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 I'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 leaking excess espresso that'll drip all over 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, including the two I've personally used.
5 Best Knock Box Picks
My knock box
Die-Cast and Polymer
Stainless Steel & Maple
Coffee Knock Box Buying Guide
Kock boxes come in many different designs, from simple plastic boxes to stainless steel or wooden exteriors.
But a box is a box.
They all do the same thing.
So a $20 plastic knock box will do the same job as a $50 stainless steel knock box. So function is not the main factor when deciding between boxes.
RATHER...the main things you should consider is durability and style. You want a box that will last and one will match your kitchen design and coffee station. So look for boxes that have good durability reviews that will match your home set up.
For example, I originally opted for a Grindenstein Knock Box for my home set up. I had it for about six years and its done its job well. It only got a little crack down it's side after six years of enthusiastic knocking. Six years use for a $20 plastic knock box with a stainless steel core - not bad.
But if you prefer to have something a bit bigger or heavier, 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 between design, durability, and price. A box is a box at the end of the day.
Obvious Barista Note: If you're in any sort of commercial or high volume environment a full stainless steel knock box or shoot is a no-brainer. If you're just getting a knock box for home, pick something that matches your budget and kitchen.
I've now gone through two knock boxes. My first knock box when I first wrote this post many years ago was the Grindenstein Knock Box. I've since gotten a new machine and decided to change my knock box to the to the Aptspade.
There are two main reasons why I changed boxes. The first reason was the size, I wanted something a little bigger to hold more pucks. The second reason and more key factor was ease of cleaning. The one thing with the Grindenstein that I didn't like is that the centre rod was a little annoying to take out when cleaning it. And if I over filled it, I had to take the rod out to make sure I got all the pucks out.
With the Aptspade, as the bar is resting in a holder, it's a breeze to clean and get the pucks out. Just lift the bar and put the pucks in the bin. Just be careful the bar is set properly so when you whack it doesn't slide - this has only happend once to me once after having it for 1 and a half years.
Espresso Knock Box Reviews
1. Aptspade Knock Box
The Aptspade is my go to knock box for two main reasons. It's big enough to hold enough pucks to not need to empty it after evey use. And it is an ease to remove the used pucks. Just lift the rod in the centre, dump your pucks, and you are good to go.
Cleaning is also a breeze as all it needs is a quick rinse or just chuck it in your dishwasher. And from personal use and bashing, it has held up well for a year and a half now. It comes in a nice black color to match most kitchens and is a perfect size coming in at 4.72 x 3.90 x 4.92 inches.
2. 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 six 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 did.
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.
3. 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.
4. Rattleware Coffee 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.
Knock Box FAQ
Below are some questions people have asked me about knock boxes. If I've left something out, feel free to leave a comment and I'll add it to the list.
How often should you empty an espresso knock box?
You should empty your knock box as soon as it gets full otherwise you won't be able to use it! If you don't make too many coffees for it to get full quickly, I would recommend getting rid of the pucks every second or third day the latest, otherwise you will find mould will form! Hot, organic, coffee pucks are ideal breeding ground for mould!
How do you clean a knock box?
Just rinse it under warm soapy water and it is good to go! Or just chuck it in your dishwasher.
What makes a good coffee knock box?
There are three main things that make a good knock box: size, durability, and style. You want a box that will fit in your kitchen and match your coffee making volume. You want it to be durable. And you the style to match your kitchen and coffee machine.
I hope you now know what to look out for when buying a knock box and have some good options to consider. If you have any questions or like a different knock box to what I have noted, feel free to let me know!