Lido 3 Grinder review

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Well, it really is a great time to be a coffee lover.

The last decade or so has seen a noted boom in specialty coffee interest and equipment. There has never been a better time to be in the market for a manual coffee grinder. There are options galore with some downright bargains around. There has also never been a worse time to be in the market for a manual coffee grinder. There are just so many good options these days that it is baffling to know where to start. And so in Charles Dickins infamous words “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

In this article we want to introduce you to one manual coffee grinder with a long track record and that is well worth your consideration; the Orphan Espresso Lido 3. 

Lido 3

The Lido 3 is a tank of a hand grinder that is well built, has excellent grind consistency and burr stability, and excels in both grind speed and grind capacity. This is a premium hand grinder made in Idaho, America.

Lido 3 Grinder Review

Lido 3 Grinder

About Orphan Espresso

Orphan Espresso is a small American Company that is run out of rural Idaho and specializes in designing and producing hand grinders, espresso machine parts, and general coffee accessories. The Company is run by Doug and Barb Garrott and are especially known in the coffee world for their Lido series of hand grinders.

Orphan Espresso began with the titan Pharos grinder before moving to the Lido series which include the Lido 2, Lido 3, Lido E (for espresso), Lido E-T, and now the most recent Lido OG. All of these grinders share the same basic size, shape, and grind adjustment mechanism. They alos havethe Fixie Manual Coffee which is like a slimmed down version of the Lidos that is intentionally designed for travel. Of these coffee grinders the Lido 3 is however the most loved and most known.

Build Quality

The Lido 3 is an exceptionally well built manual coffee grinder. The body is a mix of BPA-free hardened plastic and metal. One of the first things that you will notice on picking this grinder up is that it just feels well-built and hefty rather than light and cheap. And it is not just vibes but the result of very intentional design choices as well as high quality build materials. The two word pictures that come to mind with the Lido 3 are either a monster truck or a tank. This is a grinder which is physically big but also incredibly hardy and durable.

The two places where the build quality shines through the most clearly is in the burr set and burr shaft. The burrs are 48mm steel burrs that are custom built by the trusted Swiss manufacturer Etzinger. These are both very high quality and aggressive burrs that cut through beans with ease. The mix of the large physical size of the burrs (48mm is huge for a manual coffee grinder!) with the quality and sharpness of the steel makes for a very smooth and easy grinding process. The size of the burrs also facilitate a quicker grinding speed than many other grinders.

Similarly, the Lido 3 comes with two sets of ball bearings rather than one to ensure optimal shaft stability. If you know a bit about manual grinders then you will be aware that often excellent burr sets are let down by burr wobble which makes for an inconsistent grind size. However, the Lido 3 has excellent burr stability that effectively nullifies the threat of burr wobble. 

Finally, it must be said that the amount of plastic in this premium grinder will be an off-putter for some. Especially for the price you are paying and in comparison to some of its competition such as the Commandante or the Kinu M47, there simply is a lot of plastic in this design. This does make it relatively durable but can feel less premium. So the aesthetics of this grinder will appeal to some but others will be put off. 

Lido 3

Grind Consistency 

The Lido 3 especially comes into its own in regard to grind quality. The mixture of burr size and quality and shaft stability means that this should come as no surprise. Especially if you are used to using an entry level manual grinder such as the Porlex Mini II or one of the Hario models then you will instantly notice the improvement in grind consistency.

When this model was first released in 2015 the grind consistency made it one of the top contenders for the best hand grinder out there. While there is significantly more range and competition in premium grinders in 2024, this remains a coffee grinder with superb grind uniformity and precision. The good grinders tend to stick around.

In terms of different brewing methods this can basically deal with any of them from the fineness required for espresso through to the coarseness required for French Press or Cold Brew. Its shaft stability means that dealing with different grind sizes is a breeze for this grinder. However, as noted above this isn’t really designed for espresso. So while it can absolutely do fine enough for espresso, Orphan Espresso have released their Lido E and Lido E-T specifically for espresso. 

It also has little grind retention which is always a positive. 

Capacity and Portability 

Perhaps the biggest difference between this grinder and basically every other premium hand grinder out there is it’s capacity. The hopper on the Lido 3 can hold a whopping 70g of beans and the size of the burrs makes grinding larger qualities at least somewhat more bearable.

This is probably both the greatest strength and weakness of this grinder. It means that if you are looking to grind large amounts of coffee beans at a single time (for example for French Press or Cold Brew) then this grinder is ideal. With smaller grinders, large amounts of beans become a pain in the behind as the hopper has to be refilled a couple of times and the grinds catcher is usually too small. The Lido 3 will easily grind up to 70g in a single go. 

However, the downside is that most home brew set ups don’t need to grind anywhere near 70g at a time. So for example, for myself I use 16.5g of beans for Aeropress, 18g for espresso, or 32g for Kalita Wave. And most 1-3 cup coffee makers will use anywhere from 14-35g of beans. So for many home baristas the sheer size of this grinder may feel like overkill. 

Ironically this model was first advertised as a travel grinder which is why it comes with the rather nice Neoprene carrying case. The reason is that it is around half a kg lighter than the original Lido 2. However, this is still a monster of a grinder in both size and weight and you would have to be pretty game to use it as your travel grinder. A far better option for travel would probably be well basically any other hand grinder!

Lido 3

Ease of Use

There is no denying that this grinder is a pleasure to use. Ultimately, of course, a coffee grinder is about one thing; grinding coffee beans. And the Lido 3 excels at this. It is quick and the blades easily slice through almost any coffee beans. The hand crank is easy to use although some have found that it is a bit on the short side. The hand crank can also fold in on itself to fit into the carrying case. 

