Best Manual Coffee Grinder

Having reviewed dozen manual coffee grinders, we agree that if you’re looking for a manual coffee grinder that offers solid performance, consistent grinds and outstanding ease of use, the Hario Medium Glass Hand Coffee Grinder is definitely right up your alley.

If you would like things to be a little heavier in the aesthetics department without compromising grind quality or consistency, the Firlar Premium Grinder is a solid option.

If you’re looking for a sleek, highly portable manual grinder that offers outstanding versatility in terms of grind settings, the Hunt Brothers Manual Coffee Grinder is a no-brainer.

Key things to consider when buying a Manual Coffee Grinder

For die-hard coffee enthusiasts, the quest to create the perfect cup of joe is a lifelong pursuit. Your commitment will evolve over time, as will your investment in the various pieces of equipment necessary to get the most out of your brewing experience.

This definitely holds true in terms of how you treat the grinding process – no doubt you’re interested in how to extract as much flavour as possible from the beans you’re using, and if we’re being honest, manually grinding your own beans is really the best way to go.

Now why do I say this? Well, it boils down to two main things: Flavour and customisation. Using a manual coffee grinder gives you the latitude to adjust the consistency of your grinds to complement whatever brewing method you choose.

Whether you’re a fan of the AeroPress, drip or French Press, you can adjust the output of your manual grinder to provide fine or coarse grinds, each of which have their own distinct flavour profile.

So before we get into the specific product reviews, here are a few key points to keep in mind when choosing the best manual coffee grinder for your personal preferences.

Read also: Best coffee grinder under £200

Ergonomic design

You don’t want to choose a manual grinder that is awkwardly shaped, or doesn’t feature good ergonomic design.

After all, you’re going to be investing quite a bit of “sweat equity” into your grinding efforts, so the more functional the design of the grinder, the better. This includes providing a good non-slip grip, so that you can perform the steering motion with minimal hassle.

Grind settings

One of the best things about using a manual coffee grinder is that you can control the consistency of the grinds. This makes all the difference in terms of flavour extraction.

You want a manual grinder that offers plenty of latitude in terms of how coarse or fine you can grind the beans, and this will largely be determined by what types of grind settings are available on the device.

As you might imagine, the higher number of grind settings the grinder offers, the more flexibility you have in terms of ensuring that you’re grinding your beans to your exact specifications.

Noise

While there’s no such thing as a completely noiseless manual coffee grinder, you don’t want one that sounds like a jackhammer either. Your grinder should perform its job efficiently, but at a reasonable noise level.

Price

Obviously price is going to be one of the biggest considerations. The good news is that since manual grinders are very straightforward machines that do not require electricity or battery operation, you can typically snag one for a very wallet-friendly price.

Best Manual Coffee Grinder reviews

1. Hario Medium Glass Hand Coffee Grinder (with Ceramic Burrs)

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Pros

  • Well know, reliable brand
  • Durable quality construction
  • Compact and easy to travel with
  • Provides a high-quality grind with even consistency
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • No markings or numbers to indicate specific grind settings
  • Doesn’t come with English instructions

Overview

Most coffee connoisseurs are well aware of the Hario brand, as it is one of the most popular grinder manufacturers in the marketplace today. This is doubly impressive when you realize that Hario has been around since the 1920s.

This adjustable grinder, known as the Skerton or “skeleton”, features ceramic burrs which provide excellent durability along with uniform grind consistency. It measures 7.7 inches tall with a base diameter of 3.1 inches, so it’s compact enough to take with you when traveling.

It’s refreshingly easy to operate; in fact, I can grind up a batch of beans for a pour-over cup of coffee in less than a minute. The build quality is surprisingly robust, so you won’t have to worry about feeling like you’re working with a flimsy grinder.

It’s also worth mentioning that the hopper for this grinder is generously sized, so even the more coffee-obsessed among us will have plenty of storage capacity for larger brew sizes.

What it does best

I would have to say that ease of operation is the Hario Skerton’s strongest asset. It features a non-slip rubber cover around the base that helps stabilise the unit during the grinding process, and the hand crank offers smooth, unfettered movement.

To be honest, it’s so easy to work with this grinder, it almost seems like preparing my cup of coffee is a morning meditation.

Flaws but not deal breakers

As easy as this grinder is to operate, its one minor flaw is the fact that it doesn’t have any markings, numbers or other features that indicate how to set the grind size.

Add to that the fact that there are no instructions in English that come with this grinder, and you can see how there might be a slight learning curve in terms of adjusting the grind size to your specifications.

What other customers think

Reviews across the web have been overwhelmingly positive for the Hairo Skerton, especially in regards to its reliability and low price point. Quite a few people pointed out the lack of English instructions, so it might be something that the company needs to consider in the future.

Should you buy it?

I would give this an unqualified “Yes”, because let’s face it: You’re not going to find a much better manual grinder in this price range. It’s a heck of a bargain no matter which way you look at it.


