Updated: March 13, 2022 by Owen Richardson
If you’ve discovered the ultimate coffee bliss of an espresso shot that you made yourself, you know that clean up can put a damper on your pleasure. You don’t want to empty out your portafilter directly into your trash bin. Aside from the fact that is darn messy, that crouching or bending can’t be good for your knees or your back.
Hence this roundup of the best knock boxes.
It’s an absolute necessity for anyone who makes espresso, whether it’s at one’s home bar, at the office, or behind the counter in a cafe. It’s a stylish yet simple and effective way of disposing of spent coffee grounds.
Knock boxes come in different shapes and sizes. While the idea is to buy a knock box that fits comfortably into your personal or professional space, there’s more to it. The exterior and interior design of a knock box contribute a lot to its ease of use, cleaning, durability, and price tag.
Knowing what to expect goes a long way in ensuring you make the right buy, and this guide will help you figure it out.
My top pick this year has got to be the Breville BCB100 Barista Style Knock Box. This knock box model stands out without much effort. Designed for both the expert and average coffee brewer, you get your money’s worth in terms of quality and performance.
The BCB100 model’s size is perfect for most countertops. The shiny stainless steel will blend in well with your coffee setup. With an easy-to-clean interior that’s dishwasher safe, you’ll be making endless trips to your espresso machine!
The Best Knock Boxes — Some Reviews
|1. Breville BCB100 Barista Style Knock Box |
|2. Breville BES001XL Knock Box Mini|
|3. Dreamfarm Grindenstein|
|4. HOMEE Espresso Knock Box |
|5. JOEFREX Drawer Base|
1. Breville BCB100 Barista Style Knock Box – Best Overall
Breville BCB100 earns its name from its original inspiration. Made with professional coffee making tastes in mind, this knock box’s aesthetic appeal blends in well with any coffee setup. Plus, it’s strong, durable, and large enough to keep in any accidental puck splatter as you empty out your portafilter.
I chose the BCB100 model as my first pick mainly because of its size and versatile design. It measures 7 inches in length and width. The knock box’s interior is 6 inches deep, a pretty large space to hold used coffee grounds.
- Made from high grade polymers
- Removable inner vessel
- Has a square bin that measures 4 × 4 × 4
- Anti-slip rubber grip
- Dishwasher safe
This knock box is round in shape with a stainless steel exterior that matches perfectly with coffee machines and grinders from Breville. With its sturdy frame, it can withstand plenty of knocks as you empty your portafilter.
Still on the knock bar, it is made from high-quality polymer material, making it strong and durable. Even though you cannot detach it, the knock box’s interior is safe to clean with a dishwasher. This saves you a lot of cleaning time!
The bottom part of the BCB100 is fitted with an anti-slip polymer ring for extra grip. You can rest easy knowing your knock box won’t accidentally slide off your counter or get tipped over.
- Large interior that can comfortably hold plenty of used coffee grounds
- Simple to use
- Removable inner container makes it easy to clean
- Aesthetic appeal that matches any environment
- Strong and durable
- Quite large in size and might not fit well in small spaces
- Knock bar is not detachable if you want to personally clean the inner container (it’s half the work if you use a dishwasher)
If you like your espresso one shot after another, the Breville BCB100 Barista Style Knock Box is an ideal option. You can frequently empty your portafilter and not have to worry about filling up your knock box.
2. Breville BES001XL Knock Box Mini
The BES001XL model is a mini version of the BCB100 model. In case a large knock box doesn’t fit squarely on your counter, you can opt for this model. It is square in shape, measuring 4 inches in length and width. With a 4-inch deep plastic interior, this knock box will be a cozy fit for your counter.
- Made of stainless steel
- Removable knock bar
- Anti-slip rubber grip
A heavy stainless steel exterior ensures the BES001XL’s frame is strong. In fact, Breville specifically fitted a highly durable knock bar so that you can effectively empty out coffee grounds that are tightly stacked in your portafilter.
Another interesting thing about the BES001XL’s knock bar is that it is detachable. This helps you clean the inside with ease.
What’s more, the bottom part of the knock box is fitted with an anti-slip rubber ring, keeping your knock box firmly in place.
- Small size is a perfect fit for small spaces
- Heavy stainless steel exterior with an extra sturdy frame
- Strong and durable knock bar to help you clean out the tightest coffee pucks from your portafilter
- Simple design and smooth exterior finishing that matches any environment
- Not recommended that you put it in the dishwasher
This knock box’s small size is convenient. You can store it in your cabinets or drawers. It even fits snugly under your espresso machine’s grouphead. Generally, it’s an absolutely great buy.
