Serious coffee drinkers who delight in specialty coffee know that grinding their coffee beans fresh yields the best-tasting coffee. Burr grinders are the best way to grind beans with a consistent texture, even fine enough for espresso.
However, the price tag of good quality burr grinders can be a limitation for people looking to get a good quality grinder.
Hand grinders can be a great option, and the Hario Mini Slim Plus and the Skerton Plus and Pro are excellent options.
All three Hario grinders feature ceramic burrs that grind coarse enough for french press and so fine for espresso; it could quite possibly choke most machines. They have a grind setting literally for everyone’s taste and uses because of the micro adjustments it lets you do.
The consistency in grind texture is superb, and they are small enough not to fill up your kitchen counter.
Both the Mini Mill Slim Plus and the Skerton Plus are upgraded from their previous models. It is refreshing to see a company that listens to their customers and legitimately improves upon their design and Hario did just that.
Our Miniature Hario Mini Slim Plus Review
The new Mini Slim Plus is lightweight, compact and shall we say slim in stature? It is the smallest of these three and made for grinding coffee for about 1 – 2 cups or about 35 grams of coffee.
If you are grinding fine for espresso, you may be able to grind up to 40 or 50 grams at a time. The upper hopper which has a plastic lid on it will hold about 40 grams. Its plastic construction makes it durable as well.
To select the grind setting, it has an easy to access wheel underneath the grinder that clicks for each change in grind level. This takes a lot of the guesswork out of how far to turn it and with a little practice, you can become very proficient at using this small grinder.
Hario upgraded the handle so that it now features a hex lock that is resistant to stripping where the previous model tended to fail. It comfortably fits in your hand, almost like a tall pepper grinder.
It is a wonderful candidate for someone looking for their first grinder and want to try out a hand grinder or for someone that wishes to take with them when they travel.
Our Miniature Hario Skerton Plus Review
The upgraded Skerton Plus is slightly larger than the Mini Slim Plus and can grind up to 100 grams in the lower catch bin. And while the upper hopper only holds 75 grams, you can always refill it to get to the 100-gram amount.
It features the same soft, pliable hopper cover but features a significant improvement from the old model in that they added a metal stabilizing plate to keep the burr shaft in place when grinding the coarser grinds.
To make the grind adjustment, it is a little bit more involved than the Mini Slim Plus. There is a round nut on top that holds the handle down.
First, this must be nut must be unscrewed; then the handle pulled off to expose a catch pin on top of the adjustment cog and the catch pin removed. This catch pin holds the setting in place, so when you achieve your preferred grind setting, you replace the catch pin, handle and reattach the top nut holding the handle on.
There is no clicking on this model, but you can see the ceramic burrs as you adjust it either clockwise for fine or counter-clockwise for coarse. A little bit more involved but this model offers a higher yield in ground coffee.
Hario also includes a lid that you can attach to the durable glass grounds hopper so that once you finish grinding your hard earned grounds, you can cap them and take them with you or just store them for a little bit. A nice little feature.
Our Miniature Review of the Skerton Pro
Last but not least, the Skerton Pro is essentially a hybrid Hario created out of the best qualities of the Mini Slim Plus and the Skerton Plus. It features the 100-gram glass catch bin and a 60-gram hopper. If the 100-gram capacity disappoints, the Skerton Pro will screw onto Ball canning jars.
One of the best upgrades is the grind adjustment which they took from the Mini Slim Plus. It has the same clicking adjustment wheel so you can tell how far you bring the burrs together.
The handle is a cast metal handle that will resist stripping and easily lifts off of the plastic hopper cover so you can add your beans. They have also added a rubber ring that goes around the body, making it easy to hold while grinding.
They have added a spring to hold and stabilize the burr and the plastic shaft support which goes 3/4 if the way up the longer steel drive shaft.
As if they couldn’t come up with anything more, the last upgrade is a flat rubber bottom that when pressed against your counter, holds it in place like glue.
This is the most versatile and easy to use of the three hand grinders and while the most expensive, it is still cheaper than an electric burr grinder.
For Your Daily Grind
All three of these manual burr grinders will give you your coffee and don’t require a lot of strength to use them, just patience. It does take a little bit more time to grind with these, but they are very quiet and won’t heat your beans up.
Price point, grinding capacity, and ease of use are all decision points that you will have to make for yourself.
All of these grinders are completely dishwasher safe which is convenient when you are using darker oily beans or want to switch between roast varieties and differentiate between the tastes.
When you are looking for an entry-level burr grinder, these ceramic burr grinders are an excellent option for the hobby coffee enthusiast.
We hope you’ll find a grinder that is right for your daily use and budget.