Best Manual Coffee Grinders

10 Best Manual Coffee Grinder Options

Compared to electric or battery-powered coffee grinders, manual coffee grinders are incredibly quiet. They are also conveniently portable making them ideal for traveling or camping as well as home use. They are available with many different grind settings, hopper capacities, and prices. We have compiled a list of the best manual coffee grinder options and talk about what to look for in a manual coffee grinder. 

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Top 10 Best Manual Coffee Grinder Options

1. Timemore Chestnut G1 Manual Grinder

Ideal for beginners and pros, the Timemore Chestnut G1 Manual Grinder is a stunning professional quality grinder. In 2017, it won the Reddot Design Award for its sleek appearance. The dark walnut and black aluminum on the exterior and pommel give it a classy look. The body is mostly made of an aluminum alloy making it a light grinder ideal for camping or travel. Its round-square shape makes it comfortable to hold and easy to work with. The hopper can hold a maximum capacity of 30 grams. 

The grinder is available with stainless steel or titanium-coated burrs. These burrs are so efficient they cut the grinding time in half when compared to Timemore’s Chestnut C2 model. The two ball bearings keep the grinding mechanism stable and the steel burrs easily grind through whole coffee beans. The high-quality stainless steel crank arm, driveshaft, and burrs guarantee durability. This grinder relies on a stepped adjustment so it is easy to remember your ideal grind size.

Specifications

  • Brand: Timemore
  • Materials: Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Titanium, Walnut Wood
  • Burrs: Stainless Steel or Titanium
  • Weight: 1.71 lbs
  • Capacity: 30 g
  • Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.31 x 2.99 inches
Pros
  • Stepped adjustment
  • Sleek design
  • Ultralight
  • Premium quality
  • Consistent grinding
  • Sharp steel burrs
Cons
  • Not for specialty coffee lovers

Sample Customer Review…. This is a fantastic burr grinder! Doesn’t take long. It’s a nice strength building exercise for your hands/wrists. 1.5 batches gets me a whole Percolator’s worth! Coffee has never tasted better.

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2. 1Zpresso Q2 Manual Coffee Grinder

The 1Zpresso is compact and great for traveling. The wooden handle is detachable and magnetic. It can be taken off and attached to the side of the aluminum body for easier transportation. Its numbered adjustment makes it easier to use, especially for beginners. An ideal companion for any traveler, this grinder can fit inside of an Aeropress. Due to its compact size, it can only grind 20g of coffee at a time, ideal for one to two cups. With stainless steel burrs, this grinder cuts through grinds in an impressive 45 seconds. 

Specifications

  • Brand: 1Zpresso
  • Materials: Aluminum, Stainless Steel
  • Burrs: Stainless Steel
  • Weight: 1.17 lbs
  • Capacity: 20 grams
  • Dimensions: 5.51 x 1.97 x 1.97 inches
Pros
  • Premium quality materials
  • Easily portable and compact
  • Easy to grind
Cons
  • Only ideal for individuals due to small capacity

Sample Customer Review…. I bought this grinder with the hopes it would be the last hand grinder I would have to buy, and it has not disappointed. The first thing that impressed me was the craftsmanship of the product. Everything fit together and felt just right and well thought out, and it operated super smoothly. For its size, it also produces an impressively consistent grind and the burrs are incredibly stable. And it grinds easily and quickly without feeling like an arm workout! It’s also the perfect size to fit inside my aeropress, so it’s easy to travel with. Overall just right for someone who wants to be able to make really good coffee while not sacrificing portability for travel.

Read more reviews at Amazon.com

3. Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Grinder

The Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Grinder is compact and ideal for traveling. It is small enough to transport inside of an Aeropress. Its body is stainless steel with stainless steel and ceramic burrs. Its smaller size has room for 20 grams worth of coffee or espresso beans. Including an anti-slip cover, it makes grinding easier and you can create anywhere between fine and french press coarse grounds. This model is extremely easy to clean and the handle is detachable for easier transport. Ideal for individuals, it can make one to two coffees per batch. 

