grinder guide

The Best Manual Coffee Grinder (hand grinders)

As a coffee lover, you know that grinding your coffee beans just before you brew your coffee is the only way you’ll capture the coffee’s full flavor and aroma in your brews. Big electric grinders work well at home, but when you’re on the go, you need something more portable; you need a manual coffee grinder (aka, a coffee mill). We’re going to help you pick the perfect manual grinder for you.

Although these hand grinders seem simple enough, they must be well-engineered if they’re to produce the precise and consistent grind you need. Other considerations include construction materials, size, function, and warranty. Read on to learn more.

At A Glance: See on Amazon

  1. Our Top Pick: 1Zpresso Q2 Manual Coffee Grinder
  2. For Turkish Coffee: Zassenhaus Santiago Mahogany Coffee Mill Grinder
  3. For Traveling Light: Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder
  4. Best Value For Money: Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill Skerton
  5. Best For Design: Akirakoki Manual Coffee Bean Grinder

Let’s take a look at the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.

What Should You Consider When Looking for the Best Manual Coffee Grinder?

Don’t skip the temptation to spend a little time and money investing in a better than average hand grinder. You can’t underestimate the importance of the grinding process:

The coffee grinder is a supremely important link in the chain that extends from the coffee cherry to an exquisite espresso

So now it’s time to understand what separates a good grinder from a bad one. Don’t ignore the following when shopping around:

Size (or lack thereof)

If you want to grind on the go, you’ll want to consider buying something that incorporates a sleek, cylindrical shape that makes it easy to store and easy to grip.
Less is more when it comes to portability, however, if you’re not concerned with traveling with your hand grinder, something nice and vintage-looking may suit you more.


We talk about portable coffee grinders as being small and compact. This means there’s a limited amount of beans you can crank in one go.

It’s important to be realistic – you want a coffee grinder that has the right capacity for you. If you’re looking to cater coffee for more than 2-3 people, expect to get a good arm workout during the grinding process.

Quality of Material – Will It Last?

We are talking about the burrs here as they go through the most stress. You have 2 options, steel or ceramic, both with its good and bad points (1). Consider stainless steel burrs if you are traveling as they are durable and easy to clean. Ceramic burrs are fine if you plan to keep your grinder at home.

Invest in a grinder that has a good quality burr – this is ultimately what your grind consistency depends on.

Number of Grind Settings

How many settings does your coffee grinder have and how easy is it to change between them? It’s no good to have something that ‘just grinds’, you’ll need something that grinds to different tastes to make the best coffee. You’ll also want a grinder with functional applications that will produce the same results no matter where you are grinding.

Precision and consistency are key. A s**tty quality hand grinder will not grind consistently, leaving your brew over or under-extracted.

Having said that, no grinder (manual or electric grinders), is absolutely perfect – although, a good quality electric can produce better results. If you want to perfect your grind, you want to consider a coffee sifter. A system of tiered sieves that creates uniformity – which ultimately will enhance your brew.

Related articles:

  • For Turkish coffee, you’ll need a super fine grind so look at these special Turkish grinders.
  • If you want an electric burr grinder – see the best-rated ones here.
  • Grab our free coffee grind chart to help you achieve the right grounds.
  • To take your coffee grinding game to the next level you’ll need a secret weapon: the KRUVE.

Longevity – are the parts replaceable?

Electric grinders come with warranties but manual grinders often don’t. You don’t want to buy something you use a couple of times before it stops producing consistent results or even breaks down!

Well-made products will often offer long-term or lifetime warranty as their products are manufactured with precision and expertise. It’s important to note – how often and how well you clean your coffee grinder (2) will significantly impact both the longevity of your burr and quality of your coffee.

Having a good grinder will allow you more precision over the grind of your coffee beans – meaning you can have the same great coffee despite the weather, time of day, or if your beans are a few days older.

Now that you know what to look for in a grinder, download this coffee grind chart to use your grinder to its fullest potential.

The 8 Best Manual Coffee Grinders

Instead of the old ‘trial and error’ method of buying something online and finding out for yourself whether it’s great (or it sucks), we’ve done the hard yards for you and reviewed a bunch of the best hand grinders on the market.

For everything else, the grinders below are perfect (you may want to learn how to grind coffee first!)

And below you’ll see more details about the grinders listed in the table above. We’ve done full reviews of each to, so be sure to click through and learn more about any of the options that you are considering.

1. 1Zpresso Q2 Manual Coffee Grinder – Top Pick

The 1Zpresso Q2 perfectly blends style, quality, functionality, and price.

