The Best Hand Coffee Grinders Reviews & Buyers Guide
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Our Recommended Best Hand Coffee Grinder Is The Hario MMCS-2B Skerton PRO Mill!
Using a manual coffee grinder will give you a very high-quality flavour of coffee, these little hand grinders allow you to brew a fresher tasting coffee than the packaged ground coffee at the supermarkets.
They are also very portable and allow you to grind your favourite beans however you want.
You may be wondering why you need a manual grinder coffee wise when you could use an automatic one instead?
Well, the best manual grinders are often much more affordable and low on noise when compared to automatic ones, which is perfect for early mornings.
However, with so many hand grinders on the market, it can be difficult to know which hand grinder is the best, so we have put together a list of the best hand grinder models on the market and compared them to help you decide which coffee grinder is right for you.
Our Top Hand Coffee Grinder! (2020 Updated) –
Hario MMCS-2B Skerton PRO Mill (Editors Choice)
If you are looking for a no-fail highly rated coffee grinder manual wise, this Hario model may be for you. This manual grinder boasts adjustable ceramic burrs which give you high-quality coffee due to its no heat technology. This model also has an adjustable grind setting depending on how you like your brew.
Design-wise this model has a large glass hopper that can hold 100g of coffee, meaning you can save your ground beans for later use or pour cups for the whole family within one grind.
The model’s design is also very easy to use due to its detachable handle and strong grind shaft, its also easy to clean and take apart.
A highly rated affordable hand coffee grinder, its burr core and large glass hopper gives you a larger grind size with a better taste quality. This Hario model is also great due to its low noise and grinding adjustment settings.
Downfalls of the Hario hand coffee grinder has to be its grinding time, this model is reported to take a little longer to grind the coffee, so this is something to bear in mind before purchasing.
- Highly rated with good grinder settings.
- Large glass hopper for big grind size.
- Easy to use with ceramic burr technology for high-quality tasting coffee.
- Affordable price.
- Longer grinding time than other models.
Our Budget Choice – Eparé Manual Coffee Grinder
The Eparé manual grinder is one of the cheapest models on our list. The stainless steel model comes with 15 settings for grinding; whether you are grinding for a French press or an espresso, this model can help you with adjustability.
Design-wise, this ergonomic grinder fits nicely into your hand with a gripping pad for stability when grinding on surfaces. Its hopper can also fit up to 60g of coffee, which is great if you want to make more than one cup of coffee at the same time.
Unlike other manual coffee grinders, this model has a magnetic lid and handle for ease of use, its parts are also extremely easy to take apart and can be rinsed under water for cleaning. This Eparé coffee mill will give a consistent grind due to its balanced 40mm burr.
This Eparé model also comes with a lifetime warranty for purchase confidence.
This is definitely one of the best easy to use hand grinders on our list and is great value for money. Its grinding settings allow you to have extra control over your coffee for French press styles and make grinding fun.
However, some negatives of this model have to be its grind. This hand grinder has been reported to have trouble grinding beans very fine, its also been said to take a long time to grind in comparison to other burr grinders on our list.
- Ergonomic design and very compact.
- Affordable with a great variety of grind settings.
- Can make more than one cup of coffee.
- Lifetime warranty.
- Can’t grind very fine.
- Takes a long time and effort to grind.
VevoUK Manual Coffee Grinder
The Vevo UK hand grinder is very lightweight and compact, it boasts a grinding time of just 45 seconds and has a glass holder capacity of 48g for coffee and 20g for beans in its hopper. This ceramic burr grinder is also very durable due to its burr core and stainless steel design.
Setting wise this hand grinder for coffee comes with six different grinding settings allowing you to grind your beans into different grades such as; espresso, Moka, Pour-over, French press, Chemex and Cold brew. This powerful coffee grinder has a six-inch tall design and can be taken anywhere with you due to its lightweight of 99lbs.
