The HandGround Precision Manual Coffee Grinder Review
If you are going to do something, do it well. That was one of my grandfather’s favorite advice one-liners, and it’s pretty darn good.
While there is plenty to be said for being a Jack-Of-All-Trades, doing a myriad of different things can leave you with mediocrity across the board, rather than excellence in one area. Enter Hand Ground, a coffee equipment company that makes one manual coffee grinder and that’s it! Talk about focused excellence…
Today we are reviewing the HandGround Precision Coffee Grinder, a product developed through the collaboration and crowdfunding of coffee enthusiasts around the world. (1)
SUMMARY: The HandGround
Simple. Durable. Consistent.– Otten Coffee
The HandGround Precision Coffee Grinder in a Nutshell
Since you are here with us, you are either interested in grinding your beans by hand, or already do so and are looking to upgrade or replace your grinder. By opting for a manual grinder, you are choosing the path of slightly more effort, but who says that it can’t be fun?
The HandGround Precision Grinder is most certainly a fun grinding companion, making the motion of grinding smooth and easy while adding a stylish touch to your kitchen or travel pack. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and see what makes this grinder so great.
Grind Consistency (4/5)
Before we can discuss how the grinder handles, how it looks, and how easy it is to maintain, we have to answer the most pressing question of all: how does it grind?
With 15 different grind settings and sturdy, wobble-proof, 40mm alumina ceramic burrs, the HandGround manual coffee grinder produces precise and consistent results. We also love how clearly the grind sizes are marked, so it is easy to repeat a grind without too much guesswork.
The diversity of the grind size options means that you can grind coffee for any brew you like, with the exception of Turkish Coffee.
Unlike many of the competing manual grinders on the market, the burrs of the HandGround grinder do not wobble as you turn the handle. The impressive triple-mounted axle keeps the burrs from moving side to side as you grind and therefore produces an incredibly consistent grind. (1)
“Most manual burr grinders on the market offer little consistency from grind-to-grind. The root of this consistency problem has notoriously been an unstable axle that allows the inner burr, which is attached to one end of the axle, to wiggle while grinding.”
The wobbly-burr epidemic in the world of coffee grinders was an issue that the HandGround Team set out to fix, and they did a great job of it. While the HandGround certainly out-competes plenty of alternatives in grind consistency, it still falls short of the professional precision of the Lido 3 and the Comandante.
Burr Quality (3/5)
Although there are plenty of features and characteristics to consider when evaluating the value of a hand grinder, it really all comes down to the burrs. As we mentioned, the HandGround is equipped with stunning 40mm alumina ceramic burrs that are stabilized by an impressive triple-mounted axle to reduce wobble.
The choice of ceramic over steel burrs can really be understood as the choice between two excellent options, each coming with slight trade offs. While steel burrs are less brittle and prone to cracking, ceramic burrs are known for holding their edge for nearly twice the time of steel burrs.
The ceramic burrs on this grinder seem great on face value, but after a few months of heavy use, there is a good chance they will start causing you issues. Well, that was our experience after all. You can get replacements, but should you really have to spend more money? hmm.
Build Quality (4/5)
The real genius behind the HandGround Precision Grinder is the ingenuity of the over 5,000 people who have contributed ideas and support to the creation of the grinder. (2) With input from so many people ranging from home brewers to national champion baristas, the grinder was designed to obliterate all the flaws and failures of other grinders on the market.
Several of the more visible changes have to do with altering the build and design of the grinder. For instance, rather than placing the handle on the top of the grinder, as is typical for hand grinders, the HandGround’s handle is located on the side, making it more ergonomically sound and far easier to grind. (1)
“The beauty of a side-mounted handle is not only that it makes grinding easier and more comfortable, but also that it speeds up the grinding process by making it easier to grind at a higher speed.”
The smooth turn of the handle and the wiggle-proof burrs guarantee an easy grind that doesn’t make you break a sweat first thing in the morning.
We also really like the easily adjustable and, equally-as-important, marked grind settings. To adjust the grind size, you simply turn the dial located where the catch container attaches to the grinding chamber to select your desired grind size. No more unscrewing small pieces, adjusting them, then screwing them back on and hoping for the best.
Changing between the many grind settings is a breeze.
