The 9 Best Manual Coffee Grinder 2020 Picks

So, you’re in the market for a manual coffee grinder? Great choice!

The right pick can produce a more consistent grind size than many automatic grinders, while also being easy to use.

Below, we’ll discuss some other benefits of buying the best manual coffee grinder in this article, alongside a list of some good choices for your specific needs.

But first, if you’re in a hurry, here’s our top pick:

Top Manual Pick
Porlex Jp-30 Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder, Silver
$69.99

The premium best overall hand grinder on the market. Designed and manufactured in Osaka, Japan the Porlex delivers perfectly if you’re a manual brewer!

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Alternatives At A Glance

Best For Travel
1Zpresso Q2 Manual Coffee Grinder
$99.00

The perfect hand grinder for travel given its mini size! Contains a stainless steel conical grinding mechanism for longevity and it disassembles easily for cleaning and maintenance too.

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Best Manual Pick For Travel & Newbies
Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder
$80.99

The perfect intro hand grinder for manual brewing. If you’re new to brewing and need something decent this is the pick for you.

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Premium Design Pick
TIMEMORE Chestnut C Manual Coffee Grinder

Unique design coupled with functionality. The Timemore is a perfect option if you value design as high as the product itself.

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Most Recognized Brand
Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill -"Skerton Pro"
$49.90

Hario is one of the more established companies operating in the space. Consequently, you can rest assured their products are well manufactured and deliver.

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Largest Capacity
VEVOK CHEF Manual Burr Coffee Grinder
$56.99

Need something with a larger capacity? The Vevok can grind up to 48g at a time!

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Most Unique Option
Akirakoki Manual Coffee Bean Grinder Wooden Mill with Cast Iron Burr
$52.00

With a wooden exterior made from a single piece of wood. This picks aesthetically pleasing while delivering great results for manual brewing.

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Most Budget Friendly
Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill, Mini Slim, Plus, Black
$30.50

The most budget friendly option.

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Most Retro
Manual Coffee Grinder, IMAVO Vintage Style
$29.99

Looking for something retro and unique? The Imavo hits the bill!

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Features to Consider in a Hand Coffee Grinder

Below are some factors you can consider before making your next (in my opinion, GREAT) coffee investment: a hand-operated grinder.

As with most things in life, the manual way grind and brew helps us understand and appreciate the craft of coffee. Ensuring we can brew amazing cups on the go or just at home alone! Albeit, they’re also easier to troubleshoot than automated machines.

While the automatic grinder option is faster, it is also more expensive. Try to figure out the ideal grinder set up for your style of brewing. Manual options are portable, but automatic has a broader set of grind settings.

It also helps to observe how cafes utilize their grinders to help you visualize how they fit into your routine at home. You want value for money while maximizing the quality of your brew. You don’t want any underutilized things in your brew bar, especially at the start of your coffee journey!

Let’s take a look at a few more considerations that can save you from making that mistake!

Portability

One of the biggest reasons to invest in a hand coffee grinder is portability. It doesn’t take up much room in your kitchen and is not an eyesore by any standard. You can grab and get it any time you decide you want to make a good cup of coffee.

It will be up to you to find a manual home grinder that will grind to your specific quality requirements. This is the variable you will have to research on for home use. Some have less than 10 settings, while others can get up to more than 50. It all depends on how you brew and how varied your methods are. In my opinion, the more options I have (that are reliable), the better. But that’s also because I experiment a lot.

If you’re always on the go, the best hand grinder for you is a compact one. Some have collapsible components. Others come with travel bags. If you like having access to good coffee wherever you go, electric grinders are out, and manual grinders are in!

Remember to choose specs all the way to the length of the handle and the type of burrs. Some hand grinders can have steel burrs while others have ceramic burrs. This is important, as we’ll touch on shortly.

Capacity

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to call this next consideration “capacity” or “patience level”.

This is because you can technically grind to your heart’s content if you have a manual hand grinder. But at the same time, you have to consider how sensible it is for your workflow.

If you’re grinding for yourself (1-2 cups of coffee per brew), then you’re alright, and it makes sense to invest in one of the best hand grinders out there.

