Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill - "Skerton"
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- Manual coffee mill grinds beans to your desired texture
- Ceramic conical burrs ensure a precise, uniform grind.
- Nonslip rubber base keeps the mill in place during grinding.
- Ergonomically designed crank handle detaches for compact storage and easy travel.
- Stepped grind adjustment mechanism is easy to use and change
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In Japanese, HARIO means "The King of Glass". Since its founding in 1921, this Japanese company has been manufacturing glassware of the highest quality for general consumers and for industrial uses. This hand grinder has been designed by Hario to provide coffee lovers with an inexpensive means to have freshly-ground coffee, even while traveling with a light load.
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I decided to try the Skerton hoping it would be lower effort. I found the JavaPresse slippery and over time was worried I was hurting my wrists.
The Skerton seemed much better at first but just like the JavaPresse as it wore it’s internal parts it becomes more and more difficult to crank and the grind consistency started to get worse. The ceramic burrs are very durable but the plastic parts do wear and the shaft has more play in it after a year. When I first started using the Skerton I was mostly grinding for French Press. I would always have fines in the coffee but figured that was just how French Press was. Later I started using a 3 cup Moka Pot and a Hario V60. Both of these kept the fines out of the coffee but the inconsistency did affect flavor. But the big issue is when using the finer grinding settings particularly with lighter roasts the grinder tends to jam and the physical effort goes way up.
Before the Skerton and JavaPresse I had a $40 electric burr grinder. I might say the Skerton is better than electric grinders at that price point.
After getting a six cup Chemex and feeling like I was really in danger of giving myself an RSI from grinding I switched back to an electric grinder in the $100 range. The Skerton is absolutely no competition to the new electric grinder, the electric one at that price point produces a much much more consistent grind.
This grinder is tough to use on a table because the rubber bottom doesn't do enough to secure it but it is also somewhat awkward to hold if you choose to lift it up while grinding. It has excellent grind speed but that doesn't mean anything to me if the grind is inconsistent, which it is.
I bought this as a potential upgrade to my cheaper javapresse. When it arrived, I used a bunch of old beans as a way to calibrate the grind settings to match what I liked from my javapresse. However, I quickly saw that it was less consistent than the cheaper grinder. After brewing some coffee with the hario ground beans, it simply didn't taste as good. I played around with it for a week or two and have not had my mind changed. I am definitely more picky than your average person but if you are looking into hand grinders then you are probably not too dissimilar from me. In my opinion, not worth the money.
The thing is, if you're planning on brewing more than a cup at a time, it does take time and frankly can wear you out. I've been using the mill to grind coffee for use in a French Press, which highlights another shortcoming that has been mentioned by many reviewers. That is, when using it to grind coarser coffee (as for a press), the grinds can be inconsistent in size. That seems to be a result of two things: when you loosen the burr enough to produce the larger grinds and then turn the crank, the play in the axle moves the shaft back and forth allowing grinds of different sizes to get through.
Here's what I did. Removed the crank handle and replaced it with a "connecting nut", which is basically a nut about one inch long that fits the shaft. The size you need is metric 6 (or M6). It cost me $1 at a local hardware store. When I'm ready to grind the coffee, I put in the beans, put the cover on and attach my cordless drill to the connecting nut. It used to take more than 6 minutes to grind enough coffee for three cups by hand and now it takes no more than 90 seconds. Another benefit of this method is that the constant downward pressure of the drill on the shaft while grinding (as opposed the side to side pull of the crank) results in grinds that are very consistent in size - even when producing a course grind for a French Press!
Obviously, don't go full-speed on the drill. A slow and steady speed will do the job and not damage the beans or the grinder. Another tip is to hold the jar in one hand and the drill in the other while grinding rather than putting the jar on a counter. It can "wiggle" a little bit while grinding and your hands act as shock absorbers during the process, making it much easier.
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There's a cheaper Hario hand-grinder which is easier to turn, easier to remove the grinds from, and even has a little guide to tell you how many portions you've ground. It's definitely superior to this.
It does look like being a durable coffee grinder, I'm very happy with it's built quality, but fails to provide a good grinding consistency...which in my opinion it's the most important aspect of a grinder, otherwise is not fit for purpose.
It does have a stabilizing plate, as the manufacturerer says, but it doesn't keep the lower burr centered.
The hole in the stabilising plate is slightly larger than the axle of the conical burr so it doesn't keep it stable at all. When grinding, the conical burr spins in an oval shape inside the fixed burr, rather than circle, which translates in an uneven gap between the two burrs, thus creating the inconsistency in the grind. I'm talking about french press and pour over grinds, but I guess that for expresso it can deliver a good grind.
To be honest, I got a better grind from a £7 grinder, untill it broke, but since I can buy 5 of those with the money I paid for the Skerton Plus, I will return this one.
Other than that, if you're not bothered about the grind consistency, I guess you'll be very happy with this grinder.
LATER EDIT: I bought a Skerton Plus again as I wanted another hand grinder, but I removed the original stabilizing plate (which, again, is completely useless) and replaced it with a Hario Skerton Upgrade Kit from BlueHorseProducts.