Finally, we would be remiss not to talk about the no-slip grip pad on the bottom that keeps you from exerting energy simply holding the grinder in place while you use it. Aside from a big improvement in terms of being user-friendly, we also count this grip pad as a safety feature, given that it keeps the grinder from slipping off the counter.
Where/why it loses points? The issues with the burrs, as noted above.
An hourglass-shaped, sleek, portable grinder with a 100g hopper capacity, impossible! Not for the HandGround. This small-but-mighty grinder can produce enough coffee for 4+ cups at a time, perfect for entertaining, or grinding coffee to last you for a few days.
This grinder falls within the category of portable grinders, but with some limitations. As a large capacity grinder, is is naturally larger and heavier than the ultra-light, 20g capacity grinders on the market. Given the more delicate ceramic burrs and the fragility of the glass in the design, it is less travel-friendly than we would like. However, this grinder is still narrow and light enough to travel with from time to time, provided you pack it carefully.
Cleaning coffee grinders, whether manual or electric, is generally a bit of a chore. You need to disassemble the grinder and carefully clean the parts before reassembling so that you can continue using it.
Knowing the tendencies towards annoying, time consuming maintenance, we can’t help but feel like Mary Poppins had something to do with the design of the HandGround Precision Grinder.
Simple to disassemble, maintenance for your HandGround Precision Grinder is stress-free.
The HandGround grinder is remarkably easy to clean and requires no special tools to do so. To disassemble it, just unscrew the inner burr and slide it out. You can then run warm water over the burr and use a brush to clean off any coffee residue, before reassembling it. It is as simple as that!
Though it may go without saying, the HandGround grinder cannot be washed in a dishwasher, so stick with hand washing and it is sure to last you quite a while. For more information about correctly cleaning your burr grinder, head over to our how-to.
Do Not Buy the HandGround Precision Hand Grinder If…
You are looking for a grinder to be your ultimate travel companion
As we discussed earlier, the HandGround can be taken on-the-go, but it is quite a bit bulkier and heavier than true-to-form travel grinders. If you travel often and take your coffee brewing tools on the go, we would recommend checking out the ultra-portable options like the Porlex Mini Mill, Hario Slim, and the Comandante.
You need a more budget-friendly option
While we maintain that the HandGround is a great deal for its level of nuance, innovation, and class, we understand that it is not in everyone’s ideal price range. There are several comparable alternatives that are a little easier on your wallet, like the original Hario Skerton Hand Grinder and its updated iterations, the Skerton Plus and Skerton Pro. These all produce grinds with comparable consistency at a lower price.
You are searching for a different aesthetic to compliment the rest of your coffee
So it’s all about the looks? No shame! There are really wonderful hand grinders that can blend well with different kitchen styles. The HandGround comes in white, black, and nickel accent colors, giving you several stylish options. If none of them are quite right, you may check out the Zassenhaus Santiago Coffee Mill, a classic German grinder that comes in several beautiful wood finishes.
The HandGround Precision Manual Coffee Grinder is great for its smooth grind, consistency, quality materials, and style….It just loses points for the recent issues with the burrs. See the reviews on Amazon for more information. Though we do think it is a bit bulkier than some may prefer, this grinder is still lightweight enough to take on the road.
Yes, you can order new parts directly through the HandGround website (3.) The company has made every different part of their Precision Hand Grinder available for order so that you can fix your grinder at home, should you have any trouble.
Yes, HandGround provides a 1 year full-service warranty for the grinder that includes “unlimited technical and post-purchase support, complimentary replacement service and full coverage if your product is defective.” (4)
The HandGround Precision Manual Coffee Grinder weighs 789 grams, or about 1.75 pounds. As we said before, the portability of this grinder is certainly diminished by its hefty build, but coming in under a kilogram still isn’t too shabby.
- HandGround. (2016, April 23). Best Manual Coffee Grinder: A Quest By Thousands Of Coffee Enthusiasts. Retrieved from https://medium.com/@HandGround/best-manual-coffee-grinder-a-quest-by-thousands-of-coffee-enthusiasts-6c8d3578767f
- Collaborative Product Development: Team HandGround. (n.d.) Retrieved from https://handground.com/team-handground.
- Replacement Parts. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://store.handground.com/collections/replacement-parts
- Handground Warranty. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://handground.com/warranty