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I’ve had my eye on the KINGrinder range of manual coffee grinders for quite some time, so when the team at KINGrinder reached out to me to see if I would be interested in a K6 and K4 grinder to test and review, I obviously said yes.
Both the K6 and K4 grinders arrived by courier, and I have spent the past six weeks testing and playing around with the K6. I’ve been going at it hard and have put the K6 through its paces.
I’ve been trying a wide range of coffee grind sizes for a multitude of brewing techniques to see how the K6 holds up.
And I must say I’m pretty impressed.
Have I piqued your interest? Stick around and discover what I really think about the KINGrinder K6.
KINGrinder K6 At A Glance
If you’ve not heard of the KINGrinder name before, that’s not surprising as they are a relatively new company out of Taiwan that produces premium manual hand grinders.
However, in a short span of time, they’ve managed to make a name for themselves in the coffee world due to the high build quality of their grinders.
With all the hype building around these manual grinders, I must admit, I was hyped and couldn’t wait to get my hands on them.
As soon as I pulled the KINGrinder K6 out from the box, I immediately knew I was holding a good quality grinder; the hefty weight and feel of the grinder just screams premium.
For a modestly priced manual coffee grinder, the K6 definitely feels and looks like it can compete with the established “big boys” like the Comandante C40 MK4 or the 1Zpresso K-Ultra that command a price 3 or 4 times the amount the K6 sells for.
But how well does it perform? After all, that’s what really matters. More on that later.
Overall the grinder feels hefty and solid. And I was excited to see a burr mounted straight into the axle and the side grind adjustment ring and immediately set up my Flair Pro 2 to dial in some espresso.
Design, Construction, And Aesthetics
The body of the KINGrinder is crafted from full aluminum with a removable collection chamber that screws into the base of the grinder body.
The machine-cut threads smoothly lock the base into place even when caked with coffee grounds.
The bean hopper is advertised to hold 35g of whole coffee beans, but I found that I could comfortably load the hopper with about 28g before the collection chamber became overly full.
One of the best features of the K6 variant is the external adjustment ring makes it very easy to adjust any setting and makes dialing in espresso super easy.
It also makes adjusting the burrs quick and easy for different brew methods.
There’s no need to guess and to keep track of the number of clicks you have made; the numbers on the side of the K6 let you easily lock in your grind setting with a satisfying click.
I especially liked this setup, other manual grinders I own have the adjustment dial underneath the burrs.
It can be a real pain in the a** trying to lock in different grind settings for various brew methods and even more of a hassle to precisely dial in the perfect grind for espresso.
So from the get-go it was a refreshing change to playing around with the KINGrinder K6; it was just so easy.
The powder-coated stainless steel arm and the oversized wooden knob are a nice touch, and for someone with large hands, such as myself, the handle felt just right.
Overall, everything seems well assembled, with tight tolerances, and from playing around with the K6 for the past few weeks, it indeed feels like it will last for decades.
How Easy Is The KINGrinder K6 To Use?
I’ll get straight to the point. The K6 is one of the easiest, smoothest, and most versatile manual coffee grinders I’ve ever used.
The 48mm stainless steel grinding burr is attached directly to the shaft and held in place by dual bearings.
This dual-bearing design gives the KINGrinder K6 unbelievable smoothness with each turn of the grinding arm and keeps the burr locked firmly in place to produce consistent, uniform coffee grounds.
Using the K6 is relatively straightforward, and the steps of loading the beans and operating are similar to most manual grinders.
Whole beans are placed into the top section, and the grinding crank arm is locked into place. You then set your preferred grind size by adjusting the external settings dial.
Again, the external adjustment is truly a blessing, and the numerous dial settings adjustments (60 per round) make the K6 a very versatile grinder for a wide range of coffee brewing methods.
The K6 Burrs: Adjustment And Quality
The K6 comes equipped with a 48mm heptagonal stainless steel burr design that I found to perform well for various brew styles. Locking in your desired grind setting using the externally mounted collar is super easy.
One complete rotation of the adjustment collar provides 60 grind settings (1 click = 16 μm & 1 round = 60 clicks) with 16-micron adjustments every step.
And with the K6, you have up to 3 complete rotations for a total of 180 settings from super fine to very coarse.
Having this much control over your grind settings makes the K6 truly versatile and perfect for everyday pour-over or espresso brewing.
Taking a closer look at the K6 vs. the K4, which I also received from the KINGrinder team, I found that both are nearly identical in appearance.
