If you are going to make cider at any decent volume you will find that apple grinding is the one real headache in pressing apples at home. If you've pressed enough apples you find out pretty quick that hand-cranking is OUT. The one exception might be if you have some over sugar'd and under exercised kids around the house and well I don't... Hand turning the grinder on my old barrel press at my place was over in just one quick season.
I read all about folks adding 1HP motors to their on board barrel press grinders and briefly thought about going that route for a bit. Not knowing how long I even wanted to continue with my old home style press kept me considering the other options.
The most attractive option to me was a hobby+ sized apple crusher I could grow with, like this one to the right sold by Vigo in the UK for £745.00. If you check the link you can see a video of this grinder in action. They claim it is for the "enthusiastic cider maker". That mill looks as though it is the Speidel Apple Grinder sold here at Speidel in Germany. No one in the US imports this model but I always like the way it looked. Easy to clean!
I've also read tales of the lower priced Czech made "Fruit Shark" also sold in England here at UK Cider. UK Cider has a great write up on it and some purchase information if you are on that side of the Atlantic.
In the United States here you'll find companies like the good people at St. Pat's in Texas who import the super nice 220V Italian stainless steel version for $1250 plus freight. St. Pat's also has a video linked to their product page which is pretty cool.
I have also seen and heard talk of using garden shredders as potential apple grinder solutions for the advance cider hobbyist. From what's been written on the cider forums some claim success with such devices but I've never seen anything in the local lawn care department that made me want to run out and throw apples through it for consumption.
While browsing around the pages of a recent Harbor Freight Advertisement online and I ran across something I really wish I would have seen last year before I dropped the big bucks on my 220V Italian Stainless Steel Apple Grinder/Shredder. I haven't seen Harbor Freight's Chicago 2-1/2 HP Chipper Shredder in person nor can I endorse it's use but I'd certainly have given it a whirl at $175. Wow! I really does looks sweet. Add yourself a bin to collect the pomace and start pressing!!! If it doesn't work you got a nice little yard chipper and yards of free mulch.
Edit: This post dedicated to Heather and Jason @ The Candle Wine Project whom I recently got to meet. I know they will be thinking about how to grind them up some apples come this Fall.
Harbor Freight Garden Chipper Shredder Update:
Got a couple comments from Rick who checked out these Harbor Freight Chipper Shredder Units. Check his comments for details but he says it looks as thought it may work. Here is his pic! I mentioned this in my reply but this blade looks exactly like a buddy of mine's smaller apple shredder from Germany. I used that for my biggest season yet in 2008 and and it worked really well. Thanks Rick!