As a coffee lover, you want to start your day with nothing but the best cup of freshly brewed coffee. Of course, you can always go for pre-ground coffee, but your cup of coffee will certainly not be perfect. Far from it!
Having a good grinder is a very important step that cannot be overlooked if you want a rich, flavorful, and aromatic coffee every single day!
Plus this does not have to break the bank! All you need to get is a good hand coffee grinder. Manual grinders tend to be less expensive and more durable than their electric counterparts!
There are many great products out there for different preferences. So things can be a bit confusing when choosing one, but don’t fret!
We have done the hard work for you and have come up with this list of the best manual coffee grinder for different categories. We’ll go over each of these and discuss the pros and the cons.
We’ll finish off by talking about the importance of coffee grinders, and why you should get a manual one!
Let’s get started!
Since there are tons of hand grinders with many different features, it's difficult to choose just one best manual coffee grinder. So, we picked a wide range of manual grinders to suit the different needs of most coffee drinkers out there.
Before going into the details of each coffee grinder, here's a quick overview of our picks.
When it comes to precision and consistency, the 1Zpresso JX-PRO is amongst the best grinders in the market with its 200 grind settings.
And that’s not all! The JX-PRO has a very stylish and ergonomic design that will make grinding a pleasure. This grinder also has a very sturdy design made of premium materials, which means you will be able to use it for many years to come!
At a Glance
Without a doubt, the dial design with the 200 click settings is the main highlight of this hand grinder. For each click, the dial shifts precisely 12.5 microns so that you can try all the brewing methods you want. This is achieved due to the use of high-quality stainless steel materials and use of precise machining.
This hand grinder features a 48mm stainless steel conical burr grinder, which is quite large (meaning more coffee per rotation) fixed to the shaft to increase the overall stability of the machine.
The handle dips down which helps ease the grinding process. With the anti-slip silicone grip cover, grinding coffee is made effortless.
The 1Zpresso team has also made sure changing grind settings is as convenient as possible with their top adjustment design. This means you don’t have to remove any pieces or coffee beans if you want to change the grind setting.
The grind settings are suitable for many coffee types. This grinder encompasses the full coffee grind spectrum; from very fine grounds used for Turkish coffee, to the coarser grounds for French Press.
However, we felt the grind size was a tad too fine for cold brew. So if you like to drink a refreshing cold brew on a hot summer day, this grinder may not be for you.
As all the parts are easily removable, cleaning is easy and quick. This grinder includes a cleaning brush to make the process even easier.
The JX-PRO has a decent holding capacity of up to 35g, allowing you to enjoy more coffee with less grinding.
One of our few grievances with this grinder is that it does not come with a travel case despite the price! You have to pay extra for a case and this is amongst the most expensive hand grinders on this list!
Some Useful Specs
The Hario Skerton Pro is another excellent grinder that offers great value. With its remarkable grind range, consistency, and large capacity, this veteran is a great addition to your coffee repertoire.
At a Glance
The Hario Skerton Pro features a ceramic conical burr, which you can easily adjust for grinding coffee beans in any grind size you want. Notably, it has improved burr stability over its predecessors which means a more consistent grind, especially for those coarser grinds that are more difficult to achieve.
To make grinding as easy and effortless as possible, this hand grinder comes with an improved handle. Again, this handle has been improved over its predecessors with a sturdier design and a hex lock connection.
Another upgrade worth mentioning is the flairs now reinforce the shaft, which should significantly improve durability.
With its many updates including the improved handle and non-slip base, obtaining a consistent grind with this machine has never been easier.
One of the main highlights of this grinder is its large capacity. The hopper has around 100g of holding capacity. This is perfect if you live in a large household and need to prepare multiple cups of coffee in one go!
However, if you live alone, this is not really an advantage since it’s best to grind your coffee just before brewing it to ensure the best flavors.
You can easily detach all the parts of this machine to clean it. Although this manual grinder is on the bulky side, if you need to travel, you can detach the glass container and instead use a smaller mason jar (or one you find at your destination!)
In terms of cons, the coarse grind is a bit inconsistent. So if you’re into cold brews you may need to look somewhere else.
However, this is a minor point for most people. The Hario Skerton Pro offers a great grind at a great price (and by great we mean low). You get a lot for your money with this one.
Some Useful Specs
We all love aesthetically pleasing stuff, and the Zassenhaus Santiago coffee mill is among the best-looking manual grinders available on the market. This classic machine can produce both coarse and fine espresso grounds for you coffee lovers, all while looking beautiful.
