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Best Manual Coffee Grinder: Reviews and Buying Guide (2021)

If you love to drink the freshest tasting coffee at home and on the go, then it goes without saying you need to grind your own coffee beans. The best manual coffee grinder is the perfect choice for travel and home if you don’t want to invest in an electric coffee grinder.

If you’re in the market for the best hand coffee grinder, you’ve come to the right place!  In our manual coffee grinder reviews I explain the various features to look for and compare some of the best manual coffee grinders on the market.

So, whether you’re after the best travel coffee grinder, the best coffee grinder for Aeropress or just the best budget manual coffee grinder, I have no doubt you will find a hand grinder that’s perfect for you in this guide.

>> Click here to see the best hand burr coffee grinder now

Best Manual Coffee Grinder Comparison

Below is a comparison of the top rated manual coffee grinders on the market to suit a range of circumstances.

Whether you are looking for the best hand crank coffee grinder for home or the best coffee grinder for travel, we are confident you will find your best option in this list. 

Click the product name to check the price or read on for our detailed hand coffee grinder reviews. 

Our Top Pick For The Best Hand Burr Grinder

Our top recommendation for the best manual coffee grinder is the 1Zpresso Q2 Mini Slim.

1Zpresso Q2 Mini Slim Travel Grinder

1Zpresso offer the best combination of quality, practicality and portability. 

Whether you are looking for a small hand grinder for home, the office or camping, this 1Zpresso hand grinder is a great choice. 

SEE IT HERE

Why Choose A Hand Coffee Grinder?

A manual hand coffee grinder may not be suitable for everyone but they have some definite advantages.

Manual coffee mills are less expensive. If you want to try your hand at coffee grinding, but don’t want to make a huge investment, cheap hand grinders are a great place to start.

For those living in close quarters, coffee hand grinders are a practical choice. Many electric grinders will wake the deepest sleeper. With a manual hand grinder you can make that cuppa without waking the household. That is until they smell the coffee.

Best of all, a coffee hand grinder is portable. Do you love to drink coffee when camping, road tripping, backpacking, or setting off for a weekend trip to the beach? Throw the hand crank coffee grinder in your luggage to create the perfect brew, wherever you are.

True coffee aficionados will tell you hand cranked coffee grinders deliver a higher quality grind as there is no heat involved. Why is heat bad? The heat generated grinding your beans can cause the delicate oils and aromas to dissolve before you even start brewing.

Lastly, some people just enjoy the ritual of grinding their own beans. It becomes a much loved part of the coffee making process.

What Makes A Good Hand Crank Burr Grinder

Below we outline some of the key considerations when choosing a manual coffee grinder. If you would prefer to skip straight to the detailed reviews, you can skip straight to them here.

Consistency

Grind consistency is an important factor when buying a handheld coffee grinder.

If you are a fan of Pour Over or French Press coffee, look for a grinder that can produce consistent coarse grinds with fewer fines.

Size And Capacity

Hand mill coffee grinders vary in size. This may not be important if it stays on the kitchen bench. But if you are looking for a portable hand grinder, size is an important consideration.

Hand operated coffee grinder capacity also varies. If you regularly make coffee for more than 1 or 2 people, pay attention to the capacity of the chamber. 

A 20g chamber is sufficient for two cups of coffee, a 100 gram capacity will make enough for 6 – 8 people.

Quality Of Materials

Most manual coffee bean grinders are robust little devices, but there are differences in material quality.

The best manual grinders will minimize the use of plastic, and focus on using stainless steel, glass and ceramic materials.

Note stainless steel is more durable than glass. Ceramic is heavier than either glass or stainless steel.

Consider how you will use the handheld grinder to decide which material suits you best. If you plan to use it when you travel, you will worry less with a stainless steel grinder.

The best hand held coffee grinder will use either ceramic or steel burrs. Don’t get anywhere near a hand held coffee grinder with steel blades.

Man holding hand mill grinder

Grind Adjustment

This is a point of differentiation amongst manual coffee grinders.

  • Some manual burr grinders have numbers on the side to indicate the grind setting.
  • Others have a system of clicks that you need to remember.
  • Others have no clicks or numbers at all.

The most practical hand coffee grinders are those with a numbered grind setting that is easy to access and read. The next best is an easily adjustable click system.

Ease Of Use

Traditionally the crank is located on top of the grinder. Depending on the quality of the burrs, they can be hard to turn.

