hand coffee grinder

Best Manual Coffee Grinders 2020 - Top 15 Coffee Mills Reviewed

Thanks for taking the time to read our UK written reviews of the top 15 manual coffee grinders. These grinders are also referred to as coffee mills, and some people in the UK call than "hand coffee grinders."

Many people still prefer and like to use this very traditional method of hand grinding their coffee. Now it does require some manual effort of course, but some people quite enjoy this phase of the coffee making process.

There are quite a range of these available and in a number of interesting styles.

Mainly these options divide into three different styles which are:

  • Traditional wooden look grinder
  • Glass style grinder
  • Stainless steel style grinder

A good way to decide which manual grinder to buy, is to pick your style first and then decide on which one is the best option for you within a particular price range.

Within each of these style ranges are a number of brands and the prices range from as low as just a couple of pounds and all the way up to £70 depending on what you like and what you can afford.

For some people it is all about getting the right style to match their kitchen. When it comes to the selection process for these, that is probably the best place to start.

We have included sample images below of each style to help you narrow down the choices. They all work off the same grinding principle, so ultimately it is about what you think will look good in your kitchen.

Just below, I have completed a top 5 rated list for each style of hand coffee grinder.

Traditional Wooden Style Grinder

traditional wooden hand grinder

Glass Style Grinder

glass hand grinder

Stainless Steel Style Grinder

stainless steel hand grinder

As you can see from those images above, the styles are quite different to each other. In most cases buyers will prefer one style over the other.

Online buyers though tend to go for either the stainless steel option or the glass option.

The functional side of a grinder is however for me the most important element. It doesn't matter how good it looks if it doesn't work. Those that use a burr style of grinding will always deliver a better result than those that use any other type of grinding methods such as a blade.

Clearly the traditional wooden style will suit kitchens and dining rooms that have been designed with the authentic look and design.

The stainless steel variety is better suited to modern or contemporary kitchen design. The glass style will suit most kitchens irrespective of their theme or style.

Below I have listed the top 5 rated in each style and you will see that there is plenty of variety. I have then provided a link from each where you can read a more detailed reviews to find out if that is the best one for you.​

In the video below you can find out exactly how to go about using a manual grinder, if you have not used one before.

Below you will find top 5 lists for each of the styles of hand grinding options. Please note that the average price and the average rating is subject to change. These can change quickly and even on a daily basis, so always check on the day of purchase for the exact price, rating and for any discounts that may be available.

Top 5 Rated Wooden Style Hand Coffee Grinders - Retro Style

These wooden styles are often referred to as vintage manual coffee grinders, or "retro" style grinders. That is simply because of their traditional wooden look and the fact that they are not power driven, other than by manually turning a handle.

Antique Coffee Grinder Price Guide

​At the lower end of the price point these start at around £10. They can go all the way up to £70 depending on the quality of wood and grinding mechanism that you wish to purchase.

These are however more antique in style rather than actual antiques. For the traditional antiques, you would need to check out antique shops or places like a car boot sale. You will not find that many of those available and it will be more luck than good guidance if you do.

No 1 - Hario Small MM-2 Ceramic Burr Hand Mill

Brief Description

This one is a popular choice for many people. It comes with wooden base and the small drawer for convenient use. This one has a lot of style and would look great in traditional styled kitchens.

  • Can also be used to grind spices, nuts and herbs
  • Uses ceramic burrs with a wooden body
  • Measures 7.9 x 16 x 18.5 cms
  • Stainless steel and wood
  • Grinds well and people liked this vintage style

No 2 - Beyondfashion Coffee Bean Spice Vintage Style Hand Grinder

Brief Description

This one is also a popular choice for many people. It comes with wooden base and the small drawer for convenient use. This one has a slightly more modern style but would look great in traditional styled kitchens, and some modern styles as well.

  • Can also be used to grind spices, nuts and herbs
  • Has a ceramic grinder core
  • Measures 10 x 10 x 16 cms
  • Drawer size - 7 x 5 x 2 cms
  • Grinds well and people liked this old fashioned style

No 3 - Kalita Coffee Mill KH-3 Retro One

Brief Description

This one is a popular Japanese designed model from one of the biggest selling brands Kalita. This one uses the classic cast iron and wood combination for a very nice and stylish effect.

Buyers rate this one with a 96% buyer satisfaction rating, which is impressive.

