One of the most important factors in making great coffee is grinding the beans just before brewing the coffee. There are numerous excellent electric burr coffee grinders, but if you are looking for something that is smaller, less expensive, less noisy, or simply has a nostalgic look, a manual coffee grinder is a perfect choice. In this article, we’ll review some of the main features you should look for when selecting a manual coffee grinder and we will list our favorite grinders for you.
Manual Coffee Grinder Features
Regardless if you only brew the same type of coffee, you should have a burr coffee grinder that can adjust for coarseness. Even if a grinder is set for a medium grind, it will not be the same as another machine. Therefore, you need to be able to control the coarseness so that you can grind it to what is appropriate for the coffee maker you are using. Along with being able to control coarseness, you will be able to grind beans appropriate for French press, percolator, espresso, or other machines.
Most all manual coffee grinders are small. But, some are even more compact making them ideal for travelling or camping with. Before buying, consider where you plan to use the grinder.
Burrs are typically made of stainless steel or ceramic. Ceramic is the better of the two since it is stronger, more durable, and does not absorb flavors.
Ease to Clean
Even if the machine is always grinding the same beans, you will want to clean your grinder every now and then. You will want to reduce the amount of old ground coffee that gets mixed into your new ground coffee. Old coffee loses its flavor and different sized grinds may either flow through the filter or it may not allow the water to flow through properly. Therefore, having a maker that is easy to clean is important to look at.
Our Recommended Manual Coffee Grinders
1. Hario Skerton
The Hario Skerton is one of the most popular manual coffee grinders on the market. It is small, lightweight, and portable making it perfect for a traveler or someone simply wanting a compact grinder. The grinder is easy to use and clean. You can control the coarseness of the grind and tiny ceramic burrs do an amazing job getting the finest grinds you may want. It comes with a soft rubber base and a glass base with soft runner to prevent sliding. For a manual coffee grinder, it is an excellent combination of price, style, and portability.
2. Hario Mill Slim Mini
The Hario Slim Mini is as good as you get for a manual coffee grinder and great for people wanting to travel with a grinder. It’s very compact and has a detachable handle. It can be stored in small places and fits easily into a suitcase or travel bag. The burrs are made of ceramic which makes them very durable. The knob can be turned to control the coarseness of the grind. The grinder disassembles and cleans easily. The container for the grounds is clear and has markings so that you can see exactly the amount you need. If you own an Aeropress coffee maker, the Hario Slim mini fits perfectly onto it making the two a great combination for those who travel.
3. Porlex JP-30
If you are looking for a sturdy manual coffee maker, the Porlex JP-30 would be your best choice. This coffee grinder comes with ceramic burrs and a static-free, stainless steel body that will leave you comfortable with using it anywhere. You can adjust the conical burr to grind a wide range of coarseness from espresso to French press. The ceramic conical burrs are durable, easy to clean, and will grind consistently for you. The Porlex JP-30 is larger than the other manual grinders we recommend which makes it better for large cups of coffee. The only downside on this grinder is that it can be hard to grip. If you have weak hands, you will be better off with a different grinder.
4. Hario Acrylic Box
Hario continues its dominance on our list with Hario’s Acrylic Box. This is a very convenient and affordable manual coffee grinder but it has a different shape then some of the other Hario grinders we have recommended. It has a simple rectangular shape making it easier to grip, clean, and store. There is a built-in suction cup on the bottom to make it more stable. This maker also allows adjustable grind size using a screw. The combination of ease-of-use, convenience, and low-cost make it an excellent buy for a manual coffee grinder.
5. Kyocera Advanced Ceramic
The Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Burr Hand Grinder is better than some electric grinders with its uniformity and consistency making it an excellent value for a hand grinder. It is very sturdy and comfortable and has a wide range for coarseness. The ceramic burrs provide high-precision grinds and offer excellent durability. The ceramic burr also does not absorb flavor. Thus, some people will also use this to grind other things such as salt and pepper. The glass container is reusable and dishwasher safe. All this makes the Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Burr Hand Grinder an excellent grinder at a very reasonable price.