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The Best Manual Coffee Grinders available – a Complete Review

Posted by on Sep 30, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Although hand grinding coffee every day doesn’t sound very practical or efficient, especially if you are always in hurry, or if you need an additional hour to fully wake up in the morning, there are a lot of connoisseurs that still think that a coffee grinder manual is still the best idea. But why?

It’s not just all about the love for the emotion of grinding your own moka, actually. Do not just figure people who hand crank their freshly toasted coffee beans like moustached espresso-lovers Italians, that love to smell the burning aroma of coffee in their nostrils. Manual grinding is first and foremost, a good economic solution to grind only the right amount of beans you need, and to buy a hand-cranker that will just cost you a fraction of an electronic machine. Even the highest quality, top-level manual coffee grinder is way cheaper than an electronic one, so you can get the best available on the market without seriously hurting your domestic budget. Freshly roasted coffee is much tastier and aromatic than commercial vacuum formulas, and grinding it every time you consume it helps keeping its aroma intact through the time. A skilled hand can grind the coffee with ease and speed, and allow a much more finely tuned experience, that leave you the opportunity of getting a more consistent and uniform grind than the most expensive electronic machine can ever provide.


There are numerous designs of adjustment mechanisms, burrs, top domes, handle profiles that make every manual grinder a different one. Although all hand mills are designed as to turn the handle clockwise when grinding, even the slightest difference in a small detail will change the results, such as how fine is the texture of the grinded coffee, how small are the pulverized particles, and much more. Pulverized beans can often be associated with bean fragments and very fine particles, that will end in different amounts of coffee solubles extracted from them. Different materials like steel or ceramic will make a manual coffee grinder more resistant to wear while losing precision, or making them harder to be cleaned. We reviewed some of the best, top quality products on the market to give you a proper idea not on what’s the best manual coffee grinder available, but rather on which one is the one that better suits your own needs.

1.Hario Coffee Mill Slim Grinder, Mini

The Hario Slim Mini is by many considered as one of the best manual coffee grinder available. Similar to the Skerton model, it’s slimmer and smaller making it even more easy to handle and grind, although it is not recommended if you need to grind large quantities of coffee.The overall capacity of the lower chamber maxes out at about 22 grams, which is slightly less than the usual, but it displays quantity markings to easily understand how much coffee you are going to grind for a fast cup of pour over coffee. Its simple and sleek design make it perfect for traveling (it weighs just 8.75 ounces or 247 grams), especially as the hard plastic body makes it very resistant to bumps and wear. It is also very easy to firmly grip, allowing for powerful grinds, although you may need more strength than with other models to maintain a finer, more uniform grind consistency, especially oncoarser grinds like French press. One of the best features of this model, is that’s one of the cheapest models available on the market.

  1. OrphanEspresso Lido 2 Manual Coffee Grinder

The Orphan Espresso Lido 2 is the perfect model for those who like big, heavy-duty instruments, as it looks much more like a real mechanic tool rather than a kitchen appliance. Built to resist almost anything, the Lido 2 is incredibly robust with its robust plastic and stainless steel design, topping the weight charts of all other manual coffee grinders with an astonishing 3.5 pounds (1.6 kilograms). It’s like Big Monster Truck of coffee grinders world, and it’s all about being at the opposite spectrum of the Hario Slim Mini. And just like any other heavy-duty tool, the Lido 2 can grind tons of beans into a fine powder in just a few seconds, and a dozen of strokes. This gigantic grinder requires quite an hefty amount of strength to be used, but it’s all about raw power: the bottom jar can hold up to 8 ounces (almost the weight of an entireHario Slim Mini), making it the best manual coffee grinder for larger quantities. Also, it’s really beautiful to look at, and you can just keep it in the kitchen to let people stand in awe in front of its luxurious design… and its expensive pricing.

  1. Porlex JP-30Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder

The Porlex JP-30 is one of the best manual coffee grinders available, and what’s best it looks like a canister. We all like canisters. You can’t get a simpler, more effective design than this sleek, stainless steel coffee grinder, so if you’re looking for a vintage-looking kitchen appliance that will improve the style of any store or kitchen counter, this one is just the perfect choice. Useless to say, its robust steel canister design makes this Japanese manual coffee grinder almost indestructible, so it’s well suited to all kind of travels, camping and outdoor activities. But what about its quality? First thing first, the Porlex JP-30 sports aninner spring within the grinders that helps keeping the grind uniform even with the coarsest grinds. Adjusting the grind setting is also incredibly easy and intuitive: you just need to loosen or tighten the plastic nut with a simple movement. So why is this coffee grinder rated inferior to the Hario Slim Mini and the Orphan Expresso Lido 2? Well although its design is incredibly nice, it is also way too much slippery, making it hard to firmly grip and use it without using a lot of strength. The mill is also really tiny, so grinding coffee will be quite tiring as you laboriously switch your arms back and forth, so people who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome should stay away from this model as much as they can.The Porlex JP-30 manual coffee grinder is quite cheap though, costing just a little more than the Hario Slim Mini.