Buyers Guide: Best Manual Coffee Grinder

Buying a manual coffee grinder or hand coffee grinder is confusing. There are thousands available so it’s difficult to see the wood for the trees. This quick guide will help you find the best manual coffee grinder for you.

Your Guide to the Best Manual Coffee Grinder

When I first looked, I was really confused by all the options. Prices range from just over £10 to £2,000! Not only that but Amazon UK has over 10,000 results if you search for a manual coffee grinder! Below we guide you through what to look for and make some recommendations

At a glance: Our top recommendations

Best Overall Manual Coffee Grinder

topics Covered

What makes a good manual coffee grinder?

Pro's and cons of a hand coffee grinder

Best hand coffee grinder - see our recomendations

What makes a Good Manual Coffee Grinder?

A handheld coffee grinder is a really important piece of equipment. Grinding your own beans is the single easiest way of improving the quality of your brew.

If you’ve landed on this page, I expect you’ve already decided that you want a manual coffee grinder rather than an electric one. If you’re not sure, then check out our general guide to electric and manual coffee grinders.

Grinding Coffee

Read our guide to grinding. Everything you need to know for the perfect grind.

There are 4 things to consider before you buy a handheld coffee grinder:

1. How often will you use it?

This might seem an obvious question but if you intend on using it a lot you might be better getting an electric grinder. I have both an electric and a manual coffee grinder. The handheld coffee grinder takes me 2 minutes to grind enough coffee for a double expresso, my Sage coffee grinder takes 10 seconds. 

I like having both as the hopper on my electric grinder is full of my ‘everyday beans’ whereas I use hand coffee grinder for small batch speciality coffees that either I want to drink only occasionally or simply can’t afford to drink regularly.

Read our guide to electric grinders

2. Variety of Grind Size

Think about what you will be drinking and make sure that the manual coffee grinder can grind what you need. Expresso requires a really fine grind whereas a plunger needs a much coarser grind. Any hand coffee grinder should be able to do a coarse grind. A good tip is to only buy a manual coffee grinder that says it can do expresso.


3. Portability and Storage

This might seem a strange thing to say but all manual coffee grinders will come with a handle to turn. This sticks out and I prefer to have a handle that can easily be detached (as in the pictures above). This makes it much easier to store or to travel with. 

4. Manual Burr Coffee Grinder

Make sure you buy a manual burr grinder rather than anything with a blade. To be honest I would be surprised to find a manual blade grinder as I don’t believe you could turn the handle quick enough to grind the coffee (if you’re also thinking of buying an electric grinder then avoid anything with a blade).

 Burrs can be either flat or conical as well as steel or ceramic. For a hand coffee grinder any combination should be fine. If you’re a real pro the various combinations have pro’s and con’s, read our guide to Coffee Grinders to find out more. 

Pro's and Cons of a Manual Coffee Grinder

Short on time? here’s our list of pro’s and cons for a handheld coffee grinder….


  1. Cost effective compared to an electric grinder. 
  2. Easy to store, but make sure the handle is detachable. 
  3. Great as a travel accessory if you need a freshly ground coffee fix when you’re away from home. 
  4. Easy to change your beans and try small batches of coffee. 


  1. Time. I can grind enough coffee for a double expresso in 10 seconds using my electric. It took me 2 minutes with a manual grinder. 
  2. Capacity. Electric grinders generally have a large hoper for the beans. This is much smaller for a manual coffee grinder meaning you’ll have to refill more often. 

Best Manual Coffee Grinder

We’ve done the hard work for you. We’ve reviewed dozens of grinders to come up with a list to help you buy the best hand coffee grinder you can afford.

Best Overall

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5000 reviews!!!!!

Best Value

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Best for Design

The picture doesn’t do it justice. 


Best Antique

If you’re after the look.

Best for Travel

If you’re after the look.