Not only is this manual coffee grinder easy to use, but its also extremely quiet and has a one year warranty to ensure purchase confidence.
The Vevo UK manual coffee grinder is very reliable thanks to its burr core. It also has a variety of easy grinding settings for your beans no matter the style of coffee you want to brew. Other advantages of this model have to be its compact design which is very portable.
Downfalls of the Vevo UK coffee grinders model has to be its size; its grinding hopper is very small, which means it can only make limited amounts of coffee at a time. This model also lacks a measuring bowl, so you have to guess how much coffee you need to use each time.
- Burr core with strong blades and six different grinding settings.
- Portable and lightweight.
- Quick grinding time.
- Affordable and quiet.
- Smaller size than other models on our list.
- No measuring option within the grinder.
- Ceramic burr may be less portable.
Akirakoki Coffee Grinder
This Akirakoki manual grinder is one of the most affordable models on our list. This hand grinder has cast-iron conical burrs that avoid heat when grinding, and it also boasts adjustable grinding settings depending on how fine you want your fresh coffee to be.
The design of this grinder is made from solid wood and is paired with a crank handle for a smoother grind and quieter noise. This grinder can also be used to grind spices and nuts and is not just limited to coffee beans.
Other notable features of this stylish wooden hand grinder are its easy assembly which allows you to clean it and put it back together with no fuss.
A very affordable stylish model made from durable wooden material, this hand grinder is also very powerful due to its ceramic burrs, and easy cranks handle.
However, this model does fall low on a few points such as its adjustable grind settings, to adjust your grind is very complicated due to its screw system which means you have to take the grinder apart when you want to change your grind setting. This model also can take some time to grind your beans.
- Stylish design with a strong wooden make.
- Burr grinding process for better coffee.
- Very affordable with adjustable grind settings.
- Crank handle means quite grinding noise.
- Screw system makes adjusting your grind complicated.
- Takes time to grind your coffee bean.
Hario MSCS-2DTB Skerton Hand Coffee Grinder
This affordable Hario 2DTB Skerton manual coffee grinder comes with a steady ceramic burr mill for smoother grinding and is paired with a strong base which can be used for storage and leftover grinds.
The coffee bean grinder has adjustable grind settings and can lock your favourite grind setting with its adjustable screw. The Hario model can also make up to four cups of coffee at once, which is great for family coffee drinkers.
Overall, this Hario 2DTB Skerton model is a great option for people who are on a budget and are looking for a reliable hand grinder, it has a strong ceramic burr grinding system and makes enough cups for most families too.
Downfalls of this model have to be its grinding consistency which is said to be inconsistent despite its stabilisation plate. This model also requires a lot of effort to grind.
- Very affordable and highly rated.
- Makes four cups of coffee and base can be used for storage.
- Adjustable grind settings with stabilisation.
- Ceramic burr.
- Poor grinding consistency.
- Requires a lot of effort to grind.
Hario Medium Glass Hand Coffee Grinder
This Hario medium manual coffee grinder is very budget-friendly and has a ceramic burrs ergonomic design to produce you high-quality coffee from your grinders coffee beans.
The glass mill is heat resistant and has an anti-slip base cover to reduce any annoying movement when grinding; there is also a silicone lid for the top chamber. This manual grinders model also boasts adjustability so as you can grind your coffee as fine or as coarse as you like.
Furthermore, the medium size of this grinders model also allows you to grind coffee for more than one cup easily. Its parts are also dishwasher friendly to help with cleaning.
A great Hario model for people who are on a budget and want a lower price reliable grinder, this model may not be as fancy as the others but gets the job done.
Downfalls of this hand coffee grinders model have to be its lack of stability when grinding, despite there being an anti slipcover you still have to hold this grinder very tightly when grinding. This manual grinders model also gets jammed easily when grinding coffee beans.
- Stylish looking with the ability to make more than one cup of coffee.
- Highly rated and affordable.
