For a long while we have received questions about the differences between the Comandante and the Kinu models. We made this video to answer some of those questions and to draw distinctions between the grinders, especially regarding purpose (espresso vs. filter), materials, and user experience.
Hi, I'm Steve with Prima Coffee. And today, we're going to do a comparison between the Kinu grinders and the Comandante. Both of these grinders are beautiful, both of them were designed in Germany, they just have different advantages. The Kinu grinders here actually all use the same drive train, the same 47-millimeter conical steel burrs, the same bearings, the same grind adjustment system, pretty much the same crank arm. So even though we're comparing these sort of three against the Comandante, we're really comparing one and the engineering of that grind quality of a Kinu with that of the Comandante. So the Comandante has 39-millimeter conical steel burrs that they themselves designed for uniformity and for consistency and they do a great job with that. The Kinu burrs on the other hand are manufactured by a company that makes a lot of burrs out there for manual grinders. So that is one big difference between the two. At the outset, we can go ahead and say that what we found in our tests is that the Kinu, they just grind really well for espresso and the Comandante grinds really well for brewing coffee. So your pourover methods and your immersion methods. That seems to be because of these burrs here produce a tighter distribution than the Kinu burrs. When we're grinding in the middle with the Kinus, we just find that there's a wider distribution of grind size. So you'll get some more fines and you'll also get some more of the boulders as well.
Essentially, what we're saying is that when you grind with the Comandante, if you want to grind in the middle, you're going to get more of that middle size with this one than you will with these. And that seems to translate into the taste in the cup as well. We just seem to think that these tasted a little cleaner than what we found with V60 and pourover and those other things with the Kinus. One of the other reasons why the Kinus are great for espresso is because they have a stepless grind adjustment system. You have 50 options per rotation here. So that is a lot. Whereas here on the Comandante, it has a step adjustment system which is right there under that bottom burr, turn it to the right for your finer and to the left for your coarser. And on this one, you find your zero point by turning all the way until that crank arm stops, doesn't move, and then you turn it to the left counter-clockwise until it falls and that is your number one. And then, from there, you can dial back and you can find your position for the grind size that you want. We tend to talk about the Comandante in terms of clicks because as you change the grind size, you can hear those clicks. There are just fewer options per rotations on this and it is a step system. So even though it can grind really well for espresso and for Turkish coffee even, you don't have as many options to dial in than you have on these over here. As far as the materials go on this, you can pretty much see that we're dealing with stainless steel on the Kinus and we have wood and glass here on the Comandante. But what really separates the Kinus from each other is in the amount of plastic that is being used. So on the M47 Classic here which is the most expensive, the only plastic that you're going to find is on the outside of the grinds catch because the grinds catch itself is actually metal on the inside and it is magnetic, so it attaches very smoothly, plastic here on this thumb stopper, and then plastic here on the pommel. Here, on the M47 Simplicity, this is just a simpler version of that so there's just more plastic. Here on the hopper funnel, this is plastic along with that thumb stopper. The entire grinds catch is plastic, so there's just a gasket to push it into place, and the pommel is plastic as well.
The Phoenix over here is the most different from these two in that it has no thumb stopper here but it has more plastic. So the grinds catch is still all plastic with that gasket to push in. But on the inside of these, you have really thick steel supports which they say are auto-centering for that axle. Over here on the Phoenix, you don't have that. You have basically a plastic brace to hold that axle at the top and a plastic brace here at the bottom. What that does on this is it allows, actually, more coffee in that hopper. You can fit about 50 grams in here, whereas over here, you can fit about 40 grams. The Comandante, you can fit about 40 grams give or take as well and it does depend on the density of the coffee you're using. The Comandante also uses a lot of plastic and that's probably why it fits in here in the price range. The parts that matter, and that's the case on all of these. So the parts that are going to grind that coffee, the axle, the bearings, the burrs themselves, the crank arm, these are all going to be metal on all of these models. The Comandante does have a plastic lid here and it has plastic for those interior supports, plastic for the dial to change the grind here on the bottom. Some user thoughts here. We do find that even though it has this thumb stop here which they're calling anti-rotation or anti-torque to help when you're grinding pretty dense beans to keep your thumb position, you can use it in several different ways, we find it's actually a bit uncomfortable. It's better actually to kind of go over that and use your hand over that. We also found that on the Kinu models, you cannot grind really dense, really light-roasted coffees with these. There's a lot of stopping, there's a lot of catching as you're trying to turn the crank arm. On the Comandante, you seem to be able to grind any kind of coffee, any kind of roast, light roast all the way through, with no problems. The burrs work really well to feed. Where there seems to be that's a feeding problem here on the Kinus at that light of a roast. As far as retention goes, there isn't much retention on any of these models. You're going to find about 0.1 to 0.3 grams, give or take a little, with each 20-gram batch, that's what we were testing with on all of these. You might find that on the Comandante, it just looks like a little more retention because it has a wider space for you to see and some of the chaff does collect there on that grind adjustment wheel. On the Kinus, there is less space underneath that bottom burr. It's a very narrow grinder, so you won't be able to see probably as much retention, but it is still there. So that is a comparison of the Comandante with the Kinu grinders. As we said, the Kinus, they grind really well in the espresso range and the Comandantes grind really well for brewing coffee. They can still do espresso but you just have fewer options on that step adjustment. These can brew for pourover but you're just going to find more fines in there and it's not going to be as clean of a cup.