Best Coffee Grinder Reviews 2018 – Buyer’s Guide
Finding the best coffee grinder can seem like an absolutely overwhelming task…
You’ll immediately be confronted by a wealth of new terminology and often confusing distinctions between the types of grinder at your disposal, the size of the coffee grinds and many other factors which we’ll clear up for you in today’s bumper grinder guide.
We’ve tested a wide selection of the best grinders and boiled them down to the 12 most effective for a whole range of needs and budgets.
As we present our coffee grinder reviews, we’ll neatly categorize them for you so you can see at a glance which would be the best for your particular needs. Whether you’re a home hobbyist or a coffee shop owner, a lover of espresso or cold brew, there’s something here for everyone.
Alongside these reviews, we’ll give you all the information you need to make the best cup of coffee every single time.
Before that, why use a grinder in the first place?
What’s The Point of a Coffee Grinder?
The secret to a wonderful, lip-smacking cup of coffee is freshly ground beans.
Buying your own grinder means that you can take full control of the freshness factor while also enjoying a much wider scope of grinds than buying pre-ground coffee.
So, if you don’t make taking a little extra time and devoting some effort to the job, grinding your own coffee will result in the freshest and most aromatic brew without you needing to hit the coffee shop on a daily basis.
To help you every step of the way, we’ll kick off with a brief snapshot of 12 of the very best coffee grinders…
I. Best Coffee Grinder Comparison Table
Rancilio HSD-ROC-SD Rocky Espresso Coffee Grinder
Our top pick for the best overall coffee grinder. Rancilio serves up a doserless espresso grinder that’s powerful but extremely quiet for a double-win.
Best Suited For: Espresso fiends with money to spare
Editor's Rating: 5.0
Breville BCG820BSSXL The Smart Grinder Pro Coffee Bean Grinder
The Breville offers unbeatable flexibility and the perfect grind for espresso without costing the earth.
Best Suited For: Budget-conscious espresso fans
Editor's Rating: 4.8
Baratza Encore Conical Burr Grinder
If you’re looking for a budget-conscious starter grinder, the Baratza Encore is the perfect choice. This conical burr grinder is ideal for multiple brew methods. This grinder has everything that you need and nothing that you don’t.
Best Suited For: Bargain hunters not prepared to compromise on quality.
Editor's Rating: 4.8
Baratza Virtuoso Conical Burr Grinder
As the name suggests, this pro-grade coffee grinder excels across the board. You’ll get consistently ground coffee every time. From the striking aesthetics to the highly efficient motor, the Virtuoso is a superb conical burr grinder from a brand you can trust.
Best Suited For: Coffee connoisseurs with an eye for design.
Editor's Rating: 4.8
Capresso 560.01 Infinity Conical Burr
The Capresso Infinity is an awesome lightweight but durable conical burr grinder at a highly affordable price. Check one out today and enjoy fresh coffee tomorrow!
Best Suited For: Anyone looking for a cheap conical burr grinder
Editor's Rating: 4.8
KRUPS F203 Electric Spice and Coffee Grinder
For a blade grinder from a brand you can trust, check out the KRUPS F203. Easy to clean and a dream to use, what’s not to like?
Best Suited For: Espresso lovers looking for a bargain
KRUPS Electric Burr Grinder
For an extremely cost-effective electric grinder ideal for use at home or on the road, you can’t beat this KRUPS. With 9 grind levels for the ideal espresso through to French press, you get versatility and affordability in one neat bundle.
Best Suited For: Caffeine hounds with a taste for different styles of coffee.
Editor's Rating: 4.8
Editor's Rating: 4.6
JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder
A quiet, back-to-basics manual grinder offering plenty of bang for your buck, this conical burr has 18 settings offering a great range of grinds.
Best Suited For: Purists who need a quiet grinder
Editor's Rating: 4.7
OXO On Coffee Grinder, Conical Burr with Integrated Scale
OXO offer a heavy-duty but portable conical burr grinder with a built-in scale for a first-class grinding experience.
Best Suited For: Tech-lovers hunting for a conical burr grinder
Editor's Rating: 4.6
Bodum BISTRO Burr Grinder, Electronic Coffee Grinder
For a user-friendly and ultra-quick way to grind coffee for your French press, the Bodum BISTRO is hard to beat.
Best Suited For: French press fans grinding lots of beans
Editor's Rating: 4.5
KitchenAid KCG0702OB Burr Coffee Grinder
If you want to grind lots of beans for a wide range of coffee makers, this burr coffee grinder is a faultless choice.
