5 Tips to Help You Find The Best Manual Coffee Grinder

Written by: Anne Mercer

5 Tips to Help You Find The Best Manual Coffee Grinder

There’s no debating that a coffee grinder is the most important element of your home brewing set-up. Without a quality grinder, your coffee will taste sour, muddy, or bitter.

And, if you decide to use a manual coffee grinder, choosing the right grinder is the key to flavorful, smooth coffee every morning.

But, not all manual coffee grinders are created equal! Using the wrong grinder can put a damper on your entire morning coffee routine.

Today, we’ll break down: 

  • Why you should opt for a manual coffee grinder vs. an electric grinder
  • The 5 tips you need to know when buying your first manual coffee grinder
  • How to get the #1 rated manual coffee grinder for FREE

Let’s get to it.

Manual Coffee Grinders: Powerful Grinders at a Fraction of the Cost

When shopping for a coffee grinder, you have two options: manual or electric coffee grinders.

Both types of grinders offer:

  • Precise & consistent grind sizes
  • Convenience
  • Durable materials

But, when it comes to affordability, a manual grinder wins every time. Manual coffee grinders produce the same output as an electric grinder for about 20% of the cost. 

With no wires or electronics to deal with, this affordable grinder is also a portable option for those on-the-go. With a manual coffee grinder in hand, you can brew freshly-roasted whole bean coffee wherever you may be.

5 Essential Tips for Buying the Best Manual Coffee Grinder

Remember, not all coffee grinders are created equal. You’ll have to do a bit of shopping to find the best manual coffee grinder for your brewing needs.

Keep our five tips in mind and you’ll discover the right grinder in no time.

1. Set a Budget

Manual coffee grinders can cost anywhere from a mere $7 to hundreds of dollars. And, as with most things in life, you get what you pay for.

Before you start shopping, set a budget for yourself. On average, a high-quality long-lasting manual coffee grinder will cost between $20-$50.

While price will be the foundation for your decision, do your best not to let it be the deciding factor. A cheap manual coffee grinder will not produce the same consistent results as a $30 grinder!

2. Always Choose the Burr Grinder

You have two types of manual grinders to choose from:

  • Blade grinders
  • Burr grinders

We recommend always purchasing the burr grinder!

Burr grinders use two stainless steel or ceramic burrs to pull beans through the grinder, creating a uniform grind size adjusted to match the brew method. For a perfectly balanced and delicious cup of coffee, you must always use a consistent grind size! 

Blade grinders, on the other hand, use a single spinning blade to chop through beans. This creates a popcorn effect, causing inconsistent grind sizes. And, this type of grinder doesn’t offer the ability to change the grind size—leaving the final flavors of your coffee up to chance.

Read: Blades VS Burrs: What Is the Best Type of Coffee Grinder?

3. Consider the Materials

Manual coffee grinders are built from either stainless steel, plastic, or ceramic materials. 

  • Plastic coffee grinders can be an affordable and durable option for someone just starting their coffee brewing journey. However, depending on the type of plastic used, these grinders can become easily damaged from constant use. 

  • Stainless steel coffee grinders are often the top choice among home coffee brewers. Why? In addition to durability, these manual grinders maintain their sleek appearance for years on end—even with frequent use.

  • Ceramic coffee grinders offer a high-quality grind and beautiful appearance but are the easiest to break. One wrong move can make a hefty dent in the grinder! 

  • Pay attention to the burr materials, too. Both stainless steel and ceramic burrs are worthwhile options with different advantages. 

    Stainless steel burrs start incredibly sharp and offer outstanding grind precision. And, thanks to chromium, these burrs are corrosion resistant, too! However, the main complaint about stainless steel burrs is the decline in sharpness and precision with frequent usage.

    Ceramic burrs are less sharp to begin with but retain their original sharpness for far longer than stainless steel burrs. Ceramic burrs are often found in manual coffee grinders for this reason! 

    Quick Tip: Also look for manual coffee grinders with few parts. The more parts involved, the more chance you have of breaking or losing one.

    4. How Will You Use Your Manual Coffee Grinder?

    As you sort through the many manual grinder options, it’s important to consider how you plan to use your coffee grinder.

  • Start by evaluating the type of coffee you plan to make at home. Manual coffee grinders are best used to grind for drip coffee, pour overs, and french press coffee.  If you’d like to grind for espresso, you’ll have a harder time dialing in the right grind size with a manual coffee grinder. It’s not impossible, but can be tricky.

  • Next, consider the size. Most manual grinders can grind 20-40 grams of coffee beans at a time. If you’re making coffee for one, a smaller hand grinder will do the trick. Those who make coffee for the family each morning will need to step up to a larger grinder.

  • Then, think about where you’ll use your grinder. If you’re a coffee-drinking nomad, a travel hand grinder is the perfect choice for you. Travelers choose a manual coffee grinder due to its small size and portability.
  • 5. Make Sure It’s Easy to Clean

    A clean coffee grinder produces consistent, balanced, and flavorful coffee.

    A dirty coffee grinder… well, doesn’t.

    Manual coffee grinders must be cleaned regularly to guarantee great taste and a long grinder lifespan. 

    Grinders with multiple parts or flimsy materials can be a hassle to deal with, leaving you with dirty burrs and bland coffee. For rich, smooth coffee filled to the brim with sweet flavors, always choose a manual coffee grinder that’s easy to clean.

    Get the Best Manual Coffee Grinder for FREE

    With these tips in mind, you can feel confident finding the right manual coffee grinder for your home brewing needs.

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