Hario Skerton+ First Impressions & First Use: Great Grinder?


Hario Skerton+ Great Grinder header image

The Hario Skerton+ was the first piece I got to get my coffee hobby started. What are the first impressions and do I think it’s a good grinder? Here is my experience.

Overall, the Hario Skerton+ is a very good grinder for many people. It’s a solid product that has clearly had attention paid to the details. I There are some drawbacks like evenness of grind and the grip you have on the grinder but for the price and compared to competitors it is a very solid choice.

To find my personal first impressions of the Skerton+ keep reading below.


First impressions

When you start unpacking the Skerton+ from the box, there is a surprising amount of parts. Even though the hopper and burrs come assembled, there are still quite a few pieces that come out of the box.

It’s easy to assemble and after you take all the parts out of the box, it’s done really quickly. You can be ready to grind your first cup in under 5 minutes from getting the package. It is a good idea to wash everything first of course.

All the parts feel like they’re high quality and will last for a long time. After the assembly it feels like a solid piece that feels good in your hands. The bowl that collects the grounds on the bottom is made from glass which gives a nice weight to the lower part of the grinder. There is a protective silicone cover you can put on the bottom of the glass jar to protect the jar and countertop while grinding.

The hopper (part you put the beans in) is made from plastic but it doesn’t feel flimsy. It’s a solid piece with a nice texture on it to make it feel good to the touch. The burrs are ceramic and the handle is metal which are both big plusses. There is a silicone cover that can go over the opening of the hopper to prevent beans from jumping out which is a nice touch.

The ceramic burrs will stay sharp for a long time and don’t get any metal shavings and taste into your coffee. It also means there is no chance of corrosion on the burrs which is not very healthy to get in your coffee. All the metal parts are stainless steel so they don’t rust either.

The hopper and collection bowl are big enough for 100 grams of coffee which is plenty for home use.

All in all, it feels like a really solid high quality grinder that will last for years and can be used in a pretty wide variety of situations.


What’s in the box?

Let’s start with what you get in the box. There might be more parts in there than you expect. Or at least more than I expected. Here’s what you should have once everything is out of the box;

  • Glass bowl to collect grounds
  • Non slip silicone cover to protect the glass bowl
  • Hopper. Made from high quality food safe plastic
  • Silicone hopper lid
  • Metal handle
  • Silicone hopper lid
  • Plastic screw lid for glass bowl

Features

What’s in the box doesn’t tell you all the features of the Skerton+ so here we go;

  • Conical ceramic burrs
  • Adjustable grind size
  • 100 grams capacity
  • Ergonomically designed
  • High quality materials
  • Glass bowl can be used as storage container with lid that comes in the box

This is a nice feature set, especially for the price. Which is the reason why It’s popular.


Assembly

Luckily it’s very easy to assemble. All the pieces just go together in one way so it’s really hard to get it wrong. It probably took me about as long to open the box and get the parts out as it did to put it together.

Assembly is easy since everything can only go on in one way. Here are the steps;

  1. Unpack everything
  2. Put the silicone cover on the bottom of the glass bowl and set it down.
  3. Screw the hopper onto the glass bowl
  4. Attach the handle to the hopper and tighten the nut.
  5. Add beans to the hopper
  6. Cover the hopper with the silicone lid.

That’s it unpacking will probably take you longer than putting it together.


First use

After the first impressions, it’s time for the first use of course. It might feel great but if it’s not good to use that’s not very useful.

So after weighing out the right amount of my fresh single origin Arabica I got in at the same time as the grinder, I put them in the hopper and put the lid on. The grinding is not too loud. The silicone cover helps dampen the noise a little. It’s not super quiet but you can easily carry a conversation while grinding.

The grinding motion itself does require some effort. The size of the grinder means it’s actually a bit difficult to get a good grip. My hands are about average size and I can imagine people with smaller hands have some trouble. The grip becomes a problem when the grinder hits a point where there is suddenly more resistance.

There are points during grinding where the handle suddenly has much more resistance. I guess that’s because a bean gets in there in the wrong position and it requires more force to break it up. Because of this extra resistance and the lack of grip, the grinder rotates in your hands which makes the grinding come to a stop. After that you have to restart grinding. This is the biggest (and one of the few) problem with this grinder.

After adjusting the grind size

On the first try, the grounds came out way too coarse. It’s certainly necessary to adjust the grind size for the first cup. After adjusting (see how to below) and grinding, you simply take the hopper part of the glass bowl and there are your grounds.

At this point you can use them immediately or choose to save them in the bowl. Since there is a lid in the box that fits on the bowl, you can easily turn it into an airtight container without moving the coffee. While I always use all the grounds immediately, it’s good that you have the choice.

The grounds came out a little uneven but it’s within reason. After checking the action of the burrs, it seems that the center burr moves from side to side a little leaving a bigger gap than it should at some times. After reading online this seems to be a fairly common problem which does have an aftermarket solution. After all, the evenness is pretty comparable to other grinders in this price class I’ve seen.

Then it’s time to brew the first cup of coffee. That’s what it’s all about after all. Did it improve my coffee?  Absolutely!! There was such a difference and improvement in taste that I regret not getting a grinder earlier.


Adjusting Hario Skerton+ grind size

Mine came out of the box quite a bit too coarse but luckily it’s pretty easy to adjust.

Here’s how you do it.

  1. Unscrew the top screw that holds on the handle
  2. Take off the handle
  3. Now you’ll see a stopper that prevents the nut below from moving. Take it off by simply pulling it up
  4. Now the nut below is free to move. Rotating it clockwise moves the bottom burr up and so makes the grind finer and vice versa.
  5. After you get the size in the ballpark, only make small adjustments. A whole rotation of the nut makes quite a difference.
  6. Return the stopper and put the handle and top screw back on.

Since there is no indication of where to adjust to for a certain size, it will take some experimenting to get it right.

It’s better to go a little bit on the coarse side to start with and then adjust it down. That’s because you can just run the coffee through the Skerton+ again after adjusting to make it finer.


Great grinder?

Is the Hario Skerton+ a great grinder? Well, to be fair, I don’t have too much experience with other grinders in the same class. However, as a beginner it’s all I could have hoped for. It has all the features you need seems durable and is affordable.

It’s easy to assemble, feels good in your hands and has all the features you would want from a basic grinder. It gives you the feeling you bought a high quality product and attention has been paid to the details. I personally also like the design but that’s personal.

The biggest drawbacks are the evenness of the grind and the fact that it can be difficult to hold a solid grip while grinding. To me the effort you put in for grinding seems average and the noise is not a nuisance. The neighbors won’t be able to hear you and you can carry a conversation while grinding.

It does improve your cup of coffee a lot, especially compared to ground coffee from a bag.

Is it great? The drawbacks are a bit too much too say it’s great but it’s definitely very good in this class and for the money you pay.

If you want a hand grinder that’s much better, you’ll have to pay quite a bit more. Willing to do that? The TIMEMORE C2 is an excellent choice. It feels amazing in your hand, is smooth, grinds consistently and just looks amazing. Give it a look.

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