Best Hand Coffee Grinder 2018 – Reviews of the Best Manual Coffee Grinders - HOMEGROUNDS
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Best Hand Coffee Grinder 2018 – Reviews of the Best Manual Coffee Grinders

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A good cup of coffee is not easy to come by, and if you are a lover of all that is coffee you are probably picky about your grinds.

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 thats easy to use and leaves you with a precise and consistent grind.

This article will ensure that you choose the best hand coffee grinders in 2018.

Coffee mills were 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...

OUR #1 PICK

The Best Value For Money

The HandGround Coffee Grinder11

This hand mill grinder is one that does its job perfectly! Its quality and performance is just what we need to make that best homemade coffee. What's more - it has 15 grind settings to choose from for any brew method, beautiful design, and it doesn't take that much effort to use with your hands.

What Should You Consider When Looking for the Best Manual Coffee Grinder?

best manual burr grinder

There are plenty of hand grinders out there to choose from - you just need to make sure you choose the right one.

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.

2. 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.

Tieing in with point #1 - if you plan to travel with yours, avoid ceramic and stick to stainless steel (or hardened plastic)

3. Function – is there enough of it?

Manual Coffee Grinders

Precision and consistency are key; you’ll want a grinder with functional applications that will produce the same results no matter where you are grinding.

It's no good to have something that 'just grinds', you'll need something that grinds to different tastes.

A cheap s**tty quality hand grinder will not grind consistently, leaving your brew over or under extracted.

4. Warranty - are you covered?

You should get the best bang for your buck and this includes an extended or lifetime warranty.

Well made products will often offer long-term or lifetime warranty as their products are manufactured with precision and expertise.

Beware of grinders with no warranty - what are they trying to hide?

Machine grinders come with warranties, manual grinder often don't. Keep an eye on this!


The 4 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, you'll need a super fine grind, and most likely, one of these special turkish grinders.

For everything else, the grinders below are perfect - but learn how to grind coffee first!

And here they are:​

manual coffee grinder

SIZE (IN.)

GREAT FOR

PRICE

OUR
RATING

Handground
Precision Coffee Grinder

Zassenhaus Santiago Coffee Mill Grinder

6x4x8.7"

TRAVEL + SOME BREW TYPES

$$

4.5/5

Hario
Ceramic Coffee Mill Skerton

Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill_clipped

16x11x13”

HOME USE + A FEW BREW TYPES

$

4.5/5

Porlex
Mini Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder

hacklite grinder

1.85" x 5.1"

TRAVEL + SOME BREW TYPES

$$

4.9/5

Zassenhaus
Santiago Mahogany Coffee Mill Grinder

Zassenhaus Santiago Coffee Mill Grinder

16x11x13”

HOME USE + MOST BREW TYPES

$$$

4.4/5

#1 - The HandGround Coffee Grinder

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. 

But 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!

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.

I won't use anything else anymore, because I love damn good coffee, ground with my hand!

PROS

  • Ability to choose a setting for each brew method
  • Beautifully designed - very high quality
  • large hopper - no annoying refilling mid grind
  • Easy to grind - grinds through beans like a hot knife through butter

CONS

  • Slightly larger than some grinders, meaning its less portable
  • A little more expensive than some of the other options on this list

#2 - The Zassenhaus Santiago Coffee Mill Grinder, Mahogany

Zassenhaus Santiago Coffee Mill Grinder

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.

Don't forget to check out its other color options too - which include a stunning beechwood, and black beechwood finish.

It's smaller than your typical electrical burr-grinder (allowing for bean grinding on the go) however regarding hand grinders it's a little larger and bulkier, but for its added size comes added style - especially the beautiful mahogany veneer.

With this manual grinder, you'll be sure that the grind function gives you a consistent result every time, and does not take-away from your delicate bean flavor with heat that is typically generated from electrical grinders.

It 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. Its perfect for espresso.​

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.

With a 25 year warranty the person interested in purchasing can rest assured that they own a high performance grinder for an extended time. For serious hand grinder / art fanatics only.

PROS

  • 25 year no break warranty (on the grind mechanism)
  • World class materials - if you like coffee, you'll love mahogany, right??
  • Conical burrs protect the integrity of ground coffee beans

CONS

  • Slightly heavier than other grinders meaning its less portable
  • Expensive
  • Grind setting dial has no numbers so achieving the same results is tough

#3 - The Porlex Stainless Steel Mini Hand Grinder

hacklite grinder

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.

Even better; its made with stainless steel material making it easy to clean, virtually indestructible and holds temperature extremely well.

The adjustable grinder produces accurate grinds for fine, course or grinds in between - and has a neat little dial that will ensure you remember that perfect grind you just produced.

Here's how it works: 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.

This portable product not only is easy to use with simple features like grind strength and versatility, but it offers the user the opportunity to enjoy a great cup of coffee wherever they find themselves.

PROS

  • Easy to use with versatile features - achieve the perfect grind for most brew types
  • Portable design perfect for the coffee enthusiast on the go (or camping coffee fanatics)

CONS

  • Simple features not designed for complex use
  • Small capacity - best suited for 1-2 coffees per grind.

