Timemore C3 Review: Solid and Dependable!

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

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I've been on somewhat of a manual coffee grinder kick lately, hence this Timemore C3 review. I guess that ever since writing my manual coffee grinder guide 2024, I've realized that there are now tons of affordable hand grinders that can really deliver in terms of performance and grind consistency.

I’ve been on somewhat of a manual coffee grinder kick lately, hence this Timemore C3 review. I guess that ever since writing my manual coffee grinder guide 2024, I’ve realized that there are now tons of affordable hand grinders that can really deliver in terms of performance and grind consistency.

Sure, you’ll have to put a little work in, but think of all the money you’ll be saving. I mean, a comparable electric grinder can put a serious dent in your bank balance!

With that in mind, I jumped on Amazon and ordered the Timemore Chestnut C3 Pro to test out for you. I’ll discuss my experiences using it a little later in this Timemore C3 review. Suffice to say, I only had to spend $89.00, which is a heck of a good deal!

Solid and Affordable

Timemore Chestnut C3 Pro

Great value for money

Great value

Solid construction

Works fast and efficiently

Easy to clean

Minimal static buildup

Limited grind settings

Overview: Timemore C3 Review

Timemore is a Chinese company that’s garnered a loyal following among specialty coffee enthusiasts. It’s easy to see why – the company is on a mission to produce a range of quality, precision equipment including Timemore grinders, coffee scales and gooseneck kettles.

The Timemore Chestnut C2 has been the manufacturer’s biggest success story, thanks to its budget price tag and outsized performance.

Still, Timemore seems determined to take things to the next level with its latest grinder, the Chestnut C3 Pro. Incidentally, you can save a few bucks by purchasing the Chestnut C3, but I decided to go with the Pro version, so that’s what I’ll be talking about today.

Timemore Chestnut Overview Parts

I’ll get into the C3 Pro’s size and design a little later. Still, I should say that my first impressions of this inexpensive hand grinder were overwhelmingly positive.

One thing that immediately struck me was how sturdy and weighty the thing feels. Sure, it’s not heavy or anything, but the Timemore C3 feels nice and substantial. And at this price point, that really means a lot.

So what sets the C3 Pro apart from its predecessor, the C2? Well, it’s all about the newly designed 38 mm burrs. Again, I’ll tell you all about the new burr set later in this Timemore C3 review. For now, though, I can tell you that the C3 Pro really shines as grinder for pour-over, while being rather limited in other grind size areas.

Of course, the manufacturer would have you believe this is the ultimate grinder for every preparation method under the sun. In fact, just about every manufacturer makes that claim.

Still, allow me to tell it like it is: the Timemore C3 Pro just isn’t all that versatile. Not to say I don’t love this grinder – in fact I’ve continued using it for my morning pour-over. It’s just that this isn’t your dream all-rounder.

Timemore Chestnut C3 Pro Features

I’ve got plenty to tell you about this affordable hand grinder. And, for the most part, it’s all good! So, let’s continue my Timemore C3 review by delving into the features that make it such a worthy investment.

Size and Design

The Timemore C3 Pro is far from flashy or eye-catching. In fact, it’s rather unassuming to look at. Still, I appreciate its understated design and sleek silhouette.

As I mentioned earlier, what’s more impressive is the weight of the thing – it feels very solid indeed. Plus, at only around 6 inches (15 centimeters) tall, the C3 Pro is pretty darn compact. Best of all, the grinder’s slim body and textured aluminum construction make it really easy to grip.

One of the biggest selling points of any manual grinder is its ability to work anywhere, without electricity. I’d say the Timemore Chestnut C3 Pro would make an excellent travel companion, thanks to its diminutive size and solid construction.

What’s more, the crank handle folds down neatly when not in use. Oh, and the C3 Pro comes with its very own travel bag, so extra points there!

Stainless Steel Burrs

Timemore Chestnut Grinder Inside

Remember those new burrs I mentioned earlier in this Timemore C3 review? Well, it’s time to tell you more. The manufacturer is justifiably proud of its newly designed 38mm S2C burrs, in fact there’s a little sticker on the box announcing their presence within.

Incidentally, S2C stands for “Spike to Cut,” which is actually a patented design that first showed up in the Timemore Chestnut X.

Here’s the deal: the burrs have special teeth along the edge of each spiral, enabling better grind consistency and speed.

