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Is Manual Burr Grinder – Should You Get One for Yourself?


Well, we are living in an era where everything needs less force. The same applies to any kitchen homeware, including coffee grinders. Manual coffee grinders are one of the three types of grinding machines.

When you are looking for a manual coffee maker that grinds bean, we know that you are looking for an inexpensive option. Yes, most people don’t want to waste energy and time grinding cappuccino manually. And, we can understand the concern from you completely.

In 2020, many people may wonder, manual coffee grinding machines are no good at all. Of course, that’s not entirely true as even today, manual grinding devices offer excellent support, especially when you are a coffee geek and want to get the best grind and flavor from the beans.

The question remains the same, whether manual grinding devices are worth the purchase or not? The answer is always going to be, “it depends actually.” Because manual models can prove themselves useful.

So, today we are going to discover almost everything about manual coffee makers with bean grinders. And if you are wondering about purchasing it, we hope at the end of this discussion; you will conclude something for sure.

What is a Manual Coffee Grinder?

Possibly, you have seen an electric grinding device before. Yes, the grinding equipment that operates using electricity? Hate to break it to you; manual grinding machines are not that different from electric or motor operated grinding devices.

A manual coffee mill coarse is another type of grinder that helps you grind coffee beans. But you will need your muscle power to make your coffee roast grind. Yes, they can provide the same type of support as motor grinders.

There are three main types of grinders, such as Blade, burr, and manual grinders. Anyway, blade models are not the right way to grind your beans. Because it cannot provide you the right flavor but ruin it.

Anyway, burr models are costly for many people to own. On the other hand, manual models can offer a much better inexpensive option, and keep the grinding size in your favor. Means, you can get total control over your grinding size.

When you don’t have the money to purchase a burr model, and the blade model is not the thing you want – a manual grinding device is the best choice. Don’t just fall for the blade coffee grinder commercial, and think manual ones are of no use.

If you want, there are plenty of benefits you can gain from manual models. We shall discuss the benefits later on this content. However, manual machines are unique in their way.

Some models even come with a burr grinding wheel. Thanks to that, you can also have a good grinding experience with your beans. But it will be tough to use your muscles and consume a lot of time in grinding the beans. The results will be the same as a motor-operated grinder espresso.

How Manual Grinders Operate?

Just like we said, manual grinders are also known as hand grinders. It means you will have to use your hands to grind the beans. Yes, you will need your muscle power to grind the beans into the right coarse.

Among the three types of coffee grinders, manual mills are the most inexpensive option. Nonetheless, many people don’t consider purchasing a manual model because they are outdated. That is not true at the least if you think about the operation procedure.

Anyway, there are several manual coffee mill types available in the market. Every one of them operates the grinding process in different procedures. Just like any other grinding device, manual mills come with two different abrasive surfaces.

In terms of manual coffee grinder burr, there are two holding chambers. One chamber is at the top, and the other one is right at the bottom. Usually, the two cracks are separated by burrs at the midsection.

Also, there’s a wheel that lets you grind the beans into your desired size. These models even offer different grinding settings and sizes. And, probably that’s the best benefit of having a manual grinding device.

But the only problem is that you have to work with your hand. Whether you have it in your hands, or just on the counter, the crank will offer you a smooth grind.

So, working with the hand is a problem, and a good part is that it cannot produce too much heat. Because motor-operated grinders come with an electric motor, and it provides a lot of heat. Most of the time, the weather can dissolve the right parts of the coffee.

Thus, manual grinding machines are straightforward to use, but take a lot of tolls on your hands.

Benefits of Purchasing a Manual grinding machine

So, here’s the central question – will be purchasing a manual coffee grinder maker is worth it? Yes, even in the year 2020, buying a manual coffee grinder hand is worth it. But before purchasing, you must understand the benefits of the manual mills.

There are several reasons for knowing the benefits of a device you are purchasing. But the most important reason is that you can understand how the method will suit your needs. So, we are going to talk about the benefits of a manual grinding mill right now.


The very first benefit of owning a manual grinder hand is the cost-efficiency. Any coffee lover would want to get the best flavors and aroma in their cup. To do so, fresh coffee grinds coarse is essential.

Getting a burr model is always going to be costly. And like many others, you can understand the blade grinder is not the right way to grind your beans. So, you must consider purchasing a cost-efficient model for the grinding process.

