What Is The Best Manual Coffee Grinder?

What Is The Best Manual Coffee GrinderIt’s taken me longer that I originally thought it would take to decide which burr coffee grinder to buy. Last month around this time I outlined my thoughts on getting a manual burr grinder vs an electric burr grinder.

Since that time it’s become clear to me that I want to spend my money on something that is inexpensive but still gets the job done well. The time and effort involved in hand cranking a coffee mill is a non-issue for me. I’ve got plenty of time on my hands and manual labor isn’t a chore for me.

What I find important though is a need to find a good grinder that can be adjusted for different grind sizes somewhat easily.

It also needs to produce a consistent grind size for me and be able to produce grind that is good for both a french press coffee maker and a Moka pot as these are the two most common ways for me to be brewing coffee these days.

I’ll be getting a manual grinder for sure but now I wanted to explore that better manual coffee mills out there because they are not all made the same.

For my research I’ll be looking at the reviews of coffee fans out there on Amazon and major forums like those found over on CoffeeGeek.

A quick look at the best seller list on Amazon shows a lot of happy customers for the Hario hand crank coffee grinders. Of them the Mini Mill Slim Grinder is probably the best seller.


I like this grinder mostly because of it’s size but based on the input from many users this grinder is only good for making small amounts of coffee at a time. For me this is perfect seeing as though I usually only make a max of 32oz of coffee in a french press at a time. That’s just two big cups or 4 8-ounce cups of coffee.

The most common praises for this thing though is that it has a cap for the beans (so that they don’t spill out while cranking, the basket is not going to be prone to static, and the grind size is consistent. It can make more consistent grind than just about nay other hand coffee grinder.

For me this is big because both French Press coffee and Moka Pot espresso is prone to having mud on the bottom of the cup due to coffee dust created during the grinding process. Anything to minimize this is awesome.

Also, I read over on CoffeeGeek that of all the major manual grinders brands out there Hario grinders are just about the only grinders that can produce decently large coffee ground acceptable for French Press.

For me I’ve completely decided that the Hario Slim is for me but I know it’s not going to be the best manual coffee grinder for everyone either.

For those who are looking for something that makes more coffee at a time the Hario Skerton is a better option.


It’s bigger and can hold more grind but it’s burrs are just as capable as the mini. Just be prepared to for tougher time holding it because slim grinding mills are simply easier to use.

As an alternative to the Hario lineup I’ve also seen a ton of people loving this Porlex Stainless Coffee Mill.


Not only is is a different style than the Hario models but it’s also arguably better built. The Hario model’s crank use a hex fitting. If the handle slips out of the fitting it could slowly get stripped over the years. The design of the Porlex grinder makes this a non-issue.

Also, the Hario’s are made of glass meaning they are much more prone to breaking than a stainless steel model.

And like the Hario’s this is static resistant and will produce a consistent grind size every time due to a burr adjustment nut that clicks from position to position rather than simply screwing one way or the other. Set it in a position and it won’t move until you want it to.

In some cases I think this may be the best manual hand crank coffee grinder for the money but it isn’t the cheapest either. As much as I’d like to not care about money I do and I can probably save $20 or so going with the Hario Slim. In fact I’m almost completely sure I’ll be buying the Slim. It’s the best manual grinder I’m going to come across in this price range and it’s going to be loads better than my old cheap electric blade grinder that has been banished to the back of the top shelf of my coffee cabinet,

If you have any thoughts about these or other manual grinders do let us all know in the comments below.

10 Best Small Manual Coffee Grinders {Burr Mills Reviewed}

small manual burr coffee grinderYou’re probably one of those people that drink coffee almost on a daily basis but maybe, just maybe, you haven’t yet decided to get your first grinder.

I was perfectly happy making pre-ground coffee on a daily basis in my cheap drip machine until one day I was given a bag of whole bean coffee as a gift. It was at that point that I realized I needed to have a proper grinder even if I wasn’t planning on grinding whole beans all the time.

The fact is, a good burr coffee grinder is an important piece of equipment that’ll make your coffee taste a lot better and your day feel simpler not having to go to your favorite coffee shop.

Expensive as coffee grinders can be, it’s perfectly reasonable to have one yourself especially if you get a small hand grinder which are much more affordable than the larger electric machines.

