People who love coffee know that there’s one thing thats important to a great coffee. “The grinder is more important than the coffee maker.”
Why hand grinding coffee beans makes a difference!
People who love coffee know that there’s one thing thats important to a great coffee.
“The grinder is more important than the coffee maker.”
And while this statement may be a surprise it’s actually very true.
Plus, the best burr coffee grinders are usually very expensive (and for a good reason).
Fortunately, manual coffee grinders offer great results at a much lower price point than fully electrical grinders.
If you want to get the maximum taste out of your coffee beans, going for a hand grinder is the way to go.
I have been using manual grinders for many years, and I’ve owned and tried many of the best models for your convenience. Below you’ll see my findings for the best coffee hand grinders.
Why Should You Get A Hand Coffee Grinder?
Out of convenience many people tend to get a proper electrical grinder or a coffee maker with integrated grinder. However there are quite a few advantages to hand grinders compared to automatic coffee grinders:
A hand grinder is ideal for the traveler/outdoors/camping type. Forget instant coffee or boring pre-grounded coffee for you on those camping trips! Read on in this article to learn 4 ways of making coffee outdoors.
For me, manually grinding my coffee beans is also something personal. I enjoy the process of making coffee and I appreciate my coffee much more if I need to work for it to taste great! Humanity is constantly looking to automate everything and everything has to work at lightning speed. Not many people are enjoying the process anymore. So take a moment and time to smell freshly ground coffee beans! Top reasons for me are also:
- Hand grinders are affordable and they produce a fresh taste. You don’t even need a coffee maker! See this article about how to make coffee without a coffee maker and still achieve a fresh-tasting cup of coffee.
- Ease of use. One of the most overlooked pros of a hand grinder is that most designs are easy to figure out, handle, and extract your ground coffee from.
- Most hand grinders do not rely on electricity and are therefore less prone to breaking due to faulty technology. This also makes hand grinders more convenient in light-weight travel situations like hiking or backpacking.
They are a lot quieter than automatic grinders, which is great for those who want to bring a coffee grinder to an office setting or those who wake up before the rest of the family.
Top 5 Hand Coffee Grinders
VEVOK CHEF Manual Coffee Grinder Hand Coffee Grinder 6 Adjustable Setting Stainless Steel Conical Burr Mill Portable Hand Crank Coffee Bean Grinder for Espresso Gift
LHS Manual Coffee Grinder with Ceramic Burrs, Hand Coffee Mill with Two Containers Adjustable Coarseness for Home, Office and Travelling
Manual Coffee Grinder – HEIHOX Hand Coffee Grinder with Adjustable Conical Stainless Steel Burr Mill, Capacity 30g Portable Mill Faster Grinding Efficiency Espresso to Coarse for Office, Home, Camping
1. VEVOK CHEF Manual Coffee Grinder
Our top pick is the VEVOK Chef manual coffee grinder. It is the second most expensive out of our selection but for some good reasons: It has a durable and high grade stainless steel burr. It grinds your coffee in 45 seconds or less. This model comes with 6 very precise adjustable coarseness settings so that you can grind for specific coffee makers such as the Aeropress, French Press, Pour Over, Drip Maker and many others.
It is small in size, a perfect gift for the coffee lover and its great for a camping trip. Last but not least its design is super sleek and stylish.
- Super Durable Stainless Steel Burr Grinder
- Precise Coarseness Settings
2. LHS Hand Coffee Mill With Two Containers
This grinder comes at a very affordable price. Downside of this model is its ceramic burr grinder which is prone to making less ideal ground coffee and less durable. So while you may safe a lot of money compared to our previous pick it may end up costing you more if you need to replace it.
Having said that, if you don’t travel a lot or if you just occasionally make coffee but still want to grind your beans manually (just to enjoy this process) this is the best model in terms of price-value. It does have 4 coarseness settings so you can make coffee for different coffee makers.
- Great Value
- 4 Coarseness Settings
- Dishwasher Safe
- Ceramic Burr Grinder
3. Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill
Hario has been around for decades and they are known for high quality products. This ceramic coffee mill has high quality materials even though it uses a ceramic burr grinder.
We like this model because it comes from a reputable brand, produces a decent coffee grind and it won’t set you back 100$. It’s also portable and ergonomical.
- Quality Materials
- Ceramic Burr Grinder
4. HEIHOX Hand Coffee Grinder With Adjustable Conical Steel Burr
The HEIHOX manual coffee grinder is our most expensive pick but also comes with great value. It has a Stainless Steel burr grinder, high end aluminium material, stylish design and a built-in coarseness setting which we love.
This model is great as a gift or if you want to have a very stylish piece of kitchen tool for yourself. The material used here is also eco-friendly as they don’t use any plastic which is a plus point and therefore made it into our selection.
