Hario Skerton Plus Review 2023: Timeless Classic or Outdated Relic?

After working as a professional barista for many years, Arne Preuss founded Coffeeness.

I've been testing out quite a few manual coffee grinders lately, but today's Hario Skerton Plus review is a little different. You see, the Hario Skerton and I go way back. In fact, I'd consider this legendary budget hand grinder to be one of my oldest friends.

I’ve been testing out quite a few manual coffee grinders lately, but today’s Hario Skerton Plus review is a little different. You see, the Hario Skerton and I go way back. In fact, I’d consider this legendary budget hand grinder to be one of my oldest friends.

Sure, the Hario Skerton Plus offers a slight upgrade from the original, but they’re essentially the same.

With all that said, one question remains: is this model worth buying, or are you better off with one of the new generation of manual coffee grinders? All will be revealed in my Hario Skerton Plus review!

Exceptional value!

Hario Skerton Plus

Suitable for pour-over

Very affordable

Easy to clean

Quiet in operation

Ideal for pour-over

Durable ceramic burrs

Struggles with coarser grind sizes

Rather bulky

Overview: Hario Skerton Plus Review

If you’ve spent any time perusing my Coffeeness reviews, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of Hario. The Japanese manufacturer has been producing top-notch coffee gear at reasonable prices for a long time. In fact, the Hario V60 is my go-to pour-over coffee maker and the Hario Buono is usually my preferred gooseneck kettle.

Hario Skerton Plus all Parts

So, where does that leave the Hario Skerton manual coffee grinder? Well, the trusty Skerton is still lurking in my kitchen, but it’s been gathering dust for quite some time.

You see, I’m lucky enough to have a fleet of burr coffee grinders at my disposal. And if I’m reaching for a hand grinder it’s likely going to be my beloved Comandante C40. With that said, the 1Zpresso J-Max has really opened my eyes to how effective a manual grinder can be for espresso.

Still, I’m well aware that most of you don’t have kitchens resembling coffee labs. Plus, assembling an extensive collection of grinders would seriously impact your bank balance.

And that’s why you might want to consider the Hario Skerton Plus. As it happens, this grinder will set you back a paltry $39.50.

What’s more, the Skerton Plus performs more than admirably at the finer end of the grind size spectrum. As for coarse grinds, well … that’s a different story. I’ll go into more detail a little later.

For now though, you should know that this affordable grinder might be just what you need – either as your main rig or a backup for experimenting with new coffee beans.

Hario Skerton Plus Features

Now that we’ve got a better idea of what we’re dealing with, let’s continue this Hario Skerton Plus review by checking out the grinder’s notable features.

Size and Design

On first impression, the Hario Skerton Plus looks identical to its predecessor. In other words, it kind of resembles a fancy pepper mill. Still, you’ve gotta love the grinder’s weird, bulbous silhouette. In fact, the Hario Skerton is pretty much a design icon at this point.

Hario Skerton Plus Grinding

The hard plastic upper chamber feels solid and actually quite premium. Plus, the metal crank arm is about as durable as it gets. Still, the glass collection jar makes me a little nervous, even though it’s very thick and does cut down on static retention.

The only component that feels cheap to me is the silicone hopper lid. I hate the way it feels, and it gets dirty and gross almost immediately. It kind of reminds me of one of those Wacky Wall Walker toys I used to have as a kid.

While the Hario Skerton Plus has a really generous capacity – the collection jar holds 100 grams – it’s less than ideal for travel. Here, the grinder’s bulky shape means it’ll be awkward as a backpack accessory. I’d be much more likely to throw the slim and lightweight JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder into my bag.

Ceramic Conical Burrs

closeup of the Hario Skerton Plus ceramic burr.

A big part of what keeps the Hario Skerton Plus at such a reasonable price point is its ceramic conical burrs. While the burrs are actually very effective, they just aren’t as durable nor as precise as stainless steel burrs.

However, on the plus side, ceramic burrs don’t create as much heat transfer during grinding. What’s more, you can clean ceramic burrs using water. Just be careful when you’re handling any ceramic burr – it could shatter if you drop it on the floor!

Grind Settings

Let’s cut right to the chase: making grind adjustments on the Hario Skerton Plus is a royal pain in the rear end. That’ll be especially apparent if you’ve used other hand grinders with adjustment dials under the burrs.

