If you’re serious about coffee and want to brew the best-tasting cup, you have to start with a solid foundation. By that, I mean using the freshest coffee beans, heating your water to the correct temperature, and ensuring that your beans are uniformly ground. One of the easiest and simplest ways to make sure your coffee beans are ground perfectly each and every time is to use a burr coffee grinder.
If you’ve hung around on Bean Ground before you’ll probably already know that I only recommend burr grinders. However, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a place for the cheaper blade grinders, for example, they’re a great choice for anyone on a budget and wanting a grinder for their French Press, because of the coarser grind used in the French Press is a little more forgiving.
That being said, for other coffee brewing methods where a more consistent coffee grind is a must you should be using the best burr grinder you can afford. To be honest, you don’t have to break the bank to get one, you can actually get a good burr grinder for under $100. Yes, you heard me right – in this article, I’ll show you some best burr grinders to help you take your coffee brewing to a whole new level even if you’re shopping on a budget.
Burr or Blade Grinder, Which is Best?
I already mentioned above that burr grinders are the best, but why? The blade grinder is probably the same type of coffee grinder that your mother was using back in the day. Blade grinders are less expensive than burr grinders, and you can easily find this sort of grinder for under $100.
But technically they don’t actually “grind” your coffee beans. In fact, they smash your beans to uneven bits and chunks and even powder with two very fast-moving blades.
One of the biggest problems when using a blade grinder is the inconsistent grind. You have no control, and it’s “pot luck” what your final grind will be after you have smashed your coffee beans into oblivion.
A burr grinder, on the other hand, offers a lot more control when grinding your beans and they actually do “grind” your coffee beans rather than chop or smash them like the blade grinders tend to do.
The burr grinder is made up of two revolving abrasive wheels or plates called “burrs.” Your beans are pulled through these burrs a few at a time where they are then ground to the desired grind depending on your chosen grind settings.
The number one advantage of a burr grinder vs. a blade grinder is the ability to grind your coffee beans to a uniform size.
This makes for a better cup of coffee through a more even extraction, helps to avoid clogging problems at the brewing stage, and most importantly gives you the flexibility to grind your beans to the coarseness or fineness that best suits the kind of coffee brewer or espresso maker you are using.
Burr grinders do have two flaws; the high-speed grinding can cause excess heat which can adversely affect your coffee beans. So make sure you buy a burr grinder that has a low-speed setting.
Also, cheap burr grinders tend to have an issue with static build-up. When the coffee grinds build up a static charge, they’ll attach themselves to absolutely anything which can be a pain when it comes to cleaning.
For Under $100 They Are Mostly Manual
When shopping for a burr grinder for under $100 you’ll find that most of the offerings are manually operated. Yes, you’ll have to put in some elbow grease and build up a bit of sweat to get a great tasting brew in the morning, but who said making great tasting coffee was easy?
It doesn’t take a genius to understand why there are more manual burr grinders readily available for under $100, the main difference between electric and manual is the motor; the other mechanisms still operate the same, it just requires a bit more effort.
That being said you can still get your hands on a good burr grinder that’s electric powered and again the Capresso Infinity Burr Grinder or the Cuisinart Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill are both excellent examples.
6 Best Burr Grinders – Time To Get Your Grind On
So now you understand why Burr coffee grinders are the best let’s take a look at some of my top recommendations for under 100 bucks.
In the mix are both manual and electric burr grinders, so depending on whether you want to break a sweat in the morning or just press a switch, I’m sure there is the perfect burr grinder for you below.
Capresso Infinity Burr Grinder
For the money, the Capresso Infinity Burr Grinder is a great buy for anyone looking for a good quality electric burr grinder for under $100. Even at its low-cost price, it can still keep up with the big boys flaunting the larger price tags.
For example, the Capresso features commercial grade solid conical steel burrs for high precision grinding, multiple grind settings from extra-fine through to regular or coarse (a total of 16 settings), and the Capresso grinder also operates with very little noise; which I must admit, even some of the other more expensive grinders do have an issue with.
However, the Capresso Infinity Burr Grinder isn’t without its drawbacks. If you’re grinding a lot of beans at one time, you’ll notice that the grinding chamber and chute become a magnet for the coffee grounds due to static build-up which makes it a little harder to clean.
Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Mill
My next budget burr grinder recommendation is the Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Mill. If you’re looking for a manual coffee grinder, the Hario is a great choice and is also a favorite among craft coffee enthusiasts. The Hario burr grinder has been designed to provide coffee lovers with an inexpensive tool to grind coffee even while on the move and its compact size means that it can be tucked into a bag or suitcase with ease.
