If you’re a coffee enthusiast, you know how your grinds can make or break your brews. This is why in my years of making coffee, I’ve tried different grinders to see how they can elevate my cups. One standout choice is the Comandante C40 MK4 Nitro Blade Grinder.
I’ve had a great experience with the MK3, so when this new model rolled out, I was eager to test it to find out whether the MK4 worth the upgrade.
Here’s my honest review of the Comandante C40 MK4 to help you decide whether its features and value still hold up in 2023. Along the way, I’ll also compare it with the MK3 and other alternatives.
Let’s start grinding the facts 😉
Table of Contents
Comandante C40 MK4 Review Takeaways
The Comandante C40 MK4 is undoubtedly on the premium side of coffee grinders, thus the hefty price tag. But the sophistication in design, materials, and performance, both in precision and consistency, really makes this grinder worth the purchase.
The Nitro Blade burrs are incomparable to other burrs in terms of wear-resisting sharpness. And with the additional polymer glass jar option to hold a sizable amount of 40g of coffee grounds, the MK4 is an efficient grinder that’s portable yet doesn’t compromise on capacity. It might even get onto my list of grinders for cold brew, due to its capacity.
If you’re upgrading from competing grinders with lower prices, the new Comandante C40 can really up your grinding game. However, if you’re an MK3 owner, I feel that the minor changes aren’t significant enough for you to set aside your trusty Comandante grinder and get the new one. But I’ll talk about this more below.
Features & Functions of the Comandante C40 MK4 Nitro Blade Grinder
Now let’s get into the nitty and gritty of the Comandante C40 MK4. I’ll go in-depth on the key features that this grinder has to offer:
Sleek Design & Sturdy Build
Design-wise, the Comandante C40 MK4 grinder stands out with its sleek aesthetic paired with practical yet premium construction. There are two variants of surface material:
- Stainless steel body wrapped in wood veneer
- Powder-coated stainless steel body
The wood accent gives off an elegant appearance that would complement any coffee setup while the powder-coated steel has a more modern sophisticated look.
Plus, you can further express your personality with its several color options.
Not only does it look good, but the MK4’s steel makeup is also incredibly durable, built to withstand daily use. Each comes with two bean jars (one brown glass and one clear polymer glass) that are both heavy-duty.
Impressive Performance of Nitro Blade Burrs
One of the standout features of the Comandante C40 MK4 is the performance of its Nitro Blade burrs (it’s in the name after all). These are innovative heptagonal conical burrs made with high-nitrogen martensitic stainless steel which takes durability to new heights while retaining the burr sharpness longer than average grinders. Plus it’s also pretty fast.
With these burrs, this grinder offers precise and consistent grinding capabilities for various brewing methods (with double the precision when used with the Red Clix upgrade), from Turkish coffee to cold brew.
Here are the recommended Comandante C40 Mk4 settings for each brew type:
|Aeropress||10 to 15|
|Moka Pot||16 to 21|
|V60||23 to 32|
Start with these values and adjust accordingly to your personal preference to achieve your desired brews.
Versatility Made Easy
Grind adjustment can dictate the result of your final cup, and the Comandante C40 MK4 doesn’t disappoint in this regard. It’s equipped with 40 click settings available on the dial, giving you great control over the grinding process.
Since this is a manual coffee grinder though, expect a learning curve if it’s your first time using one.
Handling this grinder is a breeze. The crank is easy to turn and comfortable to the grip.
I also didn’t encounter any issues with assembling and disassembling its parts (the top lid, body, and jar). Cleaning is also straightforward: just wipe the jar clean or even rinse it with hot water if you want, and brush the other parts. Don’t get any water on the grinder though.
Portability with Uncompromised Capacity
While it goes big in performance, the MK4 has decent portability with its size (6.3″ x 2.3″) and weight (600g). And thanks to the polymer glass jar, I’m able to bring it through transit without worrying about breaking the container.
Compared to competitors, the MK4 is quite compact considering that this grinder has a 40g capacity, which is generous as far as manual grinders go. So if you’re expecting to grind bigger batches of coffee at once, then this grinder has your needs covered.
Value for Money
We now get to the price. The cost of Comandante C40 MK4 is pretty steep and may seem like a dealbreaker. Having used different grinders of the same acclaim in the past, however, I consider the price point to be worth its value.
The premium look and feel; the top-notch durability of its material; and the precision, consistency, and longevity of its burrs really make the MK4 worth investing in.
Is it a better value than a 1Zpresso J-Max? No, I don’t think so. But if you have the cash, you won’t be disappointed.
