If you enjoy coffee, you’re probably aware that the only way to get the full flavor and aroma of is to grind the beans yourself. That’s why today we’re talking about a topic I’m personally passionate about, hand crank coffee grinders.
While large electric grinders are effective at home, a manual coffee grinder is necessary when you’re on the go (or, in my case, to save on your electric bill and get a bit of a workout). It’s also an enjoyable process. It’s like making your own pasta or growing your own herbs. Grinding your own beans gets you one step closer to the coffee.
Although hand crank coffee grinders appear rather straightforward, they require careful engineering to get the precise and reliable grind you want. For that reason, we took a look at five of the best manual coffee grinders—and are giving you our full review.
If you want to read about more hand crank products, click here.
The Top 5 Manual Coffee Grinders – All on Amazon
Lucky for you, I’ve done a lot of the legwork, so you don’t have to buy something online and decide for yourself if it’s amazing. Without further ado, here are my top five hand crank coffee grinders of 2022.
|Size||5.5 x 2 x 2 inches|
The smallest 1ZPresso grinder is the 1Zpresso Q2. In addition to being smaller, the 1ZPresso is also less expensive. Fortunately, neither the build quality nor the materials were compromised, so the Q2 is still a premium product in a compact, portable form.
The high-quality materials used to construct this grinder make it perfect for tiny amounts of coffee. The Q2 is ideal for camping trips or leaving at the office so you can keep your sense of freshness while working.
The 20g capacity of the 1Zpresso Q2 is the only true drawback, though it may be lower depending on the type of bean you use. You can get enough for one brew, but if you’re brewing coffee for more than one person at once, you’ll need to grind more than once. While that’s not the end of the world, if you have to do it regularly, it’s annoying.
That being said, the 1Zpresso Q2 is our Top Pick manual coffee grinder due to its aesthetics, build quality, usability, and cost-to-quality ratio.
|Dimensions||6.5 x 1.75 x 1.75 inches|
|Settings||3 macro and 19 micro|
Since releasing the first Lido in 2011, the boutique Orphan Espresso has dazzled coffee enthusiasts with its manual grinders. Since then, every new grinder has been developed with added features and advantages.
With the Fixie, OE created a grinder that is even better for travel by using the robust and long-lasting hardened steel burrs used in the Lido 3. The weight has been reduced to only 11.5 oz using a combination of aerospace aluminum, carbon fiber, and steel elements.
The way the grind is adjusted is one of our favorite parts about the Fixie (and why it made it onto our list of the top five hand crank coffee grinders). Orphan Espresso knows that most people only bring one coffee maker when traveling. To allow you to choose between a fine, medium, or coarse setting, the grinder comes with three “fixie” discs. Additional Teflon shims can then be used to make fine adjustments.
|Size||1.8 x 7.5 x 1.8 inches|
Small, reasonably priced, and slim. A compact, lightweight grinder that is practical and portable is the JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder. No offense to JavaPresse, but their coffee isn’t the best-looking option on our list. That being said, it’s affordable and effective (which is arguably more important than how it looks).
It has a sturdy stainless steel body, a ceramic conical burr, and a removable hand crank, making it ideal for traveling. It has a dual plate design, which makes grinding feel more stable and yields reliable grounds.
The JavaPresse has an adjustable knob that sits underneath the burr, so you change your grind settings using a click system. We found it a little confusing at first, but once we got used to it, it was easy to use (and very quick).
Despite its apparent simplicity, this grinder has been a popular choice for a while now, and it’s easy to see why: it provides hassle-free, useful, and reasonably priced quality grinds.
|Size||5.5 x 3.5 x 7.8 inches|
Thanks to its conical burr, 25-year warranty, and superior grind capabilities, the beautifully finished Zassenhaus coffee grinder is considered one of the finest on the market. Of course, that means it comes at a higher price—but for anyone who loves their coffee, it’s worth it.
It also comes in several colors, such as a gorgeous black beechwood finish. It’s a little bigger and bulkier than other hand grinders but smaller than your typical electrical burr-grinder. Its larger size brings more style, especially the stunning mahogany veneer.
Because of its grind size dial, which has a HUGE number of grind settings, you can grind for every brew technique, including Turkish and espresso. Its grind function offers consistent results AND works well with espresso. With a 25-year warranty that is assured, you can be sure you’re getting a high-quality grinder.
