One of the fun (if not aggravating at times) aspects of coffee is how small changes can have big impacts. Didn’t nail that pour on your Chemex? That’s a two-minute penalty on your overall brew time. Was your tamp a touch unlevel? That’s a spritz of hot espresso in your eye. The same is true of coffee gear, where seemingly minute modifications to design can be game changing. And that’s the sort of impact the Knob Coffee Grinder is hoping to have. Now live on Kickstarter, the Knob is an axle-less portable hand grinder looking to bring a new level of consistency to the manual grinder market.
Ah the dreaded wobble, bane of grind consistency. Most portable hand grinders work by using a manual-powered crank attached to the centermost point of a conical burr to turn it, crushing the beans. But if the user doesn’t rotate the crank perfectly flat along that horizontal plane, the conical burr can “wobble”, creating varying distances between itself and the other burr used to grind the coffee. These slight variances in distance will create a wider range of grind sizes produces, also known as inconsistency. Some hand grinders mitigate the wobble by fortifying the axle, but Knob has opted to do away with it entirely.
Per the Kickstarter, for their “patent-pending design, one and first of a kind,” the Knob grinder has a fixed conical burr and instead has the hand crank turn the ring burr around the conical. This, according to Knob, “completely eliminates the possibility of wobbling.” With the axle no longer part of the design, the Knob can be easily disassembled into two pieces, which allows for easy cleaning.
Other features include stepless grind setting—ranging from 1 for fine Turkish grind to 36 for cold brew—with the changes coming from an adjustment ring on the outside of the grinder; no more opening up the hand grinder to change the setting (a much welcome design change). The fill capacity of the Knob is unknown, though the Kickstarter states that the small but mighty 60mm by 150mm grinder can plough through 20g of beans in 40 seconds, which they claim will “save you 2x the time and effort when compared with other grinders.”
Going live on Kickstarter yesterday, August 31st, the Knob hand grinder seeks to raise $25,000 in the next 30 days, and there are a host of reward options available. Retailing for €245 ($285 USD), 150 Super Early Birds can snag a Knob grinder, cleaning brush, and customized name/logo $169. After that, the price will go up to $219 for the full package or just $189 for the grinder alone. Super Early Bird rewards are expected to be delivered in December 2021, with Early Bird deals to shortly follow in February 2022. For more information, visit the Knob Coffee Grinder Kickstarter page.