Hario Skerton Pro Ceramic Coffee Mill Review
A few years back, I decided that I wanted to be a professional skier. Then I looked at the start-up cost and promptly gave up. Plenty of people think that digging into the world of high-quality, home-brewed coffee may be just the same -too expensive to be worth it.
So here comes the good news: great coffee doesn’t have to cost a fortune. There are plenty of budget-friendly options from brewing methods to coffee grinders, so take a deep breath.
Today we are going to be reviewing one of the top economically efficient manual coffee grinders, the Hario Skerton Pro. As Hario’s newest hand grinder, the Hario Skerton Pro has updated features designed to help you grind more consistently and efficiently.
SUMMARY: The Hario Skerton Pro
Very consistent, I was very impressed.– Gail, Seattle Coffee Gear
The Hario Skerton Pro review
The Skerton Pro is Hario’s response to user feedback from the Skerton and Skerton Plus, and adds an impressive level of innovation and improvement. Still a budget-friendly option, the Skerton Pro is an easy-to-handle grinder that can grind for nearly every different brew of coffee. While it definitely out-competes its Hario predecessors, the grind consistency when grinding more coarsely is still not on par with other comparable top grinders.
Grind Consistency – 4/5
In designing the Skerton Pro, the engineers at Hario set out to solve the issues with inconsistent grinds in the earlier iterations of the Skerton hand grinder. Previously, users reported that the grind consistency actually decreased as the grind size got larger, making it hard to brew french press and cold brew coffee.
The new Skerton Pro includes a stabilizing shaft and a lower burr spring to keep the burrs from wobbling as you grind, giving you a more precise and consistent final product.
The Skerton Pro includes improvements in grind consistency and ergonomics.
While this innovation certainly helps, the coarse grinds produced by the Skerton Pro are still not as uniform as we would like, so if french press or cold brew is your go-to, you may need to look elsewhere.
That being said, the Hario Skerton Pro has a vast array of grind settings, from the finest to the coarsest grinds. There are few grinders on the market that can produce a passable grind both for turkish coffee and french press, so hats off to the folks at Hario.
To change between grind settings, simply unscrew the grind catcher and turn the dial underneath the burrs. The different grind settings are marked by clicks as you turn the knob, a feature that allows you to return to the same grind setting time and time again.
Burr Quality – 4/5
Hario chose to use ceramic conical burrs in the Skerton Pro, rather than the steel alternative. The choice of ceramic versus steel burrs is multi-faceted, and there are plenty of excellent grinders in both camps.
One advantage of ceramic burrs is that they remain cool and thus do not alter the natural oils and aromas of the coffee as you grind it. A steel burr grinder, on the other hand, typically requires either a cooling system or intermittent grinding with long breaks to keep the burrs from overheating your beans. This is also true of conical as opposed to flat burrs. (1)
As [conical burr grinders] have a larger surface area [than flat burr grinders] these grinders don’t need to rotate as quickly to produce the same volume of grinds. Fewer rotations means less friction, less friction means less heat transferred to the grinds…[so] that the volatile oils in your coffee don’t start evaporating. The end result? You get more flavour in your cup.
Ceramic burrs are as sharp and as durable as steel burrs, though they are more brittle and prone to chipping, so make sure there are no little pebbles in your beans before you start to grind. Steel burrs are still a great option and may be preferable for coffee drinkers who are frequently on the road, as this burr will be more resilient and less likely to dent if it bumps around in a suitcase or backpack.
It is worth noting, that a powerful set of ceramic burrs like the one featured in this grinder is hard to come by at this price, another advantage of the Skerton Pro. That being said, we wish Skerton did more to stabilize the burrs to produce a more consistent grind.
Build Quality – 5/5
In classic Hario style, the Skerton Pro’s hopper is made from heavy-duty plastic and the grind hopper is Hario’s famous heat-proof glass. The glass grind catcher also comes with an airtight lid for bean storage.
One of the build-related improvements Hario made with the Skerton Pro was to change the design of the handle to make grinding smoother and gentler. (2)
[Unlike the old screw-on handle] now they’ve made it with a slick little dial that you pop on and off. It’s super easy and it packs away lighter, too. The sleeker handle is also a lot easier to turn.
Another build enhancement, Hario added a no-slip silicone grip to the grinder so that it is easier to hold steady as you turn the handle. This is particularly helpful when grinding on some of the finer settings, which definitely require a bit of muscle.
The Skerton Pro topper can be screwed onto any standard mason jar.
