Grinding coffee beans by hand may sound like hard work. But if you enjoy the ritual of preparing coffee, you travel, or you just appreciate the entire bean to cup journey, a hand operated coffee grinder is a rewarding investment.
Quite frankly, once you know how much better your daily cup of coffee tastes when brewed with freshly ground coffee beans, there is no turning back.
To help you choose the best manual coffee grinder, we delve into what makes a great hand coffee grinder and we share our top picks.
Best Manual Coffee Grinder Comparison Chart
After conducting research across the range of manual coffee grinders on the market, we found 10 high quality hand coffee grinders that suit a range of circumstances.
Whether you are looking for the best hand crank coffee grinder for home, for travel or as a gift for a coffee lover, we are confident you will find your best option in this list. Then read on for our detailed hand coffee grinder reviews.
|Hario Skerton Pro||Best Overall||4.9||Check|
|Hario Mini Slim Plus||Hiking||4.3||Check|
|Peugeot Antique Coffee Mill||Collectors||4||Check|
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.
The Best Hand Burr Grinder – Our Top Pick
Hario Skerton Pro
The Hario Skerton Pro offers the best combination of quality, practicality and portability.
Whether you are looking for a small hand grinder for home, the office or camping, the Hario is a great choice.
What Makes a Good Hand Crank Burr Grinder
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.
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.
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. 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.
There are a number of high end manual grinders, such as the the Lido 3 or 1ZGrinder. 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 better off saving your cash and spending it on the best coffee beans instead!
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. 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. This is our favourite electric burr grinder for home.
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 press, espresso 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.
Best Hand Coffee Grinder Reviews
Best manual coffee grinder overall
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.
- 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.
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.
The improvements made on the Pro Model are demonstrated really well in this video below.
Sturdy glass chamber
Heavier than others on our list
No grind markers
At 7.6 inches tall and 1.46 pounds this ceramic hand coffee grinder is not as compact as others on the list.
However, we think it is still the best portable coffee grinder that delivers the best combination of quality, consistency of grind and functionality.
Best Travel Coffee Grinder
The Porlex Mini is a small manual coffee grinder. At 5.1 inches tall and weighing only 10.4 oz it is in fact the smallest on our list.
This stainless steel manual coffee grinder is easy to hold, has 13 grind settings and has 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 it 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.
Robust stainless steel design
Perfect for travelers and backpackers
Setting hard to see
More expensive than others
This isn’t the perfect grinder for home, but it is by far the best travel grinder. Durable and compact, it is a top choice for the single traveller. Combine it with a pocket coffee scale for the ultimate coffee enthusiast bundle.
Best coffee grinder for camping
If you love the Porlex Mini but are looking for a larger capacity, go for it’s big brother, the Porlex JP 30.
It has similar features and the same quality design as the Porlex Mini grinder. The primary difference is the size, and the Porlex JP-30 grinder has a larger 30g capacity.
The larger capacity of this Porlex hand grinder makes it one of the best camping coffee grinders for small groups.
Best budget grinder
The Javapresse Manual Coffee Grinder is one of the best sellers on the market.
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 40g capacity, plenty for two cups of coffee.
With no glass to worry about this could also be the perfect camping coffee grinder.
Compact and portable
Strong stainless steel design
More inconsistent grind
Handle can slip when grinding
This ceramic conical burr coffee grinder has 18 settings that click in to place, plus a removable hand crank.
It is 7.5 inches tall and weighs in at just 9.4 oz. 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.
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 coffee grinder.
Paired with a budget espresso machine you are well on your way to making the perfect brew every day at home.
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 ginder has a 24g coffee grounds capacity and is just over 8 inches tall.
It 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 a look. With a black stainless steel body it offers the same quality ceramic burr features with a durable finish. Click to see it here.
Lightweight and compact
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.
The Handground Precision is one of the newest hand crank coffee grinders on the market.
It has a novel story as it was designed and built with the input of thousands of coffee enthusiasts through a Kickstarter campaign.
The result is a highly ergonomic grinder with intuitive design features such as:
- Large and extra wide hopper.
- Simple numbered grind settings.
- Easy to turn side crank.
The Handground grinder has a 40mm conical ceramic burr mill and triple mounted axle to eliminate burr wobble.
It is worth noting that the Hand Ground coffee grinder is a large manual coffee grinder. Taller than most on our list at 8.6 inches tall and it weighs 1.3 pounds.
The glass is unfortunately a little more fragile and not as robust as the Hario. All these factors make it less portable than others on our list, but still a great choice for the home.
Easy to read grind settings
Ergonomic side crank
More fragile than the Hario
The ergonomic design and intuitive features on the Handground coffee mill are perhaps the best on the market and that is why we think it is one of the best coffee hand grinder options on our list.
Best beginner grinder
The Kona is the cheapest manual coffee grinder on our list.
It has 18 settings and a 50g capacity which is more than sufficient for two people.
With ceramic burr blades, an easy to grip design and a hopper that can grind enough coffee for 2-3 people you may wonder why you need to pay more?
The Kona is 7.5 inches tall and weighs only 8 oz. It is perhaps not as sturdy as others on our list. The hopper is made from plastic with a glass chamber but it lacks the non-slip base found on other glass bottomed grinders.
It is no surprise at this price point that consistency of the grind is more variable and the speed to grind is slower than the other models.
Easy to grip
Fragile glass chamber
This coffee grinder may not last for years, but for beginners looking for a cheap hand coffee grinder to start their coffee grinding journey, it is a good choice.
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 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.
Sturdy aluminum frame
Fast to grind
Easy hand crank design
Dialing in settings more difficult
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 is a great choice.
Best Vintage Manual Coffee Grinder
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.
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.
25 year warranty
Infinite grind settings
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.
Perhaps better known for manufacturing cars than hand grinders, this traditional hand coffee grinder by Peugeot has been made in France since 1840 from PEFC certified beech wood.
The burr and shaft mechanism is made from high quality stainless steel and comes with a lifetime warranty.
The Peugeot cottage coffee mill is 8.25 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.
Lifetime warranty on parts
Very fine grind possible
Awkward to hold
Peugeot produce this mill in a range of lacquered colors and stains and it looks great in country cottage style kitchens.
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 Hario Skerton Pro. With a high quality design, the ability to produce consistent grinds, robust enough to take camping and versatile enough to use on top of a standard mason jar.
You can take this hand grinder camping, in your luggage when you travel or at home to grind fresh coffee beans each day. Click to check the price
Best Grinder for Aeropress
Without doubt, the best hand grinder for the Aeropress is the Porlex Mini.
It slips right inside the Aeropress, saving space for the frequent traveller or backpacker. Porlex are renowned for making high quality coffee geat and this small hand coffee grinder is no exception. Click to see the price.
Best Camping Coffee Grinder
If you like to go camping in the backcountry (and have room for a coffee grinder) then the Porlex Mini Mill is the best choice. Whilst marginally heavier than the Hario Skerton, the Porlex Mini is more robust for throwing in your pack. See the Porlex Mini 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 Handground coffee grinder has a good reputation for producing consistent coarser grinds and is our tip as the best manual grinder for french press coffee. Check the price for the Handground precision grinder 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.
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.
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Manual coffee grinders make a great gift. Find more gift ideas here.