Ive been racking my mind about what grinder to buy for home use. Then i thought "duh, ask the good people on barista exchange". I only care about it is it grinding espresso well. I own a Rancilio Silvia espresso machine. I know theres probably going to be alot of people recomending the Rancilio Rocky. But im really trying not to spend that much, any suggestions will be much appritiated.

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Dustin, great hand grinders can be had for less than $100. I wouldn't bother with any of the new ones. Visit Orphan Espresso and see what they have available for "espresso." The find good hand mills, refurbish them and grade them based on quality.

Bryan, hand mills grind based on how aggressive the burrs feed. There are hand mills that will crank out 14 grams in 40 turns MAX, which takes maybe 30 seconds. I use a 50+ year old KyM hand mill and I can easily do 16 grams in 80 turns, so maybe 45 seconds. If it takes you 6 mins. to hand grind you do need electricity.

No Zassenhaus aren't the best by any means, just the most commonly thought of when hand mills are mentioned.
Why is it that people recommend old hand grinders? Is it just a case of they dont make them like they used to. I guess once electric ones came out no one cared about a quality hand mill. Ok, shadow i found a 80 dollar kym hand mill on orphan espresso. Should i jump on that? Also Byran thanks for recommending craigslist, I dont know why i didnt think of that seeing how im looking for a coffee job on there every day. I saw some really good old posts, so hopfully something could pop up again.

Ok new question... which has a better grind, a quality hand grinder(say KYM,or Zassenhaus) or a Rancilio Rocky?
I was basing my times on a Zass Turkish mill, no doubt one of the smaller burr sets out there (and I think the size of burr has far more to do with the speed of a grinder than how aggressive the burrs feed doesn't it? maybe not... I don't really know I guess) but times well over 2 and 3 minutes aren't uncommon at all from what I've heard from dozens of other home users. 6 minutes was an example and an exaggerated one, I didn't mean to imply an absolute.

No doubt a quality hand mill has a better grind than a Rocky. Rocky has it's moments where everything lines up really well, but consistency isn't even near what a hand mill would reproduce time after time.

-bry



Shadow said:
Dustin, great hand grinders can be had for less than $100. I wouldn't bother with any of the new ones. Visit Orphan Espresso and see what they have available for "espresso." The find good hand mills, refurbish them and grade them based on quality.

Bryan, hand mills grind based on how aggressive the burrs feed. There are hand mills that will crank out 14 grams in 40 turns MAX, which takes maybe 30 seconds. I use a 50+ year old KyM hand mill and I can easily do 16 grams in 80 turns, so maybe 45 seconds. If it takes you 6 mins. to hand grind you do need electricity.

No Zassenhaus aren't the best by any means, just the most commonly thought of when hand mills are mentioned.
Dustin, older hand mills definitely have the advantage because the burrs are made of higher quality materials as well as better shaft support than most of what is available new. The description of that KyM sounds good.. 70 turns for 14 grams is fairly fast.

Bryan, lots of hand mills are indeed slow, some being 2-300 turns for 14 grams on a good espresso fineness. Burr diameter surely plays a part in speed, but from my experience the actual design and condition of the burr cutting edges is what determines how aggressive it feeds. That and of course the distance between both burrs.
Great! This is one of the reasons why i love barista exchange. Having honest opinions on matters such as this is invaluable. Because I knew nothing about hand grinders before this, other than there was a decorative one in the shop I managed. But it didnt grind, beans just fell threw.(all though i guess i wouldn't know how to change the fineness anyway) I might just pull the trigger on the kym, all though ill wait tell they respond to the email i sent them first.


Dustin DeMers said:
How long have you used hand grinders for? Ill also check craigslist for any good deals on electrics right now.

I have a coupla Majors, a Rocky, (sold my Ricky doser) and a small stable of various hand grinders. The Hand grinders are for when I find myself off the grid, or in a parking lot, or whenever I'm not going to be near an outlet, but would still like and espresso. And I like to refurbish them for my friends. I do, however, travel with a DeWalt Cordless Hand Grinder Motor™, and that usually does take the grinding chore down to a minimum.
Zass is the nearest thing to a current manufacturer of really good hand grinders, though they are nothing like the Zassenhaus of old. KYM, PeDe, DeVe, Armin Trosser, Lehnartz, all of these made great quality grinders. SOme of them have been cared for well enough to still work wonderfully, some, not so much. 'Mokka' or 'Espresso' on the label is a clue that they're great for espresso, but the lack does not always indicate that they aren't up to the task.
If I'm buying on Ebay or CL, I always ask how it performs for espresso. If the answer is anything other than 'It's great!', I either pass, or make it a condition of purchase.
I rate mine on a scale of 0 to 6. 0 means that it won't choke my machines, 6 means that it beats my Mazzer Majors all to heck and back, and the rest fall somewhere in between.
See here, for a comparison of a hands grinder to a Mazzer Robur:

And here is a great discussion of hand grinders in general, with a lotta pics.


Chris said:


Dustin DeMers said:
How long have you used hand grinders for? Ill also check craigslist for any good deals on electrics right now.

I have a coupla Majors, a Rocky, (sold my Ricky doser) and a small stable of various hand grinders. The Hand grinders are for when I find myself off the grid, or in a parking lot, or whenever I'm not going to be near an outlet, but would still like and espresso. And I like to refurbish them for my friends. I do, however, travel with a DeWalt Cordless Hand Grinder Motor™, and that usually does take the grinding chore down to a minimum.
Zass is the nearest thing to a current manufacturer of really good hand grinders, though they are nothing like the Zassenhaus of old. KYM, PeDe, DeVe, Armin Trosser, Lehnartz, all of these made great quality grinders. SOme of them have been cared for well enough to still work wonderfully, some, not so much. 'Mokka' or 'Espresso' on the label is a clue that they're great for espresso, but the lack does not always indicate that they aren't up to the task.
If I'm buying on Ebay or CL, I always ask how it performs for espresso. If the answer is anything other than 'It's great!', I either pass, or make it a condition of purchase.
I rate mine on a scale of 0 to 6. 0 means that it won't choke my machines, 6 means that it beats my Mazzer Majors all to heck and back, and the rest fall somewhere in between.
See here, for a comparison of a hands grinder to a Mazzer Robur:

And here is a great discussion of hand grinders in general, with a lotta pics.

I want to click...!!!
http://www.home-barista.com/grinders/hand-grinder-jive-photo-essay-...

http://www.home-barista.com/grinders/titan-grinder-project-can-it-b...

Sorry, wrote up me some code that wasn't compatible. Just realised that C&P the link would make it happen ion the page! ; >

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