Manual hand grinding mills are always the top choice in these cases. Because they are efficient and get the job done correctly. You can easily save your electric bills (not that the electric bill is too much to bear) and stay out of any trouble.


Manual models are portable devices and are quite lightweight. Back in the old days, manual models were not mobile. However, some wooden models offered portable options but minimum grinding facility.

In modern days, most manufacturers make manual models solely for travel purposes. You can keep them inside your luggage, backpack easily. Because of this benefit, manual models are less stable than any countertop machine.

We don’t think that’s a massive problem at all, and portability gives you a proper opportunity to create the best coffee cup anywhere you want. Suppose you are heading out on a business trip or going outing for a camp. Manual grinders offer you the luxury of making a good cup of cappuccino while traveling to any other place than home.

Better than a blade grinding machine:

Another great benefit of owning a manual grinding machine is that it offers better support than any blade grinder. Earlier, we mentioned, blade mills are not the right way to grind your beans. These mills cannot provide the perfect grind for the beans.

Blade models can do the job for you, that’s for sure. But using and taking the proper alignment of the whole device can be tough. So, most of the time, the right part of the beans dissolves, and you get rough or smooth coarse coffee.

Manual models come with proper abrasive surface and let you full control over the coarse grind. As there are no motors, there will be no heating issue at all. So, no need to worry about the beans being dissolved.

Easy to use:

Manual models are convenient and very easy to use. Wait, I know what you are thinking right now. Yes, the model does need your hand to operate. Because of that, the models are not that stable while grinding beans.

All you need to do is put all the beans and grind them according to the settings. People who cannot understand the electric model’s parameters can use manual ones instead.

Easy to clean:

After grinding the beans, cleaning can be the roughest part of them all. Not in the case of any manual grinding machine, of course. It should be evident that as there are no electrical components, cleaning manual ones is relatively straightforward.

Cleaning a motor-operated grinding machine is very tough. You can’t just wash them in water and have to rely on rinsing water over them. If some of the parts are not dishwasher safe, you can say goodbye to the easy cleaning option.

For manual ones, you don’t have any parts that reside in any electric components. In this case, construction material can help you in many ways. You cannot expect to wash wooden models in the water. But we are not saying that the models are water-resistant or safe to remove on water.

We are saying that cleaning them is very easy compared to other types of grinding machines. The worst part is when the coffee well is stuck inside the grinding wheels and creates problems for grinding beans later on. But manual ones, offer better cleaning option if you think about its design.

Why is a manual grinding machine not so popular right now?

Even aster stating the benefits of a manual mill, there are some significant issues with the machine. Why are they not so popular among many people? As we have talked about the benefits, we should also inform you about the cons.

But just stating some points won’t do you any good. Why not try to get a good discussion about the whole subject and think about why they are lagging? We are now going to talk about the main problems of the manual mills.

Manual mills require muscle power

When we utter the word ‘manual,’ you will have to take over the controls. Manual mills require muscle powers to operate, and using them can be tough sometimes. Not to mention, the work is very tiring for many people.

People with movement disabilities or disorders cannot rely on manual models. So, it is always going to be tough for them to use the mill no matter what they do. Also, if you slow down with your grinding, the grind won’t be perfect.

Manual mills take a lot of time to prepare a grind

Preparing coarse grind coffee requires a proper grinding facility. Manual mills take a lot of time to grind the beans. Just like we said, you will continuously need to use your hands.

Humen’s are not machines, and they cannot work correctly with their hands. You cannot expect to work with your hands randomly. So, you will have to wait for a long time to create a perfect coarse grind.

And because of this problem, you cannot expect to get the best grind for coffee. Most of the time, the grind will become inconsistent as you feel numbness in hand and try to rest a bit. But one cannot afford to rest while grinding beans.

Because you should try to mix the good ones with the rough chops, otherwise, you won’t get the best and proper mix of your beans.

Cannot get different types of coffee grinds

Other electrical cappuccino mills offer you the luxury of getting different kinds of coffee grind coarse if you want. They provide different speed settings that can give you different types of grinds. Manual models require your hands, and surely you cannot change your hands’ speed.

Not for commercial purpose

If you own a coffee shop, you can’t rely on your manual mill too often. Because it takes a lot of time, and you cannot use it for different grind sizes. On the other hand, most grinding mills are well suited for cafe or business entities.

It is another popular reason for avoiding manual mills because they can’t be used in busy cafes. If there’s any load-shedding or other problems, manual mills can act as a backup plan. But you cannot expect it to be a regular coffee coarse grinder.