- Ceramic burrs and anti-slip cover for smoother grinding.
- Gets jammed easily when grinding.
- The handle can become loose.
- Lack of stability when grinding.
Our Final Judgement – Which Is The Top Hand Coffee Grinder?
Overall, to conclude the best hand coffee grinder on our list has to be the Hario MMCS-2B Skerton PRO Mill model, this is due to its high ratings, larger hopper size and ceramic burr technology, all these features combined make a reliable, high-quality manual grinder.
For a more affordable alternative, we recommend the Eparé manual coffee grinder due to its ergonomic design and versatile grind settings. All these best manual coffee grinders can be found on Amazon with prices and reviews.
What To Look For In A Hand Coffee Grinder (Buying Guide)
Now we have had a look at some of the best manual coffee grinder models its good to familiarise yourself with how they work and what features you should be looking out for.
Lucky for you we have put together our best manual grinders buying guide to help you out.
How To Use Best Manual Coffee Grinders
Different manual grinder models will operate in different ways. However, most follow the same system, which is very easy to use.
- Step one – Take apart your grinder by either removing its top screw or other locking mechanisms, handle and locking ring.
- Step two – Turn your adjustment ring the required number of times depending on the grind you want, this can be clockwise for a finer grind and vice versa for a coarser one.
- Step three – Put your grinder back together so as you can lock your grind adjustment for future use.
- Step four – Add your favourite choice of coffee bean.
- Step five – Grind! Grind your beans until it meets your desired consistency, and your beans have disappeared.
What Features Should I Look For In a Hand Coffee Grinder
Hand grinders have many important features you need to consider. You want to get a grinder that will satisfy all your needs, whether its grinding adjustability or portability.
We have listed out the top features to look out for below –
- Grind settings – Choose a grinder that has a variety of grinding settings; this will allow you to grind in your coffee mill with finer or coarser results. Make sure your model has consistent grinder settings.
- Size – The size of your whole model matters, if your grinder is too big, it won’t be portable, so make sure you consider this before purchasing.
- Hopper capacity – This is one of the most important features to consider. A smaller hopper capacity will mean fewer cups in one grind.
- Design – Choose a style that suits you but is also good to grind with, cylinder shapes with grips is often great if you would prefer to grind your coffee on a surface. Stainless steel is great for cleaning, and stainless steel burrs are also better for travelling with than ceramic.
- The weight – Don’t get a grinder that is too heavy, grinding your beans will give you a hard enough arm workout, you don’t need the added weight, especially if you are planning to travel with your grinder.
- Locking system – How does your grinder adjustment lock? Some burr grinders lock with an easy adjustment and some with a nut, look for what you will find easy to set.
Automatic Grinders VS Manual Grinders
If you are considering purchasing a manual coffee grinder it’s likely you’ve also considered buying an electric one. Both coffee grinders have there pros and cons with their main difference being in price, we’ve explained a little more about them below.
Electric Coffee Grinders
Electric/automatic coffee grinders are known for being more expensive than manual grinders but can help the process of grinding dramatically and save you time. Electric grinders operate by dosing and grinding your coffee for you from the touch of a button.
These coffee grinders tend to be consistent in their results and have many different grinding settings to choose from when compared with manual coffee grinders.
- Quick and convenient.
- More settings to choose from.
- Consistent results every time.
- No effort required.
- Very noisy.
- Can be expensive for high-quality models.
- Can be badly made.
Manual Coffee Grinders
Manual coffee mill models are perfect for people who are on a budget; they may require more user effort than electric grinders but can give consistent results once you find your right adjustment setting. Manual grinders also tend to last much longer than electric ones.
- Long-lasting and satisfactory.
- Less noise.
- Very portable.
- Results can be inconsistent.
- Requires more user effort.
- Limited grinding settings.
Overall, if you are looking for a budget coffee mill that is high in durability, low in price, and is very portable, then go for an easy hand grinder.