Here are Our Favorite Small Hand Crank Coffee Grinders

Although these grinders take a lot more elbow grease than their electric counterparts they still do an excellent job… and there’s no way any electric grinder could ever be so quiet!

Hario MSS-1DTB Mini Mill Plus Hand Coffee Grinder

Hario MSS-1DTB Mini Mill Plus Hand Coffee GrinderHario MSS-1DTB Mini Mill Plus Hand Coffee GrinderIf you want a small hand grinder for your daily coffee fix then this is an awesome choice. It’s tiny but still makes enough for a single person’s serving of coffee regardless of the brewing method.

To compare the Mini Mill Slim to the Plus I can say that the handle (crank) on the Plus is built stronger with reinforcement to prevent slippage and breaking. That’s why it is a nicer model.

This mill is great for all grind sizes although coarse grind is better made with the Skerton Pro which is featured below.

You can’t beat the price though!

click here to check pricing

Porlex JP-30 Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder

Porlex JP-30 Stainless Steel Coffee GrinderPorlex JP-30 Stainless Steel Coffee GrinderIf you are able to spend a few dollars more to get a really really good hand grinder then please opt for this Porlex coffee mill.

It’s stainless steel body is completely static free so the grind doesn’t cling to it. The burrs are very stable giving you excellent grind consistency and the ceramic burrs can easily be moved from fine espresso grind to coarse french press grind.

Check out the reviews too – they are about as good as reviews get!

click here to check pricing

Hario Skerton Pro Ceramic Burr Manual Coffee Grinder Mill MMCS-2B

Hario Skerton Pro Ceramic Burr Manual Coffee Grinder Mill MMCS-2BHario Skerton Pro Ceramic Burr Manual Coffee Grinder Mill MMCS-2BThis is the newest hand grinder from Hario. It’s a huge upgrade from the original (and cheaper) base Skerton.

This model is well designed to handle coarse ground coffee, a requirement for a good french press. They incorporated the stabilizer disk that was sold as an enhancement to the original model which keeps the movable ceramic burr from moving while grinding the larger particle sizes.

There are a number of other upgrades to all of which are outlined on our Skerton vs Mini Mill article.

This model costs more than the Mini Mill but it’s worth it if you need to grind more beans at a time.

click here to check pricing

Here are a Few More Small Hand Crank Grinders to Review

Some of these units are more basic models of the one’s featured above.

 Hario Coffee Mill Slim Grinder, MiniMore Info Kuissential Manual Ceramic Burr Coffee Grinder, Hand-crank Coffee MillMore Info Hario Manual Coffee Grinder CanisterMore Info Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Coffee GrinderMore Info

Three Reasons Why You Should Have Your Own Coffee Grinder

These three reasons below should be enough to convince you to buy yourself even just one of those small manual coffee grinders.

  1. Ground Coffee Goes Stale Quickly

Oxygen is ground coffee’s number one enemy. In just 30 minutes, the bag will go stale and will not be as fresh unless it’s hydrogen flashed and resealed.

Given the choice between hydrogen flushing machines and a coffee grinder to keep ground coffee fresh, it’d be a no brainer to choose buying a coffee grinder.

  1. Good Coffee = Good Start for the Day

Have you ever met someone who drank a good cup of coffee in the morning and didn’t have a good start? Chances are, you haven’t and if you want to feel good every day, I’d recommend buying yourself a trust-worthy coffee grinder to let you brew your own high-quality coffee right from the moment you wake up.

  1. There’s a Coffee Grinder for Everybody

Don’t have enough space? Then buy yourself one of those high quality small manual coffee grinder. Or, if you’ve got money and space to spare, then buy one of those larger ones.

Fact is, there’s always a coffee grinder for everybody, regardless of taste, preference, space available and most important of all, budget.

Are Burr Coffee Grinders Worth the Extra Cost? Of course they are!

Let’s admit it, burr coffee grinders aren’t the sexiest coffee brewing equipment that a home barista can own. But, despite how “bulky” looking they are, manual burr coffee grinders serve baristas and even simple coffee aficionados well and are a lot smaller.

See our comparison of burr vs blade grinders here.

In fact, a good barista will be the first to tell you that a good burr coffee grinder and a cheap melitta will produce one of the best tasting coffee. This is in comparison to buying a cheap blade grinder and splurging on the most expensive device you can find in the market.

