The past few years have seen considerable advances in making coffee more accessible, and the Normcore manual coffee grinder v2 is another step in this direction. The Normcore grinder offers superb value for money, coming in at under $100. And the remarkable thing is it does this without compromising on quality. The Normcore punches above its weight, outperforming hand grinders twice its price. So let’s dig into it and look deeper at the Normcore manual coffee grinder v2.
Normcore Manual Coffee Grinder
The Normcore manual coffee grinder v2 is a good-looking grinder with a sleek and minimal look. It has a matte black finish with a black silicone band wrapped around the middle. The silicone band has an anti rotational knob making it easy to hold. This band also doubles as a handle holder, making it simple to pack up for travel.
We have to say the build quality of the Normcore is surprisingly good, considering the price point. The hand grinder is made from a single block of aluminum alloy, with no plastic in the design. It has a centralized steel shaft with aluminum supports and double stainless steel rolling bearings to provide smooth and stable grinding. The aluminum catch cup feels premium and is screwed on securely.
The handle has a walnut knob on the end, making it easy to rotate. The only issue users have reported is that the top comes off very easily, which is frustrating mid-grind.
The Normcore has a small capacity, with the hopper holding 25 grams. The Normcore v2 hand grinder is slightly bigger than the initial grinder with a wider chamber, for easier bean loading. Depending on your needs, this small capacity could be a strength or weakness. While it can’t grind all that many coffee beans, it does have a compact design making it great for travel. The grinder also fits in the plunger of an Aeropress, making it easy to pack up for travel. In addition, the Normcore comes with a convenient carrying case, brush, and air blower.
Normcore manual coffee grinder v2 vs v1
The Normcore manual coffee grinder v2 addresses many of the issues users had with build quality in the original grinder. They removed the problematic plastic lid and replaced it with a more durable unibody handle and lid combination. In addition, they added a silicone grip that doubles as a handle holder. The grinder has widened chamber access for easier bean loading. But perhaps the best update was that they doubled the number of clicks per rotation from 12 to 24. The Normcore manual coffee grinder v2 is a big step up from the original and worth the extra $20.
The Normcore manual coffee grinder v2 is loaded with 38mm conical burrs. These burrs are available in two different materials; stainless steel or titanium. You pay a premium for the titanium burrs, but they do extend the lifespan and have lower surface friction, making for smoother grinding.
The conical burrs are designed to perform well at all grind settings but really shine at the finer settings as would be used for Moka Pot, Espresso, and Turkish coffee. The burrs cut through the coffee beans quickly and effectively. On average, it takes around 40-45 seconds to grind a 20g dose for filter coffee or 1-1.5 minutes to grind for espresso. While this is a fast hand grinder, the grinding experience doesn’t feel that premium. As mentioned above, the top easily pulls off when grinding with no magnets to hold it in place, and the handle doesn’t feel all that sturdy.
Several reviewers have noted that the Normcore burrs look suspiciously similar to the burrs in a couple of other grinders; the Helor 101 and the Titanium burrs in the Option O Remi hand grinder. These companies likely sourced their burrs from the same company. However, these other two grinders are almost twice the price of the Normcore, so why are they so much more? If you opt for one of the more expensive grinders, while the grind quality is very similar, you will get a more premium grinding experience. They offer a better build quality and stepless grind adjustment.
The Normcore manual coffee grinder v2 uses a stepped adjustment system, with 24 clicks per rotation with a 0.5mm thread pitch. There are no numbers on the adjustment system, but circles and dashes you can use for reference. Overall, the grind adjustment is adequate for pour-over or other manual brewing methods but not the best for espresso. While this hand grinder can technically grind fine enough for espresso or even Turkish coffee, there just aren’t enough grind settings to dial in the coffee beans accurately.
The Normcore manual coffee grinder produces a consistent and even grind size. The stainless steel burrs are sharp, fast and produce consistent results. As mentioned above, this grinder can grind fine enough for espresso; however, the lack of adjustments make it difficult to dial in. This is an excellent grinder for filter coffee though. It produces clean cups with high clarity.
The Normcore grinder comes with everything required to clean it. For a basic clean you set the grinding scale to the coarsest setting, then use the cleaning brush, a soft cloth or the air blower to remove any remaining coffee grinds.
For a deeper clean, you can disassemble the grinder by turning the crank handle anti-clockwise until you reach the release button. You can then thoroughly clean each part before reassembling the grinder.
The Timemore C2 is the other main competitor at this price point. It has 38mm conical stainless steel burrs that are renowned for being sharp and aggressive. These burrs provide excellent grind consistency and a fast grinding speed. The Timemore C2 has a stepped adjustment system with 36 settings. These grind settings cover a full grind range from Moka pot to French press and everything in between, making this grinder well suited to manual brewing methods.
The sticking point is that the Timemore has a cheaper build with more plastic than the Normcore. Overall, these two grinders perform similarly, so the decision will come down to aesthetics.
The 1Zpresso JX is a superb hand coffee grinder, but it is a step up to the next price bracket. The 1Zpresso JX has 48mm stainless steel burrs and, as you would expect, is very fast to grind with. It also has a stepped grind adjustment system; however, there are far more settings than the Normcore or Timemore grinders. All in all, about 120 grind settings allow you to brew anything from espresso to French press. Overall, this is an excellent grinder for pour-over, and we would say that if you can afford it, it is worth paying the extra money.
Normcore Manual Coffee Grinder v2- The Verdict
The Normcore manual coffee grinder v2 is a superb option if you are looking for a budget hand grinder. It is packed with 38mm conical burrs that offer good grind consistency. While the build quality doesn’t quite compare to some of the more premium manual coffee grinders, the grind quality is on par with grinders twice the price. If you are looking for a hand coffee grinder that performs well but won’t break the bank, the Normcore V2 is for you!