Best Suited For: Home enthusiasts with multiple coffee makers
Editor's Rating: 4.5
Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind (Automatic Burr Mill)
For a cheap burr grinder that punches above its weight, check out the Cuisinart DBM-8. With a generous capacity and 18 settings, you can’t go wrong!
Best Suited For: Those who want great ground coffee on a budget
Editor's Rating: 4.5
Baratza Forte BG (Brew Grinder) - Flat Steel Burr Commercial Grade Coffee Grinder
For a highly capable commercial coffee grinder offering a combination of speed, consistency and performance, the Baratza Forte is the go-to grinder.
Best Suited For: Coffee shop owners
Editor's Rating: 4.8
II. Coffee Ground Size: Quick Guide
We’ll walk you through some simple principles now of how to select the most appropriate coffee ground size for your needs.
One of the most schoolboy errors you can make if you’re after the very best coffee is to neglect the importance of ensuring you get the right size of grounds for your preferred method of making coffee. It’s pointless trying to enjoy espresso with a coarse grind and a fine grind will result in poor cold-brewed coffee so check out our stripped-down guide below.
Principles of How to Select Coffee Ground Size
There are 3 main things to consider when you’re thinking about the size of your coffee grounds:
- Contact Time
For brew methods with a short contact time, you’ll need a fine coffee grind. If the contact time is too high, you risk over-extracted and bitter coffee. When the contact time is too short, the brew will be weak and insipid.
With the majority of brewing methods operating between 90.6 degrees and 96.1 degrees Celsius, temperature can play a part along with pressure but by far the most crucial balance to strike involves the contact time.
7 Levels of Coffee Ground Size
We’ll give you a handy breakdown now of the 7 varying levels of coffee ground size from extra coarse right on through to super-fine.
With this handy guide, you can make sure you get the right size grind for your preferred coffee the easy way…
1. Extra Coarse Grind
This grind is about the largest you’ll get with a standard burr grinder. To look at, these grinds will resemble peppercorns.
If you want to enjoy cold brewed coffee or a back-to-basics pot of cowboy coffee, roll with an extra coarse grind.
2. Coarse Grind
With a consistency not dissimilar to sea salt, there’s nothing better than coarse grind if you like making your coffee in a French press. Like extra-coarse coffee, a coarse grind also lends itself well to cold brewed coffee. It’s a great way to taste different coffees and also works well in a percolator.
3. Medium-Coarse Grind
Ramping things up to a medium-coarse grind, this consistency resembles builder’s sand but certainly doesn’t taste like it!
Chemex coffee makers harness an infusion method. If you use one of these decorative brewers on a daily basis, medium-coarse grind is a smart choice. Clever drippers and café solo brewers are also great with this halfway house between coarse and medium grinds. Experiment a little and broaden your horizons with medium-coarse.
4. Medium Grind
If you’re new to grinding coffee beans, medium grind makes a sensible starting point.
You can use a wide range of coffee makers to take advantage of medium grind. Whether you use a conical pour-over brewer or a drip brewer with a flat bottom, a siphon brewer or a turbo-charged Aeropress, medium grind coffee is the perfect multi-purpose option.
5. Medium-Fine Grind
Not quite as fine as the grind you’ll need to enjoy the best espresso, a medium-fine works wonders with pour-over drippers.
6. Fine Grind
The staple grind of pretty much all pre-ground coffee, fine grind is by some distance the most popular size.
It’s finer than salt and helps you achieve the perfect espresso every time. Whether you use a stovetop espresso maker or prefer a traditional vintage Moka pot, you really can’t put a foot wrong with a nice fine grind.
7. Super-Fine Grind
Otherwise known as Turkish, super-fine is difficult to source. If you want to grind your own, you’ll need a dedicated grinder or you’ll come up short.
For lovers of Turkish coffee, also known as Ibrik, accept no substitute for a super-fine grind.
III. Coffee Grinder Reviews and Top Picks
1. Rancilio HSD-ROC-SD Rocky Espresso Coffee Grinder | The Best Overall Coffee Grinder
First up in our best coffee grinder reviews is the Rancilio HSD-ROC-SD Rocky. Not only is this our choice for the best burr coffee grinder but also our top pick overall.
If you like your coffee short and strong, you’re in for a treat with the Rancilio HSD-ROC-SD, our choice for the best espresso grinder.
The first thing to mention is the eye-watering price. If you want a budget grinder, this is certainly not for you.
If, on the other hand, you want a first-class grinder fit for heavy industrial use, the Rancilio makes perfect sense. The substantial burrs are built to last and deliver top-tier coffee every time.
