Best Manual Coffee Grinder: Top 10 Travel Size Coffee Grinders in 2021
Coffee tastes better when ground fresh, that's a fact. If you are searching for the best manual coffee grinder, then you probably care about the quality of your coffee or espresso. However, a hand grinder isn't for everyone, and if you want something electric, be sure to check out our review of the best burr coffee grinder.
Of course, with even the best manual coffee grinders, you’re going to need to put in the love and care of grinding the beans yourself, but this is part of the appeal to most home baristas. The effort that goes into preparing the coffee is what makes it taste so great. As a company that appreciates the fine details in life, this couldn't be more true.
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Best Manual Coffee Grinder
We reviewed the top 10 manual grinders on the market, and if you have a coffee enthusiast in the family, then a manual grinder would make an ideal gift for the holidays. Real coffee enthusiasts, that enjoy the artisanal coffee experience, understand the importance of the right equipment and coffee gadgets.
The 1Zpresso JX-PRO coffee grinder is a behemoth of a machine. No, not in size but in performance. Since this thing first released into the market, coffee enthusiasts have come in droves to acquire one of these. Whether you are something enjoys drip coffee, cold brew, French press, or even espresso, the 1Zpresso can do it all!
Starting with it's features, you will now have the ability to adjust this grinder up to 200 clicks, each of which changes the grind size by 12.5 microns. If you don't know what a micron is, it stands for a micrometer, which is a unit of measurement equal to one millionth of a meter (1). That is an incredibly precise grind setting if you ask us, and it can hold 35 grams of ground coffee.
As for the internal components, the 1Zpresso offers a 48mm conical burr grinder, which as you already know, we always recommend a burr grinder when grinding whole bean coffee. With such a high end burr grinder, you no longer will experience uneven particles in your grind size which will convert to a better overall tasting cup of coffee. The leading cause for burnt or under extracted coffee is a bad grinder.
Additionally, this device is user friendly, lab tested, and easy to clean. Although burr grinders can go quite a while in between cleanings, we recommend giving it a deep cleaning a few times a year. This will help the longevity of the hand grinder and will guarantee the most consistent grind possible. For what it is worth, there is also a one year warrantee when you buy this product.
If you don't trust our review, check out the rating and reviews for yourself. There is no doubt that this grinder can withstand the test of time and will produce the perfect cup of java. Not only that, but it is built and engineered beautifully with A+ customer service. Do yourself a favor and buy one today!CHECK PRICE →
Next on our list is the Timenmore Nano travel grinder, an all black folding grinder. If you are new to hand grinders, then you'll soon find out that the grip is one of the most underreacted features. Any coffee professional that has ground coffee a time or two with manual grinders will tell you that it's a sweaty business. With the Timemore, you never have to worry about that again as it features an exceptional grip design.
If you are someone that does a fair amount of traveling, you'll be pleased to know that the Timemore Nano is the perfect travel size hand grinder as it is only 10 cm high and weighs only 360 g. Not that we recommended it, but this grinder could even fit in your pocket if you wanted to be that guy or girl that carries on around.
Although this grinder can't be adjusted as incremental as the previous, it still features 36 clicks in adjustment which will give you adequate grind sizes from fine espresso all the way to coarse French press or cold brew. More importantly, this is one of the best hand grinders on the market if you are searching for consistency and overall particle distribution which leads us to the next feature.
With top of the line, stainless steel burr grinders, the Timemore Nano holds it's weight in gold. Not that it weighs much at all but you get the point. This beautifully crafted, expertly engineered travel grinder will provide a compact solution for your every need.
If you are searching for one of the best smooth performance, easy to clean, compact, stainless steel manual grinders, then you'll be excited to learn that this grinder is your perfect solution. With an extreme focus on detail, you'll be satisfied for years to come knowing that this hand grinder is in your back pocket.CHECK PRICE →
When we were researching for the best manual grinders on the market, it was inevitable that we would stumble across the Normcore hand grinders. If you are someone that cares about aesthetics, then this is the absolutely best hand coffee grinder money can buy. So, what about people that care about quality and performance?
Similar to it's design and aesthetics, the Normcore does not disappoint when put to the test. In fact, it performs almost as well as the two previously mentioned competitors, but at half the price. Starting off with it's stainless steel conical burrs, you'll be able to enjoy all of your favorite drinks. From espresso, all the way to French Press.