At a Glance
The unique design of this manual grinder is definitely a highlight with its wooden construction and its mahogany, beechwood, or black beechwood finishes. It is a sight to behold and will definitely be a conversation starter for anyone who ventures into your kitchen.
The Zassenhaus Santiago Coffee Mill Grinder does way more than sitting looking pretty though.
It comes with carbon steel conical burrs that are sure to last. Zassenhaus is so confident of their high-quality craftsmanship that they offer a 25-year warranty to back it up!
This grinder is a great performer with consistent grinds, but it especially excels at grinding fine grounds ideal for Turkish coffee or espresso. This does not mean it’s not capable of grinding using coarser settings.
It comes with a huge number of grind settings suitable for most types of coffee drinks! The grind can be adjusted using the knob under the handle.
However, there is no numbering system for the grind settings. This can be inconvenient if you change the bean types and need to re-adjust to the previous grind setting.
The Zassenhaus Santiago is a “knee grinder” - you’re supposed to place it between your knees while grinding. The wooden frames on the side of this grinder are curved to provide the most comfortable grinding experience.
Instead of a bowl, this vintage manual coffee grinder has a small drawer where the grounds collect. This drawer is easy to remove, but if you’re a bit clumsy you might make a bit of a mess when transferring the ground into the portafilter or your coffee machine.
The design philosophy of this grinder means it’s heavy, and with its drawer, it’s not ideal for travel. However, it is ideal for the kitchen.
Some Useful Specs
The Timemore Chestnut G1 is beautiful to look at. With its organic rounded shape and use of natural and man-made materials, it is no wonder it won the Red Dot Design Award in 2017.
Fortunately, this manual grinder does more than sit and look pretty. Timemore has achieved the perfect balance between form and functionality. This grinder features 38 mm conical steel burs (and coated with titanium for an additional cost) to ensure a great consistent grind and high durability if you choose the titanium option.
At a Glance
The Timemore Chestnut G1 is in our opinion one of the best-looking manual grinders. With its juxtaposition of man-made and natural materials, featuring a rounded organic shape, this grinder feels comfortable in your hand. It’s no wonder then that this grinder was the winner of the Red Dot Design Award in 2017.
The materials include an aluminum alloy for the body (and its support beans on the inside) and grind catch. Wood is used for the outer layer of the grinder catch and the handle knob. Stainless steel is used for the grinder handle, the axle, and the tube bearings.
These two bearings allow for a very smooth rotation of the crank handle. With its 38 mm stainless steel conical burrs, this grinder is great for medium-range grinds. If you opt to pay more for the titanium coating for the burrs, you will get better performance for finer grinds.
The Chestnut G1 uses a stepped adjustment wheel with 24 stepped settings, with “clicks” indicating each position. However, there are only 12 positions indicated by marks on the grinder. So unless you keep note, there is no way to tell which grind setting you’re using.
You may find yourself in the conundrum where one less click results in a long shot and one more click results in a shot that’s too short. This is one of the disadvantages of stepped adjustment systems like this one.
As noted, this issue may be rectified by opting for the titanium option. But given that the Chestnut is already pricey enough, we feel getting another grinder for espressos may be a better option than paying for the titanium add-on.
This grinder comes with a brush which allows for easy cleaning by easily disassembling this machine.
Another feature we like is how light it is. It comes with a travel case as well. So this grinder could also be a great travel companion!
Some Useful Specs
Best Design on a Budget
If you want an easy-to-use grinder with a beautiful design but at a reasonable price, then the HEIHOX manual grinder is the ideal choice for you.
This grinder is one of the most exciting we’ve come across because it matches more premium grinders in many aspects, yet costs less than half!
And yes, it does its main job - grinding - really well!
At a Glance
We are very excited to present you the HEIHOX hand grinder because it offers a beautiful, functional design, crafted with premium materials, all at a very affordable price.
This grinder features 38 mm stainless steel burrs that can easily be adjusted to 24 grind settings by turning a dial. It’s capable of grinding fine coffee grounds suitable for espresso on one end of the spectrum, to coarser grounds for French Press or cold brews on the other end of the spectrum.
The center core is firmly placed with a metal plate, locking nut, and ball bearings. This minimizes wobbling and ensures a consistent grind with little fuss.
The handle comes with an attractive wooden knob, and silicon anti-skids padding (both on the side and the bottom) results in an ergonomic grinding experience.
The HEIHOX is easy to disassemble to clean; just make sure everything is dry before putting it back together.