But if you usually brew for 10-12 people at a time, perhaps electric burr grinders would be an option for you to consider. That or you charge the people you brew for a labor rate. In any case, grinder capacity can range from 20 grams to 60 grams on average, depending on the brand and model you’re looking at.

It’s essential to align your coffee investments with your coffee preferences to enjoy the benefits that you essentially pay for.

Grind Settings

In life and in coffee, you can’t have it all. The same holds for your manual hand grinder.

You can imagine that compact sizes come with compact burrs. You won’t have a wide range of grind settings to choose from because the burrs themselves aren’t the usual commercial size!

With this factor, it’s best to know what type of coffee you prepare most often. If you know this, you can focus on that and plan your purchases around it. From roast types to brew equipment.

Manual coffee grinders are optimized for specific grind ranges. Some can do fine to medium fine, while others work well with medium to medium-coarse. Do enough research to determine if the manual grinder you’re considering performs best for the brew method/s you intend to use it for.

Note that the finer you grind, the longer it takes. So if espresso is your thing at home, it’s one of the few common brew methods that aren’t ideal for even the best manual hand grinder. Unless of course, you have a lot of patience. With great patience comes high savings!

What you want to watch out for is how the grinder can deliver on its claim. What use is claiming to have 100 grind settings when the dial is so soft that you end up grinding inconsistently. 

When it comes to great coffee, always remember that quality trumps everything. Promises (like flavor notes) are useless if you can’t get them to come out yourself.

Your Budget

Alright, so most manual grinders are a fraction of the cost of automatic ones. The most premium manual grinder will set you back as far as an entry-level automatic grinder.

However, one option is also many times faster than the other. Be sure to choose which fits your needs best!

Consider the fact that hand grinders are conical burr grinders. They do well with heat transfer and produce a more even grind size than blade grinders.

Within the options for a manual grinder, you’ll find different sizes and build qualities. Remember that you will get what you pay for. The ceramic burr, stainless steel body, and long handle all add value and therefore hike up costs, so it’s up to you to choose what to prioritize if your budget is limited.

If you tend to be a bit clumsy with your hands, perhaps it’s best to get a stainless steel grinder instead of a glass one. If you enjoy watching the grounds cascade down, then glass bottoms are better for you than steel. Analyze and adapt to what works for you!

As a coffee professional, aside from taste, there are aspects of brewing that I also enjoy. I like watching grounds fall into my container, my espresso to cascade from regular spouts, and my milk pitchers to have measurement grooves inside. We all have our preferences so I can’t stress enough how crucial this is as you build your home-coffee corner.

However, if you’re looking to spend less for high quality, in exchange for a bit more effort when you brew, manual grinders could be an excellent option for you.

There are no right or wrong preferences in coffee. You are the drinker, so you will always decide what you like and don’t like.

Replacement parts and Warranty

As with any serious, long term investment, you want to make sure that you’re set up long term.

One of the overlooked aspects of choosing equipment is the after-sales quality of service. In the coffee industry, what dictates a coffee shop’s success is customer service because it makes customers come back again and again.

The same holds true for coffee equipment. You will be working with many small moving parts. How easy will they be to replace for you to brew high-quality coffee?

How reliable is their customer service? These are things you need to scope out as you decide on your first (or next) manual coffee grinder.

Remember, though, that you will still be working with considerably less moving parts than any automatic machine. So in terms of maintenance, you will be hard-pressed to convince yourself about how much easier manual is to maintain over anything automatic.

The 8 Best Manual Grinders For Coffee 2020

Now that you have an idea of some factors to consider when choosing a manual coffee grinder, here is a quick list of what I feel are some of the best ones in the market today.

Remember that the quality of your grind has a significant effect on your coffee and that a grinder is more important than a brewing machine. In fact, the grinder is, in my opinion, only behind water and bean quality in terms of importance for an amazing cup of joe.

Take the time to see which ones have features that suit your coffee needs, make a shortlist of your own, do some additional research, and brew!

1. Porlex Jp-30 Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder

At 30g maximum capacity, it can produce enough ground coffee for a couple of cups.