Different parts of a manual grinding machine

When you get your hands on a manual mill, you are sure to notice just some small part in the machine. Most manual grinders setup is quite the same, and maybe one or two models feature a different structure. However, the overall outlook and parts are quite the same.

First, there is a rod at the top of the machine, and it has a lever installed in it. It is the working space for you in the grinding machine. After the lever and the rod, you will see the bean hopper.

Usually, you need to put the beans inside the hopper and start grinding whenever you want. How many beans you can put inside depends on the capacity of the hopper. After the bean hopper, there will be grinding wheels.

Most manual grinders come with just a simple grinding setup, and the best models offer burr grinding wheels. However, there will be two separate burrs inside any manual model.

One burr is always on the move whenever you start rolling the lever. Another burr is an abrasive surface that is going to stay still. These two burrs are the main thing to watch out for.

Yes, they don’t use any blade inside the manual machine. However, if you do get a blade model, it is likely to waste your money. After the bean is processed, all the coffee grind coarse will go inside the container.

These are the standard and main parts of just about any manual grinding machine out there. Yes, if you look in the coffee grinder market, these are the main parts of any manual models. Some model even comes with a separate coffee grinder marker to help you with the measurement.

Manual grinders vs motor grinders:

Even after telling about the benefits and the bad parts, we must make a good comparison between the three types of grinders. But we should try to understand the difference between the three. In this part, we will talk about the difference between motor mills and manual mills.

For the comparison part, we may talk about both the goods and the bad parts. Yes, certain features make manual ones better, and certain features make them worse. A comparison can sometimes shed some light on them.

But before we do that, here’s a comparison chart between the three types of coffee grinders.

Type Price Grind Type Accuracy Loudness Messiness
Blade Grinders Inexpensive Moderate Moderate Very noisy Creates a lot of mess
Burr Grinders Expensive Accurate Perfect Not noisy No mess
Manual Grinders Cheap Fine Depends on how long you grind Not noisy Medium mess


Motor mills are always going to be the pricier of the two, which is an undeniable fact. However, not everybody can get the best quality burr grinders even if they wanted to. But the additional option is to get a manual model.

Most of the manual model comes with two separate burrs inside. The only lacking is in the motor. But at least they are better than any blade coffee grinder.

So, in terms of price, manual models are inexpensive, or we should say cheap options. Considering bed bath and beyond coffee grinder, manual ones are the best in terms of price. But who is the model for?

That’s quite easy as a lot of people are not that interested in different coffee types. So, they just want to enjoy fresh coffee, and manual ones are the best for the job. But a lot of people purchase blade models, and they find it very bad.

For the price, we cannot declare any winner. But for a strict budget option, manual ones are the better choice if you can handle the handwork.


In terms of performance, motor-operated mills are always going to be the best choice. Especially when you are looking for a french press grinder, motor mills are the best choice for anybody. But you know, there are two types of motor mills – blade ones and the burr ones.

Blade models are cheap and get your job done. However, they cannot come near any burr models. But manual models are sometimes better than blade models. Yes, you are not getting the perfect coarse grind, but still, they are better.

Manual grinders even come with two burrs, but you are not getting different grind settings. That’s the only problem you will face.

Cleaning and Mess:

Cleaning is a big priority for any grinding mills. Notably, the best coffee grinder for espresso needs to be clean all the time. Well, motor mills are quite tough to clean. You will always have to worry about saving the electric parts.

Also, the construction of the whole motor mills is complicated for many people. If you cannot assemble the entire machine correctly, there will be no way to get the best grind. So, first, you must think about the cleaning option.

Manual models are quite easy to clean, and they offer no hassle at all. Also, they create less mess than any motor model.


In terms of durability, manual coffee makers with bean grinders have the slightest edge. The reason is just as simple; the machine is straightforward.

There is a little hopper at the top, and you just put the beans inside. After that, the grinding wheels will pulverize the beans, and create the coffee filter coarse. Finally, the brew will store inside the container.

That’s just about it, nothing more or less. For this simple design, the manufacturers can easily keep a keen eye on the construction material. But for motor grinders, they have to focus on the features and other things. Even if they wanted to, construction material is not the main focus point.

Ease of use:

Using motor grinders are very easy if you think about the settings. But for many people, manual ones are the easier ones to use. Mainly, the assembly of the product is the thing you should watch out for the most.

