Comandante Grinder Review: Can Manual Labor Get Any Easier?

The Comandante C40 MK3 Nitro Blade grinder -- the follow-up to the Comandante C40 MK2 hand grinder -- has been my go-to for a while now. Sure, at home, I use electric coffee grinders, but when I’m on the road a few months of the year, I need a good hand coffee grinder.

The Comandante C40 MK3 Nitro Blade grinder — the follow-up to the Comandante C40 MK2 hand grinder — has been my go-to for a while now. Sure, at home, I use electric coffee grinders, but when I’m on the road a few months of the year, I need a good hand coffee grinder.

Because let’s face it: without freshly ground coffee, nothing gets done!

After using the Comandante coffee grinder for quite some time, I can honestly say that it’s very suitable for travel and home use. You can use it for all preparation methods, plus it’s very quick and accurate. Even espresso machine users will be happy with it.

This is a tool for the very ambitious, though, since not everyone is willing to spend around $350 on a hand grinder. Here’s what you get for that roughly $350: for starters, the whole package was much bigger than I expected, and there’s a separate jar for the ground coffee, too. Not only that, but each Comandante grinder comes with an inspection certificate from one of Comandante’s employees.

Though there are several models of the Comandante C40 MK3 Nitro Blade to choose from, you’ll see the wood Comandante coffee grinder in all the photos for this review. There’s also a pretty cool stainless steel version for the same price that isn’t bad. You can check out the different styles and find your local dealer on the Comandante website

Best Hand Grinder Choice

Comandante Grinder

Check out the Comandante grinder -- the winner of my hand coffee grinders review.

Compact

Chic design

The Swiss army knife of hand coffee grinders

Very consistent results

High-quality engineering

On the expensive side

The C40 MK3 Nitro Blade Comandante Grinder: An Overview

No matter how cool it looks, the Comandante coffee grinder — like all other coffee grinders — is only as good as how well it performs. So, that’s how I’ll judge it. 

One of the Comandante grinder’s obvious strengths is its ability to grind coffee for all types of preparation.

A close-up of the grind consistency from a Comandante hand coffee grinder

Coarsegrind settings for:

Medium grind settings for:

Fine grind settings for:

I achieved very good, consistent results with all the grind settings. The stainless steel grinder makes an excellent impression and is very well-made. Without a doubt, though, the greatest feature is the easy adjustment of the grind. Just press and turn — it’s a dream come true. 

With many other manual coffee grinders, it can be a lot of work to find and maintain the correct grind. You’ll see that things work differently and more efficiently with the Comandante grinder.

A view of the Comandante hand coffee grinder’s grinder block

Grinding Speed and Ease of Use

When it comes to grinding speed, the Comandante grinder is very impressive compared to other hand coffee grinders. Of course, it depends on which grind setting you’re using, too. For example, if you want finer grounds, you’ll have to spend more time working. 

Still, overall, it’s surprisingly fast, even at the very finest settings. With my Zassenhaus coffee hand grinder, I’d say I spend twice as long grinding. Don’t quote me on that, though — I haven’t performed an actual side-by-side comparison yet.

Cranking is simple and easy, too, thanks to a double ball-bearing grinder. Plus, the Comandante grinder fits very nicely in the hand, which is very important for this kind of coffee grinder. In other words, you won’t have to wedge the Comandante hand grinder between your legs to get a super-fine grind. That double-bearing axle really is a big relief.

There’s just a much better power transfer than in any other hand coffee grinder I’ve reviewed so far.

Why Should I Spend So Much Money on a Hand Coffee Grinder?

Yes, the Comandante grinder is an expensive hand coffee grinder, and of course, there are many cheaper and perfectly good alternatives. Still, I would definitely recommend the Comandante coffee grinder because:

  • It looks cool
  • It feels great in your hand
  • Cranking isn’t strenuous
  • Grinding is very fast
  • The grind settings are easy to adjust

Comandante Grinder: Parts and Build

Before I even held the Comandante grinder for the first time, I was a little skeptical of the push-fit connection from the crank to the grinder. It just looked so flimsy. As it turns out, my concerns weren’t even justified.

A magnetic connection takes care of everything! Plus, the crank fits perfectly. This high-end engineering, design and build are exactly what you think of when you hear something is 100 percent “made in Germany” — it represents the highest in quality. Even my father, a mechanical engineer who also places a lot of value on good design, gave the Comandante grinder his blessing but still thought it was a little too expensive for a manual grinder. No argument here.

Final Inspection and Certificate

Now, let’s talk about who signed off on my grinder. In this case, it was Raphael, according to the display on an elegant little certificate card. Again, this personal touch just goes to show the details of this product, which is how I answer the first voice in my head screaming: “you have to justify that high price somehow!” 

The Comandante hand coffee grinder’s inspection certificate

The Verdict: Comandante C40 MK3 Nitro Blade Grinder

It’s clear: the Comandante hand grinder performed very well in my review. While I’ve always tried to avoid grinding coffee by hand in the past, I really enjoy doing it now, thanks to Comandante. It’s quick and easy and a lot of fun. I think you’ll agree that the photos say it all.

Best Hand Grinder Choice

Comandante Grinder

Check out the Comandante grinder -- the winner of my hand coffee grinders review.

Compact

Chic design

The Swiss army knife of hand coffee grinders

Very consistent results

High-quality engineering

On the expensive side

I mostly use the Comandante grinder for pour-over, but make no mistake, it’s the Swiss army knife of hand coffee grinders and works well for all brewing methods. It doesn’t come cheap (at around $350), but once you use it, you’ll realize that you got your money’s worth with this one. Like I said at the beginning of this review, no matter where I am in the world, I always have the Comandante grinder with me.

What do you think of the Comandante grinder? Are you as enthusiastic as I am? I’d love to hear your opinion! Thanks for reading!

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