Nothing smells better than freshly ground coffee, and with a good grinder, you can have this amazing smell every morning. You’ll also get better flavor and higher caffeine levels. If you want to step up your coffee game, then you need a quality manual coffee grinder that will allow you to have the greatest control over your coffee.
For you, we’ve tested 17 products and compiled a list of the 9 best manual coffee grinders, with the Porlex Mini Coffee Grinder getting the highest score. We’ve also included products with conical ceramic and steel burs as they create espresso shots with more thickness and texture meaning a more flavorful cup of coffee.
More features: stainless steel exterior, laser etched conical ceramic burs, rubber grip
The Porlex Mini Coffee Grinder is sturdy and has an all-metal stainless steel body that will last over the years. The lever is well-designed, easy to turn, and stays secured tightly to the lid while you grind the coffee. A light grinder measuring 5.1″ by 2.3″, it is perfect for travel and camping. It also fits in the AeroPress, which makes storage easy if you own an AeroPress.
This grinder uses a burr mechanism, with laser etched conical ceramic burrs providing consistency across a wide range of grind sizes. The choice of ceramic for the burrs was a wise move by Porlex as these are resistant to rust, maintain their sharpness over time, and are easy to clean. Adjust the coarseness of your grind by turning the lever and listening for the clicks. Each click signifies a change in grind size. The rubber handle provides grip and support during use so that you can turn the lever comfortably. Just hold the handle with one hand and turn the grinder with the other.
The hopper has a capacity of 0.8 oz (22g) and a canister capacity of 0.7 oz (20g). It will take you about a minute or approximately 100 turns to grind 20 g of coffee beans, assuming you maintain a constant cranking speed.
Porlex includes user instructions in 3 languages: English, French, and Japanese. The grinder comes with a 7-year limited warranty on mechanism.
Some folks consider the build quality of a gadget first when deciding whether to buy the gadget or not. The Zassenhaus Santiago scores superbly in this, thanks to a sturdy body made from beech wood. A varnished finish completes the modern, classy look.
The dispenser is designed in the shape of a drawer, complete with a knob that you pull when you want to pour your ground coffee. It (dispenser) has a capacity of 0.6 oz (17g) and will hold enough coffee to make a large mug. The bean hopper holds 1 oz (28g) of coffee beans.
To open, slide the lid off, after which you’ll pour your coffee beans and slide the lid back to close, then adjust the grind dial to set the coarseness of your grind, and turn the lever to grind.
The grinder’s 5.5″ x 3.5″ x 7.8″ dimensions make it too big to hold in place with one hand, especially if you have small hands. Those with bigger hands may have an easier time controlling the grinder. The manufacturer advises that you hold the grinder between the knees when you’re ready to grind, which some people may find a little inconveniencing. When you get the hang of it, though, you’ll appreciate how easier it is to turn the lever in this position.
It comes with a satisfactory 25-year limited warranty on the grinding parts.
More features: ceramic burrs, natural wood handle grip, soda-lime glass container, shaft stopper, anti-slip silicone base
The Hario Canister, most noticeable for its aesthetic design, uses a ceramic burr mechanism that yields a consistent grind. And while it has a grinder knob that allows you to set the grind size, it is not the best choice for a fine grind. For coarse coffee, though, it does a fine job with great consistency.
The bean hopper can only hold 0.5 oz (14 g) of coffee beans, which is barely enough for a large mug. Given that the canister has a capacity of 4.2 oz (119g), you’ll have to refill the hopper multiple times to get the dispenser halfway full. The constant refilling becomes tedious. Even so, the canister doubles up as a storage container, complete with a cork to cover it.
The base is made of anti-slip silicone to keep the grinder from tipping over, so you don’t have to hold down the grinder while using it. And you’ll appreciate this because the grinder is too wide for you to grasp firmly with one hand anyway.
Our biggest gripe with this grinder is that the burrs are irreplaceable. Given that they are made of ceramic, it is possible they may break at some point, perhaps following an accidental drop. Should this happen, you’ll need to get another unit. Bummer.
It comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
At first glance, the gorgeous wood design and compact size of the Akirakoki Manual Coffee Bean Grinder make you feel like there’s a lot to the grinding process. But in reality, this grinder offers a combination of high quality and convenience. It is made with brown or light wood and premium cast iron burr, so you can expect to use it for a long time without cracking.
When it comes to convenience, the manual grinder features an adjustable base for starters. You can turn the screw however you want to control the fineness of the ground beans. It is also operated with an ergonomic crank handle for a smooth grind and works quietly without affecting your ears.
