Has the Edinburgh born, Grinder manufacturer KNOCKed it out the park? I think so. The new Aergrind has received some pretty significant upgrades. With an all round more polished look and feel, the travel-focused grinder seems to be settling into a more comfortable design.
Ever so slightly taller and nearly 100g heavier its clear Knock has put a great deal of effort into sourcing high quality parts. Gone is the O-ring that kept the base attached to the grinding body - it's been replaced by a screw thread (more on that later). The metal lid has also received an upgrade as have the rubber grip bands - now in full colour! The axle bearing is 100% longer and the handle that attaches to it is finished in wood rather than injection moulded plastic.
Unboxing and First Impressions
Right from the get go there are immediately a few clues that point towards big changes on the inside. Although still presented in Knock's humble black cardboard tube the large coloured label hints towards the new design language Knock is moving towards. Bold colours and more thoughtful features like a QR code that takes you immediately to a reference page for grind size are a welcome addition. Inside the tube you’ll find your new grinder wrapped in a handy carry bag which is big enough to fit your Aeropress, Aergrind and a bag of coffee.
Many of the key changes in the 2022 model come down to how you use the grinder. The Aergrind has alway punched above its weight in grind quality and consistency but it has at times been slightly clumsy to use and several parts have been known to wear. To address this, Knock have tightened tolerances in all their parts and in the case of the axel, the improved machining has been enough to remove the internal o-ring that previously created the seal between the body and axel. In fact both of the o-rings that have been a feature of previous Aergrind models are no longer present; much to my delight the catch cup now attaches to the body with a small screw thread ensuring a consistent, tight fit to the grinder body. An unintended advantage of this is now the catch cup can be used as a doser for the Aergrind! Dosing your beans into the cup and flipping the whole grinder onto the cup allows you to easily pour the beans into the top of your Aergrind.
For the first time magnets have also been used throughout the design, providing some very satisfying snapping action. Present in the laser etched precision aluminium dial lid and the hand-turned walnut wood knob. The magnets create an enhanced feeling of luxury as everything slots nicely into place. The crank arm too has been upgraded slightly, now 20% thicker it adds to the overall impression of the quality this grinder exudes.
It might be pretty on the outside but unless its grind is uniform and consistent it's all for nothing. Thankfully the internals have received the same care and attention as the outside. With a step up in burr quality, now 38mm titanium nitrided conical burrs, and 100% longer axle length that is fixed to the body at two independent points, providing even greater stability and improved alignment across all grind sizes.
All of this and it still slots comfortably inside the Aeropress. It’s really a no-brainer, with the significant upgrade in look and feel, this grinder now comfortably competes with the likes of Comandante and for a significantly lower price. If your focus is high quality coffee wherever you are there really isn't a better option on the market.
It's got to be said that I'm a big fan of this grinder. I like that it's made in Scotland, I like that it's travel friendly, I like that it's competitively priced and I like that it's made by a company that cares. A company that continues to improve their products in meaningful ways, but also continues to support older models because they understand this is a grinder that will serve you for years and potentially decades. If you’re in the market for a new hand grinder the Aergrind has to be considered and if you ever use an aeropress on the road it's really the only option.