is built sturdily and is easy to use.
With the stainless steel element, you will have reduced maintenance. For cleaning purposes, it can come apart easily. The grinder handles and burrs are replaceable in case of an accident. There is an updated and modified crankshaft for a consistent grind. The grind is easily changeable with the help of the cog at the bottom.
This machine by Porlex is quick with no hassle of cleaning the grounds after every grind.
Porlex Jp-30 Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder
Moving on, we have another stainless steel beauty on our list. It is another one of Porlex’s portable grinders. This coffee grinder comes in the standard silver color, which gives it a sleek look. The building is strong and durable, which means a longer shelf life. It can hold 30 grams of coffee and give you around 2 cups of coffee in one go.
There are ceramic conical burrs present in the grinder that will give you the ability to grind your coffee beans to fine, powder form. It is 178mm tall and has a diameter of 47mm. The cylindrical shapes make it lightweight and a great travel partner.
There are instructions provided for the grinder’s functioning, including details on how to work with the shaft and the handle. Furthermore, it also carries a locking mechanism while grinding, which results in consistent and refined ground coffee.
What’s more, this manual coffee bean grinder is easy to dismantle, which means it gives you hassle-free cleaning sessions! With uniform grinding, you can experience smooth, hand-rolled, and rich coffee flavor from the comfort of your homes.
Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill -“Skerton Pro”
One of the most budget-friendly items on this list is this ceramic coffee mill by Hario. The Skerton Pro is available as the perfect pick for everyone who is looking for an efficient coffee grinder in an affordable price range. The shape of the design is the same as all of Hario’s classic coffee mills, with a see-through acrylic panel in the middle.
This coffee grinder has ceramic conical burrs, which will help you obtain a uniform, consistent, and refined grind. With the new design of the burrs, they have improved the adjustability feature as well. Now you can easily adjust the grind levels according to your preference.
It has a detachable handle, which is perfect if you plan on carrying it around. Moreover, there isn’t a burr shaft that has been modified too. This new shaft will help you with a stable and easy grinding session.
Lastly, you will find a rubber base. This base means no more slipping of the coffee mill while you are grinding. The easy dismantling feature makes it easy to clean. The bowl has a capacity of 100g, which makes it spacious.
Peugeot KRONOS Coffee Grinder
And we are back with another Peugeot coffee grinder – just can’t get enough of it. The Kronos Coffee grinder has a sleek and modern shape. It is curved in the middle for easy handling and gives a stronger grip. Capacity wise, this coffee grinder can hold 50 grams and is made in France.
Moreover, the coffee grinder is about 19 cm tall, which is around 7.5 inches. It comes in a chocolate color and can be a beautiful addition to your kitchen.
The built of the machine is ergonomic. Weighing around 1.677 pounds, it is easy to carry, and one can travel around with it as well. The adjustments can be used to get the perfect grind according to your preference. The grinding mechanism is powerful and will give you a consistent and refined grind each time.
There are several grind settings that are pretty accurate. You will also be getting about 43 positions for grinding. You can easily choose from coarse to espresso and cold brew too! Not only that, but with the Kronos, you will also be getting a lifetime guarantee.
What more could you ask for?
Rok Manual Espresso Maker Silver
The next item on this list is one you won’t see very often in the market. This coffee grinder by Rok has a unique design and is very much different from your usual coffee mills. It is made up of silver and comes in one size. The silver built makes it durable, but it also adds to the weight of the coffee grinder. It weighs around 7.2 pounds and is on the heavier side.
It is easier to operate as compared to other coffee grinders. There is a chamber made up of two levers and a piston gasket. This piston gasket is perfect for high-pressure brewing. You can push the two levels together, which will create pressure and grind your coffee.
For cleaning, you can disassemble it and clean it with vinegar water. There is a double spout present if you want to split your shot between two cups. You can use 9 bars for standard espresso, while for others, you can move around 5-10 bars of pressure.
Cuisinart Coffee Grinder
Take a look at the most budget-friendly coffee grinder we have laid our eyes on:
The Cuisinart coffee grinder comes in black color and has a beautiful, minimalist, and aesthetic design. With this coffee maker, you can easily whip up around 12 cups of coffee without wasting any time!
There is a stainless steel bowl, which adds to the durability of the machine. You will also find an on/off switch. This switch comes with a safety interlock as well. What’s more, you can grind up various spices and herbs as well as coffee with this coffee grinder.
It has a sleek design, which adds to its portability and ease of use. The bowl and lid are easy to clean with no hassle involved. There is also cord storage given, which adds to your convenience. With the burr grinder, you will be getting a consistent and high-quality grind in no time. The grinding will be done in 15 seconds tops.
The coffee mill’s size might be small, but that just makes the grind even more refined, thorough, and quick.
MITBAK Manual Coffee Grinder
This coffee grinder by Mitbak is sleek and comes in a beautiful rose gold color. It is available in an affordable price range and should be a great pick for anyone shopping on a budget. It has stainless steel blades for efficient grinding and a glass body. The manual coffee maker gives you a smooth and refined grin without making any noises. IT’s size makes it perfect for anyone who plans on traveling around with their coffee mill.
You can fiddle with the settings and get the adjustability of your preference. This adjustability will mainly work when you are working with different sizes of coffee beans. Capacity wise, it is a gift from God as it can hold beans, giving you around 1-2 pots of coffee.