The Akirakoki Manual Coffee Bean Grinder might feature a cast iron burr, but this does not affect the quality of your coffee beans. It does not give off hear, metal odor, or rust, setting itself apart from other coffee bean grinders. You can easily disassemble this grinder when it’s time to clean, another feature that makes it convenient. The compact size offers easy storage and won’t take a lot of space on your kitchen counter. All these features plus the stylish wood design, and you have a perfect addition to your coffee maker.
If you decide to purchase this coffee bean grinder, you have to look out for the lack of versatility. The grind adjustment is confusing, which usually leads to inconsistent ground coffee if you’re not careful.
More features: ABS exterior, carrying case included, ceramic burr, 4.3 fl oz drip kettle, thermal mug, stainless steel filter
The cute, little Soulhand Portable Coffee Grinder Set is a complete coffee maker set. It comes with a hand grinder, drip coffee maker, reusable metal filter, mug, insulated thermos, and a 0.4 oz (11g) bean hopper. Operating the coffee grinder cum pour-over machine is easy: adjust the grinding thickness as desired, grind your coffee, and pour a cup of hot water over the beans. The water then soaks the beans and drips out as piping hot coffee through the drip kettle and into the thermos (8.7 fl oz capacity). Only downside is that it brews slowly so it’s not something you use when in a rush. At only 1.22 lbs, the mug is light and can fit in most car cup holders or be tucked into a purse or travel bag, making it a great choice for the coffee lover who travels a lot and prefers taking their custom coffee with them everywhere.
Use one of 2 grinding methods: the manual hand grinder with hand crank mechanism or the hand-twist with the hexagonal insert found inside the screw cap. The hand crank is made in a trifold design for easy storage and portability.
The mug exterior is made from tough ABS, the hopper from food-grade polypropylene, and the burrs are ceramic and durable. All components are removable and easy to clean.
It comes with an unbeatable lifetime limited warranty on parts.
Buy the Hario Skerton if you want a hand crank that grinds quickly. It is fast, provided you keep a reasonable cranking speed; you should get a full hopper’s worth of coffee ready in a couple of minutes. The hopper has a capacity of 0.9 oz (25.5 g), which is enough for two coffee mugs. The canister can hold 3.5 oz (99g), making it a good choice if you regularly make more than 5 cups at a time.
The canister, big enough for you to use as a storage container, is made from heatproof glass and stays cool to the touch. While the grinder does not have a handle, it does have an anti-slip rubber base that holds it in place, preventing it from tipping over.
Its burr mechanism produces better quality coffee than you would get from a grinder with a blade mechanism, but the resulting grind is not consistent, particularly when you adjust the grinder to produce a coarse grind. This may be caused by a shortcoming in the design as opposed to the quality of the burrs – when you move the hand crank, the shaft moves back and forth, creating room for grinds of all sizes to slip through. But the consistency is good when you aim for a fine grind, thanks to the good quality ceramic conical burrs used.
It comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
The Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Coffee Grinder is a good choice for someone who only needs to make one cup of coffee at a time because it is slow and takes several minutes to grind enough coffee for one cup. Because it doesn’t have a handle, the grinder is also hard to hold down, which makes turning the crank hard work. It comes with a non-slip rubber base, but this is not stable enough to keep the grinder from moving when you’re cranking the handle, so you have to hold it in place.
The glass canister is large and can hold 3.5 oz (99g) of coffee. It’s also dishwasher safe, but if hand-washing, the manufacturer recommends using a neutral detergent and soft sponge. When using a glass container, there is always the chance that it could break. Should the container of your Kyocera coffee grinder break, you can replace it with a Mason jar. Don’t worry, that suggestion comes from the manufacturer and there are no safety risks in doing so.
Although the glass jar has a cover that instantly converts it into a sealed storage container, the bean hopper does not have a lid. Therefore, avoid using a lot of force or high speed when turning the crank or the beans will spill.
It comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
More features: built-in selector for 18 grind settings, removable hand-crank mechanism, ceramic burrs
The JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder relies on dual-plated ceramic burrs to deliver consistent grind thickness. This technology, which uses frustoconical burrs and which JavaPresse is in the process of patenting, is designed to ensure exceptional rigidity, leading to a high quality of grind. There is a plastic insert within the burr setup that breaks easily, though, which will probably be the first replacement you make.
The grinder has a built-in dial with 18 grind settings, which produce different coffee thicknesses for all coffee brewing methods. There is a setting for your favorite coffee preference, whether that’s French press, pour over, cold brew, drip, espresso, or any other.
This JavaPresse fits into the AeroPress plunger, which makes storage and transportation easier if you own the former. It comes in a compact and slim 7.5’’ x 1.8’’ size, so it takes up little space even without fitting it into a coffee maker. The hand crank is removable, too; yet another clever design element that improves portability and storage.
