Timemore is a Chinese company that has had its hand in the coffee game for several years. From hand grinders to coffee scales, kettles, and drippers, Timemore have dipped into almost every facet of specialty coffee. The Timemore Chestnut X is their offering to the premium grinder lineup.
The Chestnut X is an updated version of the popular Chestnut G1 Grinder. It has two key improvements; patented S2C burrs and a secondary adjustment system offering 120 clicks for precise grind adjustments.
So let’s dial in and see how the Timemore Chestnut X fares against the other manual grinders in this category and whether it is a worthy investment.
Timemore Chestnut X Review
The Timemore Chestnut X has a sleek, modern design. The aluminum body has squared-off edges making it easy to grip and setting it against the traditional hand grinder shape. The handle is foldable for travel purposes with a rubber damper that prevents possible scratches to the grinder’s body. This also doubles as a grounds knocker which is a nice feature.
The body is cut from a single piece of high-quality aluminum alloy to ensure durability. The grinds catcher has a 30-35 gram capacity and clicks neatly into place with a half turn. The grinding shaft has two bearings for a more smooth and consistent shaft spin and to prevent burr wobble. The 42mm burrs are made from stainless steel.
Overall, the feel and design of the Chestnut X are what we have come to expect from premium hand grinders. It is heavy and solid to the touch, exudes quality, and is pleasurable to use and grind with. It feels like corners haven’t been cut, and high-quality materials and design decisions have been prioritized.
For those familiar with Timemore, the Chestnut X is very much the new and improved G1. In shape and design, it is reminiscent of the G1 but looks and feels more premium and less generic. Little features like the copper logo on the side help impart a feeling of luxury that has increasingly come to be associated with premium end grinders. The Chestnut X comes in two colors: black or green, with a classy leather sleeve option.
As you would expect, the Chestnut X is a pleasure to use. It grinds smoothly, and the metal knob is ergonomic to hold. The square-ish external shape is surprisingly comfortable to hold and helps prevent slippage.
The design and build quality are what we expect from all the new and upcoming premium grinders; well-built, carefully chosen materials, ergonomic design decisions, and an overall feeling of superior quality.
The Timemore Chestnut X is loaded with their patented S2C (spike to cut) burrs. These are 42mm spiked conical burrs. The idea behind them is that the spikes at the top of the burr break down the large chunks of beans before cutting them into small, even particles. This innovative design produces a more uniform particle size with fewer boulders and fines.
The burrs are made from hardened 440 stainless steel, which is sharp and resistant to wear and tear. The Timemore X is not all that fast at grinding, especially when compared to other premium hand grinders. It grinds at a similar speed to the Comandante C40.
The second key feature of the Chestnut X is the dual adjustment dial offering an impressive 120 grind sizes. The grind adjustment dial is found on the bottom of the main body. The macro dial has 24 steps, with 0 being the finest and 24 the coarsest. You rotate the dial clockwise for finer grinds and counter-clockwise for coarser.
In the middle is a secondary adjustment dial to precisely set the grind size. This secondary dial offers a further five micro-adjustments for precise control when dialing in espresso.
Both dials are clearly marked, enabling you to easily switch between grind sizes or communicate grind sizes for different recipes. It is worth noting that dialing in the grind setting is more complex than other grinders, as the two dials do not offer the same sized steps. The macro dial adjusts grind size by 80 microns per click, while the micro-dial adjusts by 15 microns per click.
Timemore recommends the following settings as starting points:
Overall, the Chestnut X offers a grind range capable of grinding for both espresso and filter coffee. The secondary adjustment dial provides the precision required to dial in for espresso accurately.
The Chestnut X offers good grind consistency, particularly at the finer settings. As with most grinders, this deteriorates at the coarse range. Given the extensive range of grind settings, the Chestnut X can grind for filter coffee and espresso. However, it doesn’t excel at either. We would say that the burr set favors espresso over filter coffee. The filter coffee flavor profiles lack clarity and acidity.
Value For Money
Unfortunately, value for money is where the Timemore Chestnut X falls short. It is not a cheap grinder and comes at a similar price to some heavy hitters, like the Comandante c40 and the Kinu m47. Given the high price, it is hard to recommend this grinder over these two competitors known to excel at espresso and pour-over.
The Comandante C40 has long been the gold standard for manual grinders. It has a stepped grind adjustment system with 12 to 24 clicks per rotation (depending on whether you have the Redclix upgrade). It offers superb grind consistency over a wide range of grind settings, thanks to the quality nitro burrs. The Comandante is one of the go-to grinders for coffee connoisseurs, known to produce delicious cups of coffee.
1Zpresso K Max
The 1Zpresso K Max is another excellent alternative. The K Max offers an external grind adjustment system with 90 clicks. It is loaded with 48mm stainless steel burrs and is a hybrid grinder capable of both filter and espresso grinding. The K Max is very fast at grinding and has a grind adjustment system that is easy to change. It has some thoughtful design features like a magnetic catch cup, comes with a travel case and cleaning tools. The 1Zpresso K Max is a superb grinder at an excellent price.
Timemore Chestnut X- The Verdict
The Timemore Chestnut X is a nice grinder with unique features like the S2C burrs, dual adjustment system, and foldable handle. It is well built and feels like a premium grinder. The large range of grind settings means it can grind for both espresso and filter coffee; however it doesn’t excel at either. The high price does make it hard to recommend above its competitors like the Comandante C40, Kinu m47, and 1Zpresso K Plus.
We hope this article has given some clarity on whether the Timemore Chestnut X is a good fit for you.