If you want to get a grinder that does the work for you and gives consistent results, especially for larger groups, then an electric option may be more suitable for you.
Fresh Ground VS Packet Ground
Fresh coffee always tends to taste better than packet coffee, this is due to a number of different factors but mainly due to the fact it’s fresh! You can’t beat the taste of fresh ground coffee, no matter how well you store it.
We’ve listed out some more factors below-
The oils within your coffee beans tend to degrade when they are exposed to water. This could be from your air conditioning to other kinds of exposure. The moisture of these oils contribute a lot to the taste of your coffee, and their depletion is kind unavoidable, especially if you buy pre-ground coffee.
That’s why hand grinder coffee wins here, as the oils within your beans would have had less time to degrade, therefore giving you a better tasting coffee!
Oxidation is an unavoidable process that will alter the taste of your coffee; this happens straight after grinding your beans.
Packet coffee on supermarket shelves would have high levels of oxidisation as they have been sitting there for a while, airtight sealing and containers can help preserve the aroma and taste of the coffee but still don’t compare to fresh ground beans.
Hand grinding your coffee and using it immediately is an easy way to help reduce the oxidisation process and enjoy the full flavour and aroma of your beans.
Co2 helps preserve the oils within your beans, when you start grinding your coffee beans this Co2 will start depleting, that’s why fresh coffee will have much more of these tasty oils than packaged coffee.
Overall, pre-ground coffee will not give you a bad cup of coffee, but fresh coffee will 100% give you a better tasting one due to the oils and lack of oxidisation. For best results always use your grounds immediately.
Why Is a Hand Grinder Right For You?
There are lots of different benefits to using a hand grinder, as you’ve seen above, not only are they very affordable but give you an excellent tasting coffee due to your fresh grounds.
We’ve listed out some more benefits below-
- Consistency – If you buy a coffee mill with a burr grinder this will give you easy, consistent grinding results every time due to their blade system, you will also learn exactly how you like your coffee to be ground.
- Affordability – They are so cheap and give the best tasting coffee due to their heat resistant grinding process.
- They are portable – Most models are very lightweight and compact, meaning you can take your hand grinder with you anywhere you want.
- Better tasting coffee – If you read the above, you would learn that hand grinder coffee really beats packaged coffee due to its lack of oxidisation and oils.
- No noise – These little machines are morning friendly and keep noise levels to a minimum, electric grinders, however, are very noisy.
- Satisfying – There’s nothing like grinding your own coffee, once you install it in your morning routine, you will eventually love the process.
- Control – You can control everything about your coffee; whether you are grinding for a French press or a Filter, you choose how you want your coffee.
What Kind Of Grind Settings Do You Need To Use?
Depending on how you like to brew your coffee will determine how fine or coarse you need your grind to be.
This will need to be done manually by either keeping track of the clicks when rotating or looking at the consistency. We’ve listed the most popular brews below and the consistency they require for the perfect brew.
- French press – For french press, go for a coarser grind.
- Cold-brew – Medium to coarse.
- Aeropress – Medium to a finer grind.
- Espresso – Fine grind.
- Chemex – Medium to coarse.
You should also keep in mind what kind of beans you want to buy. If you are looking for a strong, rich taste, then go for darker roast beans, try out different beans till you find the best taste that suits you.
Make sure to store these beans in an airtight container to preserve their freshness and taste.
Tips For Hand Grinding Coffee
Hand grinding coffee is pretty easy once you get the hang of it. However, there are some tips and tricks that can improve your grinding result and produce a smoother coffee.
- Hold your grinder straight – Keeping your grinder straight will allow the burrs to grind in alignment and stop the beans coming through too quickly. Naturally, it can be easier to hold your grinder at an angle, but for the best grind possible, try and keep it vertical.
- Keep it on a surface – This will help your grinder stay straight and grind your beans in an even consistency if you try to grind while holding your machine it’s likely your grind will not be as smooth.
