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Thread: Hand vs electric grinder

  1. #1
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    Hand vs electric grinder

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi All
    I've been looking at the overwhelming amount of online reviews of budget hand and electric grinders and found two which I think are of the better options in their price range, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro and Precision Hand Grinder. Obviously they're two completely different machines defined by when where and how you'll use it, but all that aside, how would those in the know compare the end result (taste and consistency) between the two?

  2. #2
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    Depends a bit what are you going to be using it with ...

    I have owned and used BES 820 Smart Grinder Pro, you can get it for 20% off every few months from EvilBay. It is good until you get a prosumer machine like an E61 / Heat Exchanger or Double Boiler. For domestic machines like Breville/Sunbeams and for less fussy machines like Gaggia Classic and stuff like V60/Chemex pour-overs or AeroPress this is a pretty solid grinder. I ended up upgrading when I had moved to an E61 Rocket Giotto as the grind was not consistent (particle size wise) enough to produce really good shots.

    Can't comment on the Precision but by all accounts it is the best bang for buck in the hand grinders. But if you don't mind a hand grinder you might prefer a Lido over a BES 820 as Lido can grind fine enough for proper espresso machines. I know there are a few CS members who bought precision grinders so hopefully they can chip in with personal experience.
    Last edited by roosterben; 4th November 2019 at 11:06 PM.

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    I'm a relative beginner. But will get the ball rolling...

    I'm a fan of manual grinders... and my wife thanks me for the space created in the kitchen. I prefer to use a Lido 3 hand grinder - or Aergrind by Knock when traveling. But my wife makes a great Picolo for me with a Precision hand grinder using our Flair Espresso.

    Have never used the Breville Smart Grinder, and to be honest, have never used a high-end electric grinde either. But our current set up produces a better and much more reliable espresso shot than I ever could with the Breville BES870 - with a built-in grinder that I imagine isn't dissimilar (in the espresso grind range at least).

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    Quick update... Having read roosterben's post which beat mine by a few seconds... and makes good sense to me!

    As I say above. I like the Lido 3... I like to do occasional pour over or cold drip. But if just doing espresso, would go for the Lido E.

    I prefer the feel of the Lido and it holds more beans than the Precision. But the Precision is cheaper and I can't taste the difference in the espresso shot produced.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    You are talking about the steel burred precision presumably?
    I use this for work, currently teamed with a plunger, but usually with a aeropress. It's getting knocked about a heap rolling around bottom of my work bag. But it bloody good. Hopper holds 18g of beans that is perfect for my 2 cup plunger (or aeropress).

    At home I use a lido E, I have added graduations, and a "tighten to here" mark, to allow for consistent tightening and precise adjustment changes. It's paired with a Musica at home. I see no reason that it can't do the coarser grinds, as 1/2 turn out is pretty coarse

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    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    I had an old Trespade hand grinder for years. I've used my son's zassenhaus manual grinder too. I must say grinding for espresso was a pain, and give me a press of a button electric grinder any day.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackster View Post
    You are talking about the steel burred precision presumably?
    I use this for work, currently teamed with a plunger, but usually with a aeropress. It's getting knocked about a heap rolling around bottom of my work bag. But it bloody good. Hopper holds 18g of beans that is perfect for my 2 cup plunger (or aeropress).

    At home I use a lido E, I have added graduations, and a "tighten to here" mark, to allow for consistent tightening and precise adjustment changes. It's paired with a Musica at home. I see no reason that it can't do the coarser grinds, as 1/2 turn out is pretty coarse
    Correct, steel burr. Lido E appears to be the bees knees, however at $300 vs around $130 for the Precision, at this stage I feel it makes more sense to go with the latter. I'm guessing from the responses here (and thanks by the way), there's good coffee to be enjoyed from something like a Precision and a Smart Grinder Pro, so can't go wrong either way. Just need to weigh up pros and cons of mobility, long term reliability, service costs, etc.

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    Iíve had a Comandante for a few months, I bought it to make pour over, but recently tried it for espresso just for fun. It makes an excellent espresso, and Iíve enjoyed the option of single dosing. Adjustment is not as fine as I am used to for espresso, but it works fine.

    When it was new espresso grinding would have been hard work, but now that itís broken in itís quite easy, and Iím using very light roasted beans.

