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5 Best Manual Coffee Grinders for Making the Perfect Pour

Dave Carter

January 3, 2022

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Coffee is a staple in the diets of most people. Whether it is an iced coffee from Starbucks or a fresh cup brewed at home, most people enjoy their daily dose of caffeine. The best way to get that taste is by using top manual coffee grinders to make your beans before brewing them. These are great for both the avid and occasional drinkers! 

The best manual coffee grinder is an excellent way to get your hands on fresh ground coffee beans. They allow for a more personal experience with the process and can help you become better acquainted with the subtle nuances of flavor that come out in different types of beans. The main benefit of using manual grinders over their powered counterparts is the freshness factor. 

This goes not only for the taste but also the smell! The smelliest area of ground coffee will be in that bag that's been opened for weeks or even months. There are many manual grinder options available, but which ones will be best for you? Read on for more information about why you should use these types of grinders over other options like automatic ones or blade grinders. Also, learn of the top five brands of coffee grinders available in the market today.

The Best Manual Coffee Grinder Products

The best manual coffee grinder is the perfect way to make your morning cup of Joe. These devices can be used by anyone who wants an easy brewing method that is not too complicated or time-consuming but still has excellent results! When it comes to top manual coffee grinders, the most important thing is that you are grinding your beans at just the right time. 

For example, if they are too old, then all of those little pieces will get stuck in there and mess everything up with their sharp edges making for an unenjoyable cup with a downing aftertaste! If you are looking to buy a manual grinder, then these reviews are for you! These machines offer greater control and more consistent results than electric models by crushing the seed before brewing with an easy-to-use crank handle instead of electricity. 

Like most automated grinders do these days, which can create inconsistent particles as well as "burnt" flavor profiles in some coffees along with watery espresso because the burrs aren't always evenly spaced out across all sizes, so they don't absorb enough caffeine from those grounds. These manual grinders are also great for travel or outdoor use, so they are perfect for camping trips or taking with you on vacation! It can be nice to have your private grinder when you are traveling by yourself without the need to rely on hotel coffee makers with pre-ground beans.

Below is a Ranking Table for our 5 best products:

OUR BEST CHOICE

KitchenAid KCG0702ER Burr Empire Red

*

KitchenAid KCG0702ER Burr, Empire Red​
  • Die-cast aluminum
  • 18 different settings
  • Adjustable grind selector

one-touch grinding

Baratza Vario

*

Baratza Vario
  • Powerful motor
  • Built-in timer 
  • Easy-to-grip handle

powerful grinder

Rancilio Rocky Espresso Grinder with Doser

*

Rancilio Rocky Espresso Grinder with Doser​
  • Stainless steel housing
  • Adjustable grinding fineness selector
  • Dosing function

innovative grinder

Technivorm Moccamaster Drip

*

Technivorm Moccamaster Drip​
  • Heat-resistant carafe
  • Safety feature
  • Used to measure out ground coffee

great grinder

Baratza Encore

*

Baratza Encore
  • 250-watt motor
  • 3 different settings
  •  Durable stainless steel

*Stars in table belong to our personal rating, not related to Amazon!

Let us now delve into the review of these products.

1. KitchenAid KCG0702ER Burr, Empire Red​

The KitchenAid KCG0702ER is the perfect compact grinder for anyone who wants to make their fresh ground coffee. This manual coffee grinder can be used to grind your beans. They come in both Empire Red and Stainless Steel colors, making them perfect for any kitchen decor! 

This Empire Red model has an adjustable dial that lets you choose between three different grind sizes - fine, medium, or coarse- which means there are no more stale tasting cups when all your family members want a quick morning brew! It also features a suction base, which keeps it firmly in place on even the most slippery surfaces. 

The KCG0702ER is an excellent little machine that's built to last for years of use and will grind enough beans for up to twelve cups of fresh coffee with no trouble at all!

FEATURES:

  • The KitchenAid KCG0702ER Burr, Empire Red manual coffee grinder features a stainless steel conical burr and is made of die-cast aluminum to ensure durability and longevity.
  • This burr has 18 different settings to accommodate any type of coffee bean.
  • It also has an adjustable grind selector with five positions for the perfect amount of coarseness.
  • It's designed with two separate compartments - one for storing beans and another for grinding them into fresh grounds.

