Inexpensive hand grinders for drip

Recommendations for espresso equipment buyers and upgraders.

Postby jasonmolinari » Oct 10, 2018, 10:46 am

Potentially looking for an inexpensive hand grinder, to be used likely exclusively for drip or aeropress. Years ago, last time i looked, the skertons and hario mini mills were the "best" but were essentially garbage at larger grind sizes without modifications.

Now it appears there are a number of choices, which seem to make improvements on the general mechanism. Any feedback on the following:

Hario skerton Pro ($56)
Kuissential Evengrind (this seems like they take a hario and add some parts to it?) ($20?!?)
Handground hand grinder ($69)

Any others? Any advice on which of these will give a decent drip coffee grind to be used at work?

Not looking to spend more than about $70 probably.


Postby erik82 » Oct 10, 2018, 1:30 pm

Just buy a Commandante MK3 Nitro. The grinders you mention aren't very good and will not last a long time so eventually buying a good grinder will give much better coffee and is a lot cheaper in the long run.


Postby Scott_G » Oct 10, 2018, 2:05 pm

The Commandante is a bit more than $70.

I've used the Skerton and Handground, and have also picked up a couple virtually unused vintage hand grinders for less than $50 - the vintage grinders were better than either the Skerton or Handground :D

If you're interested, here's a thread on various hand grinders...
Hand (grinder) Jive - a photo essay


Postby jasonmolinari » Oct 10, 2018, 5:23 pm

Thanks for the input.

Maybe bigger question. Are any of these going to be better drip grind consistency than a Mazzer mini?
I can't say i'm thrilled with the mazzer drip grind quality....

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Postby Eastsideloco » Oct 10, 2018, 5:33 pm

No. You get what you pay for with the cheap hand grinders: poor manufacturing tolerances, low quality materials, inconsistent grind size. These are better than using an electric whirly blade grinder. But that's a low bar.

If you really want better results with a hand grinder, you're looking at different class of equipment and higher price point: ... comparison


Postby erik82 » Oct 11, 2018, 1:08 am

No, they will not be better (or even come close) than the Mazzer Mini which isn't very good for pourover also. It has espresso burrs and gives you the wrong grind distribution for pourover. If you want good coffee then buy a good grinder. Eastsideloco gave the full answer already and that's just how it works. The Commandante MK3 Nitro is the grinder to beat for pourover before getting into the 2000-5000 dollar bulkgrinders.


Postby gocanes » Oct 11, 2018, 2:45 am

erik82 wrote:The Commandante MK3 Nitro is the grinder to beat for pourover before getting into the 2000-5000 dollar bulkgrinders.

Bold statement. My aergrind has been good for my aero press, pour over, and allegedly makes a good espresso. I take it to work daily. Perfectly portable. Love it. When I compare it to the Hario, it's double in price but easier to dial in. once you dial it in, it outputs the same, every time. Don't know much about it's particle uniformity, but light roasts from it tastes sweeter compared to the Hario. I've never used a mazzer but if you can dial in coarse enough, I can't imagine that it'd be bad. But I don't claim to know espresso burrs from drip burrs either.

For max $70, I'd get the Hario. I hear good things about Porlex too.


Postby erik82 » Oct 11, 2018, 5:03 am

Just try a Mazzer Mini some time for pourover (I did) and you'll see those Mazzer espresso burrs don't work particularly well for pourover. That's been the case for a very long time.

The Commandante Nitro can easily keep up with a MK Vario with steel burrs and you have to go bulk grinder to notice any significant improvements. It's made to excel for pourover and that's what you will notice if you use one, and it'll last forever. I've used all of these grinders and a lot of people here on HB seem to share my experience (some even putting the Commandante Nitro on par with the EK43).


Postby jasonmolinari » Oct 11, 2018, 8:21 am

thanks guys, i'll likely continue with the sub optimal Mini for drip until i can set up my work espresso!