The coffee grinder can be filled to the top, unlike other grinders. When filled, the weight will help in producing an even more refined and perfect grind. It is pretty easy in terms of assembling, and clean up is subtle and effortless as well.
MOON-1 Manual Coffee Grinder
Lastly, we have this genius by Moon-1. With this grinder, you can add a unique and chic element to your kitchen. It has a handcraft that is designed in an artisanal manner. It has an iron construction and comes with a bright red base. The base ensures that the grinder won’t budge and creates a mess.
Capacity wise, you will be getting tons of space. This is an all in one device and can be used for herbs, spices, coffee beans as well as nuts. You can start grinding coffee beans with the help of the handle. A few turns and your job should be done in no time. The top area of the coffee mill can be removed whenever you want to adjust your settings.
There is a catch drawer located at the bottom of the coffee grinder. With the sleek and ergonomic handle, you can get rich and flavorful coffee right in your home.
Why Should You Get A Manual Coffee Grinder?
And why should you not get a manual coffee grinder? It’s an excellent value for money and lets you make delicious coffee at just a fraction of the cost (as compared to electric grinders).
What’s more, a manual coffee grinder gives you more flexibility as you are completely in control of adjusting your coffee flavors. And if anyone tells you that you can’t brew specialty coffee beverages with a manual coffee grinder, just shun the thought right away.
It’s just that these manual mills demand some extra effort from your end, but the result is worth every penny, nickel, and dime.
They are affordable
Manual coffee grinders are super duper cheap. And they are dope. Compare it to electric grinders, and you’ll only get sub-par equipment, minus the burrs at the cost in which you can easily get a highly functional, full-fledged manual grinder.
Even if you are on a budget and looking for a great piece of hand-mill under $100, the options are endless!
They are travel-friendly
And it’s the best thing about manual coffee mills! If you’re a true coffee lover, we know you need those caffeine shots the most while traveling. It just makes traveling so exciting. Thanks to their compact sizes and travel-friendly shapes, you can conveniently travel with these coffee crushers anytime and anywhere.
We have reviewed Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Grinder and Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill in our 10 best picks, as these are super compact in size and, thus, incredibly travel-friendly
They are durable
Coffee mills ace at crushing those flavor-packed coffee beans into aromatic coffee grounds. And it requires some serious effort on their part. That’s why durability is a critical factor for coffee grinders, and manual ones are always more resilient than electric ones. Invest in a good one, and they will last you a life-time!
They preserve aromatic coffee oils
And electric coffee grinders often don’t! That’s right, one of the biggest downsides of electric grinders is that they heat up real quick, meaning you need to give them a pause before you start milling again. You don’t want to let go of those precious, aromatic coffee oils during heating. On the other hand, manual coffee mills are too stubborn as they hardly heat up and therefore do a better job in preserving coffee oils.
Just make sure to run your coffee beans through your grinder right before brewing so that every ounce of coffee oil is well preserved. The fresher your coffee grounds, the more flavorful and aromatic your coffee will be.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is the best manual coffee grinder for home use?
What works best for you might not work equally well for others. It all depends on your preferences (and your budget, of course). We have enlisted and reviewed the best manual coffee grinders in every range, and you can get the best one for home use as well.
What is the most travel-friendly manual coffee grinder?
Our personal favorites are the Porlex Stainless Steel Coffee Grinders and Hario Ceramic Coffee Grinder. They are compact in size and easily pack up in your travel case. If your travel-trip is more of hiking and camping, we suggest Porlex Stainless Steel grinders as you won’t risk breaking them on your trail.
Are manual coffee grinders better than electric coffee grinders?
In terms of simplicity, affordability, and portability, yes! Thanks to their straightforward designs, light weight, and availability in travel-friendly sizes. They are also super-easy to use and maintain. Yes, manual coffee mills do require some extra work from your end, but there’s no compromise on taste or aroma whatsoever. They also offer an added advantage of not heating up and thus, do not dull down the taste of your coffee.
How long does a manual coffee grinder take to grind coffee beans?
We’ll be honest. Milling through manual grinders is hard work. Yap, it does require efforts to crush those beans into finer grounds. However, good quality grinders are easier to use and can easily churn grinds for 2-3 cups of coffee in less than a minute! The cheaper ones will do the same job in about 3-4 minutes (or even more if you’re a newbie to manual grinding).
Can I get finer grounds with a manual coffee grinder?
You definitely can – they are called coffee ‘grinders’ for a reason. However, be prepared that achieving that fine grind will require some real arm workout. Likewise, it’s easier to ground coarse coffee beans through a manual coffee grinder. If you are someone who likes to make coffee from fine coffee grounds and is not up for vigorous arm exercise sessions every day, you are better off with an electric coffee grinder. It’s a one-time investment but is absolutely worth it.
What is better – grinding your own coffee or getting pre-ground coffee?
Grinding your own coffee is always better. Yes, getting pre-ground coffee appears far more convenient. However, the taste of coffee brewed from freshly ground coffee beans is matchless. It’s stronger, it’s aromatic, and it’s irresistibly flavorful. You can never achieve the same level of taste and aroma from using pre-ground coffee.
If there’s one thing we swear by about manual coffee grinders – it’s the taste they give to your coffee. Regardless of how skillful of a barista you are, it all starts with the coffee grounds. Using the right manual coffee grinder will definitely change your brewing game, once and for all.