I can tell you that I was really impressed by the burrs’ performance, overall. While the Timemore Chestnut C3 Pro might not be the fastest hand grinder out there, it’s certainly no slouch. I found the grinder to work quickly and smoothly at all grind settings, and experienced very little static buildup. Long story short: the new S2C burr set is a winner!

Grind Settings

Timemore Chestnut Grind Size Settings

OK, let’s clear a few things up before we go any further. The Timemore C3 Pro doesn’t have stepless grind adjustments. No matter what the manufacturer says in its promotional material.

In fact, the C3 Pro is rather limited in the grind setting department. Essentially, you’ve got around 13 usable grind settings, ranging from those suitable for espresso to coarser settings for French press. That said at each grind stage, the C3 Pro produces an impressively consistent grind size.

You’re able to make grind adjustments by turning the metal dial, which features a guide to help you find your way. Still, with only a couple of clicks available in the espresso range, you can’t exactly dial in with precision, no matter how consistent the results might be.

On the flip side, there are several usable clicks in the middle of the grind size spectrum, making this grinder ideal for a drip coffee maker, pour-over dripper or Chemex.

Foldable Handle

I’ve noticed that other reviewers like to make a big deal of how long a manual grinder takes to process any given amount of coffee beans. Personally, I only think that’s worth talking about if a grinder is particularly fast or painfully slow.

Timemore Chestnut Handle Touch
Timemore Chestnut in Hand

During my Timemore C3 review, I didn’t really pay much attention to the time, seeing as the grinder made it so easy on me. Maybe it’s not the fastest hand grinder I’ve ever tested, but the crank handle was easy to operate and I experienced smooth and effortless grinding.

If I have one complaint it’s that the crank handle feels ever so slightly flimsy and the plastic knob looks and feels cheap. Still, none of that matters much at this price point.

What’s more important to mention is the awesome mechanism for folding down the handle so it sits flush to the body of the grinder.

Oh, and there’s even a little rubber stopper under the knob, so you can use it as a grinds knocker without scratching the aluminum. I’m a sucker for thoughtful design details like that!

Catch Cup

The Timemore Chestnut C3 Pro features a screw-on catch cup with a maximum capacity of around 25 grams. While the catch cup attaches nicely, I’d avoid screwing it on too tightly.

Trust me, I was a little too enthusiastic at one point during my testing, and experienced a panicky moment when I feared I’d never get the thing to come off again!

While I’m on the subject, I’d highly recommend using the included brush to take care of any coffee buildup on the catch cup threads. That’ll definitely help keep everything from seizing up.

The Timemore Chestnut C3 Pro in Use

Having tested the mind-blowing 1Zpresso J-Max a few days before my Timemore C3 review, my expectations were set fairly low. That’s probably a good thing, because the Chestnut C3 Pro was a pleasant surprise!

I really enjoyed the Timemore grinder’s even weight distribution and intelligent design, both of which contributed to a seamless grinding experience.

Timemore Chestnut Adding Beans
Timemore Chestnut Grinding

Sure, adjusting the grind is a little fiddly, but that’s the case with most hand grinders. Plus, with its limited 20-25 gram capacity, preparing a full Chemex coffee maker might end up feeling like a chore in the long run.

Still, using the Timemore C3 Pro is as easy as weighing your coffee beans, pouring them in the chamber and attaching the handle for grinding.

Of course, the burning question is whether or not the C3 Pro is suitable for espresso preparation. Having used it to pull shots from a couple of different home espresso machines, I can tell you the Timemore C3 is capable of producing fine enough (and consistent enough) grounds.

However, the fact remains that making micro-adjustments is impossible. So, using the C3 Pro for grinding espresso means you’ll need to focus more on your dose and brew ratio. While that’s not ideal, the Timemore could be great to take out on the road with your preferred portable espresso machine.

When it came to making pour-over, the Timemore C3 really knocked it outta the park. You’ve got a lot more room to maneuver here – pour over settings range from 13 to 16 clicks of the dial. In my experience, the C3 Pro’s burrs worked a special kind of magic for my Hario V60. I made coffee with a few single origin coffees, and was consistently rewarded with bright, complex and clean cup results.

Ultimately, this grinder excels for manual brewing, especially if you’re a fan of light roast coffee beans.

Timemore C3 Pro Cleaning

Timemore Chestnut Folded

Keeping the Timemore Chestnut C3 Pro in good working order is a piece of cake. As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t experience much static buildup, and the cool grinds knocker on the handle takes care of any residual fines.

