Updated: April 12, 2021 by Owen Richardson
Nothing is more important to the process of making great coffee than the grind quality you achieve when you grind your beans. No matter what type of coffee you like to make, or what kind of equipment you use to brew it, the biggest factor that determines your taste and texture results is always the grind.
So, it’s no wonder that we’ve devoted an entire guide to looking at the best grinders on the market! If you’ve been frustrated by uneven grounds in the past, or thwarted in your quest for the best flavor extraction, it all changes now!
In this guide, we’ll show you all our favorite coffee grinders made today. We’ll walk you through all the different aspects that make a perfect grinder, and help you figure out which one to buy!
Let’s get right down to it with a glance at our Top Three:
*All of the grinders you see in this guide are electric machines. For manual grinders, please see our other guide!
Best Burr Coffee Grinder Reviews
- Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
- Baratza 586 Baratza Virtuoso Coffee Grinder
- Rancilio HSD-ROC-SD Rocky Espresso Coffee Grinder
- Baratza Forte BG (Brew Grinder) – Flat Steel Burr Commercial Grade Coffee Grinder
- KitchenAid BCG111OB Blade Coffee Grinder
- Mazzer Mini Espresso Grinder
1. Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
The Baratza is the least expensive grinder that we recommend. It’s the cheapest decent burr grinder on the market these days! We suggest the Encore to those who want to get grinding at home for a relatively small investment. This is a good starter model for anyone who hasn’t ground at home before and wants an inexpensive entry.
It’s quite versatile, for something so inexpensive. The Encore has 40 different grind setting options, on a scale from fine to coarse. In technical terms, it ranges between from 250 to 1200 microns. That’s good enough to suit most coffee makers, whether you use a drip or manual setup.
To shift grind settings, you just rotate the hopper. It’s super easy to navigate, even if you’ve never used a coffee grinder before. There’s nice click when you get fixed on a setting, so it’s easy to achieve repeatable results.
It has an DC motor for better efficiency. DC creates less heat than AC, so it’s what you want if you’re going to be grinding lots of beans at once. DC motors also resist voltage fluctuations better, resulting in more even grinds.
The Encore also has an automatic shutoff in case of overheating, so you won’t burn out the motor. That’s not something that’s included on some other inexpensive burr grinders we’ve seen!
The burrs are slowed to 450 RPM, through a series of gear-driven and electric shifts between the motor and the burrs. That keeps static from becoming an issue, and reduces noise and heat. More than anything else, the reduction drive train increases torque, so the Encore jams much less easily than other inexpensive options.
We’ve found that it doesn’t produce any static at all! Static, of course, causes absolute mayhem when you’re grinding coffee beans. It’s mostly an issue with blade grinders, but many cheap burr grinders can produce static as well. Not the Encore!
Its burrs are conical in shape, for better consistency and durability.
While the Encore is made mostly in Taiwan, the burrs are actually European-made. They’re stainless steel while many other options at this price use a cheaper, less resilient metal like aluminum.
You can stop and start the grinder with the pulse button on the front. There aren’t any other controls to learn, so it couldn’t be simpler to use.
It still grinds pretty quickly, even with the slowed-down burr speed. The Encore will get through about .8-1.1g/sec.
The bean hopper has a generous capacity for the size and price class of the Encore. It fits about 8 oz (227g) at a time.
Ground beans end up in a compartment in the base of the machine, in which there’s a sliding drawer.
The Encore is easy to fit into smaller living spaces, or pack away if you don’t have dedicated counter space for your grinder. It only weighs about 7 lbs., and measures just 12x35x16 cm.
It’s covered by a 1-year warranty. We’ve found that Baratza also has a pretty good customer support system. They have lots of troubleshooting instructions and general tips online, and they’ll help you out if you get into trouble.
This isn’t the best choice for espresso. While there are certainly a range of fine grinding options, it’s not as easy to get a fine grind with this one as it is with a more expensive model. The Encore offers less finesse than an espresso aficionado would want.