The Rancilio is a doserless grinder. Put simply, this means there’s not the same level of automation as a doser grinder offers so you grind as you need straight into the porta-filter.
Although it’s marketed as a grinder for espresso, you’ll be able to adjust the settings to produce a coarser grind with ease.
Amazingly for a grinder with a motor this powerful, the Rancilio is super-quiet so you get the best of both worlds.
This espresso grinder is a smart choice for any commercial coffee shop owner or home enthusiast not prepared to compromise on quality.
- Motor is potent and effective but also exceptionally quiet
- Fantastic looks combined with rugged build quality for a double-win
- Oversized 50mm commercial-grade burrs deliver in fine style
- Variable grind adjustment is a breeze to manipulate
- Stash up to half a pound of coffee in the hopper and it will stay fresh until it’s time to grind
- Makes perfect grind for espresso but great for French press as well
- Ruthlessly expensive so absolutely not a grinder for everyone
2. Breville BCG820BSSXL The Smart Grinder Pro Coffee Bean Grinder | The Best Espresso Grinder
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro is also great for making espresso cups but comes at a slightly more competitive price than the Rancilio so deserves an honorable mention.
The Breville is still not cheap but the best things in life rarely are. In return, you’ll get a fully automated grinder with a staggering 60 grind settings so you can tweak things for whatever coffee you prefer fuss-free. You can adjust things with the ultra-precise timer ensuring consistency is second to none.
With an electric timer displaying a countdown on a crisp LED coupled with hot buttons simplifying things further, the Breville offers an unparalleled automated grinding experience.
While this grinder comes fully into its own for making espresso, the coffee is not ideal if you use a French press so bear this in mind to avoid an expensive mistake.
For a smarty grinder that loos great and will last the distance, the Breville takes some beating.
- Jaw-dropping 60 grind settings plus 10 micro-adjustments putting most other grinders to shame
- Electric timer for convenience and the ultimate consistency rolled into one
- 2 cradles, grinds container and burr cleaning brush included
- Relatively user-friendly considering the functionality
- Fully adjustable grind time with handy LED displaying countdown timer
- Hot buttons allow you to save time by rapidly grinding when needed
- Not the cheapest grinder on offer but still great value
- Less than ideal for French press so bear this in mind if that’s your preferred method of making coffee
3. Baratza Encore Conical Burr Grinder | The Best Conical Burr Grinder
While the Baratza Encore is marketed as a beginner’s grinder, build quality and performance certainly don’t take a hit in the pursuit of a keen price point.
While the Encore is hardly loaded down with features, you’ll get 40 settings with a grind range spanning from 250 microns through to 1200 microns. In plain English, whether you prefer fine or coarse grounds, the Encore has you covered.
The speed of grinding is crucial for that perfect golden cup and Baratza gets the balance just right with this conical burr grinder. The torquey DC motor spins at 450RPM so you’ll get enough speed without excess heat that can scorch your beans.
For a conical burr grinder that offers remarkable simplicity without stiffing you in terms of grind quality, the Baratza Encore is well worth popping on your shortlist
- 40 settings gives you a broad spread of choice whether you prefer a coarse French press or a finely-ground espresso
- Motor designed to keep your coffee beans cool even during prolonged grinding sessions
- Surprisingly affordable given the quality and brand heritage
- User-friendly grinder with no surplus features and an easy-access pulse button
- Restrained running speed of 450RPM keeps the noise down and the efficiency up
- High quality conical burrs built to last the distance
- Hopper size leaves something to be desired
- Minimal functionality that might disappoint
4. Baratza Virtuoso Conical Burr Grinder
Baratza’s Virtuoso is a first-rate conical burr grinder from a brand you can trust.
As with the entry-level Encore, you’ll get a motor running at 450RPM and optimized for grinding with a superb consistency while generating remarkably little noise.
This conical burr grinder is designed for use with both beans and pods. You’ll be able to grind particularly fine espresso or a much coarser ground if you prefer your coffee from a traditional French press.
We’d suggest upgrading the hopper since the 8oz one provided is a little on the small side.
This grinder doesn’t run hot anyway but the addition of a thermal safety device leaves you secure in the knowledge you won’t burn out your investment. You’ll also get a 1-year limited warranty for further peace of mind.
If you’re on the trail of a capable conical burr grinder that doesn’t just do the job well but also makes a strong statement on the counter top, the Baratza Virtuoso is hard to beat.
