The knock box is the overlooked accessory found next to every espresso machine. Even though its design is simple and function straight forward, I couldn't imagine making coffee at home without one.
That's why in this post we'll be listing the best knock box picks for home use. There's also a brief but nifty buying guide down below.
Think about it: you grind your coffee, pull your espresso shot, then go to dispose of the puck - where do you put it?
Sure, you can make your way to your bin, but who wants to be knocking their portafilter where germs gather, not to mention the leaking excess espresso that'll be dripping on your kitchen floor.
It's much simpler in one motion to give the portafilter a solid bang on your trusty knock box that sits right next to your espresso machine.
Below you can find the best knock boxes for home.
5 Best Knock Box Picks
Plastic & Stainless Steel Core
Die-Cast and Polymer
Plastic & Stainless Steel Core
Stainless Steel & Maple
Knock Box Buying Guide
Much like my post on espresso tampers, knock boxes can vary from simple plastic boxes to boxes with hand crafted wooden exteriors.
But a box is a box.
They all do the same thing.
So a $20 plastic knock box does its job just as well as a $50 stainless steel knock box.
HOWEVER...you should still consider durability.
I opted for a Grindenstein Knock Box for my home set up. I've had it for about four years and its done its job well - even with a little crack in the plastic down the side thanks to my enthusiastic knocking, but it still works!
Four years use for a $20 plastic knock box with a stainless steel core - not bad. I've seen people report having these for six years and they're still going strong with no damage at all.
But if you prefer to have something a bit bigger and also look striking in your kitchen, you should consider opting for a full stainless steel knock box, even though it costs a little bit more up front. Literally 20 bucks or so more.
Ultimately it's a cost-benefit argument. A box is a box. But when I finally break my knock box (if it ever happens), I'll probably replace it with another Grindenstein considering its affordable price.
Obvious Barista Note: If you're in any sort of commercial or high volume environment a full stainless steel knock box is a no-brainer. If you're just getting a knock box for home, pick something that matches your budget and kitchen. I like to be flashy, hence the red.
Knock Box Reviews
1. Grindenstein Knock Box
The Grindenstein is a plastic knock box with a stainless steel core has become the staple espresso knock box for many coffee lovers. It's big enough to hold 5-10 pucks of coffee and sturdy enough to last at least three years without damage (in my experience). However I have no doubt it can last longer as long as you don't smash it like I do.
The rod in the centre is has a rubber cover and acts as a great shock absorber that muffles the sound of the knocking motion. It comes in three colors: red, black and silver, and costs around the $20 mark. It's 4 x 4 x 4 inches in size.
2. Breville Knock Box
The first thing you'll notice about Breville Knock Box is that it is about twice the vertical size of the Grindenstein above. This means that you can store a lot more coffee pucks before having to empty the box.
This is great if you have a bigger household that's making multiple coffees a day as you won't have to empty it as often. Just make sure you don't forget about it otherwise you're gonna get a nice mould build up - hot espresso pucks are the ideal breeding ground.
It terms of build quality it has a rugged die-cast exterior with an internal plastic casing and rubber tamping rod. Definitely get this one if you think you need larger puck capacity. It's 6.8 x 7 x 7.2 inches in size.
3. Cafelat Knock Box
The Cafelat is the closest competitor to the Grindenstein above and has a similar build quality and size. It also uses a combination of plastic and a stainless steel core but the main difference is its rod, which you can remove.
At first glance you may think that'll it'll come off in the knocking motion, but it actually says put thanks to some smart design. The other difference is that it comes in a lot more colors: black, brown, light blue, orange, red, and yellow green. It's a great option if you want to brighten up your kitchen. Capacity wise, it comes in at 5.3 x 5.3 x 5.1 inches.
4. Rattleware Knock Box
Next up is the fully stainless steel Rattleware. It's the most heavy duty knock box on this list as it is made from fully welded stainless steel with a metal powder-coat finish.
The rod in the centre of the box is bound by rubber to mute any sound, as is its bottom feet to reduce shock and prevent any movement that may cause scratches. In terms of capacity it can hold a large volume of pucks with it's 7.2 x 6.8 x 5 inch size, and is the best knock box for small commercial use on this list as well as prosumer set ups.
5. Rattleware Wood Knock Box
Finally the Rattleware Maple Knock Box is a good alternative to the heavy duty one above if you prefer the look of wood in your kitchen. The interior is fully stainless steel with welded corners so there is no chance of it breaking.
It also shares the same rubber rod to absorb sound and rubber feet to prevent scratches and movement. It's 5.5 x 6 x 4 inch dimensions give it great capacity to handle any high volume coffee loving house holds.