The Best Coffee Grinder for French Press Coffee (Side-By-Side)

The French press is undoubtedly one of the most popular methods for making high quality coffee among home baristas. It’s unrivaled in both its simplicity and its ability to tease delicate and complex flavors from the coffee beans being used.

But beans aren’t everything when it comes to making delicious coffee. As anyone who has ever tried to make French press at home will know, the quality of the grind is second to none. And achieving the perfect grind starts with having the best coffee grinder for French press.

Coffee Grinders for French Press: A Quick Round-up

First, here’s a short roundup for you to skim through:
These are the coffee grinders we’ve selected – and further on in this article we’ll explain in detail our selection criteria. We’ve also included our own reviews for each grinder, and answers to all of your questions about coffee grounds for French Press.



Price

Pros & Cons

Caffeine Fiend Award
Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
Baratza Encore Burr Grinder
$139.99+ Wide range of coarseness settings.
+ Simple to operate
+ Produces consistent and uniform grinds

Louder than hand grinders
Quite basic and doesn’t contain any extra features
Fairly expensive
Best Overall Coffee Grinder
JavaPress Manual Coffee Grinder
JavaPress Manual Grinder
$23.99+ Extremely affordable
+ Produces a consistent grind
+ Multiple grind settings that are easy to adjust

Requires some effort in order to grind the beans
Can be slightly inconvenient to hold
Best Budget Coffee Grinder
OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
Oxo Brew Cronical Burr Grinder
$99.99+ Efficient and produces a consistent grind
+ Easy to clean
+ Cheaper price tag than other electric grinders

Fairly loud
Draws quite a bit of electricity. 
Best Value for Money
Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill
Cuisinart Automatic Burr Grinder
$36.28+ Affordable entry level grinder
+ Attractive and sleek design
+ Produces a relatively consistent grind

Not as consistent as many of the other grinders on this list
Best Entry Level Electric Coffee Grinder
Khaw-Fee Manual Coffee Grinder
Khawfe Manual Coffee Grinder
$26.42+ Attractive and sleek construction
+ Very affordable
+ Very consistent and uniform grinds with many settings to choose from

Glass grinds catcher can be quite fragile if dropped
Best Manual Coffee Grinder
Comandante C40 MK3 Hand Grinder
Comandante Hand Grinder
$250.00+ Extremely consistent grinding ability
+ Beautiful and high quality design and construction
+ Perhaps the highest quality grinder on the market

Fairly steep price tag
Best Premium Coffee Grinder

Respect the Grind(er)!

What about pre-ground beans?

There’s nothing wrong with using pre-ground beans per se. In fact, many amateur coffee aficionados start out this way before they gain a deeper understanding of manual grinding and brewing techniques. However, it’s not perfect.

The main issue is the fineness of the grinds. The French press requires medium to coarse grinds for the best possible coffee, whereas store-bought pre-ground coffee tends to be extremely fine and suitable for other styles such as espresso or drip coffee. This type of grind is going to filter straight through the mesh filter of the French press, leaving a gritty residue in your mug.

We’re not bashing pre-ground beans. There are some excellent roasts made by extremely competent baristas out there. But if you want to extract the best, most delicate flavors when using the French press method, then grinding your own beans is definitely the way to go.

Down to grind.

So by this point we should have convinced you that grinding your own beans is not only important, it’s crucial. The question is why? What makes home-ground beans so superior to their store-bought cousins?

As we mentioned above, one of the main parameters has to do with fineness, or particle size. The French press requires a medium to coarse grind in order to achieve the best results. This isn’t only because some of the particles will end up in your final product (although that’s one reason), it also has to do with taste and extraction.

The ideal range for French  press uses about 100 to 300 particles of grinds. For comparison, espresso generally needs around 3500. On top of this you also want uniformity to your grinds to prevent over or under extraction.

Because maximum surface area is necessary for full-extraction, a medium to coarse grind will allow for more exposure when added to hot water. This allows for a more thorough and complete extraction. This also allows for a more efficient carbon dioxide release when the grinds are steeping, adding even greater nuance to the final flavor of your coffee.