The Comandante C40 MK4 is built to last, but if there’s damage in your unit, Comandante encourages you to contact your local supplier or their customer support directly, as they offer a repair service. They also have spare or replacement parts you can buy.
So far though, I haven’t heard of anybody with a MK4 having to give them a call.
Comandante C40 MK3 vs MK4 – Should You Upgrade?
You might have used this grinder’s predecessor, the Comandante C40 MK3, and wonder if it’s worth moving on to the MK4. To help you decide, here’s a list of the improvements applied to the latest C40:
- No more bean jams: On the MK3, a minor groove on the top of the grinder could get the beans stuck, slowing your grinding. This has been eliminated in the MK4 resulting in a smoother grind.
- Additional polymer jar: The older version comes with two glass jars, but the MK4 switches one with a polymer glass jar which is quite indestructible.
- More lightweight: In relation to the new jar variant, the polymer material also reduces the weight, which contributes to the portability of the grinder.
Other than the changes I mentioned, most parts of the MK3 remain the same in the MK4. The Nitro Blade burrs for one, are still the same burrs we loved about the earlier variant.
The MK4’s parts are also backward compatible with the MK3, so you won’t have to order replacement parts in case you decide to upgrade.
But do I recommend upgrading? Honestly, I think the changes are too minor to warrant an upgrade if your older C40 still works perfectly.
Alternative Grinders to the C40 MK4
While the Comandante C40 MK4 Grinder is a top contender in the manual grinder market, it’s always a good idea to explore other options to really find the right one for you.
Here are a few notable alternatives worth considering:
|Model||Burr||Coffee Capacity||Grind settings||Weight||Dimensions||Color|
|COMANDANTE Nitro Blade C40 MK4||Stainless steel Nitro Blade burr||40g||40 grind settings||600g||16 x 6 cm||9 options|
|1Zpresso J-Max||48mm titanium-coated||40g||9 numbers / 90 clicks per rotation||762g||19 x 6 x 20 cm||Iron Gray, Silver|
|1Zpresso JX-Pro||48mm stainless steel||35g||10 numbers / 40 clicks per rotation||778g||19 x 6.3 x18 cm||Silver|
|Timemore Slim Plus||38mm stainless steel||25g||25 clicks||440g||16 x 4.2 cm||Black|
1Zpresso J-Max vs Comandante C40 MK4
The 1Zpresso J-Max is a great option to consider especially if you’re often grinding for espresso. It’s very versatile with a grind adjustment of 9 numbers / 90 clicks per rotation that shifts by 8.8 microns. I also like the adjustment method of the J-Max better.
Like the MK4, it can hold up to 40g of coffee but the J-Max isn’t as compact and lightweight. The Comandante C40 is also better in design, grip comfort, and burr durability. But since the J-Max is equipped with bigger 48mm burrs, you can expect faster grinding.
Then for the price, the J-Max is about half the price of the MK4. So if you’re wary about your budget, then the 1Zpresso J-Max could be your better pick.
Timemore Slim Plus vs Comandante C40 MK4
If it’s the portability and space-saving features that you look for in a grinder, then the Timemore Slim Plus might better cater to your needs. Although it also has a smaller capacity of 25g, it’s far more lightweight and compact. You can even fit it in an AeroPress with the handle removed.
While it’s also more affordable, with a price lower than the J-Max, the Timemore Slim Plus is pretty limited in adjustability with its 25-clicks that aren’t recommended to go for espresso fine grind. Read my full review on the Timemore Slim Plus to know more about this grinder.
1Zpresso JX-Pro vs Comandante C40 MK4
The 1Zpresso grinders are really renowned players in the coffee grinding game. Its popular 1Zpresso JX-Pro can deliver precise grinds over different brewing methods with its settings having 10 numbers / 40 clicks per rotation that shift by 12.5 microns (even smaller than a human’s 70-micron wide strand of hair).
It has a lackluster look and a smaller capacity of 35g which I don’t really mind especially when I’m going solo. Considering that it’s half the price of a C40, then this grinder is a close competitor you can consider. Read my review of the 1Zpresso JX-Pro to learn more about it.
Ultimately, choosing between these grinders boils down to what you really want in a grinder. The versatility, durability, portability, and your budget are just some of the things to consider.
Their reputation among coffee lovers may earn your trust in the brand already, but the Comandante C40 MK4 can really exceed your expectations. Its sleek design coupled with outstanding build quality makes it not only visually appealing but also reliable and long-lasting.
I know getting one could be costly, but the MK4 is really one of the best manual grinders money can buy and that reputation still holds up today.