The only way of getting the most out of that juicy bag of coffee is by grinding your own beans. But a good electric grinder can be very expensive. This is where a manual grinder comes in.
Hand grinders, like the JX series, are budget-friendly options, often outperforming electric grinders three times their price. Intriguing, no?
Today we’re going to dissect two of the fastest, best value for money hand grinders currently on the market. The JX, and the JX Pro grinders by 1Zpresso. We’ll look at how they perform, what they are good at, and what they aren’t.
If you are looking for that next step on the road to coffee perfection, read on!
1ZPresso JX Grinders Review
JX VS JX Pro
1Zpresso, pronounced ee-zee-presso as I’ve recently learned, is a Taiwanese company that designs and produces premium hand grinders.
They currently have four lines of grinders, ranging from the budget and simple Q2, all the way up to the espresso workhorse, the K-Plus.
While all of the grinders look great, the ones that interest me the most are the companies mid-tier grinders— the JX and the Pro. I’d heard great things about both of these models.
The two grinders share quite a lot in common— same build quality (excellent), same burr set, and same grind uniformity. But there are a few very important differences that make each of these grinders good at different things.
Que the music as we take a look at each grinder and its feature set.
1Zpresso JX Pro
- Over 200 adjustment settings
- Grinds quickly for a hand grinder
- Excellent build quality
- Harder to remove and realign the outer burr
- The plastic lid feels oddly cheap when compared to the rest of the grinder
What we love about it
The build quality of the body is fantastic.
I love the way the adjustment dial works at the top of the grinder with those satisfying clicks as you change the setting.
Grind is nice and even, creating not too many fines nor boulders. The number of particle size adjustments makes it fairly easy to dial in espresso shots.
What we don’t like about it
I’m not the biggest fan of the plastic lid that attaches the crank arm to the body of the grinder.
Considering how well the rest of the grinder is made, the plastic lid feels a bit odd. The Comandante has a clear plastic lid too and I just don’t get it!
Another issue is that grinds tend to get stuck at the bottom of the grinder. Just between the bottom of the inner burr and the main chamber. This isn’t a huge deal and happens with most hand grinders.
The Pro is clearly an espresso-focused manual grinder.
With over 200 adjustment settings, dialing-in is easy peasy lemon squeezy. You can also pour overs and such with the Pro, but having this many settings for filter brewing might be like bringing a gun to a knife fight.
As a matter of fact, we’ve listed it as the best manual espresso grinder you buy in 2021!
- One of the fastest hand grinders around
- Excellent value for money
- Produces consistent, even grinds
- Not great for grinding for espresso
- The plastic lid feels a little cheap
What we love about it
Let’s just start by saying that the standard JX hand grinder is incredible value for money. At under $150, it would be hard to find an alternative that performs as well as this for the money.
The other main thing that I love about the ‘entry version’, consistency aside, is the speed at which it grinds. Thanks to its huge set of 48mm steel burrs, it goes through coffee faster than any other hand grinder I’ve seen.
What we don’t like it
Again with the plastic lid! Not a fan one bit. Other than that, this model has fewer adjustment settings than the JX Pro. While it has more than enough settings for filter brewing, it lacks the range of real espresso grinders.
Filter brewing. Pretty much anything but espresso.
The JX can go fine enough for espresso but doesn’t quite have the number of micro-adjustments that we need. Although, for occasional espresso shots or ones with a pressurized portafilter, you’ll be able to get by using the standard JX.
The JX Series Design
As I mentioned earlier, the JX and the JX Pro are part of the same family of hand coffee grinders. That means they have a fair bit in common, both in looks and in performance.
Right off the bat, both models appear nearly the same. Both are constructed of aluminum alloy, wrapped with a rubber band like silicone grip on the hopper of each.
Featuring buttery smooth bearings, the crank arm spins freely, allowing for fairly easy grinding. The bearings also add another level of efficiency by reducing the friction of moving parts.
The Pro is the bigger of the two, with a slightly wider opening at the top to accommodate for the adjustment dial. Weighing in at a whopping 770 grams, the Pro is one mean hand grinding machine.
Not the most appropriate travel grinder if you’re after something lightweight. At 635 grams, the standard JX is a little shorter but no less of a beast.
It seems that the size and weight difference between the two models are due to the opening and adjustment mechanisms in each. With a capacity of between 30 and 35 grams, you’ll be able to load the same amount into both grinders.
When it comes to the burrs, the JX and the JX Pro are evenly matched. Containing a 48mm stainless steel burr set, both of these grinders produce even and consistent grinds.
The biggest difference between the two models is the way you adjust the particle size.
We’ll go into more detail on grind adjustment below, but if you’re in a hurry, here is the gist. The Pro has many more adjustment settings, making it far better at espresso grinding.
Now let’s talk about the most important part of any grinder— the burrs. Both the JX and the Pro models utilize the same huge 48mm stainless steel burr set.
Can we just stop and think about that for a second? A 48mm burr set…On a hand grinder…
To put this into perspective, the Remi by Option-O has a 38mm burr set, while the ever-popular Comandante houses a 39mm outer burr. To my knowledge, the only other hand grinders that can compete on the burr size front are the OE Lido hand grinders. And they are far more expensive than those discussed in this review.