Highlights:

  • The KitchenAid KCG0702ER Burr, Empire Red manual coffee grinder is easy to use and clean.
  • This manual coffee grinder has a powerful motor and sharp blades for fast grinding.
  • This kitchen appliance is perfect for small spaces such as apartments or college dorms with its compact design.
  • This grinder has a heavy-duty body and comes with two extra cones to accommodate different grind sizes.

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2. Baratza Vario​

The Baratza Vario manual coffee grinder is an excellent option for those who love grinding their own beans. This device can be transported anywhere and used with any type of water source because it has an adjustable grind size dial on its front side that ranges from coarse to fine settings for whatever drink you are making, no matter how many tablespoons are needed! 

With a precision burr and brass construction, this manual coffee grinder ensures that you will always have fresh beans for your morning cup. It also features a timer knob to make sure you grind your beans to the right consistency every time. Precision burrs and a powerful DC motor keep the internal gears spinning smoothly, even under heavy use. 

The Vario's front-mounted pulse button makes it easy to grind directly into an espresso filter basket, aeropress or a French press for maximum freshness. The Baratza Vario sits atop of other grinders to provide an easy way to get the job done quickly and effortlessly with no tools needed!

Features:

  • The Baratza Vario has a powerful motor with speed control, which is perfect for grinding coffee beans.
  • It also features a conical burr, which provides consistency of grinds every time.
  • It has a built-in timer that ensures you never over-grind your beans again by automatically shutting off after 18 seconds of continuous operation.
  • The ground container features an easy-to-grip handle that folds out of the way when not in use.

Highlights:

  • The Baratza Vario comes in 2 sizes - the 8 oz and 16 oz models; thus, everyone has a size.
  • It comes with an easy-to-use manual that includes directions on making espresso drinks like lattes and cappuccinos at home!
  • Available in black or silver colors to fit in most kitchen decor.
  • It is compatible with all coffee makers, including French presses, drip machines, pour overs, and more!

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3. Rancilio Rocky Espresso Grinder with Doser​

The raucous sound of a grinding burr is music to the ears of any coffee lover. And with this nifty grinder, you can make your perfect drink right at home in seconds! The Rancilio Rocky Espresso Manual Grinder features both dose settings and an adjustable fineness control. 

This ensures that no matter what type or strength of espresso machine's filter head someone has installed on their portafilter or if they prefer using one, there will always be just enough beans ground during the brewing time. Thus, there will not be too many leftovers after it is finished because who wants poorly brewed shots? 

This device also features a crumb tray that is easy to remove for quick cleanup. All in all, the Rancilio Rocky Espresso Manual Grinder is a top-of-the-line option for grinding beans at home. It is perfect for people who want that fresh, flavorful cup of coffee but don't have the time to wait in line!

Features:

  • The Rancilio Rocky Espresso Grinder with Doser features a high-quality conical burr grinder capable of grinding your coffee beans to the perfect consistency.
  • This grinder has a stainless steel housing and an aluminum die-cast hopper for durability and convenience.
  • This espresso grinder has an adjustable grinding fineness selector, so you can choose how fine or coarse your grinds become.
  • There is also a dosing function that allows you to measure out the perfect amount of ground coffee beans with each use.

Highlights:

  • When using this grinder, it is easy to make just the right capacity of espresso in any size cup or mug.
  • Additional accessories such as filters, tampers, and portafilters are also available for purchase separately.
  • This grinder is made by an Italian company and comes equipped with a 1-year warranty against any number of defects in material and workmanship.

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4. Technivorm Moccamaster Drip 

The Technivorm Moccamaster Drip manual grinder is a great way to spice up your morning cup. It has enough power for any size household, and it is easy to use, which means that anyone can do it! You add ground coffee into this machine after sticking in some spoonfuls of beans from a wide variety pack. 

The Moccamaster is a German-made, high-quality coffee grinder that delivers an amazing brew. The Technivorm has been designed to fit on your kitchen countertop and includes eight settings for different types of beans and manual controls, which allow you total control over how finely ground they are going into the filter baskets. 

It also features a pre-heating plate of materials to provide a strong and fresh taste for up to ten cups of coffee. It is quick and efficient, too, making it the perfect choice for all aficionados who value their morning cup of coffee.

Features:

  • The Technivorm Moccamaster Drip manual grinder features stainless steel and a heat-resistant carafe.
  • This manual grinder's pitcher can be used to measure out ground coffee or store it away for later use.
  • It also has a safety feature that prevents the device from being activated when the lid is open.
  • It also has a safety feature that prevents the device from being activated when the lid is open.

