Best Manual Coffee Grinders

Updated September 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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Pros
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

59 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
134 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best manual coffee grinders

Last Updated September 2019

Drinking coffee is practically a national pastime, so there should be nothing standing in the way of you and a perfect cup of the black stuff. A quality manual coffee grinder gives you perfect control over your grind size and won't heat the beans while it grinds (the way friction from an electric coffee grinder can), helping to retain the best possible flavor.

A manual coffee grinder is also great for taking to places that don't have a coffee grinder (your office or a hotel room, for example) or for use on camping trips or other locations where you don't have access to a power outlet.

The hard part is picking the best manual coffee grinder. You need to consider a wide range of factors, such as the type of burr and the burr material, how much coffee you're able to grind at once, and the number of grind settings. Find out about all of that and more in this guide to manual coffee grinders, and check out our favorites, too.

Although it's debatable, some coffee experts believe you get better-tasting coffee from a manual coffee grinder than you can from an electric grinder, even one that uses burrs.

Key considerations

Burr

Type: Manual coffee grinders use either conical or flat burrs to crush coffee beans into small particles. The more common conical burrs grind beans into two slightly different particle sizes. This is great for espresso, but it can negatively affect the flavor of other brewing methods. Flat burrs give you an extremely consistent grind, resulting in great flavor. Ultimately, however, it won't make enough of a difference to the overall flavor for the average coffee drinker to notice. Manual coffee grinders with flat burrs are more expensive than their conical counterparts.

Material: The burrs in your manual coffee grinder are either stainless steel or ceramic. Stainless steel burrs tend to be less expensive, but the sharp edges of the burrs will wear down over time, making your grinder less effective. Ceramic burrs retain their sharp edge more or less indefinitely. Some coffee experts also say you get coffee with more body from beans ground with ceramic burrs.

Style and substance

This sleek, modern-looking manual coffee grinder would make a stylish addition to any kitchen, but it's not just an attractive grinder — it works great, too. The 18 grind settings let you fine-tune your coffee experience, while the conical ceramic burrs are effective and durable.

Capacity

Check the capacity of your chosen manual coffee grinder because this will dictate how much coffee you can grind at one time. Some models only allow you to grind coffee for one or two cups at a time, while larger models have a big enough capacity for four to six cups.

Portability

Large manual coffee grinders might have a bigger capacity, but they're also less portable. Compact models, especially those without glass, are easier to take when you travel.

EXPERT TIP

Some manual coffee grinders have measurement markings on the container so you can quickly and easily tell how much coffee you've ground.


Staff  | BestReviews

Manual coffee grinder features

Material

Manual coffee grinders tend to be made predominantly of stainless steel with glass containers and either glass or plastic hoppers, or have a wooden base with a metal hopper. The material doesn't make much of a difference to the overall performance, so choose whichever you like the look of best.

Grind settings

The beauty of manual coffee grinders is that they generally have a large number of grind settings, generally between 10 and 20, allowing you to get exactly grind size that you want. Some have stepless grind settings, giving you even more control and precision.

Container

The container is the part of the manual coffee grinder that collects the ground coffee. Generally, we prefer those made of glass or metal with a clear window, so you can see how much coffee you've ground. Some containers have lids so they can double as storage boxes for any ground coffee you don't use right away.

EXPERT TIP

If you like to grind coffee beans in one batch for use over the next day or two, keep the ground beans fresh by storing them in an airtight container in a cool, dark place, but not in the fridge.


Staff  | BestReviews

Manual coffee grinder prices

Prices of manual coffee grinders range from around $10 to well over $100.

Inexpensive: You can buy a basic manual coffee grinder for between $10 and $30. The cheapest of these might not have many features, but you can find some decent models in this price range. They generally have conical steel burrs and a fairly small capacity.

Mid-range: These manual coffee grinders are priced between $30 and $60. You shouldn't need to pay more than this unless you require truly professional results. You can find some excellent models with ceramic burrs in this price range.

Expensive: High-end manual coffee grinders start at around $80 and can cost as much as $150 to $200 in some cases. These are generally designed for professional use and may grind especially quickly or have a larger capacity. These grinders are generally rugged and durable, and many offer greater control over the size of the grind.

EXPERT TIP

A nonslip base helps prevent your manual coffee grinder from sliding all over the counter as you grind.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Take the time to learn how to use your manual coffee grinder. Although they're not complex, each model has its own quirks. We advise reading the manual and doing some trial runs before you get serious.
  • Consider how often you'll use your coffee grinder. If you'll only be using your manual grinder when you’re traveling or camping, a $100 model would be excessive. On the other hand, if you're a coffee aficionado who will use it daily, you'll notice the difference when you use a high-end model.
  • Think about the type of coffee you like. Different coffee makers and brewing methods require different grind sizes. For instance, a French press requires a coarse grind, while an espresso maker requires a fine grind.
  • Check how easy it is to load. It’s more difficult to load coffee beans into a manual coffee grinder with a narrow opening.

Daily grind

This manual grinder the ideal compact model for travel or use on the go, but it's durable enough for daily use, too. The glass container holds enough ground beans to make three cups of coffee and can also be used for storage. Thanks to the long hand crank, grinding is quick and easy.

Other products we considered

Although we stand by our five favorite manual coffee grinders, we found some other models during our research that were extremely close to making the cut. The Eparé Manual Coffee Grinder has 15 grind settings, so you can get your coffee just how you like it. It grinds smoothly and easily and holds 60 grams of beans. The affordable Mueller Austria Manual Coffee Grinder is an extremely solid choice that uses conical burrs to grind your coffee. What we love about the Shanik Manual Coffee Grinder is that the container includes a handy lid so it can double as a storage pot for your excess ground coffee.

Manual coffee grinders are less noisy than electric ones, so they're great for use in small homes where you don't want to wake up the rest of the household when making your early morning coffee.

FAQ

Q. How do you use a manual coffee grinder?
A.
First, fill the hopper at the top of the grinder with whole coffee beans and select the desired grind setting. Next, turn the crank. As the coffee reaches the desired level of coarseness, it falls through into the container below.

Q. What's the best way to clean my manual coffee grinder?
A.
The accumulated oils in your coffee grinder can affect the flavor of your coffee, so you should occasionally take the grinder apart to clean it, as well as regularly clean the container and the hopper. The exact method for disassembly depends on the model you have, so check the owner’s manual. Once you've taken it all apart, you can wash each piece in hot, soapy water. Be sure to rinse and dry each piece thoroughly before reassembling.

Q. How long does it take to grind beans in a manual coffee grinder?
A.
This will vary slightly depending on how much coffee you're grinding and how coarse or fine a grind you're trying to achieve, but it should take you around two to four minutes to grind enough beans to make a couple of cups of coffee.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Kailey
    Kailey
    Writer
  • Lauren
    Lauren
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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