Timemore Chestnut S3 Hand Grinder Review (Detailed Walkthrough)


The founder of Brewcoffeehome.com, is a coffee geek with extensive hands-on experience. His office, filled with grinders, drippers, and espresso machines, like a mini coffee museum. Additionally, he manages the BrewCoffeeHome YouTube Channel, providing engaging and informative content.

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Let’s dive into my hands-on review of Timemore’s first grinder with an external adjustment system: the Chestnut S3.

In this post, I’ll share my initial impressions and unboxing experience with the Timemore Chestnut S3. I’ll discuss its design and build quality, grind settings, burr design, and performance for both pour-over and espresso.

In the past, I’ve tested many of Timemore’s products. I’ll compare this S3 with other popular grinders such as X-Lite and C3, to help you decide if this should be your next grinder.

Check out my Timemore S3 review on YouTube here:

First Impression

The moment I unboxed the Timemore S3, I knew it was special. The grinder itself looks premium and feels solid in hand, setting high expectations right from the start.

Here is my unboxing video:

It comes with a travel bag, a manual, a foldable handle with suggested grind sizes, and a little brush.

Design and Build Quality

Timemore has finally added my favorite feature, an external adjustment system, to their grinders. It feels incredibly smooth, almost like a stepless adjustment.


The S3 grinder is well-built and includes an anti-slip pad at the bottom for added stability. Weighing 793 grams, it is about 200 grams heavier than the X-Lite and the C3, giving it a more substantial feel. The diameter is quite large, but thanks to the striped pattern, it’s very easy to hold for my hand size.

It uses a screw-on catch cup, but I prefer the magnetic cup used in other grinders and hope Timemore includes it in future models.

The foldable handle works well, featuring a spring mechanism for easy folding and opening. This handle design is also used in many of Timemore’s newer grinders. It includes a soft pad below the knob that acts as a knocker without scratching the grinder.


I really like this foldable handle design; it makes the grinder more stable and less likely to tip over compared to those with long handle.

The central shaft is very thick and features an extra red bearing, customized by Timemore for minimal clearance and high concentricity. Many hand grinders have dual bearings, but this S3 has three. This attention to detail shows how serious Timemore is about their grinders.


The internal structure is very sturdy, allowing for smooth grinding with no wobbling.


Overall, I’m very impressed with this grinder’s build quality.

Grind Settings

The Chestnut S3 has an external adjustment system with 9 numbers and 10 clicks between each, adjusting 15 microns per step. You have 90 grind settings in total. That’s more than enough for filtered coffee.


Switching between brew methods is very convenient with this system, which is a big plus for versatility.

This fine adjustment capability is perfect for dialing in your preferred grind size, covering everything from fine moka pot grinds to coarser French press or cold brew grinds.

However, the range for espresso is quite narrow. It suggests a range from 0 to 1 for espresso, meaning you have only 10 grind settings for the finer range.

Burr Design

The S2C burr set is Timemore’s innovative design, used in many of their grinders. It first crushes the beans before cutting them into smaller particles.


This burr design ensures a consistent and precise grind, enhancing flavor extraction for both pour-over and espresso. Especially in the medium range, the consistency is very impressive.


I did notice more large pieces of coffee chaff produced with this burr, a trait observed in both the X-Lite and S3. The good thing is that the chaff pieces are quite large, so I can easily get rid of them using a simple blower, resulting in a more flavorful cup of coffee.

Grinding Speed and Experience

The Chestnut S3 is equipped with a 40mm conical burr, which is slightly smaller than the X-Lite’s 42mm burr but larger than the C3’s 38mm burr set. Surprisingly, the grinding process is much faster and smoother than with the X-Lite.

It takes less than 30 seconds to grind for pour-over and only 50 seconds for espresso fine grinds, which is very impressive.

Compared to the X-Lite, which has larger gaps between the burrs, the S3 efficiently fed the beans into the grinding mechanism, making it easier to handle these dense, light-roasted beans.