- Burrs grind to a uniform size with ruthless efficiency and consistency
- Slow speed means an optimum grind with none of the noise that can blight many grinders
- Thermal safety device prevents any overheating
- Designed so you can grind directly into an espresso basket fuss-free
- Works equally well with fine and coarse grinds for maximum flexibility
- Exceptional aesthetics so the Virtuoso sets off any kitchen in style
- Too much plastic means the grinder is not as durable as we’d like
- Cleaning this grinder can be awkward as you need to invert the machine to empty out the hopper
5. Capresso 560.01 Infinity Conical Burr | Economy Coffee Grinder
The Capresso 560.01 Infinity is another great conical burr grinder, this time at a much more affordable price.
Although the Capresso is marketed as a commercial-grade coffee grinder, we’d recommend it more for home use. The plastic parts and overall speed mean it would not stand the test of time working overtime in a coffee shop.
Having said that, if you want all the advantages of a conical burr grinder without the stinging price tag, we’d strongly recommend this grinder for the home enthusiast.
You’ll be able to process 8.5 ounces of beans in one hit and you can keep 4 ounces of grinds down in the see-through container.
Carved into four categories of coarseness, the 16 grind settings give you plenty of room for maneuver.
If you’re prepared to accept a slight dip in build quality and you aren’t expecting an industrial whirlwind of a grinder, the Capresso is well worth road testing and adding to your arsenal.
- Swift automatic grinding between 5 and 60 seconds
- Conical burr grinder which is rare in this price range
- Deals with 8.5 ounces of beans at a time so great for coffee lovers with busy lives
- Keep up to 4 ounces of grinds in the nifty transparent container
- 16 grind settings in 4 categories makes your life easier
- Hard-hitting grinder but still lightweight at just 8 pounds
- Labeled a commercial-grade grinder but best for home use
- Cheap plastic parts detract from build quality and raise questions about durability
6.1. KRUPS F203 Electric Spice and Coffee Grinder | The Best Blade Coffee Grinder
KRUPS are a legend in the coffee industry and this candidate for the best blade grinder comes in at an extremely attractive price point.
Not everyone wants to spend a fortune on the best burr grinder so if you want a rugged and attractive grinder for less than a round of drinks at Starbucks, the KRUPS is tailor-made.
You’ll get a large volume of coffee ground very quickly and the fine grind at your disposal means it’s a wonderful option for lovers of fresh espresso.
Cleaning is often a bugbear with coffee grinders but this model requires very little effort along with some water and vinegar to get things sparkling again.
Aside from a tendency to run hot like all blade grinders, there’s a great deal to recommend this budget-friendly offering from KRUPS.
As a parting shot, you can also grind up a full range of spices so it’s a multi-purpose addition to your kitchen at ultra-low cost.
- Great brand heritage at a price you’ll love
- Ideal for espresso lovers thanks to the fine grind available
- Fast action grinding 3 ounces of coffee in seconds flat
- Surprisingly rugged given the affordability
- Extremely easy to clean using just water and vinegar
- Added bonus of serving double-duty as a spice grinder so a versatile kitchen appliance
- As with all blade grinders, it runs hot and can scorch your beans
- Kicks off a fair amount of dust so it’s advisable to use a paper filter
- Hard to control ground coffee size
6.2. KRUPS Electric Burr Grinder
If you’re looking for a versatile and nimble coffee grinder that will also serve a turn with your favorite herbs and spices, this electric burr grinder from KRUPS is a must.
The German brand has a hard-won reputation for producing top-tier products that don’t cost the earth. While this grinder is at the low end of the spectrum, it’s still a more than serviceable product.
Cleaning coffee grinders can be a tiresome chore. With a fully removable top burr, sprucing up your KRUPS is a breeze.
The metallic flat burr ensures that you won’t experience any overheating that can ruin your grind and you’ll retain all of that precious coffee aroma. The 9 settings give you an acceptable range of choice in grind size whatever type of coffee you prefer.
Although this is a relatively basic grinder, that’s reflected in its competitive pricing. While there are plenty of grinders that give you more bells and whistles, the KRUPS does its job and does it very well. It’s also very compact so works in smaller kitchens where it won’t dominate a more limited space.
The only significant drawback is the noise but you always expect some degree of compromise when you’re getting such an incredible bargain. Overall, it’s a rock-solid grinder for the money.
- Extremely affordable without sacrificing too much by the way of quality
- Space-saving grinder tailor-made for apartments or small kitchens
- Multi-purpose grinder that grinds herbs and spices as well as your favorite coffee
- Designed to be extremely easy to clean unlike many of its competitors thanks to removable top burr
- Choose from 2 to 12 cups for a totally flexible grinding solution
- Buy into great brand heritage at a very reasonable price point
- Extremely noisy grinder with no insulation whatsoever
- A lack of uniformity in the grind mars the overall effect of this grinder
7. JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder
Not everyone wants an electric coffee grinder that kicks out a great deal of noise and the JavaPresse is our pick for the best manual coffee grinder on the market.
