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Jun 6, 2010 10:32 PM

Best inexpensive hand burr grinder for French Press?


I'm looking for a burr grinder that produces a reasonably consistent coarse grind for FP, but I'm not sure what to buy given my restrictions. I'm a student and looking for something as inexpensive as possible, so I've been considering hand grinders. I'm not sure I want to buy a Zass at new prices, and I've heard mixed/conflicting reviews about the other hand grinders on the market (Kyocera, Hario, GSI). Are any of these budget models worth it?

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  1. My advice… buy the best quality hand grinder, not the best you can afford, the best quality. It will reward you in the long run, saving you from the frustrations of a machine that doesn’t work well, or at all, and the cost of replacing said cheap machine over and over again.

    I bought a top of the line electric mill more than twenty years ago, my woman at the time though I was crazy paying $300 for a counter top appliance, she’s long gone, that mill still works as good today as it did the day I unpacked it. Having been used at least once a day for over 7300 days, the cost breaks down to about 4¢ a day.

    1. I like the GSI clear lexan model. Initially I had problems finding a good way to hold it. Now I use a small plastic storage container (about 1 cup) that fits neatly on the bottom (to catch the coffee), and hold the whole thing on my lap. I grinds pretty quickly.

      Previously I used a grinder the eastern Europe that REI used to sell.

      1 Reply
      1. re: paulj

        The Amazon reviews of the GSI press point to the same issue I have - figuring out a good way of holding it. The description of holding the receiving vessel between you legs, and seating the grinder firmly on that, is close to what I have done. Though with a 1cup vessel, I can comfortably hold the combo in one hand while grinding with the other.

        Early on the rubber washed on top of the lid broke. I replace that with a thin nylon washer (from the hardware store).

      2. I have a Cuisinart electric grinder...

        Eliminate this one from your considerations.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Paulustrious


          Is it bad? Can you give a brief reason why? The reason I asked is that a friend of mine is considering buying a electric burr grinder and this is on her list. Thanks.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            Cannot get a fine enough grind for espresso.