This grinding speed is a plus if you plan to use this grinder daily.

Pour Over Test

For the pour-over test, I set the grinder to number 5 within the recommended range of 5 to 8.

I ground 15 grams of light-roasted Ethiopian beans, and the experience was very smooth and effortless. It took only 30 seconds to grind everything, making the S3 one of the fastest hand grinders I’ve tested.

The grind quality was beautiful—consistent and very promising. At the finer end of the suggested range, it seemed a bit coarser than I expected, so I might try setting it to number 4 for my preference.


I brewed with Timemore’s B75 dripper, which I’ve been using daily and really like. It has a faster flow rate and consistently produces a sweeter cup.

The coffee was very clean and impressive, with great sweetness, no astringency, and mild acidity with a nice lingering aftertaste. Everything is very balanced. Even for dark-roasted Sumatra Mandailing, I’ve never had a cup that sweet, with minimal bitterness.


Overall, the S3 is very suitable for pour-over, regardless of roast level.

Espresso Test

For the espresso test, it took less than 50 seconds to grind for espresso—not bad.

The suggested range is 0 to 1, but I tried different settings between this, the shot was still too fast. Even when I set it all the way to zero, 18 grams in and 36 grams out in just 15 seconds. That’s way too fast for espresso, even at the finest setting, so I believe the Chestnut S3 isn’t really designed for espresso.


Interestingly, at the zero grind setting, it can spin smoothly, suggesting it could go even finer. Unfortunately, I can’t calibrate it.

I think Timemore needs to figure this out. While the 15-micron adjustment per step is great for dialing in espresso. The S3 should offer plenty of room for minor adjustments, but these minor changes in grind size don’t make a significant difference for filtered coffee. Think about the C3 ESP, which adjusts 23 microns per step but does an excellent job for espresso.

It seems wasteful to have 90 grind settings and such fine adjustments but still not be suitable for espresso. If they optimize this, this S3 grinder would be a more versatile hand coffee grinder for all brewing.

However, I’m sure it will work well for other brew methods like Aeropress or Moka pot with its fine grinds.



Timemore Chestnut S3 vs. X-Lite

Compared to the pricier X-Lite, the S3 actually looks and feels more premium.

The X-Lite uses an internal adjustment system with 42-micron steps, while the S3 offers 15-micron steps with 90 settings.

The X-Lite features a larger 42mm S2C burr with higher hardness, while the S3 has a slightly smaller burr. Despite this, both grinders perform exceptionally well for filtered coffee.

In my tasting test, the X-Lite brings out more complexity, higher acidity, and clarity, while the S3 offers more balanced cup profiles. If you mainly drink light-roasted single-origin coffee, the X-Lite is a better choice. If you prefer a sweeter cup for all roasts, the S3 is awesome.

Timemore Chestnut S3 vs. C3 ESP

Compared to the C3, the S3 boasts better build quality and a more solid internal structure.

The S3 has larger burrs and higher uniformity, making it a definite upgrade for pour-over coffee.

However, the C3, especially the ESP version, excels at dialing in perfectly for espresso. The S3, on the other hand, is primarily designed for filtered coffee.

Sum Up

To sum up, the Timemore Chestnut S3 is a very well-built and premium grinder. I love the external adjustment feature—it’s definitely a trend I see for future hand grinders.

With its thoughtful design and fast grinding time, it’s great for daily use.

The grind quality is excellent for pour-over and other brew methods. However, if you’re mainly into espresso, this grinder might not be the best fit. Check out their C3 Esp or other espresso grinders instead.

Photo of author


DENG, the founder of Brewcoffeehome.com, is a coffee geek with extensive hands-on experience. His office, filled with grinders, drippers, and espresso machines, like a mini coffee museum. Additionally, he manages the BrewCoffeeHome YouTube Channel, providing engaging and informative content.