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best espresso knock box for any budget

Best Espresso Knock Box For Any Budget

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I’m guessing that if you’re reading this, you already know what an espresso knock box is. You’ve probably been searching in Google, trying to determine which to buy.

So I’m not going to bore you with a long intro explaining the ins and outs. But, with so many options, I bet you want to quickly find out which one is the best, so I will cut to the chase.

Over the years, I’ve tried and tested many knock boxes both at home and in commercial settings. What I have found is that they all are capable of doing a decent job.

After all, there’s not much to them – a box which you knock espresso pucks into. However, some are better than others when it comes to design, capacity, and durability.

Below I have done the research for you and listed the best espresso knock boxes for every price range.

Our Top Pick: Best Knock Box

How Many Espressos Do You Make?

It might seem like a strange question, but it’s a good idea to work out just how much espresso you make when choosing a knock box.

Why?

It will help you pinpoint the ideal size, and it might even help you choose one shape over another. A classic barista rectangle knock box shape versus a smaller oval design – the latter being better suited for your home espresso bar, for example.

To give you a basic idea. A smaller-sized 4-inch knock box will hold about 20 espresso pucks. If you only pull a shot or two each day, this will be a perfect size – plus, it’s going to be easier to store and clean.

On the flip side. A larger knock box will mean less time spent emptying and cleaning. But, depending on the amount of espresso you’ll be making each day, it might be wise to take a look at an espresso drawer or open bottom knock box if you have limited space.

7 Best Espresso Knock Boxes

If you’ve been on the hunt for a knock box for a while now and you’re still undecided when it comes to how much to spend, I will tell you that price doesn’t necessarily matter.
There are excellent coffee knock boxes at every price point!

What typically increases the price is the material used, the size, and obviously the brand.

Below you will find seven different espresso knock boxes that are all worthy of a place on your kitchen counter or barista workstation – the hunt ends here!

Breville BCB100 Barista Style Knock Box

Breville BCB100 Barista Style Knock Box

Taking the number one spot on my list of recommendations is the Breville Barista Style Knock Box. Breville is well known for manufacturing high-quality espresso machines, so it’s not surprising that they also produce accessories to go with those machines.

This box meets all of the criteria of a good espresso knock box. It’s large (some might say too large), easy to clean, has a sturdy knock bar, and non-slip feet in the form of a polymer ring.

The exterior has been crafted from a bruised diecast metal, which also matches the same finish on their espresso machines. So if you already own a Breville coffee machine, the chances are that this knock box will make the perfect match.

Unlike some of the others, the knock bar isn’t removable by itself. Instead, Breville has opted for a one-piece design, so the bar is integrated with the black inner plastic bucket. For cleaning, pull the inner vessel out and place it on the top rack of your dishwasher.

The Breville knock box is my personal favorite due to its large size, making it perfect for those of you that make 3 to 4 espresso shots daily – It can hold a few day’s worth of coffee grounds before it needs emptying.

However, it might be a bit large if you have limited counter space. If that’s the case, take a look at the smaller version, the Breville BES001XL Knock Box Mini.

Oh, and one last thing. If you ever find yourself stuck and without a champagne ice bucket, remove the black plastic inner collection container from inside of the Breville Knock Box, and voila, you have a surprisingly stylish wine chiller!

Pros

  • Large capacity.
  • Durable diecast body and polymer parts.
  • Easy to clean.
  • The polymer knock bar won’t dent your portafilter.

Cons

  • The knock bar sits high, so wet pucks will splatter over your counter.

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Dreamfarm Grindenstein Coffee Grounds Knock Box

Dreamfarm Grindenstein Coffee Grounds Knock Box

If you prefer something a little smaller, the Dreamfarm Grindenstein Coffee Grounds Knock Box is a solid choice. This little puck box requires very little countertop space.

It can fit under most espresso group heads when not in use, and the entire box fits nicely inside of your dishwasher for easy cleaning.

The body of the Grindenstein has been made from durable ABS plastic, and the knock bar is Santoprene rubber-coated steel. Being made from steel, the bar will withstand a lot of regular bashing with a portafilter, and any tight-fitting puck will fall out with a quick tap.

