At first glance a knock box can seem like an unnecessary accessory that is just one more piece of coffee gear to clutter up your kitchen. But these funny little boxes are surprisingly useful and worthwhile if regularly use an espresso machine. In this article we will cover everything you need to know before buying a knock box and then give our top 5 picks.

What Is A Knock Box?

A knock box or ‘bash bin’ is simply a box used to store used espresso pucks after a shot has been pulled. They all have simple, functional designs and are generally made of plastic or stainless steel with a sturdy bar to knock your portafilter on to release the puck.

Why Do You Need One?

The main reasons you should consider getting a knock box are convenience and cleanliness. A knock box makes clean up a breeze so you can sit back and enjoy that coffee! You won’t have to worry about dripping espresso on your floor as you carry your portafilter to the sink or bin. You won’t risk blocking your drain if you are discarding used pucks down the sink or damaging your bin if you are knocking the portafilter on that. A Knock Box is a simple but functional tool that can make life that little bit easier.

Tamping coffee in a portafilter

What To Look For In A Knock Box? 

When it comes to Knock Boxes there is not much variety. They all have very similar designs and function in the same basic way. Even the prices don’t vary that much. Probably the most important things to consider are aesthetic appeal, size and sturdiness.

  • Aesthetic appeal: This is one of the most important things to consider when buying a Knock Box. As it will be sitting on your bench top all day you want something that will look good and suit you kitchen decor.
  • Size: Consider how often you are going to be using your Knock Box. If it is a lot you will need a larger box so you don’t have to empty it as often. Also consider how much room you have on your bench. If you are pushed for space you might want to opt for a more compact one that could fit beneath your group head when not in use.
  • Sturdiness: If you are going to invest in a Knock Box you are going to want one that will last and can stand up to being knocked without damaging the bar or portafilter. 

Top 5 Knock Boxes


Grindenstein Knock Box

This sturdy knock box is made of plastic with a rubber coated steel bar. It comes in red, black or silver colours to suit all styles. It is a very durable knock box standing up to years of regular use. In addition to this it comes in 2 sizes: a compact size that can fit under the group head of most espresso machines and a larger one if you use it frequently. 

Pros:

  • Compact
  • Durable
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Rubber coated bar shock and sound absorber

Cons:

  • Bar not removable
  • Some report bar too big compared to the size of container resulting in espresso grinds not all falling into container

Breville Barista Style Espresso Knock Box

This knock box has a larger capacity than the Grindenstein so is perfect for frequent use, or those who don’t want to empty their box very often. It features a stainless steel body and plastic bar. The bar and inside box lifts out for emptying and cleaning. It has an anti-slip rubber grip on the bottom.

  • Dimensions: 6.8 x 7 x 7.2 inches

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Large capacity
  • Good looking stainless steel body
  • Top rack dishwasher safe

Cons:

  • Some report plastic bar not as good as rubber coated steel one

Cafelat Knock Box

The main point of difference with this knock box is the more modern look. It features a plastic box with a rubber and stainless steel bar. The box has a silicone ring at the bottom to help absorb noise and prevent slipping. This knock box can hold up to 10 used pucks. It comes in 2 colours: black and red.

  • Dimensions: 4.7 x 4.7 x 4.7 inches

Pros:

  • Sturdy
  • Compact
  • Modern, stylish look

Cons:

  • Need to align portafilter well to ensure no mess

Osaka Knock Box

The Osaka Knock box is a good quality product made by a reliable company. If features a solid plastic body made of a special ABS plastic that prevents bacterial growth. It has a removable knock bar made of a steel bar with a foam coating. The box has a nonslip grip on the bottom. It is available in red, brown or grey colours. This is a compact box that will fit beneath most espresso machines so is perfect for the minimalist lacking space. 

  • Dimensions: 5.3 x 4.7 x 4.9 inches

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Good quality
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons:

  • Available colours not very attractive

Breville Knock Box Mini

Similar in design to the Breville Knock Box, the Mini’s main point of difference is it’s compact size. This compact knock box is made to fit under most espresso machines. If features a sleek stainless steel body with a removable plastic knock bar and anti-slip rubber grip on the bottom. This is a well made, sturdy knock box that stands up to years of use.

  • Dimensions: 4 x 4 x 4.5 inches

Pros:

  • Sturdy
  • Compact 
  • Top rack dishwasher safe
  • Stylish look

Cons:

  • Reports of coffee splattering upon impact
  • Plastic knock bar not as sturdy as steel

Takeaway

We hope this article has given you some more clarity on why to buy a knock box and what to look for in one. Given that they are all very similar in features it really comes down to personal preference. We believe any of the knock boxes on this list will be good quality purchases.

Tips on how to reuse collected Coffee Grinds

Instead of simply chucking your used coffee pucks into the garbage here are a few surprising eco-friendly alternatives:

  • Coffee grinds make a great natural fertiliser for your garden when added to compost. They help to mask the smell and also stabilise the pH level in the compost allowing foods to degrade quicker.
  • Coffee grinds are a natural bug repellent. You can sprinkle the dry grounds around your house to keep bugs away.
  • Dry coffee grinds can be sprinkled in the bottom of your rubbish bin to stop odour
  • Dry coffee grinds can be used to clean hands to remove strong odours such as garlic and onion.

Happy Buying!

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