While this hand grinder doesn't have quite the level of grind adjustment as that of the 1Zpresso, you'll be happy to learn that it features 24 levels of coarseness, enough to get the job done! More importantly, there was a lot of focus on the burrs which is why they are coated in stainless steel and crafted to prevent corrosion.
With such top of the line stainless steel, it is worth noting that you should clean your equipment regularly, including the burrs. That being said, we are excited to report that the ratings and reviews for this manual grinder mention how easy it is to clean, in addition to being easy to use.
If you are looking for a portable, consistent and well engineered burr grinder, then look no further than the Normcore hand grinder. Although it is fairly new and doesn't have too many reviews, the general consensus so far is that the hand grinder stacks up as one of the best, not to mention that it looks better than most and performs just as well at half the price. For a better budget option, go do yourself a favor and buy the Normcore.CHECK PRICE →
So, we reviewed the 1Zpresso JX-PRO already, but what about it's little brother? If you liked what you read on the JX-PRO, but felt that it was a little overkill for your needs, consider the 1Zpresso Q2 instead which is heavily marked down compared to the Pro and performs almost as well.
Starting with the grinder capacity, the 1Zpresso can hold 20 grams of ground coffee. If you are an avid coffee drinker, you probably measure your coffee out whether it is for pulling an espresso shot or just doing a classic pour over. If this sounds like you, then you already know how much coffee you need. If you only drink one cup of coffee or need one shot of espresso, this grinder is perfect.
Personally, the 20 grams of ground coffee is not enough for the average coffee connoisseur, but if it is for you, or you don't mind grinding a few batches in a row, then you'll be excited to learn about the other features it offers.
Like it's big brother, it is aesthetically pleasing and the perfect travel companion for coffee lovers. Even though this burr grinder is cheaper, you'll be pleased to know that it still contains the same quality stainless steel burrs within that are easy to use. Additionally, these manual grinders are still easy to clean, which we recommend doing on a regular basis.
With a similar design appearance, grind consistency and build quality, it is quite clear how it stacks up as the potential best hand coffee grinder. Not only that, but it is a fraction of the price compared to most. If you are satisfied with the specs, give this precision coffee grinder a try!CHECK PRICE →
You may be seeing a pattern here, we enjoy comparing siblings, and the Timemore Chesnut C2 is like a younger brother or sister that is capable of beating you up. Not only that, but it's the family favorite, the one that gets all the attention. So the question is, should it be?
Starting with the engineering and build quality of this conical burr grinder, it stacks up evenly to it's older and more advanced sibling. With the same advanced grip feature, portability and grind consistency you may be wondering why people would go with the more expensive option.
Well, coming in with just a 25 grams capacity, the Timemore Chesnut doesn't have the biggest batch size compared to others on the list. You may be wondering why that is a con compared to the Nano, since the Nano holds less. Well, since the Nano specializes in being compact and travel size, paying more for less output is actually common.
For example, would you rather have a tiny computer or cell phone that can fit tons of processing power, memory and battery life, or would you rather something that is double the size but only has slightly better performance? Maybe this isn't you, but many people prefer efficiency and portability over the ladder.
If you love the Timemore Chesnut and actually prefer a bigger device over the smaller Nano, then we wholeheartedly recommend this option. For a conical burr grinder, that has amazing grind consistency, ease of use and superior build quality, you can't go wrong with this power horse.CHECK PRICE →
The Lido 3 Manual Coffee Grinder is iconic in its design and probably one of the most high-end coffee grinders out there. It’s not the cheapest on the list by any means, but the results will be worth it. It should be noted that the Lido 3 is hard to find in stock, and if you happen to find one, be sure to buy it right away!
The Lido 3 features a powerful Swiss engineered conical stainless steel burrs. It’s a sturdy machine with a 2.5 ounce capacity, which is more than enough ground coffee to produce a full pot of coffee. It has various grind settings from pour over to French press and always produces a consistent grind each time.
The Lido 3 is not only fun to use but it is also easy to clean. It comes with a natural bristle brush and a handy hex tool for maintenance. The Lido 3 Manual Coffee Grinder is also portable, and you get a neoprene carrying case included within the price.