You have to gradually work your way down to the finest textures, since beans can jump around otherwise. It’s a bit time consuming, and not something you’d have to bother with on a nicer grinder. We suggest the Encore mainly for coffee drinkers and the occasional espresso drinker. Don’t plan on getting this one if you want lots of espresso.
Overall, the Encore isn’t as consistent as more expensive options. It has a weaker motor, and it’s just not as well-designed. This is good for the casual coffee drinker looking to up their game, but not for a passionate aficionado.
It’s not great at keeping grounds contained. The grounds compartment does allow a few stray grains to go onto your counter while you’re grinding, and it can make a mess when you remove it.
The larger issue is that the the grounds container isn’t large enough to hold a full hopper’s worth of beans. The compartment only holds 5oz., where the hopper can hold 8oz. So, you have to try and approximate so as not to overflow the drawer.
While it’s good for its price class, the Encore is built rather cheaply compared to our more expensive picks. It’s mostly plastic, aside from the motor and burr mechanisms inside. One key flaw: the burr holder is plastic, and is usually the first thing to go on one of these.
It’s very loud, and it has clogging issues with some darker beans. That’s not uncommon with inexpensive grinders, though, even burr models.
Poor quality control is the Encore’s biggest issue. Be sure and test yours out of the box, so you can resolve any issues during your return window.
2. Baratza 586 Baratza Virtuoso Coffee Grinder
The Baratza Virtuoso is an upgrade over the Encore in every department. It’s built more sturdily, has a better reliability record, and is more versatile. This is the least expensive all-purpose grinder we recommend. You can use it for anything from french presses to espresso and get impressive results!
The biggest difference between the Virtuoso and the Encore is the burr design. They’re conical, stainless steel, European-made burrs, but they’re more precisely-engineered, and have better calibration. They’re also a bit larger, at 40mm. The improved burrs make for better flavor extraction and more consistent grinds.
On the whole, the Virtuoso is more consistent than the Encore, and produces fewer “fines”, which is the coffee snob term for super-fine grounds that are much smaller than the setting you’re using. That’s thanks to the improved burr design.
While the Virtuoso has the same same 40 settings from 250-1200 microns, this model does much better at the extremes of the range than its cheaper counterpart.
Since it does a better job on the finer settings at the bottom of the range, espresso is perfectly doable with the Virtuoso. You can actually get decent crema with it! While the passionate aficionado will definitely want to spend more, it’s an excellent all-around grinder for the average coffee lover.
It also does a better job containing the grounds and depositing them in the drawer rather than on your counter. We’ve also found that fewer stay in the Virtuoso than in the Encore. That cuts down on waste, and makes cleaning easier. Overall, this one’s easier to clean than the Encore!
It’s nearly as easy to use as the Encore, even though it has an extra feature. As with the cheaper Baratza, grind settings are adjustable by rotating the hopper. The main difference in terms of operation is that you can use both the pulse button and an on/off dial to run the grinder.
The dial is actually a timer, as well as an on-off switch. The Encore doesn’t have a timer, making the Virtuoso the more convenient of the two! It’ll run for as long as 60 seconds. You can find the perfect grind time for your roast, and replicate it every time. You can use that, or the pulse button for espresso.
This one features a similar DC motor and gear-reduction system to the Encore, which turns the burrs at 450RPM. The Virtuoso has a better motor, though. It’s 50% more powerful! Since it’s not going any faster, all the extra juice shows up as torque. That means far fewer jams, as well as better consistency.
As with the Encore, the Virtuoso produces practically no static and no heat buildup. It also grinds at the same pace as the Encore: 1.5 to 2.4 g/sec.
There’s also the fact that this model has an updated drivetrain/gearbox assembly. It has even more torque and has far better reliability than the one on the Encore. It’s also quieter.
Overall, this is a good affordable choice for people who care about things like flavor profiles and roasts, but can’t afford pricier grinders.
It’s built much more sturdily than the Encore. The Virtuoso’s base, housing, and lid are all metal. It uses silicone gaskets, not rubber, and the whole thing feels much more robust. It’s still not professional-grade or built for commercial use, but it’s good enough for daily grinding in the average home.
The Virtuoso has the same 8oz. hopper as the Encore.
