The Best Manual Coffee Grinders in 2023 — Buyer’s Guide, Reviews, and ComparisonsWe all know that freshly ground coffee beans are one of the key secrets to delicious java, but many people are under the impression that manual coffee grinders are just too much work. The reality is that these grinders are affordable, simple to use, and offer up quality coffee that rivals what expensive electric grinders can produce.
- 48 mm stainless steel conical burr
- Performs well with all grind levels
- Grinds 1 to 1.5 ounces of coffee at a time
Manual Coffee Grinders Information
Manual Coffee Grinders Comparison Table
|Check Price At Amazon 1Zpresso JX-PRO Review|
|Check Price At Amazon JavaPresse Review|
|Check Price At Amazon Porlex Mini Review|
|Check Price At Amazon Hario Skerton Pro Review|
|Check Price At Amazon Hario Slim Review|
A Buying Guide to the Best Hand Coffee Grinder
Many people are under the impression that manually grinding coffee beans is difficult and time-consuming, or that it’s the cheap way of grinding beans. Neither of which is true. There are manual coffee grinders that are super easy to use, don’t require hours of time, and produce amazing ground coffee.
You don’t need extensive barista skills to manually grind your own beans, and these grinders are found within nearly every price range. Surprisingly, price is not necessarily an accurate predictor of performance.
Not just that, but these handheld machines can be used just about anywhere. Whether you’re in the comfort of your kitchen, or hiking through the mountains, the best manual burr grinders are portable and are designed to go right along with you.
Before choosing that manual coffee grinder, there are some points you should consider:
The material used in construction — stainless steel, ceramic or glass, plastic
Size and capacity
The number of grind settings
Whether it has ceramic or stainless steel burrs
Ease of use
Why Buy a Manual Coffee Grinder?
We’ve already established that the best cups of joe come from freshly ground coffee beans, and there are a seemingly infinite number of coffee mills on the market.
And yes, we’ll concede that it may be easier to use an electric grinder, however, it really doesn’t take as much effort as you think to manually grind coffee beans, and many java purists wouldn’t have it any other way!
If you’re willing to put in a little bit of time — around three to four minutes at full crank — and some physical effort, you can manually grind your beans and get results that rival those of pricier electric grinders.
Now, what specifically can the best hand coffee grinder offer you? Let’s look at some of the advantages.
Manual Grinders Can Go Anywhere
A manual coffee grinder isn’t restricted by the closest electrical outlet. Anywhere you can take coffee beans and your ginder, it’s ready to go. Electricity isn’t needed, plus most manual devices are small enough that they fit into a bag or suitcase with plenty of room to spare.
So whether you want a freshly ground stash of your favorite beans at work, in a hotel room, or at a campsite, a manual grinder is the perfect solution.
You needn’t worry about waking your entire house up with a hand grinder. Manual grinders are significantly quieter than electric burr or blade grinders. Electric grinders average about 75 decibels. These devices, notably due to a lack of motor, are much quieter in comparison. You’ll hear the beans cracking. That’s it.
Control Over the Process
Bean lovers, especially those focused on having the best possible cup of joe, tend to prefer having full control over the brewing process. And that starts with grinding beans. A manual coffee grinder gives you total control over how you grind.
Whether you prefer a fine grind for espresso or a coarser grind for French press coffee, you can achieve it with manual grinders. These appliances generally have a minimum of 10 to 12 different grind options, letting you experiment and find the perfect setting for you.
One of the most important aspects of grinding beans is ensuring a consistent, even grind. When grinds are different sizes and shapes, it can negatively affect how the resulting beverage tastes. A hand mill lets you concentrate on grinding slowly and steadily, which results in even, consistent grinds. Your mug of java will taste great from the first sip to the last.
How to Choose the Best Manual Coffee Grinder
The variety of hand grinders available for sale is huge, and it can be overwhelming to figure out which is the best manual grinder. With so many things to consider, like capacity, the number of grind settings, and physical dimensions, it gets confusing.
Here’s an explanation of the factors you should consider when choosing a manual grinder.
What Is It Made From?
Manual coffee grinders come in all shapes and forms, and the materials used in their construction are equally varied. Stainless steel, plastic, glass, wood, or any combination of those materials are commonplace in manual grinders.
Wood is typically only used as a decorative handle, but it can add an extra bit of beauty to any design. Stainless steel is typically more durable than other materials, so it works well if you travel or hike with your grinder. Plastic and glass are less expensive materials. If your budget is a concern, you should consider them as options, although they are more fragile than stainless steel.
The best hand coffee grinders, unlike the basic electric versions, usually have multiple grind options, from fine for espresso to coarse for French press coffee, and everything in between. Assuming you just stick with one particular brewing method, you might not need 15 grind levels. However, if you have an espresso one day and pour-over coffee the next, you’ll appreciate having several settings to choose from.