Highlights:

  • The Technivorm Moccamaster Drip manual grinder provides an even, consistent grind of your favourite beans.
  • This grinder has been designed with ease of use in mind - it's easy to clean and maintain.
  • The Technivorm Moccamaster Drip manual grinder also has an ergonomic handle to ensure it does not slip from your hands.
  • It is backed by a one-year warranty and comes with 3 grind settings for use in drip coffee makers.

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5. Baratza Encore​

The Baratza Encore coffee grinder is a great option for those who want the enhanced control and precision offered by the best manual grinders. It offers an all-metal construction, durable burrs that can take up to 7mm ground beans in order to provide you with superior quality brews every time! 

The best thing about this machine? You get everything your heart desires without any of those pesky unnecessary batches like timers or other add-ons. The 40mm conical burrs are made of hardened steel that can grind up 4-5 grams per second, giving you a finer grind than the Encore's predecessor. 

And if that doesn't provide enough options for you, the Encore allows a trickle-down effect for those underdeveloped coffee palettes out there! It offers macro and micro-adjustments in order to achieve whatever size you desire.

Features:

  • The Baratza Encore is a manual coffee grinder with 40 mm conical burrs and has a 250-watt motor and grinds up to 12 cups of coffee at once.
  • It features 3 different settings for how finely ground your beans will be - extra course, course, and fine.
  • It's made of durable stainless steel and has an easy-to-use design.
  • The hopper holds 8 ounces in the top section for easy access when grinding a lot of beans.

Highlights:

  • This grinder is self-contained, meaning you can take it anywhere without needing an outlet or any other power source.
  • You can adjust this machine's grind size from coarse to fine by twisting the knob on the side.
  • You can choose between two colors - silver or black that can suit your kitchen decor.
  • A 1-year warranty backs this product.

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Why Should you Have the Best Hand Coffee Grinder?

reasons why you should try out the best hand coffee grinder

There is no one-size-fits-all for the best coffee grinder because what is perfect for us may not be perfect for you. You need to consider your budget, how much space you have, and of course, the most important thing is whether you need a hand coffee grinder.

While some people can live with an electric blade-type good coffee grinder for convenience sake, your best option is a burr-type manual coffee grinder if you are serious about great coffee. It is important to understand that even the most expensive electric blade grinder can't grind as evenly as a good hand burr grinder.

The main reason for this is because blade-type grinders spin at very high rates of speed and cannot vary their grind from coarse to fine. A burr model can be adjusted by a few settings from the French press down to a nearly powdery fine grind that works well for Turkish coffee.

Most of the best coffee grinders will cost you less than a good electric blade grinder and will, over the long haul, end up saving you money since it uses no electricity. Below are some of the reasons you should try out the best hand coffee grinder.

  • Full control over the process

With an electric grinder, it is all about what the manufacturer tells you. While some are accurate, many others are not because they can't adjust to your specific taste. An electric blade simply cannot because of speed limitations. With a hand coffee grinder, not only do you have full control over the actual grind size, but you can also vary the coarseness or fineness by tightening or loosening the burr. This gives you endless possibilities to get your perfect cup of coffee.

  • A nice aroma

As a blade spins very fast, it heats up, and this heat then transfers right into the beans that are being ground. The heat from a manual burr is negligible and will not affect the beans in this way. It is also possible to easily pre-grind your coffee before you brew it. This will allow the coffee to release its full aroma and flavor without becoming too hot by grinding just before brewing.

  • Convenient use

It should be pretty obvious that a hand grinder is extremely easy to use. There are no cords or batteries needed, all you need is a little bit of elbow grease, and it will be enough power for perfectly ground coffee beans every time. Because the motor is not electric, it's also much easier on the environment, meaning fewer pollutants are produced by using it daily.

  • You can take it anywhere

Hand grinders are also great because they can easily be used anywhere you have a power source. If you want to start your day with an iced coffee, grind the night before and put it in a container with a tight lid until morning. This works even better if you pre-grind right into the container that will hold your coffee. You can also take it to other locations such as camping or anywhere else you want your coffee by simply carrying the grinder with you.

  • More than just for coffee

Another important point is that hand grinders are not limited to just coffee beans. You can use them for spices which usually break down into smaller pieces when sliced. This is especially important for spices like peppercorns which are traditionally always ground with a good quality grinder. It is also easy to adjust the grind size, which you cannot do with an electric pepper grinder.

