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If there’s one piece of coffee equipment you can’t cut corners on, it’s a good-quality coffee grinder.
I’ve lost count of how often I have heard industry experts speaking at conferences and trade shows saying that the most significant upgrade a person can make to their home brewing setup is buying a burr coffee grinder.
And I agree. Hardly anyone says you need the biggest and greatest coffee maker. It’s a simple grinder that can make or break a good cup of coffee.
It’s all in the beans. Nothing will improve your brewing more than grinding freshly roasted coffee before you brew.
But with so many different coffee grinders available, which will be the best choice for both your budget and your grinding style? Do you prefer a push-button grinder? A muscle-building manual grinder or a budget-friendly blade grinder?
Our Top Pick: Best Value
In this roundup, we have made purchasing the right coffee grinder super easy.
We’ve talked to local coffee roasters for additional insight, pulled together our expertise, and picked out a wide selection of coffee grinders suitable for all budgets and preferences.
Automatic Coffee Grinders
Automatic coffee grinders are by far the preferred option for home coffee brewers. They make grinding coffee super easy, but that often comes at a price.
Good quality electric coffee grinders can run into the hundreds of dollars, but if you have the budget to splurge, they will produce premium grinds on par with high street cafes.
Fellow Ode Brew Grinder (Gen 2)
The coffee community met the Fellow’s first-generation grinder with a lukewarm reception. They took a lot of the critique on board, overhauled the new Gen 2 version, and fixed almost all the points of criticism.
The simplistic design, modest size, and all-black metal exterior make it a perfect choice for any kitchen counter.
We liked the simple setting dial with 11 main settings with the 31 fine-tune options, making it perfect for dialing in espresso or nailing the perfect grind for your Chemex or Aeropress. The handy grind chart located under the lid is also a neat addition.
It is worth noting that this grinder is designed for single-dosing. So it’s not intended to fill the bean hopper with a bag of whole beans. You have to measure out your dose using a scale every time. This isn’t really a deal breaker because most coffee enthusiasts do this distinctively anyway.
In terms of performance, the Fellow Ode Gen 2 comes equipped with 64-millimeter flat burrs (a top burr and a bottom burr) that produce a high level of consistency; the grinding burrs are also noticeably quiet in operation for an electric grinder.
The Fellow Gen 2 Ode Brew flat burr grinder produced some of the most consistent ground coffee in our tests.
Baratza Virtuoso Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
The Baratza Virtuoso is a firm favorite with intermediate and professional coffee enthusiasts, and for a good reason. The Virtuoso comes loaded with premium conical burrs that churn out coffee for a substantial range of grind sizes for all brewing styles.
Turning the dial on the front of the grinder sets the time the grinder is in operation. Twisting the ring on the bean hopper lets you adjust your grind size with up to 40 incremental settings to choose from. So you have plenty of options for every coffee drinker.
The Baratza Virtuoso is a great entry-level coffee grinder that is easy to use and covers all bases when it comes to home coffee brewing – our experts agreed that it was one of the best bang for your buck grinders out of our electric grinder lineup.
The only thing we didn’t like was taking apart the grinder for thorough burr set cleaning. It can take a bit of time.
The Baratza Virtuoso is at the sweet spot regarding quality, value, and convenience. It truly is a workhorse and comes with some of the most helpful customer service in the coffee industry. The best coffee grinder you can buy in this price range for sure.
Breville Smart Grinder Pro Coffee Bean Grinder
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro comes in slightly cheaper than the Baratza Virtuoso but still offers a ton of value. Although from our test, we did find that it tends to grind somewhat finer than the Virtuoso at similar settings.
For example, even at the coarsest setting, the results were closer to a medium grind, similar to what the Virtuoso produced. However, once you dial in a few shots or play around with your pour-over brewer, you will quickly get a feel for the settings and their coarseness.
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro lived up to its name, and we found it “smart” and extremely intuitive to use. Plus, the supplied instructions were simple to follow.
