What’s the Latest Grind on Handheld Coffee Grinders?
By Colleen Luckett
Let’s talk grinders! No, not the people who gnash their teeth at night, the machines we use to grind our coffee beans (I can hear you groaning now). People typically use three kinds of coffee grinders: blade, electric burr, and manual burr. Now, blade grinders are popular because they’re cheap and convenient, but true coffee connoisseurs will tell you they don’t provide a consistent grind and, therefore, what’s gained in efficiency is lost in taste. And, honestly, what’s more important than the taste?
Okay, you could upgrade to an electric burr grinder, which offers a more consistent grind size; however, people complain of the noise levels and bulkiness. So, now you’re left with the hand grinder, and Goldilocks thinks it’s “just right.” Why are hand-held grinders often considered the best option? For these five main reasons:
- Most consistent grind (elevating taste)
- High mobility because of their compact size
- Quieter than electric grinders
- No generated heat (which you don’t want near your beans)
- Better price for the quality
Following are a few of the highest-rated hand grinders.
The 1ZGRINDER is the top-rated hand-grinder for 2018, which may be one of the reasons for the heftier price tag. The look apparently isn’t unique, as quite a bit of the design is similar to other premium grinders--but imitation is the best form of flattery, right? It’s a sleek grinder with no room for misalignment. Two super-smooth bearings make grinding incredibly fast for those of you who don’t want to forego quickness for quality.
Why did this one make top cream of the crop? A few reasons: The crank and the wooden handle-knob are magnetic, so they click into place nicely. The adjustment is also more comfortable than many of its competitors because of its numbered dial. And the size is just right— it’s easy to hold in one hand and compact enough for travel.
Handground Precision Grinder ($70)
Starting out as a successful Kickstarter Campaign, The Handground Precision Grinder looks as though true coffee fanatics designed it. One of its most appealing qualities is its innovative design: the handle turns forward and not clockwise, with the aim being to make it more ergonomic to grind. Still, people with small hands may find it difficult to hold the top of the device while grinding.
The Handground isn’t one of the fastest, but it does produce a very consistent grind. Unlike some of the other manual coffee grinders, the Handground assigns numbers to each grind setting, so you know exactly how you're grinding (if you check the enclosed reference chart) and can return to precise settings later on.
Porlex JP-30 Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder ($64)
The Porlex JP-30 is a little more high-maintenance than some of its competitors, but reviewers claim it’s worth it. Review Geek calls it a “work of art.” Its ceramic conical burrs have a wide range, so the grind is even and consistent. With 12 different grind settings, you’ll be able to prepare ground coffee from Turkish to coarse French press. It’s small and light, with a capacity of only about 30 grams, so expect a bit of a workout while you’re grinding. But amazing coffee comes with the effort! Another little plus if you use an Aeropress: The Porlex fits inside your press, which makes it the ideal travel partner!
Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Mill ($40)
Although the Hario Skerton is an icon in the hand grinder world, the latest update in 2017 really won people over. The revamped Skerton Pro has the usual Japanese Hario brand aesthetics, which means understated, beautiful, and soft. But its design changes are the real story for hand-held fans! It has new burrs that wobble less than the old ones because of improved construction. Its improved handle gives you a better grip and detaches for easy storage or travel. The Pro also screws onto a normal mason jar, so if you need a lot of ground coffee, you can grind directly into the jar.
As an added bonus, it’s much easier to adjust the grind now. The old Skerton used a step-less dial, which made it difficult to find a previous setting. Now, the setting depends on clicks, so you can easily reproduce a certain grind. The price tag is also appealing because other hand grinders can cost $65 to $150.
We’ve updated you on some of the best hand-grinders out there, so now it’s your turn! What’s your preferred way to grind coffee beans? Do you have a favorite grinder? Please let us know in the comments below!