#4 - The Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill Skerton Grinder

Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill_clipped

The Hario has interesting features like the slip-free rubber base, large storage capacity, ceramic burrs for extra grind precision and ergonomic design making it a great buy for those in need of a manual grinder.

Ticking all the boxes, it's: small, lightweight and easy to use on the go, and the easy to clean ceramic material makes it great for those who might not have access to a kitchen sink at any given moment.

Being 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 like to stay prepared by grinding more that one serving and saving it for later (lets be honest, there's always time for another coffee!).

Best suited for: If you're traveling, camping or just want your favorite coffee beans with you at all times the Hario is a product that will work with your lifestyle.

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.

PROS

  • Slip-free rubber base makes for an easy grind
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to disassemble

CONS

  • Requires elbow grease to grind
  • Not the lightest on the market

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!

Zassenhaus Santiago Coffee Mill 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 perfomance, 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 manual coffee grinder is - we sure do :)​

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 22 comments
Rod Willmott - March 21, 2017

My 50 year old coffee grinder has just failed due to superstructure failure rather than failure with the burr.I’ve bought a replacement grinder with ceramic burrs and really don’t like it feeling that ceramic burrs are not right for the job.metal burrs will conduct heat away from the beans being ground so that essential oils will not be lost,while it takes about three times as long to grind the coffee with the ceramic burrs.I fancy the Zassenhaus models,but expense is holding me back and I’m considering restoring my old grinder!

Reply
Mike - June 24, 2017

All crap grinders. Dont waste money.

The kuissential even grind @$25 is better than all of these, only worthwhile budget grinder, and thats solely due to price.

Writer apparently never heard of REAL quality handgrinders.

Orphan expresso Lido3 or commandante etc.

Reply
    Alex - June 25, 2017

    Hey Mike,

    Thanks for your kind words 🙂

    Maybe your definition of crap is different to mine. I don’t think these are all crap grinders. Have you personally tried each of them? Why do you think they are so crap? I’d like to know your logic.

    The Kuissential Even Grind – Looks to me like an exact copy of the Hario Skerton grinder. Yes, it may be a few bucks cheaper, but in the event something broke, I’d trust Hario to replace it. Besides, if you want the cheapest version of the Hario, why not get the cheapest copy and get by with this one?

    I agree with you on one thing: The Lido 3 and Commandante are kick arse grinders. But at $200-$250+ a pop? I’d prefer the HandGround at less than half the price. They do the same thing; grind coffee with your hand.

    P.s – It’s espresso, not eXpresso 🙂

    Reply
    Barb G - November 21, 2017

    I found the article very helpful overall.

    Just to point out the obvious….the title of the article is the best four manual grinders “in his opinion”. You obviously don’t agree with his opinion, which is your opinion…..I’d take Alex’s opinion over yours because he has tried the 4 grinders in question and provides pros and cons for each. All you can say it’s “crap” but provide no real reason other than price… If you know so much about grinders why don’t you write your own article?

    Reply
    LUL3D - March 23, 2018

    @Mike stop talking out your ass. Provide sufficient info about why all of them are crap or shut up.

    Reply
Harry - September 2, 2017

Thanks for doing the hard yards for me, but I think I’ll stick with my 70 year old Dienes for the foreseeable future 😀

Reply
Michelle - October 15, 2017

This is a very thorough review! Brilliant! Thank you! I’ve had a hard time finding the right burr grinder on amazon because I don’t want to waist time on a bad grinder. I think I’m going to choose the Hario ceramic one!

Reply
Zennie - October 17, 2017

Thank you for the very informative write-up about pour overs! And yes, I must agree with finding the right grinder. Depending on how you need your coffee to be and on your financial capacity unless you’re loaded . So I bought a Hario, the column mill. It’s ceramic burr and I chose it because I like how it looks. Made of wood. It cute but not as easy as it looks (I mean its manual so it takes a lot of effort but fun, and produces fine grind! Perfect for pour over, and for a coarse grind I just have to grind counterclockwise. Hario And affordable.

Reply
Troy Smith - November 3, 2017

Thanks for the review. One thing i don’t see mentioned is a comparison of how fast the different grinders can process a given quantity of beans. I bought a small grinder similar to the Porlex on Amazon and have been a bit disappointed on two counts. First, it takes a long time to grind coffee. Grinding to a finer grade, for more than one cup of coffee takes forever! Also, the shaft is not strongly and precisely supported, so the burr is not kept perfectly centered and it can produce inconsistent sizes of grinds.

Anyway, my main question is for a comparison of how long it takes to grind a certain amount of coffee with each grinder.

Thanks!

Reply
Watson - November 4, 2017

I am confuse which one to buy.
I want in good budget. What you suggest?

Reply
Tony - January 6, 2018

Thank you so very much for the review and video and for taking the time to compare and provide your personal opinion. You did All the hard work for us! I’ve read through the reviews on Amazon and sometimes it’s hard to determine who is giving an honest review. I appreciate your pros and cons and overview of application. Based in your review I’ll be making a couple of purchases. Would you consider doing a follow up review with regards to durability.