Priced keenly and offering a superb range of 18 different grind settings, you’ll enjoy a solid and durable grinder that’s built to stay the distance.
As with any manual grinder, you’ll get very little noise when you’re preparing your beans but you’ll need to set aside plenty of time as it’s not the quickest grinder on the block. That said, you won’t need much physical effort so it’s less taxing to use than many manuals.
If you want a no-nonsense conical burr grinder at a pocket-friendly price, the JavaPresse is well worth popping on your shortlist.
- 18 grind settings means you can get the perfect consistency whatever type of coffee you prefer
- Although it’s a manual grinder, you won’t need to put in much elbow grease to use it
- Extremely quiet so make your morning coffee without waking up the household
- Ideal for traveling as you need no batteries or power at all
- Conical burr action perfect for coffee connoisseurs
- Rugged and built to last so more than just a kitchen ornament
- You need to be patient as it takes some time to get a great grind
- Pretty disappointing capacity so reconsider if you want to make large quantities of coffee in a hurry
- Some complaints about consistency
8. OXO On Coffee Grinder, Conical Burr with Integrated Scale | The Best Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
One of the best conical burr coffee grinders money can be is the OXO On, another grinder coming with an inbuilt scale.
Boasting large 40mm conical burr grinders, you’ll get the most efficient form of grinding for superior results.
You can switch between Cups, Grams and Manual mode affording you real versatility. You can also fine-tune the strength of your coffee so you stay in complete control throughout the process.
The inbuilt scale removes the need for a separate appliance and you can weigh your grounds instead of timing the procedure.
We should point out that this is not the most user-friendly grinder on the market. Take your time to study the instruction manual rather than hoping to learn on the fly. It will be time well-spent.
For a reliable and consistent grinder that offers a tech-driven experience and results in great coffee every time, check out the OXO On. You won’t be disappointed.
- Dependable 40mm burrs and 38 settings mean you get the consistency of grind you need every time
- 3 modes for maximum flexibility (Cups, Grams, Manual)
- Integrated scale and automatic shut off so measure grounds by weight rather than time
- Looks great and takes up very little space on the worktop
- Tweak the strength of your coffee fuss-free
- Excellent range of grind compared to similar appliances
- Not the easiest or most intuitive grinder to operate
- Some inconsistency with coarser grinds
- Pretty expensive although sound overall value
9. Bodum BISTRO Burr Grinder, Electronic Coffee Grinder | The Best Coffee Grinder for French Press
Another titan in the coffee space, Bodum serve up the BISTRO which is in our opinion the best coffee grinder for your French press.
Many coffee grinders are off-putting in their complexity. The stripped-down Bodum is a pleasure to use even for complete beginners. The automatic timer is a lovely bonus.
Speed of delivery is at a premium and you’ll get enough coffee for a whole pot in less than half a minute.
Although the borosilicate glass does its job and staves off the static that can fling coffee against the sides, on the downside it’s rather thin and likely to crack if you don’t treat it with care.
If you want a to-notch conical burr grinder without the attendant price tag, we’d strongly recommend the Bodum BISTRO.
- Unlike many over-complicated grinders, the Bodum is a cinch to use even if you’ve never ground coffee before
- Stainless steel conical burrs keep the flavor of the beans intact and ensure consistency in every grind
- Timer is convenient and puts a stop to wasted beans
- Glass container lessens the chance of beans clinging to the sides
- Get enough coffee for a full pot in 20 seconds flat
- Multiple colorways so simple to co-ordinate with your kitchen
- Glass is a trifle thin so exercise caution to avoid cracking it
10. KitchenAid KCG0702OB Burr Coffee Grinder
Although the Kitchenaid looks striking and would grace any kitchen, it’s certainly not a case of form over function. The stainless steel cutting burrs are built to last and this grinder is easy to use even if it’s your first time grinding your own beans.
With 15 grind settings to choose from, you can fine-tune the consistency so it’s perfect for your French press, espresso maker or automatic drip coffee maker. You really are spoiled for choice.
You’ll get a generous 7 ounces of beans in the hopper which is made from glass to lessen the chance of statically-charged coffee clinging to the sides. The burrs rotate at a pedestrian 450RPM which is slow enough to reduce the heat kicked out by the friction of burrs spinning too quickly while also maximizing the flavor.
Treat this grinder with care and you’ll be enjoying fresh coffee the easy way for years to come.
