Product Comparison | Kinu Manual Coffee and Espresso Grinders

Product Comparison | Kinu Manual Coffee and Espresso Grinders

Sep 12th 2019 Written by meredithlangley

With its signature precision grind performance available in every model, Kinu's hand grinder line-up delivers superb results from Turkish fine to cold brew coarse. The original M47, compact M47 Traveler, and lightweight M47 Phoenix each offers Kinu quality in a unique package, for a premier user experience. Discover what sets these grinders apart in this video, as Steve shares on each grinder in the Kinu line-up.


Hey, folks. It's Steve with Prima Coffee. In front of me here, I have Kinu's lineup of their M47 Series Hand Grinders. I would love to talk about just some of the differences and similarities between all of these to, kind of, let you know what the whole lineup is like. Right here in the center, I have the original M47. This is a really high-quality hand grinder. It's a lot of steel, it's pretty hefty, and basically, it's one of the most highly, kind of, precision-designed hand grinders on the market. They've taken a lot of care to make sure that every grinder is consistent, the tolerances are really precise, and overall the build quality just kind of feels excellent even among other premium hand grinders. So, we have a 30 to 40 gram capacity in the hopper. We have 47-millimeter conical steel burrs down at the bottom that have, what they call, a "black fusion" coating, which is just a coating to help those burrs stay sharp for longer, and get a longer usable life out of them.

Kinu M47 Manual Coffee and Espresso Grinder

Superb German craftsmanship and attention to detail

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We also have a neat little hopper down below that has a magnetic attachment. So hopper, or the grinds catch rather holds about 30 to 40 grams as well, of course, depending on the size of your grind, and it just magnetically attaches to the ring burr in the bottom of the grinder. There's quite a few magnets in here. It's not too hard to pull out, but it also doesn't really dislodge while you're using the grinder. So overall, really, really nice product. It is pretty hefty, though. It weighs a little over two and a half pounds, so that's... I mean, it's a bit of weight, you know. It's definitely dense and heavy to hold. It may not be the most travel-friendly grinder but overall, really, really nice to use. Very high precision product. It is a stepped adjustment, and each of the 50 settings, little clicks on this adjustment wheel, corresponds to one one-hundredth of a millimeter of burr travel vertically. So you have a very nice, discreet way of changing your grind settings that we've found is really repeatable.

Also, overall in terms of grind quality, we find that all of the Kinu grinders, they all use the same burrs. We find that they all tend to do best at espresso, and that's just in terms of the best clarity of flavor, the best grind quality, the best results in the cup. They do fine for drip grind settings, and you can adjust them pretty coarse. So you can even get, like, coarse French press, batch brew, something like that, if you wanted to. It's just that the flavor quality seems to diminish the coarser you go. You get a little bit less clarity, a little bit more muddiness. Sometimes we've seen a little bit more actual sort of mud in our brews due to fines, where they choke up a little bit. It's easy enough to work with and get good quality brews out of it, but the flavor, the best flavor we find is in that espresso range, finer settings. Even single cup V60s or small AeroPress brews, the finer you go, the better the flavor clarity is, and that's true across all these grinders. In fact, the adjustment and the burrs are the same on all three models. The main differences are in the size and capacity as well as the build materials.

So let's first take a look at the Kinu M47 Traveler. You'll obviously note that it's much smaller. However, we actually have a pretty similar hopper capacity. It holds about 30 grams. The grinds container at the bottom is the smallest capacity at about 25 to 30 grams, of course, again, depending on how fine you're grinding. We also have a much reduced weight and size, of course, because it is intended as a travel grinder. So, instead of a steel body and everything, you know, inserted inside, we have an aluminum body. We also have, still have these metal cross beams, we still have a steel driveshaft and steel burrs. There is a lot of steel in this grinder as well but that aluminum body does a quite a lot to reduce the weight. And then, we have an ABS plastic grinds catch that just pulls right out, so this weighs almost nothing, and that also does a great deal to reduce the weight.

So overall, you have a nice weight and size reduction which makes this a much more travel-friendly grinder. Still the same grind adjustment, the handle itself is a little bit shorter, and that means that it does take a little bit more work to grind because, you know, you still have the same burr set, and you just don't have quite as much leverage as you're turning. However, still pretty easy to get through even in espresso dose, or a couple if you're dialing in. So, really not that hard to use at all. And again, the main advantage here is that we've made for a much more compact grinder that will be much easier to throw into a backpack, or just pack into a kit to travel with you, and not really sacrifice on grind quality at all. Finally, we have the newest addition to the lineup, which is the M47 Phoenix. This is kind of, like, a modified version of the standard M47. You'll see they're very similar in stature and size. The overall dimensions are actually very similar. The Phoenix is slightly smaller in some dimensions. And again, we still have the same burrs, we still have the same adjustment, and we actually have a slightly larger capacity. The hopper itself holds about 40 to 50 grams of coffee.

Kinu M47 Phoenix Manual Coffee and Espresso Grinder

40-50 gram capacity

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The grinds catch still only holds about 30 to 40. So, we have a slight improvement in hopper capacity. But overall, you're still more or less looking at the same grind quality and kind of, like, the same grinder. What is different here though is we have a lot more ABS plastic instead of steel. So our cross beams and supports inside are ABS plastic, our grinds catch is ABS plastic. We do have a steel cylinder body, but this plastic helps reduce the weight overall, so we're down to about 1.6 pounds, a much, much lighter grinder. Overall, we don't really see any drop in performance. There doesn't seem to be any burr wobble or burr rub even at fine settings. And in our experience so far, the Phoenix is just as good a performer as the standard M47. So there might be some concerns about longevity and durability because of the plastic instead of the steel, but if you take good care of your grinder, we think it should last quite a long time, and still perform just as well as the M47.

The only other thing to note, I think, is that, you know, the O-ring on both the Traveler and the Phoenix on the grinds catch is a wear part. Eventually, you know, the compression and pull on the O-ring means they will need to be replaced some point in its lifetime whereas these magnets on the grinds catch, on the Phoenix, they're pretty much going to last a lifetime or 10. You don't really have to worry about them wearing out. You really don't have to worry about much wearing out in the standard M47. Occasionally, you might want to take it apart, and, you know, clean it pretty thoroughly, but there's not really a lot to go wrong here. There might be some wear considerations on the ABS plastic in the Phoenix. As they age, plastics tend to get a little bit more brittle. But, you know, you're probably looking at quite a few years before you have to worry about that. So as long as you're not dropping this or kind of submitting it to getting banged around and that sort of thing, it'll still hold up pretty darn well. So, that is the M47 line from Kinu, three very high-quality hand grinders that serve more or less the same purpose across three different size formats and sort of material sets. All very high quality, great hand grinders with great grind performance and superb quality in the cup.

Sep 12th 2019 meredithlangley

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