One of the standout features of this particular conical burr grinder is the interactive LCD control panel. From here, you have control over your grind from start to finish. You can tweak and adjust the coarseness, the amount of time, how many cups you’re grinding coffee for, and various other functionalities.
Utilizing the 40mm stainless steel conical burrs, you have up to 60 grind settings, which should be more than enough for most home coffee hobbyists.
And for coffee geeks who enjoy tinkering with their grind, you’ll be pleased to know that on top of the 60 settings, you can also make minor incremental adjustments to get your espresso just right.
In our tests, this Brevilles performance was very consistent; the resulting brewed coffee tasted great, and best of all, the grinder was easy to clean.
Eureka Mignon Specialita Espresso Grinder
If you’re shopping around for a super quiet coffee grinder, your search ends here.
The Eureka Mignon Specialita is one of the quietest coffee grinders we tested. The noise reduction is primarily due to the sound-insulated outer case with rubber mounts. This extra insulation makes the grinder almost 20dB quieter than virtually all other grinders we tested.
Aside from the soundproofing, the Eureka has some impressive features. For starters, it comes equipped with a 1350 RPM motor that powers high-quality and durable 50mm stainless-steel flat burrs.
Unlike other grinders, the Mignon Specialita features stepless adjustments, which means you can make infinite adjustments to your grind settings – an espresso brewer’s dream!
Almost all the adjustments and settings can be made through the front touchscreen controls. You can easily adjust your grind for a single, double, or even continuous grinding mode.
The only downside we found with this coffee grinder was it was slightly more challenging to jump in and use compared to other grinders.
It’s perfect for coffee geeks who enjoy nothing more than adjusting parameters and tweaking settings to get the perfect grind, not so much for a beginner who wants to press a button and get a ready dose of coffee to use in their brewer.
Overall, we found the Eureka Mignon Specialita Espresso Grinder exceptionally well constructed. It screams premium. But it’s still small enough that you can have it standing on your kitchen counter.
If you’re working with a smaller budget but still want a premium coffee grinder, a manual option will definitely be your best bet.
A good quality burr manual coffee grinder will produce grounds that are just as uniform as those ground with electric models, and in some cases, they perform even better.
Timemore Chestnut C2
The Timemore Chestnut C2 impressed us with its affordable price tag and grinding capabilities. Although we did find that it struggled on the finer grind settings, it excelled in the mid-range grind for manual pour-over and the AeroPress.
A standout feature of the Chestnut C2 is the double-bearing central axis. This is a new upgrade to this grinder, and it makes a huge difference to the stability of the axis and the grinding 38mm burrs.
The size of the grinder body comes in at around 52 mm, making it perfect for anyone with smaller hands. But although small in size, the C2 packs a punch in the grinding department.
Equipped with a razor-sharp CNC machined stainless steel burr, you have 36 grind steps to choose from, and by quickly adjusting the locking nut from left to right, you can dial in your perfect coarseness.
The C2 is one of the best manual coffee grinders you can buy at this price point, and it’s perfect for anyone just starting out.
It’s not really capable of producing a reliable espresso grind, and it comes with a relatively small captivity of only 25 grams. Apart from that, it’s a winner.
Compared to other popular burr hand grinders like the Porlex, Hario, or the JavaPresse, the Timemore Chestnut C2 is miles ahead in both performance and the overall quality of the grind.
1Zpresso JX-Pro Manual Coffee Grinder
In our testing, the 1Zpresso JX-Pro outperformed all other manual hand burr grinders, and the quality of the grind is just as good, if not better, than electric grinders that are 3-4 times more expensive.
Compared to other hand powered coffee grinders at the same price point, the JX-Pro was the fastest. With smooth dual bearings and a razor-sharp 48mm conical burr, the JX-Pro can cut through about a gram of coffee beans per second.