So to sum it up – if your grind is too fine, you’ll end up with a slurry mess equivalent to sludge. If your grind is too coarse you’re not going to be able to get the most flavors or aromas from your beans.


French Press Coffee Grinders: Our Criteria For Quality

To really determine which are the best coffee grinders for French press, we’ve carefully reviewed a number of the top grinders on the market. It goes without saying that if you’re reading this guide then you’re serious about making a decent cup of coffee. You’re spending money on quality beans and you don’t want that compromised by a poor or mediocre grind.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the following qualities that we believe a good coffee grinder for French press coffee should have. 

– Consistency

You’ll see this word used a lot in this guide and others, and for good reason. The ability of the grinder to produce consistently fine or coarse grinds is one, if not the, most telling quality of a good grinder. A French press requires a coarse grind, and so you’re going to want a grinder that can deliver this every time without fail. 

Grinders are generally divided into two categories – blade and burr. While blade grinders do have their uses, they generally lack the consistency and accuracy that burr grinders deliver. And since this guide is about achieving the best results, we’ve decided to focus entirely on burr grinders.

– Manual, or Electric?

Another good way in which we’ve categorised grinders is whether they’re manual or electric. Neither is particularly better than the other and it largely comes down to which one you prefer.

A manual grinder has the benefit of being way quieter. Since it’s cranked by hand and doesn’t contain a motor, you can make coffee at all times of the day without worrying about noise. They’re also small and portable, meaning you can bring them with you on a camping or business trip and enjoy quality coffee wherever you go.

However, they’re also slow and laborious to use. Loading beans and grinding by hand is a time-consuming process that also requires you to break a slight sweat. Electric grinders, on the other hand, are great if you’re impatient for your morning cup of coffee and don’t want to work for it.

– Range of Use

If you’re investing in the best coffee grinder for French press, then you’re going to want a device that can do more than simply deliver coarse grinds. Grinders are versatile machines, and while producing consistent grinds for French press might be your goal, it’s never a bad idea to pick up one with a broader range of settings.

If you’re someone who only drinks French press occasionally, then maybe you want a grinder that can produce finer grinds for a weekend espresso. We took this into account when reviewing our favorites so you can rest assured that the suggested grinders can be used for a variety of different coffee styles.

– Size

As mentioned above, hand grinders tend to be smaller and more portable. Electric grinders on the other hand, can take up a hefty amount of counter space in the kitchen. 

If you’ve got the space and are more concerned with grind consistency, then this shouldn’t matter too much. However, this should always be a consideration when deciding on which grinder to purchase.

– Price

And of course the final aspect to consider is price. Grinders, both manual and electric, are available across a variety of different price ranges. Obviously not everyone can afford the highest-end grinder on the market, and so we’ve taken this into account.

You can find a decent grinder that won’t break the bank, but it’s generally a safe bet that if you’re investing a fair amount into it then you’re going to get great, consistent returns. It all depends on your budget and how much you’re willing to pay for the best coffee grinder for French press.


Top Coffee Grinders for French Press Coffee: The Breakdown


1. Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

Best Overall French Press Coffee Grinder

With 40 different grind settings, the Baratza Conical Burr Coffee Grinder is a godsend for those looking for some variety and specificity when it comes to the coarseness of their grinds. It’s also why it’s made the top of the list as the overall best coffee grinder for French press. It’s able to deliver consistent and uniform coarseness and is perfect for creating the ultimate French press grinds.

The price tag, however, might scare away a few prospective buyers. At $140, the Baratza is a lot more expensive than some of the other grinders on this list – but it’s worth it. The fact that it’s electric and can grind continually and consistently sets it a league above many other grinders. And so $140 is a relatively small price to pay for the functionality present in this machine.

2. JavaPress Manual Coffee Grinder

Best Budget Grinder

Priced at only $23.99, the JavaPress is a conical burr hand grinder that is small not only in price but in stature too. It’s the perfect entry level grinder for someone who’s testing the waters when it comes to home grinding, but doesn’t want to splash out on the most intricate tool.

Equipped with over 15 coarseness settings, the JavaPress gives you a level of grind control not seen on many other grinders within this price range. It’s got a solid, clean and attractive design and grinds relatively quietly, especially compared to its electric counterparts. It’s also sporting ceramic burrs, which means it’s going to last about five times longer than its stainless steel burr counterparts.

3. OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

Best Value For Money

The OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder is a smart and beautiful piece of equipment that delivers grind functionality without a huge price tag. At $99 it’s very moderately priced for what it delivers. 

Whereas many other electric grinders rely on a timer in order to process the coffee beans, the OXO uses an integrated scale. This smart technology means that the grinder can accurately detect the precise amount of coffee being ground. This gives home baristas that additional specificity which so many love. 

The interface of the OXO is also great. The entire machine is controlled with only one button and dial, making the grinding process fun and intuitive. If there’s criticism to lever it’s that the grinds sometimes tended towards being too coarse.

That being said, the OXO is still a beautiful piece of equipment that is worth buying, especially if smart technology and precision are important to you.

4. Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill

Best Entry Level Electric Coffee Grinder

If you’re keen to dabble in home grinding but aren’t comfortable with buying more expensive, sophisticated equipment, then the Cuisiniart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill is your answer. At just $36, it delivers pretty good results without ever setting your wallet on fire.

The design is cute and it will never look off in any kitchen, but for this price point you’re definitely not going to get the most hard-hitting functionality. The grinds won’t always be consistent or uniform, but for a beginner home barista this should do the job adequately. It may not be the best coffee grinder for French press, but it certainly does a decent job.

5. Khaw-Fee Manual Coffee Grinder

Best Manual French Press Coffee Grinder

If you’re looking for something delivers consistent, uniform grinds, is small enough to keep at home as well as take travelling with you, then it’s hard to go wrong with the Khaw-Fee Manual Coffee Grinder. Going for just $26.42, it’s an absolute steal as well.

The Khaw-Fee is not only ideal for producing grinds suitable for French press, but also for various other styles of coffee. Its easily adjustable settings means you have complete control of the coarseness of your grind. What’s more, since the Khaw-Fee is manual, it’s near silent, meaning you can grind coffee in the morning without ever having to wake your loved ones. 

Featuring an attractive plastic and glass construction, the grinder also comes apart for easy and effortless cleaning. If you can fault the Khaw-Fee on something this would be it. While the design is beautiful, the glass grinds catcher is fragile and can break if dropped. 

6. Comandante C40 MK3 Hand Grinder

Best Premium Coffee Grinder

If quality is what you want and you’ve got the budget to match it, then the Comandante C40 MK3 is going to be your coffee grinder match made in heaven. Selling at a considerable $250.00, the C40 MK3 isn’t just a grinder, it’s a work of art.

With a body constructed from high quality wood and burrs made of high-alloyed, nitrogen stainless steel, the C40 MK3 is not only pretty, but exceedingly functional too. Grinding coffee is a smooth and effortless experience, and beans are transformed into grinds with only moderate amounts of force.

And while the C40 MK3 is the best coffee grinder for French press, it can handle every other variety too, grinding fine enough even for espresso. This grinder just works on every level, and it’s workmanship is apparent in every aspect of its simple yet powerful design and functionality. 

Seriously, if you can afford it and you’re serious about French press coffee, buy the Comandante C40 MK3.

Martin Stokes

Martin Stokes

novelthings

Martin Stokes hails from Johannesburg, South Africa. He enjoys writing about all manner of things and can quote lines from films like nobody’s business. He moved to Berlin in 2015 and is working tirelessly at broadening his repertoire of bad jokes.

The Best Manual Coffee Grinder: 6 Grinders Ranked & Reviewed (Plus Buyer’s Guide)

Producing an exquisite cup of coffee is not a straightforward affair. On paper, however, it looks quite simple. Grow the plant, harvest the fruit, process the beans, grind into a coarseness of your choice, and use this to create an espresso, latte, macchiato or whatever style of coffee you think is superior. Of course the true story is slightly more complex than that.

The growing process alone could be documented in a series of dense tomes, and every step thereafter is a combination of differing factors which alters the final flavor of the coffee in innumerable different ways. The way in which the beans are roasted are, of course, critical to how they taste. But an often overlooked step, which is equally, if not more crucial, to the creation of a delicious brew, is the way in which the beans are ground.

