IMO This IS The Best Manual Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
I've been trying to make amazing coffee in the home since the Spring of 2013. I stopped buying "big brand" coffee and started using my neglected french press. This of course led me to a local coffee roaster where I started buying freshly roasted beans but because I didn't have a good grinder I had to have them grind the entire bag for me on the spot.
In the coffee world this is not the best. You want to grind your beans right at brew time for the best flavor possible but it certainly was a lot better than buying pre-ground Folgers in bulk.
In any event after I had been doing this for a while I started noticing the difference in flavor in my coffee between the day I had my beans ground and two weeks later when I got to the end of my bag. This is when I figured I would get a more consistent tasting coffee if I just bought the whole beans and ground whatever I needed right as I was setting up the press pot.
Doing some basic digging online it's easy to see that you can spend an awful lot of money on a conical burr grinder and if you buy the cheaper models a lot of people say they aren't that much better than electric blade grinders. Considering my budget was less than $50 I spent considerable time reviewing all the manual burr coffee grinders I could before I came across which quickly went into my cart for purchase. the Hario Slim Coffee Mill
What sold me on it?
Unlike many hand crank burr grinders this one featured a spring loaded set of sharp burrs that ensured a more even grind size on the high end. Basically most inexpensive hand grinders are inconsistent in the grind size (especially the larger grind sizes) because the burrs are movable. The grinders are made to adjust from small to large grind size but this frequently causes grind size inconsistencies.
If you are making french press coffee like me then you want large consistent grind so that you have less "mud" in your coffee cup. If you are making espresso then you need very consistent fine grind to produce the good stuff you actually want.
If your budget is low then you have to go manual with your grinder. Although electric blade grinders cost about the same the burrs will perform much better for you and your coffee will taste much better.
Of all the manual conical grinders for coffee Hario grinders are easily the best options for consistency and durability. I chose the Mini Mill because of the size primarily. Since I grind what I need when I need it I didn't want to buy something very large. To each his own.
As I just said above. Hario hand coffee grinders are best for grind consistency and for durability. The burrs tend to be as sharp as any other and they offer exceptional value compared to money spent. I like the Mini Mill but there are a few other styles which are just as good and may be better for you. I've listed them below.
This is a bit larger than the Mini Mill so you can grind more coffee beans at a time. Perfect for people who make lots of coffee or want to grind coffee only every few days or so.
If you want a hand crank grinder that's a bit more stylish then this one's for you.
If you want the classic look of the hand crank coffee grinder box then go with this guy instead.
Want to see how the Hario mini coffee grinder works? Check out the following video.
This video should give you a good example of how to use the Mini and what to expect if you buy it for yourself.
Make sure to check out the most helpful product reviews for the Hario Slim. I love it but there are plenty of others who have left amazingly helpful reviews on this product prior to me ever buying it myself. You can see those reviews here.