How difficult it is to adjust the grinder is also worth thinking about. If you drink a variety of coffees, look for a model that makes selecting different grinds simple. No one enjoys struggling to adjust the grind level while desperate for caffeine!
Ceramic or Stainless Steel Burrs
Whether ceramic burrs or stainless steel burrs are better for grinding coffee beans is a debate for the ages, and there are valid arguments for both sides.
Stainless steel burrs tend to last longer and stay sharp, but they also create some heat when grinding beans, which can affect the taste of the beverage. Ceramic burrs, on the other hand, are generally less expensive and don’t create heat that affects how beans taste, but they may not last as long as their stainless steel counterparts.
If you’re regularly grinding beans, one of the best manual burr grinders you can choose is one with stainless steel burrs as these assure longevity. However, if you’re not using your grinder all the time, ceramic burrs will get the job done just as well.
How Much Can It Grind?
There’s no right or wrong answer as to how much ground coffee a hand grinder should produce, but each bean addict will have their own preferences. Some models only grind a small amount, enough for one or two cups of java, for example, while others can grind enough coffee for several cups.
Consider how much java you drink when choosing your manual coffee grinder. If you only need a single cup or don’t mind repeating the grinding process, then a small grinder could work just fine. Think about buying a grinder that has a larger capacity if you drink several cups or have to share java with your family.
Our Pick of the Best Manual Coffee Grinders
Sure, you could spend a day or two researching manual coffee grinder reviews and then filter through all that information. But why waste all that time when we’ve already done the hard work for you right here?
Here’s our list of best hand coffee grinders, based on information from manufacturer websites, device features, options, and what existing customers think.
~ Best Overall
Our Rating: 4.8/5
- 48 mm stainless steel conical burr
- Performs well with all grind levels
- Grinds 1 to 1.5 ounces of coffee at a time
While the 1Zpresso JX-PRO Manual Grinder is one of the more expensive manual coffee grinders, it truly is a pleasure to operate and it produces smooth, even grinds at all levels. Whether you’re drinking Turkish coffee or cold brew, you won’t be disappointed with this model.
This model is slightly larger and heavier than some other versions, but it houses a 48-mm stainless steel conical burr, which explains why it does such a fantastic job. It’s crafted from stainless steel, has a classy wooden knob, plus its wide rubber sleeve covers the shaft for added stability.
It feels solid in your hands, as quality construction should, and the grind selection is simple to adjust by using the dial with 200 click settings. Each click shifts the grind level by 12.5 microns, so there’s just really no excuse for not finding your perfect grind setting.
Cleaning this grinder is also a breeze; it comes apart easily and you don’t even need tools. The grinder should only be cleaned with a dry brush only and never with water as water can damage stainless steel burrs.
- No tools needed to dismantle for cleaning
- Quality stainless steel construction
- Easy to adjust the grind level
- Consistent results across all grind levels
- Higher price point than other models
- Somewhat heavier than other models
~ Best Design
Our Rating: 4.8/5
- Stainless steel frame construction
- Grinds container slides out for mess-free transfers
- Provides a consistent grind
The JavaPresse Burr Grinder is a solid contender for an entry-level manual grinder. Weighing only about nine ounces, its compact size makes it easy to take along on travel or camping trips, and its stainless steel construction will keep it from getting banged up along the way.
Its built-in adjustable grinder includes 18 grind settings, so you’re covered from espresso to French press coffee. This device performs well with all grinds, so you can experiment with all types of beverages, and the ceramic conical burrs are stable and effective.
Using this model is straightforward and simple. Just choose your grind level, add coffee beans, grind, and unscrew the catcher to transfer your grounds. While some would call the five minutes this model takes to grind beans slow, the process is smooth and steady.
Once you’re done, the grinds container neatly slides out, so there’s no mess. The crank can detach when not in use, pack it away with the device’s body and the whole package is ready to go wherever you’re off to next.
- Consistently even grind size and shape
- Its ceramic conical burrs are professional grade
- Can customize your grind with 18 different settings
- Lightweight and suitable for travel
- Not suitable for large amounts of coffee
- The crank can sometimes detach while grinding
~ Porlex Mini
Our Rating: 4.8/5
- The smallest manual coffee grinder on our list
- Stainless steel construction
- The grinder’s handle is removable
The Porlex Mini Coffee Grinder is a favorite for travel as it’s one of the smallest manual coffee grinders out there. It weighs approximately eight ounces and is only about six inches tall, but despite its diminutive stature, it’s constructed from quality stainless steel. You don’t have to worry about damaging this device.
Its minimalist design includes ceramic conical burrs with 12 grind settings. This grinder offers excellent consistency and owners note that grinding slowly produces the best tasting grind with this model. There’s virtually no static buildup, making the process of transferring beans mess-free.
