The 1Zpresso K Max is the latest hand grinder to hit the 1Zpresso lineup and is already making waves in the coffee community. With a solid build, simple grind adjustment system, large burrs, and an affordable price, it’s easy to see why people love it.
The 1Zpresso K max is a multi-purpose grinder for both pour-over and espresso. So let’s dive in and see if this manual coffee grinder is right for you.
1Zpresso K Max Review
1Zpresso K Series
While this article will mainly focus on the 1Zpresso K Max, it is worth noting that there are several other grinders in the K series: the K Pro, and the K Plus. These grinders all share the same burr set and grind adjustment system. They do however have differences in design, build and thus price.
1Zpresso K Pro
The 1Zpresso K Pro is the most affordable grinder in the K series. It has a slightly smaller capacity, 30-35 grams, than the others. The catch cup is also more basic, being screw-on rather than magnetic.
1Zpresso K Max
The K max is the mid-tier model and our favorite in the series. It has a slim and aesthetically pleasing design with a magnetic catch cup. The K Pro and K Max come with similar travel cases and accessories.
1Zpresso K Plus
The K Plus is the premium model in the K series. The key difference is that the K Plus has a blind shaker bottom on the catch cup, allowing you to dose directly into a portafilter. This does mean the catch cup is slightly wider. The K Plus also comes with a more substantial travel case.
Design and Build Quality
The 1Zpresso K Max is a beautiful grinder with the fit and finishes you would expect of a premium hand grinder. It is built from high-grade aluminum alloy and has a hefty weight. The grinder has a slim body that narrows in the center, making it easier to hold. It is available in two colors: iron gray or silver, with a wooden knob giving it an industrial vibe.
But where the 1Zpresso K Max shines is in the minute details. The textured middle makes it easy to grip during grinding. The magnetic catch cup holds securely, so you don’t risk knocking it off. There is even a rubber base on the bottom of the grinder to prevent slipping.
The 1Zpresso K Max comes with a travel case, air blower, and brush. All this shows that the K Max is a high-quality grinder with a thoughtful design. So let’s take a look inside to see how it stacks up.
Inside, the 1Zpresso K Max is loaded with large 48mm stainless steel conical burrs, known as the ‘K burr.’ These burrs share a very similar geometry to the Comandante burrs. The K burr is more pour over focused and excels at consistency, particularly in the medium-fine to medium-coarse grind range. The burrs are held securely in place, preventing any burr wobble.
The K burr geometry means the beans have a slightly slower feed rate and grinding speed than other grinders in the lineup, like the J Max, but far better consistency.
The grind adjustment system on the 1Zpresso K Max is one of its defining features. The K Max has an external grind adjustment dial with nine numbers to use as reference. Each number has ten clicks per rotation resulting in an impressive 90 clicks per rotation. All the grind sizes are available within a single rotation, making it simple and intuitive to switch between grind sizes and dial-in.
Each click moves the burr by 22 microns per step. This means the grinder covers the full grind range, from Turkish to Cold Brew.
The K Max is capable of grinding for espresso and produces some delicious shots with well balanced sweetness, acidity and mouthfeel. This grinder is a good match if you like modern espresso, light roasts and high clarity shots. The only downside is that the K Max doesn’t offer as much precision for dialing in. The larger steps mean you may have to play around with other variables like dose to dial in precisely. In comparison, the 1zpresso J Max grinder offers the finest adjustment mechanism, moving the burr by a tiny 8.8 microns per click.
Grind settings K Max
The 1Zpresso K Max offers impressive grind quality. The grinds are fluffy and consistent with far fewer fines and boulders than other grinders. As mentioned above, the burrs are geared towards pour over and produce clean, bright brews. The espresso produced is also delicious and balanced. However, the K Max doesn’t have the fine grind precision offered by other 1Zpresso grinders like the J Max or JX Pro.
The K Max is one of the fastest grinders in the 1Zpresso lineup, particularly if you grind for pour-over or French press. This comes down to the ergonomic design; a smoothly spinning handle and large burrs that quickly chew through coffee beans. The K Max is even faster than many electric counterparts. Grinding takes around 30-40 seconds for most brewing methods. Grinding does require more elbow grease if you are grinding for espresso with lighter roasted beans.
The 1Zpresso K Max comes with a blower and brush to help clean. Grinding does result in some static build-up, although the K Max is better than other grinders in the K series. Many users advocate using the ross droplet technique (where a drop of water is added to the beans before grinding) to prevent static build-up.
Everyday cleaning is straightforward and requires simply brushing away any residual coffee grounds. A deep clean is more involved, requiring you to disassemble the grinder to brush out the burrs. The good news is all 1Zpresso grinders can be taken apart without any tools. You need to recalibrate the grinder to the zero point when you reassemble the grinder, which can be fiddly.
Value for Money
The 1Zpresso K Max offers excellent value for money, retailing at around $239 USD. It has a premium build, exceptional grind consistency, and is straightforward to use. This hand grinder out-grinds many electric grinders and can even grind for espresso at a fraction of the cost. If pour over is your mainstay, but you want the option of also grinding for espresso, the 1Zpresso K Max is an excellent choice. If you aren’t convinced, check out our 1Zpresso grinder guide to compare the different models.
1Zpresso K Max vs Comandante c40
The Comandante c40 has long been considered the gold standard for hand grinders in the coffee community. Like the K Max, it is a good all-rounder grinder capable of grinding for a wide range of brew methods.
The Comandante has a stepped adjustment dial offering 12 clicks per rotation and 35 different grind settings. The adjustment system is a bit dated compared to the K Max, requiring you to count clicks for grind settings. Each click moves the burr by 30 microns. If you want to use the Comandante for espresso, you can get the red clix mod which doubles the number of grind settings and allows you to dial in precisely.
The Comandante is loaded with 38mm steel conical burrs known as nitro burrs. These are tough and known to be long-lasting. These burrs are also known to produce excellent grind quality and a complex cup. The Comandante has a massive community behind it and is well loved because it produces delicious coffee. However, it does come at a higher price, doesn’t come with accessories, is slower to grind with and has a more complex grind adjustment system.
1Zpresso K Max- The Verdict
The 1Zpresso K Max is an exceptional grinder. The external grind adjustment system makes it easy to switch between brewing methods. The large 48mm burrs and ergonomic design make it fast and, dare I say, enjoyable to grind with. And to top it off, the grind quality is exceptional for the price you pay. The K Max is one of the best grinders in its price range. So if you are on the market for a hybrid grinder capable of grinding for pour-over and espresso, the K Max is well worth considering.