Dialing in the JX-Pro is easy and much more straightforward than other manual grinders. The dial is actually located at the top of the grinder, right where you pour in the beans rather than the base, which is a common location for other comparable hand grinders.
The grind adjustment on the JX-Pro is very precise, and you have a total of 40 increments per rotation, with each click moving by only 12.5 microns.
This very precise incremental adjusting gives you complete control over your grind setting with more than enough options to daily in your espresso shot.
If you don’t mind splurging and spending almost double the cost of the above Timemore Chestnut C2, the 1Zpresso JX-Pro is an exceptional manual burr grinder that ticks all the right boxes and covers all bases for grinding coffee at home.
KINGrinder K6 Manual Hand Grinder
The KINGrinder K6 stands side by side with the 1Zpresso JX-Pro in terms of build quality and quality of the coffee grind. But one standout feature sets the K6 apart: the external adjustment ring.
Having the grind dial on the outside makes dialing in a shot of espresso very quick and easy. The visible grind setting on the outer edge also makes switching back and forth between different brew techniques a breeze.
So if you often find yourself switching between espresso, pour-over, drip coffee, and French Press, the KINGrinder K6 will make your life a lot easier.
With the KINGrinder K6, you have 60 clicks per rotation of the adjustment dial, and the degree of adjustment between each click is 16 micrometers.
With this precise adjustment, you can make minimal changes to your coffee grind, which is especially helpful when dialing in your espresso or tweaking your pour-over coffee.
Hidden inside the K6 burr grinder, you will find a durable razor-sharp 48mm stainless steel burr. The burr has a slightly different design compared to most commonly fitted hand grinders; the K6 features a burr that has seven sides.
This unique design gives the K6 some of the most consistent grinding performance we encountered during our testing.
At the time of writing, the K6 comes in cheaper than the comparable JX-Pro. Both are excellent grinders in their own right, and you won’t go wrong with any of them.
Take a look at our complete KINGrinder K6 review
Hario “Skerton Pro” Grinder
If you’re starting out on your coffee brewing journey and have limited funds, you can’t go wrong with the budget-friendly Hario “Skerton Pro.”
The Hario Skerton performs relatively well for the price and is a great starter grinder for anyone transitioning away from blade grinders.
The Skerton Pro comes equipped with ceramic grinding burrs rather than stainless steel found in others we reviewed. The ceramic burrs help keep the price of the Skerton reasonable, and although they are less durable than steel, they produce less heat when grinding large amounts of coffee.
Heat can be detrimental to your coffee, burning away flavorful oils and compounds before they have a chance to reach your cup.
The grind adjustment dial on the Skerton Pro is at the top of the grinder (older models have the dial underneath). Adjustments are as easy as clicking clockwise and counterclockwise for a more coarse or finer consistency.
The incremental adjustments don’t feel as robust compared to other grinders, and you are essentially going in blind when trying to lock in your preferred grind size.
The resulting ground coffee can be hit or miss, and although the Skerton Pro performs well at a fine-grind setting, it does take a lot of work turning the handle to get to the finish line. For reference, it takes roughly 3 1/2 minutes to grind enough beans for 16 ounces of coffee.
The Hario Skerton Pro is a good grinder that performs well for its modest price. It’s an ideal manual coffee grinder for anyone starting out and is definitely a step up from a blade style of grinder.
Want to know more about this grinder, take a look at our in-depth Hario Skerton Pro review.
We don’t usually recommend buying a blade grinder. Using a blade grinder will produce an uneven grind and offer no control over coarseness, and it’s impossible to produce the same results with each batch of beans.
For just a few dollars more, you can buy a manual burr grinder which will produce far better ground coffee. But if you still want to buy a blade grinder, these are some of the better options available.
KRUPS F203 Blade Grinder
There is not much to say about the KRUPS F203; honestly, we covered most of the ins and outs of this manual grinder in our in-depth review.
It comes equipped with a stainless steel blade housed inside an oval-shaped steel basin. This is where your whole coffee beans are placed for grinding.
