MHW-3Bomber is one of my favorite coffee accessories brands. Their cups, distribution tools, and tampers have been my faithful companions for years. Recently, they’ve broadened their horizons, venturing beyond accessories into new territories. One such innovation is the M1 Race manual coffee grinder, which I’ve had the pleasure of testing over the past few weeks.
The M1 Race is equipped with a 38mm steel burr that outperforms ceramic burrs and blade grinders, a remarkable feat considering its budget-friendly price point.
This grinder is a great option for those seeking better grind quality for their pour-over, drip coffee, or French press. It’s also an ideal upgrade for anyone looking to transition from blade grinders. In this review, I’ll share my detailed thoughts and experiences with the M1 Race manual coffee grinder.
Check out my unboxing video to get a firsthand look at the MHW-3Bomber Race M1 Grinder:
Build Quality and Design
The MHW-3Bomber M1 Race coffee grinder is constructed from Aluminum, imparting a professional and polished look and ensuring its durability and longevity.
The grinder’s sleek design is enhanced by well-textured ribbing, which not only adds to its visual appeal but also provides an easy grip. The handle is long enough so you can grind beans with minimal effort. Paired with a wooden knob, it offers a satisfying tactile experience during use.
One of the features I particularly like is the grinder’s compact and portable design. It’s small enough to fit seamlessly into any kitchen or to be conveniently packed for travel. A travel bag included in the box ensures it remains scratch-free during transit.
The grinder comes with a screw-on grinds catch cup capable of holding approximately 30 grams of beans – a capacity well-suited for a portable hand grinder.
Overall, the MHW-3Bomber M1 Race coffee grinder is a well-built product within its price range. In my opinion, it exudes a more robust and premium feel compared to the popular TimeMore Chestnut C2 we previously tested.
The MHW-3Bomber M1 Race coffee grinder offers a wide range of grind settings. I was confused by the 24 settings advertised on its product page. Actually, you have 24 clicks per rotation, and you can go beyond two rotations to find your perfect grind size. This means you have access to over 50 grind settings, offering a wide range of possibilities.
It’s a bit challenging to find the right grind size initially, as the grinder’s manual doesn’t provide recommended grind sizes for each brew method.
To find my ideal grind size, I added a batch of coffee beans and experimented with settings 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50. I then checked the grind size at each grind setting and matched them with the brew methods according to my experience and preference. If you want to know more about coffee grind sizes, check out our comprehensive guide.
Despite this initial learning curve, dialing in your preferred brew method is straightforward. Like many entry-level hand grinders, this grinder features an internal grind dial located under the burr set. Each click corresponds to a clear number, making the dialing-in process more intuitive.
For everyday use, you can simply write down your settings for your favorite brew method and replicate them without having to count the clicks from the zero point.
Grind Settings for Different Brewing Methods
When it comes to grind settings for different brewing methods, here’s what I found:
For a finer grind suitable for Turkish coffee, espresso, Aeropress, and moka pot, stick within one rotation (0-24).
If you’re grinding for pour-over or drip coffee, you’ll want to explore settings from 24 to 40, which is the ideal range for filter coffee.
For a coarser grind, try settings from 40 to 50. Sometimes, this might require going beyond the 2nd rotation.
My Recommended Grind Size Chart for MHW-3Bomber M1 Race Manual Grinder
Here’s a breakdown of my recommended grind settings for various brewing methods, based on my experience and personal taste preferences:
- Turkish coffee: #5-12 (Be warned, settings under #5 take forever to grind, so I wouldn’t recommend going that fine.)
- Espresso – #12-16 (The exact setting will depend on your espresso machine. For pressurized baskets, go a bit coarser, and if the flow rate is too fast, try a finer setting.)
- Moka pot – #16-20
- Pour Over – #24-35
- Drip – #30-40
- French Press – #40
- Cold brew # 50+
You can use the grind setting above as a starting point and make adjustments based on your taste preference.
In my tests, the MHW-3Bomber M1 Race Manual Grinder performed well across multiple grind settings. It provides a consistent grind size in the medium range, making it a solid choice for a quality pour-over coffee.
Dial in Espresso
The grinder offers an adjustment of 40 microns per click, which is more than enough for filter coffee and even espresso. However, it’s worth noting that dialing in the perfect espresso grind can be a bit tricky.
For instance, I can pull a decent shot using grind setting #14. But if I go one click coarser to setting #15, my shot volume hits the mark in 22 seconds, which is a bit too fast. Conversely, grinding one click finer with setting #13 results in a 42-second extraction time, which is too slow. In such a scenario, I’m left with only one viable option.
If your espresso machine uses a pressurized filter basket, you’ll have no issues grinding for espresso, as these baskets aren’t overly picky about grind size. However, if you’re using a non-pressurized basket, fine-tuning your shot with this grinder can be a bit of a challenge.
Despite these hiccups, I managed to pull a decent shot of espresso with this hand grinder. Considering it’s a budget-friendly option that costs only about $50, I’d say that’s quite impressive.
When it comes to grinding speed, the MHW-3Bomber M1 Race coffee grinder stands out in its class. I’ve tested roughly ten other hand grinders in the same price bracket, and the grinding speed of this grinder is above the average.
To give you a clearer picture, it takes approximately 42 seconds to grind 15 grams of beans at a medium setting.
When it comes to grinding for espresso, it takes around 1 minute and 30 seconds to grind 17 grams of fine grinds. This is quite impressive for a manual grinder equipped with a smaller 38mm burr set. In contrast, many hand grinders at this price point typically take over 2 minutes to achieve an espresso grind.
However, if your primary need is for espresso grinds, you might want to consider a hand grinder with 48mm burrs or an electric espresso grinder, which would be a more realistic option if you grind for espresso daily.
Ease of Use and Clean
As I mentioned earlier, finding the right grind size when you first use this grinder is challenging due to the absence of a grind size chart. This minor hiccup aside, the grinder scores high on user-friendliness and performance, making it a breeze to use once you’ve found your preferred settings.
When it comes to cleaning, the grinder shines with its easy disassembly. A deep clean is straightforward and hassle-free.
The calibration process is equally simple, thanks to the thoughtful design of the dial. A small knob keeps the dial base in place, and once you lock the burr, it automatically calibrates to the zero point. This intuitive design makes the grinder a pleasure to use and maintain.
The Verdict – Who Is This Grinder Suitable for?
So, who is this grinder for? Is it worth buying?
The MHW-3Bomber M1 Race coffee grinder offers exceptional value for money, making it a worthy investment for coffee lovers. It’s a significant step up from electric blade grinders, which often produce inconsistent grinds.
If you’re looking to upgrade from a blade grinder or a hand grinder with a ceramic burr set, but aren’t quite ready to invest in an electric grinder or a premium hand grinder, the MHW-3Bomber is an excellent choice.
This budget-friendly, all-purpose grinder works wonderfully for filter coffee and even offers the possibility for espresso. It’s a versatile tool that can elevate your coffee brewing experience without breaking the bank.