Any coffee connoisseur will quickly tell you that great-tasting coffee can only be had if you use freshly ground coffee beans. That’s why a coffee grinder is probably the most important thing to have, next to a brewer of course, for anyone in constant need of a caffeine fix.
Like any gadget on the market, coffee grinders come in two types: automatic and manual. Of these two, manual grinders are more reliable, having been around for more than a century. That’s because they are portable, easy to use, and generally offer a much better grind than automated ones.
Most modern grinders tend to have a basic cylindrical container to hold the ground coffee, metallic/ceramic burrs to grind the beans, and a hand crank to operate the gadget easily. It’s the hand crank, however, that makes the overall design very user-friendly.
That’s because the crank is less likely to strain the wrist. When one spins the crank, the entire forearm is engaged in the motion so it takes the load off the hand. In fact, most people with some form of hand arthritis prefer a hand crank coffee grinder because they can easily hold it in one hand, turn the crank with minimal force on the other, and still get a great grind.
There are also other important reasons for picking a hand crank grinder over an automatic one. Coffee purists, for instance, prefer the manual one because it doesn’t heat up the coffee beans when grinding it. This allows them to retain the flavor so that when the coffee is brewed, it tastes even better and fresher than the coffee beans ground by electric-powered coffee grinders.
A hand crank product is also quieter than an electric-powered one. If you need a cup of coffee at dawn, you won’t spoil the drowsy peace of an early morning with the harsh electric whine of the gadget grinding the coffee beans.
On the practical side, they’re cheaper and more portable. Even the most high-end of hand crank coffee grinders are still less expensive than an automatic one. And because most modern manual grinders are sleekly designed, they’re easier to carry around wherever you go. Some even come with their own pouches.
And that’s the exciting part. Today’s modern hand crank coffee grinders are designed to look sophisticated and luxurious. Unlike the vintage and bulky ones, they are collectible gadgets that can easily perform their function while looking good at the same time.
In this list, I’ve picked the best of the current models out in the market. Here are my top five hand-crank coffee grinders.
Table of Contents
- Best Hand Crank Coffee Grinder
- 1. JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder with Adjustable Settings – Patented Conical Burr Mill & Brushed Stainless Steel Whole Bean Burr Coffee Grinder for Aeropress, Drip Coffee, Espresso, French Press
- 2. 1Zpresso JX-PRO Manual Coffee Grinder Light Gray Capacity 35g with Assembly Stainless Steel Conical Burr – Numeral Adjustable Setting, Portable Mill
- 3. DAURUNFY Manual Coffee Grinder Portable Hand Coffee Bean Mill with Ceramic Adjustable Knob Setting Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder in Kitchen and Hiking (BLACK)
- 4. JBM Coffee Co Manual Coffee Grinder Chestnut C2 Model Capacity 25g CNC Milled Stainless Steel Burr Double
- 5. TIMEMORE NANO Manual Coffee Grinder CNC cutting stainless steel burrs Adjustable Setting Dual bearing central axis positioning Portable folding grinder(Black)
- Buyers Guide to Picking The Best Hand Crank Coffee Grinder
Best Hand Crank Coffee Grinder
- JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder with Adjustable Settings – Patented Conical Burr Mill & Brushed Stainless Steel Whole Bean Burr Coffee Grinder
- 1Zpresso JX-PRO Manual Coffee Grinder Light Gray Capacity 35g with Assembly Stainless Steel Conical Burr – Numernal Adjustable Setting
- DAURUNFY Manual Coffee Grinder Portable Hand Coffee Bean Mill with Ceramic Adjustable Knob Setting Stainless Steel )
- JBM Coffee Co Manual Coffee Grinder Chestnut C2 Model Capacity 25g CNC Milled Stainless Steel Burr Double
- TIME MORE NANO Manual Coffee Grinder CNC cutting stainless steel burrs Adjustable Setting
1. JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder with Adjustable Settings – Patented Conical Burr Mill & Brushed Stainless Steel Whole Bean Burr Coffee Grinder for Aeropress, Drip Coffee, Espresso, French Press
Equipped with a brushed steel body and ceramic burr, this grinder has over 18 manual grind settings that give you total control over the quality of your ground beans. Whether you’re grinding them for an AeroPress, French press, or even an espresso machine, this gadget has you covered.
