Nevertheless, this hand-cranked grinder isn’t for everyone, and it’s sometimes less-than-stellar customer reviews are a testament to that. ROK advertises this grinder in such a way as to compete with electric grinders, so the company did pick a bit of a fight that’s more of an uphill battle than what most hand grinder makers might choose to take on. But ROK does so with their own sense of humor, something that’s a bit refreshing from a large product manufacturer.
The ROK coffee grinder is a testament to modern design, which, for better or worse, makes this product just about as unique as they come. Our ROK grinder review, therefore, focuses on these differences, with an eye particularly for the aesthetics and build quality. We also give attention to the features, grind settings and price, as the ROK coffee grinder is different than most hand grinders in these areas as well.
Finally, we have a small bit to say about the ROK Presso Manual Coffee Espresso Maker, as ROK designed this product, not only with a similar aesthetic but also to be paired with their grinder.
Despite its function as a hand grinder, our ROK grinder review does find that this device has a bit more to offer than most other grinders of this type. Some of this is due to the way the grinder is built. ROK builds this grinder to look and act differently than most hand grinders. Indeed, it was designed to provide the same quality grind that you can get with an electric grinder, while still being a hand grinder.
It features a steadying base to ensure the device does not wobble. This also helps make the grinding process a bit less strenuous. On the inside, ROK includes a hardened steel conical burr and a double bearing drive shaft. Like the base, this is made to prevent wobbling which could result in an uneven grind. ROK includes a grounds cup that can also be used to measure out your beans before you start the grinding process.
Finally, the ROK coffee grinder prominently features a side-angled crank that makes the grinding process much easier than many hand-powered grinders.
If you're into manual grinding but want your grinder to have a more vintage look, you will probably like this list.
If you are looking for a more conventional manual coffee grinder, or a bit lower priced, then you will definitely find what you need in this list.
Build quality is where our ROK grinder review finds this device having a bit of a mixed bag. To be fair, the ROK grinder is built with a fairly impressive amount of hardened steel and aluminum. Both of these are high-quality metals that are made to last. The 48 mm steel burrs are great quality and extremely large, while the body is composed of die-cast aluminum. Using aluminum on the body helps keep the weight down. Despite that, the device still comes in a just over 5 pounds.
That said, some users find that the quality of the burrs are not the best they could be. Because of its design, the device may tend to produce an excess of grinds and a fair amount of static. ROK’s user guide suggests sprinkling water on the device to reduce the static. This may only be marginally effective. Nevertheless, few users have complained about the actual physical design of the ROK coffee grinder, something that this device seems to get just right.
Because the ROK coffee grinder is a hand-powered grinder, in writing a ROK grinder review, we’ve only found a few areas to touch on here. The ROK grinder possesses an easy-to-adjust dial for setting the fineness of the grind. The grinder is capable of producing grinds for all types of coffee, including filter, pour over, espresso and even Turkish. However, the dial does rotate around after you start grinding, so you will have to readjust the dial on every consecutive use of the grinder.
That said, the dial can be removed and you can operate the grinder without any grind adjustments at all. It still produces a solid, extremely even grind across all possible grind settings. Grinding is extremely fast and simple. Only 30 seconds is required to produce enough ground coffee for a double shot of espresso. The steel conical burrs are a proven grinding method. ROK began as a crowd-funded project on Indiegogo. Enough people were impressed by its grinding functionality that it captured a solid 400% of its funding goals. Impressive.
As far as price goes, our ROK grinder review does find this grinder to be a bit on the pricey side. Most of this price is coming directly from the materials. ROK has designed this grinder to last a long time, without breaking. The of steel and aluminum all-over shoots the price right through the roof, particularly when you compare it to other manual grinders.
The complexity of the device also means that there are more pieces involved than many other manual grinders, making this device more expensive than your average hand-powered grinder as well. And by “more expensive” we mean “you could buy a handful of cheaper manual grinders for the same price” expensive. ROK values their grinder at $249, however, it's often to be found at a discount. We’re not sure how many they’ve sold at that price point. It’s quite likely that the device will come down in price at one point in the future. If ROK ever designs a newer model, their original version will certainly be offered for less.
However, this grinder is still very popular among a large swathe of coffee aficionados. It outperforms most cheaper grinders, which may help justify the cost just a little more.
A ROK grinder review on aesthetics is as simple as it gets. This device is absolutely gorgeous. Most manual grinders try to come up with some design feature that is both visually appealing and functional. ROK hit the sweet spot here. The lines and curves on this device are incredibly attractive, and the use of aluminum all over makes this grinder shine.
The design overall is very unique, making the ROK coffee grinder just as much a showpiece as it is a coffee grinder. Indeed, it’s unlikely you’ll get by without having a conversation about this grinder whenever any friends or family members come over. The base is a bit tacky, however, but ROK admits as much in their promotional video. It’s good that they have a self-deprecating sense of humor about their own product. The base quite easily stands as a big red “X” for aesthetic appeal.
Aside from giving a ROK grinder review, we’ve given a little bit of space to talk about the ROK Presso Manual Espresso Maker. ROK designed this product to be used with their grinder. ROK incorporates a very similar design for their manual espresso maker. However, something about the aesthetic seems to indicate that one should hold on for dear life while watching the hot java pour from the top of the machine into the cup. The video ROK uses to advertise their manual espresso maker is oddly sensual, which may give one
Should you be aroused at the idea of using their manual espresso maker? Probably. Should you use it guiltily in the middle of the night, hands on the handles, pressing down silently with a light, loving touch? If ROK had its way, almost certainly. The device uses only the ground beans, hot water and a pulling up, pulling down motion to literally press the hot water through the beans and the filter. The design is somewhat genius, even if it makes you feel a bit odd using it.