If you want to get a steel burr hand grinder with a high-quality design and build at the entry-level price tag, Timemore Chestnut C2 is the one. It’s the right choice for someone who wants to upgrade from ceramic burr grinders to stainless steel burr grinders at this price point.
The Timemore C2 is definitely a very affordable option compared with some of those high-end hand grinders, such as the Comandante or the KINU, and many other more premium coffee grinders range from around $300 and up. C2 grinder can perfectly meet your needs when it comes to everyday home brewing methods.
Timemore released the C3. Here is a short comparison video so you will know the main differences between them.
We reviewed the best hand coffee grinders, Timemore C2 is our best pick.
Timemore Chestnut C2 Grinder Summary
- 36 adjustable steps: Wide range of grind settings, covering all your favorite coffee makers.
- High-quality Burr: 38mm stainless steel burr
- Dual Bearings: Ensure the smoother grinding experience and stability
- Impressive consistency: Definitely above the average at this price range
- Great portability: Compact and lightweight design
Timemore Chestnut C2 Review
Let’s take a look at Timemore C2’s build quality.
The Timemore C2 comes in a couple of different colors. There are all-white and three other dark models. The only difference between the dark models is the color of the plastic parts, such as the knob of the handle, the stabilizers. I bought the all-black one. The packing is simple with a cloth travel bag, a manual, a cleaning brush, and of course, the grinder.
Does it look good? I think it looks pretty cool and distinctive. Most of the other counterparts available in the marketplace only have the standard stainless steel texture. C2’s body is made out of aluminum in this dark silver color with a unique texture. Besides aesthetics, this is also intended for better grip while holding and grinding the coffee. Frankly, it does feel reliable, secure and has a great tactile feel during the grinding process. It really feels like a quality piece. Timemore’s products always combine functionality and aesthetics, we also love the Timemore Black Mirror Coffee Scale, it’s gorgeous and practical.
Materials – Aluminum, PCTG plastic & Stainless steel
The main body of the Timemore C2 is made of aluminum alloy, and the burr is stainless steel. And it incorporates PCTG plastic in the inside stabilizer, the adjusting knob, the knob on the handle, and the hopper’s lid. The plastic parts look solid and durable, which also helps decrease the grinder’s overall weight and, of course, the cost. So it can have such an attractive and competitive price tag.
It might be a drawback for some people, but overall, the grinder looks pretty sturdy and cool. Plastic material can also be durable unless you drop it on the ground, while stainless steel seems more indestructible.
Capacity – 25 grams, single-cup coffee
A grounds bin at the bottom holds about 25 grams of coffee. It’s suitable for a single cup at a time.
You can twist the chamber off quickly. On the bottom, you’ll see the Timemore logo. You can see the manufacturer is trying to build brand awareness from the details.
Portability – Lightweight, great travel companion
It’s a lightweight hand grinder, this is the first thing I noticed when I took it out of the box. The total weight of the C2 is just 435 grams. Dimensions: 160mm x 60mm. It’s small enough to put in the travel bag and take with you when traveling, camping.
But when it comes to portability, the crank handle is permanently attached to the lid. That’s a little thing that I don’t like. If I remove the lid and put the handle and the grinder in the bag, the leftover coffee grounds can easily go out and make it a little bit messy. Except for this, nothing to complain about.
Ease of use
The handle has a pretty ergonomic shape and is attached to the lid. You can effortlessly attach the handle set to the grinder. It fits well, not too tight or not too loose.
The whole set of handle system spins super freely and smoothly thanks to the dual bearings inside. You’ll love how smoothly this grinder spins. It makes you enjoy grinding coffee beans manually. Overall, it is an outstanding experience.
The Burr Quality
Timemore Chestnut C2 is equipped with a 38 mm stainless steel conical burr set and dual bearings and the click grind adjustment, which are usually found in the more expensive burr grinders.
The burr set is sharper and more aggressive than the ceramic burrs. Moreover, dual bearings ensure fluency and consistency. All of these help the C2 produce more uniform coffee grounds and higher grinding efficiency.
In 2022, Timemore introduced the new Chestnut C3, which uses their patented S2C burr set and has many improvements. Here is our hands-on Timemore Chestnut C3 grinder review. If you want to know their differences, check this Timemore C3 Vs C3 comparison.
Timemore uses the ‘click’ system for the grind adjustment. Some dots indicate grind size, and you get coarser or finer by twisting the adjustment knob. It’s relatively easy to set your preferred grind settings.
* In 2022, Timemore upgraded the dial with a more robust metal dial.
First, you need to put the grinder to its finest setting by turning the knob all the way clockwise until you can’t twist it anymore. From the initial position, count the clicks as you go coarser from there.
Here are some official setting suggestions according to Timemore’s manual. You can start from there and find the sweet spot for you.
- Espresso: 10-14 Clicks
- Pour Over: 18-24 Clicks
- French Press: 25-27 Clicks
Quick note: When you adjust the grind size, don’t forget to put the lid on and hold it in place. Otherwise, the adjustment knob will just spin freely.
The consistency of Timemore C2 is far exceeded my expectations at this price level.
This is what 18 clicks grind setting looks like. It’s recommended for pour-over in the manual. Although it still produces a little bit of fines here and there. But it’s consistent enough, and you’ll definitely be able to make some great coffee with these coffee grounds.
When it comes to the coarser grinding setting #24, the output is relatively even. Compared with the Baratza Encore’s 26 settings, they are consistent enough for making great French Press coffee.
Although it also mentioned the Espresso grind size settings in the manual, this grinder is more suitable for manual brewing methods.
I like making coffee at home using V60. I set it to 18 clicks and fill 15 grams of coffee beans inside. Start grinding at a moderate grinding pace. I was able to grind 15 grams of coffee in about 30 seconds. In coarser settings for French Press, it almost gets to one second per gram of coffee, which is absolutely fantastic as a manual coffee grinder.
Grinding with the Timemore Chestnut C2 is a pleasant experience. And the noise is very low. You can grind coffee whenever you want at midnight or in the early morning without waking anyone up.
Is it easy to clean?
It’s normal to get some leftover coffee ground stuck to the bottom of the burr. No worries, it’s very easy to clean them up with a handy cleaning brush. Simply wipe the grounds off directly to the V60 filter or the French press. You can also disassemble the grinder to pieces to perform a deep clean after using a couple of months.
If you live on the espresso, this hand grinder is not suitable for you. Although it has an espresso setting and produces fine enough grounds, there’s not much room for adjustment.
And the small capacity may be a trouble if you usually make more than 2 cups of coffee. Hario Skerton can grind 100 grams at a time, check out our Hario Skerton Pro review.
The Verdict – Is it the best manual coffee grinder for under $100?
I really like this hand grinder, from the build quality to the overall user experience. I think it’s great for a budget grinder in this category.
This Timemore Chestnut C2 is an excellent option for someone who wants to upgrade from your ceramic burr grinder to a stainless steel one. It’s also suitable for a coffee lover who’s just getting into home brewing and want a good quality grinder to start with. It doesn’t cost as much as those premium coffee grinders, but it provides higher quality than the competitors using ceramic burrs in the same price range.
No, the diameter of the Timemore C2 is larger than the Aeropress’s chamber, so you can not fit it inside. If you are looking for a more portable and compact hand grinder that can fit in AeroPress, please consider the Porlex Mini.