With that said, it’s never a bad idea to brush off the grinder after each use. While you’re at it, give the collection cup a little brushing too.

Once a week, or so, I’d recommend disassembling the grinder for deep cleaning of the burrs. This’ll help prolong the lifespan of the C3 Pro, seeing as fine particles and dust can build up and cause consistency problems. I’m not about to give you a tutorial, but the user manual has a complete guide to taking the thing apart.

Timemore Chestnut C3 Pro Specifications

Timemore Chestnut C3 Pro
ManufacturerTimemore
NameChestnut C3 Pro Manual Coffee Grinder
TypeHand Coffee Grinder
Burrs38mm stainless steel conical
Capacity20-25 g
Grind adjustment levels20+
Weight1.0 lb / 473.0 g
Color optionsBlack, Gold, White
Height6.5 in / 16.5 cm
Current price on Amazon$89.00

Timemore C3 Pro vs Other Manual Coffee Grinders

I’ve already mentioned a couple of other hand grinders in this Timemore C3 review. Still, let’s see how the Chesnut C3 Pro measures up in comparison to a couple of other affordable options.

Timemore C3 Pro vs C2

As you now know, the Timemore C3 is an upgraded version of the hugely popular Timemore Chestnut C2.

While the two grinders are actually the same size, the C2 doesn’t have those fancy new burrs. And as you’d expect, that means it doesn’t offer the grind quality of its successor.

Although the C2 has a few more grind size settings, it’s going to be less suitable for espresso than the already limited C3 Pro. Still, costing just $55.20, the Timemore C2 is an absolute bargain for pour-over aficionados.

Related: Best Manual Coffee Grinder 2024

Timemore C3 Pro vs 1Zpresso JX Pro

1Zpresso JX Pro Overview

Costing $169.00, the 1Zpresso JX Pro os a good deal more expensive than the Timemore C3 Pro.

However, you really do get what you pay for in this case. The 1Zpresso JX Pro is geared toward espresso preparation, and provides the kind of versatility at the finer end of the grind size spectrum that you need.

For reference, I’m talking about a grinder with 48mm burrs, over 200 grind settings and an adjustment of just 12.5 microns between each click!

Related: 1Zpresso J Max Review 2024

Timemore C3 Pro vs Others Comparison Chart

Timemore Chestnut C3 ProTimemore Chestnut C21Zpresso JX Pro
ManufacturerTimemoreTimemore1Zpresso
NameChestnut C3 Pro Manual Coffee GrinderChestnut C2 Manual Coffee GrinderJX-Pro S Manual Coffee Grinder
TypeHand Coffee GrinderHand Coffee GrinderHand Coffee Grinder
Burrs38mm stainless steel conical38mm stainless steel conical48mm stainless steel conical
Capacity20-25 g20 g35 g
Grind adjustment levels20+25+200+
Weight1.0 lb / 473.0 g1.1 lb / 512 g1.7 lb / 778.0 g
Color optionsBlack, Gold, WhiteBlackSilver
Height6.5 in / 16.5 cm7.2 in / 18.3 cm7.5 in / 19.0 cm
Current price on Amazon$89.00$55.20$169.00

Verdict: Timemore C3 Review

Solid and Affordable

Timemore Chestnut C3 Pro

Great value for money

Great value

Solid construction

Works fast and efficiently

Easy to clean

Minimal static buildup

Limited grind settings

I think I mentioned earlier that I’ve continued using the Timemore Chestnut C3 Pro as my daily driver. And don’t forget that there’s a lot of competition in my kitchen!

Sure, I like to mix it up and play around with different grinders as much as the next coffee nerd. However, the fact that I’m enjoying this particular model even after I’ve finished my official testing speaks volumes.

I think I’ve made it clear that this isn’t really suitable for use as an espresso grinder. But it’ll do in a pinch. And given its incredibly reasonable asking price, the fact that the C3 Pro is even a kind-of-acceptable espresso grinder is highly impressive!

That’s a wrap for my Timemore C3 review. Have any of you guys used this manual coffee grinder? What’s your take? I look forward to your comments!

Timemore C3 Review FAQ

If you like to prepare pour-over coffee and the odd espresso, the Timemore C3 is very much worth considering.

The main upgrade found in the Timemore C3 is the new S2C burr set.

Timemore is based in Shenzhen, China.

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Arne Preuss

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

More about Arne Preuss

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

More about Arne Preuss

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