Grinding itself is a science. There are various schools of thought which approach the process of grinding with the same zeal as a scholar approaching a humanities discipline, or a sommelier inspecting the soil of his vineyard. It’s a skill, and one that requires some foreknowledge, but one that can be learned.

And like many skills that can be mastered – it requires tools.


Different types of Grinders

Grinders can roughly be divided into two categories – burr grinders and blade grinders. The grinder which coffee aficionados, both amateur and professional, choose to use are governed by a number of critical factors and preferences. 

Blade grinders, as the name suggests, utilize blades to aid in the grinding of beans. They’re generally the cheapest type of grinder on the market, as the blade method used to slice the beans into ever smaller pieces can often result in grain inconsistencies. The heat generated by these grinders can also taint the bean as it’s being ground, and affect its final taste. 

Burr grinders are different from blade grinders in that they crush the beans against a non-moving surface using a grinding wheel instead of blades. This burr can be adjusted to multiple settings, giving you control over the exact coarseness or fineness of the final grounds. This level of customization allows for greater accuracy and consistency, and makes these type of grinders a firm favorite among baristas and other coffee professionals. 

These styles of grinders are also available in both manual and electric varieties. The choice of one over the other comes down the goals you want to achieve when it comes to creating coffee. Do you want something fast and convenient but expensive, or something smaller, cheaper, more personal and portable?

The devil is in the details, but for the sake of this guide we’re going to be focusing only on manual coffee grinders.

Choosing the Best Manual Coffee Grinder: What We Looked At (Our Ranking Factors)

Specifically, we’re focusing on what to look for when buying a manual coffee grinder and what makes it great. We’re also going to provide a list of our firm favorites currently on the market. To do this we’re going to focus on a number of different factors which all grinders share, including:

  • Bean capacity
  • Grind settings
  • Price
  • Design
  • Durability

The Top 6 Manual Coffee Grinders Ranked


Price

Pros & Cons
1Zpresso Mini Q
$94.05 + Extremely portable.
+ Produces consistent grinds of any fineness or coarseness. 

Small bean capacity. 
Handground Precision
$79.95 + Made from quality materials; very durable and aesthetically pleasing.
+ Can set grind size easily without disassembling. 

Larger grind settings can possibly yield grind inconsistencies. 
Lido 3
$195 + Large bean capacity.
+ Great selection of different grinds.

Made entirely from plastic.
Fairly expensive for the materials it’s constructed from.
Comandante C40

$250 + Extremely robust.
+ Advanced stainless steel burrs result in a much more consistent grind.
+ Aesthetically pleasing.

Quite a large price tag, especially for home baristas.
Glass grounds catcher may be prone to breaking if dropped.
Knock Aergrind
$160 + Lightweight and compact.
+ Durable materials and construction.

Dial lid sips off of the shaft fairly easily.
Finer grinds tend to stick to the bottom edge of the container; can be a bit tricky to clean.
Helor 101
$259 + Performs as well as grinders far more expensive.
+ Excellent contemporary burrs.
+ Exquisite finish and aesthetic.
+ Lightweight, yet the grind quality is flawless.

Very expensive for amateur coffee aficionados. 

Product Breakdown

1Zpresso Mini Q – The Best Manual Grinder for Travel

Born from a Taiwanese company that produces only hand grinders (and one manual espresso maker), the 1Zpresso Mini Q is a product born of a company with a singular focus. That’s great news for coffee drinkers, and even better news for coffee drinkers who travel, because as the name suggests, the 1Zpresso is the ideal travel grinder. Weighing in at 445g, the 1Zpresso isn’t exactly weightless, but it’s not heavy either. 

It’s solid construction and brushed aluminum alloy finish make it heavier than you might expect, but with a diameter of just 4.8cm and the ability to hold upwards of 20g of beans within its hopper, it’s still the perfect size for travel. 

Its burrs, while excellent, don’t always result in the most consistent grind. That being said, it’s still an excellent mid-level grinder that could even be used comfortably at home, especially with a reasonable price tag of $94.05. 

