Should You Buy The Comandante C40 MK3 Hand Coffee Grinder?
Are you tired of wobbly burrs? Inaccurate grind settings? Flimsy construction? Unnecessary emails from your boss?
Well Comandante, the German manufacturer of world-class grinders, has the solutions. For everything, that is, except your crowded inbox.
We’ve reviewed the Comandante C40 MKIII Nitro Burr Hand Grinder, a grinder that can convince even the most stubborn coffee brewers, that hand grinding is the way to go. Keep reading if it’s the way you want to go.
SUMMARY: The Comandante Nitro Burr Hand Coffee Grinder
- High-quality, well-engineered grinding mechanism
- Consistent and precise grind adjustment
- Stylish and portable
Offering an exceptional grind quality and ergonomic design, the Comandante C40 MKIII is not only pleasant to use but could easily pass as a modern work of art.– Prima Coffee
the Comandante grinder Review
We took a deep look into the Comandante grinder to see how it held up in more than just the grinding department. Sure, we looked at grinding consistency, but also looked at its build quality, its capacity, and a few other things that will help you decide if it’s the right choice for you. Here’s how we rated it, overall:
Grind Consistency – 5/5
The grind capacity on the Comandante hand grinder is nothing short of impressive. This grinder uses a stepped grind adjustment system that can grind fine enough for Turkish coffee and coarse enough for french press. It’s even great for pour over!
The Comandante provides more than enough accuracy and choice for even the pickiest of coffee drinkers.
The grinds all come out beautifully uniform and thanks to updates on this latest MKIII, the act of grinder is smoother and faster than it was with the MKII.
While expert baristas grinding for espresso may want a more precisely adjustable grinder, the Comandante provides more than enough accuracy and choice for even the pickiest of coffee drinkers.
To adjust the grind, simply unscrew the grinds catcher and turn the knob on the bottom of the grinding mechanism. Another great feature of the Comandante is how the grind setting stays consistent even when you disassemble and reassemble the grinder. This way, you can give your grinder a thorough cleaning without losing that sweet spot on your grind settings.
Burr Quality – 5/5
The burrs on the Comandante are exceptionally sharp and truly wobble-proof. The centre shaft of the grinder is set on double-axle bearings to hold the burrs in place so that the grind is uniform and your coffee tastes great. (1)
There is no burr float in [the Comandante]. There is no play in it, this thing is solid.
The conical burrs on this hand grinder are small yet mighty, and can really quickly cut through the coffee thanks to their impeccable sharpness. It is worth saying that Comandante processes and refines the burrs on their hand grinders more than perhaps any other competitor. The investment in developing and fine-tuning the burrs to perfection is significant so that you have a set of top notch, durable burrs.
Build Quality – 5/5
In terms of build quality, Comandante may just be the best hand grinder out there. With both metal and wood options for the body of the grinder, it has a weight to it that let’s users know it is built well. (1)
The handle attaches easily to the top of the grinder and features a wooden knob on the end, made 100% from oak from Germany’s Black Forest. The combination of precise manufacturing and the hand-made, artisanal features is a great example of how Comandante is bringing the old-fashioned hand grinding method into the 21st century with style.
Capacity – 4/5
This hand grinder is among the smaller options available, comparable with the Hario Slim Mill and even the Porlex. However, despite its similarities in terms of size, the Comandante outperforms both these competitors in terms of grinding capacity.
The Comandante C40 MKIII has an impressively large hopper for its size.
The Comandante C40 MKIII can grind up to 40g of coffee, producing about 4-6 cups, depending on your preferences. While this is certainly a less ideal grinder for someone who is consistently grinding enough coffee for 7-8 cups at a time, it is a remarkably large capacity given the grinder’s compact nature.
Portability – 4.5 Stars
As we just mentioned, the Comandante C40 MKIII is a very compact hand grinder. Its small size makes it an overall quite portable grinding tool, though there are a few limitations. Firstly, while being lightweight compared to large capacity grinders like the ROK Aluminium Grinder, it is heavier than other hand coffee grinders built for travel.
That being said, the Comandante weighs only 740g, a weight pretty easily accommodated in a backpack or suitcase; as long as you plan ahead when packing for air travel. The second limitation is the glass grinds catcher, which is naturally more fragile than the steel and wooden elements of the grinder. Take care when packing the glass piece and you should be fine.
Maintenance – 5/5
Maintaining the Comandante C4 MKIII is easy! Thanks to the simple elegance of the grinder, disassembling it is no problem. As with similar manual hand grinders, we recommend taking a soft brush to your burrs every month or so to clean out any old coffee grounds that may be stuck there.
Do Not Buy the Comandante C40 MKIII Hand Grinder If…
You regularly grind coffee for more than 6 cups at a time. As we mentioned, the Comandante has an exceptional capacity for its size, but it still can’t rival those of larger grinders like the HandGround (100g) and Lido 3 (70g).
You need a low-cost grinder. While this grinder is many things, cheap is not one of them. Though we think the Comandante C40 MKIII is a great investment in the quality of your daily coffee and therefore well worth the money, only you can decide if you can handle the high price tag. For a still good but less expensive manual grinder, we recommend the Hario Skerton. The Timemore Slim Plus is also good and costs less than half of what you’d pay for the C40. You can also check out the Timemore Chestnut C2.
The Comandante C40 MKIII Coffee Grinder is a masterpiece. With diverse and beautifully consistent grind settings, extra sharp and well-stabilized burrs, and a high-quality body, we can’t think of much negative to say about this grinder apart from the price.
While we hope that Comandante finds a way to bring the price down in the future, we maintain that this grinder is a solid investment in great coffee every day, it’s tough to put a price on that.
Yes, the user manuals do come in English! If you recently bought a Comandante grinder and don’t speak German, you may be a bit bewildered to find an all-German instruction manual, but fear not. You can access the official Comandante English-language user manual on their website. (2)
While there is not a fixed warranty on the C40 MKIII, all Comandante grinders were built to last. If you find that your grinder is not working as it should and/or is not holding up to the normal wear and tear of regular grinding, get in touch with your local distributor or with Comandante. According to your specific needs, the team can send you replacement parts or a new grinder. (3)
The Comandante C40 MKIII has a total of 35 different grind settings that are varied enough to brew both excellent turkish coffee and delicious cold brew. To give you a better idea of the brews associated with the different grind settings, check out Comandante’s official recommendation.
– 5–10 Clicks for Ibrik.
– 10–15 Clicks for Espresso.
– 15–20 Clicks for a Bialetti or stovetop coffee pot.
– 22–32 Clicks for a pour over filter coffee (depending on dose and brewer).
– 25-30 Clicks for Cupping and French Press.
– 30–35 Clicks for a Karlsbad Coffee Maker.
– Aeropress? Well, that depends on your recipe
- Baca, C. (2017, December 6). Comandante Hand Crank Grinder Unboxing | Will it Make Espresso? | Real Chris Baca. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyZB8U0EJlg
- Comandante. (n.d.). English User Manual: C40 Nitro Blade. Retrieved from https://www.comandantegrinder.com/downloads/c40_manual_EN.pdf
- Frequently Asked Questions. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.comandantegrinder.com/faq.html