What Contributes to a Great Cup of Coffee?
With so many different flavors and styles of making coffee, deciding on the best coffee grinders that suit your needs would be hard to universally agree on which ones can brew the perfect cup of coffee these days, however, one thing that is vital to ensure every cup of coffee is the best it can be is the quality and freshness of the coffee itself.
No matter what machine you are using to brew your coffee, it is equally as essential to have the best coffee grinder by your side to make that home-brewed coffee taste even fresher every time.
Is a Coffee Grinder Even Needed?
If you are brewing your coffee at home, you have two choices when it comes to your coffee beans; buying pre-ground coffee or grinding your coffee beans at home. Although we would always recommend for the best flavor and freshness to grind your beans at home, you will always end up with a much better tasting product, and they will last much longer.
Coffee is sold in a vacuum-sealed, UV-blocking container, and once opened, the flavor will rapidly start to fade. This process speeds up rapidly when you buy pre-ground coffee. As soon as it is exposed to air, the taste will change dramatically.
Whole coffee beans will retain their flavor a lot longer than ground coffee beans, so if you are grinding your beans before making each cup of coffee, you will get the freshest taste and the most out of your coffee beans. Grinding your beans at home also allows you to control the grind size, as different machines and methods of brewing coffee will require different grinds.
If you have chosen to grind your coffee at home but are thinking of using a different household appliance to get the job done, such as a blender or food processor–this is not recommended. Coffee grinders are specifically designed for coffee beans and have blunted edge blades to get your coffee to the desired texture more evenly.
Once you start grinding coffee beans, they release oils that will stain any container used, so using your household blender to chop the beans will ruin it for other uses. It is always best to stick to a coffee grinder for the best results.
The Three Different Types of Coffee Grinders
The main types of coffee grinders are a blade grinder and burr grinder, although you can also purchase a manual grinder which is a smaller, inexpensive model.
A blade grinder is similar to a food processor but has blunted edges on the blades specifically designed to grind coffee beans. It can be harder to master the process of getting evenly-ground coffee than using a burr grinder, but this can be a good option for some as they are more compact and slightly less expensive.
Burr grinders are very popular these days as you can control the grind size with pre-set settings and the results are very evenly ground. Whole beans are dropped into the top of the machine and funneled down between two flat rings with serrated edges that rotate in opposite directions. However, they are generally more expensive, larger, and louder to operate than a blade grinder.
For beginners to coffee who want to start with a burr grinder that is less expensive than the electric grinders, this may be a good option as they are very small, quiet to use, portable, and inexpensive.
Burr grinders produce a more even grind than a blade grinder, but selecting the settings and getting an even grind size is more complex, takes longer, and doesn’t produce the perfect, even finished product of an electric burr grinder. They store a small number of beans and require you to turn the handle many times to grind. The beans are crushed between two burrs.
The Six Different Types of Coffee Grinds
The most important things to consider when grinding coffee is to get a consistent grind and to choose the correct grind size for your desired coffee brewing method. Evenly ground coffee will make it easier to extract the most flavor during the brewing process and leave you with a smooth, robust taste in your coffee.
The size of the ground coffee will essentially relate to the time required to brew it. Fine coffee grounds will require a shorter steeping time, and coarse ground coffee will take longer. It is also essential to make note that finer coffee will result in a more pungent taste.
Strong espresso and Turkish coffee.
Strong pour-over and light espresso.
Drip coffee and light pour-over.
At a Glance: Our Top Picks for Coffee Grinders
- Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill – Our Top Pick
- Kaffe Electric Coffee Grinder – Best Easy Use Blade Grinder
- KRUPS Silent Vortex Electric Grinder for Spice, Dry Herbs, and Coffee– Best Quiet Burr Grinder
- SHARDOR Coffee Grinder Electric, Coffee Bean Grinder Electric – Best Easy Clean Blade Grinder
- JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder with Adjustable Settings – Best Manual Burr Grinder
- Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder – Best for Coffee Aficionados
- Hamilton Beach Fresh Grind Electric Coffee Grinder – Best Budget Blade Grinder
- Mueller Austria HyperGrind Precision Electric Spice/Coffee Grinder Mill – Best Blade Grinder for Beginners
- OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder – Best for All-round Use
- Mr. Coffee Multi-Grind 12-Cup Automatic Coffee Grinder – Best Multiple Settings Blade Grinder
What You Need to Know Before Buying a Coffee Grinder
Why you should not use a blade grinder
Consistency is the most critical factor when grinding coffee beans, aside from choosing the correct grind size for your desired brewing method. Blade grinders simply cannot compete with burr grinders when it comes to a consistent texture, and you will notice the difference straight away. The taste of a perfectly ground coffee bean will be so much smoother, and extract all of the flavors evenly from your chosen coffee bean.