Specifications

  • Brand: Porlex
  • Materials: Stainless steel and ceramic
  • Burrs: Ceramic
  • Weight: 8 oz
  • Capacity: 20 grams
  • Dimensions: 6 x 2.3 x 1.8 inches
Pros
  • Long-lasting and durable ceramic and stainless steel burrs
  • Lightweight and portable; great for traveling
  • Comfortable to use
  • Easy to clean
  • Removable handle for easy transport
Cons
  • No markings for grind settings
  • If held at the wrong angle the handle will easily come off

Sample Customer Review…. I gotta give this little guy a lot of credit; it’s a spectacular portable grinder that has replaced, in quality, many of the larger, more expensive, electric grinders I’ve used or owned. This small manual grinder is a great little device. It’s machined to perfection (the parts fit together securely, are well constructed, and sturdy). The construction, weight, and size are light and small, which is perfect for traveling and it fits perfectly in the AeroPress, which, at work, is a perfect combination for travel. Onto the important part: the grind. The device is incredibly stable from super fine (almost Turkish coffee fine) to a coarse French Press style grind (although, some folks don’t like its course grind, I think it’s pretty good and very even). I strongly recommend this as it gives a more consistent grind – especially at coarse settings – than the Hario grinder and is made completely out of stainless steel, so it’s more portable and sturdy than the Kyocera (which is a great grinder, by the way, at a cheaper price point, but is made of plastic and larger). You won’t be sorry with this little guy.

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4. Normcore Hand Coffee Grinder

With an impressive 24 levels of coarseness, the Normcore Hand Coffee Grinder is incredibly versatile. The grinder includes a number dial that makes it easier to adjust to your desired coarseness. Their ceramic burrs are coated in stainless steel to prevent corrosion and keep your grinder working at optimal performance. This portable grinder is well-engineered and is aesthetically pleasing. It is available in either matte black or stunning silver with a wooden accent on the pommel. At about half the price of traditional manual grinders, Normcore provides an economical choice to coffee enthusiasts. 

Specifications

  • Brand: Normcore
  • Materials: Stainless steel and ceramic
  • Burrs: Stainless Steel
  • Weight: 1.22 lbs
  • Capacity: 25g
  • Dimensions: 6.69 x 1.97 x 1.97 inches
Pros
  • Durable and portable
  • Twenty-four coarseness settings
  • Anti-corrosion coating
  • Cheaper than most grinders
Cons
  • Small capacity

Sample Customer Review…. I got the black 38mm burr size, and I grind my coffee coarse for my French press. Grinding the beans was incredibly easy and fast. It feels incredibly sturdy due to the container and burrs all being made of metal. The receiver (25g) is the perfect size for two servings of coffee. Just had my first cup of coffee using it, and it’s the smoothest coffee I’ve ever made. I drank it down to the dregs with no unpleasant grittiness, unlike the coffee I grind at the grocery store. (Side note, the carrying case it comes in is really nice, and I love the little cleaning brush.) This is my first coffee grinder, so I don’t have much experience to compare it to, but it definitely trumps the somewhat gritty coffee I’ve been having in the past. Plus, now each cup I have will taste and smell fresh. Highly recommend this product.

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5. Hario Skerton Pro Coffee Mill

The Hario Skerton Pro Coffee Mill unlike most models is made of glass. This has the drawback of making it more fragile but it has a rubber base to support it. The glass base also allows the user to see how much coffee is in the grinder itself. It is detachable and can be used with Hario’s other grinder catchers or even a mason jar. In addition to being a budget-friendly option, it has a large capacity, able to hold 3.5 ounces of grounds. This can make about four cups of coffee. 