Reply
Morten Vinkel - March 9, 2018

I tried them all. And you cant compare them too any of the better grinders on the market. I wouldnt even use them on my vacations. It is not true that grinders just grind coffee. If you want a Nice and smooth taste, you need grind consistency, and than you need to pay a bit more. But you can’t do a test and than Call handground the Best grinder, when you leave all the best grinders out. I hope that nobody listens to you because if they do, they are loosing there money on crap when they could have prober quality.

Buy orphan espresso, madebyknock, comandante, hiku, kinu or similar.

Reply
    Alex - July 4, 2018

    Thanks for your comment Morten.

    I agree – the list of grinders you mentioned are good…

    …and I’m going to include a few of them in this article soon…

    …BUT, why pay almost $400 for a hand grinder!!??? I think you’re overpaying.

    These grinders do a good enough job. AND, you can pair them with a coffee sifter like the kruve sifter if you really want to take it to the n’th level with your grinds.

    Reply
Bluu - April 27, 2018

What about: https://helor-coffee.com/101/ ?

By far the BEST out there ! Simply perfect.
(not affiliated with them, just a very happy owner of that model!!)
(and I’ve also previously owned the Handground (very good for french press and coarser grinds but simply takes forever for espresso…) and the Hario Skerton (not too bad as a first grinder, especially at that price, but way too unconsistent grounds!))

Reply
    Alex - July 4, 2018

    Hey Bluu,

    That sure does look good – and I’m going to revise this page soon as there are quite a few new grinders like this one that are worthy of a review.

    BUT…I’m not sure I agree with that price. Why not save yourself $150 and get the Porlex mini?

    Reply
WileyCoyote - May 27, 2018

Thanks for your very helpful review, and I love your espresso recipe for the aero press. You’ve helped me narrow down some choices and I’ll probably try the porlex mini. The size and form factor appeal to me, and I like the idea that the number of clicks can help you reproduce results when adjusting the grind. Did you get a chance to test any of the other Porlex grinders?

Reply
ibnu - June 11, 2018

i own a hario ceramic slim grinder (MSS-1B) which is the little brother for the hario skerton. it’s burr is made of ceramic, while the body is made from plastic.
IMHO, its cheaper, its ergonomic, lightweight, having a modest size, and since its made of plastic, i don’t have fear of glass hazard or breaking when my (traveling) bag bumps or fell down.
in comparison i have tried the porlex mini for some time, but having a sweaty hand vs. stainless steel with such diameter makes it uncomfortable, and my hand ache for having to grip it firmly, although it is equipped with the rubber sleeve to mend that.
in my opinion, for traveling throw it in your bag, its a good deal.
the cons is that it need quite some time to make fine grind for espresso, turkish, or using the fellow prismo on the aeropress.

Reply
    Alex - July 4, 2018

    Hey Ibnu – I’ve tried the hario slim too and I do agree, its more comfortable. I also own the porlex mini which I use for travel. I find its the most compact and its made very very well. In terms of your comment on the sore hands…I think you’ll be ok as long as the coffee tastes good 🙂

    Reply
Jody J - June 13, 2018

I Really appreciate your Reviews on the Manual Coffee Grinders. I’ve literally been pulling my hair out as to which one to choose. I’m a bona’fide Frappe’ and Iced Coffee Drinker. Never Hot! I’ve got a Coffee Press. That is my “Cold brew” method. 16-24 hours of course grind, sitting on the counter, for my Cold Brew! (I haven’t done this yet, Did pick up a very good Coffee Press for $39.99. Did buy a set of four / 28 oz. Mason jar Twist, and .. bought the wide-mouth “lids & straw” set to screw on them. Now? WHICH Burr Manual Coffee Grinder! You Talked, I Listened. I Want that Bold, Chocolaty taste from a Good Coffee Bean with natural oils intact. My grind will Always be a Course Grind. I’m not rich my no means, (S.S.I.) but? I Got to start Every day off With my Frappe’ or I’m not moving! 🙂 (#1 Caramel #2 Mocha)
Handground Precision .. MY CHOICE! Thank you very much. I Was going with the Hario, I’ve heard many a review on that one. They Do last a Long time on a daily basis, and a couple I know, are just now having to get their Second one. I Don’t know what grind they use but Mine will Always be the Course for Cold Brew. Again? Thank you very much as I’m sure you definitely know and love your brew like I do.

Reply
    Alex - July 4, 2018

    Thanks Jody – I’m glad you’re enjoying the Handground too. Its definitely working for me 🙂

    Reply
Chris Mackintosh - July 3, 2018

I purchased the HandGround Coffee Grinder after reading this and it broke after 14 days. The grinder gearbox completely failed and sent metal flakes into the coffee beans and grind. They won’t take the grinder back or issue a refund because it’s “used”.

Reply
    Alex - July 4, 2018

    Oh thats definitley not something to be happy about. I will get in contact with Handground and see if I can get them to be a little more fair

    Reply

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