  • Not many reviews, but overall they are very good
  • You can not adjust the grind easily
  • Measures 10 x 9.9 x 9.8 cms
  • Buyers like this one though it is limited in use

No 4 - Zassenhaus Brasilia Black Coffee Mill/ Grinder

Brief Description

This one is made in Germany and for lovers of all things black, this is the most obvious choice. They use a patented steel which is wear proof and corrosion free and the grinding mechanism is guaranteed for 25 years. This one is also fully adjustable for grain sizes.

  • Makes a great show piece in your kitchen - varnished beech and stainless steel
  • Made in Germany and to a very high quality
  • Measures 23.2 x 16.8 x 16.4 cms
  • Chrome dial for easy settings
  • Has a long arm for easy and effortless grinding

No 5 - TRIXES Coffee Bean Spice Vintage Style hand grinder Wooden Kitchen Accessories

Brief Description

This one is combines a nice wooden look with stainless steel parts for the actual grinding process. Like the others this one also uses a small pull out drawer to catch the grinds. It can also be used to grind spices and herbs.

  • Very good value for money and will look nice in a traditional style kitchen
  • Grinds enough to make 2 cups
  • Measures 16.8 x 10.8 x 10.6 cms
  • Takes about 2 minutes to do a full grind
  • Ideal if you want a fresh grind for the odd coffee

Top 5 Rated Glass Style Hand/Manual Coffee Grinders

In this section you will find some of the best glass style models for your kitchen. People tend to like these because you can actually see what is happening and how much coffee grains you have made. They are also pretty flexible in terms of design and matching into a variety of kitchen styles.

No 1 - Hario Medium Glass Hand Coffee Grinder

Hario Medium Glass Hand Coffee Grinder

Brief Description

This one is the best seller on Amazon and it has sold in its thousands while still maintaining a very high average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. This is a good brand and they do make high quality products.

  • Good and user friendly design
  • Easy to use
  • Measures 40.6 x 27.9 x 33 cms
  • Can be cleaned in the dishwasher
  • Skerton ceramic burr mill with an anti-slip base

No 2 - Hario Acrylic Hand Coffee Grinder

Hario Acrylic Coffee Grinder with Ceramic Burrs

Brief Description

This one is also from Hario, is slightly higher rated but does come with an expensive average £31 price tag. It is made from acrylic, has a very distinct design and is very high quality. If you want to own something that looks rather unique, then this could be a very good choice for you.

  • Looks great and grinds very well
  • Uses a suction plate to keep it fixed to the counter top when grinding
  • Measures 12.6 x 18 x 8.1 cms
  • Can be adjusted for different sized grains
  • Skerton ceramic burr mill with a handle that can be stored inside the grinder

No 3 - Hario CMHC-4C 1-Piece Ceramic Canister Coffee Mill

Hario CMHC-4C 1-Piece Ceramic Canister Coffee Mill

Brief Description

As you can see Hario, pretty much dominate the glass style of grinders. This one though is a little bit different to the many similar types on the market. I have to say that I prefer the look of this one as it has a unique and somewhat quirky style. That said, at around £40 it is not a cheap option.

  • High capacity - up to 120 grams
  • Uses a rubber plate to keep it fixed to the counter top when grinding
  • Measures 11.2 x 18.8 x 11 cms
  • Nice bronze colour and the grins is adjustable
  • A grinder with some character

No 4 - Hario MSS-1B 1-Piece Coffee Mini Mill Slim Grinder

Hario MSS-1B 1-Piece Coffee Mini Mill Slim Grinder

Brief Description

As you can see Hario, have produced a very interesting range of these and they class this one as their slim line version. At an average price point of 318 this one is very good value for money and is a high quality product.

  • Ultra slim design - ideal for easy storage
  • Quick to use, quick to clean and easy to store
  • Measures 18.5 x 11.4 x 8.1 cms
  • Will not rust
  • Delivers a consistent grind

No 5 - Cooko Manual Coffee Grinder

Review of the Cooko Manual coffee grinder

Brief Description

We wanted to add this glass style option in, as it is one that buyers really like.

  • Adjustable ceramic burr from coarse through to fine
  • Lightweight and comes with 2 glass storage jars
  • Measures 219 x 18.4 x 10.2 cm and weighs 880 grams
  • Easy to clean and look after
  • A Premium ceramic burr model

Top 5 Rated Stainless Steel Hand/Manual Coffee Grinders

These are probably the most popular choice. They have a sleek design and look super in modern and contemporary kitchens. From a personal preference, this is the style that I like the best. They are functional, easy to clean and I think they look great.