Burr grinders will generally come with settings to choose the perfect grind size from fine to coarse. This is perfect for those who want to brew multiple different types of coffee at home. High-quality burr grinders can also produce a mix of fine and coarse ground beans, which will fit together, and the finer ground beans will fill the gaps.
Electric vs. manual
Burr coffee grinders can be either electric or manual, and many coffee lovers have both! A manual burr coffee grinder is great if you are brewing smaller quantities and can often be an excellent introduction grinder for beginners who don’t want to splurge on a more expensive electric burr grinder just yet.
Another positive with manual grinders is that they are compact and completely portable, perfect for camping trips or general travel. The downside is that they do take longer and require more effort to grind the beans and may not have as wide of a range of settings as an electric burr grinder when it comes to the fineness of the grind.
If you want the most efficient and best quality machine, we recommend investing in an electric burr coffee grinder. There are a few things to consider when purchasing an electric burr grinder, such as which grind settings it has, the number of settings, whether it uses a portafilter or bucket grinding, and the burr size type, and RPMs.
What type of grind settings? (auto, pulse, timed)
While you don’t necessarily need a fancy machine with different settings to make a great cup of coffee, they may make your life easier and be a good option for those who are making multiple cups of coffee throughout the day.
Generally, most electric grinders will come with a ‘pulse’ option that requires you to hold down a button to grind the beans and stop grinding when the button is released. Some grinders will have an ‘auto grind’ feature to simplify this method, so you don’t have to hold down the button while beans are ground.
For even more specific auto-grinding, some machines have ‘timed grinding’ settings; simply set the timer and start grinding. It all depends on how often you will be using your device and if you are willing to pay extra for additional features.
Number of grind-size settings
Looking at some machines with hundreds of settings may seem daunting at first when looking at purchasing an automatic burr grinder, but how many settings do you need? Of course, it all depends on how you are going to brew your coffee!
Obviously, the more settings you have will allow you to use your beans more diversly across a broader range of brewing methods. However, some machines with over 500 settings may be overkill and have a hefty price tag attached to them. Ensure you are choosing a device that is practical for your lifestyle.
If you want to get a grinder that will allow you to brew any style of coffee, from cold brew to espresso, look at purchasing a machine with 40+ settings. This will allow you the freedom to experiment and find your favorite grind size and brewing method.
Probably the most common amount of settings is 20-40. This will allow you to brew the most typical styles of coffee comfortably, with some room for experimentation. If you are simply using standard brew styles such as pour-over or french press, a machine with less than 30 settings will be entirely suitable for you.
Portafilter or bucket grinding
If you are purchasing a grinder to be used with an espresso machine, you may find it convenient to look for a machine designed to be used with your portafilter. They come equipped with a bracket to hold the portafilter in place while the beans are directly ground into your portafilter. This is an excellent no-mess or waste option for espresso users.
The other type of machine will split the ground beans directly into a bucket or container. This is the preferred method for drip brewing. If you are going to be experimenting with different styles, it may be an excellent option to get a machine that accommodates both possibilities.
Burr size, type, and RPMs
When talking about the functions and workings of a burr coffee grinder, things can get pretty technical. However, the most critical factors are the burr material and size, the type of burr, and the speed, measured in revolutions per minute (RPMs).
When purchasing a grinder, you will either be looking at a high-speed grinder or a low-speed grinder. However, there is a dilemma with the RPM of a grinder. Higher RPMs produce a more consistent grind. However, the heat associated with a higher speed can change the flavor and leave you with a burnt taste.