Perhaps the weakest point of the general usability is the grind adjustment. It has been a common complaint against Orphan Espresso that their grind adjustment system is awkward, especially in comparison to some of their current competition. Basically, you have two rings beneath the hopper; an aluminum locking ring and a grind size ring. To change the grind setting you loosen the locking ring and adjust the stepless grind size ring and then retighten the locking ring. While this system is adequate it is quite finicky and the lack of any markings for different grind sizes can be frustrating if you are switching between grind sizes.

Most hand grinders are a bit of a pain to clean and maintain and the Lido 3 is much the same. The carry case comes with a small hex drive to be able to take apart the grinder for a deeper clean every now and then. In general however, manual grinders don’t require nearly the same level of maintenance as automatic grinders and a general brush after each grind suffices. 

The size of the hopper also means that there is no issue with beans bouncing out of the hopper as in some other grinders. 

Who is The Lido 3 For? 

So the million dollar question, who is the Lido 3 manual coffee grinder for? And the answer is a relatively small subset of people who are looking for a premium hand grinder with large capacity and excellent burr stability. I specifically used the words ‘premium hand grinder’ because it is important to realize that this is not an entry level grinder. The price, build quality, and burr set all point to the conclusion that this is a coffee grinder made for the coffee lover who cares about the nuances of coffee brewing. 

So if you are just beginning your foray into coffee brewing then this grinder is probably not for you. To really utilize the precision in grind size you do need to be quite invested in the coffee scene. Not that the newbie won’t get good results with the Lido 3, but that it simply is a lot of money to fork out if you are still dabbling and not sure if coffee is definitely your thing. This is a grinder for those looking for excellent grind consistency rather than the okay results you would get from an entry level grinder. 

It is also finally designed for those who may want to grind larger batches of beans at a time. While it can deal with smaller batches no problem, it is simply a lot of space and weight if you are never intending to grind more than 20g at a time. So this is ideal for those who may even only occasionally want to make a larger brew such as a Chemex, a French Press, or even a Batch Brewer

So if this sounds like you, and you fit the brief, then the Lido 3 may be an excellent option for  you. 

What Might be the Alternatives? 

So finally if you have got this far only to realize the Lido 3 is probably not for you, then what might be comparable grinders? 

Comandante C40 MK3 Nitro Blade Grinder 

Comandante C40

In many ways, the German-made Comandante C40 remains the classic gold standard for hand grinders. The build quality is superb, the design also eliminates any burr wobble for excellent grind consistency, and it just looks stylish and elegant. It can grind up to 40g of beans at a time which will suffice for most home brewing situations, is far more portable than the Lido 3, and comes with 35 grind settings that are easy to switch between. It is an excellent grinder with a great set of burrs. However, it is more expensive than the Lido 3. 

Kinu M47 Phoenix


Kinu, like the Comandante C40 now comes with a long established reputation for excellence as well as attention to detail. Somewhat like the Lido 3 this is a big manual coffee grinder which is hefty and solid. It can brew up to 50-60g at a single time and comes with exceptionally high quality 47mm Black Fusion burrs. It is a stepless grinder with a 5 year warranty which shows that the company clearly believes in the build quality of their grinder. In many ways this model is the more affordable version of the M47 Classic by Kinu. But everything about Kinu grinders scream quality from the metal body to the grind adjustment system to the hand crank. If the Lido 3 kind of appeals but isn’t quite for you then the Kinu M47 Phoenix may be the perfect solution!

Lido 3- The Final Verdict

So to wrap things up the Lido 3 coffee grinder by Orphan Espresso is an excellent grinder that above all excels in capacity, grind speed, and grind consistency. It is not a small grinder which will put some off, but is nonetheless a quality premium grinder for those looking to up their coffee game.


  • Excellent 48mm Swiss conical steel burrs
  • Next to no burr wobble 
  • Grinds beans very quickly 
  • Large capacity
  • Stepless adjustment 
  • Good build quality


  • Very large and heavy for a hand grinder
  • Grind adjustment is a bit awkward
  • Some customers have found the thread of the catch cup to to wear over time 
  • Expensive compared to some other models on the market these days

Best Manual Coffee Grinder

2 thoughts on “Lido 3 Grinder review”

  1. As a Lido 3 owner of some years now, I thought this was a very helpful and accurate review. The biggest pros are the grind quality, huge capacity and robust design, and the biggest con is the grind size adjustment (which, to be fair, you get used to). I got this as my solitary home grinder because we often grind for big French press brews, but I also wanted a high-quality grinder for pour-over methods. The grind consistency you can feel in the grinds themselves and of course taste in the transparency and flavor of each cup.

    Grinding is surprisingly easy even for light roasts or finer grinds. For darker roasts or coarse grinds (say, for the Winton V60 method), grinding is a laugh. Following the company’s recommendations, I grind pretty fast, maybe 100 rpm, and that also (counterintuitively) makes things easier.

    One thing to note that I don’t think people appreciate is that most of the black parts are in fact metal, not plastic. It is incredibly robustly built. In my opinion, the weight helps make the grinding action so easy (and I prefer griding while placing the unit on a towel on a table; I find using the plastic stand you can get from OE helps even more). I haven’t noticed the threads of the (all metal) catch cup wearing down, though I have seen that complaint online.

    I use a hand-blower (the cheap kind you might get for camera lenses) to do the daily cleaning and it works great.

    I also love the rubber stopper, which is good for both storage and preventing beans from popcorning out of the hopper (which only risks happening if you’ve filled the huge hopper up with more than ~60 g of beans).

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