This manual grinder is light and portable and comes with a carrying bag.
There’s very little to pick at, as this grinder is truly awesome for its price range.
If you’re a coffee expert then you may want to look for a grinder with higher precision (i.e. non-step adjustment), especially if you are looking to ground finely for espresso.
Another small drawback is this grinder generates quite a bit of static, which can be quite annoying with the grounds sticking all over the place.
Given its low price, we are slightly concerned about whether some corners were cut, and how long this grinder will last. For reference, some of the more premium grinders can last many years!
Some Useful Specs
Best Entry Level
The VEVOK CHEF manual coffee grinder is another great value grinder to consider for your coffee repertoire.
It’s our pick for the best entry-level manual grinder because of its ease of use, uniform grind encompassing most types of coffee, low cost, and portability.
At a Glance
The VEVOK CHEF hand grinder is one of the most popular grinders out there given its low price and uniform grinding.
It’s great for beginners since it comes with a detailed instruction manual, and comes with 6 pre-set grind settings. This ensures you will grind the beans consistently without too much tinkering and trial and error.
However, this can also be seen as a drawback for the more advanced users. Some grinders offer up to 200 levels of adjustment, but of course at a much higher price.
If you’re looking for a grinder for espresso, then this grinder may not be for you. Even at its finest setting, the coffee grounds were not fine enough to prepare a fine espresso drink. And with 6 grind settings, there is not much room to adjust the grind size for espresso.
This grinder uses glass, which is nice as it allows you to see the ground coffee. However, it can be fragile so be careful with it. If you break it, you can order a replacement part.
The handle is made 5.7 inches long, long enough so that you can grind the beans effortlessly.
In short, this is a very good entry-level grinder that will suit the beginner’s needs. However, if you’re looking for a grinder to match your fancy automatic espresso machine worth thousands, then look somewhere else.
Some Useful Specs
Best for Travel/Camping
This is the best coffee grinder we’ve come across when it comes to traveling.
At only 227 grams (or 8 oz) this is one lightest and smallest grinders out there. Yet, it features a sturdy stainless steel body that will last for a long time. It comes with a handle holder, to keep it nice and compact - great for traveling.
The ceramic burrs of this manual grinder are sure to last (unless you drop them) and offer a precise and consistent grind for most types of coffee.
At a Glance
The most attractive features of this grinder are its size, portability, and durability - all desirable features when it comes to traveling.
It only weighs 8 oz (227 grams) and the stainless steel body is solidly built, only measuring 6 and 1.8 inches in height and diameter. When traveling, the handle can be stowed thanks to the handle holder, attached to the silicone cover. This will avoid you losing the handle.
This anti-skid silicone cover prevents the hand grinder from slipping. This is important if you’re traveling to a hot country and have sweaty hands.
Another highlight of this grinder is the Japanese ceramic burrs. Ceramic burrs can be washed with water (they do not rust), produce less heat (meaning the coffee oils will not evaporate), and when taken care of, can last for a very long time. Just don’t drop them!
The burrs can be easily adjusted to 13 grind settings using an audible clicking wheel system.
Cleaning the Porlex Mini is a breeze due to its static-free stainless steel body.
One of its main features - its size - is a double-edged sword. It’s perfect for traveling, but this means the hopper capacity of this grinder is only 20 grams. This is just enough for those who drink large coffee cups (12 oz), but may not be enough for those who like their coffee strong.
Another small grievance (expected at this price range) is that it took us more than 2 minutes to grind using the finer settings for espresso. However, I don’t think you will be bringing your espresso machine when traveling…right?
Some Useful Specs
Love the premium quality of 1Zpresso manual grinders? Here's another one for you.
We have picked this grinder as our most versatile because it can be the perfect travel partner with its small size. Yet, the Q2 can also be your default grinder thanks to its premium built quality and its 60 stepped grind settings. This should be enough to satisfy all your coffee needs!
At a Glance
This is one of the most versatile grinders because it is lightweight and small - perfect for travel.
But for the Q2, lightweight and portable do not mean sacrificing high-quality materials and precision engineering. Indeed, the stainless steel conical burrs can be adjusted to 60 stepped grind settings to encompass everything from espresso to French press or drip coffee.
So if you’re the only coffee drinker in your household, this grinder will perfectly suit your day-to-day coffee needs, as well as your travel needs.
However, if you like to drink large quantities of coffee or have a large household, then the small capacity of the Q2 will be an issue at only 20 grams - just enough for a cup of coffee.
