5 Best Manual Coffee Grinder Reviews: Italian Bialetti Takes #1 Place
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Let me just start by saying that we decided to do the Top 5 best manual coffee grinder reviews just because I fell in love with my own grinder.
It’s not an ordinary hand coffee grinder mind you; it is an art piece of the kitchen. Even the hand crank is made out of cast iron and forged steel. This is actually the manual coffee grinder review from a nice lady (somebody’s aunt apparently) that made me buy the grinder in the first place (click to enlarge):
This is the whole point of best manual coffee grinders – we don’t get them because they grind the coffee more efficiently or are easier to clean (electric grinder is both of those things) – we get them because we like the experience of having a ‘hands-on’ approach of grinding our own coffee like a true gentleman.
With an electric grinder, you pretty much just get some coffee beans and push the button. But using the manual coffee grinder is a new experience entirely.
You get to pick the best coffee beans and grind them bean by bean. Have you ever smelled the aroma of fresh hand ground coffee? You should.
Top 5 Best Manual Coffee Grinder Reviews
In the spirit of Top5er, here are the best manual coffee grinder side-by-side so you can compare them for yourself.
1. Bialetti – The Best Italian Manual Coffee Grinder Review
There is absolutely no surprise that the best manual coffee grinder comes from Italy. Italy is well-known to be that one place in the world where you can get the best coffee in pretty much every coffee shop.
It is also very unsurprising that the Bialetti Italian manual coffee grinder takes the No. 1 place. Bialetti is a synonym for good coffee in Italy and most of the Italians can’t live without having a Bialetti in their kitchen:
As every Italian will tell you, the Bialetti is completely manually operated. It has no cord or batteries; all that it really needs is a coffee-loving heart.
The grinding burr that actually grinds the coffee beans is made out of ceramic; the finest choice of material for a burr.
The Bialetti is quite a big coffee grinder. Of course, it’s because of the Italian families being big and everybody loves coffee. Nonetheless, operating the grinding wheel is simple and doesn’t need a lot of force; remember, Italians know that the hand holds the wheel, but the heart grinds the beans.
The authentic Bialetti Italian manual coffee grinder is moderately priced so that every Italian household can afford one. You can check it out here:
JavaPresse is the most well known modern American hand coffee grinder. It’s a neat and small piece that can do pretty much anything.
Do you need a manual grinder for camping? Do you need your coffee ground for espresso or Turkish coffee?
Javapresse is the easy and quick everyday grinder for espresso, Turkish coffee, Aeropress and basically every imaginable way of brewing coffee. It’s small enough to take it with you on travel (weights less than 10 ounces!) and convenient enough to use it on workdays (especially useful if you have a small kitchen – it doesn’t take much space).
It’s actually quite of fun playing around with it. You don’t need to think too much with JavaPresse; after all, it has 18 different grinding settings that can be switched between with just a click.
Above all, JavaPresse is versatile and affordable. There are pretty much the main two reasons why JavaPresse is the best-selling manual hand coffee grinders.
Where it lacks compares with other hand coffee grinders is the quality. It is made out of stainless steel which is not as tough as brushed nickel or cast iron for example. But don’t worry about the burr – the JavaPresse burr is made out of high-quality ceramic. This is a new standard for all modern manual grinders because it is way sharper and durable than the classic stainless steel burr.
It also takes more time to ground coffee than other grinders. Why? Well, because it’s a small hand grinder, that’s why. And you have to be a bit more gentle with the crank not to break the whole thing apart.
Paisley made a simple Javapresse manual coffee grinder review that quickly sums up the pros and cons (Enlarge):
A bit crumbly, maybe, but there is not a handheld coffee grinder that even comes close to the coffee grinding functionally for such an affordable price.
This best-selling manual coffee grinder might not be a piece of art but it does the job of making a rough or fine coffee powder from coffee beans and does it well. If you are lucky enough to buy JavaPresse manual hand grinder on a sale, you’ll likely spend less than $50 for it:
3. Peugeot Coffe Grinder Review – Best For French Press (Coarse Grind)
This is not about French cars. It is about French coffee.
The French are known to make everything with style, and yes, they like to grind their own coffee with style as well. Just one look at the Peugeot manual coffee grinder and you’ll see that they used a bit of what they knew about building cars into the design of this grinder.
The beautifully furnished exterior is made out of luxury woods. The prime examples are the Peugeot hand grinder constructed out of walnut wood, and even more the one from beech wood.
It is a timeless piece on the kitchen counter. It also grinds some good coffee too boost.
It’s only natural that the French would make a hand grinder that makes the best coffee powder for the French press. The trouble is that the French press usually needs quite a lot of coffee to brew. For example, the best-selling French press made 34 oz of coffee per single brew.
This is also the reason why Dan C. made the following Peugeot manual coffee grinder review (Enlarge):
If you like French press coffee, this is an excellent gift. The grinding definitely has a way of connecting the family together on Sunday mornings. But, as stated by Dan, it is a bit of hard work to grind 10-cups worth of coffee. But then again, no one buys a manual coffee grinder instead of electric coffee grinder if he or she’s looking to make less effort at making coffee.
The Peugeot manual coffee mill is not so moderately priced; mostly because it is a beautiful piece of kitchen interior (in addition to grinding coffee, of course). It does, however, come with a lifelong warranty for the exterior wood and a 5-year warranty for the burr. I’m pretty sure this is the French boasting how long their grinders last, but fortunately this is actually not an empty boast at all.
4. Hario Skerton Manual Coffee Grinder Review – The Mini Grinder
‘コーヒー‘ is the Japanese word for coffee and ‘Hario Skerton‘ is a Japanese word (actually two of them) for a coffee grinder.
