Last Updated on April 17, 2022
A manual grinder is the best tool if you hate instant coffee. Indeed, you can grind your way to the freshest, most aromatic real coffee every morning. If you’re looking for your first grinder or want to upgrade to something better, we have all the top choices right here.
Product Testing & Comparison
Our reviewer used a specific set of guidelines to determine the best of the best for our list:
- Ease of use
Our reviewer primarily focused on durability for these grinders. Things like plastic or ceramic blades simply won’t work here – we don’t want that getting into your daily cuppa, after all! Next most important was how easy to use each device is. The simpler its operation and finer the grind, the better.
Finally, we looked for high-capacity grinders. Only one device was below 50 grams (#4), and it made the list due to its incredibly portable and simple design. Now – enough of what we’re looking for, let’s find what’s best for you, shall we?
Compare our top 3 picks below, or scroll past to see the detailed analysis of all 10 products.
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The Best Manual Coffee Grinder By Henry Charles
The Coffee Grinder By MLMLANT
The Manual Coffee Grinder By Maison & White
|PRICE||£17.99 on Amazon|
|£19.98 on Amazon|
|£9.99 on Amazon|
|PROS||All its parts are detachable for easier cleaning.||Durable stainless-steel components.||Adjustable lid for storing the coffee beans before grinding them.|
|CONS||No instructions manual.||It takes some time to grind the coffee beans to a fine grind.||Supports a grinding rate of just 50 grams at a time.|
|BOTTOM LINE||Easy to use and durable, this grinder is pretty much near-perfect.||Stainless and sexy, this durable grinder will look perfect in any kitchen.||Compact and portable, this grinder goes wherever it’s needed.|
|RATING CATEGORIES||The Best Manual Coffee Grinder By Henry Charles||The Coffee Grinder By MLMLANT||The Manual Coffee Grinder By Maison & White|
|EASE OF USE (40%)|
|PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS||The Best Manual Coffee Grinder By Henry Charles||The Coffee Grinder By MLMLANT||The Manual Coffee Grinder By Maison & White|
|DIMENSIONS||22.4 x 6.4 x 6.1 cm||47 x 47 x 175 mm||19.5 x 19.5 x 10 cm|
|CAPACITY||150 grams||45 grams||300 grams|
|MATERIAL||Stainless steel||Steel, ceramic||Ceramic, glass, silicone, plastic, steel|
|VIEW PRODUCTS||View on Amazon||View on Amazon||View on Amazon|
The Best Manual Coffee Grinders Reviewed In 2022
Best Manual Coffee Grinder
- Dimensions: 22.4 x 6.4 x 6.1 cm
- Capacity: 150 grams
- Material: Stainless steel
Easy to use and durable, this grinder is pretty much near-perfect.
We selected this slim product as the best coffee grinder on our list. The elegant design adds style to your kitchen countertop while its integrated grind adjustment technology allows you to choose the coarseness of the coffee. The diverse grind settings are perfect for making a variety of hot drinks Turkish coffee, espresso, French press, drip coffee, Moka pot or even cold brew.
You can also look forward to professional-grade ceramic burrs, a travel bag that protects your grinder when you take it along on a camping trip, and a durable design.
Our reviewer absolutely loved this thing. It’s incredibly easy to use and is extremely durable thanks to its fully stainless steel construction. You can fully disassemble it to ensure it’s fully cleaned, and it’s quite portable, to boot! While it lacks a manual, it really doesn’t need one – unscrew it, put coffee in, close, grind. Trust me, this won’t disappoint you.
- All its parts are detachable for easier cleaning.
- Easy to use.
- Durable and reliable.
- Produces a high-quality grind.
- No instructions manual.
Best Stainless Manual Coffee Grinder
- Dimensions: 47 x 47 x 175 mm
- Capacity: 45 grams
- Material: Steel, ceramic
Stainless and sexy, this durable grinder will look perfect in any kitchen.
This could be the best choice if your kitchen has a lovely stainless steel theme or you just love the looks – and durability – of such appliances. The compact size also allows you to slip this stylish grinder into a bag and enjoy fresh coffee on the go, wherever you are. Indeed, you’ll even receive a specially designed travel bag.