The cleaning process is made easy for you, the parts are easily removable even without any tools. You can use the cleaning brush to remove any leftovers from the burrs.
Some Useful Specs
Let's face it, not all of us can afford expensive manual coffee grinders. Perhaps you’re venturing into the world of coffee, but don’t want to commit just yet by spending hundreds of dollars on a grinder.
If that’s you, then we present to you the Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill Mini Slim Plus. It’s a no-fuss durable and affordable grinder that will not break the bank.
At a Glance
The Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill Mini Slim Plus is an excellent budget choice. It is made of plastic, but we actually don’t mind that because it’s made of high-quality plastic. This means you can toss it around without worrying too much about breaking it or breaking other stuff with it (well, don’t actually toss it).
This plastic body, along with its stainless steel shaft and ceramic conical burrs means this grinder will last you for a very long time if you take care of it, even if it’s a budget choice.
The grind setting can easily be adjusted with a click wheel, but you will need to develop a reference point for your grinds. Simply work out how many clicks from point zero yields the best grind for the coffee type you want.
The grind consistency is good, but if you want that espresso you will need to grind for a few minutes (which can seem like more than a few minutes). The coarser settings are not as consistent though.
The handle that comes with the crank does not feel as nice on the hand as other grinders. But again, this is a budget grinder so we should not expect perfection.
Another drawback is that it does not come with an anti-slip base.
Some Useful Specs
It's always important to know what to look for in a product to make sure it suits your needs, or to ensure you don’t spend on features you don’t really need or care for.
Below are some factors that you should consider when picking the best manual coffee grinders.
We hope you find this helpful!
The capacity of a grinder depends on the size of its hopper and ground chamber. The hopper is where you put your coffee beans for grinding.
If you're making coffee only for yourself, a slim manual grinder with a 20g hopper capacity should suffice.
But if you are preparing for more people, or live with a family of coffee drinkers, you will need higher capacity, or else you’ll find yourself grinding multiple times each morning!
The Hario "Skerton Pro" is a good choice for a large household with its 100g capacity.
Naturally, the size of your grinder will depend on your needs and preferences. If you're buying a manual grinder to take it for traveling, you need to find a compact grinder that easily fits in your backpack.
However, the smaller the grinder is, the lower its capacity (duh). So travel grinders usually do not make good day-to-day grinders for households with 2 or more coffee drinkers.
However, the grind quality doesn't depend on the size of the grinder. So if you live by yourself or are the only coffee drinker at home, getting a smaller grinder could save you money.
This is a very important aspect to consider. A manual grinder should be able to adequately grind all types of coffee from fine to coarse.
We say adequately because no grinder is perfect and if you are super picky about your coffee you may need to spend a lot of cash to get uniform consistency from coarse to extra fine freshly ground coffee.
In general, it takes a lot of work (cranking) to get fine coffee grounds, but the grind tends to be uniform if you have a good grinder. Uniform coarse grinds are a bit trickier though and even the premium grinders struggle with this.
When choosing a grinder, ask yourself what type of coffee you usually drink. If you drink pour-over coffee, then you’ll likely not need 200 grind settings (such as the 1Zpresso JX-PRO). Such grinders require precision machining (the burrs move a very small distance to achieve this large number of grind settings). This translates to higher prices.
There are mainly two main types of grinders. Blade and burr grinders.
Don’t bother with a blade coffee grinder even with an electric coffee grinder. It’s nearly impossible to control the grind size and it will not be uniform.
Burr grinders come in the following three main materials:
Stainless steel burrs tend to blunt quicker than ceramic burrs, even though they may initially be sharper. They also generate more heat which could impact the taste of your coffee. However, they are cheaper than ceramic burrs and less fragile. It’s no biggie if you drop them while cleaning.
Ceramic burrs will stay sharper for longer than stainless steel or iron burrs. Another advantage of ceramic is that it does not generate as much heat; therefore, it will not impact your coffee flavors. However, ceramic comes at a higher cost, and you could break a ceramic burr if you drop it while cleaning.
These are quite rare, but they can last longer than stainless steel burrs. However, they are prone to rust and generate more heat than ceramic ones.
There are other variants such as carbon steel burrs and or steel burrs with titanium. These tend to be more durable than stainless steel.
In short, we recommend ceramic burrs if you’re going to be drinking lots of espresso or drinks requiring fine grinds. This is because a lot of friction and heat will be generated. This will eventually blunt your stainless steel grinder while the heat could impact your perfect cup of coffee.