Specifications

  • Brand: Hario
  • Materials: Glass, ceramic, rubber
  • Burrs: Ceramic
  • Weight: 1.25 lbs
  • Capacity: 100g
  • Dimensions: 16 x 11 x 13  inches
Pros
  • Large capacity; 4+ coffees per grind
  • Inexpensive
  • The detachable handle makes the grinder easily portable
  • Rubber top prevents bean spillage
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to use grind adjustment mechanism
Cons
  • The handle has to be removed to adjust grinding settings
  • Not very lightweight
  • Requires elbow grease for grinding
  • Fragile and not suitable for traveling

Sample Customer Review…. I have to admit that I looked at other cheaper imitation manual grinders before deciding to spend the extra money for an actual Hario Skerton Pro. I was motivated by the idea of a stronger glass bowl and ceramic grinding implements that would withstand the stresses of regular use, and an overall product that would pay for itself in the long run. The design is very simple and easy to understand after taking a few moments to look at it. The bowl holds about 4-5 tbsp of whole beans. Since I use this for brewing cold brew at home, I needed to be able to make a coarse grind, and the coarseness is determined by rotating the mill’s grind nut left or right. You can see more or less of the inner burr as you rotate the grind nut left or right, and that should give you an idea of how coarse your grind will be. Of course, grinding the beans will confirm if you need to make any adjustments, which is the benefit of having the glass bowl, so you can see it yourself. I’m very impressed with how easy this manual coffee grinder was to use. The lever was sturdy and didn’t slip off during use, but is easy to remove as needed. The black non-slip silicone rubber which covers the base of the glass bowl isn’t attached, but it held on decently during use and is a really good addition to the design as you can experience some rocking of the bowl. So far, no complaints about this coffee mill. This is a welcome addition to my kitchen as I look to prepare and brew my own coffee at home.

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6. Zassenhaus Santiago Coffee Mill 

The Zassenhaus Santiago Coffee Mill made of high quality, natural, black, or mahogany stained beechwood and stainless steel maintain the style of an old-fashioned coffee mill. Zassenhaus remains inspired by their century-long traditions when creating modernized versions of their authentic brand. Along with a great reputation, the Zassenhaus Santiago Coffee Mill includes a twenty-five years guarantee. This model uses a high-grade carbon steel conical burr that can easily grind whole beans. The great drawback is that their boxy large design with an undetachable handle makes it unideal for traveling, but it is nice to have in your home. 

Specifications

  • Brand: Zassenhaus
  • Materials: Beechwood and Steel
  • Burrs: High-grade carbon steel
  • Weight: 1.9 lbs
  • Capacity: Unspecified
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 3.5 x 7.8 inches
Pros
  • Twenty-five-year guarantee
  • Traditional aesthetic
  • Infinite dial grind settings offering multiple coarseness settings
  • Stable and consistent steel burrs
Cons
  • Bulky; not ideal for travel
  • Stabilizing the base during grinding can be difficult

Sample Customer Review…. I am all about buying things that work OFF GRID. With a 25 year warranty on this I KNOW this will be the last grinder I ever have to buy. It’s very deceiving for its size… very compact conical burr grinder.. when I first picked up the box I could tell from the weight of this unit alone that it was well made and of quality construction. The drawer fits snugly so no lose flying grounds floating around inside the drawer chamber. Takes about 60 seconds to grind 4T of java for my French press. Have recommended this particular grinder to many others.

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7. HandGround Precision Grinder

A crowdfunded success story, HandGround Precision Grinder offers a unique design. The vertical crank handle makes the grinder easier to use and has a more natural feel than other grinders. The ceramic burrs are triple mounted to prevent burr wobble and the sticky pad on the bottom of the grinder enables stability while grinding. The hopper can hold 100g or grinds for about four cups of coffee. If something goes awry, the HandGround Precision Grinder comes with a 1-year warranty from the manufacturer. 

Specifications

  • Brand: Hand Ground
  • Materials: 
  • Burrs: Ceramic
  • Weight: 1.74 lbs
  • Capacity: Unspecified
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 4 x 8.5 inches
Pros
  • Fifteen easy to adjust grind settings
  • Grinder top locks into place to prevent spillage
  • Marked measurement lines
  • Includes reference chart for different brewing measurements
  • While grinder sticky pad on the bottom prevents spilling
  • The crank handle is on the side of the grinder making it easier to use
Cons
  • Slightly taller than other more portable grinders

