I own quite a few manual coffee grinders, and if you’re a regular reader of this coffee blog you’ve probably already seen those reviews. However, out of all the grinders I own, one of my favorites has to be the Hario Skerton Coffee Mill. For some reason, I haven’t got round to doing an actual review of the Hario Skerton, so in this article, I’ll show you why I think the Skerton is the best manual grinder for the money.
The word Hario and coffee is almost always used in the same sentence, funnily enough, when Hario started out back in 1921 they had nothing to do with coffee. Hario is actually a Japanese heat-resistant glassware company (Hario translates as “The King of Glass”) that has somehow become a household name in modern coffee brewing equipment.
Hario now has an extensive range of coffee accessories that include durable precise coffee scales, popular pour over kettles, coffee grinders, coffee drippers such as the V60 and they even have a coffee siphon in their range of products. Thanks to the Hario Skerton, building your home coffee setup doesn’t have to be expensive, let’s take a closer look at their popular grinder.
Hario Skerton Grinder Standout Features
One of the first things you’ll love about the Hario Skerton Coffee Mill is its simplicity. There are no confusing dials or unnecessary features that you’ll never use, it simply does one thing, and it does that well – grinding coffee, albeit with a bit of elbow grease.
The Skerton comes in basically two sections; the top section contains the ceramic burr and the crank arm where you attach the handle with a self-screw bolt, the bottom section is simply a jar that collects your freshly ground coffee once it passes through the grinding burr. Both the top and the bottom parts screw together, and if needed the Hario Skerton can store up to 100g of coffee beans.
The benefit of having a ceramic burr rather than steel or even plastic on cheaper coffee grinders is ceramic burrs don’t produce any heat during the grinding process so essential coffee oils are protected and naturally, they’ll never rust. I’ve got to praise Hario on opting for ceramic because they’re often only reserved for pricier coffee grinders and it’s a rare find to see them being used in a budget burr grinder like the Skerton.
All of the sections of the Hario coffee mill can be taken apart for straightforward and easy cleaning, the ceramic burrs are also washable so don’t be scared to give them a quick wash every so often. In this article, I also have a smart trick on how to clean any coffee grinder in under 1-minute!
Inside of the box, you will find a screw cap that turns your jar into an airtight coffee canister which allows you to seal and store your freshly ground coffee. To be honest, I’ve never used this as I prefer to grind my coffee fresh before each brew, but I can understand that some of you reading this may want to grind up a couple of days worth of coffee in advance, so I can see how this lid could be useful.
You’ll also find a rubber ring that you can place around the bottom of the glass jar to stop it slipping across your counter when you’re grinding, and there is also a rubber lid that fits snugly onto the top bean hopper to stop the beans from shooting out across your kitchen when your start grinding.
The supplied instructions are in not in English, so unless you are fluent in Japanese, they will be of little use. From what I understand the instructions only tell you how to take care of your Hario grinder and show you how to achieve some basic coffee grinds. So if you’re wondering how to adjust the grind setting for each brewing method, I’ll cover that in a bit more detail below, because it can be a little confusing when faced with the supplied instructions.
The Hario coffee grinder can knock out a full range of different coffee grinds and is capable of producing just about any grind your coffee-soaked heart desires. The one problem I do find is that the coarser you grind, the less consistent it becomes. This is because when adjusted to the coarser grind setting the burr has a bit of “wiggle room.” This should only be an issue if you plan on using the Hario Skerton for brewing French Press coffee, but even then, the best French Press is going to be rather forgiving when it comes to brewing ratios, so this shouldn’t be that much of an issue concerning the final brew.
If you do find that you are using the Hario Skerton Coffee grinder for more coarser grinds I recommend you take a look at this aftermarket upgrade kit which helps with giving you a more consistent coarser grind. I don’t own this, but I have heard from friends that it does indeed make a difference.
The finer grind setting zone is where the Hario Skerton really shines, and if you brew coffee using a pour over method (V60, Chemex, Clever dripper) or use an AeroPress, you’ll be blown away with the uniform grind. If you want to go really fine the Hario can keep up, so if you need a Turkish grind, you’ll have no problem producing a grind as fine as powder.
Hario Skerton Coffee Mill Instructions
Operating the Hario Skerton Coffee grinder is as simple as screwing the two sections together, adding in your whole coffee beans into the top hopper section, placing on the crank arm and then tightening with the supplied bolt.
With that being said, I’ll warn you that there’s a bit of fiddling needed with the Skerton if you want to set up your grinder for different brewing methods. But to be honest how many of you regularly change-up your brew method at home? So once it’s set at your preferred setting there really isn’t much need to keep on adjusting the Skerton.
Simply put, there is zero position for your grinder’s burrs, which means taking the grinder apart and then holding the burrs in place while you tighten the adjustment collar.
Once you have this set, you can simply turn the adjustment collar to the appropriate number of notches for your brewing method. It’s not as complicated as it sounds and once you have your grinder in front of you, it will become much clearer and easier to understand.
Struggling? Below I have done some of the legwork for you when it comes to the most popular grind settings using the Hario Skerton.
Simple Grind Setting Guide For The Skerton
V60/AeroPress: 2 turns
Drip Cone: 3 turns
Metal Filter/Clever Dripper: 5 turns
French Press: 7 turns
Overall Impressions of the Skerton Grinding Mill
In my opinion, you won’t find a better manual ceramic burr grinder in this price range. If you are on a budget but are still wanting great a quality grind for your coffee, then the Hario Ceramic Skerton is the way to go. This Hario coffee grinder is super easy to assemble, and very simple to use.
If you want the same quality coffee grinder but need a more compact, pocket sized grinder take a look at my Hario Mini Mill Review. It’s Hario’s newest addition to their coffee grinding arsenal!
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