Handground Precision Coffee Grinder – The Best All-Rounder

With an easy price tag of $79.95, up to 15 grind settings that can effortlessly produce grounds for pour over, French press, espressos and even Aeropress, a wonderfully practical build quality and the ability to produce a consistent grind, the Handground Precision Coffee Grinder is the best all-rounder manual coffee grinder on the market. 

The Handground is also very stable, making grinding beans a simple and comfortable process. It’s functionality is that of a grinder twice its price, and its build quality means you don’t have to break a sweat in order to get the necessary coarseness for a cup of pour over. 

If there was some criticism to levy, it might lie in the grinder’s size. With a hopper big enough to hold 100g of beans and towering at 8.7 inches, the Handground is definitely not suited to travel, and might take up considerable space on your countertop.

If this is an inconvenience to you it can be overlooked in favor of the grinder’s numerous other features including 38mm ceramic burrs, the 20 preset coarseness levels, as well as the external coarseness adjustment ring which means you don’t need to breakdown the machine in order to change its settings.

The placement of the handle on the side of the grinder rather than the top makes for a smoother, more natural movement when grinder.

Overall, for the price and the quality, it’s hard to find a better all round manual coffee grinder.

Lido 3 – The Sturdiest Manual Grinder 

At $195, the Lido 3 packs a price tag which promises a lot – and it delivers, mostly. Featuring a beefy 48mm set of Swiss-made steel burrs, the Lido 3 makes short work of any large quantities of beans, delivering a consistent grind and requiring very little manual force to do so. It’s a full-range grinder which can produce everything from Turkish to espresso to French press grinds very easily.

Setting the grind size is a bit of a pain, however, and requires some trial and error in order to select the correct grind size. Once you have it dialed in, however, the Lido 3 is a pleasure to use.

While it’s marketed as a travel grinder to use at home, the Lido 3 weighs a hefty 2lbs 5oz, making it portable but only just. That being said, as a staple grinder in the kitchen, it’s a wonderful addition to a barista’s tool set. The only off-putting thing might be its construction which, for carrying around a price tag almost as heavy as its body, contains way too much plastic for a premium-level grinder. 

Comandante C40 MK3 – The Best Specialist Manual Coffee Grinder

As a successor to the MK2, the Comandante C40 MK3 is a premium, high-end grinder that delivers everything it sets out to do. It’s a beautifully constructed manual coffee grinder with an exquisite wooden finish.

The grinding mechanism is the C40’s true strength. The Nitro Blade stainless steel burr set is a serious engineering feat, and exemplary of the finest German craftsmanship. This material means that the burrs and the entire grinder are tough, resistant and maintain a high degree of edge retention. Setting the desired grind size is also an effortless affair, making the entire process of grinding from start to finish a pleasant affair.

If you’ve got the money, then this is where you should be spending it.

Knock Aergrind – The Best Companion For an Aeropress

If you’re on the road constantly and in need of a good cup of coffee then the Knock Aergrind might be exactly what you’re looking for. After the success of his previous grinder, the Feldgrind, Peter Kilpatrick decided he could do one better with the Aergrind. 

Featuring 38mm hardened steel black burrs and a stepless grind adjustment, the Aergrind produces a consistent grind while also remaining stable. It’s construction is sturdy, lightweight and small enough to fit into an Aeropress.

At $159.99 the Aergrind on the higher end of the spectrum for manual travel coffee grinders, but its quality and performance make it worth the price if you’re looking for something that will provide consistently good grinds. 

Helor 101 – The Best Double Burr Manual Grinder

The Helor 101 is a beautifully svelte grinder that looks like it comes from the future. The entire body is crafted from 6000 Series aluminium block, and this makes for a sturdy and stable tool when grinding your beans. 

The Helor 101 features ceramic bearings in order to create a smooth grinding experience, and one that will never require any lubrication and that won’t result in any weathering of the parts. The key to its pristine functionality is the fact that it uses two sets of burrs –  one conventional and one contemporary. The contemporary burrs are used to for grinding brewed coffee, while the conventional ones are used to make espresso.

The exact grind you want can be achieved by adjusting the grind settings at the bottom of the grinder. It’s an easy process which makes for an incredibly consistent grind, and the ceramic bearings ensure that the grounds are never heated and therefore that the flavor remains unaltered.