The way some machines address this issue is with a strong motor and larger, flat burrs. The logic behind this is that larger burrs will grind coffee faster, meaning less time for the machine to heat up. Because they produce such a consistent grind, these machines are most compatible for espresso making.
Low-speed grinders are more common in the home coffee grinder machines and operate at slower speeds to avoid heat and static buildup. They are perfectly acceptable for most types of coffee brewing, although if you really want the perfect espresso, a high-speed machine may be a good investment.
Burr material and size
As mentioned, larger burrs will grind the coffee faster but require a more powerful motor. These machines may be slightly more expensive than a low-speed grinder. Most commonly, the burrs will be made from stainless steel or ceramic. Ceramic burrs take longer to dull as they are more rigid than steel; however, they are easier to crack or damage. Most modern machines are equipped with stainless steel burrs.
Type of burr
When looking at the shape of a burr, there is controversy about whether flat or conical works best. Some argue that flat burrs will give you a more consistent grind, and others that conical will create more fines and, therefore, a more robust coffee.
The Best Selling Coffee Grinders on the Market
Our Top Pick
Amazon Accolade: #1 Best Seller in Burr Coffee Grinders
The Cuisinart Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill is a great all-around machine for high-quality ground coffee. With 18 different grind settings the sizes vary from fine (suitable for espresso-making), medium (for drip and pour over) to coarse (perfect for a cold brew and french press). It also features a preset grind amount for four to 18 cups of coffee. Simply select how much you would like to grind and allow the machine to do the rest!
The removable bean hopper stores 8oz of beans at a time and comes with a lid for mess-free grinding. The grinder also comes with a 2-in-1 brush and coffee scoop for your convenience. It is made of stainless steel and is a stylish addition to your kitchen countertop coming in two colors; cream and black.
The machine measures 12.2 x 8.7 x 7.8 inches and weighs 4.44 pounds. Cuisinart is known for creating high-quality kitchen appliances, and this grinder machine is no exception! People have loved how easy it is to use, and the quality of the grind size consistency. The only issue for some is that it is louder than most machines, but if this doesn’t bother you, then this may be an excellent option for beginners and coffee experts alike!
|18 grind sizes for a wide variety of brewing methods||Loud when operating|
|Automatic grinding||Not the best for espresso machines|
|Consistent and even grind size|
Best Easy Use Blade Grinder
This is a great simple-to-use grinder for those who are maybe just starting their home-brewed coffee journey and want to experiment with some beginner blade grinders before purchasing a more expensive burr grinder. This compact countertop grinder with a 3oz capacity has a transparent lid, so you can keep an eye on the grind size as you grind.
This grinder operates quietly and is so easy to use. Simply fill up the bean reservoir and hold down the start button until desired fineness of beans is reached. It features a safety lid meaning it will not operate without the cover. In addition, it comes with a 2-year warranty that covers any damage or defect with a money-back guarantee!
It is made of stainless steel and comes in four colors; black, copper, white, and stainless steel. The measurements are 4 x 4 x 6.7 inches, and it weighs only 1.5lbs. Ranked number 3 in blade coffee grinders on Amazon, this blade grinder is an excellent option for those who want fast, easy coffee in the morning.
|2-year warranty||Uneven grind consistency|
|Compact and portable||Small bean reservoir (3oz)|
|Inexpensive||No grind settings or size options|
|Easy to use|
Best Quiet Burr Grinder
For those who have large families or maybe roommates who are sick of being woken up by your morning ritual of making coffee, the KRUPS Silent Vortex Electric Grinder may be your holy grail! It is one of the quietest electric burr grinders on the market. Unfortunately, while not wholly silent, it has a muffled sound.
The coffee bean capacity of this machine is up to 12 tablespoons, and there are no cup settings. Simply measure by the number of coffee beans you put in at a time. As this is a blade grinder, there are no grind size settings, and you may not get the most evenly ground coffee as when using a burr grinder.
There are two-speed options; high and low-speed grinding, with the high speed being suitable for coffee beans. This product can also be used to grind herbs and spices on the low setting. Although the grinder can silently grind beans for up to 12 cups of coffee in 15 seconds, it does not feature an auto-grind setting, so simply hold down the power button to grind.