  • It helps you become a purist

If you truly want the full experience of having freshly brewed coffee, this is probably one of the best ways to get there. In most cases, it will also be cheaper in the long run. Freshly ground coffee will always taste better, and you will quickly find out that not only is a hand grinder easier on your body, but they do a great job overall.

Manual Burr Grinder: Why is it so special?

Advantages of using Manual Burr Grinder

Burr grinders are much better than milling your beans with blades because the grind will be consistent. Blades whirl around and chop the beans into different sizes, which will cause the coffee to become under-extracted or over-extracted. Grinders that use burrs are often called "stepped" grinders because they have little ridges that move up and down.

When you turn the grinder, the grinding plate moves in a direction perpendicular to your crank movement. It is simple, but it does mean that you have to pull the crank back in between each stroke if you want a finer grind. This is another reason why baristas often prefer manual burr grinders because they can get fine espresso grounds with just a few pulls of the handle. So what exactly makes a manual burr grinder so special?

  • It is simple to use

By pulling back on the handle, you rotate the inner burr by hand. This means that it is much easier to achieve a fine grind than with an electric grinder. The only disadvantage one might see is that it can be tiring for larger hands.

  • It has plenty of benefits

The manual lever allows for consistency in ground size. You can also choose to grind for more than one type of brew, like coffee and espresso. As we mentioned before, manual conical burr grinders are the best because it's easier to keep your beans cool when you pull the handle back every few seconds. This also means that heat can't build up in the machine as you are grinding, which would affect the flavor of your coffee!

  • There are different kinds of burrs

The most common kind is the steel or ceramic cone-shaped burr. This spins against a stationary flat conical burr that crushes the beans between them, resulting in an even particle size. This is called a "conical burr" grinder.

  • There are different ways to grind manually

Some manual burr grinders use a step-less gearing system, which means you can continuously adjust the coarseness of your grind without having to stop and start over again. This is helpful for baristas who change their beans often or need to make coffee for multiple people.

Types of Manual Burr Grinders

List of Different Types of Manual Burr Grinder

Manual Burr Grinders come in many different shapes and forms. But when it boils down to it, they all do the same thing - grind your coffee beans into a uniform size. 

To this end, manual burr grinders may be broken up into a few specific groups: Conical Burr Grinders, Flat Burr Grinders and Pinned Burr Grinders. A typical conical burr grinder. 

Flat burr grinders are similar to Conical, except they do not taper inward; instead, they are both the same at the top and bottom of the mechanism. This means you cannot use flat-burrs with a doser for a fact. Let us look at the pros and cons of each of these types of manual Burr grinders.

Conical Burr Grinders

Conical burr grinders are types of manual grinders made to give the best grinding experience possible. It is also called a "burr mill" or simply a coffee grinder. A conical burr grinder has two revolving abrasive surfaces separated by a fixed barrier.

This barrier keeps the grounds inside the machine until a user turns a crank or pushes a button to activate it. The conical burr grinder works in the same way as its predecessor, the mill burr coffee grinder. However, instead of stone grinding surfaces, they have cone-shape metal screws that slowly rotate against each other to grind even and uniform coffee beans into fine grounds.

Grinding coffee using a conical burr grinder results in less heat which preserves the flavor of the beans. This can be seen when it becomes dusty and stays that way. Heat creates friction, and friction creates heat; thus, only minimal heat is produced during grinding with no friction involved.

Pros of conical Burr grinders:

  • Gives a uniform grind size.
  • Less heat is produced when grinding coffee beans, minimizing the loss of flavors.
  • Easy to use and clean.

Cons of conical Burr grinders:

  • The price may be quite high for some people, compared to other manual grinders or electric models.

Flat Burr Grinders

Flat burr grinders are the ultimate upgrade to an espresso machine, but do you know what this means? It is time for your coffee game to change forever. What makes it so special? A flat burr grinder is much more efficient in how it grinds coffee.

The flat burr method allows the barista to grind coffee to a consistency that allows for more precise preparation. Flat Burr grinders feature two grinding burrs where the business end of the grinder is flat. These allow for more even coffee particles, which means you get a higher quality shot at extraction. Gone are the days of worrying about grind size like a skerton pro.

This upgrade will do all that dirty work for you, and then some! You will be surprised how much this little change will elevate your espresso game!

Pros of Flat Burr Grinders:

  • More consistent grind size with less noise.
  • Grinds are easier to distribute evenly in a portafilter or ground bin.
  • Grind particle size is more adjustable, which results in a better cup of coffee.
  • Easier to clean, espresso machine agitator is not affected by the burrs!