It’s covered by the same 1-year warranty as the Encore, too.
As with the Encore, the Virtuoso is supported by lots of helpful instructions, tips, and troubleshooting guides. There are online guides showing you how to completely disassemble the machine and solve practically any problem. The instructions will show you how to recalibrate the burrs for darker, oilier roasts, adjust for a coarser grind for french press, or something finer for espresso.
The original had some reliability issues. For the most part, they’ve been fixed, but make sure you’re buying from a reputable seller who’s selling the current edition of the Virtuoso!
Annoyingly, the Virtuoso has a lot of the same quality control issues as the Encore. You definitely want to make a thorough inspection and test run before your return window ends.
This one has the same imbalance between the bean hopper and grounds compartment. There’s a 3oz. discrepancy, so it’s easy to cause an overflow and a mess. You can’t see how much is in the compartment, so it’s very hard to eyeball properly and avoid spilling. This is an annoying design feature that’s not a dealbreaker, but does take some getting used to.
It’s a bit less compact than the Encore: 12x35x16 cm.
The Virtuoso does better than the Encore at the extremes of its grinding range, but it still won’t get as fine a grind as more expensive models. So, while it’ll give you a decent espresso grind, it’s not amazing for espresso. The casual user shouldn’t have anything to complain about, but aficionados should plan to spend a bit more.
While the Virtuoso is easier to clean than the Encore, it’s still harder to clean than a more automatic grinder.
Likewise, it will still get stuck sometimes, more often than a pricier model.
It also has a mixed reliability record, although it has a better track record than the Encore. One issue that a few long-term users report is that grounds can get into the hopper safety switch over time. That’s very easy to troubleshoot, though. Overall, it’s a more reliable investment than the Encore, but we’d still suggest that you get an extended warranty if one is available.
3. Rancilio HSD-ROC-SD Rocky Espresso Coffee Grinder
Rancilio’s Rocky grinder is an absolute classic among coffee lovers. It’s been on the market for a number of years, but it’s been tweaked slightly to improve the design further.
It makes excellent grounds for espresso and coffee alike, and we think it’s as nice as most home brewers require. We suggest it to anyone who wants to achieve consistent grind quality without spending a massive amount on a top-of-the-line model.
One of the most significant differences between the Rocky and the two Baratza’s above is its larger burrs. At 50mm, they’re substantially larger than the Encore or the Virtuoso. You’ll find that the closer you get to professional-grade, the larger burrs get. Larger burrs make for a quicker grind and more consistent results.
Partly because of its larger burrs, the Rocky works more quickly than the Encore or Virtuoso: 7.7 pounds per hour!
It’s much better than the Encore or Virtuoso for espresso. The Rocky’s range isn’t actually listed by microns, but it’s safe to say that it can go a lot finer than the cheaper Baratza’s. It’s also incredibly consistent in the espresso part of the range, and doesn’t leave stray fines at any setting.
It’s specifically designed for finer grinds and espresso prep. In fact, the Rocky even has a holder for the portafilter. You can grind directly into yours, or opt to use a separate container, with a height of up to 5 7/8”.
The consistency of the grinds makes for fantastic extraction in both espresso and coffee makers. You may even find that you need to use less grinds per puck when you’re making espresso, because you get so much more out of each bean!
Even though it’s designed for espresso, it’s still quite good for french presses, pour-over coffee makers, and other machines. You can always get a coarse grind, and you don’t have to worry about fines ending up in the coffee you pour from your french press!
Just like the Baratza’s, the Rocky has a low-RPM DC motor. The combination of a 166w direct drive motor and a high-torque/low-speed drivetrain keeps heat at bay, and results in a very long working life for the grinder. As far as we can tell, it produces next to no static, even at the finer end of the spectrum!
Since you can use a container as large as you like, or grind to your portafilter, the Rocky turns out to be a much neater machine to use than the cheaper Baratza’s. You don’t have to worry about overflowing a compartment you can’t see, because you’ll always be able to keep track of how much you’ve grounds.
It also has a removable plate on the bottom to protect any stray grinds that go over the edge of your container or portafilter.