As one of the top options on the market, the Lido 3 is worth investing in. It’s more lightweight than previous models but it’s still incredibly durable. This is due to its new BPA free plastic body which is nontoxic and more ecofriendly. It's sleek design means that the manufacturers at Orphan Espresso haven’t compromised on style.
It’s an easy grinder to use overall, however, as all manual grinders require some elbow grease, this one is no different. If you’re looking to produce a consistent and precise grind over a wide range of grind settings, then Lido 3 may be for you. It is both lightweight and portable, making it a very versatile piece of equipment.CHECK PRICE →
The Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill has a small and slim design perfect for coffee enthusiasts that like to travel light. It’s got a two-cup capacity of 1 ounce and is only 6 inches in height. It’s also a budget-friendly option that still has a wide range of grind options. It uses ceramic burrs which means the coffee beans stay cool as you grind them, maintaining their natural aromas. For those who want fresh coffee on the go, but haven’t the budget for the top of the range manual grinder, this one’s ideal.
The Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill is stylish in design with a durable black stainless steel body. It also a transparent lid, so you can watch your progress as you grind. As with all manual burr coffee grinders, you will have to put in some elbow grease but the die-cast aluminum handle is pretty sturdy. It’s fine for grinding your beans wherever you are and is a great little gift for the coffee enthusiast you know, and small enough to count as a stocking stuffer.
One of the main advantages of the Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill is convenience. You can also dismantle the burr section to clean it. It’s designed to be stored away in small spaces and is ideal for the coffee lover who’s running out of space in their kitchen. If you want to invest in a decent manual grinder but aren’t looking to make large quantities at a time, then this mini mill could be perfect for you.
Another great thing about the Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill is that you can measure the amount of coffee you grind using the lower compartment. This new and improved model is great for those looking to prepare the perfect cup of Joe on the go, whether it’s espresso or French press, and it’s easy to look after.CHECK PRICE →
The JavaPress Manual Coffee Grinder is another favorite among consumers due to its convenient features. The grinder has more than fifteen grind settings you can choose the coarseness and try out different options until you find the perfect cup of coffee for you. The hank crank mechanism is easy and quite to use and it’s small enough so that you can make your favorite brew on the go.
It’s a very convenient gadget and a must for all coffee enthusiasts especially those with a smaller kitchen. It has a compact and neat design and is easy to clean and take care of. The JavaPress Manual Coffee Grinder is a simple yet well-engineered piece of equipment, ideal for those who want to take their coffee grinder traveling or to work. It makes enough for two cups of coffee so it’s perfect for your next staycation or camping trip.
You can use the JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder for espresso, AeroPress, drip coffee, French press, or Turkish coffee, just move the ring and go to town grinding. The signature ceramic burrs are very durable and long-lasting, so you can make more types of coffee for longer. You can prepare coffee manually at home or on the go in minutes with minimal effort. Manual grinders are always worth the flavor you get as a result.
The JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder almost looks like it was designed for travelers. Its slim tube shape means it fits perfectly into a backpack and is easy to transport. The main body can also be detached making it convenient to store as well. It’s made from elegant brushed stainless steel making it attractive to look at as well as convenient. Overall, it’s easy to see why this manual coffee grinder is popular with coffee lovers at home and on the go.CHECK PRICE →
The Hario Skerton burr grinder is perfect for your everyday coffee needs. It’s very easy to use and has a glass hopper, which allows you to see your beans being ground. Both the handle and inner mechanism and securely built and you can grind your coffee at various grind settings with ease. Due to the glass body, you’ll have to be a little more careful if you take it on the road with you, but having said that it’s very compact and durable. It’s also incredibly easy to clean and maintain.
The Japanese brand Hario brought out the Skerton Pro as an updated version of previous models, but it’s still a budget-friendly option. It’s been improved in terms of ergonomics and new features make it much more stable to use overall. At this price, it’s hard to find a compact grinder this powerful and its ceramic burrs are strong and durable.
The heat-proof glass design is popular with many coffee drinkers and it’s nice to have a transparent grinder. The bottom part is also detachable, including the ring and burrs, and it’s compatible with other Hario grind catchers. The Skerton Pro has a capacity of 3.5 ounces so it can make about four cups of coffee. Considering its size it’s lightweight and portable. All in all, the Skerton Pro is very convenient for all kinds of coffee enthusiasts.