Top Manual Pick
Porlex Jp-30 Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder, Silver
$69.99

The premium best overall hand grinder on the market. Designed and manufactured in Osaka, Japan the Porlex delivers perfectly if you’re a manual brewer!

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PROS (+)

  • Produces nice and even grind
  • Wide range of grind sizes
  • Durable build
  • Secure grind adjustment dial

CONS (-)

  • Can takes time to find your grind size
  • Ceramic produces less uniform results vs steel

While effort and patience can compensate for the limitation in capacity, remember that coffee has a limited flavor window of 1 minute and 30 seconds after being ground. 

Most homebrewers don’t realize that grinding too fast generates heat that combines with heat from our palms that could start the extraction process before brewing!

So the ideal workflow is to grind at a good pace that stays within 1 and a half minutes. All without generating too much heat before it comes into contact with water.

From a coarse espresso grind to a french press size, you can rely on this ceramic conical burr set up to grind up your coffee beans evenly.

It’s also still easy to carry around, which is what you want from your hand grinder. Coffee in and out of the house can taste amazing, and this could be a good pick for those who drink huge servings in one go.

2. 1ZPresso Q2 Manual Coffee Grinder Mini

Alright. As much as I personally and confidently recommend some of the options on this list, this is hands-down one of the best hand grinders I’ve personally used overall.

Best For Travel
1Zpresso Q2 Manual Coffee Grinder
$99.00

The perfect hand grinder for travel given its mini size! Contains a stainless steel conical grinding mechanism for longevity and it disassembles easily for cleaning and maintenance too.

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PROS (+)

  • Stainless steel burrs produce consistent grounds
  • Good build quality
  • Wide grind setting range
  • Travel-friendly size

CONS (-)

  • Often out of stock
  • A little pricey

It FEELS like it was designed for a specific type of customer in mind because it’s smooth in the right ways (easy to clean, a very quiet coffee grinder) and is just easy to use in general.

It has 60 grind options, which are more than the usual requirement for hand grinders. As a manual grinder, it’s also durable enough and the right size for fitting in any travel bag. 

If you can get past how weird the name reads, this is quietly one of the best hand grinders in the coffee realm. If it fits your specs and how you make your coffee, this could be a great pick up for you.

3. Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder

The Porlex Mini is my own personal intro to manual coffee grinders. It was my first-hand grinder.

Best Manual Pick For Travel & Newbies
Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder
$80.99

The perfect intro hand grinder for manual brewing. If you’re new to brewing and need something decent this is the pick for you.

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PROS (+)

  • Great entry option
  • Affordable
  • Portable
  • Fine to medium-coarse grind settings

CONS (-)

  • Concerns over the durability of the handle
  • Limited capacity (20g)

I used it from espresso to french press grind sizes. In between them, I got to experiment on the effect of grind setting on pour-over flavors, and I must say it helped me learn a lot as a beginner in coffee.

While I wouldn’t label this option as the best grinder for coffee compared to the top-tiered ones, it was certainly serviceable.

It comes with ceramic burrs in a compact stainless steel body. Perfect for starting out with manual options. 

I recall brewing via french press on a hiking trip, a beach trip, and on a rooftop. In these settings, imagine only needing to bring a pot, a source of heat, a french press, and a hand grinder to make the same cup you drink in the morning, but anywhere!

One thing that this ceramic burr grinder could be considered best at is durability (if you use and maintain it properly). You can almost use it as a weapon (disclaimer: I’m not saying you should!), and it’d remain intact. 

If you’re new to manual grinding and want something durable while being easy to use and reliable, this is an excellent option for you to consider.

4. Timemore Chestnut C Manual Coffee Grinder

Again what stands out to me with this option is the design. It’s more modern than the usual plain stainless steel picks. It has all the claims of the above coffee grinders, but with totally different build materials!

Premium Design Pick
TIMEMORE Chestnut C Manual Coffee Grinder

Unique design coupled with functionality. The Timemore is a perfect option if you value design as high as the product itself.

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PROS (+)

  • Great build quality
  • Materials have a nice feel to them
  • Beautifully designed
  • Nice size

CONS (-)

  • Parts are hard to replace
  • Setting for the grind can be hard to find as it has an indefinite dial

For example, the conical burrs are made of space aluminum and baby-safe resin materials. While it claims to grind from espresso to cold brew, like most hand grinders, I trust its grind consistency most for those who make hand brews until a medium-coarse grind.

