After owning the Hario Skerton+ coffee grinder for a few months, what are my observations and would I recommend you get one? Let’s get into it.
The Hario Skerton+ is a good grinder for a good price. There are some drawbacks and quirks but overall you get a good quality coffee grinder especially for the amount of money you pay. After a few months of daily use it feels like it’ll last for a long time.
I’ll go into the details of my experiences below. Make sure to check them out since I’ll go into the smaller pros and cons.
What do you get?
The Hario Skerton+ is one of the more popular hand grinders you can get your hands on at the moment. It’s in the right place of the market for the right price. It’s complete from the box as you would expect and has everything you need to get started except for the coffee beans.
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
Before we get into the pros and cons, what are some of the features of the Hario Skerton+?
- Ceramic burrs
- Adjustable grind size
- High quality materials
- Easy to clean
- Glass collection bowl that can be used as storage
It has all the basic features you would expect and maybe some more as well.
Hario Skerton+ user review
With all the basics out of the way, let’s get into what my personal experiences are with this coffee grinder. I’ve used it daily for the last couple of months to grind coffee for my Vietnamese coffee in the morning so I’ve used it quite a few times.
So here are the pros and cons I’ve found.
Here are the pros I’ve noticed over the last three months.
- Ceramic burrs
- Solid build
- Not noisy
- Complete out of the box
- Metal handle
- Almost stepless adjustability
- Modern design
- Easy to clean
When I bought the Skerton+ I didn’t really know much about coffee or grinders. In the meantime I’ve learned quite a bit and done some experimenting with coffee myself so I think I can give a solid judgment here.
For me, it’s pretty much all a beginner could wish for. Its high quality, grinds coffee, looks good and feels good. You can adjust the grind size to almost any size you like and there is a very wide range of grinds you can adjust to although most of the bigger sizes you’ll almost never use.
It feels solid in your hands. Even the parts that aren’t metal or glass feel of high quality. The silicone sleeve on the bottom is a nice touch and protects the collector cup when putting it down, although if you’re using it without setting down on a surface, the silicone sleeve tends to fall off.
Grinding 25 grams of beans takes me a little less than 2 minutes although that depends on how quickly you move your arms obviously. The noise it produces is relatively low, especially with the silicone lid over the hopper. This lid also helps prevent beans jumping out during grinding.
Of course there are also some cons I’ve noticed.
- A little hard to hold. Especially for people with smaller hands.
- Grounds aren’t super even. There is some variance in granule size.
- Not for grinding a lot of coffee.
- Plastic grip on the end of the handle.
- Getting the correct grind size does require some experimentation.
- Top nut can come loose after a few uses.
Overall there might be quite a few downsides but overall they’re pretty minor. The biggest problem for the enthusiast is the evenness of the grind. There is actually an upgrade available that stabilizes the lower burr which results in a more even grind. On my Skerton+, I can see the bottom burr moving slightly from side to side under pressure. That means that in some places a bigger piece can get through. The upgrade should fix that.
If you’ve got smaller hands it can be a bit difficult to stabilize while grinding. You’ll get there but require a bit more effort. It’s easier to sit down and hold it between your legs than stabilizing it on a counter top.
The grip at the end of the lever, is plastic although it is pretty thick and good feeling plastic. It doesn’t feel like a part that will fail but it would be a bit nicer if it was metal. However, you’re already getting a lot for your money.
There are no notches or indicator of which size adjustment is which size. You just change the position of the burr by adjusting the nut on a threaded rod. So you do have to experiment a little bit to get the exact grind size you need and want.
The top nut that secures the handle can come a little loose sometimes after a few uses. It’s not dangerous since you can feel it coming loose and it takes quite a while. The handle has two flat sides in the inner hole that match up with two flat sides on the burr rod. That means the handle still works. And maybe I’ve just not been tightening it tight enough.
Would I recommend the Hario Skerton+ to you? If you’re in a similar situation to me, yes! More on if you should get one below.
Personally I’m very happy with it since it does everything I want it to while feeling good, looking good and most importantly, making my coffee taste better.
I just drink one or two cups of coffee a day so hand grinding is not a problem. But if it is, you can grind coffee for more than one cup at a time. Some other entry level grinders have a smaller capacity so you’ll have to refill.
Also, the little collection jar comes with its own lid so you can save the coffee you just ground for the next day easily. No need to transfer it to another container.
All in all, I think it’s a very practical coffee grinder that does a lot of things right for a very reasonable price.
Should you get one?
So should you buy one? That’s hard to say. It really depends on who you are, how deep you are into coffee, how much you want to spend, how much coffee you grind per day, where you use it, etc.
Here’s who it’s for in my opinion.
For who is it?
So what is the use case for the Skerton+? Who is it for?
- You’re looking for a good first coffee grinder.
- You don’t mind hand grinding
- You don’t drink 5+ cups a day
- Looking for a good starting point for your hobby
- Something that’s nice to look at
- Don’t want to break the bank.
It’s a great grinder for people who want to get into improving their coffee. People who are stepping up from the ground coffee from the supermarket. It ticks all the right boxes for the entry level ‘enthusiast’ coffee lover. And even if you’re an ‘intermediate’ coffee aficionado this grinder will serve you well. There are some drawbacks but most of those are pretty minor and you’ll have to spend significantly more to get a material improvement.
You don’t mind to hand grind your coffee because you don’t make too many cups of coffee a day. Since you have to grind by hand and the grinder is a bit difficult to hold, it’s great for people that drink only a few cups a day. If you’re running a coffee shop, this isn’t the best choice unless you want to get a workout. Grinding 25 grams of beans takes a little less than two minutes in the Skerton+.
For less than the price of a bad electric blade grinder, you get a pretty great ceramic burr hand grinder of good quality. It will last you a long time. Your next upgrade after this is likely going to be a good electric burr grinder. There is no need to get something in between.
So who is it for? Anyone who wants a good coffee grinder and doesn’t want to spend too much money.
Of course there are some other options in this market space as well. They all offer mostly the same set of features. The biggest difference will be in the quality and looks.
- Hario Mini Slim Pro. (Amazon link) This is basically a smaller version of the Skerton+. It holds less coffee but it’s big enough for one or two cups. The build quality is very similar to the Skerton+. The stainless version is actually very nice looking although also a bit more expensive. It’s a good option for travelling or if you’ve got small hands because it’s easier to hold.
- Javapresse Manual grinder. (Amazon link) Probably the most popular hand grinder and the biggest competitor to the Skerton+. The price is within a few dollars of the Skerton+ It’s smaller diameter means it’s easier to hold and although it doesn’t hold as much coffee, it’s still enough for two cups. It’s a very good alternative to the Hario.
- Porlex Mini Stainless. (Amazon link) Similar in shape and appearance to the Javapresse although a bit smaller. It’s made in Japan which means it’s build quality is great although it’s quite a bit more expensive than the other’s as well. The biggest drawback is that it can only handle 20 grams of coffee which isn’t quite enough for two cups. It’s a good travel option for solo travellers though.
- Akirakoki Manual grinder. (Amazon link) For a similar price you pay for the Javapresse or Skerton+, you can get the Akirakoki grinder. The outside is almost completely made of wood which makes this grinder look great. It’s capacity is big enough for three cups which is good. The biggest drawback is that this grinder doesn’t have ceramic burrs. It has cast iron burrs which is better than stainless but ceramic like the other options is still better.