Sample Customer Review…. I try to start every morning with an espresso using my Handground Precision Coffee Grinder, Cafflano Kompresso hand-press coffee maker and Morettino high-quality coffee beans! Being a coffee nerd, I got a new brand of coffee beans some months ago. I knew Morettino beans could give outstanding coffee but didn’t when I used them with my regular kitchen-stove coffee maker and electric grinder. I’ve also often used a Cafflano Kompresso to get really good coffee, but it was not enough to bring out the flavour in these beans, so the problem was clearly the grinder. Enter the Handground Precision Coffee Grinder. The first grind was a major disappointment. It turns out that you may need to take apart the grinder to insert washers provided with the product. So if you’re getting weak espresso and the grind isn’t fine enough, look for information on how to insert these washers. When set to the finest level, this grinder gives a really nice ground and is more than fine enough for a really, really nice espresso. Now I try to start every morning with this combo of beans, grinder and coffee maker. It takes about 4 minutes to hand-grind the beans to make one espresso, but those 4 minutes of anticipation are one of the best parts of the day, only beaten by actually drinking the coffee.

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8. JavaPresse Coffee Grinder

The JavaPress Coffee Grinder is a compact and one of the cheapest options on the list. A small window allows you to see through the stainless steel body to gauge how much coffee is left in the grinder. It has durable ceramic burrs that can be adjusted to your preferred grind setting. It has a detachable hand crank making it ideal for on-the-go use and it is most ideal for individuals as it can make two cups of coffee. 

Specifications

  • Brand: JavaPresse
  • Materials: 
  • Burrs: 
  • Weight: 9.4 oz
  • Capacity: 
  • Dimensions: 1.8 x 7.5 x 1.8 inches
Pros
  • Over eighteen grind settings with a click mechanism
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Affordable compared to other grinders
  • Durable, ceramic burrs
  • Windows allows you to see how much coffee is left in the grinder
  • Free bag of coffee with the purchase of a grinder
Cons
  • Inner plastic components are prone to breaking
  • Grind settings have a learning curve

Sample Customer Review…. I wanted to write a two-part review covering both the product as well as the company’s customer service. I’ll start with the grinder. This JavaPresse burr grinder is a nice, sleek little grinder that looks good enough to leave on your counter instead of hiding in the back of a cupboard. Depending on how strong you like your coffee, you can fill this to the brim with beans and it is just about right for two cups. That being said, a larger version might be nice in order to grind more coffee with each fill. So far it seems to produce a pretty consistent grinder unless the burr gets pushed to one side a bit. I think this is due to some of the internal parts being plastic and having a little give in them. I haven’t noticed it being a huge issue, but it can move around a bit so that one side produces finer grounds while the other produces larger grounds. I think it’s more prevalent when you are trying for a coarse grind. As far as the customer service, JavaPresse is up there with the best of them. 

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9. Kona Manual Grinder

The Kona Manual Grinder is the most economically convenient option. Its glass base allows you to see how many grinds are left. In addition to ceramic burrs, this grinder comes with a built-in stabilizer and eighteen grind setting selections. The handle can detach for convenience when traveling and it has a capacity of 50 grams of whole beans. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of higher-end models it provides great quality for an incredibly cheap grinder. 

Specifications

  • Brand: Kona
  • Materials: Glass, Metal, Plastic
  • Burrs: Ceramic
  • Weight: 8 oz
  • Capacity: 50 g
  • Dimensions: 3.4 x 3.3 x 7.5 inches
Pros
  • Cheapest option
  • Detachable handle for easy storage
  • Eighteen grind settings
  • A 50-gram capacity
  • Easy to grip ridges for holding the grinder
Cons
  • The handle is a bit short and uncomfortable to hold
  • Grind settings have a learning curve
  • Glass makes it more fragile

Sample Customer Review…. This is a really easy tool to use to prepare freshly ground coffee. I am beginning to enjoy the three-minute ritual of grinding my own beans manually. In addition I make coffee very early in the morning and my electric coffee mill is quite loud. The Kona manual grinder allows me to prepare freshly ground coffee quietly without waking everybody else. I will also take it with me when traveling to ensure I get freshly ground coffee while away.