No 1 - Hunt Brothers Coffee Grinder

Brief Description

This is an award winning coffee mill from the very high end Hunt Brother's brand. It also happens to top the ratings with an amazing 98% buyer satisfaction

  • Top class hand grinder and compatible for Aeropress
  • Has conical ceramic burrs
  • Measures 23.2 x 7.2 x 7.2 cm and weighs 481 grams
  • A very quiet method of grinding coffee
  • Quality stainless steel 

Average Price - £20

No 2 - YooNeo Portable Hand Crank Ceramic Burr Coffee Mill

YooNeo Portable Hand Crank Ceramic Burr Coffee Mill

Brief Description

At just under £10, this is a relatively new model to the market, but it is getting the highest overall reviews at the minute. This one is adjustable so you can grind from coarse to fine and it uses ceramic burrs, which are very good.

  • Slim, lightweight and easily portable
  • Has ceramic grinder burrs
  • Measures 23.4 x 6.4 x 6.4 cms
  • Can grind enough coffee for up to 3 people at one time
  • Quality stainless steel finish

No 3 - Manual Grinder Mill - Compatible with Aeropress for Travelling

Manual Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder Mill

Brief Description

This one gets high ratings of 4.8 out of 5 stars and sells a lot. It looks pretty sleek, can be adjusted for grain size and will fit into the top of an Aeropress when camping or hiking, so useful when travelling.

  • Compact sleek design and easy to adjust
  • Has a ceramic grinder core
  • Measures 22.4 x 6,2 x 5.8 cms
  • Robust simple design that works well and is easy to clean
  • Comes with a 100% money back guarantee

No 4 - Porlex Stainless Steel & Ceramic Hand Coffee Grinder

Porlex Stainless Steel & Ceramic Hand Coffee Grinder

Brief Description

This Is one of the more expensive options but it is high quality and does get high ratings. It is a higher end Japanese design and has been very well made. It is classed as one of the best made grinders in the UK market right now. It uses a spring loaded system to ensure a very even and consistent grind.

  • Can hold and grind up to 30 grams of beans
  • Has a ceramic grinder core
  • Measures 4.8 x 4.8 x 19.3 cms
  • All parts are fully stainless steel of a very high quality
  • One of the highest quality in the market

No 5 - Xcellent Global Stainless Steel Manual Coffee Bean Grinder Coffee Grinder/Mill with Ceramic Hand Crank

Xcellent Global Stainless Steel Manual Coffee Bean Grinder Coffee Grinder Mill with Ceramic Hand Crank

Brief Description

As stainless steel hand grinders go, this one is very typical for the range. It looks good and certainly does a very good job. It is very easy to use, compact and has sharp burrs to make grinding a great deal easier.

  • Made from high quality premium stainless steel
  • Has a ceramic conical internal burrs
  • Measures 23 x 6.4 x 6 cms
  • No metallic taste and will not rust
  • Takes between 2-3 minutes to grind enough coffee for one cup

Hopefully that has given you a good idea of the range of hand grinders for coffee that are available in the UK Market right now.

Benefits of Using a Hand Grinder

With electric grinder options available, you may well ask why anyone should buy a hand or manual coffee grinder. One of the main arguments for doing this was the fact that a hand grinder used to be a cheaper option.

That argument is no longer valid as many of the blade grinders. and even a few burr grinders are the same price or even less than a manual grinder.

We noticed when we were reading the reviews from actual buyers that they talked about 2 main reasons why they bought this old fashioned style of grinder. Those two reasons are:

  1. They do make a great conversation piece
  2. They are portable and can be taken with you when travelling, or where you have no electric power source

These hand grinders do look the part and yes they do make a good conversation piece. There were quite a number of buyers, predominantly people who had retired, who found using one of these was quite a therapeutic thing to do.

As we mentioned earlier in this article, as long as you have some time on your hands, then these are a good choice.

For the writers here at The Perfect Grind website, we believe their key benefit to be their portability. These are pretty easy to pack, and if you really enjoy the taste of freshly ground coffee beans, then one of these is easy to carry with you.

For travelling or camping though we would of course recommend a stainless steel grinder rather than a glass or wooden one.