The 4 Best Manual Coffee Grinders

Whether you're an amateur enthusiast or a bonafide coffee aficionado, having one of the best manual coffee grinders will take your morning joe to the next level.

With hand grinders, most — if not all — options you come across will feature burrs (as opposed to blades, which are common in cheaper electric grinders). Burrs are generally preferred because they create a more uniform batch of coffee grinds every time. When shopping around, you'll have to decide between two common materials for your burrs — ceramic and stainless steel. This factor is a matter of personal preference, but each has its pros and cons:

  • Ceramic: Typically more durable and able to stay sharp longer, ceramic burrs aren't as heat conductive, and some people believe this makes the resulting cup of coffee more full-boded. The downside is they're more delicate and not as sharp out of the box.
  • Stainless steel: If you have stainless steel burrs, they can be banged around a little more, and they will be sharper from the start. The drawbacks are that they tend to get dull faster and they do conduct heat, which can potentially affect the oils of your coffee beans.

On top of materials, you'll want to think about things like how smoothly the crank turns, whether the coarseness settings have markers, and how portable the grinder is. Below, I've made a list of the best manual coffee grinders, with a variety of options to suit any need. Read on to find the best addition to your home.

1. The Best Ceramic Burr Grinder

What's great about it: Unlike many similar products, this ceramic burr coffee grinder offers convenient numerical indicators so you can easily identify how fine or coarse your grind settings are. This rust-proof device has a smooth, ergonomically shaped exterior and a grippy pad on the bottom to prevent it from sliding on the counter. It's easy to load, simple to operate, and extremely portable.

What fans say: "We love it! It is significantly more quiet than an electric grinder, more efficient, and has an option to seal if you mistakenly ground more beans than you need. 10/10 would purchase this item again."

2. The Best Stainless Steel Burr Grinder

What's great about it: Built with top-grade materials, this stainless steel burr coffee grinder is one of the best of its kind. Like the previous option, it features clearly marked coarseness settings that you can rotate through — clockwise for finer grinds and counterclockwise for coarser. This grinder pops apart for simple cleaning, and the whole thing is super light and portable. It has a sleek, black design with a smooth wooden-and-metal hand crank that's easy to operate.

What fans say: "The action is super smooth. The large knob is comfortable.... The adjustment having numerical indicators is very helpful in reproducing a setting, in case you change the setting.... You're getting sharp steel burrs, smooth bearing drive, compact size, and precision. I looked extensively for anything under $100 with these qualities, and this was the only contender I found."

3. The Best Budget Grinder

What's great about it: If you're looking for a dependable grinder but you don't have a lot of money to spend, this JavaPresse manual coffee grinder offers an excellent combination of quality and value. With almost 6,000 reviews, it's extremely popular on Amazon, largely due to its sharp ceramic burrs and the top-grade flavor it produces, according to fans. It features a smooth hand crank that operates quietly, as well as 18 coarseness settings to choose from. It is lightweight, portable, and attractive. The only drawback is that, unlike the first two options, this one doesn't feature coarseness markers.

What fans say: "This little coffee grinder is lovely to look at, takes up minimal space, and easy to use and clean. It only takes a couple of minutes to grind just enough beans for my coffee press. I definitely notice the difference in flavor.... If you care about the flavor of your coffee and you have the time (really just a couple of minutes) to hand grind your beans, then I highly recommend this device."

4. The Best Vintage-Style Coffee Grinder

What's great about it: This adorable vintage-style coffee grinder is all about the style points. While its operation isn't dramatically different than the other options, it features an antique design that will make every morning feel like a special occasion. It's built with a strong cast iron chamber and a smooth wooden base. The design is simple, without any coarseness settings or other extra features, and it's not a very portable option; however, it makes up for all that with other charming touches, like the cute little drawer that you pull out to retrieve your grinds.

What fans say: "UNLIKE the other vintage-styled manual coffee grinders listed here at Amazon in the $20 price range, THIS one is constructed MUCH BETTER than any of them, and will withstand regular daily use :) Yes it costs a bit more money than the cheaper models, but if you want something that is ACTUALLY USABLE and durable enough for daily use (the others are more of a decorative novelty item), it's WELL worth it! )."

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