So, it’s safe to say that a cheap brewer and an expensive grinder is far better than any other combination out there.

But, if you’re not convinced, then be sure to read on more below for more information as to why spending big on manual burr coffee grinders makes a lot of sense.

The Finer the Particles, The Better

It’s no secret that the best coffee are those produced using even extraction and even this is the result of the use of a nice grinder. And, when it comes to particle sizes, nothing is better than a burr coffee grinder.

Sure, you’ll find yourself tempted to buy something that may be far more convenient to use, but you’ll just getting the short end of the stick because it won’t taste as good.

Besides, when we’re talking about burr coffee grinders, there’s always going to be one that’s going to be great for you, your budget and your needs.

What is important now is that you consider ditching your previous thoughts about what makes good coffee. And, well, when and where you’re going to buy your own burr coffee grinder.

But, before you do so, make sure that you do your own research and decide on a budget first so that you don’t buy the wrong one for you.

8 of the Best Manual Coffee Grinders (2024 Update)

Best Manual Coffee GrindersStuck interning with the local Amish community? Or do you find that the simplicity of grinding beans by hands delivers you to a state of zen?

Whatever your reason, the simplicity of a manual grinder is something to be sought after.

Manual grinders are believed to retain more flavors of coffee because the grinding process produce a minuscule amount of heat. They’re also much less noisy if you’re regularly the first person awake and preparing coffee.

There’s many pros and cons to consider when purchasing a manual grinder, so let’s review the top picks for 2018.

Our Favorite Manual Coffee Grinders Reviewed

JavaPresse Manual

Javapresse Manual GrinderJavaPresse has created a manual grinder that simply feels different than most hand grinders. There’s something about the way the dual plate system holds one of the burrs completely stationary thus securing it against the other burrs while the other spins with the crank.

Javapresse says this was done in an effort to control consistency, but also makes for an enjoyable grinding experience.

The JavaPresse Manual is designed with an adjustment knob underneath the burrs to accomplish all of your grind setting needs. This coffee grinder is not only compact, but can be taken apart easily to further save space.

Cozyna Manual Grinder

Cozyna Manual GrinderIf you’re looking for a grinder that’ll cater to capacity but is still compact enough to take camping, then this is a manual grinder that fits those demands. This is a grinder constructed of high grade stainless steel and ceramic conical burr on the inside so there is no need to worry about damaging it with rust.

The Cozyna grinder is very sleek and compact, it’d look great on the countertop or sitting beside you on a mountaintop. The selling point here is the ability to hold the Cozyna coffee bean grinder with ease, it’s comfortable and very easy to hold in place while grinding coffee, and with ceramic burrs the job is done quickly.

Certainly one of the more affordable hand grinders on the market, and still a great build. You’ll likely enjoy the visual process of grinding as well.

Shanik manual coffee grinder

Shanik manual coffee grinderThe Shanik is made specifically for outdoors enthusiasts, it’s got a built-in adjustable grind selector that ensures you have the exact coarseness you desire.

Simply turn the knob clockwise or counterclockwise in order to reach the perfect size for your specific coffee drink. A Silicon grip has been added to the grinder for better handling too. One major feature that many will like is that the measured container ensures a precise brew. A silicone lid is included in order to keep the remaining ground coffee fresh inside and gives you the option to grind now and enjoy while you’re on the go.

The Shanik Manual Grinder is easy to breakdown and clean, preventing buildup of oils and debris. It’s perhaps this aspect that aids to the overall portability of it, and makes it an excellent grinder for scaling cliffside, coffee on a mountain top or overall adventuring that requires being caffeinated.

Handground Precision Coffee GrinderHandground Precision Coffee Grinder

The Handground manual ceramic burr mill comes equip with a whopping 15 grind settings. This means basically any brew method can be achieved, from very coarse to espresso fine. Though most hand grinders haven’t been able to achieve super fine for turkish coffee, you’ll come close with this grinder. What sets this grinder apart from the rest of the market is the ability to choose a setting and use it again and again, replicating a grind that you found prior.

The HandGround is simple and consistent, some say it’s on par with a great electric burr grinder. That’s probably thanks in large part to the 40mm conical ceramic burr mill in combination with its triple mounted axle that was developed to eliminate burr wobble.

