The 7 Best Manual Coffee Grinders

I got my first manual coffee grinder about seven years ago.

Since then, I’ve tried most of the best models on the market… and a lot of lousy ones too 🙅

Reading: Best coffee hand grinder

Fortunately, there are some truly exceptional hand grinders out there today. We’ve come a long way in just a few years, since I started reviewing coffee equipment.

In this post I have selected some of my absolute favourites.

At the end of the article, I’ll also point out some popular models that I don’t think are worth buying in 2022.

Top 7 Manual Coffee Grinders of 2022 (Top Rated Manual Grinders)

Here, you’ll see the best options when it comes to hand grinders in 2022.

There is something on the list for everyone.

  • premium: opt for the jx, c40 or the new k-max
  • travel/small hands: then 1zpresso q2 is probably something for you.
  • Inexpensive: Then go for the timemore c2 as it offers an excellent price-performance ratio.
  • 1: 1zpresso jx, 48mm steel wheel

    1zpresso has a lot of momentum in the coffee world right now. is a fairly new company, but has quickly gained a reputation as one of the best value for money brands when it comes to non-automatic coffee grinders.

    I know of the company by chance, as I stumbled across their booth at the annual Taiwan Coffee Expo in 2017.

    I was instantly wowed by how fast and well crafted their entire line of grinders is. The founder of the company, with whom I spoke briefly, is Taiwanese, but the production is in China. back then, they had not entered the western market, but now it has finally happened.

    The English of 1zpresso’s sales material is not up to oxford standards, but don’t be fooled. It is not a brand that you should underestimate.

    jx is my favorite hand grinder

    I have tried most of the 1zpresso models, also the more expensive “je” and “k” series.

    however, it is the mid ranger named ‘jx’ that I would recommend to most people.

    At its current price, it’s a bargain. easily outperforms rival grinders that cost 2-4 times as much!

    the consistency of the grinder is impressive. you can use it for everything from Turkish coffee and espresso to pour over and French press.

    Because the grinder has large, aggressive 48mm steel wheels, it’s also an incredibly fast grinder. it is much faster than any of the other models in this article. you should be able to grind 25 grams of coffee in about 35 seconds.

    The only downside to the grinder is that it’s larger, so if you travel a lot and portability is important to you, you should probably consider its smaller brother; the 1zpresso q2, which I’ll review below.

    also if your hands are on the smaller side it might be easier to use the q2 as it requires less grip strength.

    conclusion

    Over the last year, I’ve received several emails and comments on instagram and youtube from readers who bought the jx after reading my review, and they all agree it’s an epic hand grinder.

    1zpresso jx looks great and grinds quickly and consistently. it is my first choice among all manual grinders due to its incredible value proposition.

    For more information, see my full review of 1zpresso jx.

    (additional info: I previously said that the jx is not suitable for espresso, but since the standard jx model was updated in 2020 with a new axle and adjusting wheel, I actually think that it’s relatively easy to mark shots with it)

    For international orders, visit the official 1zpresso store🌍

    See also: 17 Outstanding Local Coffee Shops in Virginia Beach VA

    see more reviews

    2: nitro commander c40 mk4 blade

    The commander grinder has become one of the most popular grinders in recent years. it’s easy to understand why. It is a beautiful device where every detail has been obsessively designed in Germany.

    The Commander C40 is similar in design to some of the other top models in this category. It has conical steel burrs and a shaft that is fixed on ball bearings. the handle is ergonomically shaped, which makes it pleasant to hold and turn.

    the catch cup on the c40 used to be made of glass, however in the newer 2022 version called the c40 mk4 an unbreakable polymer version was introduced. when you buy the grinder you get both the glass version and the new, stronger retention cup.

    the c40 commander is available in many different finishes. you can get the classic with wood veneer or the newer versions in solid colors.

    unique features

    The Commander is famous for having cutters designed in-house by German engineers. that means he won’t find the same geometry and material elsewhere.

    In my testing, I found strawberries to be very suitable for both espresso and pour over coffee. burrs offer a very elegant cup for both styles of brewing.

    The brand also highlights that the wheels are made of special steel “high in nitrogen” which is more durable.

    Another great thing about joining the Commander family of users is that you can easily share recipes and brew specs with other coffee drinkers. it’s quite common to see recipes that refer to a certain number of commander “clicks.”

    drawbacks

    • While the commander’s adjustment mechanism is fairly straightforward and easy to use, it lacks the ultra-granular adjustment that some rivals offer. this means that it will be more difficult to adjust the espresso in the grinder. there is a special “red clix” add-on that you can purchase if you want an even more precise fit.
    • the commander has smaller burrs than grinders like 1zpresso jx and lido 3, which have 48mm burrs. especially compared to the jx, it seems a bit slow. the c40 took 50 seconds to grind 20g of coffee in my test, while the jx was able to process the same number of beans in just 23 seconds.
    • the c40 mk3 is also more expensive than most of its competitors in the top league of hand grinders. This price difference is probably due to the fact that it is made in Germany, where production is more expensive.
    • finally, the circumference of the body can make it difficult to hold if you have small hands.
    • conclusion

      the commander grinder is one of the most popular models on the market. there is no doubt that it is a well designed device that produces a very consistent grind. however, you can find cheaper models that are very close in terms of performance. pay a little more for brand name and recognition here.