Some models now position the crank on the side of the unit. I personally love this feature, but it is a hotly contested topic and comes down to personal preference.

Speed To Grind

Obviously a small hand held grinder is going to grind your beans more slowly than an electric grinder.

Most manual coffee mills will take around 30-60 seconds to grind enough beans for a single cup of coffee on a coarse grind setting.

Higher quality components usually means a faster grind speed, so if a faster grind is what you are looking for, pay attention to the quality of the burr grinder components.

Price

There are a number of high end manual grinders on the market. We include a couple in our reviews below as they are top of the range and a great option for those with the budget.

But the reality is for most regular coffee drinkers there is no need to spend huge amounts of money on the best handheld coffee grinder on the market.

We think you are often better off saving your cash and spending it on the best coffee beans instead!

Closeup of hand crank coffee mill

When Is A Manual Coffee Mill The Wrong Choice?

Finally, whilst we do love a manual burr grinder, there are some instances where it isn’t a practical choice:

If you only drink espresso coffee each day. The finer the grind, the longer it takes in a manual coffee grinder.

Manually grinding coffee beans does require a little upper arm work. If you have arthritis, struggle to grip small handles, or just don’t like the idea of a mini work out in the morning, a manual coffee grinder may not be a practical choice.

If you regularly brew coffee for 3 to 4 people, or have a coffee maker that requires a large quantity of beans, you may find yourself rotating the manual coffee grinder more often than you would like.

If any of these examples are your circumstance, an electric coffee grinder is a much better choice. Click here to see our favourite electric burr grinder for home.

Best Hand Coffee Grinder Reviews

1. Hario Skerton Pro Review

Hario Skerton Pro Ceramic Coffee Mill

Hario coffee grinders are one of the most popular brands in the market and for good reason. The Hario manual coffee grinder is ergonomic and versatile.

While the Skerton Plus has been on the market for a while, it is the latest release, the Pro, which we think takes the title of best manual burr coffee grinder.

The new Pro model has the same slip free base, ceramic conical burrs and lightweight design as the Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill Skerton Plus. The large 100g chamber makes it the best manual coffee grinder for French Press coffee in our list.

The Hario Skerton Pro is however a little more expensive than the Hario Skerton Plus but it has some significant enhancements including:

  • Stabilising plate to reduce burr wobble (one of the biggest issues with the standard model).
  • Much improved method for adjusting the grind size.

The Hario Skerton Pro is easy to clean, the borosilicate glass is extremely durable and the chamber comes with a lid to store any extra coffee grounds or beans.

Note that at 7.6 inches tall and 1.46 pounds this ceramic hand coffee grinder is not as compact as others on the list, but with such a large capacity, this Hario hand grinder has plenty of benefits too. 

Pros

Large capacity

Sturdy glass chamber

Consistent grind

Cons

Plastic hopper

Heavier than others on our list

No grind markers

Perhaps the most unique feature is that the grinder can be screwed onto a standard mason jar. So if you are looking for a mason jar coffee grinder or you just want to leave the chamber at home when you go camping, this versatility is unique amongst all the grinders on our list.

Overall we think this Hario hand coffee grinder is one of the best portable coffee grinder options that delivers a good combination of quality, consistency of grind and functionality. 

>> Click here to check the price and read more reviews

2. Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder Review

Best Travel Coffee Grinder

Porlex Mini Coffee Grinder

The Porlex Mini hand grinder is a small manual coffee grinder. At 5.1 inches tall and weighing only 10.4 oz it is in fact the smallest coffee grinder on our list.

This stainless steel manual coffee grinder is easy to hold, has 13 grind settings and has enough capacity for just a single cup.

The Porlex grinder has a removable handle which can be conveniently stored when traveling. Due to its small size it is a popular backpacking coffee grinder. 

It also fits inside the Aeropress which makes it the perfect Aeropress coffee grinder.

With ceramic conical burrs the Porlex mini portable hand grinder is able to produce a consistent grind on a medium setting. It does deteriorate for coarser settings but this is not uncommon for coffee hand grinders.

Finer grinds will take a fair amount of time and effort to grind, but the crank is long enough to make it easy to spin.

Pros

Compact size

Robust stainless steel design

Perfect for travelers and backpackers

Cons

Small capacity

Setting hard to see

More expensive than others

This isn’t the perfect grinder for home, but it is the best hand grinder for aeropress users.

Durable and compact, it is a high quality option and the best travel grinder for hiking and backpacking.

