The original Hario Skerton is one of the most iconic hand coffee grinders to date. If you haven’t heard about the Skerton before, you’ve either been living under a rock, or you’re a lifelong instant coffee drinker!
I’ve had the original Hario Skerton for many years. It’s been my trusty sidekick for many coffee brewing excursions; it’s reliable, consistent, and has never let me down.
So when I heard the news that a new Pro version had been released, I just had to get my hands on it to see how it compares to the good ole original.
The good news is that with this latest offering, Hario has ironed out a lot of the minor problems that famously plagued the original version, such as the wobbling internal axle, for one, plus they’ve also made a few slight tweaks to the overall design.
But even with these changes and improvements, is it worth upgrading to the pro version? Let’s find out. Here’s my Hario Skerton Pro review.
Hario Skerton Pro: At a Glance
It’s evident from the get-go that the team over at Hario headquarters has taken on board user feedback from the previous two versions – the original and the Skerton Plus. The newest Pro version is a step up from Hario’s past endeavors.
A lot of the minor gripes I had with the original, I’m glad to say, have been ironed out, and this model features some significant improvements when it comes to usability.
Sure, the Pro Skerton model outshines its Hario predecessors. However, unfortunately, it still lacks consistency when grinding on a coarse setting, a problem that the past two versions also suffered from. – more on grind consistency further down.
Design And Aesthetics
Just like the past two versions of the Skerton, the Pro version utilizes a glass collection jar that can also double up as a storage container for your coffee by using the supplied screw lid that’s included in the kit.
The previous rubber lid you had to massage onto the bean hopper has been upgraded to a nice, snug-fitting clear plastic cover that snaps into place securely.
The grinding mechanism houses a set of conical ceramic burrs that can be adjusted via a simple click dial located on the base of the burrs.
Even though the internal workings are simplistic, just like its predecessors, the Skerton Pro still packs a punch when it comes to grinding.
Staying on the subject of grinding. With the Pro version, the handle has been completely redesigned.
Older models opted for a fiddly lock and bolt system, which I was never a fan of. I’ve lost count of the number of times I dropped the locking bolt and watched it roll under the kitchen cupboard.
The Pro Skerton has obviously taken user feedback to heart here, and they have gone with a simple hex locking handle that fits tightly onto the axle with little to no effort.
You would think that the handle wouldn’t stay in place, but surprisingly it does.
This latest handle design has also been rolled over and incorporated into the smaller Hario Slim grinder too.
All in all, Hario has completely redesigned the Skerton Pro while still keeping the fundamental design and classic looks intact. It still resembles the past versions – but it’s just been upgraded for the better.
How Easy is The Skerton Pro to Use?
As you would expect from a low-tech grinder such as the Skerton Pro, it is straightforward to use.
You add your whole coffee bean into the bean hopper, put the lid on, lock in the handle, and start cranking the handle for a few minutes, and voila, you have freshly ground coffee.
The newly added rubber band around the center of the bean hopper is a nice touch and ensures you have a firm grip while cranking the handle.
The glass collection chamber also features a rubber anti-slip design that is an upgrade from the original Hario coffee grinder.
With the older models, you would often find that the rubber base would fall off; the new snug-fitting design stops that from happening.
Adjusting the Grinding Burrs
If you’ve owned the original old Hario Skerton, you’ll know just how complicated it was to set the grind setting.
You had to remove the rubber lid, take off a locking ring, and then while holding the grinding burrs with one hand, you had to adjust a knob on the top with your other hand.
Finding your perfect grind setting was like rolling a dice in Las Vegas. It was hit and miss and required a lot of trial and error. – it wasn’t very easy for something that should have been simple.
The good news is that the Skerton Pro has done away with the tedious system that plagued the old grinders and instead has, thankfully, borrowed a more user-friendly setup from the Hario Slim Mini Mill.
The new and improved way is a vast improvement and enables you to set your preferred grind setting directly underneath the burrs.
The guesswork has been taken out of the equation thanks to a simple dial that clicks for every increment. Genius!
This makes dialing in your grind setting a hell of a lot faster once you know how many clicks you need for your desired course fine ground setting.
It still requires a bit of guesswork to hone in on the consistency you want as there are no markings or numbers to guide you.
So you will have to try a few settings until you’re happy with the output. But again, it’s still a massive improvement from the older models.
How Fast Does it Grind?
The Hario Skerton Pro does a very decent job when it comes to speed.
For example, I typically use 21 grams of coffee to 360 grams of water when brewing with my regular Hario V60.
I grind the coffee about as fine as kosher salt, and using the Skerton Pro, I can grind the 21 grams in about a minute and a half.
– Now that’s pretty fast if you ask me.
Can the Hario Skerton Pro grind fine enough for espresso? It sure can. Just be prepared for some work to get to the finish line.
I find that it usually takes me just over 2 minutes to grind 145 grams of coffee for a grind fine enough for espresso.
Compared to the JavaPresse (another manual burr grinder I reviewed here), the Skerton is slightly faster and produces a more constant grind, especially a finer grind for espresso.
Hario Skerton Pro Grind Consistency
The older versions of the Hario coffee grinder were terrible when it came to grind size consistency the more coarse you went making it almost useless for grinding coffee for a French Press.
– I even came up with a nifty hack for the mini mill to help solve this problem, you can read about that here.
The good news is that the new Pro Skerton manual hand grinder has taken the criticism on board, and they have improved on this fault.
The Pro now comes with a preinstalled stabilizing shaft and a burr spring that helps to keep the burrs from wobbling as you grind.
This upgrade makes a huge difference from my testing, and if you have used an older version, you will notice the difference too with the final grind consistency.
But the Hario Skerton Pro isn’t all about the coarse grind; where it truly excels is in the fine espresso grind.
I found the Skerton Pro to grind too fine on the lowest setting, and I clogged up my portafilter the first couple of times. So trial and error are needed to dial in your grind if you intend to use the Skerton for espresso.
Keeping on the fine grind topic. Good news. The Skerton Pro is more than capable of pulling off a super fine Turkish grind.
If you’ve tried grinding fine enough for Turkish coffee, you will appreciate just how hard it is to find a hand grinder that is capable of such a task.
Only a handful of coffee grinders on the market in this price range can produce a passable grind for Turkish coffee and espresso.
How Do You Clean A Hario Skerton Pro?
So I bet you’re wondering just how easy is the Skerton Pro to clean? Easy peasy. No, really, it’s not difficult at all. The grounds container is easy to rinse, and the bean hopper comes apart reasonably fast.
The entire hand grinder can be taken apart for a complete deep clean and washed if needed.
But I find that it isn’t necessary to do a full clean frequently, a quick dry brush on the burrs after each use, and you should be good to go.
Should I Get The Hario Skerton Pro?
The Hario Skerton Pro proves that you don’t have to spend a fortune on a hand coffee grinder to get great results.
Sure, the Skerton requires a bit of elbow grease to get the job done, but that’s a small price to pay for the quality of the ground coffee the Skerton Pro produces.
Yes. There is a bit of inconsistency as you move up to the coarser grinds, but I can forgive that as the Skerton Pro still delivers high-quality grinds for a vast range of brewing styles.
All in all. The Hario Skerton Pro is definitely an improvement over the older models.
At this price point, with its high-quality ceramic grinding burrs and a large hopper capacity, it’s a great deal compared to other similar-priced manual coffee bean grinders.
Why not give it a try and let me know what you think?