I'm very happy with the grinder now, even though I had an extra cost on top, but, in my opinion, this is the only way you can have a good Skerton grinder.
Moulin à café incontournable !
☆ Je dirais que ce moulin convient pour faire du café pour 2/3 personnes max, (qui boivent +/- 2 litres de café dans une piston par jour) au delà de cette quantité...vous devrez (beaucoup) mouliner ! ;)
☆ La qualité est au rendez vous ! Le verre est bien épais, le tout tient bien en main. Même le plastique de la partie haute respire la solidité !
☆ Pour ceux et celles qui se demandent si cela leur prendra beaucoup de temps, ou si il leur faudra une force herculéene dans le poignet pour moudre; Bien je réponds "non" aux 2 questions ^^
☆ Avec tous les bons commentaires qu'il y avait sur ce moulin, j'étais étonnée que le mien fasse une mouture si inégale; mais il y avait en fait un problème.
Il a été échangé; depuis la mouture est bien égale ! Alors si vraiment vous avez un gros soucis, regardez bien si les éléments du moulin sont corrects (surtout les meules, une des meules était "bombée" comme voilée; c'est cela qui laissait passer de gros bouts et en même temps donnait de la poussière de café) en plus les meules étaient grinçantes à souhait !
☆ Plus de soucis depuis, mouture bien homogène pour un moulin manuel.
Je pense qu'il va durer dans le temps !
Les moins :
▪ Je déconseillerais ce moulin aux personnes qui doivent changer souvent la taille de mouture du café; car le réglage n'est pas évident à reproduire (pas de pré - réglages ni de repères)
▪ Parfois il manquerait un "demi cran" de réglage entre deux moutures, mais rien de grave ^^
- Pour info, pour une cafetière à piston; je fais comme réglage (en général, dépend des grains): un tour complet depuis le "point zéro" (depuis le début, au plus serré) de la molette, pour obtenir une mouture qui convient, peut être cela vous aidera pour votre 1er essai de mouture avec une piston ! ;)
♡ Si je vous ai été d'une quelconque utilité, je vous remercie beaucoup d'avoir cliqué sur le bouton ci dessous ! :) ♡
BTW: I didn't notice any of the other reviewers mention this, but the jar that you grind into is the same thread exactly as Mason-type canning jars. Handy for future reference, if this one ever breaks. Also, we grind into the jar that came with, and then store the grinding unit on a small Mason jam jar (to protect the ceramic burrs), and use the lid that came with the grinder to keep the coffee fresh (a full jar - two hopperfuls - makes 4 Moka pots of coffee for us... enough for a day)
Update: I bought this wee grinder back in September 2014... thought I'd take a moment to let y'all know that two years later she still grinds a minimum of a full hopper a day, every day. Thought for sure I was gonna wear it out long before this, but frankly, I suspect I'm stuck with my Hario! There was a time back there where I had a batch of wild ethiopian beans that were light-roasted and hard as rocks that I thought for sure the burrs would give up, but nope: got through them. Heck, I even still have the original glass jar that came with it, and use *it* every day for the grinding... it is easier to hold than any mason jars I have around here.
If you don't mind spending a few minutes as needed to do a bit of manual work and make a bit of noise (not as loud as an electric, but hey, yopu ARE smashing up some hard material, so...), you just simply won't go wrong with this tool.
It's also quick and easy to dismantle and clean unlike electric burr grinders.
As a side-note I have followed others advice and added a rubber washer underneath the handle as it does tend to come loose otherwise but this is such a minor quibble. I really like this grinder!
-Holds quite a lot of beans and grinds
-Grinds fairly quickly
-Decent grind for espresso
-The handle loosens very quickly and you need to constantly tighten the bolt at the top
-It is fairly wide so it's not very comfortable to hold
-With harder beans it gets jammed easily and makes grinding very difficult (because of the problems noted above)
-As pointed out by other users, the burrs will not stay in line if you want a coarser grind so this is not suitable for getting an even medium-coarse grind.
Overall I prefer Hario's wooden hand grinder, but this is still good value for money despite these issues.
The finest setting was too fine for my espresso machine (although it’s not an expensive one) so the Skerton is capable of providing what I would consider a very fine grind.
Great customer service from The Dog and the Hat - nice bag of Amber Coffee Co. beans provided free of charge to get started with the new grinder - very nice touch (and good roast too!) - thanks! :-)
I could accept the hard work you have to put into getting enough coffee ground to make a batch - if the results were acceptable!
However, even with the grind setting on the second notch (for use with a V60), the grind is too inconsistent to make a decent batch - some ends up micro-ground - clogging the filter and releasing too much bitter into the brew - while much larger pieces are also found, which means that portion of the grind does not release much (like throwing coffee beans into the bin really).
I think this product appeals to an idea that is nice - but the reality is, if you are a coffee connoisseur (as you would expect of somebody buying this), it is completely useless in effect. Now I've used it, can't even send it back!