The Rocky’s hopper is slightly larger than the Baratza’s, so it’s easy to grind a lot at once. This one will hold just over half a pound of beans at a time. And remember: you’re not limited by a built-in compartment! Grind into portafilters several at a time, or pick a different container as large as you need.
On the whole, the Rocky is much sturdier than the Encore or the Virtuoso. It’s really built like a tank. One of these is almost 50% heavier than one of the Baratza’s, and they have a reputation for lasting years. Both reliability and durability are significantly better than the Encore or Virtuoso.
The main reason is probably that the Rocky is made completely in Italy, while the cheaper Baratza’s are imported from Asia. This is also a very simple appliance, one that feels like an older kitchen gadget. It has few parts and features, but everything on it is made very solidly.
Quality control is much better than with the Baratza’s, too. All units are tested using actual coffee beans, and issues out of the box are very rare.
It’s quite compact. While the Rocky is fairly tall, it takes up very little counter top real estate. You can fit it easily next to your coffee maker, as long as you have some clearance below your shelves or cabinets.
Overall, we think the Rocky is an excellent midrange choice. You won’t see better results or functionality without spending more than twice the price on a semi-professional model like the Baratza Forte BG. The Rocky is the best for relatively low volume home use by aficionados.
Even something as solid as the Rocky doesn’t have a perfect reliability record. If you read online coffee forums, you’ll probably hear about the occasional motor issue. The vast majority of buyers don’t have issues, though.
Some other reviewers say that oilier beans can be an issue, though most report that all types of roast feed through just fine. We haven’t run into any troubles with sticking beans, so you should be confident the Rocky will work with whichever espresso beans you prefer.
Like the Encore and Virtuoso, there are a lot of adjustments you can make to the Rocky, but the mechanism for tweaking the settings can be tricky. You’ll need two hands. Compared to the Baratza’s, the Rocky doesn’t have the best user interface. You have to tweak two different components at once.
As with so many grinders, some grounds do remain in the chute after you grind through the hopper. There’s no tool included to help you get them out. Bamboo chopsticks are good for this, or you can use a baster to blow them all through the mechanism. With something this rugged, you can even shake it out without worry.
While the Rocky has larger burrs than the Baratza Encore/Virtuoso, the burrs are still smaller than the Baratza Forte’s.
It’s not easy to disassemble. That’s a big difference between this one and the Baratza’s. You shouldn’t have to do any modifications, though. The only annoying bit is not being able to remove the hopper. So, make sure you actually want to grind everything you put in, or you’ll have to flip the whole machine upside down.
Unlike the Virtuoso, it doesn’t have a timer. So, you have to press the button for the duration of the grind.
It’s not the absolute best for espresso, though it’s very good. The Forte is even better, so if you’re using a high-end espresso machine and are very passionate about your shots, go for the Forte.
The portafilter holder on the Rocky won’t work with all brands. Most should work pretty well, but Breville’s in particular don’t sit quite right.
4. Baratza Forte BG (Brew Grinder) – Flat Steel Burr Commercial Grade Coffee Grinder
Our top recommendation for a grinder is the Baratza Forte. It’s suitable for the most passionate home grinders, as well as smaller-scale commercial users.
The Forte is a coffee snob’s dream machine, with precision adjustments to suit absolutely any roast and brewing method. It won Best Commercial Product from the SCAA when it came onto the market, and it continues to be our go-to recommendation for the most demanding aficionados.
The Forte BG has the largest burrs of all our recommendations. At 54mm, they get the job done quickly without allowing jumpy beans to cause inconsistencies. The Forte’s grinders are flat steel burrs, though you can also get it with ceramic burrs (you’ll have to pay more money, and we’ve actually found that the steel burr model is more reliable).
The special design on these particular burrs result in accurate and precise grinds with practically no fines at all, thanks to the narrow particle distribution. The Forte is as consistent as anything we’ve reviewed, and works perfectly for absolutely any brewing method or type of bean.
As you might expect, the Forte has one of the widest ranges of grind options on the market. You can set it to anything from 230 microns to 1150 microns.
