NPR's "The Salt" goes into the the details of what a great grinder can do for your morning cup of joe. I have a Baratza Virtuoso at home but have been thinking of a hand cranker since I usually find myself away stuck at an airport or hotel as of late. Specifically, I'm looking at either the Hario Slim, Hario Ceramic Skerton, or the Porlex Mini to bring along with me on trips. I'll also keep my Aeropress handy for brewing =). Below are the hand crank coffee mills in order.
The whirling blade grinder that most people have at home just doesn't cut it. The blade smashes coffee to smithereens, making boulders and fines all over the place. Instead, the coffee pros use burr grinders, which chew the beans up to a precise, consistent size by funneling them through a set of steel or ceramic teeth.
In other words, a good grinder can make all the difference between a cup of sludge and a rich, aromatic morning mug of Joe.
If you really want to, you can go for the gold and grab Orphan Espresso's Lido 2 for $175.