>> Click here to check the price and read more reviews

3. 1Zpresso Q2 Manual Coffee Grinder Review

Best manual coffee grinder overall

1Zpresso Q2 Mini Slim Travel Grinder

The 1Zpresso Q2 hand crank coffee grinder is the more affordable version of the JX-Pro reviewed below.

Like the Porlex Mini, it fits inside the plunger of the Aeropress, so is the perfect compliment for lovers of Aeropress coffee.

The 1zpresso Q2 grinder has a 38mm conical stainless steel burr mill and triple mounted axle. With a triaxial design and dual bearings, the wobble is contained quite well to help with a consistent grind. The handle is removable for easy transport.

It has a capacity of 20g, which you can comfortably grind in under a minute.

It is rated highly for its consistent grind on over 30 adjustable settings which is great for anyone who enjoys a range of coffee styles including Aeropress, French press and Pour over coffee.

If you are an espresso drinker, you would be better off with the 1Zpresso JX-Pro reviewed below thanks to the larger burrs and number of settings.

The Q2 grinder weighs just 13.5oz and is just 5.5″ tall x 1.8″ wide so is perfect to take away camping, to the office or on your next trip away.

Pros

Quick to grind

Light and portable

High quality construction

Cons

Not a budget option

Not ideal for espresso

The high quality construction, quick grind action and consistent grind for medium grinds make the 1Zpresso Q2 our top pick for the best coffee hand grinder options for the office, travel and home.

>> Click here to check the price and read more reviews

4. Timemore Chestnut C2 Max Manual Coffee Grinder Review

Best coffee grinder for camping

Timemore Chestnut C2 Manual Coffee Grinder

The Timemore Chestnut C2 Max manual coffee grinder is a premium manual grinder that is the perfect choice for travel and camping.

The textured external material makes it easy to hold and the high quality conical steel burrs make grinding coffee beans a breeze.

The design of this hand grinder makes it super easy to fill, grind and clean, with the long handle helping generate a nice smooth action when grinding.

The Timemore C2 Max has a slightly larger capacity than the Porlex mini grinder, easily grinding 25-30g at a time.

It can grind all styles of coffee from french press to espresso, but is most consistent for coarse to medium-grind brews like pour overs and french press.

The grinder uses a stepped click system – the clicks are clearly audible and easy to adjust.

Pros

Compact size

Robust stainless steel design

Perfect for travelers and backpackers

Cons

Small capacity

Not great for espresso

The larger capacity of this Timemore hand grinder makes it one of the best camping coffee grinders for small groups.

>> Click here to check the price and read more reviews

5. 1Zpresso JX-PRO Manual Coffee Mill Review

Best manual grinder for espresso

1Zpresso JV-Pro Hand Coffee Grinder

The 1Zpresso coffee grinder range provide exceptional quality and craftsmanship. If you love to brew espresso when you travel (or at home), then the 1Zpresso JX-Pro coffee grinder is a great choice.

With over 40 clicks and a 35g capacity you have complete control to dial in the perfect shot of espresso. The larger stainless steel 48 mm conical burrs are durable and help make the grinding process much quicker than other hand grinders.

The quality internal design reduces any wobble factor and the wooden knob on the handle makes it easy to turn.

The rubber section through the middle makes it simple to get a good grip, which is helpful when grinding a fine espresso grind.

Note that the 1Zpresso is not super lightweight, so is better for home or for car and RV camping, but is still an option for travel grinders.

Pros

Quick to grind

High quality construction

Good for espresso grind

Cons

Expensive

Smallish capacity

This is a premium hand grinder made from high quality materials and that is reflected in the price.

It is more expensive than others on our list, but in terms of value for money, you can’t go wrong with the 1Zpresso JX-Pro coffee grinder.

>> Click here to check the price and read more reviews

6. Javapresse Manual Coffee Grinder Review

Best budget grinder

Javapresse Manual Coffee Grinder

The Javapresse Manual Coffee Grinder is one of the best sellers on the market and it is not hard to see why.

Compact, cheap and with a robust stainless steel design, it is a great portable manual coffee grinder.

The Javapresse has a large 40g capacity, which is plenty for two cups of coffee.

It is 7.5 inches tall and weighs in at just 9.4 oz. Plus with no glass to worry about this could also be the perfect camping coffee grinder.

This ceramic conical burr coffee grinder has 18 settings that click in to place, plus a removable hand crank for easy transport. 