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10. Comandante C40

The new standard for professional coffee grinders. Quality is increased with the C40 Nitro Blade. The mill of the grinder is entirely stainless steel, with patented manufacturing techniques The mill is the heart of this grinder.  High strength for quality edge retention. The burr is extremely sharp, with a newly developed geometric mill.  Homogeneous grinding result. One bean per turn grinding speed.

Specifications

  • Professional
  • Highly Durable
  • Quality Burr
Pros
  • Excellent grinding quality
  • Minimal effort
Cons
  • May be expensive to some

Sample Customer Review…. The delivery took place quickly and on time in good and undamaged packaging. I have been using the Comandante for a long time now and I am very, very satisfied. Very sturdy coffee grinder with which I can grind coffee powder for up to 4 espresso. That’s all I need. The handling of the mill is very good, the grinding is possible with little effort and is very comfortable in the hand. I can recommend supplier and product with a clear conscience.

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What to Look For In a Manual Coffee Grinder

There are many manual coffee grinders available on the market, but what should you consider when weighing your options?

Size and Shape

Manual grinders come in varying sizes and shapes. There are old-fashioned grinders such as Zassenhaus’s boxy design. This is more ideal for home use as it is quite bulky. If you are looking for a grinder to take with you while backpacking, camping, or traveling, then you will want to get a grinder that is cylindrical shaped. These easily fit in a pack without taking up too much space and often have a detachable handle for compact storage. 

Capacity

Capacity tends to go hand in hand with size. If you have a large hopper capacity then the grinder tends to be large. The larger the grinder size, the more space it will take up if you plan on using it when traveling. Those that have a capacity of 100g typically can hold grinds for four cups of coffee. This is ideal if you are traveling in a group or with family. The most compact options hold 20-30g of coffee grounds and they are most ideal for individuals. These will hold enough grounds for one to two cups of coffee. 

Material Quality

The material quality of the burrs will affect how fast the grinding process is. The two most common options are ceramic or stainless steel. Ceramic burrs are more ideal for home use whereas stainless steel is better for traveling. Stainless steel burrs tend to be more durable and easier to clean. In terms of better quality, stainless steel wins although higher quality comes at a higher price tag. 

As for the outer materials, you will not want to select a grinder with a glass base if you are planning on using your grinder when traveling. While these glass bases are usually made of heavy-duty tempered glass, there is always the risk of breaking them. For this reason, manual coffee grinders with glass bases are only recommended for at-home use. 

If you are looking for an economically friendly option there are plastic grinders available although they will not last as long as stainless steel ones. Stainless steel is the best option in terms of quality and portability. 

Longevity

Manual coffee grinders made of stainless steel are generally going to last longer than those made of plastic. You will also want to consider if the company offers a warranty. Some companies offer a lifetime or long-term warranty while others offer a limited warranty. If a company offers a limited warranty that means they will only cover certain parts so make sure to reference their terms of service to see what parts the company offers replacing. 

Cleaning your grinder regularly is also an important part of increasing the longevity of your manual coffee grinder. This does not need to be after every single use but every few weeks. Check to see if the company you buy your grinder from has cleaning recommendations for your specific model. 

Grind Settings

Depending on the grinder you get, they may have varying grind settings. The grind settings will affect the coarseness of the beans which can vary depending on what type of brewing method you are choosing to do to maximize a full-bodied flavor. Most grinders come with a manual to explain the different setting options.

Some utilize a clicking technique when rotating a dial. Others have numbered settings. Those with number settings tend to be more intuitive than those with a clicking mechanism. When choosing a grinder, consider what you want to use coffee for, and make sure to grab one that has the appropriate settings for your ideal brewing method. 

Conclusion

A manual coffee grinder can be very convenient when traveling and have the added benefit of being significantly quieter than electric or battery-powered grinders. There are many different types of manual grinders: those for home use and that ideal for traveling. They can have a large or small hopper capacity for families or individuals.

They are made with either ceramic or stainless steel burrs and can have a varying number of grind settings. When trying to choose the best manual coffee grinder option for you, it is important to consider what qualities are most important to you, what you want to get out of a manual coffee grinder, and what you believe is a reasonable price. 

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Written by Jack Leduc

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