3. Dreamfarm Grindenstein
Metal is arguably a wonderful material when making durable kitchenware. However, plastic can be just as effective. In comes Dreamfarm Grindenstein, the modern knock box for the modern coffee enthusiast. It is a great addition to your coffee routine, owing to its compact size and design.
If you’re going for a contemporary look, this is what you need. This knock box model comes in a variety of colors, namely black, red, and silver, a suitable match for different espresso coffee machines. Its plastic exterior makes this knock box light and affordable. It blends in perfectly with the modern setting.
- Made from plastic material
- Detachable knock bar
- Dishwasher safe
The Dreamfarm Grindenstein model is round and mostly made of plastic. You won’t find a plastic knock box as popular as the Grindenstein model. It measures 4 inches in length and width, with a 4-inch deep interior.
Made from Abs plastic with a stainless steel core, the Grindenstein rivals knock boxes with a metal exterior. Despite your hardest knocks, this knock box will withstand it all.
What’s more? The Grindenstein model’s removable knock bar also has a steel core with rubber insulation that acts as a shock absorber. This means that it can truly take a blow from your portafilter!
- Plastic design is unique
- Compact size makes it convenient for use and storage
- Highly durable knock bar with shock-absorbing properties
- Can be safely cleaned with a dishwasher
- Plastic design may not appeal to everyone’s tastes
While the Dreamfarm Grindenstein model doesn’t necessarily have the same sturdy nature as metal knock boxes, it compensates more than enough with its build design. Also, Dreamfarm goes the extra mile by including an informational guidebook. From it, you can learn how best to use spent coffee grounds as a natural fertilizer for your garden, among other things. It’s no doubt a great buy!
4. HOMEE Espresso Knock Box – Best Budget
Round in shape with a height of 5 inches and a diameter of only 4.8 inches, the HOMEE Espresso Knock Box will perfectly fit under your espresso machine. But that’s not the only thing that makes it the best espresso knock box. A deep enough interior with antibacterial properties ensures you empty used coffee grounds as often as possible.
- Made of sturdy ABS plastic
- Detachable knock bar
- Non-slip base
The knock bar is strong and made of rubber. This is highly effective not only in reducing noise but also in keeping your portafilter from scratching or denting.
The knock bar is also detachable, helping you empty and clean the knock box’s interior with ease. In addition, the knock box’s bottom part is fitted with an anti-slip rubber ring, giving it extra stability on your countertop.
- Size makes it an ideal choice for any space
- Quick clean-up
- Strong rubber knock bar takes it easy on your portafilter
- If you like a good old knock when emptying your portafilter, the rubber knock bar may not do you justice (however, you can buy a metal bar coated with rubber for a bit more)
The HOMEE Espresso Knock Box is an ideal buy if you make your coffee at home. Looking for a simple and affordable design? This knock box was meant for you.
5. JOEFREX Drawer Base
The JOEFREX Drawer Base is an upgrade from your normal knock box. While knock box drawers are typically marketed to commercial buyers like restaurants and coffee shops, who’s to say it’s not the best addition to your personal space?
One of the most profound features the JOEFREX Drawer base has is its rectangular shape. You can fit it under your coffee machine, leaving your counter clutter-free.
- Made from stainless steel
- Detachable knock bar
- Noise dampening knock bar
- Solid rubber feet
The JOEFREX Knock Box Drawer is rectangular in shape. It measures 8 inches in length, with a width of 5 inches. The knock box drawer’s heavy steel interior is 15 inches deep, quite a large space compared to the above knock boxes.
This knock box drawer also has a stainless steel exterior with a detachable aluminum knock bar and interior slide rail. The knock bar is coated with silicone and helps absorb the noise made from repetitive knocking.
In addition to that, the JOEFREX Drawer Base is equipped with rubber feet that rest smoothly on your countertop. Say goodbye to scratches and cracks often made by kitchenware.
- High-quality accessory that will enrich your coffee drinking experience
- No amount of coffee puck will stop you from enjoying your coffee.
- Knock bar reduces noise made as you empty used coffee grounds
- 15 inch deep interior with an inside slide rail makes it perfect for a quick and tidy clean-up
- Rubber feet ensure your countertop is left intact
- Due to its multifaceted design, the JOEFREX Drawer base will cost you a pretty penny
Knock box drawers are a step up from your typical knock box. The JOEFREX Drawer Base is an all-in-one accessory that’s a must-have for both professionals and the average coffee drinker.