Although I wasn’t able to personally test it, it claims to handle a fine grind nicely (espresso) and the coarsest grind (cold brew).

This is one of the better-looking, modern picks for me on this list, but there are some better picks out there strictly in terms of performance.

One thing to note with this choice is to question how easy you’ll come up with parts as it breaks down over time? 

It’s a broad question when equipment such as this is made with unique technology or materials. But, on the flip side, the manufacturer appears to be relatively engaged with customer queries and resolving issues via Amazon. 

5. Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill – Skerton Pro

Hario is one of the most widely-recognized brands in specialty coffee. Most of their tools are optimized for home use, but some are used in coffee shops all over the world!

Most Recognized Brand
Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill -"Skerton Pro"
$49.90

Hario is one of the more established companies operating in the space. Consequently, you can rest assured their products are well manufactured and deliver.

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PROS (+)

  • Durable
  • Recognized brand
  • Geat for one cup at a time
  • Simple to reassemble and clean

CONS (-)

  • Plastic parts can break down fast
  • Consistency is hard when grinding for multiple cups

As an old Japanese company, you can trust that at the very least, their stuff is engineered for precision and quality, all at an affordable price.

The Hario Skerton Pro is a solid pick as a home hand grinder. It comes with ceramic conical burrs so that you can expect grind consistency from your ground coffee.

It’s an upgraded version of the Hario Skerton, retaining the shape with a few performance upgrades. The longer handle makes it easy to use, but like most manual coffee grinders, it is also easy to clean.

All in all, the Hario Skerton Pro is a reliable pick for home use that produces consistent coffee grounds. It’s one of the more easily accessible grinders. Coffee can be so much tastier after this simple upgrade!

6. Vevok Chef Manual Burr Coffee Grinder

The best feature of this grinder is the capacity! At 48 grams per load, it can keep in a lot of ground coffee!

Largest Capacity
VEVOK CHEF Manual Burr Coffee Grinder
$56.99

Need something with a larger capacity? The Vevok can grind up to 48g at a time!

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PROS (+)

  • Good grind consistency
  • Affordable replacement parts
  • Visually appealing
  • Wide range of grind capabilities (with troubleshooting)

CONS (-)

  • Not the most easily accessible option
  • Replacement parts can be difficult to find

As mentioned earlier, size plays a huge role when it comes to the best coffee grinder for you. 48 grams is big enough to service a drip machine, and definitely more than enough for the usual serving sizes of people who brew alone.

It uses stainless steel conical burrs to grind your coffee beans. Grind consistency is decent with this coffee mill, and it feels pretty good in-hand while you go about your coffee routine.

It has a neutral design, has an adequate capacity, and reliable build materials. Perhaps the only additional consideration here is the bigger size, and how it can fit in fewer bag pockets than a 20 gram sized hand grinder.

For its size, though, and what it can do for grind consistency, this is one of the better picks if you make multiple cups in one go. 

Coffee grinding with this at full capacity might register as a light workout, which could be good or bad depending on how you look at it.

7. Akirakoki Manual Coffee Bean Grinder Wooden Mill

This is the first non-stainless steel body on the list, and the first non-ceramic burr option as well.

Most Unique Option
Akirakoki Manual Coffee Bean Grinder Wooden Mill with Cast Iron Burr
$52.00

With a wooden exterior made from a single piece of wood. This picks aesthetically pleasing while delivering great results for manual brewing.

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PROS (+)

  • Premium Aesthetics
  • Premium build quality
  • Consistent
  • Budget friendly

CONS (-)

  • Hard to adjust the grind
  • Challenge to grind finely

What’s easiest to point out is how nice it looks! Imagine it sitting on a shelf at home or pulling it out of a bag when you’re out and about. It looks like a fancy piece of coffee gear. You’d never guess that it’s one of the most affordable options on this list!

The cast iron burrs claim to address heat production that denser, ceramic burrs produce as well. When I tried this grinder on my usual coffee at home, it felt like it generated a lot less heat because of the wood finish.