- Extremely easy to assembly and very user-friendly so get going straight out the box
- Fairly quiet as far as coffee grinders go
- Wide choice of 15 grind settings so get the best consistency for any type of coffee maker at a lower temperature
- Sleek, compact footprint so takes up very little counter space and is easy to stash away
- Perfect combination of aesthetics, performance and durability
- Scoop and cleaning brush thrown in
- Although glass jug minimizes static, it’s fragile so handle with care
- A number of complaints about poor customer service
- Cleaning is a tiresome chore
11. Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind (Automatic Burr Mill) | The Best Cheap Coffee Grinder
Often, cheap products suck. The Cuisinart DBM-8, in the other hand, is a fantastic grinder trumping the functionality of many more expensive coffee grinders at a fraction of the cost.
This automatic burr mill offers a choice of 18 grind settings to cater for all palates. It’s super-swift too serving up sufficient coffee for 18 cups in just 60 seconds.
In common with all burr grinders, you’ll get less heat than with a blade system and also a better overall consistency. Most grinders at this price point are bladed so this is a nice bonus.
Don’t be fooled by the price either…
The Cuisinart is a heavy-duty and completely automated machine so it works well if you need to grind up large volumes of coffee in a hurry.
With ample capacity, the optimum system and an 18-month guarantee to ice the cake, the Cuisinart DBM-8 gets our vote as the best cheap coffee grinder on the market.
- Outstanding value for money without compromising quality
- Choose from 18 grind settings for coffee exactly the way you want it
- Substantial 8-ounce bean hopper combined with a chamber good for 32 golden cups of coffee
- Delivers enough medium grind coffee for 18 cups in just 1 minute
- Auto shut-off mechanism for your safety and convenience
- 18-month limited warranty so buy with complete confidence
- Takes up a lot of room in the kitchen so make sure you’ve got space
- Some reported issues with grind consistency
12. Baratza Forte BG (Brew Grinder) - Flat Steel Burr Commercial Grade Coffee Grinder | Best Coffee Grinder for Coffee Shop
If you want the best coffee grinder for your coffee shop, the Baratza Forte BG leads the pack.
Obviously, your grinding needs are amplified if you have a restaurant or coffee shop and the Baratza won’t let you down. Solid and built to last, it’s also small enough at 13 pounds not to eat up too much valuable counter space.
The 54mm burr is flat ceramic and absolutely ideal for grinding coffee for pretty much any method of delivery whether it’s espresso, French press or drip.
While it comes with plenty of bells and whistles, using the Baratza couldn’t be easier. Cleaning is also a cinch which is crucial if you have a busy commercial outlet.
The grinding method is weight-based rather than timed and you’ll be able to deal with large volumes of beans super-swiftly.
Price aside, there’s really nothing we can say against this superb commercial coffee grinder and we’d urge any coffee shop owner to check it out right now!
- Choose between batch brewing or manual brewing for a multi-purpose grinding experience
- Small and compact at 13 pounds but punches above its weight
- 54mm flat ceramic burr catering for all methods from drip coffee through espresso
- Removable burr makes cleaning a cakewalk
- Advanced functionality without sacrificing user-friendliness
- Heavy-duty construction means the Baratza excels in a commercial setting
- Savagely expensive but consider this an investment not an expense
IV. Coffee Grinder Buyer’s Guide
Buying the best coffee grinder can seem complicated because of the sheer number of variables in place. It’s not a question of assessing the grinders on the market in an order of preference because everyone has varying tastes and requirements.
Before anything else at all, it makes sense to think about the type of grinder you want.
1. Types of Coffee Grinder: Burr Coffee Grinder
We’ll kick off with burr grinders since they are far and away the most effective and efficient grinders at your disposal.
Although they’re pricier, burr grinders serve you up with a shower of benefits if you’re looking for the best coffee grounds which we’ll briefly explore below…
There are 2 main variants with burr grinders:
- Conical Burr Grinder: This has 2 conical burrs positioned according to the grind size delivered. These burrs face each other. The coffee beans are crushed between the burrs into particles of the same size. One of these cone-shaped burrs spins around while the other one remains in place
- Flat Blade Burr Grinder: With a flat blade burr grinder, the blades are parallel and flat rather than cone-shaped. This means you’ll get a nice even grind with more surface area exposed for extraction
The crushed coffee is stored in a hopper then drops into a chamber after it passes through the burrs. Adjusting the gap between the burrs dictates the grind size.
With burr grinders, you get an extremely consistent grind. They don’t shatter the coffee beans or give off too much heat so the quality of the end beverage is not compromised.