How to Pick the Best Espresso Knock Box
Before going for the best coffee knock box, it would be wise to put everything into perspective. Here’s how.
Knock Box Style
So far, I’ve mentioned two different build designs: bin boxes and box drawers. With bin boxes, you’ve got your typical round or square bins. These bins are usually small in size with a strong exterior and knock bar attached across the top part.
Most of the knock box reviews above feature bin boxes. This is due to the fact that bin boxes are the most common and cheapest way to store your spent coffee grounds.
Bin boxes are easy to clean and store away after use. Also, some are available in different colors, giving you plenty of options when matching your tastes.
Knock box drawers like the JOEFREX model have a more complex build design. They are rectangular in shape and fit perfectly under your espresso maker. Also, they have a heavy stainless steel construction with a knock bar and inside slide rail.
Knock box drawers do a great job when it comes to disposing of used coffee grounds and keeping your counter tidy. They are, however, more expensive compared to bin boxes.
Frequency of Use
It’s interesting to see how these two different knock box designs take into account the amount of coffee you take. Your counter space also says a lot about which coffee knock box model will be the best fit for you.
If you’re just a solo occasional espresso drinker, the smaller bin boxes are what you need, preferably 4 × 4 × 4. This ensures that you don’t have to regularly empty your knock box. Smaller-sized bin boxes are also cheaper and easier to clean and store.
If you constantly need to “gas up” on espresso, or if you often make shots for a group, you’re better off with a larger bin box. A larger bin box like the Breville BCB100 means you can make as much espresso as you wish without quickly filling it up. A larger bin is also ideal if you have plenty of room on your counter.
That said, you should consider saving up and spending a little extra on a knock box drawer if you have limited counter space.
Material and Maintenance
Knock boxes are usually made from two kinds of material: metal and ABS plastic. Without a doubt, knock boxes with a metal frame are stronger, heavier, and more durable. However, knock boxes with this choice of material are more expensive.
Espresso knock boxes with a metal frame are best if you’re a heavy espresso drinker. They can also withstand a lot of knocks as you empty your portafilter. Unfortunately, knock boxes with this build design are not always dishwasher recommended.
ABS plastic is your next best choice of material. ABS plastic has special properties that make it an excellent material for your knock box. From anti-bacterial coating to being resistant to scratches, cracks, and corrosion, you can hardly go wrong with a plastic knock box model.
ABS plastic is also less expensive compared to metal. It’s lighter, easier to clean, and recyclable!
You also have to consider your knock bar. For instance, think about the Grindenstein model. A perfect balance should be between sturdiness and noise reduction. Knock bars that are coated with a shock-absorbent material are a must-have.
Keeping this in mind, it would be prudent for you to go for a knock box model with a detachable knock bar and available upgrades. Check out the HOMEE model for knock bar upgrades.
FAQ’s on Knock Boxes
Is a knock box really necessary?
A knock box is a valuable accessory if you hope to enhance your coffee setup as well as your drinking experience. Emptying used coffee grounds directly into your trash bin is untidy, creates foul odors, and increases the chances of you making a mess.
On top of this, spent coffee grounds make for excellent natural fertilizer! A good idea would be to store used coffee grounds well and empty them into your compost bin.
You could also damage your portafilter by knocking it on a surface that’s not designed to absorb the impact. Play it safe by buying a knock box that matches your tastes.
Can I make my own knock box?
Yes. However, it will only be an average knock box at best. It also defeats the purpose of buying an affordable accessory that’s specifically designed for storing spent coffee grounds. Knock boxes are a great buy for any coffee drinker. Don’t limit yourself.
How often should you empty your knock box?
As regularly as you need to. The more coffee grounds you use, the more residue your portafilter will collect. Moreover, the size of your knock box plays a big part in your coffee ground disposal routines.
Also, note that a wet puck is highly likely to emit coffee odors if left in your knock box for too long.
It’s a Knockout
For sure, having the best knock box will help you enjoy making espresso even more. Whether you’re a professional barista or want to enjoy a shot of espresso made on your home counter, you need a knock box that matches good looks with a great espresso experience.
The Breville BCB100 Barista Style Knock Box is first on my list and should be on yours too. It’s large, simple to use, and will last longer. It also looks great and will complement most of the equipment and other stuff in your kitchen.
The rest of the options won’t disappoint you either. Get a knock box today to experience all this greatness!