 I felt less of the heat from my palm initially, and as far as the coffee grounds are concerned, they came out aromatic even as I tried to grind faster than I usually do.

As far as coffee ground size optimization, I would say that this is best for pour-over and french press. It’s a pretty standard screw adjustment set-up. What I loved, though, is how smooth it was to use! There was less grit, and it felt more comfortable to operate than some of the options I’ve tried.

If the wooden finish fits your decor, or if budget is one of your primary considerations, this could be your top pick!

8. Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill

Now we’re back to Hario, but this time it’s super budget friendly.

Most Budget Friendly
Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill, Mini Slim, Plus, Black
$30.50

The most budget friendly option.

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PROS (+)

  • 24g capacity
  • Decent peformance
  • Affordable

CONS (-)

  • More plastic parts
  • Hard to be precise with setting grind

What’s good with this coffee grinder, though, is that it has a broader capacity of grind sizes to choose from, along with a 24g capacity. This does wonders for grind consistency if you consider how it must function with more precision.

This is easy to clean, travel-friendly, and made with quality ceramic burrs. While this isn’t the top manual coffee grinder pick, it still is one of the better manual coffee grinders out there.

It’s a safe pick, is easy to get, and safe to travel with.

9. Imavo Vintage Style Wooden Coffee Grinder Roller Grain Mill Hand Crank

While this pick looks impressive, it also has a specific design type that fits in with a particular theme. You can see this as limiting aesthetically, and while it isn’t ideal for carrying around, it also is quite a centerpiece to have at home.

Most Retro
Manual Coffee Grinder, IMAVO Vintage Style
$29.99

Looking for something retro and unique? The Imavo hits the bill!

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PROS (+)

  • Unique retro design
  • Decent build
  • Useful for smaller brews

CONS (-)

  • Small capacity
  • Not so consistent with fine settings

This is best kept at home, where it won’t be moved around too much. For this function, it seems pretty optimized because it’s easy to clean and easy to operate. With one of the lowest price points on the list, it’s also easy to buy.

It’s made with ceramic burrs that claim to handle fine grind settings and coarse grind settings. If we’re talking coffee grinders and reliability, I would still mainly use it for medium-fine and medium-coarse sizes. It’s a bit tiring to use this for fine grind sizes, and coarse grind sizes don’t come out as even as you would imagine.

This pick is easy to get and easy to want, given the design and the price point. For as long as you don’t travel with it, you can be sure that you’ll get decent grounds from this coffee mill.

By the end of this list and you find yourself still unable to choose a favorite, it would still be safe to come back to this option as many other people seem to end up with this.

As far as coffee grinders go, this may look familiar, especially with that tiny window on the ground chamber’s side that lets you take a look at your coffee beans being grinded.

Why Consider Manual Hand Grinders?

In case you have a few favorites from the list above, and you’re still thinking twice about being on the right track, this next section is for you.

At the heart of choosing manual over automatic is value-first, and learning second.

In terms of value for money, you can get the best manual coffee grinders for the same price as entry-level automatic ones. This speaks volumes about what you prioritize in your coffee. 

Automatic options are more for ease of use, and the best hand grinder is for quality. Since grinders are more important than brewers, you’re literally less than $100 away from making better coffee for yourself.

Hand Grinders Are Cheap

Most of what you pay for with hand grinders are burrs.

They need to be a certain thickness and quality to be able to produce a consistent grind for clean cups of coffee.

Grind sizes should be consistent so that you don’t try to hold a balancing act for uneven grounds. This results in bitter and weird-tasting brews.

This is the total opposite when it comes to automatic electric grinders where the burrs are secondary. You’ll notice that a higher-end automatic coffee grinder usually boasts of faster grinding times. These sound like “18g in 4 seconds”. That’s because you pay for the grinder motor more than the burr!

As additional notes, look into ceramic burrs for manual grinders if you use light to medium beans at home. These are denser and will challenge a steel burr grinder more than usual.

Hand Crank Mills Are Robust

Robust, not Robusta.

Another good reason to explore or switch is longevity.

