The 10 Best Hand Coffee Grinders

Updated May 06, 2018 by Chase Brush

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We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. If you feel technology gets in the way of that perfect cup of morning coffee, then take full control over the bean-grinding process with one of these hand-operated mills. Not only are they easy to use, but they offer many of the same adjustable coarseness settings as electric models, but without those noisy motors to wake up the family. Plus, they are ideal for camping trips or vacations. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best hand coffee grinder on Amazon.

10. Universal Housewares Gourmet

The Universal Housewares Gourmet provides the benefit of a fully-covered 5-ounce bean hopper as well as an old-fashioned adjustable grinding wheel that delivers a smooth operation. Plus, a wooden pullout drawer stores enough grounds to brew up to 10 cups of delicious java.
  • nonskid base for stability
  • hardened steel blade
  • emits a strong odor
Brand Universal Housewares
Model 109
Weight 6.7 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

9. Bassani Macinino

If you consider morning joe a way of life, the Bassani Macinino will deliver the consistency you've been looking for. Its high-quality, conical burr construction helps grounds keep their full flavor, while the durable plastic top prevents your beans from spilling.
  • smooth and quiet operation
  • comes with cleaning brush
  • grinding area is quite small
Brand Bassani Home
Weight 11.2 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Hario Small Manual

The attractive Hario Small Manual can serve as the perfect addition to a country home or cabin, thanks to its rustic wooden body that should age nicely, even with years of heavy use. A removable compartment makes collecting and retrieving the finished product easy.
  • magnetic lid stays securely shut
  • good quality components
  • doesn't hold a lot of beans
Brand Hario
Model MM-2
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

7. Zassenhaus Santiago

The Zassenhaus Santiago is crafted from a combination of natural varnished beechwood and stainless steel topped off with an elegant mahogany finish that is sure to complement almost any kitchen decor. The sturdy grinding mechanism is guaranteed for up to 25 years.
  • consistent and aromatic results
  • crank is easy to operate
  • a bit on the pricey side
Brand Zassenhaus
Model M040111
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

6. Hario Skerton Plus

For the home enthusiast on a budget, the Hario Skerton Plus offers efficiency and style in an ergonomic and easy-to-use package. Conical ceramic burrs ensure a precise, uniform grind, while a nonslip rubber base keeps it in place even during strenuous use.
  • strong grind shaft
  • designed in japan
  • results can be a little coarse
Brand Hario
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Porex Mini Mill

Whether you're a busy traveler or on a camping trip, the Porex Mini Mill can be a worthy companion. It's one of the most compact models out there, capable of slipping into a backpack or suitcase, but can still produce grounds for everything from espresso to French press.
  • 20-gram capacity
  • great for one person
  • can be difficult to clean
Brand Porex Mini Mill
Model 34570007
Weight 10.1 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. Peugeot Bresil

Quality and sophistication describe the Peugeot Bresil, which boasts a case-hardened steel mechanism that quickly crushes your beans to the desired consistency with minimal effort on your part. What's more, it can double as a high-output pepper grinder, too.
  • 5-year warranty on walnut exterior
  • corrosion-resistant design
  • can make quite a mess
Brand Peugeot
Model 19401765
Weight 2.4 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

3. Rok Aluminum

Thanks to the included set of easy-to-remove washers, the professional-grade Rok Aluminum is ideal for virtually any form of brewing, seamlessly switching between both step and step-less grinding actions. Its nonslip ring prevents wobbling and sliding when in use.
  • good for right and left-handed users
  • extremely durable construction
  • sleek and attractive
Brand Rok
Weight 3.7 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Handground Precision

With a simple turn of its numbered dial, the Handground Precision gives coffee lovers up to 15 available coarseness settings for that perfect cup of java, regardless of preference for espresso or French press style. Its hopper accommodates up to 100 grams of beans.
  • aluminum handle with pakkawood knob
  • conical ceramic burr mill
  • easy to disassemble for cleaning
Brand Handground
Model SYNCHKG098856
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. JavaPresse Manual

With its removable crank and ceramic components, the JavaPresse Manual is super easy to store and fully-prepared to match the consistency of almost any electric unit when you want a delicious cup of coffee during your travels. A grinding guide is also included.
  • 18 coarseness settings
  • one-year money-back guarantee
  • compact and very portable
Brand JavaPresse Coffee Compa
Model JavaPresse Manual Coffe
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Manual Versus Electric Coffee Grinders

In a world where everything is going electric, it might seem like the logical step to get an electric coffee grinder. But hand coffee grinders still have their merits. Let's take a look at the differences between these two types of grinders. First off, electric grinders, while fast and efficient, are very loud. The trouble is that you likely want to make your coffee first thing in the morning (even though that isn't necessarily the healthiest time to have a cup of joe). If you live with others, they may not appreciate your electric grinder going on at 7 a.m. Hand grinders, on the other hand, boast much quieter operation.