We reviewed some hand crank pasta makers last month: check them out here.
|Size||6 x 2.3 x 1.8 inches|
|Settings||13 stepped settings|
Traveling coffee aficionados can’t stop gushing about the Porlex Portable Coffee Mill, which is perfect for people who are often on the go and intend to grind precisely and swiftly. It’s also great for any snobby digital nomad who always has a coffee grinder on them (no offense intended).
You’ll probably wondering what characteristics make this product an excellent travel companion? It is simple to hike with, bike with, pack in a suitcase, or store in the car, thanks partly to its lightweight, portable, and easy-to-grip cylindrical design. Because it is the perfect size for the Aeropress and weighs only 8 ounces, packing is a breeze.
The Porlex is durable and simple because of its robust stainless steel body construction. The adjustable grinder has a neat dial that ensures you remember that perfect grind you just produced. It produces accurate grinds for fine, coarse, or grinds in between. It has 13 settings, each selected with a burr wheel “click.”
|Size||7.72 x 3.43 x 3.31 inches|
An affordable manual grinder that excels in both design and functionality is the Akirakoki. It uses a single piece of wood to ensure that the body of the grinder will never crack. Additionally, the Akiraroki makes its burr out of cast iron, which means it will never rust. During our testing, we learned that it didn’t get as hot as some of the products either.
Everything comes together to produce a dependable and attractive travel grinder. Thanks to the Akirkoki’s 85g grind capacity, you can grind enough coffee for up to three friends at once, which is a good thing.
How We Picked
We kept plenty of things in mind when picking our top five hand crank coffee grinders in 2023. We think it’s important to know what makes a hand crank coffee grinder good or bad. So, when shopping around, here’s what you should look for.
Consider purchasing a sleek, cylindrical shape that is simple to store and comfortable to hold if you want to grind on the go.
When it comes to portability, less is more, but if you’re not worried about taking your hand grinder on the road, something lovely and vintage-looking may suit you more. It’ll also be able to grind more beans, so if you like to entertain, we’d recommend looking for something bigger.
Small and portable are terms we use to describe travel coffee grinders. This indicates that you can only produce so many beans at once (usually a small amount).
It’s critical to be practical; you want a coffee grinder with the appropriate capacity. Expect a solid arm exercise while grinding coffee for groups larger than two or three people.
Since they experience the most stress, the burrs are the subject of this discussion. You have two choices: ceramic or steel, both with advantages and disadvantages. When traveling, think about using stainless steel burrs because they’re more dependable and easier to maintain. If you plan to keep your grinder at home, ceramic burrs are good as well (but a little less reliable).
What number of settings your coffee grinder has, and how simple is it to switch between them? To make the best coffee, you need something that grinds in many ways. In our opinion, having anything that “just grinds” is useless. Additionally, you want a grinder with practical features that will deliver the same outcomes wherever you grind.
With inconsistent grinding caused by a poor hand grinder, your brew will either be over or under-extracted. Having said that, neither a manual nor an electric grinder is flawless.
Manual grinders frequently lack guarantees compared to electric grinders. You don’t want to spend money on something that you will only use a few times before it stops working properly or perhaps breaks down!
Given that their products are expertly and precisely built, well-made products frequently have lifetime or long-term warranties. It’s crucial to remember that how frequently and effectively you clean your coffee grinder will greatly impact both the durability of your burr and the taste of your coffee.
Things The Manufacturer Won’t Tell You:
Of course, there are several additional features to take into account.
Don’t pay attention to the manufacturers’ nonsense marketing. So that you can choose the right grinder, allow me to break down the characteristics for you below.
- Steel Vs. Ceramic Burrs: A grinder’s most crucial component is the burrs. Conical burrs are found on all hand grinders. They are available in steel or ceramic. Steel has much sharper edges (and better). It is quicker and more reliable than ceramic. Even though they are generally more expensive, I strongly advise purchasing a grinder with steel burrs if you have the money.
- The Handle: A hand grinder’s handle can make or break it. If it’s too short, grinding the same number of beans will require much more energy. See the image below for a variety of sorts.
- The Bearings: Bearings are typically included in the more expensive models, which makes grinding much smoother and simpler. You will use much-unneeded energy if you select a model without bearings.