There are only two parts to the Hario burr grinder; the top hopper which incorporates the grinding arm and the bottom container. The top hopper has been crafted from semi-smooth, translucent, durable plastic, and the bottom container is glass.
The Hario Skerton features ceramic burrs which are pretty rare in a burr coffee grinder under $100, most in this budget range tend to be made from metal. Ceramic burrs will not get hot as metal burrs often do. This additional heat build-up can affect your fresh coffee beans as they’re being ground, so ceramic burrs are preferred.
The Hario burr grinder does have one flaw in my opinion, and that is the top crank arm. I have found that this crank can become loose during prolonged grinding, and requires constant re-tightening. I’m not sure if I simply got a faulty grinder or if this is the norm with this particular model.
Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder
Bodum has become synonymous with clever, innovative designs and superior quality. In fact, one of my top-rated French Press pots is a Bodum. The overall construction on this particular grinder is durable plastic married together with silicone/nylon and borosilicate glass.
The Bodum comes with 14-grind settings from fine to coarse giving you the flexibility to grind coffee suitable for almost any brewing device. That being said, one drawback is that you cannot churn out a coarse enough grind for the French Press. The highest setting on the Bodum Bistro grinder is unfortunately still small enough to let coffee grinds slip through the mesh plunger on almost all of the French press pots I tried.
On the plus side, unlike most other coffee grinders that utilize plastic containers for catching freshly ground coffee, the Bodum uses a borosilicate glass container to catch the grounds. This simple tweak to the design almost eliminates the static buildup.
Despite the Bodum Bistro’s alluring price tag and modern, attractive design, it seems that some corners were cut to keep the cost low. For example, The burrs themselves are made from steel (not ceramic), and the gears are plastic, which let’s be honest are not nearly as resilient as steel gears.
JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder
The JavaPresse manual coffee grinder has been a workhorse in my daily coffee regime for quite some time; I even did a full review of the JavaPresse coffee grinder. As far as cheap burr coffee grinders go the JavaPresse is a good buy, priced at around the $20 mark (at the time of writing), which isn’t too shabby for a ceramic Burr grinder. The overall build quality of the JavaPresse burr grinder is excellent for the price, and the brushed aluminum outer casing gives this manual grinder a great look and feel.
The JavaPresse burr coffee grinder can be broken down into 4 parts; the bottom collection chamber (with a glass section that allows you to eyeball the amount of coffee you have ground), on top you have the main body that fits snugly into the bottom chamber, the lid, and then the hand crank which you just slot into the top.
The JavaPresse comes with an impressive 18-grind settings, and by simply turning the internal dial from left to right you can select the coarseness of your grind.
Cuisinart Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill
My next recommendation for the best burr grinder under 100 dollars is the Cuisinart Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill which is very similar in design and features to the above Capresso Infinity. The Cuisinart burr grinder feels solid and has a brushed stainless steel housing combined with black accents in durable plastic.
All of the main parts can be easily removed for cleaning such as the bean hopper, the plastic lid, burr grinder parts as well as the grinding chamber and a smart built-in safety feature that stops the grinder from operating when the hopper and the chamber aren’t in place.
The Cuisinart Supreme Grind comes with a heavy-duty motor along with 18-grind settings from fine to extra coarse which can be easily set by simply turning a dial. One smart feature of the Cuisinart Supreme Grind is the ability to “set and forget” just adjust the amount of ground coffee required, which can be anywhere from 4 to 18 cups and the grinder shuts off when the desired amount is reached.
Kalita Coffee Mill Retro One
Kalita is well known in the coffee world for their pour-over coffee maker the “Kalita Wave” so it should come as no surprise that they have also produced a good budget burr coffee grinder to complement their popular coffee brewer.
For the money, this burr coffee grinder is a relatively decent buy at around $25 (at the time of writing). However, the Kalita Retro one does seem to have some flaws in my opinion. For one, the burrs of this manual grinder are not sharp, which not only means more work manually cranking the grinding arm but also that your final grind is not going to be as consistent as some of the other grinders in this best burr grinders list.
Also, one other drawback is that the metal hopper lacks any type of lid which means beans will fly all over the place if you are not careful when grinding. Besides those two issues, there isn’t much else really wrong with the Kalita Retro One. It is a surprisingly well-built manual burr coffee grinder for the price.