Quick facts:

Travel grinder built with premium materials

  • Hopper capacity: 20g (1-2 coffees per grind)
  • Weight: 385g
  • Dimensions: 5.5” x 2” x 2”
  • Burr: Stainless Steel
  • The 1Zpresso Q2 is the smallest of the 1ZPresso grinders. As well as the reduced size, the 1zpresso also comes with a lower price tag too. Fortunately, however, there have been no sacrifices made to build quality or materials, meaning the Q2 is very much a premium product in a tiny, travel-friendly package.

    The premium materials used to make this grinder very easy to use for small batches of coffee. The Q2 would be perfect to take camping or to leave at the office, so you don’t have to concede on freshness while working.

    The only real problem the 1Zpresso Q2 presents is the small 20g capacity, which could be lower depending on the types of bean you’re using. You’ll get enough for one brew here, but you’ll have to grind more than once if you’re making coffee for more than one other person at a time.

    All-in-all, however, the 1Zpresso Q2’s looks, build quality, ease of use, and price-to-quality ratio make it our Top Pick manual coffee grinder.

    • Built with premium materials
    • Small and light
    • Easy to grind
    • Excellent value
    • Small capacity may frustrate some users

    2. Zassenhaus Santiago Coffee Mill Grinder – Best for Turkish Coffee

    The Zassenhaus is a great buy for the coffee lover who wants a small manual grinder that is as beautiful as it is functional.

    Quick facts:

    Vintage grinder that can also grind for Turkish coffee

  • Hopper capacity: 40g (2-3 coffees per grind)
  • Weight: 952g
  • Dimensions: 5.5″ x 3.5″ x 7.8″
  • Burr material: High-grade carbon steel conical burr
  • The expertly crafted Zassenhaus coffee grinder has a beautiful mahogany finish and regarded as one of the finest on the market due to its conical burr, 25-year warranty, and high-quality grind capabilities.

    It has other color options too – including a stunning beechwood, and black beechwood finish. It’s smaller than your typical electrical burr-grinder, however it’s a little larger and bulkier than other hand grinders. For its added size comes added style – especially the beautiful mahogany veneer.

    Its grind function produces consistent results and has a HUGE number of grind settings due to its grind size dial – meaning you can grind for every brew method, even Turkish and espresso. It’s perfect for espresso. With a guaranteed 25 year warranty, you know that you’re purchasing a high-performance grinder.

    • 25 year no break warranty (on the grind mechanism)
    • World class materials
    • Conical burrs protect the integrity of ground coffee beans
    • Slightly heavy, making portability a challenge
    • Expensive
    • Grind setting dial has no numbers so achieving the same results is tough

    3. Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Grinder – Best For Traveling Light

    Made is Osaka, Japan; this coffee grinder is perfect for minimalists and travellers who need something tiny to take with them.

    Quick facts:

    For travelers and minimalists

  • Hopper capacity: 20g (1-2 coffees per grind)
  • Weight: 226g
  • Dimensions: 6” x 2.3” x 1.8”
  • Burr material: Ceramic Conical Burr
  • Number of grind settings: 13
  • Travelling coffee drinkers don’t stop raving about the Porlex Portable Coffee Mill that is designed to grind accurately and quickly and is great for those who are travelling or constantly on the go.

    What makes this product a great travel companion? For one, the portable easy-to-grip cylindrical shape makes it easy to hike, bike, pack in a suitcase or stash in the car. It fits perfectly into the Aeropress making the convenience of packing easy, plus it weighs in at only 10.4 ounces.

    The solid stainless steel body build makes the Porlex easy to clean and virtually indestructible. The adjustable grinder produces accurate grinds for fine, coarse or grinds in between – and has a neat little dial that will ensure you remember that perfect grind you just produced. It has 13 settings, each defined by a ‘click’ on the burr wheel.

    Find the right grind for your brewer, remember the number, and you’re good to make the perfect cup of coffee on the go.

    • Easy to use with versatile features
    • Portable design perfect for the coffee enthusiast on the go
    • Simple features not designed for complex use
    • Small capacity (1-2 coffees per grind)

    4. Hario Skerton Pro Ceramic Coffee Mill – Best Value For Money

    Best it you are grinding for 3+ coffee’s at once, either at home or while camping.

    There Are Hundreds Of Hand Grinders For Sale, But Here Are The Only 8 Worth Considering. Avoid Making This One Big Mistake When Choosing (I Made It For Years)..