Hario Skerton vs Mini Mill: Which Coffee Grinder is the Better Value?

There seems to be a lot of talk about the Hario grinder. If you’ve been on the lookout for a manual grinder, you’ve probably come across this Japanese company known for their heat-resistant glassware.

Since grinding fresh beans before making coffee is one of the first steps to making the best coffee you can with your beans, it’s important to get your hands on the right grinder. You’ll also need to know the right grind to use for your given brew method.

The range of grinders available is huge, from small, electric grinders to larger, more industrial ones, and all the grinders in between.

Deciding which one is right for your coffee brewing habits does not have to be difficult, you’ll just need to narrow down what it is you plan to do with your grinder and how often you will be using it.

If you’ve already decided on a manual grinder, or maybe are just stuck between the Hario Skerton and Mini Mill, don’t worry too  much. We will compare the main features of each product to see which will be best for your lifestyle.

What Are The Main Features of The Hario Skerton?

This grinder is rather small, coming in at about six inches tall with an hourglass figure.

It uses ceramic conical burrs, which work to achieve the most consistent coffee grounds possible.

This is a great grinder to take on travels, as it is very small and compact. The crank handle detaches from the grinder, which makes travelling around with and packing it a breeze.

The bottom of the grinder has a non-slip rubber base that helps keep the grinder in place on a countertop while you grind. The lid for the bean hopper is rubber as well. It also uses a bolt to keep the crank in place when you are grinding.

To change the grind setting, you will need to unscrew the top bolt, remove the handle, and then turn the dial to select your grind. There is no easy button or function on the outside.

The Skerton can hold 60 grams of beans at a time, and can even stretch to about 75 grams if necessary. The jar to collect the grounds holds the same amount.

The grinder can grind between 30 to 60 grams of coffee in less than five minutes. The range is so large because it really depends on how fast you are at manually grinding.

The grinder is easy to detach parts and break down, making it ideal for travel. The heat proof glass guarantees a long and quality life with this grinder, though the glass also makes it more heavy and susceptible to breaking.

What Are The Main Features of the Hario Mini?

Like the Hario Skerton, the Hario Mini’s crank handle can be detached for easy storage and travel. It also comes in at about six inches tall, but is much slimmer.

The Hario Mini also resembles an hourglass figure, but has less of a wide point. It can hold about 50 grams of beans in the bean hopper, but the collection jar at the bottom can only hold about 30 grams. This means you’ll have to dump more if you plan to grind a lot.

To change the grind settings on the Mini Mill, you just need to turn a dial underneath the bean hopper. You will hear a loud click when you’ve successfully switched the grind setting.

There is no bolt to hold down the crank on this grinder, nor any indication that it is secured in place when properly on. The lid for the bean hopper is made of clear, hard plastic.

Like the Hario Skerton, this grinder can grind 30 to 60 grams of coffee in under five minutes. How fast you are at grinding manually will determine how quickly your coffee is ground.

This grinder is made from plastic, making it an even safer choice for travel as it is less likely to shatter, and weighs less than its glass counterparts.

What Are The Main Differences Between the Hario Skerton and Mini Mill?

Now that we’ve laid out what stands out about each of these grinders, we can take a look at the main features that set them apart.

An obvious difference is the look of the two grinders. The two are the same height, but the Skerton is much wider around the middle and can hold more beans. The Skerton is made from glass, whereas the Mini Mill is comprised of plastic.

The Skerton also has a rubber lid and rubber base to keep the grinder in place while grinding on a countertop. The Mini Mill does not offer a non slip rubber cover. The lid is made from plastic on the Mini Mill as well.

They both use conical burrs to achieve an even, consistent grind. One of their biggest differences comes from how you change the grind settings, though.

With the Hario Skerton, you have to unlatch the lock and open the top lid in order to change the grind setting. When you’ve switched the dial, there is no indication if you’ve locked in your new grind setting, so it can be a bit unclear what setting you are using.

The Mini Mill on the other hand has an easily accessible dial on the bottom of the bean hopper, which makes a clicking sound when you’ve locked the next setting in place. This helps prevent your grind session from being a guessing game.

The Hario Skerton’s crank handle locks in place with a bolt. The Mini Mill does not lock down with anything, so it can be a bit difficult to tell if you are ready to grind or not.

Both can grind at the same speeds, solely dependent on the hands of the user. The Skerton can hold significantly more beans than the Mini Mill, though. The Skerton can hold and grind 60 grams of beans, whereas the Mini Mill can hold 50 grams of beans, and only 30 grams of grounds.

The two are around the same price, so it really comes down to which features you like best. Prices for Skerton can be found here, and the Mini Mill right here.


Now that we’ve laid out the main differences and features of the two grinders, making a decision on the right grinder should not be too challenging of a task.

It’s important to align your specific needs with the grinder that offers the most compatible functions.

If you’re someone who likes to travel a lot, both of these grinders would be a convenient choice because they are small and detachable. The Mini Mill might be a better choice because it holds less at a time, and is made from plastic, lowering the likelihood of it breaking while on the move.

If you plan to grind a lot of coffee at a given time, you’re probably better off choosing the Skerton as it can hold as many fresh grounds as it can whole beans, which is more than the Mini Mill can hold either way. The rubber base would help keep your grinder in place if you had a lot to do at one time as well.

If you are clumsy, the rubber on the Skerton will help prevent you from dropping the grinder while using it. Many may choose to opt for the Mini Mill regardless, as the odds of shattering a new plastic grinder are much lower than a glass one.

For me, the Mini Mill suits my needs better than the Skerton, though they would both be great grinders to own. It is important for me to be able to pack my small, manual grinder with me on the go for trips, and I have a tendency to break glass things.

I also don’t plan to grind much at at a given time, so the smaller capacity on the Mini Mill is perfect for me. I also appreciate how clear switching between settings on the Mini Mill is.

Both of these grinders are great quality chooses that will get the job done. It just depends on what works best for your specific lifestyle.

Be sure to think about how much you plan to grind at a given time, where the grinder will be going (or if it will be staying at home in one place) and what kind of material you prefer. These aspects should help you narrow down what it is you need from your manual grinder.

The two grinders are similar in a lot of ways, which grinder is better is a tough call. It really comes down to the unique needs of each person using the grinders. Some people do better with plastic, and less capacity, whereas others want to use glass and be able to grind more.

The great thing is you have options. You can look over the features of these grinders, maybe check out some other options, and make your decision based on your needs.

Whatever you do, don’t skip the important step of grinding fresh beans before brewing.

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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