If you’re looking for a smart little coffee grinder that won’t break the bank, then this could be for you. It’s still a sophisticated model and will look nice in any coffee lover’s kitchen, plus it has a variety of grind settings. It can grind nearly every type of brew. The Hario Skerton Pro is ideal for your basic coffee needs and will make a lovely addition to your morning routine.CHECK PRICE →
The Manual Coffee Grinder maintains a great flavor and aroma giving you a fresh cup of coffee every time. The top-quality ceramic burr and stainless steel body make it a very durable piece of equipment as well. Its compact design also makes it convenient for use away from home, or storage. There are various coarseness grind settings and you can grind your beans to your liking.
One of the best things about a manual coffee grinder is how quiet it is in comparison to an electric grinder. Many people say grinding coffee beans manually is a much more pleasant and relaxing experience due to this, even though it takes some work. It’s also easier when you’re on the go because it doesn’t need batteries or plugging in.
The Porlex Manual Coffee Grinder also comes with a travel pouch so you can transport it easily. It’s also safe to use and comes with an anti-slip cover for storing the so that it doesn’t slip while grinding. The hand crank is also removable so it’s easy to store, clean, and maintain.
The Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Manual Coffee Grinder can be adjusted to produce anything from finely ground espresso to coarse cold brew, so you can set it to the consistency you prefer. If you’re looking for a gift for yourself or a coffee enthusiast you know, a manual coffee grinder could be a great idea. It makes a perfect addition to anyone’s kitchen and is a fresher way to enjoy coffee first thing in the morning.CHECK PRICE →
What is a manual coffee grinder?
A manual coffee grinder is essentially one you use by hand rather than electric. They are typically handheld devices and often designed to be portable, for grinding coffee beans on the go as well as at home. Many coffee enthusiasts choose manual coffee grinders over electric for various reasons.
Manual coffee grinders don’t heat up as much, thus preserving the taste and the aroma of the coffee beans more. They are also much quieter to use and a lot more pleasant for this reason first thing in the morning. Manual coffee grinders can still be quite powerful, however, and can produce various types of coffee, from fine espresso to French press.
Manual coffee grinders tend to be more simple gadgets than their electrical counterparts. This makes them both easy to use and to clean. The main issue with manual coffee grinders is that you will need to use your elbow grease to grind your beans, but most people tend to enjoy this, and it’s not particularly hard work. You simply turn the main crank like handle and in a few minutes, you can enjoy freshly ground coffee.
The inner mechanism of a coffee grinder is based on ceramic or steel burrs which grind up the coffee beans according to the coarseness setting you select. It’s easy to use as a kitchen gadget and manual coffee grinders can be used without batteries or electricity. You mill the coffee beans yourself and you can do this anywhere.
Another one of the main benefits of a manual coffee grinder is that it’s a more cost-effective solution. Because they tend to be quite simple gadgets they’re usually a lot cheaper than electric coffee grinders or blade grinders. You should generally notice more consistency between price and quality with a manual coffee grinder.
Real coffee enthusiasts go for the best manual coffee grinders, as well as fresh specialty coffee, for the freshness. There’s nothing quite like grinding your beans yourself right before you make your favorite brew.
Buying a Hand Grinder: What to Consider
Things to consider before buying a manual grinder: amount of ground coffee needed, budget, the type of coffee you need to brew (espresso vs drip), grind consistency, level of engineering (burr grinders, stainless steel, easy to use, aesthetics) and any special features or add-ons.
After all, if you’re going to invest in the best coffee beans, you’ll need the best manual grinder to make that perfect cup of coffee. So, sit back and let's help you find that perfect grinder.
How to clean a manual grinder?
Most manual coffee grinders have a similar mechanism and are easy to clean. After a time, you might get a build-up of grime in your coffee grinder, or a coffee bean that is stuck, so it’s good to clean it often. First of all, dismantle your grinder and any separable parts. You can usually remove the lid, handle, and ground catcher. Remove the burrs as well, this might involve unlocking it which will depend on the model.
With the larger parts, you can wash them up in the same way you would do the dishes. Soak them in warm soapy water first if there are particularly stubborn stains. For smaller parts such as the burrs, you might need to clean these more delicately. You could try using a small brush, some burr grinders come with these, or even a cotton bud.