When it comes to grinding your coffee, it really is a shot in the dark. There are no settings to adjust or tinker with; it’s just a case of pressing the button and hoping for the best.
The longer you press the button, the finer your coffee will ultimately become. Produces a fairly decent coffee ground for cold brew or the French Press.
Bodum BISTRO Blade Grinder
The Bodum BISTRO blade grinder functions in the exact same way as the KRUPS F203, and from a distance, you could be confused into thinking they were one and the same.
The BISTRO features stainless steel blades that can grind over 2 ounces of coffee beans.
The blades won’t function unless the lid is formally in place, which is a nice safety feature to have. You also have the ability to play with the coarseness of your coffee by either pressing or pulsing the push-button control.
A better option would be to upgrade to the Bodum Bistro burr grinder instead.
How We Tested Each Coffee Grinder
We literally tried and tested dozens of coffee grinders over a 3 week period. From well-known brands to some of Amazon’s best sellers, we went at it hard.
We followed strict criteria when putting the grinders through their paces and kept parameters such as the type of coffee bean used, the amount of coffee used, and even the time it took to grind.
We then evaluated three common grind sizes: coarse, medium, and fine. We then assessed the coffee to see how even and uniform it was.
Over the passing weeks, we then narrowed down our extensive list for each category: automatic, manual, and blade.
We also consulted with local baristas and a handful of industry experts for their input. The end result is a comprehensive list of some of the best coffee grinders in each category.
The Benefits Of Using A Burr Grinder?
If you’re serious about brewing great-tasting coffee, you must invest in a good burr grinder. There are no shortcuts.
Not only does a grinder allow you to crank out the optimum grind size for whatever brewing method you choose, but a good grinder will also ensure that your beans are ground to uniform perfection.
This translates to optimum extraction, which ultimately means a better-tasting cup of coffee.
It doesn’t matter if you have the finest coffee maker money can buy. You’re wasting your money and time if you don’t pair that machine with a high-quality burr grinder.
You will never be able to brew a good cup of coffee if you don’t start with a solid foundation.
What’s The Difference Between Burr And Blade Grinders?
Master barista for Illy, Giorgio Milos, says:
“The flat or conical burr grinder is going to be the best grinder you can buy, especially when it comes to brewing high-quality shots of espresso.”
In most cases, burr coffee grinders will cost only slightly more than a blade grinder.
A blade grinder is essentially a tiny food blender that hacks and chops the coffee beans into uneven chunks. Whereas a burr grinder pulls and grinds the whole coffee beans with two abrasive surfaces or burrs.
You have much more control over the grind settings using a burr system than you would with a blade grinder.
Blade grinders are ok if you’re starting out and primarily using a brewing style, such as the French press, where the quality of the grind isn’t too much of a concern.
But for beginners or anyone looking for precision with their coffee grind, a burr grinder is a better option.
Automatic Or Manual? Which Is The Best Coffee Grinder?
It seems like everyone nowadays is looking for a push-button solution. Taking a few additional minutes to manually grind your coffee beans might seem like an unnecessary hurdle on the path to your morning cup of coffee.
But depending on your budget, you might get more for your money by purchasing a pocket-sized manual coffee grinder rather than an electric.
If you want precision ground coffee but don’t want to spend a fortune, a manual hand-crank coffee grinder will likely be the better option. This will be a better choice than buying an inexpensive electric blade grinder, which is guaranteed to churn out nasty inconsistent coffee.
Good-quality manual coffee grinders are robust and dependable and will undoubtedly last longer than most electric grinders due to having fewer moving parts and onboard circuitry.
If you have a budget of around $100 or less, We highly reconned going with the manual. You’ll end up with a higher-quality grinder for your money.
An electric burr grinder will be the better option if you can make the initial investment and if convenience is a requirement. If you think you will be grinding large amounts of coffee, an electric burr grinder will also save you a lot of time and effort.
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