The quality of the Javapresse is perhaps not as good as the Porlex, with more plastic components inside. But the company is renowned for offering excellent customer service and price is unbeatable really.

Pros

Great price

Compact and portable

Strong stainless steel design

Cons

More inconsistent grind

Handle can slip when grinding

This hand grinder may not offer the best consistency of grind or the highest quality burrs, but for the price it is an excellent entry level hand coffee grinder. 

Paired with a budget espresso machine you are well on your way to making the perfect brew every day at home with the Javapresse.

>> Click here to check the price and read more reviews

7. Hario Mini Slim Plus Review

Hario Mini Slim Plus Hand Coffee Grinder

The Hario Mini Mill offers fans of the Hario brand a cheaper and smaller version of the Skerton grinder. 

With the same quality conical ceramic burr design in a smaller and lighter plastic shell, this mini coffee grinder is a great choice for backpackers, hikers and campers.

This Hario burr grinder has 24g coffee capacity and offers exceptional value from one of the best hand mill coffee grinder manufacturers in the industry.

The Hario Slim Plus offers the same quality ceramic burr and stainless steel shaft as the Hario Skerton ceramic coffee mill.

The hand crank adaptor on the top has been improved from previous models to reduce wear. The chamber is hard wearing plastic, but don’t let that put you off as many users have commented on just how robust this coffee mill is.

It has 20 grind settings that can be manually adjusted to suit fine to coarse coffee grounds and the indicators on the side are useful for measuring quantity as you grind.

If you love the compact size of this hand crank grinder but would prefer something a little more robust, the Hario Mini Slim Pro is worth considering too.

With a black stainless steel body it offers the same quality ceramic burr features with a more durable finish. See the Pro version here.

Pros

Lightweight and compact

Removable crank

Consistent grind

Cons

Small capacity

Plastic design

This handheld mini grinder is one of the smallest on our list at just over 8 inches tall and weighing around 8 ounces.

It is perfect to take camping or hiking so you can enjoy great tasting coffee outdoors.

>> Click here to check the price and read more reviews

8. Rok Coffee Grinder Review

ROK GrinderGC

If bench space and portability are not a concern, consider the Rok grinder. Made from aluminium it certainly makes a visual statement! 

The 48mm stainless steel conical burrs and the large side winding handle make grinding a breeze.

The Rok bench grinder is so easy to use. Measure your coffee beans up to 40g using the cup provided and pop them in the open hopper. Hand wind the beans through the grinder into the cup. No wobble and no wrestling with the hand crank required. 

The obvious difference to others on our list is the size. This isn’t a travel grinder and suits those looking for a hand burr grinder for the home. The Rok grinder measures 8.3 x 6.8 x 11 inches and weighs in at 4.5 pounds.

The other big difference is the speed to grind. The Rok is much quicker to grind than many of the handheld burr grinder options on our list and requires about half the revolutions needed by other grinders. 

It has both stepped and stepless grind options and a non-slip base to help it stay in place when grinding. The crank can be adjusted to suit left-handed coffee drinkers and overall it is an impressive piece of coffee brewing equipment. 

Pros

Sturdy aluminum frame

Fast to grind

Easy hand crank design

Cons

Dialing in settings more difficult

Plastic components

This hand turn coffee grinder will last for many years. If you are looking for a quality grinder that doubles as a conversation piece, the Rok GrinderGC is a great choice. 

>> Click here to check the price and read more reviews

9. Zassenhaus Santiago Review

Best Vintage Manual Coffee Grinder

Zassenhaus Santiago Coffee Mill

If you are looking for a little vintage style in your kitchen, the Zassenhaus Santiago coffee grinder may be the one for you.

Made in Germany it has the look of an antique coffee grinder.

But don’t be fooled, this wooden manual coffee grinder is built to last and comes with a 25 year warranty – something you rarely see these days. 

The Zassenhaus grinder is 7.9 inches tall and weighs 2.1 pounds. The Zassenhaus Santiago has stainless steel burrs and an infinite grind size dial and grind up to 30g at a time. 

The infinite grind size dial gives you full flexibility to grind any coarseness for every style of coffee. For this reason it is considered by many users to be the best  espresso hand grinder. 

Pros

25 year warranty

Infinite grind settings

Cons

Small hopper capacity

A little awkward to hold

Heavier than others on the list

You won’t be taking this baby traveling with you, but if you love the vintage look and are looking for a quality grinder that will look great in your kitchen, this is a good choice.