If you’ve been reading carefully, you’ll probably have noticed that the finest option on the Forte BG is actually smaller than anything you can achieve on the Encore or Virtuoso. That’s why it’s the only Baratza we can confidently recommend for espresso!
In addition to having a wide range of adjustments, the Baratza gives you more steps to choose from along the scale. It allows for both micro and macro adjustments. There are 10 macro steps, with 26 micro adjustments within each, working out to a total of 260 different settings in one grinder.
That’s a degree of finesse that you just can’t get with anything cheaper. It’s something you won’t beat without going for a professional step-less model (we’ve got one recommended below, but step-less models tend to be impractical for small-scale home use).
It’s hard to measure the impact that a grinder has on your actual brews. However, in this case, the difference is really quite profound. This Baratza allows you to get maximum flavor from absolutely any sort of beans, so you can always enjoy the subtleties of your roast. Any passionate coffee drinker will appreciate notes which you’ll miss by using cheaper grinders!
Instead of twisting things manually to adjust the grinder, you make your adjustments using sliders beside a digital control panel with touch-activation. The whole system wakes up when you start pressing buttons. There are 3 present dose options to choose from, or you can customize using the navigation arrows. TARE, Manual, Stop and Start buttons give you all the options you need without cluttering up the design.
The digital system and simplified knob design make for super easy operation.
You can calibrate the burrs to suit your own needs, using the included tool. It’s all very straightforward, so you can easily turn this into a personalized gadget. It can go easily from espresso to french press without needing calibrations each time, though.
The Forte BG has a belt-driven motor that’s very quiet and consistent. As with all our other grinder recommendations, it has a large gear-to-belt ratio for additional torque. It’s DC-powered for cool running temperatures, and it’s pretty much impervious to fluctuations.
Different coffee experts have varying opinions on whether direct-drive or belt-driven motors are the best choice for hardcore enthusiasts. Regardless of which side you’re on, it’s impossible to argue with the Baratza Forte BG’s sheer heft! The motor in this thing is 70% more powerful than the popular Vario model, which we used to recommend in this slot. It’s truly commercial-grade, and the most powerful Baratza to date.
Between the oversized burrs and the super-powered motor, the Baratza grinds as fast as the Rocky, 1.2g/sec.
Aside from the motor and burrs, the biggest difference between this model and our other recommendations is the user interface. It’s much more sophisticated than the on/off switches on our other picks!
The Baratza Forte BG is technically a weight-based grinder. So, to grind, you program it to produce a given weight in grounds, and the machine does the rest. It’s accurate to .2 grams, which is about as good as it gets. The weight-based grinding option is a unique feature, and makes for excellent repeatability.
You can also grind by time, using a timer by second.
Neither of these sophisticated operating modes are available on the Rocky. One reason we think perfectionists will love the Forte is that there’s very little guesswork involved. Once you find the precise setting that gives you the best results, you can come back to it every time.
The Forte BG is also much easier to use, thanks to its convenient features. Having precise dosing options makes it ideal for espressos in particular.
This model has a 10oz. hopper that’s 30% larger than those on the Encore or Virtuoso, and bigger than the Rocky’s as well. The Forte BG holds about 300g at one time, and you can get an extension component separately if you want to grind any more at once. You really shouldn’t need anything larger, though, since the grounds compartment is still relatively small.
We especially like the Forte BG’s bean-shutoff feature. By stopping the flow of beans to the grinding chamber, it allows you to lift the hopper of the machine very easily, which you can’t do with the Rocky. That makes it a cinch to swap out beans to grind a different roast.
Like the Rocky, it packs a lot into a small footprint. The Forte BG is quite tall, but it takes up relatively little counter space.
This Baratza is as rugged and reliable as the Rocky. It’s nearly all metal, inside and out. The only non-metal components are the display, buttons, and compartments. The all-metal grinding chamber is vastly more durable than the Baratza Encore or Virtuoso. We’re also pleased to see a threaded burr holder instead of flimsy clips.
All the adjustments are made of metal, too. The sliders you use to adjust the settings on the front of the machine are solid metal, and the metal detents on the inside of the chamber make fine tuning easy and repeatable. They won’t wear out like plastic stops.