You can also enjoy a durable grinder, thanks to its quality stainless steel design, making it water-resistant, and rust-free. The ceramic burr produces fresh coffee in no time and you can adjust the consistency of the grind to produce brews like a good french press, percolator, Chemex, cold brew, Turkish coffee, espresso or Keurig K cups. You can even use the coffee mill as a personal herb or spice grind as well.
This was another favourite of our reviewer. While it takes a while to finely grind coffee, it’s great for things like a French press that benefit from a coarse grind. The stainless steel and ceramic construction ensure that it’s simultaneously durable and easy to clean, and it’s surprisingly portable to boot!
- Durable stainless-steel components.
- The ceramic burr is easy to remove and wash.
- A transparent window lets you see the grind size as you operate it.
- Cleaning tools included.
- It takes some time to grind the coffee beans to a fine grind.
Best Compact Manual Coffee Grinder
- Dimensions: 19.5 x 19.5 x 10 cm
- Capacity: 300 grams
- Material: Ceramic, glass, silicone, plastic, steel
Compact and portable, this grinder goes wherever it’s needed.
If you love a compact and old school design, then this coffee grinder could be the best addition to your coffee collection. It won’t take up much space on the countertop and can also go along on that family camping trip.
You can also enjoy its user-friendliness. The handle is ergonomic and easy to use while the base of the grinder is also dressed with a non-slip silicone base, ensuring that you can make your morning cup without an accident. The integrated grind setting can adjust the coarseness of the coffee; fine-textured coffee for cone filters, medium-coarse coffee for flat filters, and a coarser texture for french presses and other hot beverages.
Our reviewer quite liked this. The large hopper makes it super simple to grind a cup in the morning, though you’re limited to 50 grams at a time. Nonetheless, it’s able to grind just about anything and does so very well. Don’t skip out on this bad boy if you want a grinder with a hopper.
- Adjustable lid for storing the coffee beans before grinding them.
- Supports a grind size for most hot beverages.
- Lightweight and portable.
- Suitable for grinding nuts or seeds.
- Supports a grinding rate of just 50 grams at a time.
Best Mini Manual Coffee Grinder
- Dimensions: 10.16 x 17.78 x 7.62 cm
- Capacity: 13 grams
- Material: Plastic
If you want something ultra-small and effective, this powerhouse is a great choice.
You can easily take it along nearly anywhere and it fits neatly in your hand, making fresh coffee from beans scooped straight from the bag.
Despite its size, the grinder consistently produces a high-quality grind. The ceramic burr also shaves the beans to extract the most flavour and you can adjust the fineness of the grind to make different types of your favourite brews.
This was a favourite of our reviewer for its extremely portable design. Because it’s made from plastic, it’s simultaneously quite fragile, yet extremely easy to bring just about anywhere. Its low capacity makes it only suitable as a travel grinder, but otherwise, it’s honestly quite good – don’t let the plastic fool you.
- Easy to use and store.
- Produces flavourful grind.
- Suitable for different types of coffee.
- Suitable for a cup or two at a time.
Best Manual Burr Grinder
- Dimensions: 23.4 x 6.4 x 5.8 cm
- Capacity: 100 grams
- Material: Stainless steel
This hand coffee grinder is constructed with high-quality stainless steel that is both water-resistant and rust-free.
Moreover, its integrated ceramic burr is durable and creates a high-quality coffee grind. Besides being easy to use, the grinder also operates quietly and offers a flexible design for making different coffees.
You can also use this grinder to grind different spices. Whatever you refine, you can easily take the grinder apart when the time comes to clean it.
The durable and high-quality materials that make up this grinder are what earned its place on this list. Our reviewer found that it was super simple to use, but it took a bit to get a fine grind. Nonetheless, this thing is fantastic, especially as a travel grinder.
- Compact and durable.
- It’s shipped with a storage bag that’s ideal for travelling purposes.
- The visible window lets you see the coarseness of the coffee beans while grinding.
- Easy to use and clean.
- Can grind spices.
- Takes a few minutes to grind the beans.
Best Traditional Grinder
- Dimensions: 18.5 x 11.5 x 11.5 cm
- Capacity: 200 grams
- Material: Alloy steel
If you love copper appliances or old-school grinders, then this one could be the crowning addition to your kitchen.
The design is retro but has the durability that comes with modern stainless steel crafting. The steel body is also finished with copper to give it an old look.
It’s also exceptionally easy to use. You simply add your coffee beans and turn the wooden handle. Choose your preferred texture to produce authentic cafe-style coffee in the comfort of your own home.