It seems that the Grindenstein is one of the more popular choices out there for a home espresso setup. Available in red, silver, or black, there should be a color to match your kitchen decor or espresso machine.

Pros

  • It’s super strong and sturdy.
  • It tucks away under your espresso machine.
  • Completely dishwasher safe.

Cons

  • The small size means it fills up quickly.

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De’Longhi Knock Box for Coffee & Espresso Grounds

De'Longhi Knock Box

Own a De’Longhi espresso machine and want a matching companion? Then, take a look at this stainless steel knock box.

Crafted in Italy from high-quality polished stainless steel, this puck collecting box knows how to make an entrance – the mirror-finished body screams elegance and sophistication.

The knock bar on this box uses a steel metal rod that slides through a rubber body; it’s a bit like an axel. I do like that the bar can come off, making it easy to wash.

The base comes with an anti-slip grip, which is always needed on any damp workstation, so that is good to see.

Only the only thing I don’t like is the size of the opening. With a 58mm portafilter, you will find that it will bang against the sides no matter what angle you stroke the bar.

Also, it’s worth pointing out that the design tends to cause this knock box to wobble slightly, not a deal-breaker but worth noting.

Pros

  • Perfect for saving counter space.
  • Coffee always lands inside, where it should.
  • The finish looks like a mirror.

Cons

  • Knock box wobbles on that rubber base.

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CafeMasy Knock Box For Espresso

CafeMasy Knock Box For Espresso

If you want to step out of the box “literally,” feast your eyes on this – the CafeMasy football-shaped knock box for espresso coffee grounds.

Looks pretty neat if you ask me, probably not the best choice for a busy barista workstation but for home use, it will be a conversation starter for sure.

But don’t let its unique looks fool you into thinking it’s not up to the job. The CafeMasy is still very functional and does a great job at knocking your pucks from your portafilter basket.

It has been made from sturdy ABS plastic, which is not only sturdy but also offers excellent long-term durability – so repeat washing and bashing with a hefty portafilter shouldn’t be a problem.

The bar itself is made from aluminum which has been covered in rubber. The dense rubber coating aids in reducing both noise and helps to protect the handle of your portafilter. Plus, it’s also removable, so cleaning should be an issue.

Given its unique design, this knock box is surprisingly stable, more so than some others.

Pros

  • Just look at it!
  • Easy to clean and dismantle.
  • Stable does not wobble.

Cons

  • Small size and shape not suited for a busy commercial cafe.

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Joe Frex Knock Box Classic

Joe Frex Knock Box Classic

Prefer a slightly larger squared-designed coffee puck knock box? The Joe Frex box is a simple cube design that combines classic wood with a PVC inner container.

The knocking bar is slightly different from others and has been crafted from a piece of wood that matches the exterior body.

Unfortunately, it’s not rubber coated, so expect a bit of noise when tapping down onto it.

The inner box can be easily removed for emptying and cleaning.

Still, due to the material used on this box and other parts, I wouldn’t recommend putting it inside of your dishwasher – the PVC container should be ok, but a quick rinse would suffice.

Pros

  • Large capacity.
  • Elegant wooden design, choose brown, black, or a light natural wood finish.
  • The classic design hasn’t changed since the late 90s.

Cons

  • Less durable compared to others.
  • Wooden rod for knocking rather than rubber-coated steel.

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Rhino Coffee Gear Rhino Square Knock Chute

Rhino Coffee Gear Rhino Square Knock Chute

The Rhino Coffee Gear knock chute is best suited for a commercial environment due to its sheer size and non-descriptive design.

Unlike the others listed, the Rhino Coffee Gear is a chute rather than a box designed to be installed directly inside your countertop or workstation.

Your coffee pucks and waste grounds will fall straight through into your garbage bin sitting below – using an “in-bench” chute takes up less bench space.

The square shape should fit into any existing standard chute size you may already have on your countertop. So replacing your old chute should be as simple as pulling out and sliding in this new one.

The chute has been made from heavy-duty 304-grade stainless steel and coated in rubber to help dampen any noise from knocking out your pucks.

