Chemex Glass Handle Vs. Wood: Which One Gives You More Control?

To achieve good quality coffee, you need the right tools. This post will compare the Chemex glass handle vs. wood to help you make an informed buying decision.

Chemex glass handle vs. wood
Chemex Glass Handle vs. Wood

The Chemex coffee maker has been one of my favorites. It’s beautifully crafted to suit all your brewing needs. I particularly like the fact that it gives me more control over the entire brewing process. 

This way, I get my perfect cup of coffee exactly the way I want it. If you’re in the market for a Chemex brewer, you can choose between a wooden and a glass handle.

Both options are simple and functional, but each has its pros and cons. Let’s discuss these differences in detail.

What Do Chemex Glass and Wood Handles Have In Common?

Preparing of tasty coffee in chemex on table
Both glass and wood handles do not affect coffee quality

I like the fact that Chemex manufacturers are always keen on making sure that their innovations don’t alter the quality of the brewers in any way. That means that both glass and wood handles don’t really affect the quality of your coffee, but the central aspect–handling. I also had difficulty determining which type of Chemex is more stylish, but most reviewers found the wooden collar more fashionable. 

The wooden handle features a polished wood collar that is complemented by a leather tie. The collar serves as an insulated handle around the holding area to protect your fingers from heat.

It’s a simple yet functional feature with visual elegance. The Chemex with a glass handle also looks pretty fashionable, featuring a beautifully curved glass handle.

Chemex comes in three stylish designs; the handblown series( the original design), the classic series, and the glass series. The glass series is generally made of thicker glass, which means it’s heavier. It also has the traditional hourglass shape.

All options are made of non-porous Borosilicate glass that does not absorb chemicals or odors. They’re easy to use as they pretty much use the same concept. The only significant difference is the handles.

You might also be interested in our guide on the best Chemex pour-over.

Chemex Glass Handle Vs. Wood: The Differences

Let’s look at the simplified breakdown of the differences between the Chemex glass handle and wood.

Chemex glass handle

Chemex wood collar

Does not require dissembling when cleaning

Requires dissembling when cleaning

More fragile 

Less fragile

Easier to clean

It can be challenging to clean

Safe to carry around without burning fingers

It can be challenging to carry around, especially with hot coffee.

Great fit when making coffee for more than five people

Great for personal use, smaller families and smaller groups 

Durable if properly handled 

Durable if the wooden collar is well maintained

Slightly heavier and thicker

Less heavy

Conical shaped bottom

Flat, pear-shaped bottom

What’s Better About Chemex Glass Handles? 

The Chemex glass series is most preferred due to its easy-to-clean features. Unlike the wooden collar that needs tying and untying the knot tie, the glass handle makes cleaning less complicated and faster.

The glass handle also makes the Chemex easy to transport your coffee from one place to another, especially if you’re serving more people. Glass is a bad conductor of heat, which means no harm to your hands.

The handle can also withstand hot temperatures and other unforgiving elements. However, you need to be more careful not to handle the glass with oily or wet hands, which could affect your grip and lead to breakage. Remember, the Chemex with a glass handle is slightly thicker and heavier than the wood option.

What’s Better About Product Chemex Wooden Handles?

The Chemex wood handle offers a firmer grip

The Chemex with a wood collar definitely looks great on your kitchen counter. Apart from its beautiful design, the wooden collar offers a firmer grip as you pour over your coffee. However, you need to be extra careful to keep your fingers in the right place to avoid burns.

If the wood collar doesn’t appeal to you or you have difficulty holding the right areas every time, you can do without it or add a kitchen towel for added protection. You also don’t need to remove the collar every time you clean it.

Wood is also susceptible to cracks, splitting and can rot when placed in damp conditions. If well maintained, the wood collar Chemex can last half a decade, serving you the exact premium coffee you deserve.

Who Should Get Chemex With Glass Handles?

If ease of use and functionality is what you’re looking for, the Chemex with a glass handle may be the perfect choice for you. The glass handle makes it easier to clean your brew either in a dishwasher or by hand.

It also makes transporting coffee easier. You also don’t have to worry about burning your hand every time you’re picking up your Chemex after brewing.

Who Should Get Chemex With A Wooden Handle?

Chemex with the wooden collar best fits aesthetic fanatics who want to combine style with functionality. It is also perfect for smaller families.

If you buy this type of Chemex, you should be comfortable with undoing the knot around the collar when cleaning. To make things easier when cleaning this type of brewer, I highly recommend the cleaning solution and brush provided by the manufacturers or vinegar.


  • Aisling O'Connor

    Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies. Find Aisling on LinkedIn.