Large wooden knob and rubber-wrapped metal body feels solid and a pleasure to use when in hand. Users note its easy, even effortless grind. Strong stainless steel burr. Adjusts with click-based feedback. Easily disassembles for cleaning without tools.
Somewhat expensive. Better for filter grinds than espresso.
Features 18 settings to give you control over fineness of the grind. Stainless steel construction. Conical ceramic burr ensures even grind. Compact cylinder is perfect for travel. Built-in window to see your progress.
Plastic exterior is a concern with frequent use and travel.
German-engineered manual coffee grinder from a trusted company with 150-year history. Fits in the lap for better leverage. Features durable, sharp carbon steel blade and elegant wood finish. Adjustable grind size.
Expensive. Lacks capacity for large brews.
Made in France. Handsome walnut construction with knife-quality stainless steel mechanism. Burr-type mill can grind as fine as espresso. Adjustable. Drawer up to 2 ounces of ground coffee. Relatively less prone to corrosion after regular use.
The drawer for catching ground coffee can spill.
Boasts ceramic burrs for a firm, consistent grind. Ergonomic crank handle and reinforced grind shaft make it easier to grind beans. Easily adjustable mechanism for coarse to fine grinds. Rubber nonslip base. Made in Japan.
Lack of uniformity in grind. Plastic elements wear out fast.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Manual coffee grinders tend to be made predominantly of stainless steel with glass containers and either glass or plastic hoppers, or they 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.
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 the grind size that you want. Some have stepless grind settings, giving you even more control and precision.
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.
Prices of manual coffee grinders range from around $10 to well over $100.
Inexpensive: You can get 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.
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 underneath.
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.