Best manual espresso grinder?

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.

#1: Post by tag1260 »

Looking for a new manual espresso grinder. I prefer manual over powered and only do two to three shots a day. What is the best out there? Is the Pharos still at the top of the heap? Thanks

Team HB

#2: Post by Jeff »

Setting a budget will limit how high that heap is. There are now $1,000 hand grinders.

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#3: Post by beer&mathematics »

Edit: long answer warning. Also, it just explains my situation mostly and is not comprehensive!

The Orphan Espresso Pharos produces the highest quality espresso grind for the lowest price available. It has titan Robur burrs and is super cool looking (my opinion) and the recent versions have incorporated many of the Voodoodaddy mods that made using it much more pleasant. There's a version 1.1 for sale direct from OE for $245 which is insane value. A new version 2.0 is only $350 still a value and has nice mods!

It has serious drawbacks in terms of ergonomics, however. It is difficult to crank the massive burrs so you need to be fit and strong and not mind doing it. For medium/dark roasts, I find it super easy to grind with and it's pretty nice. For light roasts, it can be difficult. I drink only light roasts so, for me, it is a PITA to grind for espresso. But I have been doing it for 5+ years so it's not impossible. I bought it while in grad school and couldn't afford an electric grinder and I wanted titan conical burrs. I haven't seen anything in the hand grinder realm that makes me want to upgrade, with one exception. The HG1.

The HG-1 has essentially the same Robur burrs in it (can also get upgraded burrs for more $$) so produces nearly identical espresso (from what I remember from the old threads when the HG1 came out). The HG1 also fixes the many flaws of the Pharos by making the experience much more friendly and enjoyable. It also looks awesome and is one of the nicest grinders I've seen come to marked (IMO, of course). But since it makes the same espresso I could never justify the expense, and it just keeps getting more expensive.

Now, there seems to be a ton of new hand grinders out there but none of them seem to be an upgrade to the Pharos while staying in the same price ballpark. This is where it gets (even more) subjective. From the many other options, do you like their looks? The company? Etc? Only you can decide.

Recently, I bought a Niche Zero (electric grinder) but it wont arrive until February, but I don't plan on getting rid of my Pharos. I find it fun to use for a shot here or there, but I am excited to try the Niche.
LMWDP #431


#4: Post by tag1260 »

Thanks. I don't mind the looks and the price isn't an issue. I already have a Lido so the company isn't any issue. I also have a Sette 270 electric but am not sold on it in the least.


#5: Post by tag1260 »

Jeff wrote:Setting a budget will limit how high that heap is. There are now $1,000 hand grinders.
Price would be under probably $500.


#6: Post by LObin »

I've had my eyes on the 1zpresso JE plus for a while. Haven't pulled the trigger yet since it's more a lux than anything for me right now but for espresso only, that would be my #1 choice.

Travel size of course.
There are several options in the Titan burrs category although many above your $500 budget. Pharos 2.0 is within budget and a popular choice .
LMWDP #592