As with the other Baratza’s, the instructional materials that go with the Forte BG are superb.
It has a fantastic reliability record. Up to 4-year warranty plans are also available, which we highly recommend for something this pricey. You want to protect your investment as much as possible!
It’s extremely expensive. The Forte BG costs at least twice the price of our other picks, so it’s not something we recommend to any casual coffee people. This is for the avid home grinder or the working pro.
The big annoyance we’ve found with Baratza’s is the small grounds compartment. It’s something we’ve noted in our reviews of the Encore and Virtuoso.
The quality on this one is so good that we’re prepared to overlook it, but we wish they’d give you the option of grinding into a larger container, like the Rocky does.
Even though it’s more than twice as expensive as the Rocky, it’s still made in Taiwan.
If you don’t need this much control, the Rocky is much, much less expensive and comparably well-made. This is really for someone who spends time on things like finding exactly the right burr settings to achieve the perfect espresso results and such, not someone who will find one setting and use it every time.
Which of these grinders should you buy?
The Baratza Encore is the best choice for newcomers to home grinding who want something more consistent and reliable than a blade grinder without spending a premium. It produces much better results than any blade grinder, but it doesn’t cost nearly as much as other burr models. It’s the least-expensive burr grinder we recommend. The Encore isn’t as reliable as more expensive models, though. It also won’t help you with espresso grounds, so don’t plan on using it for anything more than coffee.
The Baratza Virtuoso is a good budget option for more passionate coffee drinkers. It’s more reliable than the Encore, and is made with more metal components. It has slightly larger burrs, a much more powerful motor, and a better reliability record. It’s the most affordable option we suggest for those who want to grind for both coffee and espresso. This one isn’t as good at espresso as the Rocky or Forte, though. It’s also not quite as heavy-duty.
The Rancilio Rocky is our suggestion to the home coffee drinker who wants a high-quality appliance with consistent grind results, but doesn’t need the kind of control and precision you can get on the Forte. It’s an excellent choice for espresso drinkers, and can serve french presses at the same time.
The downside of the Rocky is that it’s not quite as easy to operate or adjust as the Baratza’s. It doesn’t have the kind of adjustment range that you get on the Forte BG, either. This is great for people who want great, reliable results, but don’t need to be as hands-on as you’d have to be to use the Forte. If you’re a hands-on perfectionist, go for the Forte.
The Baratza Forte BG is the best all-around grinder here. While it’s extremely expensive, it gives the most passionate home coffee artisans the finesse and versatility to tackle any roast and any brewing technique. It’ll give you the best overall flavor results, and last for years of service. Just plan to make a steep investment to get one.
For the tightest budgets
We think the Baratza Encore above should be affordable enough for most buyers. It’s the least you can pay for a decent burr grinder. If you’re super strapped for cash, though, you might be thinking of settling for a blade grinder while you save for something nicer.
If that’s the case, this KitchenAid is by far the best blade model we’ve come across. There’s no real comparison between this and one of our burr grinder picks, but the KitchenAid is a great value.
The KitchenAid is made with lots of metal components, so it’ll last awhile, and it makes things easy to use thanks to a clear cover and interior cup markings. This is a blade grinder, which means it doesn’t grind with perfect consistency. Still, you can get pretty decent results with care.
The big advantage this one has is a hassle-free warranty policy. Inexpensive blade grinders don’t tend to last all that long, so it’s nice to know your investment is safe with this one!
For professional use
This Mazzer grinder is absolutely phenomenal, but we weren’t able to include it in our main picks. That’s because it’s really designed only for professional use. You can’t grind small amounts, so it’s impractical for most home users. If you do coffee professionally, though, this is a fantastic workhorse!
The Mazzer has precision down to a T. It grinds extremely consistently, and uses both a blade and burrs to get the job done. The low blade speeds help prevent uneven texture, and reduce heat as well.
This is a rugged machine that gives you repeatable results day in and day out. Its step-less micro-metrical grind adjustment allows you to get absolutely any grind consistency you want, without being limited by presets. It really is a true barista’s tool! We recommend it to any professional.