This was a favourite of our reviewer due to its look. It boasts a sleek copper look while getting around the issues that copper poses with acidic things like coffee. It’s super simple to use, has a large capacity, and is surprisingly easy to clean despite its unfriendliness with dishwashers. Its one real issue is making a fine grind – though coarsely ground coffee is super simple with this bad boy.
- Beautiful old school look.
- Easy to use.
- Produces cafe-style flavours.
- Quick to clean.
- Not dishwasher friendly.
- Hard to finely grind coffee.
Best Vintage Coffee Grinder
- Dimensions: 27.1 x 13.2 x 12.7 cm
- Capacity: 100 grams
- Material: Plastic, wood, cast iron, ceramic
If you want something that is even older-looking than some of our previous choices, then this vintage-flavoured box is an attractive option.
This cast iron grinder allows ground coffee falls into a quaint drawer that can be removed. Speaking of which, you can grind four levels; fine, medium-fine, medium, and course.
You can also look forward to features such as user-friendly controls, portability, and the ability to grind nuts and spices as well.
This had the same issues and benefits as #6 but has a smaller capacity. It’s not dishwasher friendly and it struggles to get a fine grind, otherwise, it’s a fantastic grinder that looks quite slick all at once.
- Gorgeous vintage appearance.
- Removable drawer.
- Four grinding options.
- Can grind spices and nuts.
- Not dishwasher friendly.
Best Vintage Conical Burr Grinder
- Dimensions: 9.4 x 9.4 x 21.1 cm
- Capacity: 150 grams
- Material: Wood, ceramic, steel
If you want to find a manual grinder that will take you back in time while employing the comfort of modernity, you’ll be pleased to know that Zulux has got you covered.
The retro wooden make instils a wonderful look and feel in your home while keeping its operation entirely modern.
This DIY mill enables you to prepare flavourful coffee easily and quickly. All you have to do is simply insert the coffee beans onto the grinding compartment, set the desired grind setting, and wonder at the brilliant smell of fresh coffee.
Our reviewer really liked the look and feel of this, and found that it did its job very well. However, it’s a bit hard to hold due to its shape, and rather difficult to maintain. Nonetheless, it entirely deserves its place on our list.
- It employs a unique design that goes with any kitchen.
- It supports grind settings that go from extra coarse to super fine.
- Its grind can be easily adjusted by simply twisting its top adjustment screw.
- Several customers have noted that it is very durable.
- Good value for money.
- Maintenance and cleaning are a bit tricky
- The square design makes it harder to hold.
Best Portable Manual Coffee Grinder
- Dimensions: 10.1 x 10 x 21.8 cm
- Capacity: 608 grams
- Material: Plastic, steel, glass
Another lovely hand grinder that doesn’t offer one – but two compartments, is brought to us by GOURMEO and is one of the better products out there.
With GOURMEO’s manual hand grinder, you can effortlessly serve up to four cups of freshly ground coffee at once or simply store extra for later.
Because of its lightweight build, the 520-gram hand grinder can be your top loyal travelling companion, keeping you caffeinated everywhere you go. Its tiny size shouldn’t confuse you, because the hand grinder can also quickly turn all your spices into powders with a minimum effort from your side.
Our reviewer quite liked this due to its size and sturdy construction. However, it’s a bit hard to get a specific grind level, and it has a rather flimsy part. The pin that holds the grinder in place tends to loosen rather quickly, making it hard to call truly durable.
- Good for seeds and spices
- Its extra glass container is great for storing ground coffee.
- It contains a sturdy rubber ring that prevents the beans from falling off while grinding.
- Comes with a cleaning brush that helps maintain the grinder.
- It was noted that the grinder needs some trial and error to get the right adjustment settings right.
- Some customers reported that the steel pin on the grinder tends to get loose.
Best Adjustable Manual Coffee Grinder
- Dimensions: 12 x 17 x 22 cm
- Capacity: 100 grams
- Material: Stainless steel, ceramic, glass
If you’re accustomed to cylinder-shaped grinders, but you also want to see the coffee being ground at all times, then this cleverly designed product by KitchenCraft is the right choice for you.
The silver coating and glass compartment make this manual grinder be one of the best-crafted devices on the market. Furthermore, the gorgeous layout is ideally suited with incredible performance and functionality. This remark was positively agreed-upon by baristas around the world, labelling the hand grinder an absolute must-have.
