Top 3: Best Manual Coffee Grinders of 2017 – The Ultimate Guide

These are the best manual coffee grinders

There is something magical about a perfect cup of coffee isn't it?

A great cup of coffee always makes my day no matter how difficult it has been.

If you love your coffee as I do, show some love to the beverage of the gods and get on the ground floor of the brewing process; grind your own coffee beans.

That being said, many people grind their coffee in an electric grinder, but it's just not the same.

Fine coffee is an art, it is every bit a product of love and labor. Hence, I love to grind my coffee beans with a manual grinder. 

Grinding your own beans with a manual burr grinder does have some limitations. For starters, manual grinders are slower than their electric counterparts and are usually limited in capacity.

And of course, it requires more effort than an automatic grinder. If you want to grind small batches, you should give it a try. You won't regret it.

Top Rated Hand Coffee Grinders

Manual Coffee

 Grinder

Speed

(20gr of Coffee)

Best Feature

Price​

EvenGrind

Kuissential EvenGrind

Coarse: 37 seconds

Fine: 58 seconds

Consistency

Handground

HandGround

Coarse: 30 seconds

Fine: 50 seconds

Speed

Design

Ergonomics

JavaPresse

JavaPresse

Coarse: 46 seconds

Fine: 70 seconds

Portability


Kuissential EvenGrind

Kuissential EvenGrind

This grinder has better particle size distribution than any grinder we've seen under $100.

See for yourself.

Sure, it's not perfect. There are boulders and fines here and there, but overall, it outclasses any hand grinder in its price range.

We chose to feature variances of fine, medium, medium-coarse, and coarse grinds in the photos above. These are all 2-3 knob settings coarser (left on the grind setting screw) than the last.

Out of the 18 or so feasible grind sizes one could use with the Evengrind, at least 15 are consistent enough to brew with. For a hand grinder, this is an incredible feat.

Design

EvenGrind Design

The Evengrind looks like the standard, clunky, plastic hand grinder available at any grocery store. It doesn't have many features, and it's hard to hold if you have small hands.

It takes some getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, the design is overshadowed by the great performance.

The top half of the unit is strong plastic / polymer. This is where the "brains" of the grinder are held.

Many grinders must be completely taken apart in order to adjust grind setting.

Instead, the EvenGrind allows access to the grind settings from the top.

You can use these settings as a guideline:

  • French press: 6 turns
  • Pour Over: 4 turns
  • Aeropress: 3 turns
  • Espresso: 2 turns

Performance

EvenGrind Cage

Kuissential believes that combining a good brewer with a bad grinder is counter-intuitive.

The company thought through the major problems found in hand grinders. They came up with the revolutionary patent that puts the "Even" in EvenGrind.

Kuissential incorporated a stabilizing cage that sits over the ceramic burr.

This seems like a simple idea, but it's incredibly effective.

The removable stabilizing cage basically hugs the burrs - keeping them from wobbling around. Axle and burr wobble is one of the main drawbacks of hand grinders. When the burrs wobble, boulders and fines are created.

These inconsistent grinds will ruin a potentially wonderful brew!

Along with the stabilizing remedy, Kuissential added extra lower and upper bearings to enhance support and smooth grinding.

Everything about the performance of this hand grinder maximizes quality.

Pros

  • Superb particle size distribution for a hand grinder.
  • Sturdy hand crank construction
  • Easy access grind settings.

Cons

  • Not very ergonomic. Hard to use for those with small hands.
  • Glass reservoir difficult to detach and reattach.

Read the EvenGrind Full Review


HandGround

HandGround

Good particle size distribution is one of the centric elements of the Handground.

We tested the Handground to its limits, and it surprised us. It's a grinder worth its salt.

The Handground has 15 total grind sizes. Each size is 125 microns coarser than the one before. Unfortunately, we don't have a microscope to measure whether or not the size difference is accurate.

We can, however, roughly gauge the particle size distribution just by sight.

Up until around size 4, there are few boulders and fines in the grind mix. After 4, the grind size gets a bit inconsistent.

It’s not necessary to go over the 4th setting for most brewing methods, so this shouldn’t be that big of an issue for most users.

The Handground still provides an easy grinding experience for all sorts of brew methods.

You can use these settings as a guideline:

  • French Press: 4
  • Pour Over: 2.5
  • Aeropress: 1.5
  • Espresso: 1

Design

Beans in the Handground

The Handground is an ergonomic haven.

Almost every negative characteristic found in hand grinders was remedied in the Handground's design.​

  • The 100g bean capacity eliminates reloading your grinder for large batch use.
  • The bottom catcher and locking top easily are easily removed with a quarter twist. No more twisting and turning to load or unload coffee.
  • The super sticky grip at the bottom of the grinder allows for easy, no slip grinding.
  • The solid aluminum hand crank is ON THE SIDE! It now feels natural to crush and destroy coffee beans.
  • Handground is a breeze to clean. A thumb nut at the bottom of the mechanism can easily be removed. Once the nut is taken off, the burrs and grinder can come apart for cleaning.