>> Click here to check the price and read more reviews

10. Peugeot Coffee Grinder Review

Peugeot Wood Coffee Mill

Perhaps better known for manufacturing cars than hand grinders, this traditional hand coffee grinder by Peugeot has been made in France since 1840. 

The burr and shaft mechanism is made from high quality stainless steel and comes with a lifetime warranty.

The Peugeot cottage coffee mill is 8.75 inches tall and weighs 1.6 pounds. Like the Zassenhaus it has a stainless steel grind mechanism that can produce very fine grounds, which makes it one of the best manual coffee grinder for espresso and turkish coffee.

This old school coffee grinder has a reputation for producing very consistent grinds, all the way from espresso to french press.  

The square shape does make it more awkward to hold whilst grinding than others on our list, but the shape and design is what makes this wooden manual coffee grinder so popular with many coffee lovers.   

Note that the hopper and drawer capacity is around 1/2 a cup, which is great for a single cup of coffee, but it will require emptying to grind for multiple cups.

Pros

Lifetime warranty on parts

Very fine grind possible

Cons

Not portable

Small capacity

Awkward to hold

Peugeot produce this mill in a range of lacquered colors and wood stains and will look in country cottage style kitchens.

>> Click here to check the price and read more reviews

Which Manual Grinder Is Best for You?

If you have read our coffee hand grinder reviews and are still not sure which one is best for you, below we suggest our top recommendations for different scenarios.

Best Manual Burr Grinder

We think the best overall hand coffee grinder is the 1Zpresso Q2. With a high quality design, the ability to produce consistent grinds, robust enough to take camping and versatile.

You can take this hand grinder camping, in your luggage when you travel or at home to grind fresh coffee beans each day. See it here.

Best Grinder For Aeropress

Without doubt, the best hand grinder for the Aeropress is the 1Zpresso Q2.

It slips right inside the Aeropress, saving space for the frequent traveller or backpacker. 1Zpresso are renowned for making high quality coffee gear and this small hand coffee grinder is no exception. See it here.

Flat lay of porlex mini coffee grinder and beans

Best Camping Coffee Grinder

If you travel by RV or small camper, the Hario Skerton is one of the best camp coffee grinder options. With a large capacity it is a perfect match for most RV coffee makers. See it here.

If you like to go camping in the backcountry (and have room for a coffee grinder) then the Porlex Mini is the best choice.

Whilst marginally heavier than the Hario Skerton, the Porlex Mini is more robust for throwing in your pack. See it here.

Best Manual Grinder For French Press

Beans for french press coffee need to be ground to a coarser grind than other brewing methods and in many manual coffee grinder reviews this is noted as an issue.

The Hario Sketon Plus has a good reputation for producing consistent coarser grinds and has a larger capacity than other manual mills. For this reason it is our tip as the best manual grinder for french press coffee. See it here.

Best Hand Grinder For Espresso

If you are a regular espresso drinker, a manual espresso grinder may be a big physical commitment. 

Fine grounds take longer to grind and it can become a chore. But, the 1Zpresso JX-PRO Manual Coffee Grinder goes a long way to making it easy and is our top choice. See it here

Best Cheap Manual Coffee Grinder

Finally, if you are on a budget, we think the Javapresse offers the best combination of quality, portability and customer service. See it here.

Why Freshly Ground Beans Are Best

So what is all the fuss about freshly ground beans? Well, coffee beans are just like any food product – fresh is best and there is plenty of science to prove it.

Once you grind the beans, the freshness and aromas within rapidly deteriorate.

In fact within 30 minutes of grinding, the beans have lost much of their unique aroma and taste profile. Will pre-ground coffee still give you a caffeine boost? Yes. Will it have the best possible flavour? No.

Another reason for grinding beans at home or when you travel is so you always have fresh coffee ground to the correct coarseness. 

Whether you are looking for coffee for your French pressespresso or pour over, you can prepare the perfect brew every day at home.

A small portable coffee grinder is the perfect way to start enjoying freshly ground beans at home.  

We hope you found the best manual coffee mill that is perfect for you in our manual burr coffee grinder reviews.

Did you know manual coffee grinders make a great gift? Find more coffee gift ideas here.

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About Rachel R

Founder of Creators of Coffee, Rachel is a passionate coffee lover, SCA member and former barista, who also loves to research and share practical tips on everything to do with coffee. Favorite way to make coffee: With an Espresso Machine