Our reviewer was torn on this one. On one hand, it comes with a nice little warranty, is quite affordable (£8.78 at the time of publication), and is easy to use. However, it’s difficult to keep a single coarseness level as it needs to be readjusted with each refill. Additionally, the build isn’t the strongest. While it stood up for our reviewer, several customers have noted that it’s a bit flimsy – especially if dropped.
- It’s shipped with a one-year warranty by KitchenCraft.
- It serves as a wonderful travelling device.
- Good value for money.
- It contains a glass jar and base that are dishwasher-safe.
- Its coarseness levels need to be adjusted after each refill.
- Its build is somewhat flimsy, making it unsuitable for daily use.
Using manual grinders to prepare your beans just before you brew your coffee is undeniably one of the best experiences in life. The top-notch flavour and lovely smell certainly make all the elbow grease worth it, and sometimes even fun! Even though hand grinders employ uncomplicated mechanisms, there are still a lot of things that could simply go wrong. A lousy build, cheap components or an impractical design can take all the fun away and leave you with a lot of head-scratching that could otherwise be prevented. So what exactly makes a manual coffee grinder worth buying?
Because manual coffee grinders don’t require a massive framework and complicated components, they’re usually compact-sized and very lightweight. This makes them ideal for daily use and travelling purposes, as they can easily fit into bags and taken anywhere. The most frequent design of hand grinders is the cylinder one that employs a round shape through its base.
The circular form makes it easy for the user to grip the grinder firmly and rotate the crank handle that’s located on the top of the device. This model is the best fitting for portable use and handheld grinding, but its small shape can only support about one or two cups of coffee at a time (5-20 gr).
Other coffee grinders operate with a more massive build while being operated slightly different than handheld grinders. They need to be neatly positioned on a table or counter, and they carry a larger crank handle that grinds the beans. This model is usually supported by a sturdier base and requires the user to use more force on the operation. The apparent advantage of this range is its grinding capacity. Larger models can grind for up to 100 gr at a time, which is equal to about ten cups of coffee. Even though they make storage more complicated and can take a lot of space, large manual grinders are ideal for those who want to accumulate their ground coffee and have it ready when they need it next.
Steel vs Ceramic Burrs
For those who are accustomed to electrical cooking devices such as blenders or mixers, a stainless steel blade won’t be an unknown feature. Similar to other food grinders, a hand-operated coffee grinder can be built of double stainless steel blades that are used to grind the coffee. These blades are usually found in electric grinders, as they need the sturdiness and sharpness that comes with steel to operate their power strength fully. However, it has continuously been observed that steel blades are not ideal for grinding coffee because they perform a cutting operation as opposed to the crushing one that’s required for the beans to be ground appropriately. Due to this, the final product obtained from the grinding is not consistent, resulting in bigger and smaller chunks alike.
On the other hand, a grinder that operates with a ceramic core is significantly better suited to coffee grinding. These models usually employ two oscillating ceramic plates that are joined by crushing and grinding the beans, which causes a more consistent powder. By adjusting its internal screws, you can independently choose the grinding size you’d prefer, which will be granted by the ceramic burr’s friction. Another advantage to ceramic plates is that they’re usually made of food-grade materials, so they don’t interfere with the flavour of the beans. This is not only posed as a healthier alternative but is also guaranteed to keep your ground coffee smelling as fresh as possible.
As you may have noticed, one of the most important hallmarks of a coffee maker is its ability to promote variability with grind sizes and textures. While Turkish coffee requires for the beans to be ground to an excellent size, a cold brew demands an extra coarse texture to be brewed properly.
For this reason, you need to aim for a grinder that gives you a more extensive range of choices that include an extra-fine, fine, medium, medium-coarse, or coarse texture.
As we explained back in the burrs section, an adjustable grind within a hand grinder is reached by loosening or tightening the supporting screw – thus promoting different sizes. Other grinders also maintain the adjustment scheme by rotating the grinder’s lid clockwise or counterclockwise for their respective textures. Ultimately, all that matters is for the mill to give you more options; and for those options to be easily accessible by you.
