One of the only ways to capture your coffee’s full aroma and flavor while brewing is to grind your coffee beans just before brewing a coffee.
When you’re home, big electric grinders do the trick; however, when you’re on the move, you need something a little bit more mobile and portable.
So a manual coffee grinder or coffee mill, is exactly what’s going to work for you when you’re on the go. These grinders contain a simple mechanism; however, they must be well engineered to produce the precise and consistent grind that you need.
Thankfully, there is a long list of options on the market and in the following guide, we’re going to take a look at the best manual coffee grinders online and why you should be investing in them.
Best Overall: Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill
The Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill is a new and improved model with a stronger grind shaft and burr stabilization plate.
Ultimately, these new features enable more uniform grinds. Thanks to the non-slip base, the grinder is kept securely in place during grinding.
And thanks to the ceramic conical burrs, you’ll experience a more precise and uniform grind each and every time. For compact storage and easy travel, the ergonomically designed crank handle detaches making things a little bit simpler and faster while on the go.
The stepped grind adjustment mechanism is also easy to use and change.
Runner Up: Porlex Jp-30 Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder
The Porlex Jp-30 Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder contains ceramic conical burrs. This gives it the ability to complete a wide range of grinds from powder to French press. The coffee grinder is manufactured in Osaka, Japan and has a 30-gram capacity.
The static-free body is made from stainless steel, and it contains a 47 mm diameter and is 178 mm high. Porlex is a Japanese company that specializes in manufacturing food grinders. The design is well thought out, and the construction is solid.
The innerspring on the grinder helps keep the grind consistent even when conducting coarse grinds. Thanks to the stainless steel construction, it’s practically indestructible and also static-free. The grinder is easy to clean and remains rust-free.
Alternative: KONA Manual Coffee Grinder
The KONA Manual Coffee Grinder contains built-in stabilizer and adjustable coarse to fine grind selector including over 18 click settings for precision control over the coarseness of your grind.
With this coffee grinder, you’ll be able to make your favorite cup of drip, Chemex, Cold brew, French press, espresso and any other coffee drink you can imagine.
The results are available instantly after each grind rotation thanks to the static and crystal clear glass jar which can store up to 50 g of coffee beans to make three cups of coffee. This portable and compact grinder does not require batteries, power or long plastic cords in order to function.
This makes it an excellent coffee grinder on the go. Feel free to take it with you on camping, hiking, backpacking and any other outdoor family trips. The manual crank handle is also ergonomically designed and detaches for compact storage. Over 90% of the obnoxious noise is eliminated thanks to the design of this coffee grinder.
Alternative: Busy Bee Manual Coffee Grinder
The Busy Bee Manual Coffee Grinder is sleek, portable and lightweight. Cleaning this compact and small grinder is simply a dream. It makes the perfect accessory for brewing fresh coffee on road trips, camping, and hiking as well as for daily use at home. It also makes a perfect gift for coffee lovers.
Made from 100% high-quality food-grade stainless steel, it’s built to last, and it’s also drop tested for quality control. The hand crank is finished in stainless steel and includes a premium conical burr grinder for grinding the perfect coffee roast.
The built-in adjustable grime selector settings ensure 100% precision control over the coarseness of your coffee bean grounds for drip, pour-over, french press, cold brew as well as espresso and anything else you can imagine.
The conveniently designed hand-crank mechanism is also removable, which encourages a quiet atmosphere by consistently eliminating over 90% of the noise that the electrical grinders produce.
So you no longer have to worry about waking up your loved ones early in the morning or worry about batteries dying or looking for a power source for your coffee grinder.
Alternative: VEVOK CHEF Manual Coffee Grinder
The VEVOK CHEF Manual Coffee Grinder is one of the best conical stainless steel burr grinders on the market. It’s made from durable stainless steel which consists of a built-in five-axis CNC numerically controlled sharp, blunt grinding core.
This makes it more effective than ceramic ones, and it takes approximately five seconds for a one-time grind. The capacity of the glass container is approximately 48 g, and the coffee mill can fill approximately 20 g coffee beans which can make between 1 to 2 cups of coffee at a time.
This portable coffee grinder is a portable and compact enough for on the go use. Feel free to take it along on business trips, family trips and anywhere else that you need to make coffee on the go.
Thanks to the six precise grades adjustable coarseness settings, this coffee grinder ensure that you can set your coarse from fine to coarse to make absolutely any coffee drink that you can imagine.
Thanks to the burr handle operation, this coffee grinder is quieter than electric ones, so you don’t have to wake up loved ones while making your favorite cup in the morning. It also makes an absolutely spectacular gift for coffee lovers.
Manual Coffee Grinder FAQ
Are manual coffee grinders any good?
If you are a coffee lover, then you’ve probably asked yourself this question before, should I get a manual or electrical coffee grinder?
Well, there’s lots to consider before making a decision, and in the section below we’ll give you some insight into which option may be best for you.
Manual coffee grinders are considered middle to high performers, and they give you uniform-sized grounds.
Ultimately, this is essential to a balanced and delicious cup of coffee. One of the bonuses of manual coffee grinders is that they can consistently grind uniform grounds from espresso to French press and any other coffee drink imaginable. The drawback is that’s not all of them come with grind settings.
Manual grinders are also quite small and compact. They can often be held with one hand and cranked with the other. This portability is a bonus when it comes to travel coffee brewing. Manual grinders are also much more suitable than their electric counterparts. This is because hand grinders are simple mechanisms.