There are ways to work around the design and modify to make home use easier, but at this price, you really want the machine to do exactly what you need it to without extra steps. So, home baristas should stick with the Baratza Forte in most cases.
|Baratza Forte BG||$$$||Burr|
Whether you’re getting into home grinding for the first time, or upgrading from your old grinder, there are lots of things to think about as you compare your options. This buying guide will talk you through the decision-making process from start to finish!
What makes a great coffee grinder?
First off, you should have a firm grasp of the qualities which make a coffee grinder excellent.
Consistency is by far the most important. If you don’t have consistent grounds, your flavor development will be all over the place. Large pieces of bean will be under-extracted, and stray “fines” will be end up in your cup, continuing to brew. They’ll eventually make your coffee far more bitter than you intended.
The best coffee grinders leave you with grounds all of the same size, so that the extraction is even and efficient. They make the most of each bean, and produce grounds that brew similarly each time you make coffee or espresso.
Reliability is a key factor to consider with any appliance purchase, not least a coffee grinder. After all, it doesn’t matter how consistent your grinder is on the first day you use it if it won’t keep performing at a high level on all the occasions you want to use it in the future!
The most reliable coffee grinders are those made in Europe, not China. They have lots of metal components, and high-powered motors which can grind for extended periods without building up heat or jamming. Since coffee grinders aren’t the most reliable machines as a whole, we suggest extended warranty policies wherever available.
User-friendliness should be something you consider as well. Many coffee grinders perform well on paper, but are frustrating to use in practice. They have complicated functions, and take more time to set up than you’ll spend actually grinding.
Look for models with simple and straightforward controls. Make sure you know up front how you’ll go about making adjustments or trouble-shooting. Is this machine easy to clean? How easily can I take it apart? What if I have to recalibrate? Asking all these questions up front will help you choose something that will fit your user preferences.
Finally, adjustability is important no matter what kinds of beans and brews you prefer. Even if you only grind one type of bean, you’ll want to find a specific setting on your grinder to deal with it perfectly. Different modes of brewing also require different grind levels.
In short, make sure your new coffee maker has the versatility to do all the things you want it to! We’ve noted in our reviews which of our recommendations can be used for things like espresso or french presses, which require very fine and very rough grinds respectively.
Decide on your budget
Coffee grinders can cost anywhere from $25 to $1250+. We recommend that all buyers plan to spend at least $100. That’s where you start to see burr grinders instead of blade grinders. Burr grinders are much more consistent, and at least as reliable, so they’re by far the best choice.
If you’re a casual coffee drinker who’s simply looking for good, reliable consistency, plan to spend around $100-$250. Those who are more passionate about their home barista practice will want to spend between $250 and $500 for something with more power, finesse, and versatility. Anyone who considers themselves a true aficionado and uses premium grounds/brewers should consider spending toward the upper part of the price range, from $750-$1250.
Know which type you want
Coffee grinders come in two main types: blade and burr.
Blade grinders are the cheapest by a long, long shot. Most cost under $50. They’re quick and easy to use. They’re absolutely abysmal when it comes to consistency, though. You have to keep tilting them around to get even grinds, and even the best blade grinders will produce uneven results.
So, we think that most people should go for a burr grinder, despite the higher cost. They’re more than worth it. Burr grinds can produce even, consistent grinds at any number of settings. They can give you noticeably better taste results from your beans, and they offer a level of precision that you’ll never get on a blade grinder.
Consider automatic features
Just like when you’re choosing a coffee maker, think about how much you want the machine to do for you.What kind of automatic features do you want? Are you fine with holding down a button for the duration of your grind, or do you want something with a timer? How about a scale? The very best grinders can precisely measure grounds to give you perfect espresso shots and coffee brews every time.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this comprehensive look at the best coffee grinders on the market! You can see current prices and more details for any of our recommendations by simply clicking the links in our reviews.
If you’re reconsidering whether you really need an electric coffee grinder, try having a look at our guide to the best manual options! Manual coffee grinders are very convenient for one or two brews at a time, so have a look at our recommendations!
Or, head over to our main page for more expert reviews and recommendations for all things coffee!