It’s evident that a handheld grinder will grind the coffee at much slower rates than an electrical one, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to spend hours before the TV giving your arm a strain. The best coffee mills will take about a minute to grind your coffee beans for a single cup. This is usually measured with the coarse setting seeing how it takes the least amount of effort (and time) to be produced; so a fine grind should take about 80 seconds.
To generate optimal results, a grinder must be built from the highest-quality components that not only support its durability but promote a more efficient operation as well. The first and evident hallmark that you should look for is the burr strength and quality. A double burred ceramic core is granted to provide with the best (and quickest) grinding operation – as opposed to a singular burr or stainless steel blade.
Another essential thing to look for is the crank handle. Because you’re going to do a lot of spinning, you need to find a device that supports a steady rotation rate. The best crack handles are stainless steel ones since they run smoothly and don’t tend to block the turning. If you’re unsure if the device you’re purchasing contains these characteristics, you can head over to the manufacturer’s site and read the product’s specifications.
Some coffee grinders employ a double-ended design that is equipped with two compartments rather than one. The main compartment accommodates the grinder, the burr blades and the crank handle.
These grinders are generally manufactured with a glass design, so you can see the coffee-making process as it happens. On the other hand, the second compartment serves a storage purpose and is equipped with a silicone lid to close itself off. Even though it’s not an essential feature, it is incredibly useful for those who grind more substantial amounts of coffee.
Not only does it store the coffee securely, but it also serves as a back-up compartment in case the first one is damaged.
Q: Is manual coffee grinder better?
A: The answer to that question highly depends on the coffee brewing practices that you employ. Manual grinders are generally cheaper than electric ones, being one of the more cost-effective solutions to coffee grinding. Because they function with a manual mechanism, they’re also more durable and reliable, which is not always the case with electric devices. Manual grinders are also smaller in size and don’t require any electricity, cables or cords – making them ideal for travelling purposes. And because they usually use ceramic burrs to grind the beans, they offer a more flavourful coffee that is not always the case with stainless steel burrs. This can also be positive when grinding smaller amounts of beans because it allows you to have a fresh cup of coffee anytime you want one.
However, those are only the pros of a manual grinder. One of the major cons of these devices is the elbow grease that accompanies the grinding. Because they need to be manually operated, they employ significantly longer grinding times – resulting in longer manual work. And even though several manufacturers state the opposite, a manual grinder doesn’t have the full variability of grind sizes. Most grinders can promote a fine, medium and coarse texture, but those are not entirely sufficient with brewing methods that require a more refined approach.
Q: Which coffee grinder is the best?
A: The best coffee grinder of 2022 is the manual Oliver James grinder by Henry Charles, due to its incredible variation in flavour and reliable performance in durability.
Q: How long do manual coffee grinders take?
A: On average, manual coffee grinders will be able to fill a full-sized cup in just under a minute. This highly depends on brand types and burr components, but a good manual coffee grinder should be able to create enough ground coffee for 3-4 cups, in about three minutes.
Q: How can I grind coffee without a grinder?
A: If you don’t want to spend on either a manual or an electric coffee grinder, then you can try these DIY hacks that have been reported to be successful by a lot of coffee lovers online. The first two do require cookware, but there are also ways in which all you’re going to need is one strong arm.
1. Blenders –
Considering how most households have a blender that they use for pureeing, mixing or, well – blending, this solution is one of the more obvious choices. Because blenders typically use core blades that are similar to grinder burrs, they can be beneficial at grinding your beans. All you have to do is to is toss the beans into the blending compartment and use the most powerful setting. However, you should know that the most potent blending operation is similar to that of a coarse setting in coffee grinders, so you’re probably not going to get a very fine texture on your ground beans.
2. Mortar and Pestle –
One of the more simple solutions (that can also be adapted with your tools of choice) is the mortar and pestle approach. Similarly to the way one crushes garlic, you should take a few beans at a time and add them to the mortar to be minced. By crushing a few beans at a time, you may get ‘finer’ results both in the overall grinding procedure and the texture of the coffee.
3. Hammer Down! –
If both the previous methods are unavailable or they simply don’t live up to your expectations, you could try doing it old style. Firstly, place the beans into a freezer bag – similarly to how you’d do with meat beating. Place the bag in between two towels or other fabrics to ‘soften the blow’ and begin by hitting it with a meat-tenderising mallet or a regular hammer. You should also note that this method is one of the more ‘natural’ approaches, so it probably won’t contribute with a consistent grind.
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