Some of these features described may seem trivial.

But believe us; if you've used hand grinders before, these added features make a world of difference.

While many hand grinders feel like cheap and brittle plastic, this device feels like a durable war machine, destroying all in its path. The grinder is so well put together that all fears of breaking it are put to rest.​

Performance

Grinding on the Handground

The innards of this grinding mechanism are quite impressive.

It incorporates a triple axle design in an attempt to eliminate axle and burr wobble.

On their website, Handground states that "each axle is milled on a 5 axis CNC that maintains tolerances of 0.004 inches. The combination of added stability and razor thin tolerances allows Handground to achieve a consistent grind, every time."

For the most part, they are right!

As you can clearly see up to grind size 4, the axle design is indeed effective. After size 4, particle size distribution goes downhill.

But remember that for most brewing methods, anything above setting 4 isn’t necessary.

Handground grind adjustment

Nevertheless, the Handground takes out all the stops to ensure a ridiculously even grind for a hand grinder.

The Handground feels good, grinds well, and it looks good in your coffee gear arsenal.

It's a priceless grinder choice for the avid home barista!

Pros

  • Better particle size distribution than most hand grinders.
  • Extremely ergonomic. It's comfortable to hold and operate.
  • Grind size selector can be accessed without taking apart mechanism.
  • Parts are durable and made with integrity.

Cons

  • Coarse grind is a bit inconsistent.
  • Expensive for the new barista.

Read HandGround Full Review


Javapresse

Javapresse

For the price, some hand grinders offer a decently consistent grind that will suit the average barista.

JavaPresse's grinder is one of those grinders.

It's a valuable asset to have stowed away in your coffee arsenal.

We were pleasantly appeased with our findings.

Despite the low price point, the JavaPresse grinds coffee consistently.

We tested this grinder on multiple settings. Shown above are variations of a fine, medium, medium coarse, and coarse grind. Each setting shown is 2-3 "clicks" coarser (turning left on the grind setting knob) than the last.

As you can see, boulders populate each of the grind mounds. You can also tell that some micro fines are resting in the medium grind mound.

According to JavaPresse, there are around 15 different usable settings with this grinder.

We went through 11 or 14 of them here. It seems that all settings are brewable - which is impressive for a hand grinder!

Design

JavaPresse Design

JavaPresse dimensions are 1.8 x 1.8 x 7.5 inches.

It's basically your own coffee grinding pocket tube. Easily fit the grinder in your backpack for camping or backpacking trips, or stuff it in your suit case for any casual occasion. Also, don't worry about breaking it. The JavaPresse design has you covered.

The stainless steel body makes this grinding mechanism incredibly durable.

One fear of using a grinder with glass or plastic parts is breaking or shattering the device. The durable design of this grinder lets you use it how you want, when you want.

Another unique feature is the detachable hand crank. It easily slips off the top of the hex axle, making it easier to store and stow away. Be careful when grinding though - the crank tends to detach during the grinding process if one is not careful.

The bottom grind reservoir easily slips off allowing the user to dispose of grounds. When taken apart, one will notice a "star" looking knob under the burrs. This is how the user can adjust the grind (think lefty-loosey / righty-tighty).

Unless you’re brewing for more than three people, the grinding capacity shouldn’t be a problem. The grinder can hold up to around 40 grams in the chamber. This leaves you with plenty of room to perform 2-3 cup brews!

Performance

JavaPresse with beans

We found that JavaPresse's device feels different than most hand grinders.

This is due to the dual plate system that holds one of the burrs stationary while the other spins with the crank. Javapresse states that "this leads to superior consistency, and was researched vigorously across 34 different competitors to ensure the most precise grind possible. We guarantee it."

We found that the dual plate system is efficient and produces decent grind consistency. As seen in the photos above, there are indeed noticeable boulders and fines in the grind mix.

JavaPresse designed an adjustment knob underneath the burrs to accomplish all of your grind setting needs.

You can use these settings as a guideline:

  • French Press: 3-6 clicks
  • Pour Over: 3 clicks
  • Aeropress: 2 clicks
  • Espresso: 1 click

This grinder not only delivers decent grind size - it gives you the freedom to grind coffee wherever you go!

Pros

  • The killer price is undeniable
  • The small, stainless steel design makes this grinder versatile and durable.
  • Dual plate burr design allows for decent particle size distribution.

Cons

  • Grinding large volumes of coffee at a time isn't feasible.
  • Detachable hand crank can slip off during grinding.

Read the JavaPresse Full Review




Leave a Comment:

Lita Watson says June 26, 2017

Thank for writing a review article in details! I see that handground grinder seems slight larger than some grinders, meaning its less portable.

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