A manual grinder basically consists of a tiny hopper that stores beans, a set of burrs that grind the coffee beans as they fall through them as well as a collection chamber at the bottom. It’s all connected by a single rod at turns the burrs and connects to the handle. Cleaning is also a breeze, thanks to the simple construction when compared to electric grinders.
However, since it cannot connect to an electric power source, you’d have to put in the leg or shall we say handwork to get grinding. Despite the elbow grease, what makes grinding worth it for many coffee lovers is that they are quite affordable.
You can also own a reliable and durable grinder for between $20-$30, and it will provide you with freshly ground coffee as and when needed.
When compared to the exorbitant price of electric grinders, this is a huge bonus. In fact, lots of manual coffee grinders in this price range are more consistent than their electric counterparts. So if you’re looking for a great cup of coffee without breaking the bank, then manual coffee grinders are the way to go.
Manual coffee grinder pros:
- Mid to high performance
- Simple to use
Cons of manual coffee grinders:
- It requires elbow grease
- When it comes to making multiple cups of coffee for a group of people, it requires extra elbow grease
- Limited grind settings
So a manual coffee grinder may be right for you if you want freshly ground coffee for the better coffee experience, but simply don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on an electric coffee grinder.
If you don’t mind the hand labor and enjoy the process of making coffee, then it will suit you just fine. Manual coffee is also a great option if you value the ability to take fresh coffee with you where ever you go without having to worry about your grinder breaking.
Why are some manual coffee grinders so expensive?
Generally speaking, manual coffee grinders are smaller and less expensive than their electric counterparts.
So for those with little space or a tight budget, manual grinders are a great option and offer clear benefits. Manual grinders are also available in a variety of shapes and sizes and at several different price points.
A high-end grinder will be much cheaper than a comparable automatic one, and it takes up less counter space as well.
So ultimately, although you can get manual coffee grinders for $20, a great manual coffee grinder may be approximately $100 which is still reasonable when compared to the $500 price range of an automatic grinder.
Ultimately, the different price ranges all boil down to build quality. On a basic level, a manual coffee grinder with more metal and less plastic is clearly constructed better and what you may not know is that quality-control may be light-years apart.
Ultimately, manual coffee grinders that are both well offer a more consistent grind and are much more expensive than their cheaper counterparts. So if you’re looking for a superior built, the better-tested product then it is going to cost you anywhere from $100 to $500 for a good quality manual coffee grinder.
How long does it take to manually grind coffee beans?
A manual coffee grinder is undoubtedly slower than an electric one for obvious reasons.
Depending on the type of grinder that you have, the capacity for holding and grinding coffee beans and the collection chamber, it could take anywhere between two to four minutes to grind enough beans to make a cup ot two of coffee.
Manual coffee grinder vs electric
Manual coffee grinders
As the name suggests, manual coffee grinders depend on manual human energy to get the job or shall we say, the grinding done. All you simply do is throw in the coffee beans, turn the crank and crush them accordingly.
One of the bonuses of manual coffee grinders is that they can be adjusted to produce fine or coarse coffee grounds as required. Finer coffee grounds take a little more time and effort than coarser grounds.
Perhaps the primary advantage of a manual grinder is that it’s simple to use. You don’t need to worry about batteries or searching for a power outlet, and the entire thing is portable and compact enough to take absolutely anywhere.
It’s also highly unlikely to malfunction simply due to the grinders simple mechanisms. In fact, lots of coffee lovers out there revel in the process of manually producing freshly ground coffee in the comfort of their own home.
There’s definitely a satisfying effect about grinding quality coffee beans by hand using a manual grinder. Is also possible to select a great manual coffee grinder that will give you many years of good use.
Electric coffee grinders
One of the bonuses regarding electric coffee grinders is that they eliminate the effort. Since these devices are powered, you simply throw in the beans and press a button to deliver freshly ground coffee beans.
So the machine actually takes all of the leg or shall we say handwork out of the entire process delivering freshly ground coffee in a matter of seconds. When it comes convenience, electric coffee grinders different trump manual ones.
They are also surprisingly compact and easy to use. However, price ranges for electric coffee grinders range from sublime to absolutely ridiculous as do the adjustable settings and modes on them.
There are, however, some top-end devices on the market with more than 40 settings to choose from so if you are all about and precision, then an electric coffee grinder is exactly what you’re looking for.
The only downside to the electric coffee grinder is that if you out of batteries or a power source, then you’re out of luck as well.
Manual grinders pros:
- Convenient to use
- Mid to high performance
- Requires time and effort
- More effort for more cups of coffee
- Limited grind size
Electric grinder pros:
- High performance
- Lots of grind sizes
- Could be more durable
- Requires a power source
- Only high-end ones achieve espresso grinds
Budget is definitely one of the main considerations when deciding to purchase a manual or an electric coffee grinder.
However, if your budget does exceed a few hundred dollars, then differently invest in an electric one. If you are facing a tight budget, and you’re not willing to spend more than $100 on a coffee grinder, then a manual one is the way to go.
If you’re looking for variety in different consistencies, then you’re better off buying an electric coffee grinder. This is especially if you enjoy having espresso as the electric grinders are the only ones capable of producing the right consistency for espressos.
Unfortunately, there are no simple choices when it comes to choosing the right coffee grinder, and it all boils down to a few factors including your budget, personal preference and of course how important coffee is to your daily routine.