We also really like the Skerton Pro’s compatibility with alternative grind catchers. Simply screw on any mason jar to the bottom of the grinder as a substitute for the Hario heat-proof glass piece.
Capacity – 5/5
The 100g hopper on the Skerton Pro makes it easy to grind for 4+ cups of coffee or batch brews. While finer grind brews do not require tons of grounds, brews that use coarser grinds like french press and cold brew need a large batch of grinds to achieve optimal flavor.
With the Skerton Pro, not only can you grind coarse enough for cold brew, but thanks to the large capacity, you can do so without having to refill the hopper over and over again.
Portability – 4/5
Easy to disassemble and pack up, this grinder is definitely travel-friendly. It is quite lightweight given its large capacity, and the handle can be removed and packed separately. (2)
If you’re a road-tripper, a camper, or just getting started on making good coffee at home, this is the grinder for you.
The grinder has a sturdy plastic hopper, but the fragility of the glass grind catcher definitely requires extra care and caution. So here is our solution:
Rather than wrapping the glass grind catcher in socks and crossing your fingers it doesn’t break,buy a plastic mason jar that you can take with you as your travel grind catcher.
Maintenance – 5/5
The Skerton Pro is a durable grinder and is quite easy to maintain. To give your Skerton Pro a full cleaning, start disassembly by removing the swivel arm. Then you can unscrew the burrs but take care–these are sharp and can damage the glass grind catcher if they fall.
We recommend using a dry brush to remove old grounds from the burrs rather than wetting them or using soap.
Do Not Buy the Hario Skerton Pro If…
You are a religious french press or cold brew drinker – As we discussed, in this latest edition of the Skerton hand grinder, Hario sought to address issues with inconsistencies in the larger grind settings. Though the grind of the Skerton Pro is certainly more precise and consistent than before, we still are not 100% satisfied with the coarsest grinds. While you can still brew a good french press with the Skerton Pro, if you are looking for great, we suggest you try something else. Some more consistent options with similar capacities include the HandGround Precision Grinder and the OR Lido 3, check them out and see if they are for you!
You want a totally minimalist coffee grinder – Maybe you are a camper, travel for work, or are a digital nomad like many of us here at HomeGrounds, so you want something super light and minimalist. No fuss, no frills, just a grinder to get the job done so you can get reliably delicious coffee, no matter where you are. We get it. The Skerton is still a bit bulky to be traveling with all the time, so you may want to consider something like the Porlex Mini, which we rated quite highly here. The Hario Slim Mill and the Comandante, which we also reviewed in this post, also make great choices. All of these options come with a much smaller capacity than the Skerton Pro, but are much lighter and easier to pack away for travel.
For more of an in-depth overview of the best hand coffee grinders on the market, here’s where we listed and reviewed our other picks. While you’re at it, why not check out our comprehensive run-down on the electric models as well?
Just because you want to take the inexpensive approach to fine coffee doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality.
While the Hario Skerton Pro coffee grinder requires a bit of extra elbow grease and skews towards a bit of inconsistency in the coarser grinds, it still delivers high-quality grinds for a wide variety of brew styles. It is a great deal for such a travel-friendly grinder with top-notch burrs and a high hopper capacity.
The Hario Skerton is not the cheapest hand grinder on the market, but it is the most budget-friendly grinder of its size. The closest comparably grinder that we would recommend is the Javapress Manual Grinder, which has a capacity of just 40g and costs around $25.
Be warned, the less-expensive grinders are going to come with more challenges in terms of the ease of use, material quality, and grind consistency.
Grinding with the Hario Skerton Pro can be a slightly tedious process, as with any hand grinder. However, the time you spend turning the handle, assuming you have filled the hopper to capacity, largely depends on the grind size you are trying to achieve. Grinding coarsely is going to be a smoother and more expedient process than grinding for a fine espresso.
Speaking about the Skerton Pro, anyone who has used the Skerton original or Plus will notice a reduction in grind time given the improvements in the handle and in burr stabilization.
Coarsely ground coffee is best for french press for two primary reasons. The first, is that the larger particles will not pass through the metal mesh plungerof the french press, keeping you from drinking silty coffee. Reason number two is that coarse coffee reduces the risk of getting over-extracted, bitter coffee.
- Bicknell, B. (2018, September 25). Grinding at home. Retrieved from https://www.fivesenses.com.au/blog/grinding-at-home/
- McWilliam, A. (2018, April 6). Hario Skerton Pro Grinder Review. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-Qf9ttgzyc