Using a massive set of burrs equals insanely fast grinding times. We’ll talk in more juicy detail about the speed of these grinders in the section below. Spoiler alert: they are FAST!
Having the same burr set means that both models can achieve a fine enough particle size for an espresso machine and coarse enough for a cold brewer. The adjustment mechanism is what makes the JX best for filter and the JX Pro best for espresso.
Removing the Burrs
Removing the burrs of the standard JX is simple and is done without tools.
The JX is actually the only grinder I am aware of that you can remove the outer burr by hand. It’s a cool feature that allows you to keep it sparkling clean, easily.
Removing the outer burr of the Pro is, as with most grinders, a much more difficult task. It’s not crazy complicated, but it does take tools and some knowledge to realign them properly after reinstallation.
Housing the same set of burrs, one might think that these two titans are capable of exactly the same particle sizes. But due to the adjustment mechanism in each, this isn’t the case.
Using a stepped adjustment dial housed at the bottom of the unit, the standard JX has 40 settings in total. That’s 40 clicks of the dial.
To adjust, first, make sure the lid is in place. Then remove the grounds collection cup. Hold the hopper and the handle with one hand and turn the dial at the bottom with the other. Turning the dial one way will adjust the grind coarser, and the other way will make it finer.
Particle sizes range anywhere from fine espresso grinds, all the way up to French press and cold brew. Within these 40 adjustments, about 20 of them can be used for espresso. The other 20 are great for filter brewing.
The JX is made for manual brew methods. It will cut fine enough to pull a decent shot of espresso on occasion, but it isn’t really made for that. If you want to brew espresso daily, go with the Pro model.
When you took at the adjustments available on the JX Pro, it becomes pretty obvious that it is designed as an espresso grinder.
With over 200 stepped settings, you are able to make micro changes to your particle size. Each full rotation of the dial contains 40 settings, each with a satisfying ‘click’. Every click is an adjustment of 12.5 microns. So we’re talking really tiny changes to particle size. Much smaller than you’d ever need for pour over brewing.
The adjustment mechanism is housed at the top of the hopper and is changed using a dial. One full turn of the dial will get you into rough espresso territory, while three full turns will land you in a good place for a V60.
With the adjustment dial housed at the top rather than on the bottom, you don’t need to remove the grinds collection cup in order to change the particle size. It’s a small thing, but it does add to the overall experience, making it more pleasurable to use.
Overall, the Pro works well for both espresso and pour over.
Whenever someone asks me if they should get a manual grinder, my answer is always the same.
Do you like spending a couple of minutes cranking away on some coffee beans in the morning? Because up until fairly recently, this is what you’d be in for. Some love it, some hate it, but it’s the way of hand grinding. Or so I thought…
After learning about the 1zPresso line of JX grinders, I’m going to have to change my spiel.
With both models, we’re looking at ridiculously fast grinding times. Often they are even faster than an electric burr grinder. Yep, you heard that right!
An 18g dose of coffee at a pour over setting takes about 20 seconds of hand grinding. That is blazing fast.
I have a Wilfa Uniform sitting on my coffee bar at home, and it doesn’t cut a whole lot faster than that. If you’d ever used a grinder like the Hario Skerton, or the Porlex Mini, you might be used to times well over 3x slower.
Surprisingly, the JX Pro grinds a little slower than the cheaper, standard JX.
Grinding an 18g dose of pour over coffee in around 30 seconds, it’s not a whole lot slower, but the difference is certainly there.
Cutting an 18g dose of espresso grinds will take about 45 seconds. Compare this to the Helor 101 which takes a 1:45 for the same dose, and you see that this is still a ridiculously fast hand grinder.
When it comes to consistency, both perform very similarly. No surprised there, considering they use the exact same set of burrs.
Both produce small amounts of fines, with overall evenness really very good. But grinding coffee evenly at a medium-fine setting is easy! The real test is with coarse grinds.
Even when pushed to a fairly coarse setting, the particle size is consistent with what one might use for a French press.
Not the standard jumble of fines and boulders that I would expect to see from a sub $150 option. I might even go as far as saying the consistency is staggering when you consider the price tag of the standard JX.
All in all, the JX is best for anything but espresso.
It grinds a little bit faster. It’s smaller, lighter, and cheaper. So if you brew Aeropress, pour overs, and French press coffee daily, maybe with the occasional weekend espresso, the JX is a good bet.
On the other hand, the Pro can handle all methods. Espresso and pour over right through to French press.
While it can do everything well, it does excel and seems to be designed as an espresso grinder.
As a result, If your daily driver is an espresso machine, the JX Pro is a no-brainer. But, If you brew mostly pour overs, the Pro isn’t really necessary.
The Final Verdict
Overall, the JX series of grinders offer excellent value for money. They are solid— built like a tank.
They slice beans faster than almost any other manual option out there. Grind consistency is extremely good, especially when you take into account the price. And last but certainly not least, they are sleek and damn easy on the eye!
All in all, these 2 are great and this brand is certainly one company I’d suggest keeping an eye on!
I hope you’ve enjoyed the review, and I hope this has helped you find your perfect, soul mate manual coffee grinder.
Until next time, keep grinding!