It depends on the model but due to the delicate parts, most manual coffee grinders aren’t suitable for dishwashers. Be sure to read the settings that the manufacturer has put forward to prevent your grinder from breaking or having the warranty voided.
It’s important to let the manual coffee grinder dry out thoroughly before reassembling it. You can speed this up by wiping it with a clean towel. Be careful when reassembling your grinder, you might want to check the instructions manual if you’re not sure how to do this. Once you’ve reassembled your grinder ensure all the parts are clicked into place using the adjustment knob. You can then set it to your ideal coarseness and start grinding your beans with a perfectly fresh and clean coffee grinder.
What's the best manual coffee grinder?
The best manual coffee grinder is the Lido 3 Manual Coffee Grinder. This grinder features Swiss made conical steel burrs that last the age of time. Not only do these burr grinds last for quite a long time, they also can handle any type of beans you throw at it with ease.
With this grinder, you will also receive the silicone rubber hopper lid to keep the beans from spilling out, a custom neoprene carrying case for better storage and travel, a hex tool and bristle brush for cleaning and maintenance purposes, and hopper that is capable of holding enough coffee grounds for a full pot (70 grams)
For the best and most consistent grind sizes, there are no other coffee makers on the market that can produce such quality grounds in such a short span of time. Even though these are a bit pricey, you get what you pay for, a manual grinder that will last and help ensure that your coffee game is top notch. Be sure to read the settings before buying to verify it has the features you need.
Are manual coffee grinders better?
Depending on who you ask, manual coffee grinders are better for a few reasons. With a manual coffee grinder, you never have to worry about an electrical failure or some other internal component breaking down that'll turn the grinder into a desk weight.
Yes, there are pieces that can break within a manual grinder, but these are generally easy to fix. Most manual grinders have burrs which can be replaced, serviced or sharpened if you choose to do so. Additionally, the manual grinder is a great workout even if it is for just one minute. Don't believe us? put it on the finest settings and give it a try.
There are some days that you just don't have the time and will wish you had an automatic grinder, but other days you'll be happy that you get to grind the beans yourself, making the experience that much better as you entrench yourself in the fine details of coffee. Not to mention the fact that it is much quieter.
Both manual coffee grinders and electric grinders have their place and purposes. If you need a lot of ground coffee fast, you'll want the automatic grinder. However, if you aren't in a rush, want something that'll last a long time, want the quieter option and want that craft experience, then you should push for a manual coffee grinder.
How do I choose a manual coffee grinder?
Choosing the best hand coffee grinder comes down to determining what is most important for you. If you drink a lot of coffee, you'll need to ensure that it can grind enough coffee beans for you to use. Of course, you can always ground a few batches but that is a lot of extra work when you could just buy one that has a largest enough batch size in the first place.
Additionally, you'll need to find a grinder that can grind for the types of coffee drinks you plan on brewing. If you drink lattes and need an espresso grind size, that is something worth noting which is why the grind consistency will need to be rated for your desired brew! Be sure to check the settings before buying.
Lastly, you'll want something that is built well. As always, we recommend a stainless steel conical burr grinder, but it is just as important that the grinder is engineered in a way for easier cleaning and that it is easy to use. Also, if you are going to spend the money, buy something that looks nice that you don't need to hide every time you have guests over.
Conclusion: What's a Coffee Connoisseur to buy?
If you’re looking for a new manual coffee grinder then you’re in luck as there are many stylish, yet affordable, models on the market. Choose the grinder that’s right for you according to your coffee priorities and desired features. Also, don't skimp out on the beans that you purchase, quality goes a long way.
If you’re after a high-end product, with a wide variety of consistencies, then go with the 1Zpresso JX-PRO Manual Coffee Grinder. There are also great mid-range products from trusty brands such as JavaPresse and Hario. It depends on the design you prefer and your budget.
The great thing about manual coffee grinders is that they’re portable, stylish, and convenient. Our selection of the best manual coffee grinders is suitable for grinding coffee on the go or in the comfort of your own home. If you want a quieter, fun and involving way to make coffee, choose a precision coffee grinder that is manual.
(1) Merriam-Webster definition of a micron.