The removable stainless-steel grinding bowl has a storage lid that seals the grinding bowl for safety and is dishwasher safe for your convenience. The machine is made from stainless steel and comes in silver and black, measuring 9.9 x 4.5 x 4.5 inches and weighing 2.59lbs. Customers have loved how quiet and easy to operate this grinder is, and it has been ranked #8 in Electric Coffee Blade Grinders on Amazon.
|Quiet||Unevenly ground beans|
|Small and compact||More expensive than other blade grinders|
Best Easy Clean Blade Grinder
Amazon Accolade: #1 Best Seller in Grain Mills
If you want something fast, easy to use, and easy to clean to fit into your busy lifestyle, the Shardor blade grinder will make your coffee-making experience more efficient. Now this machine may not have all the bells and whistles. However, it will grind your coffee beans quickly and with no fuss.
To operate, simply fill the reservoir with beans (it has a 70g [2.47oz] capacity) and hold down the button on top of the lid. The texture of the beans will be determined by the number of seconds you hold down the button.
The high-power motor with 20000-24000 RPM gets the job done in 15 seconds! So for coarse ground beans, just hold for eight seconds, and for fine ground beans, it is 15 seconds.
When you are done using the grinder, you can remove the stainless steel cups from the base and simply place them in the dishwasher! It comes with a 2-year warranty and also a 2-in-1 coffee spoon with a brush. The grinder measures 3.7 x 3.7 x 8 inches and weighs 2.18lbs.
It has been ranked number 1 in grain mills on Amazon, with customers loving how easy this is to use, and found that it produces quality ground coffee beans and can be used with other spices and nuts.
|Easy to clean||Can produce uneven grounds|
|Easy to operate||Loud|
|Fast and efficient|
Best Manual Burr Grinder
Amazon’s Choice in “Manual Coffee Grinders by JavaPresse”
Manual grinders often get overlooked when purchasing a grinder. However, they are the holy grail of grinders for some. They are entirely portable, use no electricity or battery to operate, are silent, and still use burr grinding to give you a precise blend every time.
Equipped with 18 manual grind settings, you will be able to use this to brew any coffee from fine to coarse. Of course, it does require more effort and time than an electric grinder. However, if you are only brewing one or two cups of coffee at a time, this will be no issue for you.
The conical burrs are made from ceramic which has been tested to last five times longer than stainless steel burrs (just be careful when handling as they can crack with trauma). There is also a manufacture warranty and 100% money-back guarantee for peace of mind.
It comes in a stylish stainless steel design, measuring 1.8 x 7.5 x 1.8 inches and weighing 9.4oz. Javapress has truly created a masterpiece. Customers have left reviews that it works just as well as many electric burr grinders and, although it is manual, it’s surprisingly effortless to use.
|Quiet||More effort required than electric grinders|
|Small and compact|
Best for Coffee Aficionados
This is one of the favorite entry-level burr grinders on the market. It consistently produces even coffee grounds with 40 grind settings suitable for everything from cold brew to espresso. In addition, it has a large bean hopper capacity for making larger batches of coffee.
Paired with a one-touch pulse operating system, you simply have to select the grind size on the turntable dial and hold down the pulse button to operate. It is more expensive than some grinders on the market; however, the price tag is reasonable for a product that produces such a wide variety of grind settings as you can use it for any occasion.
The machine is made from plastic and comes in white or black. It measures 4.7 x 6.3 x 13.8 inches and weighs 6.83lbs. It has been ranked number 4 in burr coffee grinders on Amazon and comes with a one-year warranty.
|A large number of grind settings||More expensive|
|Conical burrs for evenly ground coffee||No auto-grind settings|
Best Budget Blade Grinder
Amazon’s Choice in “Electric Coffee Blade Grinders by Hamilton Beach”
The Hamilton Beach fresh grind electric coffee grinder is a cheap and cheerful blade grinder that can grind up to 12 cups of coffee at a time. It is equipped with stainless steel blades and a removable grinding chamber for easy cleaning.
This will not produce the most beautiful ground beans. However, it can be an excellent option for those on a budget and beginners to home-brewed coffee. In addition, Hamilton Beach boasts that it is quieter to operate than most blade grinders and is very compact and portable.