While the dinky size of this grinder may be something people love, it also means that its capacity is limited to just 0.7 ounces (20 grams). If you want more than a single cup of java, you’ll be grinding more beans. However, that process is so smooth it’s not really a hardship.
The handle can be removed and stored in the grinder’s rubber sleeve when not being used. If needed, the burrs may be rinsed with water, as water won’t damage ceramic burrs as it does stainless steel burrs.
- Excellent stainless steel build quality
- The small size of this grinder makes it best for travel
- Rubber sleeve for stable grip and handle storage
- No marks to show grind levels
- Limited grinding capacity, less than one ounce of grounds
~ Hario Skerton Pro
Our Rating: 4.6/5
- The generous glass bowl holds up to 3.5 ounces of ground coffee
- Burr stabilizer plate holds the device steady while in use
- The ergonomically designed handle is detachable
The Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill is one of the larger-capacity manual coffee grinders — its glass bowl can hold about 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of ground coffee. Crafted from a combination of stainless steel, silicone, glass, and BPA-free plastic, this grinder is not quite as durable as other versions we’ve reviewed.
Its strong grind shaft is held secure by a burr stabilizer plate, which keeps the grinder stable. A non-slip rubber base and silicone grip also help with that. The device’s ergonomically designed handle is mounted on top but can be removed.
While it features ceramic conical burrs, the Hario grinder doesn’t seem to achieve the same consistency as other models we looked at. Adjusting the grinds setting is a bit more complicated than with other grinders too, you have to unscrew the grinds catcher and turn the dial located under the burrs.
You’re not limited to the included grinds catcher though, this model can be used with other catchers, such as mason jars, if you’re grinding a larger amount. All parts of this device are fully washable, which is a feature not always offered by manual grinders.
- Non-slip rubber base for stability
- Larger capacity for grinding
- Burr stabilizer plate holds the grinder steady during use
- All parts are washable
- Not as durable as other models, glass can break
- Not as consistent with grinds
~ Most Budget-Friendly
Our Rating: 4.2/5
- Slim, modern design
- Twist and click to adjust grind level
- Mostly plastic construction
The Hario Slim Coffee Mill, as its name suggests, uses a slim design that’s quite aesthetically pleasing. This is, by far, the most affordable manual coffee grinder on our list, along with being smaller than many models.
It weighs about 11 ounces while standing just over 7 inches tall, so it’s no surprise that it only has a grind capacity of less than 1 ounce (24 grams). Ceramic burrs do the grinding work here and you can choose whether you grind directly into your brewer or into other containers.
Visible measurement markings are always appreciated, so we’re happy to see that on this model. This grinder is mostly plastic, so it’s not nearly as durable as some other manual grinders. Plastic also creates static with the ground beans, which means transferring the beans can get rather messy.
Adjusting the grind level is more difficult, too. The twist and click grind adjustment is not as simple as it sounds. It also requires a little more arm strength than some other versions.
- The slim design is pleasing to the eye
- Priced much lower than other models
- Can grind directly into brewer or another container
- Handle is removable
- Visible measurement markings
- Grinds can get trapped in the chute and spill out
- Noisier than more expensive models
Manual coffee grinders may have reputations for being difficult to use, but that’s just not true! These devices are often small enough that they travel well, along with being simple and straightforward to use.
Bean lovers often turn to hand grinders for a myriad of reasons, including the ability to have full control over grinding coffee beans. Manual grinders can be just as effective as pricey electric burr mills. They’re also much quieter than electric grinders, so your housemates will thank you.
With models available in almost every price range, multiple grind options, and top-notch quality, what are you waiting for? You won’t regret spending a bit of time or effort to enjoy freshly ground coffee beans.
Manual Coffee Grinders FAQs
Are Manual Coffee Grinders Any Good?
Absolutely! Many of the best manual coffee grinders can perform just as well as much more expensive electric grinders. You’ll get quality ground coffee without breaking your bank account.
How Long Does It Take to Grind Coffee Manually?
It depends upon the specific model. With some models, you can manually grind coffee in as little as a minute. The average time is three to four minutes.
Is It Okay to Grind Coffee Beans the Night Before?
The best java is brewed with beans that are ground immediately before use. Even waiting 10 minutes can cause some flavor to fade. We don’t recommend grinding beans the night before.
How Do You Adjust a Manual Coffee Grinder?
The method depends upon your specific model, but the most common way is to turn the adjusting ring several clicks until you reach your preferred grind setting. Refer to your manual grinder’s instruction manual for complete instructions.
How Do You Clean a Manual Coffee Grinder?
You can handwash the grinds container and hopper if they detach from the grinder, and then simply brush off the rest of your device. It’s safe to use water on ceramic burrs, but you should never use water on stainless steel burrs.
Are Manual Coffee Grinders Hard to Use?
Not really, and it’s easier than you think! It does take a bit of arm strength, especially if you’re grinding a lot of coffee beans.