But using manual models can be tiring for the hands. Even getting used to the lever pulling takes a lot of time. Not to mention, people who have trouble moving on their own can face the most problem. In this case, the motor grinding machine has the upper hand.

How to pick the best manual grinder for your home?

Purchasing any product is always going to be a daunting task, and if you have no idea about the product, it will sometimes become a disaster. But that cannot stop you from purchasing your best coffee grind for pour-over.

After reading the whole content, we hope that you are thinking about purchasing a manual grinding machine. But what should you consider before buying a suitable model? Almost every product claims to be the best of the best.

Don’t always get fooled by the coffee grinder commercial, and think about some vital facilities. Now we are going to talk about these common facilities that you should keep in mind before purchasing.

Size and capacity

When you are trying to buy the best manual coffee grinder hand for you, looking for the size and capacity is always a prior thing to consider. When we say size, we mean the size of the bean hopper and the container.

Yes, by now, you understand that you are not getting different grind sizes with manual models. So, you have to think about the container size and the bean hoppers’ size. Also, checking the stability of your grinder is equally essential.


Well, manual models are cheap, and the coffee grinder KitchenAid can is the best inexpensive option. Considering the price point is another thing you cannot think of leaving.

Manual models don’t mean that they are cheap, and you just need to purchase one for yourself. Even after being cheap, they can offer better support than any motor model.

One thing for sure, you can also use manual ones as a coffee grinder espresso. Not just that, some models are quite pricey than any blade grinders. So, the price is another thing you should keep in check before purchasing.


Every device comes with a fixed capacity or workload. But in the case of manual models, high capacity is nothing to brag about. Instead, finding a suitable model that can provide you enough coarse grind is the better choice.

How many people will use the grinder should give you an idea about your coffee grinder’s capacity. Some coffee makers with bean grinders are also available, but they are not that good for making coffee.

Cleaning option and ease of use:

Just like we said, coffee grinder coarse can create a lot of mess around your work station. Without proper cleaning option, you are always going to get coffee oils inside the burr.

Mainly, you have to think about keeping the burr inside clean. Otherwise, the coffee oil will kick in and ruin the crank. You cannot afford to do that, and keep the device clean. Anyway, cleaning options depend on some critical factors.

The first one is the construction material, and after that, there comes the whole setup. A grinder with a proper cleaning option and structure will always come in handy.

How fast you can clean the whole machine, and what other options you have for washing the device is essential. How you can maintain the entire grinder, we will give you some proper tips later on in this content.

Construction material:

Earlier, we said, cleaning always depends on the construction materials. But that’s not the end to our discussion as you need a long-lasting and durable model. Manual models can get you the best grind for cold brew, and you have to carry it around sometimes.

Well, for personal usage, portability is a useful feature. But with portability, there comes a risk of the grinder getting permanent damage. You can never say about dangers, and sometimes the grinding machine can receive permanent damage.

But the construction material can ensure safety against any harsh condition and keep supporting you. The most popular manual models are made of steel. Some even come with aluminum construction, and they are the pricey ones.

When you are looking for the cheapest option, there comes the plastic manual models. But we don’t recommend them because these are not safe for your health. Also, plastic models are the worst ones in the coffee grinder market.

For better design and luxury setup, you will find wooden manual grinders. These are quite good but very expensive. Also, you cannot use them regularly, and maintenance is the key to wooden models.

Spare Parts:

Manual grinders are inexpensive options, but finding spare parts can be a pain sometimes. Yes, they are not that much popular among many users. So, manufacturers are not interested in producing spare parts. However, there is some reliable brand that offers spare parts.

Before you go on with your purchase, make sure you can find the spare parts available in the local market. However, which sections should you consider to find? Well, the grinding wheels are always going to be the main thing you will change.

Aside from them, the lever or the holding rod is another standard spare part for your grinding device.

Maintenance for manual coffee grinders

Some tips and tricks:

Here are some tips and tricks for the best grind for coffee with your manual coffee maker that grinds beans,

  • Try to use short pulses and fresh beans for grinding
  • to get the best result in your coffee brewer, take a little more time to fine grind the beans for fast brewing in the best coffee grinder for espresso.
  • For a slow French press grinder, brewing will always keep the process short and the particles a little bigger.
  • Never put too many beans into the bean hopper. It ideal if you keep it almost half-empty for the optimal or best grind for coffee.
  • Before purchasing, make sure the bean hopper is not very small.
  • Removable bean hopper and container can make your cleaning easy.
  • For a Convenient coffee filter, check the containers space first.
  • Choose the right model that gives you a proper view of the hopper and the container. If there is any bean marker, that will be the best option.
  • For hand grinding, understand your size particle for better grind coarse.
  • Operate the lever according to your grind choice, don’t go faster.
  • Always try to keep your coffee parts and accessories clean. Otherwise, the device will receive damage from the coffee bean oil. Use coffee cleaning products to clean the burrs and other components.