The canister is large, with a 3.5 oz (99g) capacity, and the hopper has a capacity of 1.2 oz (34g), which is much higher than you would get in grinders of a similar size.
Because of its simple design, this grinder is pretty easy to clean, and the stainless steel housing gives it a classic, sleek look. JavaPresse issues a 1-year limited warranty for this model.
The Houselog Portable Manual Coffee Grinder is a unit that would stay by your side for a very long time. This durable unit also has a compact-sized design, taking very little space in your luggage when traveling, camping, or hiking. It is easy to operate and does not take a lot of energy to grind beans for three to four people.
Made with high-quality brushed stainless steel at the top and soft, ultra-fiber leather at the bottom, this manual coffee grinder has a unique design that promises durability. The steel is rust-resistant, while the bottom part is wear-resistant, making the entire unit comfortable and easy to handle. The leather also provides a non-slip effect when you hold it with your hand. This model is best for those who value the unique and stylish design; it will be a feel-good addition to your kitchen counter.
Another feature that makes this grinder a good choice is its sturdy crank, which gives you enough leverage and makes manual grinding easy. It is easy to take the grinder apart for cleaning and reassemble it afterward. It also comes with a grinder brush, which is used to clean the burrs and the inside of the grinder properly.
A significant downside that might discourage you from using it is the squeaky noise while grinding. The grinding process is also slow, so if you need a faster unit that produces consistent results from the first time, then you won’t be pleased with this grinder. But, if you’re taking your time with your coffee-making process, then this won’t affect you at all.
Let’s now discuss the manual coffee grinder in detail: how to use it, its benefits, and what to consider when buying one. We’ll also answer a few questions you may have about this type of grinder.
Manual coffee grinders run quietly. If electric kitchen gadgets irritate you with their endless droning, the noiseless operation of the manual grinder will be a welcome relief.
They do not require battery power or connection to a power supply, and have no operating expenses.
They are highly portable. You can take them with you on your camping trips, vacations, and other travel engagements.
Because the manual process of grinding coffee beans does not generate heat, the coffee flavors and aromas are preserved, leading to better tasting coffee.
They are cheaper than electric coffee grinders.
They are durable.
Hand grinders are easy to use and should get your grind ready in 6 simple steps.
Manual coffee grinders are affordable. They range from $20 to approximately $50. And on a good day, you might even come across discounted models and end up spending far less than you anticipated. What makes this price range such a steal is the absence of ongoing expenses. Except for when you have to replace a part, there are no running costs associated with manual grinders.
As promised, let’s now look at the specific features to consider when choosing a manual coffee grinder and how they work.
Burrs are the better option. To differentiate between blades and burs, let’s consider the operating mechanism and pros of each.
At the center of the burr mechanism are two burrs which guide a small number of coffee beans from the hopper into the grinding area, where they are ground into a consistently uniform size. The result is a batch of coffee that brews at the same rate and produces a better, more balanced taste.
By contrast, the blade grinding mechanism relies on a dual blade to chop the coffee beans. At best, you get different sizes of roughly ground pieces. At worst, the larger coffee bean pieces miss the blade altogether. The resulting batch of ground coffee extracts at different rates, producing an inferior coffee flavor.
Also, the chopping action of blades produces a considerable amount of heat, destroying the rich coffee flavor and ultimately affecting the taste of your coffee. Burrs do not produce heat while grinding coffee beans, and this helps retain the flavor.
The burr mechanism allows you to set your preferred grind size. The blade mechanism does not have this flexibility. Most of the time, you do not even know what size of grind you’ll end up with.
How well does the machine grind? You want a coffee grinder that will produce the right grind thickness for your preferred brewing method. Some grinders, like the Porlex Mini Coffee Grinder, Zassenhaus Santiago, and JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder have excellent grinding quality, producing consistent grinds across all coarseness levels.
Grinders like the Hario Skerton are great for grinding coffee to a fine texture, while others like the Hario Canister are best for coarse grinds. There are many that are not primed for a specific grind size but which produce fairly good results across diverse grind sizes. Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Coffee Grinder and Soulhand Portable Coffee Grinder Set are good examples.
If you intend to grind enough coffee for 5-6 cups or more, choose a grinder with a large container and hopper capacity. A big hopper will hold more coffee beans, allowing you to grind a large batch at a go. Likewise, a large container will hold more ground coffee, eliminating the need to empty the container constantly and therefore preserving the freshness of your coffee.
The Hario Canister, Hario Skerton, and Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Coffee Grinder have large capacity canisters. Grinders with large hoppers include JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder, Zassenhaus Santiago, and Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Coffee Grinder.
