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Any true coffee enthusiast will tell you that when it comes to making a perfect cup of coffee having a good coffee grinder is as important as having a good coffee machine or high quality coffee.
Coffee mills AKA hand crank manual coffee grinders are so simple and yet so useful machines.
You grab the handle, you turn it, and voila! – freshly ground delicious coffee courtesy of the all-important coffee grinder burrs contained within.
Some people tend to use coffee grinders not just for grinding coffee beans but also to grind spices or chop and slice herbs.
Although coffee grinders are fully capable of grinding spices or chopping and slicing herbs, we highly recommend you not to use the same grinder for grinding coffee and spices.
You wonder why?
Well, some spices have very strong scents that can affect the aroma of your coffee. Even the tiniest left-overs of spices from your grinder will make your coffee taste weird.
If you really want to make a perfect cup of coffee each time, we suggest you buying two separate grinders, one for coffee and the other for spices and herbs.
Stay with us as we’ve made a list of the best available hand crank grinders that you can buy in 2020.
But, before we move on to the reviews, let us talk a bit more about these amazing machines.
Here is what we are going to cover:
- Top 3 reasons for grinding your own coffee
- What are the advantages of a hand crank coffee grinder?
- What to look for when buying a hand crank coffee grinder?
- Top 3 hand crank coffee grinders of 2020:
Let’s start by explaining why you should grind your own coffee…
Top 3 reasons for grinding your own coffee
Fresh ground coffee tastes better
After you grind your coffee beans, they start to lose their flavor and aromas more rapidly than they would if they were left as whole beans.
Many coffee lovers believe that pre-ground coffee can lose up to 60% if its flavor. The math is simple; if you grind your own coffee, you extract 60% more flavor from your coffee.
Grinding your own coffee is cheaper
Any coffee distributor will charge you a bit more for pre-ground coffee. Although a package of pre-ground coffee doesn’t cost much more than a package of whole beans, you can save some money by grinding your own coffee.
Nowadays you can buy a coffee grinder for as low as $20 and grind your coffee anytime you want.
You have control
Any coffee lover will tell you that you will have better chances of brewing an exceptional cup of coffee if you have greater control over your brewing process.
A coffee grinder will let you control how you grind, when you grind, and how much you grind. It will let you decide what grain size you want to achieve in order to make an amazing cup of coffee.
Next, we talk about what makes hand crank coffee grinders so amazing…
What are the advantages of a hand crank coffee grinder?
Hands down, the biggest advantage of hand crank coffee grinders over electric grinder is the price.
Hands grinders are much cheaper for buying and they don’t affect your electricity bill.
Manual grinders are also more durable than their electric counterparts. As they are very simple machines, there is no much that can fail.
Unlike electric grinders, manual coffee grinders are travel-friendly. They are very small and don’t take u much space when travelling. As they don’t require electricity to work, you can take them anywhere you go.
Electric grinders can sometimes create heat while grinding which can burn your coffee. Manual coffee grinders don’t create so much heat which means you get to preserve all those precious aromas in your coffee.
Manual coffee grinders are incredibly quiet. As they don’t have electric motors, they don’t produce a lot of noise. You can use them whenever you want, not worrying about waking up a person sleeping in the next room.
Here is what you need to consider when buying a hand crank coffee grinder…
What to look for when buying a hand crank coffee grinder?
Here are the key features you need to pay attention to when buying a hand crank grinder:
- Build quality
- Grind adjustment
- Handle design
Before you go buying a coffee grinder you have to think about how much coffee you want to grind daily or weekly.
Of course, the amount of coffee you plan to grind will depend on whether you will be brewing a cup of coffee just for yourself or a batch for your family or work colleagues.
You should look for a grinder with the capacity that will fit your needs. You don’t want to under grind or over grind coffee, ending u wasting your precious time or wasting excessive amounts of freshly ground coffee.
Do you want to buy a coffee grinder you could take with you on your business trips? Or, do you want a coffee grinder that could add style to your kitchen.
Coffee grinders come in different shapes and sizes.
If you plan on taking your grinder with you during your travelling, you’re better off buying something small.
On the other hand, if you want a grinder that will look great on your kitchen desk, you could go for something better and premium looking.
Coffee grinders are made of all sorts of materials. Plastic, wood, metal, ceramic, glass, you name it! The best grinders are those made of ceramic or stainless steel.
These materials are very easy to clean and look amazing.
We highly recommend you avoid buying a plastic coffee grinder. They break easily and don’t do the job properly.
You need to buy a grinder that will be able to turn whole coffee beans into the perfect grind.
Look for a coffee grinder with a solid mechanism that will provide you with precision. A well built grinder will always produce the same grind, day after day.
You should also look for a grinder that is easy to use and clean. Try to avoid buying a grinder that is hard to clean and maintain. You don’t want to spend your precious time on completely disassembling your grinder just to give it a good cleaning.
Manual coffee grinders are usually very simple machines that rarely break. However, they do occasionally break!
Sometimes the mechanism in your grinder will jam, making the grinder useless. Also, some parts can break or fail.
If you buy a coffee grinder with a warranty, you will avoid spending extra money on repairs or buying a new grinder.
If possible, buy a grinder with a lifetime warranty. If the lifetime warranty is not available, a long term warranty will do the job.
If you are a true coffee lover you are probably using different brewing methods. If this is the case, you need to look for a grinder that will let you adjust the settings for a finer or coarser grind.
The different grind sizes will let you make a perfect cup of Espresso, French press or Moka.
Grinding coffee manually can sometimes be tiring, especially if you manual coffee grinder is poorly designed.
When buying a manual grinder you should always choose the one with a long handle as the length of the handle is crucial for leverage.
The longer the handle, the easier it is to grind coffee.
If possible, try out the grinder before buying it. The handle should feel natural in jour hand and you should be able to turn it with ease.
If the grinder is poorly designed it will feel like a piece of gym equipment rather than a simple kitchen appliance.
We move on to the reviews. Let’s start with Hario Skerton.
- Small, light weight, and portable
- Great travel grinder
- Adjustable burrs
- Easy to use
- Easy to clean
- Professional experience
- Made by Japanese glass experts at Hario
- Consistent grind
Next, we move on to Brillante BR-MCG-SS1…
- Easy-Grip Handle
- Sturdy construction
- Great for traveling
- Great for all brewing methods including French Press, drip, or espresso
- The SS1 is the superior model to similar looking grinders
- Stainless steel construction
- Grind-viewing window
- Easy to dismantle and clean
- Perfect for spices as well
- Ceramic conical burrs a preferred type of burr set
- Handy “click” feature to keep track of adjustment of burrs
- Grind enough for 2 people in about a minute or so (38 grams / 6 tbsp)
- Diameter of body: 1.89 in / 48mm – Total length: 7.5 in / 190.5mm
- Weight: 8.95 ounces / 254 grams
We finish with Hario Canister…
Hario Canister Coffee Mill
- No slip rubber cover at bottom
- Adjustable burrs
- Works great for any style of grind, from coarse to fine
- Capacity : Makes 120g of coffee grinds
- Easy to use
- Easy to Clean
- Once again made by the glass masters at Hario