      If money is not an issue and you are primarily looking for a grinder for manual brewing, this is still a very solid option.

      see my full commander review.

      See also: 17 Outstanding Local Coffee Shops in Virginia Beach VA

      see more reviews

      3: 1zpresso k-max

      1zpresso k-max is the new flagship model from 1zpresso. shares many of the same attributes as the jx; it’s only slightly better when it comes to grind layout and also more luxurious in design and features.

      while the jx will be more than enough for most people, the k-max is for the coffee geek who wants an ultimate model. k-max just offers a bit more balance and precision in terms of flavors. especially when it comes to lighter roasts.

      however, the jx still offers excellent value for money and that is why it remains my top pick in this article.

      however, if money is not an issue, I think you should consider this grinder.

      next level features

      Intuitive and easy to use adjustment dial on top of the unit separates the K-Max from most other hand grinders.

      in daily use, it is simply a pleasure. makes it incredibly easy to switch between different settings. for example, I grind for espresso on the 2.5 setting and pour on 5.5-6.5. I can change the grind setting in seconds without having to count “clicks” or play under burrs.

      If you are going to use the grinder for different preparation methods, this is very convenient.

      at the same time, the steps are small enough that you can prepare all kinds of coffee comfortably.

      the k-max also has a magnetic catch cup. again, this is a joy to use. It may seem like a small thing, but it is very convenient.

      plus you won’t have to worry about the cup threads wearing out with use, something that could be a problem on the jx for years to come.

      the real difference

      Taste-wise, the k-max is also a bit more refined than the jx. Most people won’t notice this in daily use, but if you’re the kind of person who buys light roast coffee and is experimenting with water quality, you should be able to tell the difference.

      the k-max offers a very balanced but sweet cup of coffee. In addition, you can comfortably push the extractions with this grinder.

      emphasizes balance and nuance when it comes to drip coffee and espresso. it’s a lovely flavor profile.

      It’s rare to find grinders that are as good for both pouring and espresso. In fact, I think you’ll have to consider semi-pro electric flat grinders before you find something that can compete with the K-Max as a multi-purpose grinder.

      yes, the c40 commander also produces tasty coffee in all brewing methods; however, it is not a pleasant experience to use for espresso. the k-max, on the other hand, is a beast: it’s not much effort to grind a standard 18 gram dose in 35 seconds as long as you have decent grip strength. and it offers a much better adjustment mechanism and smaller steps compared to the c40.

      conclusion

      the k-max is a little more expensive than the popular jx, but you get a lot of value for your money here.

      If you’re looking for the best complete manual grinder, look no further. you can prepare all kinds of coffee with this model and you will enjoy every second.

      For international orders, visit the official 1zpresso store🌍

      see my detailed k-max review on youtube

      See also: 17 Outstanding Local Coffee Shops in Virginia Beach VA

      see more reviews

      4: time plus c2

      timemore c2 grinder in hand

      timemore c2 has created a bit of a disruption in the grinder market.

      It’s priced where before you only had manual ceramic grinders or crappy electric grinders.

      the c2 destroys both types of devices without breaking a sweat.

      unique features

      the c2 looks pretty good and feels good in the hand too.

      It has this unique textured surface that makes the grinder easier to hold. this is a nice touch if you’re grinding light roasts and don’t have the grip strength of a climber.

      also the diameter of the c2 is not as wide as the commander c40 or 1zpresso jx. again, this makes for a comfortable ride.

      many people would probably say the c2 is a perfect size; it’s small enough to be easy to hold, but still has decent capacity for everyday use. for example, it holds about 25 grams of coffee, enough for two large cups.

      additional info: there is also a larger version called “c2 max”, which has a slightly larger capacity of around 30 grams.

      in daily use

      the timemore c2 grinds exceptionally fast. It is one of the fastest hand grinders on the market.

      The grinder cups are sweet with excellent clarity and texture. there’s still a way to go to the 1zpresso and commander models, but overall the mugs are still impressive.

      for example, the grinder produces a more consistent grind than the bis baratza, often recommended as the best choice for beginners.

      conclusion

      the timemore c2 is the cheapest way to get a good coffee at home.

      The device looks pretty good and feels good in the hand. If you compare this to previous entry-level models like the Hario Slim, we’re in a different league.

      See also: Protein Powder In Coffee: Good Idea, Or Just A Trend?

      if you can’t afford the 1zpresso jx or have small hands and want something lighter, go for the c2.

      See also: 17 Outstanding Local Coffee Shops in Virginia Beach VA

      see more reviews

      5: 1zpresso q2 travel burr grinder

      featured image 1zpresso q2

      This is the smallest model of 1zpresso. It is an ideal companion for the frequent traveler, since it fits inside an aeropress.