You should go for a manual coffee grinder that's easy to assemble and disassemble without any tool. You shouldn’t need to disassemble the darn thing if you want to change the grind settings.
The handle is also important. Long handles mean less effort than shorter handles. This is especially important if you prefer fine grinds for espresso, which require more cranking.
Take a look at the handle knob and see how it fits your hand. The same goes for the actual grinder - can you easily grab it with one hand while grinding? Does it come with anti-slip silicone pads to prevent slipping?
Or is it a larger grinder that sits on your counter while you grind? If so, it should have anti-skid padding at the bottom and sides.
For easy cleaning, choose stainless steel (with anti-static properties) that only needs some brushing to clean it. They can also be washed with water, but make sure you dry them well before assembling or rust might develop (despite being stainless steel).
Plastic grinders are also easy to clean, just wash them with water. Same for glass, but be careful. If you’re clumsy like I am, you will most certainly drop it at some point.
Wooden grinders look beautiful but can be more difficult to wash. Wood is porous so it absorbs water. It takes a while for wood to dry before you can start grinding again!
The performance of a manual grinder, especially long-term, depends on its build quality. To ensure good quality check out the core construction (the shaft), burr design and materials, and the overall look and feel of the grinder to judge its build quality.
Do all the pieces fit tightly together or do you feel like they do not? This is usually a good indicator of built quality.
A high-quality manual grinder should function quietly and smoothly without wobbling. Try to find out whether the internal mechanism is firmly placed or not.
Manual coffee grinders cost significantly less than electric grinders. So you’re already saving some money by getting a manual coffee grinder.
We recommend seeing a grinder as an investment and an indispensable tool of the barista. Low-quality grinders may include cheap materials that could potentially taint your coffee.
Don’t be fooled by those electric grinders selling for less than $20 on Amazon. These are blade grinders, and in our humble opinion, useless.
This is especially true if you have a fancy drip coffee maker, like a dual coffee maker, a 4 cup coffee maker, or an espresso machine. If you have a crappy grinder, you will have a crappy cup of coffee, even if your espresso machine costs thousands!
However, you can still save on the price by choosing a grinder that suits YOU:
Related Post: The Best Automatic Pour Over Coffee Maker + 7 Contenders
There is more than one option available for grinding coffee beans. So, you might want to know why you should go for a manual coffee grinder instead of an electric one, like the Bodum Bistro Burr Grinder.
Manual coffee grinders tend to be cheaper than electric ones because they are less complex and have fewer moving parts. They don’t have a motor (you are the motor) so big savings are passed down to you in this way.
Obviously, manual coffee grinders don't need any electricity to function. This means you can bring them camping or on top of Mt Everest if you wish to have coffee there…
They are also smaller and lighter. Manual grinders don’t have a motor and other moving pieces that electric grinders have.
In general, more moving parts mean a higher chance of something failing. Manual grinders have very few moving parts and so are in general more reliable than electric grinders. If you buy a high-quality hand coffee grinder and take good care of it, it could last you decades.
There is nothing like the raucous created by an electric grinder in the wee hours of the morning.
Just kidding! You don’t want your entire family hating you for waking them up at 4 AM because you just had to have a coffee.
A manual coffee grinder is much quieter than an electric one! With a manual coffee grinder, there is no motor, no fans, and the burrs rotate much slower, creating less noise.
Manual coffee grinders are expensive because of their design and build quality. The burrs are precisely machined and are made of durable materials such as ceramics or stainless steel. Some of the more expensive manual grinders are expensive because they require very high precision machining. For example, the 1Zpresso JX-PRO burrs move only 12.5 microns for each grind setting!
This depends on how you use them. For personal use, manual grinders are better than electric ones in many ways. They are cheaper, portable, and more reliable while consistently grinding coffee in small batches. To obtain the same consistency with electric grinders you will need to pay more money. However, if you are a large household that drinks a lot of coffee, an electric grinder might be better for you.
Clean your grinder at least once a week. But we recommend you make it a habit to clean it after every use. Make it part of your morning coffee ritual. Just get an easy-to-clean grinder that can easily be disassembled and only requires some brushing for cleaning.
So there you have it - our top picks for the best manual coffee grinders.
Our best pick is the 1Zpresso JX-PRO due to its stylish design, ergonomics, high-quality build, and an enormous amount of grind settings.
However, pick that grinder from this list that best works for you. They are all great choices for different preferences and circumstances.
Let us know in the comments if you have any questions!