There are no grind settings or auto-start settings, simply load the beans into the top and hold down the pulse button to grind until your desired texture is reached. The machine comes in black plastic and stainless steel. It measures 3.74 x 3.54 x 7.13 inches and weighs 1.3lbs.
Even with the low price tag, customers have reviewed it says that it works great for grinding coffee beans. However, the removable grinder cup leaves a mess.
|Low cost||Unevenly ground beans|
|Compact and quiet use||Messy to use|
Best Blade Grinder for Beginners
Mueller has created this sleek and stylish electric blade grinder that is so simple to use and perfect for beginners as an intro to home-brewed coffee. In addition, it can produce quality ground coffee of varying fineness for use in most coffee brewing methods.
As a blade grinder, it does not have different grind settings. Instead, simply hold down the pulse button until you can see your coffee is ground to the desired consistency. It uses German precision machinery and has been tested through three professional grade inspections against its competitors, proving it can outperform and outlast them.
The lid features a safety lock to ensure no mess or loss of coffee. The grinder measures 7.72 x 4.29 x 4.25 inches and weighs 1.39lbs. It is ranked #3 in electric coffee blade grinders on Amazon.
|Compact||Unevenly ground beans|
Best for All-round Use
Amazon’s Choice for “Burr Coffee Grinder”
This Oxo brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder is one of the best on the market. Featuring durable 40-millimeter stainless steel conical burrs that create uniform grounds for optimal flavor extraction and 15 settings (including micro settings) to adjust your grind to suit your taste.
The bean hopper holds up to 3/4lb of coffee beans and is coated in a UV-blocking material with a sealed lid to ensure freshness and means you can safely store your coffee without losing its flavor. The one-touch timer keeps your last setting, so you don’t need to reset it each time.
The settings are perfect for making any coffee from espresso to cold brew, and the ground coffee’s consistency is nearly perfect. You can also remove the bean hopper for easy cleaning. The machine comes in silver stainless steel, measures 6.8 x 11.1 x 14.8 inches, and weighs 7.1oz.
It has been ranked #2 in Burr Coffee Grinders, and satisfied customers have stated that this product is impressive for the price and has helped elevate the quality of their home-brewed coffee. However, it is loud when operating.
|Even grind consistency||Loud|
|Large bean hopper capacity|
|15 grind settings|
|40mm stainless steel conical burrs|
Best for Multiple Settings Blade Grinder
Amazon’s Choice in “Electric Coffee Grinders by Mr. Coffee”
The Mr. Coffee Multi-Grind Automatic Coffee Grinder is a step up from the regular blade grinder machines. It has additional settings and features to make your grinding effortless and more precise.
There is a five-settings dial to adjust the grind size from fine, medium to coarse. It also features a cup size selector from four to 12 cups, which allows you to grind only what you need and ensures fresh coffee grounds each time. In addition, the grinding chamber is removable, which makes cleaning easy and mess-free.
There is a safety switch and automatic shut-off when grinding is complete to ensure your safety and save electricity. It features stainless steel blades for fast grinding, although as we know, blade grinders may leave you with an uneven grind texture.
The grinder is made of black plastic and stainless steel and measures 9.21 x 5.51 x 5.28 inches, weighing 2.01lbs. It is currently ranked #10 in electric blade coffee grinders on Amazon.
|Inexpensive||Uneven grind texture|
|Multiple settings & auto-grind features|
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The Proud Italian is passionate about all things Italy, from perfecting the perfect risotto to having the freshest, full-bodied cup of coffee. We strive to educate audiences and contradict misinformation on the internet.
We pride ourselves on our writers who use the best resources and personal knowledge to deliver quality articles for everyone, from beginners to experienced coffee lovers.
The Final Say
There is a type of coffee grinder that will suit every lifestyle and taste. You simply need to do your research to find the perfect machine for your budget, experience, brewing style, and efficiency of operating and cleaning.
We would recommend using a burr grinder (electric or manual) for the best tasting cup of coffee to get the most consistent grind texture every time. However, for those who want to start with a blade grinder or simply do not want to splurge on a burr grinder, there are still great options out there for you!