Its coffee bean capacity is 6 tablespoons and it has a built-in window to let you see how your beans are being ground. The hand crank mechanism is removable and eliminates over 90% of the noise that an electric bean grinder would produce. Its patented ceramic conical burr, meanwhile, will also give you a consistent grind for whatever kind of coffee brew you desire.
It’s relatively easy to clean and comes with a detailed manual for making a variety of grind types for different brewing methods. And if that isn’t enough, their website also has a resource section with more guidelines from its team of baristas to help you maximize the full use of the grinder.
This product comes with manufacturer’s warranty and 100% money back guarantee.
- Ergonomic and user-friendly crank handle
- Phenomenal customer service
- Slow at grinding espresso (5 mins) but fast for the rest of the grind types
- Doesn’t include cleaning accessories like a coffee brush
2. 1Zpresso JX-PRO Manual Coffee Grinder Light Gray Capacity 35g with Assembly Stainless Steel Conical Burr – Numeral Adjustable Setting, Portable Mill
This grinder features a 48mm stainless steel conical burr capable of a wide range of grind adjustments, with increments only having slight or no effect at all on the quality of the beans. The burr is calibrated and fixed in place by the 1Zpresso team so that it won’t wobble or come loose the more frequently it is used.
Grinding speed is fast; for medium to coarse grinds fit for a pour-over or a Chemex, it’ll take 20 seconds for 18 grams. For finer grinds that are ideal for espressos, it takes about 35 seconds.
Though it’s made entirely out of metal without any plastic, the grinder is easy to disassemble for cleaning. It also feels solid and durable and reviews say that as long as one treats it as a precision tool and doesn’t drop it, it will last several years before needing to replace the grinding shaft.
This product comes with a cleaning brush. It also includes a 1-year limited warranty and reliable customer service.
- Fast grinding speed
- Great customer service
- Doesn’t come with a travel case
- Not for Turkish coffee grinds
3. DAURUNFY Manual Coffee Grinder Portable Hand Coffee Bean Mill with Ceramic Adjustable Knob Setting Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder in Kitchen and Hiking (BLACK)
This is a good entry-level coffee grinder that’s easy to use at home or in the field. It’s a portable mini with a ceramic adjustable knob. It has 3 grades adjustment for coarse, medium, and fine grinds.
The center part is ceramic conical and it can hold about 1 ounce of coffee beans for one time grinding. That makes for 1-2 cups of coffee.
It’s also easy to disassemble for cleaning. When washing it, however, please air dry it well before reassembling.
- Premium quality but cheaper than most
- Includes a silver coffee spoon accessory
- Not good for extremely fine grinds
- Doesn’t seem to come with a warranty
4. JBM Coffee Co Manual Coffee Grinder Chestnut C2 Model Capacity 25g CNC Milled Stainless Steel Burr Double
Weighing only 430 grams, this coffee grinder feels light but durable. It’s made mostly out of stainless steel with a double bearing central axis position that provides uniformity in grinding particles.
Because of its built-in bearing, the handle will keep turning for a while even if you release your hand. This makes it possible to grind lightly with only a little force applied.
It’s adjustable in 36 steps and is able to produce a variety of grinds, from espresso to French press to pour over grinds. The milling steel blade, meanwhile, has a hardness of 55-58HRC that minimizes the generation of fine powder.
Ideal for kitchen use or for travelling, this product comes in a nice packaging and includes a brush for light cleaning.
- Energy-saving crank handle
- Convenient to maintain; if the spring gets stuck, press burrs to release automatically
- No warranty indicated
5. TIMEMORE NANO Manual Coffee Grinder CNC cutting stainless steel burrs Adjustable Setting Dual bearing central axis positioning Portable folding grinder(Black)
Smaller than an iPhone 7+, this coffee grinder features a spring-assisted collapsible handle that’s attached to the coffee grinder’s lid. The handle folds down easily against the body and with its magnetic removable black walnut pommel, it can get as compact as 3 inches.