    A comandnte is a more expensive grinder than you are looking at, but it has made me wonder how much you would need to spend on an electric grinder to get a better quality grind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeoffR View Post
    but it has made me wonder how much you would need to spend on an electric grinder to get a better quality grind.
    When I was doing my early research, I came to the conclusion it was at least 4 times more expensive to go electric for same grind quality. Perhaps based on fairly dodgy logic.

    Also, while I agree that electric is easier, manual grinding for a single coffee isn't difficult. I like the sound and the feel of grinding and I have it done in about 30 seconds. The grinding is a pleasant part of the whole coffee experience.
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  10. #10
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    The Precision Grinder is very highly regarded little unit.
    Well made, quality materials, great accuracy and repeatability...
    Not much you could ask for really, especially at the price.

    Mal.
    Jackster likes this.

  11. #11
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Iíve got the black version of the Precision Hand Grinder and Iím very happy with it. I mostly use it for filter brewing, but I have used it for stovetop espresso and itís been fine for that too. The other option would be the new, cheaper Aergrind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    I’ve got the black version of the Precision Hand Grinder and I’m very happy with it. I mostly use it for filter brewing, but I have used it for stovetop espresso and it’s been fine for that too. The other option would be the new, cheaper Aergrind.
    I am yet to see a black Precision hand grinder (the Chinese made one with SS burrs). There are black Handground precision grinders and having experienced them, they're universally awful: glacially slow and they break.

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    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caffeinator View Post
    I am yet to see a black Precision hand grinder (the Chinese made one with SS burrs). There are black Handground precision grinders and having experienced them, they're universally awful: glacially slow and they break.
    Send me a PM if you want extra info re the Precision Hand Grinder.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Send me a PM if you want extra info re the Precision Hand Grinder.
    Could we have a pic? Seems these are new. They're not yet being imported into Oz.

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    Thanks for all the feedback. I'm going to buy a Precision hand grinder (25g) for now. However, I've found two, one with a silver lining around the top (lid) while others have wood. Can anyone shed some light on this?
    Tried loading pics but unable to for some reason.
    https://alternativebrewing.com.au/pr...-hand-grinder/
    Last edited by Javaphile; 6th November 2019 at 01:57 PM. Reason: Non-Sponsor link removed

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    They all have the silver top section now.

    The fake wood is the worst aspect of them. It's just plastic veneer and will wear/chip off. The handle's the same. No effect on operation though.
    Last edited by Caffeinator; 6th November 2019 at 02:22 PM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caffeinator View Post
    Could we have a pic? Seems these are new. They're not yet being imported into Oz.


    Correct. Looks like Australian retailers only have the wood grain one.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    The wood grain is just paint as mentioned above. Mine is chipped and scratched, but it rolls around the bottom of my work bag, all day every day.
    It can get squeaky, but it's the knob on the handle and it's retained by a magnet.
    I suspect the black finish will be paint also, so not any more hard wearing..... Under the paint, the body is machined from aluminium so pretty thick and robust. It is very fast and easy to grind at my setting for plunger or aeropress. Finer levels certainly add to the time it takes. I have never used mine for espresso, as my lido is set up already.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post

    Correct. Looks like Australian retailers only have the wood grain one.
    I like! They forgot to match the knob though...Go figure...

  20. #20
    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    Oh, is the black knurled? That would be nice, but might chew the hands a little. The smooth finish can require a tightish grip sometimes

  21. #21
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackster View Post
    Oh, is the black knurled? That would be nice, but might chew the hands a little. The smooth finish can require a tightish grip sometimes
    I would call it more a fine rib than a knurl. You can get a knurled one though. And yes itís good for grip, isnít hard on the hands at all.

  22. #22
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    though hand grinder requires a bit of time and labor. i think it is worth it. I prefer hand grinder over electric.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackster View Post
    It can get squeaky, but it's the knob on the handle and it's retained by a magnet.
    Is the knob meant to turn freely as the handle is rotated?

    Mine did initially. But it quickly became very tight. I've been tempted to loosen it with a pair of pliers and lubricate. But concerned I might damage the knob.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushtocup View Post
    Is the knob meant to turn freely as the handle is rotated?
    Ignore that... I was brave and used a bit more force to get it off. It's now turning freely with the help of a small spray of food grade lubricant.



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