      Even though the grinder is small, it still does a great job all the way around and could be used as an everyday workhorse. (I would recommend most people to get 1zpresso’s jx model though, as it’s faster and more consistent).

      Like the rest of the brand’s models, the mini q has an aluminum body with no room for misalignment while the shaft and milling cutters are made of stainless steel.

      The grinding action is aided by two super-smooth bearings. In practice, this makes polishing incredibly fast – at least twice the speed compared to the bearingless ceramic burr polishers in this article. in fact, it’s on par with the much bulkier lido 3 for speed.

      The bur set is made of sharp stainless steel and cuts through medium roast beans like a knife through butter. this grinder is suitable for manual brewing, but the company doesn’t recommend it for espresso (they have some larger models like the k pro and jx that are better suited for that).

      unique features

      There are a lot of nifty features in the q2. for example, the wooden handle-knob is magnetic, so it can be removed for a more comfortable transport.

      adjustment is simpler than many of its competitors due to the use of a numbered adjustment.

      However, the main argument for getting the grinder is that the combination of build quality, size, consistency, ease of use, and price is simply phenomenal.

      If you want to learn more about the q2, check out my detailed review here.

      the conclusion

      if portability and quality are your top priorities, go for the q2. it is built to last, it is compact and capable of grinding very well. the only slight drawback is that the capacity of the hopper is a maximum of 24 grams of lightly roasted beans. If that doesn’t bother you, I highly recommend this grinder.

      For international orders, visit the official 1zpresso store🌍

      See also: 17 Outstanding Local Coffee Shops in Virginia Beach VA

      see more reviews

      6: orphan swiss burr grinder espresso lido 3

      The Lido 3 manual grinder has been popular in the specialty coffee community for a while now. It is made by the small orphan espresso company, which mainly produces various manual grinders as well as espresso accessories.

      The Lido 3 is a big, bulky grinder. the photos don’t do it justice. in hand, you can feel how heavy and well-crafted their model is. The irony is that it’s marketed as a travel grinder because it’s lighter than its predecessor, the Lido 2. But at 2 pounds or just over 1 kilo, you’d have to be a coffee fanatic to carry it on the go. trip .

      big burrs

      The lido 3 sports 48mm swiss made conical steel cutters and has a huge capacity compared to its rivals.

      It grinds fast enough but in fact other high-end grinders like 1zgrinder handily beat it when it comes to speed. this is probably due to the lido’s shorter handle and less smooth bearings.

      drawbacks

      the lido 3 has many fans in cyberspace who sing its praises; only a few people say something negative about this grinder. however, I have had this grinder for over a year and have noticed some serious flaws.

      • the grind setting is awkward with the so-called “lock ring”. it is too complicated and cumbersome to change the grind setting compared to what other brands offer today.
      • The antistatic plastic in the grounds container is made from a very soft type of plastic. within a year, the threads on the screw had become so loose that the jar would no longer fit.
      • can’t grind fine enough for espresso (I know some people disagree, but I’ve never been able to find a suitable setting due to burr rubbing)
      • half-size grinders are even faster and more consistent.
      • conclusion:

        The Lido 3 is certainly a capable grinder, and its rugged, industrial look makes it stand out from typical hand grinders. but it’s not really the engineering masterpiece it’s made out to be. there are quite a few competitors at the same price; I would choose this.

        see full lido 3 review here

        7: hario skerton pro manual ceramic burr grinder

        hario skerton marble background

        Hario Skerton is one of the most iconic hand grinders. this is the new and improved “pro” version of the classic model.

        In many ways, hario is synonymous with the third wave movement. the Japanese brand just oozes ‘slow coffee’.

        I wasn’t a big fan of the older version of skerton. however, the new version, which was released in 2017, has significantly upped its game.

        The revamped skerton with the “pro” moniker sports an all-new burr design. these burs wobble less than the old ones due to an improved construction and as a bonus, it’s now much easier to adjust the grind.

        Being able to adjust the grind settings easily is really an essential factor when it comes to user experience. setup is based on ‘clicks’ now. that makes it easy to reproduce a particular routine. old skerton used a continuous system, which made it a pain to go back and find a previous setup.

        better handling

        Another nice feature of the updated “pro” is the new handle. before the handle was somewhat flimsy and a bit short. the new handle gives you a nice solid feel when grinding and uses force better. simple laws of physics right there.

        the skerton pro has the general aesthetic of hario, which means understated, beautiful and smooth. it’s hard not to fall in love with this grinder.

        despite all the substantial improvements, the price still puts the skerton firmly in the budget spectrum of things.

        drawbacks

        a small drawback is that the ground receptacle is made of glass. It has some silicone protection on the bottom, but it’s still more brittle than plastic or steel. the grinder is also a bit bulkier than some of its competitors, so it’s not the best for travel.

        Read our full hario skerton pro review here.

        conclusion:

        the hario skerton pro is cheap and very basic. most beginners and casual coffee drinkers would probably be happy with this device. however, the true coffee fanatic would prefer a grinder with better consistency and grinding speed.

        See also: 5 Cheap(ish) Things to Upgrade Your Coffee Experience

bhh

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