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These Guys Motorized an HG One Hand Grinder with Fiat Parts, Because, Why Not?

motorized HG One grinder

The modded out HG One grinder. Photo courtesy of Frans Goddijn.

The HG One hand grinder debuted more than two years ago as an alternative to large, commercial-grade grinders, primarily for single doses for serious home espresso. It also raised the bar for hand grinders, in terms not only of durability and precision, but also in price.

Since then, a small group of coffee gear hounds have been working independently to modify the HG One with motors. Because, why not? The latest mod comes from Frans Goddijn, who you may remember from these transparent portafilter videos and this mechanized moka pot. He and his craftsman friend Tije outfitted their HG One with a windshield wiper motor from a defunct Fiat.

A lot more went into the making of this motorized HG One than we can afford to detail here — see Goddijn’s Kostverlorenvaart blog for more detail on the process — but the creators have been highly pleased with the results. Says Goddijn:

The HG One grinds steady as ever — maybe even more steady than before, because hand grinding on the flywheel involves varying muscle power, varying speeds and sometimes a short halt to re-start when a particularly hard bean type is being ground.

When I timed the grinding speed, 20g Panama Geisha (from Graciano Cruz) ground in 35 seconds.

Without load, the motor axis turns 80 rpm, with beans on the burrs it’s more like 60 rpm.

Here is Goddijn’s motorized HG one in action:

Of course, this is a highly experimental modification of a highly specialized home espresso product. But if this is the kind of stuff that gets your gears grinding, check out previous HG One motorization attempts from Jason Wolley and Don Poochey,


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