Best hand grinder for pour over coffee
The most important ingredient in making great pour over coffee is fresh, well-roasted coffee beans. However, most people make the mistake of being lazy and using pre-ground coffee that has been freeze-dried and kept on supermarket shelves for months. Here’s the news: even if you buy specialty coffee from reputable cafes or roasters, you should always buy whole beans and grind them yourself just before brewing. This ensures that the coffee oils aren’t released and stay fresh. Hence, a coffee grinder is an essential piece of equipment.
As an everyday coffee lover making pour over coffee in small quantities at home, you likely won’t need a large and expensive coffee grinder like those used by cafes. Instead, hand-powered manual coffee grinders are much more affordable and suitable for your needs. But don’t just dash out and squander your money on a random grinder (or worse, one of those antique-looking coffee grinders with wooden drawers!) You’ll want a quality burr grinder that can last through day after day of coffee brewing.
Here are our recommendations on the best hand grinder for pour over coffee.
1. Hario Mini Mill Slim Coffee Grinder
This is our number one pick as the best hand grinder for pour over coffee. Hario is renowned for its coffee equipment and exemplifies the Japanese dedication to quality. The Hario Mini, while small, still has enough capacity to hold around 2 cups’ worth of coffee grounds – which is neatly indicated on the clear plastic body.
- Sleek, slim design makes it easy for storage
- Easy to clean, easy to use
- Can be stored without the handle
- Beautiful ceramic mill, does not rust
- Consistent grind for perfect, fresh coffee
The best quality of the Hario Mini is the consistent grind and versatile grind setting. The burr setting screw can be set through a set number of “clicks” for different grind sizes. There’s no official grind setting chart, but we personally use 7-8 “clicks” of the grind adjustment nut (from the tightest setting) for Aeropress and V60. You can easily adjust this based on your personal preferences and type of bean being used.
Some potential buyers have noticed the apparent downward curve of the grinder crank, and expressed concern over whether Hario Mini is strong enough to withstand constant, everyday use. Since we personally use this as our travel hand grinder, we’re happy to vouch that the crank is actually designed this way. It’s made of reinforced stainless steel, and certainly holds its shape even through the daily grind.
2. Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder
The Porlex Mini coffee grinder is perfect for on-the-go coffee addicts. With its sturdy build and compact size (5 inches tall), you can easily take it anywhere with you to make coffee while traveling.
- Ceramic conical burrs with wide range can grind from powder to french press
- 20 gram capacity
- 47 mm diameter and stands 130 mm tall
- Made in Japan
- Stainless steel, static free body
What we like most about the Porlex Mini is the thoughtful design, like the rubber sleeve that holds the crank in place when it’s not in use. In fact, we found that the sleeve also acts as a good grip when grinding harder beans, especially on the finest grind settings. The stainless steel is too smooth in the hands!
Although a few users have complained about the handle coming off while grinding, we didn’t have that problem at all and found that the handle locked nicely in place. While the capacity is only 20g – enough coffee for one cup of pour over coffee – it’s really small and light to travel with.
The only minor concern we had with the Porlex Mini was the difficulty of washing it out. Since the body is made of opaque stainless steel, it can be hard to see if there are leftover coffee grounds remaining inside.
3. Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Mill
Yes, another Hario! With a larger 100g capacity, the Hario Skerton coffee grinder is suitable for those who make greater amounts of coffee each day. The canister is made of glass, and also comes with an extra lid for temporarily storing your freshly ground coffee.
- Small, lighweight and portable
- Perfect for both the traveler and the home coffee connoisseur
- Easy to use, easy to clean
- Consistent grind for perfect, fresh coffee
While it still does a fantastic job, the Hario Skerton doesn’t produce as consistent a grind as the Hario Mini and Porlex Mini coffee grinders when it comes to coarser grind sizes. We found quite a bit of variation in size when attempting a coarse grind for French press. Some experts have attributed this to the loose central shaft of the grinder, which allows the inner burr to shift considerably. Nevertheless, the Hario Skerton still does well at finer grind sizes so you should have no problem using it with the Chemex, V60, Kalita Wave, and other pour over coffee brewing methods.
Potential buyers beware: there are quite a lot of fakes of the Hario Skerton being sold on Amazon! Always make sure to buy the original one by Hario (which we’ve linked to here) instead of any other third-party sellers.
There you have it – the best hand grinder for pour over coffee. These three are really equally good with just minor differences that cater to different needs. If you decide on some other brand, always go for a ceramic burr grinder that offers a consistent grind and a good variation of size adjustments.