Manual Coffee Grinders: The Complete Buyer’s Guide

If you’ve decided to grind your own beans, but an electric grinder is too expensive or takes up too much space in your kitchen, then opting for a manual coffee grinder is an excellent choice. However, with a flooded market and innumerable choices out there, it’s hard to decide exactly which model to go for.

It helps to have a basic framework to work with, know what specifications to look for, the best brands on the market as well as the definition of relevant coffee grinder jargon. We’ve narrowed it down for you below.

Specifications

  • Particle size and consistency – perhaps the most important factor when buying a manual coffee grinder, this refers to how fine or coarse the final grounds will be, and how consistently the grinder performs.
  • Cost – Grinders come in all shapes and sizes, not to mention different costs. A good grinder isn’t cheap, and a cheap grinder most likely isn’t good. If you want something that does that job consistently, expect to pay anywhere from $70 – $300.
  • Grind settings – Most coffee drinkers drink an array of different coffees, and so require a grinder with multiple grind settings. These generally come in the form of stepped and stepless, which refer to either having a number of predetermined grind settings, or a wide range without any presets. 
  • Bean capacity – The number of beans which a grinder contains. This generally depends on what coffee you intend to make and how many people you intend you brew for. If you’re someone who travels often, a 15g hopper will be perfect, but if you’re making coffee for friends at home, you’ll need something closer to 100g.
  • Size – Again, this depends on your needs. Manual coffee grinders come in various different sizes. You want to determine if you have enough countertop space in your kitchen for the grinder of your dreams. 
  • Speed – It may sound counterintuitive, but when it comes to manual coffee grinders, slower is better. High speed grinders tend to heat up which in turn affects the taste of the bean and the final product. On top of that, high-speed grinders wear out more quickly than their sturdier, more stately counterparts.
  • Ease of use and cleaning – Grinding takes time. The amount of effort you’re willing to put in first thing in the morning in order to produce the perfect cup of coffee is a big consideration when it comes to buying a grinder. Some grinders are simple and require little effort to use, others are more complex, and can be a pain to clean. 
  • Burr Material – Burrs are generally made from stainless steel or ceramic. Ceramic burrs have the benefit of being more hardy and producing more consistent grinds, but if something happens to one of them, they’re quite a mission to replace. Stainless steel burrs, on the other hand, perform pretty well across the board, and are way easier to replace. 
  • Durability – Manual coffee grinders are expensive, and so you’re going to want one that has a decent shelf life. Grinders made from higher quality materials are likely to last longer, so you may want to factor this into your pricing. Afterall, why buy two inferior grinders when one superior grinder will outlast both?

Best Brands on the Market

  • Handground
  • Hario 
  • JavaPresse
  • Norpro
  • Fecihor

Red Flags to Consider When Buying A Manual Coffee Grinder

Cheap price tag – As the saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The same can be said when purchasing manual coffee grinders. While they’re not the most expensive product in the world, if they’re advertised as extremely cheap, then the functionality is likely going to mirror the price. Rather pay a little more for something of exponentially higher quality, rather than trying to score a good only to have to replace your grinder in a few month’s time. 

Poor build quality – For a manual coffee grinder to perform optimally, it needs to have a solid, robust construction. Cheap materials and low build quality will result in an uneven and inconsistent grind, and this will ultimately affect the final flavour of the grounds. Always check that your manual coffee grinder has high-quality burrs and construction in order to have it last for years to come. 

Constantly jamming – While it’s normal for a manual coffee grinder to jam once in a while and require some cleaning, if your grinder is constantly jamming this is a sign that your burrs aren’t grinding correctly and may need replacing.

Small hopper – Grinding beans takes time, so it helps to have a substantial hopper capacity that allows you to grind up a modest amount of beans in one sitting. A small hopper isn’t always a red flag, especially if you’re using it to travel, but if you’re planning on grinding your own beans at home then opt for something that can grind enough for at least a few cups of coffee.

Martin Stokes

Martin Stokes

novelthings

Martin Stokes hails from Johannesburg, South Africa. He enjoys writing about all manner of things and can quote lines from films like nobody’s business. He moved to Berlin in 2015 and is working tirelessly at broadening his repertoire of bad jokes.