JX Pro VS Comandante
JX Pro vs Comandante
The Comandante C40 has been the gold standard for hand grinders for many years now and was one of the first grinders to hit this upper echelon of high end hand grinders. However since the release of its infamous mark 3 version there have been many other hand grinders entering the market that do similar things, and when talking about high end hand grinders, things are not so clean cut any more. We wanted to take the new JX Pro, by Taiwanese company 1Zpresso (pronounced ee-zeepresso) and see how it stacks up to the Comandante.
The reason we’re putting these two grinders side by side is that they are both marketed with the ability to grind for espresso as well as filter coffee. For grinders to be good at grinding espresso they have to have a high quality burr set that has the ability to grind very fine whilst being easily adjustable to allow you to dial in your espresso correctly. If we take the Comandante as a benchmark of what a good hand grinder is, then we can see how this new JX-Pro grinder stacks up.
The JX Pro model grinder has a massive set of 48mm stainless steel conical burrs. The sheer size of these burrs makes grinding espresso coffee super quick, quicker in fact than some electric grinders, which is pretty crazy! Adjusting the burrs is a breeze as well with the stepped adjustment wheel at the top of the grinder giving you more than enough room to move. The wheel is clearly marked with numbers so you can easily find your way back to a previous grind setting.
The Comandante in comparison has a smaller 39mm burr set however it is made from a high nitrogen stainless steel alloy. This german-made alloy gives the burrs a longer life than regular stainless steel allowing them to stay sharper for longer. The smaller burrs lead to a slower grind time, taking about 1 min and 20s to grind an 18g espresso shot, compared to the JX-Pro that can do it in just under 30s. I find adjusting grind not as pleasant an experience on the Comandante, with the grind adjustment dial being on the burr set at the bottom of the grinder. The reason for this is, that if I am grinding multiple shots and need to adjust the grind in between, it’s just a bit more fiddly and I’m going to get coffee grind on my hands doing it. The adjustment wheel for the Comandante has less variations per turn than the JX-Pro, still enough to get you where you need to go, but only just. Finding a grind setting is a bit trickier as well as the stepped adjustment wheel has no markings to know what grind you are at. To find the desired grind, you have to turn it back to zero and count the number of clicks to your grind size, which again is just a bit more fiddly than reading the JX-Pro dial and adjusting back to 2.5 for instance.
The build and aesthetics of the two grinders do vary a fair bit with the JX-Pro being a full stainless steel construction, brushed silver body, with a rubber grip and turned wooden handle, it looks like a serious bit of kit. The Comandante alternatively has gone for more wooden panels with a glass collection chamber, It also has a range of different finishes and colours that gives people a bit more choice when choosing their perfect grinder. Both are quite substantially weighted and sized grinders, I find that this makes the experience of grinding a bit easier and more pleasurable, however I don’t think either of these would be a chuck in your backpack kind of grinder. But if you’re buying a high end hand grinder I don’t think it’s the thing you have rolling around the boot of your car.
The crazy thing about these two grinders is that they are so comparable, and yet the JX-Pro is almost half the price! Comandantes have been around for a while now and they have a bit of a name behind them, which can account for some of the price difference and yet I don’t think there is enough between these two to justify the cost. The JX-Pro is just so good for the price point, it far outclasses anything else within its price bracket and is on par with grinders like the Comandante. The Comandante has a few features the JX-Pro doesn’t, but they are mostly cosmetic things, like the wood panelled sided, that don’t actually affect the performance of the grinder. The only other notable difference is the nitrogen infused, high alloy steel burrs, which whilst they are cool, i do think they are a bit unnecessary for a hand grinder, particularly when you consider that all high end, commercial grinders use stainless steel burrs.
For my money I would be buying the JX-Pro, it’s not as pretty as the comandante, but I found it more pleasant to use and I fell in love with just how quickly and easily those huge 48mm burrs chewed through my coffee. I like the sturdy steel construction, the size and weight of it felt very pleasant to hold. I would be very happy to have this as my everyday grinder.