Things you shouldn’t do:

  • Try to clean the grinder before grinding your coffee beans. This one is significant for you. Otherwise, the grinding facility will be ruined.
  • Try to clean the coffee oils from the burrs of the grinding machine. Otherwise, it will ruin the coffee flavor and aroma.
  • Never use any cleaning product you find in the market. Instead, you should look for those cleaning products that are decidedly not harmful to your health.
  • After cleaning the grinding machine, try to dry the device as soon as possible. Otherwise, there will be problems with the cranks of the grinder.

Maintaining the burrs:

Well, manual models do come with additional burr grinding wheels. So, to maintain them, you will need to think about some essential things. First of all, you cannot keep the burrs wet.

To clean the burrs, you don’t have to use water too often. Instead, try to use the rice grinding method. Most people put rice inside the grinding machine and grinds the rice. This way, you can get rid of the oil if you want.

However, even after that, you will have to clean them once in a while. You can rinse water on the outer part, and you can clean the bean hopper or bean container every time you grind cappuccino.

So, you need to clean the burr grinding wheels once every week. To clean that, just don’t go on with the coffee cleaning products. Instead, just think about wiping the burr first. After that, rinse it with water and wipe the oil.

But before that, you must separate the whole machine, and try to assemble it in the right order.

Rice cleaning Method – is it safe?

We don’t think a rice cleaning method is a safe option for you. Because it can always hamper your warranty and ruin your manual model, also, it is very tiring to grind the rice, and sometimes grinding the rice can lead to breaking the lever.

But this is an effective way to clean the grinding machine and get rid of any coffee oil. We don’t recommend you to do it often. Just do it once in two or three months if you are in a hurry.

What type of coffee cleaning products should I get?

Try to get those types of cleaning products that don’t have any harmful chemicals. If you cannot clean the chemicals properly, it will start to dissolve with the grinding coarse.

So, you better think about using safe chemicals or should not use it at all. A lot of people use gentle soap water to clean manual models. Even we find this process quite helpful in many ways.

It’s all up to you for the cleaning process. But make sure it doesn’t ruin the construction material or the grinding wheels.

How to determine the coffee grind?

For manual grinders, determining the coffee grind is tough as hell. But you can get some simple and effective grinds if you want. Mainly, you will get the best grind for a cold brew with manual models.

You just need to have a right eye on how much time you should keep rolling your hands. Make sure you read the manuals attentively.

Some important FAQ

  • How long does it take to grind coffee beans using the manual burr grinder?

If you work with only 10 grams of beans, it will take just about 40 to 50 seconds on an excellent grinding coarse.

  • Is a manual grinding machine better than a blade grinder?

In terms of bean grinding quality, manual ones have a slight edge over blade models. There are other things you have to watch for blade models, and manual models are comparatively more comfortable to use.

  • What type of grinding wheel does a manual burr grinder have?

Usually, the popular types of manual grinding machines come with a burr grinding wheel. But there are other abrasive surfaces and moving wheels on some models.

  • Is manual grinders the cheapest type of grinder mills?

Instead, we should say they are inexpensive. Yes, there are some cheap models made of plastic, but they are not worth the purchase.


It has been a long and tiring conversation about the manual coffee grinder. Many people wonder if they should purchase a manual grinding mill in 2020. Some even consider them to be outdated and not worth the purchase.

Hate to break it to you, that’s not the right way to judge a manual grinding machine. Because manual grinders can offer the best coarse grind coffee with using just your hands.

We know that the manual model has some significant drawbacks, but that doesn’t make them outdated or worth your purchase. To make you understand the key factors behind a manual model, we had to talk about the manual grinding machine’s main features and benefits.

It is not just the right thing; we had to talk about the bad things also. Now, after concluding, what’s your verdict about the manual coffee grinder maker? Is it worth your purchase in 2020 or not?

We will let you decide on that, and hopefully, now you can understand which model you should pick for enjoying the best coffee cup.