Opt for a grinder that allows you to adjust the grind size. This enables you to choose different grind sizes for different brewing methods. The burr grinding mechanism is what makes this possible, so confirm that the grinder you want to buy uses burrs and not blades.
In many models, you can control the grind thickness by adjusting a dial. Once you’ve set it, the dial should stay in place to ensure that the grind consistency is maintained. The wider the adjustment range, as in the JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder, the more grind sizes you can get out of the grinder.
If you want a portable grinder, then size and weight matter. Pick something light and compact, such as the Soulhand Portable Coffee Grinder Set, Porlex Mini Coffee Grinder, or JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder.
If you’ll mainly be using it in the kitchen, ensure that its size corresponds with the available space. Likewise, it needs to be narrow enough for you to hold it down with one hand or stable enough to remain in position while you grind.
Go for a grinder with a hardy exterior material to match the durable nature of the manual grinding parts. Fortunately, this won’t be a challenge because many grinders feature strong materials like stainless steel and wood for the shell. Examples include Porlex Mini Coffee Grinder, Zassenhaus Santiago, and JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder. A few are made from glass, especially the canisters. Glass is attractive, but it also breaks easily, so factor this in when choosing the material.
Your manual coffee grinder will only be beneficial to you if it’s user-friendly. As such, it should:
Manual coffee grinder guarantees are generally generous, with some like the Soulhand Portable Coffee Grinder Set backed by a lifetime limited warranty. The Zassenhaus Santiago has a 25-year warranty, while the Porlex Mini Coffee Grinder comes with a 7-year warranty. At the very least, your grinder should be guaranteed for a year. The guarantee mainly applies to the grinding components, and although the rest of the parts may only have short warranties, most can be replaced for next to nothing.
Manual grinders are built to last. The best of them last for decades and are the kind of thing you pass down to your grandkids. This is attributable to the simple design and use of quality materials. The grinder has only about 4-5 parts. The technology needed to design such a simple mechanical system with minimal moving parts, assemble the parts, and ensure they work together seamlessly is straightforward. And the likelihood of a breakdown or any of the components malfunctioning is minimal.
The first thing you want to do is maintain 3 levels of cleaning: daily cleaning, weekly cleaning, and occasional deep cleaning. Dust off any excess coffee debris after the day’s use, wipe the grinding bits and hopper weekly, and deep clean the entire grinder every 6 months or 3 months if you use the grinder a lot. Use a soft lint-free cloth when wiping the grinder. To deep clean, follow the manufacturer’s advice. Some grinders are dishwasher safe, but others should only be hand-washed. After deep cleaning the grinder, grind a small amount of coffee beans and dust off the excess coffee. This will leave a thin oil coating on the burrs, keep them in good working condition, and prevent rusting.
A manual grinder is the best choice for home use. It’s affordable, durable, easy to use, portable, and doesn’t require electricity to operate. It also gives better consistency than an electric grinder and produces great-tasting coffee. And because of its simple design, it’s easy to clean and maintain. The only drawback with manual grinders is they grind small amounts of coffee at a time and cannot be used to make coffee for large groups of people. But they are perfect for individual use. Electric grinders are expensive and noisy, and you need electricity to run them. You can’t carry them when traveling to off grid places. Low-end electric grinders can’t match the coffee consistency and great taste you get from manual grinders, neither can they produce espresso grind types of textures. Only high-end electric grinders may be able to do this, but they are hundreds of dollars more expensive.
Yes. The best manual coffee grinders last for decades. This is mainly because of their simple mechanism which carries a minimal risk of failure. Some manufacturers give 20-year warranties and others lifetime limited warranties, which goes to show just how durable manual grinders can be. With time, some parts may wear out, but these can be replaced, and the grinder will continue operating like it was new.
Our top choice is the Porlex Mini Coffee Grinder, taking the medal for grind consistency. Its high construction quality tells of a grinder that is built to last. The choice of stainless steel and ceramic material is excellent and the non-slip grip is a plus. We also like that it’s portable and compact enough to fit into a coffee maker like the AeroPress.
Our second choice is the Zassenhaus Santiago, its most notable feature being the precision burrs that produce a fine quality grind. The dispenser, in the form of a pull-out drawer, is clever and quite practical. Plus, it comes with an impressive 25-year limited warranty on the grinding parts.
Our third best manual coffee grinder, the JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder, is a magical little wonder. From the space-saving dimensions to the dual-plated burrs, 18 grind settings, aesthetic design, and attractive price, most of the components in this model are well-thought-out. It’s easy to see how this JavaPresse earns a spot among the top 3 grinders.