It's easy to want things that are fast and easy. After all, time is limited and life is always on the move. This can make it hard to want to buy a manual coffee grinder and to be worried that it just won't meet your needs. However, there are a lot of advantages to manual coffee grinder and it is worth giving it another look because in most cases it really can meet your needs.  

What is a Manual Coffee Grinder

A manual coffee grinder is exactly what it sounds like. The coffee grinder has a small hopper, a handle mechanism, a burr grinder, and a collection container. You manually twist the handle to turn the burr grinder to grind the coffee. In most cases you can adjust the grind by twisting a nut on the bottom of the hopper, just below the burr grinder.  

Manual Coffee Grinder
Credit: Amazon

How Does It Work?

The manual coffee grinder has a burr in it that is turned by a manual handle. You place fresh coffee beans in the top, attach the lid and handle, and spin the handle around. This turns the burr and grinds the coffee which then falls into the bottom of the grinder. You then unscrew the the bottom and pour it into your coffee maker. There is a small nut that can be adjusted to grind the coffee smaller or larger.  

What's the Quality?

Not all manual coffee grinders are created equally. However, most of them have very good reviews for really good reasons. You will want to make sure that you figure out the types of coffee that you need to grind. While most manual coffee grinders are adjustable and can be used for a variety of grinds, you want to make sure that it can handle the jobs that you plan on throwing at it. Some have a hard time getting a consistent grind in a larger grind for French press coffee. Others have a hard time getting a really fine grind for espresso. You want to choose the one that looks like it is able to meet the jobs that you have.  

How Long Does It Take?

It is true that it takes longer than any electric grinder. It also takes some work. However, the more you do it the faster you get. You also do a great job getting a mini arm workout while you crank out your coffee in the morning.  

How Hard is it to Clean?

The manual coffee grinder seems like it would be a pain to clean. However, it is a lot easier to clean than most other coffee grinders. This makes it easy to use.  

Hario Coffee Grinder

Pros and Cons

The manual coffee grinder has a lot of pros and also some cons. You should make sure that you consider each of these before making your final decision. 


  • The manual coffee grinder does a good job. Not all of them are great at grinding all the grinds of coffee. However, they are highly rated because they do a good job. In fact, most of them are much higher rated than very expensive electric burr grinders. 
  • The manual coffee grinder is easy to use. You just fill it with coffee beans, crank the handle, and then remove the grinds. 
  • They are also cheaper. You can find a very inexpensive blade grinder for around $20. However, the blade will beat your coffee up instead of grind it. This coffee grinder also gets hot and can ruin the taste of your coffee. To get a really good grinder you will spend hundreds of dollars. However, you can get a great manual coffee grinder for about $50 and sometimes even less. 
  • The manual coffee grinder doesn't get hot. When the motor turns the burr in a burr coffee grinder things heat up. You have a fast and powerful motor as well as the resistance of the burrs. When the burr gets hot then so does the coffee. As the coffee heats up it destroys the acids and taints the flavor. If it gets to hot it can really ruin the taste of the coffee. 
  • These coffee grinders don't use electricity. That makes it possible to use them when the lights go out, when  you are camping, and for other situations where there isn't electricity. It also means that if you buy it and decide that it takes too much time or energy to do it everyday, it won't be something you throw out or donate to a second hand store. 
  • Finally, it also takes up very little space, It can easily be stored easily and in any corner. 


  • The biggest con of the manual coffee grinder is the amount of time it takes to grind the coffee. When you wake up and you just want coffee right now, it can be a pain to have to grind your own coffee. Additionally, while it doesn't take that long to grind the coffee it can be 10 minutes or so which can really put a dent in your morning if you are in a hurry. 
  • It's not real easy to switch the grinds back and forth and know where you had it before. While the coffee grinder is easy to use and easy to adjust. Once you have it at a grind that you really like, it can be a pain to do a different kind of coffee (with a different grind) and get it right back where you had it before. 
Hario Manual Coffee Grinder

Hario Coffee Grinder

A couple of months ago we purchased the Hario Coffee Grinder. This slim style coffee grinder has great reviews for a really good reason. It's easy to use, easy to clean, and does a good job producing a good grind. In fact, it even does a good job producing a fine grind coffee. It is more work. It takes several more minutes to make your coffee. However, the results are well worth it and you can take a satisfaction of doing more. It can also be used while camping, when the lights are out, and in other situations without electricity.  

The manual coffee grinder isn't for everyone. However, even if you don't want to have it on hand for grinding your coffee every day you can enjoy coffee in situations where there is no electricity. It's also inexpensive and makes a great option if you want a good coffee grinder for less than $50. You can get grinding today.