On the flipside, you will have to spend a little more to get the best burr grinder. Also, these grinders tend to be bulkier so make sure you have enough counter space to accommodate one before launching in and buying one on a whim.
2. Types of Coffee Grinder: Blade Coffee Grinder
If you’re looking for a much cheaper entry point to grinding your own coffee, don’t discount the idea of a blade grinder completely.
These grinders are extremely cheap so there’s a low barrier of entry.
Very simple in construction, there’s a chamber with a blade at the bottom. Pop the lid on, hit the button and this blade rotates to grind your coffee.
It’s awkward to get a precise and consistent grind with a blade grinder so bear this in mind before committing to one. The way in which the beans are smashed around means there will be grinds of different sizes. Also, since the blades kick off a fair amount of heat, you’ll lose some flavor and aroma during the procedure.
Note, too, that if you’re an espresso fiend, blade grinders are not the way forward. The grind delivered is highly likely to clog up while brewing your espresso so avoid them if you want your coffee short and strong just like the Italians.
Although they are limited in terms of performance and results, if you want coarser grinds and you’re operating on a budget, give one a go. We suggest you check out our suggestion of the best blade grinder to avoid being sold a dummy.
3. The Best Coffee Grinder: Manual or Electric?
When you’re mulling over whether you should get an electric or manual coffee grinder, there are 3 main points to consider:
- What’s your budget?
- Are you prepared to put in some elbow grease?
- What type of coffee do you brew?
A manual grinder is understandably cheaper. If you’re looking to work with coarse grinds, you won’t need a great deal of work. If, on the other hand, you like finely ground coffee, you’ll need to roll up your sleeves and be prepared for some serious effort. For anyone who travels frequently or needs a small, compact and convenient solution for achieving a coarse grind, manual grinders make perfect sense.
Electric grinders are still pretty user-friendly but they are usually bigger, obviously demand a power outlet and they are much more expensive. Truly effective electric coffee grinders are not cheap. For espresso lovers with money to spare looking for a fine grind fuss-free, electric grinders are the best approach by far.
4. Your Coffee Grinder: Intended Use
Now we’ve broken down the range of options you can choose between in general, it’s worth taking a moment to think about your intended use…
There’s a world of difference in the requirements of someone looking to make the occasional pot of fresh coffee, a true aficionado wanting large volumes of coffee on a regular basis and someone with a commercial premises so we’ll carve these different needs into 2 broad categories:
- Home Use
- Commercial Use
Personal Coffee Grinder for the Home and Family
A manual grinder is a sensible option if you’re a casual homeowner operating on a stricter budget.
If you want to step things up a gear, we’d advise opting for a high-speed direct drive coffee grinder which offers you plenty of bang for your buck and a pretty decent, consistent grind.
For the average home user, a doserless coffee grinder is generally more than fit for purpose.
To keep things clear and simple, if you’re a home user but you are particularly picky or money is no object, take a look at the best options for commercial grinders and consider adopting one of these instead…
Commercial Coffee Grinder for a Coffee Shop or Restaurant
Low speed coffee grinders are the go-to choice of most coffee shops and restaurants. You can choose between gear-reduction or direct-drive models.
With almost no heat or troublesome static generated, you’ll get a superior grind. These low-speed grinders are also remarkably quiet given their outstanding functionality.
A doser style grinder allows you to prepare your coffee in batches so this is a useful feature in an industrial backdrop. You’ll get much less waste and cleaning is simplified.
Now we’ve explored all aspects of getting the best coffee grinder money can buy, we’ll round out with some of the most frequently asked questions about grinding your own coffee…
V. Coffee Grinding FAQs
1. What is the perfect drip coffee ground size?
Drip coffee brews by permeation rather than infusion. This means that the speed at which the water goes through the coffee is affected by how porous the grind is. This, in turn, influences the contact time and extraction level. Smaller grinds in drip coffee drain slower and impart more flavor. Larger grinds act in the opposite fashion. You need to strike a happy medium so try a medium grind or medium-fine grind for drip coffee makers.
2. What is the perfect French press coffee ground size?
The classic French press represents one of the most flexible and user-friendly approaches to coffee making. The French press is an infusion method so the flavor comes from the coffee soaking in the water before it’s filtered. Use a coarse grind for best results.
3. What is the perfect cold brew coffee ground size?
Cold brewing your coffee is an increasingly popular alternative to the regular iced coffee that’s so tempting when the temperature outside starts to rise. You’ve got a great deal of flexibility when it comes to grind size than with other methods. Extra-coarse and coarse grinds both work extremely well with cold brew. You can even get away with a medium grind so experiment and determine which you find most suits your palate. Cold brewing is a very forgiving method of delivery so think about what works best for you rather than fixating on a pre-determined grind size.