However, when it comes to taste and roasts, from my testing, I found the K6 to work slightly better with lighter roasts, and the K4 had a slight edge with darker roasts, but that’s for my personal taste preference, and your experience may vary.
After testing I would say that the burrs housed in the K4 are slightly better optimized for espresso, whereas the K6 is set up as a more versatile grinder for all brewing methods.
KINGrinder has around six manual hand grinders at the time of writing, and each grinder in their range has a unique burr set optimized for that particular grinder.
Looking at their selection, I think the K6 falls into the “all-in-one grinder” category and has more than likely been designed to produce a wide range of different grinds. Whereas the other grinders from the K4 down look to excel at maybe only one or two different brew styles.
How Fast Does The K6 Grind?
Impressively fast. For my double-shot espresso basket, it takes me around 35 to 40 seconds to grind 18g of fine coffee (number 40 or 39 on the K6 adjustment dial).
Similarly, for my AeroPress grind (quite fine, number 60 on the dial), it takes around 25 seconds to grind 16g of medium roast whole bean coffee.
When I say this thing is fast, believe me, it’s damn fast!
But how’s the grind consistency? Let’s take a look.
KINGrinder K6 Grind Consistency
What better way to show the grind consistency than with real pictures of some of the most popular grind settings?
Recommended K6 Grind Settings
Espresso Machine: 30-60 clicks
Moka Pot: 60-90 clicks
AeroPress: 60-90 clicks
Pourover: 90-120 clicks
Siphon: 90-120 clicks
French Press: 150 clicks
Chemex: 160 clicks
How Do You Clean The KINGrinder K6?
With the burr set hidden inside the grinder and the ground adjustment dial located on the outside, you may wonder how you clean the KINGrinder K6?
I was wondering the same and did a quick search and unearthed this neat video by the KINGrinder team that shows precisely how to take the K6 apart for a thorough deep cleaning.
The KINGrinder K6 And Espresso
Espresso is where the KINGridner K6 excels, in my opinion. Not only does the side grind adjustment make dialing in your espresso super easy, but the quality of the ground coffee is also phenomenal, especially for a hand grinder priced so modestly.
Let’s be honest.
Grinding coffee for espresso can be achieved with most premium manual hand grinders.
But the reason why a lot of people don’t use a hand grinder for espresso is not the quality of the grind but the amount of effort needed to get whole beans ground to a fine enough grind suitable for espresso.
I have a few manual coffee grinders that can take up to 3 to 5 minutes of continuous hand cranking to get enough ground coffee – yeah, grinding a few 20g doses when dialing in your espresso = dead.
But my experience with the KINGrinder K6 was super smooth and fast, and I had no problems grinding 3x 18g dose in under a couple of minutes and making tiny adjustments using the outside adjustment ring.
Seriously, it was actually enjoyable.
Conclusion: Should I Get The KINGrinder K6?
$300 Grinder for $100. That’s basically what you’re getting with the KINGrinder K6.
With a price hovering around $100, the K6 is a realistic option for someone on a budget looking for a grinder that can do everything well. To say I’m impressed with the K6 is an understatement; the grinder exceeded my expectations and then some.
The build quality and the premium materials combined with the stainless steel heptagonal 48 mm burrs used are unexpectedly high for the price point.
The grinder just feels solid and hefty. The internal bearings turn very smoothly. The body feels sturdy, and the handle works well and feels good in the hand.
To produce a quality grind with an electric coffee grinder, you would need to part with at least $500. And even then, you wouldn’t have the quick and easy exterior adjustment mechanism with 16 μm per click or the same flexibility to alternate between espresso and other brewing methods on the fly.
Sure, I found a few nitpicks with the K6, such as the “unfinished” wooden knob on the end of the crank arm.
It’s not stained and clear coated like the higher-end 1Zpressos, and it’s strange why KINGrinder decided to leave it as natural wood, especially when you are working around water and probably have damp hands.
Also, It lacks certain nice-to-have features like a magnetic catch cup and step-less adjustment.
Plus, I found that my particular K6 doesn’t zero at exactly 0. This does not affect the grinder’s performance, but if you follow any grind size guide using the K6, your setting could be slightly off. So best to play around with your grinder to get accustomed to its unique setup.
Comparing the KINGrinder K6 to other manual hand grinders like 1Zpresso or Comandante C40 with similar internal components, the K6 comes in at about a ⅓ of the price.
These grinders all use a similar burr design with the same shape and pattern.
So as a beginner looking to get a good quality hand grinder, why pay over $300 for the K series of 1Zpresso or Comandante C40 when the K6 performs just as well?