Cons of Flat Burr Grinders:

  • Generally, they are more expensive than their steel burr counterparts.
  • They are louder than their steel burr counterparts.

Pinned Burr Grinders

Pinned burr manual grinders are heavy-duty, high-quality grinders that are built to last. All pinned burr hand grinders share the same basic design premise. They have a conical grinding mechanism called a pinion that rotates against a stationary cone called a crown which forces the coffee beans between them to be ground.

Generally, the burrs used in these machines are made from stainless steel. Pinned burr is the best manual grinder that offers portability, durability and high grinding precision. They can be taken pretty much anywhere you want to go, and they will work every time without fail.

The pinion/crown design yields consistent particle sizes for optimum flavor. Most connoisseurs prefer pinned burrs because of their low retention of grinds, high grinding control, and flexibility to produce a wide range of grinds from Turkish fine to coarse espresso.

Pros of pinned burr grinders:

  • In general these grinders are built to last a lifetime. Even the least expensive models will require very little maintenance over their lifetime.
  • The pinion/crown mechanism is designed specifically to deliver an exceptionally consistent particle size. This yields a more even extraction and fuller flavor.
  • These grinders are not only easy to take apart but they are small and light in weight. This makes them the perfect grinder for traveling, camping or even just taking them to work or school with you.
  • These best manual grinders generally offer a wide range of grinding from very coarse to very fine.

Cons of pinned burr grinders:

  • The pinion/crown design is the reason why these are so durable and produce such an even particle size but it also means they are noisy when grinding beans. Some people consider this a con, others don't mind so much.
  • Because of the rotating mechanism, grinding is slower than other types of hand grinders. If you are looking for speed, this is not your grinder.

How to Safely use a Handheld Coffee Grinder

Tips and Tricks on Using Handheld Coffee Grinder Safely

When grinders are not being used, they are typically "locked" to prevent them from turning on accidentally. Many models have an unlocking button that can be pressed with a thumbnail or other small object, while some may use the same key as for the battery compartment. One word of caution about using this device is that some have reported mistakenly pressing the lock/unlock button when inserting the batteries. 

The result was that they turned on inside their pocket or bag, grinding whatever small object was in there to bits. Another safety feature for a handheld coffee grinder is a ventilation fan, which can also be activated by pressing two buttons simultaneously. When these are working properly, it is possible to hold the grinder steady on your palm, with the blades spinning away while reaching for a button press. 

One can remove the battery cover to disable this function, but it is not recommended as you will be cutting all power to the device, and there is no way to tell if the fans are functional without powering it up first. Another method is to stick something like a small piece of paper between the grinder and the batteries. This will make it impossible for the device to turn on by any means, including pressing the lock/unlock button. Below are the steps to follow when using a handheld good coffee grinder to ensure your safety.

Step 1:
You can use your coffee grounds container to measure the ground coffee beans for your pot of coffee.

Step 2:
Unplug the Coffee Grinder to avoid any electric shocks that might hamper you or even burn you.

Step 3:
Fill the Pot with the required amount of water and pour it into the reservoir of your Coffee Grinder.

Step 4:
Take off the lid from the grinding chamber and place it below the spout of the Coffee Grinder.

Step 5:
Pour in your measured coffee beans into the grinding chamber over the lid. Make sure to use a transparent lid as it will help you see any jam that might have occurred inside it while grinding.

Step 6:
Now replace the lid to the grinding chamber and plug in your Coffee Grinder.

Step 7:
Press down on the Coffee Grinder's switch with a slight pressure to start it. Hold the Coffee Grinder at a close distance from the container so that all your coffee grounds get collected inside it after they have been grounded. Keep increasing its speed as you pour more coffee beans into the chamber till you cover all of them with ground coffee.

Step 8:
Take off all parts including lid, blade as well as motor unit from their places for cleaning purposes. Clean them separately before assembling them back again to avoid jamming or rusting during storage.

Grind your great coffee beans with lightning speed to get perfect consistency for brewing your fresh coffee. Perfect match for your coffee machine!

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Conclusion

Therefore, we can conclude that when it comes to coffee, there is no substitute for a finely ground product. Whether you are brewing the perfect espresso or making your morning cup of joe, the quality and consistency of grind size can affect its taste and texture. We thus hope this guide has been helpful in your search for the best manual coffee grinder. Happy shopping!

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