As someone who works with coffee grinders professionally, I’ve seen motors break down, buttons fall off, and hoppers break. It’s hard to avoid accidents when you constantly have water and coffee grounds flying all over the place.

The situation at home or in non-cafe settings isn’t much different. It just so happens that a coffee grinder with less moving parts will also naturally last longer than one with so many working parts.

As has been the theme of this article, if you want speed, go for automatic. If you want quality that you’re willing to work for AND longevity, just go for one of the better hand grinder options.

You have little to lose (literally, in terms of price) and everything to gain (in terms of understanding coffee better).

Less Heat Equals Better Flavor

When training a barista in my day gig, I always emphasize the efficiency of workflow. One of the pillars of this is maximizing extractions while minimizing heat contact times.

Why? To avoid over-extraction.

For espresso, I recommend that the portafilter only be locked into the group head when your cup is ready to it doesn’t “cook” grounds while you fumble around the bar for that demitasse.

The same goes for French Press and Pour Overs: only allow hot water to come into contact with grounds when you’re ready with your containers so that you can control when extraction ends.

When you grind the coffee, you often forget about how grinding produces friction and, therefore, heat. This is why when you compare the best grinders available, you get big burrs, fast times, OR some heat dispersing design while operating.

For comparison’s sake, if heat cause beans to start extracting and dissolving aromatics, there is no way that your arm can compare to the RPM (revolutions per minute) of an automatic burr grinder.

And so if you compare the easy to clean, easy to use, best hand grinder versus a cheap automatic grinder, the choice is pretty easy if you want quality over speed.

You Can Make Great Coffee

For as long as you’re not dealing with the worst of several factors in making coffee all at once, you can always make great coffee using even the most manual means available.

It all boils down to an understanding of brewing principles.

First of all, use mineral (or at the very least filtered) water. No matter how good your equipment is, you cannot create good coffee using non-mineral water. Grind sizes matter, but you need the right type of water.

Second, use premium, fairly traded coffee beans. The closer you are to the source, to buying from the actual farmer, the better. Good coffee starts with the plant, to harvest, processing, roasting, and brewing. If you want to push the industry forward, positive reinforcement has to start from the top.

Once you have water and good beans figured out, the grind, brew temp, extraction time, and ratio all have a better chance to work.

With grind sizes, remember that consistency is critical. This is the whole point of burr grinders versus blade grinders. Inconsistency throws your brew off, while the grind’s consistency gives the flavors a chance to shine. In this regard, a grinder is more important than a brewer.

I will go head to head with any barista if you give me the best grinder and the worst espresso machine. On the other hand, if you give me a good machine and the worst grinder, I will ask for lots of milk, sugar, and syrups!

Having a good grinder that is easy to use, let’s you take grind consistency off your mind. As you can infer by now, this allows you to focus on other aspects of brewing to be able to get a good cup of coffee. 

You really can make good coffee any time with the right knowledge for it. But having the right equipment might be able to allow you to do it anywhere as well!

The Final Verdict

When it comes to the best manual coffee grinders, focus on your brewing. Do you need a wide range for grind settings? Do you like good coffee outdoors?

My personal pick is the Porlex Jp-30 Stainless Coffee Grinder. It’s sturdy, consistent, and well-known, so the parts will be fairly easy to replace. The chamber capacity suits my usual brew batches, and the grind range services the methods I use to make coffee.

Top Manual Pick
Porlex Jp-30 Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder, Silver
$69.99

The premium best overall hand grinder on the market. Designed and manufactured in Osaka, Japan the Porlex delivers perfectly if you’re a manual brewer!

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The manual grinder is for those of us who enjoy quality and don’t mind working for it. Manual grinders are also ideal for the price-sensitive but still want good cups.

If these echo the things on your mind when you make coffee, then hand grinders might just be for you. 

Keep experimenting, keep recording, and, most of all, keep brewing! Your dream coffee set up is closer than you think. You could possibly be one hand grinder away from it!

Miguel Papa

Miguel Papa

Barista and coffee writer

Miguel Papa is a coffee fanatic with a passion for brewing. During the weekdays, you can find him experimenting with different drinks while he works as a barista. Otherwise, he’s likely writing here for Sip Coffee or enjoying the outdoors.