Hario Skerton is a Japanese producer of coffee grinders and it’s best selling one is actually the smallest of the bunch.
Everything about Hario manual coffee grinder is easy. Want to clean it? It’s easy. Want to pack it in a suitcase? A piece of cake, you can put right next to a travel kettle. Never used a manual coffee grinder before and don’t know how to use it? Don’t worry, Hario’s mini grinder makes it easy for you.
It is made out of durable plastic (making it extra-light) but don’t worry about the performance. The single most important piece is the burr and the Japanese put a state-of-the-art ceramic burr into the Hario hand grinder. The burr would be the very last thing to break, actually.
Just be careful about one this – we all know that great Japanese products are many cloned by companies that use lower quality materials. One Hario hand grinder review by PatC talks about ‘beware of the clones’ – and it’s not a Star Wars reference (enlarge):
If you go through some more reviews of Hairo manual coffee grinder, you’ll see PatC is not the only one who got duped with a fake Hairo.
The price of this hand grinder is very affordable but please do make sure you are buying the grinder from a reputable source like Amazon or Hairo company. Below you can check the price on Amazon (just make sure you buy a new one, not one by a reseller cause reseller might have a fake Hairo grinder):
5. Handground Precision Coffee Grinder Review – Best For Espresso
Italians make the best espresso, right? Well, yeah, but Americans make the best manual coffee grinder for espresso.
The Handground Precision grinder is loved above all by espresso lovers. They are the ones who understand the importance of fine grind for espresso.
Espresso makers all operate with 15 or so bars of pressure. This means that you can (and should!) grind the beans into a fine powder through which espresso machines push the hot water and extract the flavor. By the way, espresso machines are actually the same as cappuccino makers and you can check out the list of Top 5 cappuccino makers here to get some insight.
Where does Handground Precision manual grinder come in in all of this? Well, it is made out of brushed nickel for a reason. There is not a grinder that would make better fine grind than Handground Precision hand grinder.
Its burr is designed to completely crush and fine grind the coffee beans.
What I really like about it is the modern design with the old-school aroma. The glass and nickel are a perfect combination and the fact that you can see in the manual coffee grinder is amazing. You can literally observe the fruits of your grinding efforts in real time!
What do grinders think of it? J. White made this review of Handground Precision hand coffee mill (enlarge):
Of course, when you look at electric grinder vs hand grinder, the electric is more efficient one. Nothing beats the ‘hands-on’ approach of grinding your own coffee, however.
The price of Handground Precision is a bit high but you get some extras like the Brew Magnet which makes the cleaning of manual coffee grinder a pleasure. Either way, if you like to grind your own beans and drink a handmade espresso, this is the best hand coffee grinder choice:
What is the makeup of the best hand coffee grinder? Well, it really depends on what kind you’re looking for. As for myself, for example, I love to hold the gritty cast iron crank of MoMa Exclusive grinder (that’s the air piece I was talking about).
Here are some features we used as the basis for Top5er best hand coffee grinder reviews:
Size – how much coffee would a coffee grinder ground if a coffee grinder could ground coffee? (hopefully, you sang that one). Most of the hand coffee grinders grind up to 2-cups worth of coffee per set. That is more than enough on a Saturday morning for you as your lady but grinding coffee on a workday can take away some minutes from your morning. If you want to have ground coffee prepared, you can use small grinder several times and make a coffee stock or use a bigger one once. Note:There is nothing quite like fresh ground coffee – choosing the smaller-sized manual coffee grinder is usually the smart choice here.
Weight – how much does a manual coffee grinder weight? If you want to take a coffee grinder on the plane, choose a lighter one. If, however, you are going to use it at home, pick the heavier one. Heavier ones are more reliable and robust, and you feel like a real man operating the crank of a heavy hand coffee grinder.
Nationality – Italians make the best coffee, right? Or is it the French? There is a whole philosophy about how coffee should be ground, depending on which country you’re in. Italians have their own way as well as the French (think espresso vs. French press here). The US is known for its superior production techniques and the Japanese are detail-oriented when it comes to design. This is also reflected in the design of manual coffee grinders.
Price – how much does a manual coffee grinder cost? Price range is anywhere between $20 and $300. It all comes down to the materials and quality of hand coffee grinder design – obviously cast iron or nickel brushing costs more than stainless steel or plastics. However, the pricier coffee grinders don’t only serve the function of grinding the coffee beans, they can also be used as vital pieces of interior design.
Is manual coffee grinder old-school? Sure. Is it also a very very cool thing to have in your kitchen?For people with style, absolutely.
Do You Need A Manual Coffee Grinder (Alternatives)
Ok, let’s ask ourselves ‘Do I really need a manual coffee grinder?’.
If the answer is ‘yes’, you know what to do. If it’s a ‘no’, you know what not to do. If you’re somewhere in between, here are some manual coffee grinder alternatives to ponder upon:
Use pre-grinded coffee. Every store sells it and, in fact, it is the most mainstream way of buying coffee. Grinding your coffee is a luxury but, damn, it does feel nice!
Use an electric coffee grinder. The electric is definitely more efficient and faster. It will give you the same aroma of freshly ground coffee but will it give you the same satisfaction as cranking one off yourself in the morning? I doubt it.
Drink tea instead. No grinding there. Less satisfaction almost guaranteed as well.
What Manual Coffee Grinder Do You Guys Use?
Everybody is bound to have a preference as far as coffee grinders go. Give us some insight into what you think is the best hand coffee grinder, what kind of coffee do you enjoy and what kind of grind do you make for yourself.