4. What is the perfect espresso coffee ground size?
For the perfect espresso, fine grinds work most effectively. It doesn’t need to be as fine as the grind you’ll need for Turkish coffee but stick with fine and… well, you’ll be fine too!
5. What is the perfect stove top coffee making ground size?
As with espresso, if you use a stove top coffee maker like the traditional Moka pot, roll with a fine grind for the perfect golden cup of coffee every time.
6. Burr or Blade: which is better?
There’s really no contest here… in terms of raw performance and results, burr grinders are by some distance the best option. The only real advantages of a blade grinder are affordability and their compact nature. In all respects, they’re inferior. You’ll get weaker coffee with far less consistency. With a burr grinder, as long as you invest in a decent model, you’ll have much more freedom to choose your grind size with repeatable settings helping consistency. Burr grinder generate less heat leading to a better tasting coffee so go with a burr grinder if you put a premium on the quality of the coffee in your cup.
7. Low-speed or high speed grinding: which works best?
With a manual grinder, however quickly you can physically grind the beans, this will not generate so much heat that you will end up damaging the beans. Consistency is more important than speed. With burr grinders, speed is not an issue. Calibrate it to your preferred setting and let the machine do the work without any concerns about grinding speed. Where speed is most important is with blade grinders. These run hot anyway so avoid grinding too quickly and minimize the damage to your coffee beans.
8. Do you get more caffeine from a brew if you use more coffee grinds?
This question can first be answered directly then needs some clarification… Regardless of the brewing method, the more coffee grinds you use, the higher the caffeine content of the finished drink. This is simple math and common sense. That said, the type of coffee bean and roast level have far more of an overall effect on caffeine levels. Robusta beans have double the caffeine content of Arabica hence they are so frequently used for espresso. Lighter roasts counter-intuitively have a higher level of caffeine than darker roasts. The temperature of the water, brewing time and, of course, the volume of your finished drink also impact caffeine content so there are many factors to consider, the amount of grounds being just one of them.
9. How do you adjust your grinder to the proper grind size?
This issue pertains to commercial coffee grinders. These come equipped with a dial enabling the adjustment of grind size. Check the model you have and determine which direction leads to a finer grind and which to a coarser grind. Move the dial extremely slowly and carefully in increments of a few millimeters. Once you’ve made the adjustment, turn on the grinder for 10 seconds and discard what you’ve ground. After this, run a test shot, give it a try and make further adjustments if necessary.
10. How do you clean your manual and electric coffee grinders?
To clean a manual grinder, disassemble it leaving just the burrs and main shell intact. Pull out the inner burr, the washers, spring and rod. Scrub the handle and lid with soapy water. For small parts, use a Q-Tip dipped in the soapy water. Avoid dishwashing your manual grinder. Dry everything off and reassemble.
To clean an electric coffee grinder, put ¼ cup of rice in the grinder and run it for a minute or so. Wipe it out with a damp paper towel to remove the rice flour and you’re good to go. That simple hack can save you a great deal of fiddling around so give it a try!
11. What is a conical burr grinder?
This type of burr grinder has 2 conical burrs of varying size that face each other. The distance between them affects the grind size. While one burr remains stationary, the other rotates. The coffee beans go between the burrs which grind the beans into fine or coarse particles depending on your preference. A conical burr grinder is the Rolls-Royce of grinders and the choice of coffee connoisseurs.
We trust you’ve found this comprehensive guide to coffee grinders has given you plenty of useful information to further your knowledge of this broad but intriguing subject.
We hope, too, our coffee grinder reviews have simplified your search for the best coffee grinder for your requirements whatever your budget or preferences. We appreciate that everyone has different needs so we’ve attempted here to bring together a wide range of the best grinders so there’s something for all tastes and pockets.
There’s no right or wrong answer as to what makes the best coffee grinder. All we have done here is presented you with the full facts and honest reviews so you can go in forewarned and maximize your chance of spending wisely and ending up with superior coffee every day of the week without needing to head to Starbucks.
Feel free to get in touch any time if you’ve got any questions or feedback. We’re always delighted to hear from our readers and more than happy to help in any way we can. You’re welcome to share any of our articles on your preferred social media.
Our Top Pick: Rancilio HSD-ROC-SD Rocky Espresso Coffee Grinder
The Rancilio HSD-ROC-SD Rocky. Not only is this our choice for the best burr coffee grinder but also our top pick overall. Although it’s marketed as a grinder for espresso, you’ll be able to adjust the settings to produce a coarser grind with ease.