- Check your burrs – Burrs will eventually have a build-up of debris from previous coffee beans, these should be cleaned regularly to make sure you don’t ruin your fresh grind.
- Keep it clean – Don’t just clean your burrs, try and make sure you whole grinder is kept clean by rinsing it out with water.
- Check your speed – When grinding be consistent and steady with your speed, find a good level of resistance and try not to grind too fast.
- Replace your burrs – Eventually, the burrs on your grinder will get tired, try to replace them every two years to make sure your grinder is doing its job effectively.
Ceramic VS Stainless Steel
If you have been looking into hand grinders it’s likely you have seen their burrs come as either ceramic or stainless steel. Both are great for grinding but have their advantages and disadvantages.
Ceramic burrs are much longer-lasting than stainless steel burrs and more common in hand grinders. They don’t rust and are said to generate less heat when grinding, which can help the quality of your coffee. These burrs are great to keep and use at home in your grinder.
- Long-lasting and common.
- Generate less heat.
- Don’t rust.
- Not portable and can break easily.
- Not as sharp as stainless steel blades.
Stainless steel burrs
Stainless steel burrs are normally rust-resistant and give much more accuracy when grinding due to their sharpness. They give a clean feel to the brew and are great for beginners.
- Rust resistant.
- More accuracy.
- Sharp and affordable.
- Will get blunt easily over time.
- Can generate heat which may affect coffee quality.
Overall, a ceramic burr grinder will cost more, to begin with, but be worth it in the long run. Stainless steel grinders will be great for accurate grinding at the start and cost less. The choice is yours.
Why is hand grinding your coffee better?
For so many reasons, firstly the quality of your freshly ground coffee will be much higher with a better taste, hand grinding your coffee also gives your more control over your grind so as you can get it the right consistency for your brew.
What is the best kind of hand grinder to buy?
Please avoid standard blade grinders and instead choose grinders with a burr system, this will help you get your grinds to an even consistency. There are stainless steel burrs or ceramic burrs to choose from, ceramic is usually better but less portable and takes longer to grind. It’s more down to personal preference.
Can I grind coffee for my french press?
Yes, absolutely you can use your grounds for all styles of coffee, just make sure you grind it down to the matching consistency. A French press will take coarser grinds due to its nature of brewing.
How many people can I grind for?
This depends on the size of your hopper and container. Most hand grinders can grind a fair amount of coffee for over one cup. However, the more beans you grind, the harder it will be.
How do I store my grounds after grinding?
Keep your fresh coffee stored in an airtight container away from direct sunlight or heat; this will preserve the aroma and taste of your coffee as much as possible.
For even better results just grind as much coffee you need, as using it fresh will give your coffee a higher quality.
Do hand grinders require a lot of effort?
No, but only if you have a high-quality grinder, if you have a poor quality grinder this will make grinding your coffee longer and more tiring.
What are the best coffee beans to grind for espressos?
The best coffee beans for espressos are dark roasts; this is because espressos need to be rich and high quality for a strong taste, especially if you plan to pair your espresso with milk, medium roasts will give a weak espresso.
Why is pre-ground coffee bad?
Pre-ground coffee isn’t bad but does not give as a high-quality taste when compared to fresh grinds; this is due to oxidisation, Co2 depletion and moisture. For the best-tasting coffee, use your grounds fresh.
How do I clean my manual grinder?
Disassemble your grinder and rinse its parts with water, for the burrs you can use a toothbrush to get out a little debris.
How long will it take to hand grind coffee?
Not long, most grinders can grind within around 30-50 seconds. However, this depends on the amount and your speed. Some models with blades will struggle to grind this quickly.
Our #1 Hand Grinder Choice
When looking for a hand grinder, robustness, adjustability and capacity are the top features that should come to mind, that’s why the Hario MMCS-2B Skerton PRO Mill is our number one choice.