With the Skerton Plus, you have to remove the top nut, then the handle and then a little metal locking ring. Once that’s done, you move the burrs by turning a stepless dial. Then you have to put it all back together!

Adjusting the grind on the Hario Skerton Plus.

Seeing as there’s no clicking involved and no grind size indicator, finding your grind setting is a case of trial and error. In other words, once you’ve found a setting that works, you aren’t going to want to go through the process again.

So, the Hario Skerton Plus isn’t ideal if you want to use it with your espresso machine in the morning and your drip coffee maker in the afternoon.

As I mentioned earlier, the Skerton Plus produces impressively consistent results at the finer end of the spectrum. This comes down to the fact that the manufacturer included a stabilizing plate in the Plus model to keep the center shaft in place.

However, this hasn’t really helped improve the Skerton when it comes to coarser settings. Unfortunately, I have to report that the Skerton Plus failed miserably in terms of consistency for French press and cold brew grinds.

Crank Handle

The Hario Skerton Plus crank handle.

Earlier in this Hario Skerton Plus review I mentioned the sturdy crank arm. Allow me to once again congratulate the manufacturer on providing a crank handle that feels like it’ll last forever! Oh, and unlike the aforementioned JavaPresse hand grinder, the Skerton Plus crank arm doesn’t feel at all wobbly or unstable in use.

My only complaint would be that the nut for securing the handle in place tends to come unscrewed while you’re grinding, especially if you’re using too much power. Still, during my testing it never flew off.

Overall, the Hario crank handle makes grinding feel smooth and effortless if you’re using medium or dark roast coffee beans. However, you’ll find it more challenging to grind light roasts seeing as the beans are more dense.

Glass Catch Cup

I love the bulbous glass catch cup seeing as it’s easy to clean and doesn’t encourage static buildup. What’s more, you can grind a lot of coffee with the Hario Skerton Plus. Especially if you feel like working those biceps!

Hario Skerton Plus Glas

What I find confusing is the included screw-on cap. Is Hario suggesting we use the catch cup as a coffee bean storage container? Or that we (shudder) store ground coffee in there?

In the first scenario, the glass jar would be unsuitable seeing as it isn’t UV-tinted. And as for the second scenario, do I really have to go on another rant about using freshly ground coffee?

By the way, if you end up breaking the glass catch cup, you should know that a standard Mason jar will work as a replacement. You won’t be able to use the included rubber base, though. Actually, that won’t be a great loss – I found that the non-slip base didn’t fit snugly enough and kept falling off. So, design points deducted there!

The Hario Skerton Plus in Use

During the testing phase of my Hario Skerton Plus review I alternated between using a light roast single origin coffee from el Salvador and a medium roast Brazilian blend.

As I already mentioned, the Hario made short work of the darker beans, but grinding the El Salvador was hard work. Plus, the burrs stuttered somewhat with the denser beans, so I really felt the burn after grinding just 25 grams.

Hario Skerton Plus Coffee Grinds in Use

Still, once I’d found a decent setting for pour-over, the Skerton Pro did a great job in terms of providing a consistent grind size. And when I brewed up the El Slavador in either a Hario V60 or a Kalita Wave dripper, the results were quite good. Some of the sweetness and complexity was missing from the flavor profile, but the coffee was still enjoyable.

Besides, I’ve been alternating between the 1Zpresso J Max and the Timemore C3 lately, so I’ve been spoiled in the cup quality department.

While it’s true that many grinders struggle to produce consistency at coarser settings, the results from the Hario Skerton were comically bad. Things were a little better for a Chemex grind, but still not ideal.

Ultimately, this is a great grinder for manual brewing, even if it feels kind of outdated. And I suppose you could use it for espresso if you had no better option. Still, the inability to confidently make micro-adjustments could end up being frustrating.

On the other hand, the Hario Skerton Plus is definitely capable of producing powder that’s fine enough for Turkish coffee, and it’ll easily deliver the goods for AeroPress.

I should mention that the Hario Skerton might not be the best manual grinder for those of you with smaller hands. The grinder’s unique shape could make it difficult for you to keep hold of. On the plus side, this Hario grinder is one of the quietest I’ve tested. Still, that’ll be irrelevant if it keeps crashing to the floor after you lose your grip!