- Stainless Steel Burr Grinder
- Sleek Design
- Expensive (But Worth It)
5. T-Mark Manual Coffee Grinder
The T-Mark manual coffee grinder is the least expensive model in our selection. It comes with a ceramic burr grinder and is quite portable.
It might not be ideal for people with smaller hands or people who rely on high quality material and workmanship. However it does have a great price point and surely suffices for the occasional manual coffee grind coffee at home.
- Excellent Insulation And Heat Retention
- Great Design
- Not Stackable
- Very Delicate
Hand Coffee Grinder Buying Guide
What To Look For Before Buying a Hand Coffee Grinder
Of course, there are some features that you should consider:
First of all don’t get overwhelmed with features and shiny marketing from manufacturers. These are the thing you should look for in a hand grinder:
- Ceramic or steel burrs? The burrs are probably the most important aspect of a grinder. All hand grinders have conical burrs. They come in either ceramic or steel. Steel is a lot sharper and better. It grinds faster and more consistent than ceramic. If you have the budget, I recommend a grinder with steel burrs even though they tend to be more expensive.
- Handle length The handle length is essential for a hand grinder. If it’s too short, you have to spend a lot more energy grinding the same amount of beans.
- Bearings The premium models usually have bearings, which makes grinding a lot smoother and easier. If you choose a model without bearings, you’ll have to expect using a lot more energy.
- Size & Portability If you want to bring your grinder on a camping trip, size is important to consider. Also, if you have smaller hands, you don’t want something filigrane in your hands.
- Grind adjustment: This is an important one. Choose a grinder, where you can easily switch back and forth between different settings from. Why? Because you might grind for different coffee makers such as the French press, filter machine, or an Aeropress. Models without a grind adjustment make only one coarse size which might not be ideal.
How Long Does A Manual Coffee Grinder Take?
Well it depends on the model nn general, but usually manual coffee grinders take around one minute to grind enough for a big cup. Spoiler alert: It does take some effort to grind by hand.
However, our top pick the “VEVOK Chef manual grinder” can grind rather fast.
Typically, you’ll be able to grind for 2-3 cups in less than 45 seconds. The cheaper entry-level models with ceramic burrs are a lot slower; it will typically take 2-3 minutes to grind coffee.
Keep in mind: The finer you grind, the more times you’ll have to turn the crank. For people who love an espresso I usually recommend using an electric grinder.
Advantages of a Hand Coffee Grinder
Grinding coffee beans by hand obviously takes longer than simply pushing a button, yet some coffee drinkers (your truly included) prefer to use a hand grinder occasionally.
So why a hand-grinder? For me its simply because sometimes I love the process making the coffee or because I need coffee on my camping trip. Saturday or Sunday morning I like to take my time making coffee, thats when I usually use a hand grinder.
Manual Coffee Grinders Don’t Heat Beans
In theory, manual coffee grinders should produce slightly better-tasting coffee than automatic grinders, because manual grinders don’t heat coffee beans during grinding. Most automatic grinders grind at high speeds, and the friction slightly increases the coffee’s temperature for a short time. This could theoretically change the taste of the grounds.
In practice, however, the difference in taste is virtually imperceptible. Even experienced coffee professionals struggle to identify the difference, and you likely won’t notice any.
Although manual coffee grinders theoretically might produce better-tasting coffee, you shouldn’t get a manual grinder for this reason. Automatic grinders are used by roasters, cuppers, and baristas, and an automatic model will produce coffee that tastes just fine for you.
Hand Grinders Are Smaller & Less Expensive
This is the most obvious advantage. Manual grinders are affordable compared to their electrical counterparts. For those with a limited budget, manual grinders are ideal. They are both smaller and less expensive than automatic models.
As is the case with electric grinders, manual models come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and at several different price points. Hence we have chosen 5 models above for your convenience.
A high-end manual grinder, however, will be much cheaper than a comparable automatic one, and it’ll take up less counter space. For a great manual coffee grinder, you might spend $100. An equally good automatic grinder could easily run more than $500.
Hand Grinders Are Quieter
Manual grinders are also quieter than automatic ones because they don’t grind beans as fast, hence making less noise.
Hand Grinders Don’t Require Electricity
Another obvious advantage, especially if you are on a trip. Manual grinders don’t need electricity. This may not be a significant feature if you’re making coffee at home in your kitchen, but for people who like to camp and travel, not needing electricity is a major advantage.
Hand Grinders Are Nostalgic
Finally, manual grinders have a nostalgic appearance. As I’ve said in the introduction, I sometimes enjoy the process of making coffee and that includes grinding my own beans. It reminds me of “the good old times” and I appreciate my coffee a lot more.
In some situations, automatic coffee grinders have clear advantages over manual models. For example, if you need to fix a quick cup of coffee or if you make coffee for the whole family you probably wouldn’t want to use a manual grinder.
My recommendations is to have 1 great manual grinder at home for trips or the slow weekend vibes where you have time and can enjoy the process of making coffee.