It holds about 15 grams of beans per cycle so, in order to brew a single cup, you need to grind twice. It has a scale adjustment design, capable of 36 grind settings, that allows you to adjust the grinding from super coarse to fine.
Dual bearings fasten the central axis in place so that it keeps coffee beans more stable when they're being ground in order to evenly produce a coffee powder. This model features a stainless steel burr that’s good for a medium grind range (around 15-24 clicks from zero) for pour-over drip brewing. There is another version that uses a titanium burr for finer grinding for Aeropress, Moka pot, and espresso.
This product comes with a cleaning brush, cloth bag and user manual.
- Knurling makes it very easy to keep from twisting while grinding
- Grinds slightly faster than the 1Zpresso grinder
- The crank folding mechanism has a little play due to moving parts
- No warranty indicated
Buyers Guide to Picking The Best Hand Crank Coffee Grinder
Capacity and Size
Hand crank coffee grinders are designed to be portable so they usually have a limited capacity. The usual capacity for most grinders ranges from 0.25 oz to 3.5 oz of beans. This is enough for about 1 to 9 cups of coffee. Unless you’re really a coffee addict, a grinder good for a single cup will be enough to satisfy your caffeine fix.
When it comes to size though, they can range from 6 inches to 13 inches. The smaller ones are best for traveling since they can be stored in a pocket. The bigger ones, however, are ideal for a small kitchen. If you need a large one, pick a model that has a rubber bottom. This way, you can place it on your countertop without slipping and use less force in keeping it stable while cranking.
Grinders are made from either glass, plastic, metal, or a combination of all three. The ones on the higher-end of the market tend to use stainless steel and are therefore more durable. But that doesn’t mean that a glass or plastic grinder is of lower quality. Depending on your objectives and budget, strive for a balance between portability, durability, and performance. Pick one that won’t break if you drop it by accident but is also lightweight enough to carry around.
Grinders use either use a burr or a blade to grind coffee beans. Among experts, the consensus is that a burr grinder is more efficient because it gives you more control over the extraction, allowing you to finely adjust its grinding. In contrast, a blade grinder can chop the beans inconsistently leading to over-or under-extraction of coffee.
When it comes to burrs, there are also two options: ceramic and steel. Both will do just fine, however, because they have very minimal differences. Steel burrs are more durable but can produce heat which can degrade some of the coffee beans flavors. Ceramic burrs, meanwhile, tend to provide more optimal grind consistency and don’t generate heat. They also don’t wear out easily. Just choose what’s best for your needs.
There’s no standard to the number of settings a grinder must-have. Although, the higher the number, the more it is capable of producing a variety of grinds for different brews. The high-end models usually have a range between 8-18 settings which is sufficient enough for most popular types of coffee brew.
The important thing here is consistency. As long as it provides the same particle size all throughout, it doesn’t really matter if a model has fewer settings or uses an ungraded dial. Besides, most people only require the type of grind that’s best for pour-over or French press coffee. And all grinders are capable of providing this type of grind.
It should be ergonomic enough so that it feels comfy enough when you start cranking. This means that the handle knob should be big enough to give you a good grip. It helps if it has grooves or an anti-slip surface to prevent your hand from slipping suddenly and injuring your wrist.
The handle itself should also be long enough so that it’s easy to do the cranking motion. Some models will feature foldable ones to make them even more portable. If you prefer this type of handle, make sure that it’s easy to fold in or remove the handle. Also, it should be stable enough to handle the constant motion.
Maintenance and Accessories
A manual coffee grinder should also be easy to disassemble and reassemble because you are going to be regularly cleaning it so that its burrs remain sharp and functional. Since this is a small gadget, it's best to pick a model that has the fewest parts possible so that it’s easy to keep track of them when they are separated into parts.
It also helps if you have a coffee grinder brush to help wipe away the coffee ground residue without damaging the burr. Some models will include that as an accessory.
Even if you’re not picking a high-end model, it still makes good consumer sense to get one that has a warranty. Pick one that has at least a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty and has great customer service. It’ll be less stressful in case it breaks down and you need to have it repaired or replaced.