Also, the rubber gasket that surrounds the chute protects both the bench and the barista’s fingers.

Pros

  • The best option for any busy cafe.
  • Very durable and can take a beating.
  • East to dismantle and clean.

Cons

  • Not really intended for home use, but that doesn’t mean you can’t install one!

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Maxmartt Knock Out Box

Maxmartt Best Knock Out Box

Do you like the idea of a chute but don’t want to start cutting into your kitchen counter at home? Then, why not opt for the sizeable Maxxmartt knock box? Yes, it’s not a chute, but its size and design make it very close in functionality.

The puck bin has been made from durable stainless steel, and as an added bonus, it can be removed for effortless cleaning.

The knocking bar comes coated in a noise-reducing rubber, which can be taken out separately for cleaning.

The wooden outer box looks great, and the deep black sits well next to any espresso machine.

The size is generous, maybe too much so for a small kitchen, but if you love your espresso, it’s going to save you time emptying pucks throughout the day, time that could be better spent on brewing your next shot!

Pros

  • Huge capacity.
  • Easy to dismantle and clean.
  • Durable stainless steel waste bin.

Cons

  • The wooden body can’t get too wet; it may warp.

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Which Coffee Knock Box Style Is For You?

You will come across three main types in the world of knock boxes: Shutes, Bins, and Drawers.

The smaller bin types are best suited for home use, and I find that the other two, drawers and shute are more often than not found in commercial establishments due to their larger capacity.

knock box styles

Let’s take a closer look at each type of coffee knock box.

Bin Knock Boxes: often touted as “bash bins” by baristas, this type features a rubber knock bar horizontally across the top of the bin, and in essence, they are just a tiny looking trash can. If you’re on a tight budget, this type is often the cheapest.

And if you’re running low on kitchen countertop space, I find that they are compact, easy to store, and straightforward to keep clean.

Knock Box Drawers: If you are struggling with space in your kitchen, you might want to consider the knock box drawer. They have been designed to sit underneath your kitchen coffee grinder or if you have a smaller espresso machine underneath that.

As you can imagine, this saves a lot of counter space, and an added bonus is that you can hide all of your discarded coffee pucks inside of the drawer.

But, yes, there is a but, I often find that this style of knock box tends to be more expensive – so you will need to decide if the price versus the extra kitchen counter space is worth it.

Knock Box Chutes: If you are looking for a way to keep your espresso pucks stored at home neatly until the end of the day, I wouldn’t recommend the knock box chute.

This type is far better suited for a commercial environment as it is designed to be built inside your countertop or workstation.

But with that said, if you’re an espresso junkie and consume copious amounts each day, the chute might be just what you’re looking for. They are the most efficient way to dispose of your spent coffee grounds, and they are less expensive than a drawer.

Do You Really Need A Knock Box?

Only you can answer that question. A knock box isn’t necessary, but I will tell you that it will make your life easier.

If you’ve ever tried to remove compacted coffee from inside a portafilter, you’ll know just how difficult it can be. However, with a knock box, you simply hit your portafilter once across the rubber bar, and your portafilter is completely emptied.

The Verdict

If you’re still on the fence and are not sure which espresso knock box to buy, here’s my recommendation, this coffee ground box is very similar in design and size to the one I use at home every day.

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Why Should You Trust Us
Mark has over 20 years of experience in the catering and hospitality sector. He takes his years of knowledge and expertise and applies it to critiquing coffee equipment and brewing gear.

Since the creation of BeanGround.com in 2014, Mark and a small circle of coffee hobbyists have been rigorously testing, reviewing, and researching coffee gear. In most cases, we have gone out and purchased the items ourselves with the sole intention of rating and evaluating.

In that time, we have built up a list of quality points to look for and what makes specific equipment better than others. We have cut through the noise and marketing hype that often surrounds products to give you our unbiased opinions so you can make clear decisions on your next purchase.

Mark Morphew

Mark is the editor and writer of the popular coffee blog Bean Ground. He's been active in the catering and hospitality industry for many years. When he's not fiddling around with a new coffee gadget, you'll find him busy working on his other passion, web development. You can discover more about Mark here.