The second thing to consider is that hand coffee grinders are also far more portable than electric ones. If you like to camp, you probably won't find an outlet in a tree to plug in your electric coffee grinder. But you don't need electricity to get fresh coffee grounds from your hand grinder. These also tend to be lighter and easier to pack than their electric counterparts. And, while electric grinders might get you your grounds faster, perhaps getting things faster isn't so great. The current generation is at risk of demanding instant gratification from everything. But there's something to be said for working and waiting for your reward — the reward can feel greater. Using a manual grinder reminds you to take your time, and when your coffee is ready, you enjoy it a little bit more because you had to work for it.

Finally, hand grinders are very simple machines. They don't have all the parts of electric ones, which makes them more durable. Manual grinders consist of just a hopper for the beans, burrs to grind those beans, and a chamber to catch the grounds. This makes these devices easy to disassemble, clean, and put back together. If something goes wrong with your electric grinder, you will probably face a long call with the manufacturer's customer service to fix it.

The History Of Coffee And Its Grinders

Considering that coffee is centuries old, it should come as no surprise that we've needed grinders for our beans for a long time. Coffee plants first grew in Ethiopia around 800 C.E. Legend has it that a goatherd in the region noticed his goats were a bit more happy and energized than usual. It turned out the goats had been snacking on the berries of a coffee plant, and discovered its mood-enhancing properties. The goatherd spread the word of the magic beans to local monks, who began using it to make coffee-based wine. Ethiopians actually used to treat coffee more like a food than a beverage, crushing the berries and wrapping them in some sort of fat to eat as a snack. This was almost like the earliest version of energy bars. At the time, Ethiopians used a simple mortar and pestle to grind their beans.

In order to discuss the history of the types of coffee grinders we see today, we'll have to go far back in time to before coffee existed. Coffee grinders rely on the technology of the mill, which the Greeks created around 1350 B.C.E. Around the 15th century C.E., the Turkish people invented the spice grinder, which people also used to grind up coffee beans. In 1665, a British man named Nicholas Book claimed to have created the first mill specifically designed for grinding coffee. But there is some debate over Book's claim since, at this point, people around the world had already been grinding coffee beans, and many believe someone probably beat Book to the punch.

Coffee took most of the world by storm in the following couple of centuries. King Charles III of Spain was so crazy about the stuff that he almost took to hoarding it. He decreed that coffee coming into the country from America not be taxed while forbidding the exportation of coffee grinders to America. As you can see, people have long been protective of their java.

What To Look For In A Hand Coffee Grinder

When it's time to pick out your hand coffee grinder, think about your coffee drinking habits. For example, if you don't want the exact same cup of joe every day, you may want a grinder with various coarseness settings. If you sometimes make coffee for large groups of friends, make sure your grinder has a big hopper. A big hopper also gives you the option to grind up plenty of coffee now and store it in jars for later. By the way, if you get pretty enthusiastic when grinding your beans, make sure your grinder has a non-slip base so it doesn't move around.

Durability is also key when choosing your grinder. Look for hardened steel blades. These will stand the test of time and easily cut through the toughest of beans. If you opt for a glass grinder, make sure it's shatter-proof. Some grinders even have steel shells, which will last you through years of java-making. It's important that your grinder has a comfortable handle, too, and that it turns smoothly. Make sure the lid of your grinder closes securely; this will help the beans maintain their aroma.

The style is another element to consider. Since new research has found that drinking coffee could lead to a longer life, you want to make sure you select a grinder you'll be happy to look at for decades to come. If you have a modern kitchen, you may want a grinder with an all-steel build or copper finish to complement your sleek aesthetic. If you're more traditional, consider a grinder with a wooden house. There are some charming varieties available with interesting and decorative details that will really make it stand out on your counter.

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Last updated on May 06, 2018 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.

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