The apparatus looks great, and doesn’t have much of a footprint if you’re for storing on the countertop, or among your brewing arsenal. It’s on the larger end of the grinders on this list, but that aids to it’s large hopper, for more quantity of grounds in a session.

Zassenhaus “Santiago”

Zassenhaus SantiagoMahogany beech wood graces the construction of this beautiful manual coffee mill. Zassenhaus is a company that began in 1867 as an export store supplying small steel goods and hand tools. Then in 1904, they began focusing more on pepper mills. Obviously you how that trend led them further into the grinding worlds as they are now among the leading manufacturers of manual coffee mills.

150 years of experience has allowed them to create a grinder with interesting features that are tried and tested. One can adjust the grind by turning the knurled adjustment knob located below the crank, simple yet efficient and classy. Easy open drawer pulls out to provide perfectly ground coffee.

The Zassenhaus Santiago isn’t a portable grinder by any means, but is rather a small manual grinder that is as beautiful as it is functional. It feel like owning an antique piece of coffee lore, and we believe it to impress a certain milieu of coffee history upon whomever you’re entertaining.

Hario Ceramic Skerton

Hario Ceramic SkertonHario means “The King of Glass” in Japanese. Thus one should certainly trust the glassware that this hand grinder features to be of high quality durability while maintaining being inexpensive. Hand coffee grinders are the direct victims of your excursions. They need to be robust and strong.

Despite the fact that this might be easily broken while backpacking in the Rocky Mountains or on rough terrain, it’s a rather great addition to your suitcase if you also have a phobia of hotel coffee and are looking for excellent grinds on the road. I get the feeling this was engineered specifically for the traveling business person.

The Hario Skerton is ergonomically design impresses upon the user as the nonslip rubber base keeps the mill in place during grinding, and crank handle is easily detached for storage. Hario knows their users and what they require from a hand grinder. It’s just the sort of attention to detail you can expect that drives this company forward.

Porlex JP-30 Hand Grinder

Porlex JP-30 Hand GrinderIf you’re armed with only an Aeropress, a bike, and some coffee beans then the Porlex is going to be the next item on your to-go list. Not only is it engineered to grind straight into an Aeropress, it’s optimum for travel with a lightweight steel frame that barely exceeds nine ounces. It’s easy to take a cruise to your favorite spot and enjoy a fresh brew wherever you please.

If you’re looking to travel on foot, by bike, or maybe even ski, then the Porlex JP-30 is the grinder to bring… hopefully you’ve got a thermos of hot water, or maybe there’s some waiting at the destination. Regardless, this thing can grind enough coffee for two cups at the same time, so bring a friend!

ROK Coffee Grinder

ROK Coffee GrinderThis one looks much different than the score of other manual grinders we’ve reviewed thus far. It’s not particularly antique and it’s not a terribly compact grinder either. The ROK coffee grinder is constructed mostly of stainless steel right down to the 48 mm burrs.

So, this isn’t the most compact grinder on our list but it’s the efficiency and durability that set it apart. It looks great on a countertop as well, and the Italian-made steel burrs can crush through an ounce or more of coffee in a few swift turns of the handle.

The size of this grinder also lends itself to the amount of coffee one can prepare in a flash. This is the grinder for a larger gathering that requires coffee quickly, quietly, and without the addition of damaging heat. This is likely the Lamborghini of the manual coffee grinders, and the price shows that, but it’s reflected quite well in the consistency of the grinds and the sleek look. It’s truly original and worth investigating if you need electric grinder-quality without the sound and price points.

Once thought to be antique and out-of-date, these devices have made a comeback in the specialty coffee world due to their versatility, reliability, and minimalist appeal. Hand coffee grinders give you the best of grinding styles by offering a consistent grind for a fraction of the cost.

Hopefully one of the manual grinders we’ve shared will meet your needs, feel free to check out the rest of our fine coffee gear here.

You can also take a look at the following posts for more information on hand-powered burr grinders:

10 Best Small Manual Coffee Grinders
Manual Wooden Box Coffee Grinders
These Are the 5 Best Camping Friendly Coffee Grinders

Brian Mounts

Head blogger, editor, and owner of "Top Off My Coffee", a website that has been educating readers about coffee brewing techniques and equipment since 2012.

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