Hario Skerton Plus Cleaning

Don’t worry – this section won’t be very long. Seriously, cleaning and maintaining the Hario Skerton Plus couldn’t be easier. For starters, you can wash the collection cup just like you would any other glass in the house. Still, I would avoid putting it in the dishwasher.

As for the ceramic burrs, you’ll need to clean them once every couple of weeks. Unlike stainless steel burrs, these can be rinsed under warm water or even soaked. That way, you can remove any coffee oils or dust particles that have built up over time.

And that’s pretty much it. See, I told you this section wouldn’t be very long!

Hario Skerton Plus Specifications

Hario Skerton Plus
NameSkerton Plus
TypeHand Coffee Grinder
BurrsCeramic conical
Capacity100 g
Grind adjustment levelsStepless
Weight1.2 lb / 544.3 g
Color optionsBlack
Height6.5 in / 16.5 cm
Current price on Amazon$39.50

Hario Skerton Plus vs Other Hand Grinders

Let’s take a quick look at how the Hario Skerton Plus fares in comparison to a couple of the Japanese manufacturer’s other hand grinders.

Hario Skerton Plus vs Pro

Costing $49.50, the Hario Skerton Pro doesn’t cost a whole lot more than the Skerton Plus. And from what I can gather, its performance is comparable in terms of grind consistency.

However, the Skerton Pro represents a huge jump when it comes to ease of use and build quality. The crank arm has been strengthened and improved, and the hopper lid is plastic instead of silicone.

Even better, Hario has done away with the fiddly adjustment system and installed a dial under the burrs for changing the grind size.

Overall, I’d say it’s worth spending a little more on the Hario Skerton Pro.

Hario Skerton Plus vs Mini-Slim Plus

The Hario Mini Slim Plus is another affordable ceramic coffee mill.

For $37.50, the Mini Slim Plus is comparable in price with the Skerton Plus, and it’ll deliver similar performance results. That said, the Hario Mini Slim Plus is much more compact and, as its name suggests, it’s much easier to keep hold of.

And like the Skerton Pro, this hand grinder features an adjustment dial under the burrs. While the Hario Slim Mini Mill has a much-reduced capacity, I’d say it’ll be a much better travel grinder option than the Skerton Plus.

See Also: Hario Mini-Slim Plus Review 2023

Hario Skerton Plus vs Others Comparison Chart

Hario Skerton PlusHario Skerton ProHario Mini-Slim Plus
NameSkerton PlusSkerton ProMini-Slim Plus
TypeHand Coffee GrinderHand Coffee GrinderHand Coffee Grinder
BurrsCeramic conicalCeramic conicalCeramic conical
Capacity100 g100 g24 g
Grind adjustment levelsStepless16+13+
Weight1.2 lb / 544.3 g1.4 lb / 635.0 g10.6 oz / 300.5 g
Color optionsBlackBlackBlack
Height6.5 in / 16.5 cm7.7 in / 19.5 cm7.0 in / 17.8 cm
Current price on Amazon$39.50$49.50$37.50

Verdict: Hario Skerton Plus Review

Exceptional value!

Hario Skerton Plus

Suitable for pour-over

Very affordable

Easy to clean

Quiet in operation

Ideal for pour-over

Durable ceramic burrs

Struggles with coarser grind sizes

Rather bulky

Having reached the end of my Hario Skerton Plus review, I can’t help but wonder who this hand crank grinder is for. After all, it’s not exactly travel-friendly, and you won’t have to spend much more to get a far superior hand grinder.

Still, the Hario Skerton Plus is so affordable that I could see it coming in handy if you want a backup grinder for testing new beans. Or for when the power goes out. Maybe that’s the reason I’ve been keeping my old friend around!

So, if you’ve been using a blade coffee grinder and want to experience the wonders of a burr grinder, pick up the Hario Skerton Plus. You won’t spend much and it’ll give you a good idea of what you’ve been missing out on. Then you can decide whether or not you want to upgrade to something more serious.

Do you own the Hario Skerton Plus? Have I been too dismissive of this affordable classic? Let me know in the comments section!

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