2. Firlar Premium Manual Coffee Grinder

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Pros

  • Suitable for a wide range of brewing methods (e.g., AeroPress, French Press, Chemex, Moka Pot, etc.)
  • Easy to use, clean and store
  • Conical ceramic burrs provide consistent grinds
  • Sleek and attractive design
  • Durable stainless steel body
  • Small portal allows you to see finished grounds

Cons

  • Grinding process is somewhat slow, even for a manual grinder
  • Doesn’t accommodate larger batches of beans

Overview

Sleek and slender, the Firlar Premium Manual Coffee Grinder is a no-frills hand-crank device that gets the job done, with a minimalist aesthetic to boot. It features an adjustable grind selector that puts you in full control of your grind experience, from coarse to fine grounds and everything in between.

With its conical ceramic burr, this grinder does a fantastic job of producing a sharp, well-balanced, consistent grind that can maximise flavour extraction. It comes in a cool drawstring bag, which makes for a convenient little carrying case whenever you’re travelling.

The Firlar Premium Manual Coffee Grinder is easy to assemble, requiring only a handful of steps to put together. The only thing you need to clean the device is a brush and warm water, so your post-grinding cleanup won’t be too much of a chore.

What it does best

The most outstanding feature of the Firlar is its ability to produce a fine grind, which is a huge plus for those of us who are avid espresso fans.

Now don’t get me wrong – if you’re after an espresso-ready grind, you will have to put forth quite a bit of effort to achieve the fine consistency you’re looking for. But overall, it does an impressive job of producing whatever grind consistency matches your preference.

Flaws but not deal breakers

You’re going to need a healthy dose of patience with this grinder, as it’s not the most expedient grinder out there.

Yes, the fact that it’s a manual grinder obviously means that you’re going to have to wait a longer time before the beans are done, but even among comparable hand-crank grinders, the Firlar is in no hurry to produce the finished product.

I think this partially has to do with its slender design, because if you think about it, with each revolution of the burr, it’s going to grind a smaller quantity of beans versus what you would get with a larger or more wide-bodied grinder. That’s just simple physics. But what it does grind, it grinds well. I’ll drink a cuppa joe to that.

What other customers think

Many online reviewers commented about how the Firlar grinds with impeccable ease, although the longer grind time was commonly mentioned as well. In addition, most reviewers gave high marks for the fact that the grind setting can be easily modified by its built-in finger-adjustable nut.

Should you buy it?

Yes. If you’re looking for an efficient hand-crank mill that produces a quality ground coffee, the Firlar Premium Manual Coffee Grinder ticks all the boxes.


3. Hunt Brothers Coffee Grinder

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Pros

  • Produces consistent, even grinds
  • Easily portable
  • Burrs are durable and stable
  • Sleek, compact and attractive design
  • Durable stainless steel body
  • 18 different grind settings

Cons

  • Had a slightly oily or “machine-ish” smell when I first opened it
  • Plastic parts within the grinder are not very durable

Overview

Versatility is the name of the game with the Hunt Brothers manual coffee grinder. With 18 different grind settings, you really won’t have to worry about whether or not you’re going to achieve the appropriate grind consistency.

With so many grind options to choose from, it’s only a matter of time before trial-and-error does its magic. The grind with this hand-crank mill is very even and consistent, which is a huge plus for those of us who hate unwanted variances in flavours.

The steering motion with this grinder is ergonomically friendly, and thankfully it doesn’t produce a great bit of noise when grinding either. You can grind your beans in the morning with relative quietness, and achieve a smooth consistency with your grounds while you’re at it.

Fortunately, the Hunt Brothers grinder is lightweight, compact and highly portable, so you can take it with you for grinding your own beans when you’re at work, on vacation, or practically anywhere else outside the home.

That being said, the build has a decent amount of heft and solidness, so you won’t feel like you’re bringing along something that might be easily breakable in transit. And since this grinder is easy to clean, you won’t have to trouble yourself with complicated or protracted procedures when disassembling and cleaning it.

The Hunt Brothers manual grinder features an easily accessible conical burr (made from ceramic) that is both durable and precise, making the grind consistency quite impressive. Simply put, it’s hard to find too much wrong with this grinder.

What it does best

As I mentioned earlier, the fact that this grinder features 18 different click-adjustable grind settings makes it one of the most versatile hand-crank mills on the market. Whether you’re a fan of fine, medium or coarse grounds, you won’t be disappointed with what this grinder produces.

Flaws but not deal breakers

As I mentioned earlier, when I first took the grinder out of the package, I smelled a strong, oily aroma that reminded me of how the grease in a car engine smells. I know that any time you buy something new, there will more than likely be some type of new odors that have to fade off, so I didn’t think it was a cause for alarm, but it was noticeable.

Also, the fact that the interior parts are primarily comprised of plastic is a strike against it in the durability department.

What other customers think

Most online reviewers had a positive view of the Hunt Brothers manual coffee grinder; for example, it garnered well over 200 5-star reviews on Amazon. If I’m being honest, I didn’t see many “over the moon” comments about it.

Perhaps that’s not even necessary, because at the end of the day, what you’re after is a no-frills grinder that gets the job done without a bunch of extra hulabaloo. This grinder definitely fits the bill in that regard.

Should you buy It?

I would say yes, especially if you’re looking for a straightforward manual coffee grinder that does what it says it’s going to do.

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