It’s completely fine to buy pre-ground coffee that you can use for your brews. In fact, some people are perfectly happy with cups of coffee that they can make quickly and without fuss in the morning.
With that said, some people also like taking an extra step to achieve coffee perfection. They’ll do everything they can to ensure the best cup of coffee. That’s where coffee grinders come in.
A coffee grinder allows you to grind your own beans so you can make coffee brews that are out of this world. The coffee beans are dropped into the top of the grinder and effectively pulverized to achieve this. The ultimate result of your blend depends on how evenly your coffee is ground, and the temperature after the grinding has taken place.
Our guide to the best coffee grinders out there will focus on what to look for in coffee grinders, and will also include reviews of our top picks of the best ones available.
Are you ready to dive into the world of coffee grinders? Great, let’s get started!
Our Top Picks: Summary
- Best Overall: Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
- Best Budget: KRUPS F203 Electric Spice and Coffee Grinder
- Best Burr: OXO BREW Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
- Best Manual: Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder
It’s the coffee grinder that offers it all for a price to match.
Why we Picked It
Our best overall coffee grinder is the Baratza Encore. It’s the coffee grinder that offers it all for a price to match. It’s also certified by the Specialty Coffee Association.
With a user-friendly design, the Baratza Encore offers a front-mounted pulse button and simple-to-use on and off switch so you can get grinding your coffee beans whenever, and however, you like.
The pulse button is perfect for short duration grinding—the grinding will stop when the button is released. In other words, it’s direct and easy to use. The Encore provides 40 different grind settings that allow you to experiment with your coffee grinding. From the French press brewing method to the espresso, it’s not short on functions.
There’s also an updated gearbox in the Baratza, which results in a sturdy, resilient, and quiet grind. The Encore comes with a 1-year warranty.
Keep in Mind
Some may find the hopper to be too small for this model. In case you didn’t know, a hopper on a coffee grinder is the container that holds the coffee beans. It’s worth mentioning that this is upgradable for the Baratza.
In a Nutshell
- 40 grind settings
- Ideal entry-level grinder
- 1-year warranty
This baby doesn’t just stop at coffee beans; it can also grind seeds, nuts, herbs, and spices.Check Price
Why we Picked It
The KRUPS F203 offers excellent value for money. Even though it’s a blade grinder, the price is hard to beat.
The KRUPS can grind up to 85 grams of coffee beans at once, resulting in up to 12 cups of coffee. It does this with its stainless steel blades that consistently grind the beans down in under 10 seconds.
This baby doesn’t just stop at coffee beans, though; it can also grind seeds, nuts, herbs, and spices. It’s worth mentioning that there’s a lid activated safety switch, which ensures that the blades don’t spin unless it’s shut tight.
It really is a no-frills blade grinder with a minimal design that excels at getting the job done. The sheer amount of praise from customer reviews only backs this up.
The KRUPS comes with a two-year warranty that covers you against any defects during that time.
Keep in Mind
Just be aware that some users have mentioned that the coffee grinder may be a hassle to clean. For this price, though, it’s relative!
In a Nutshell
- Great value for money
- 12 cups of coffee with each grind
- Two-year warranty
It’ll produce great-tasting coffee that will certainly start your day with a kick, and at a fraction of the price of other burr grinders.
Why we Picked It
Our best burr coffee grinder is the OXO BREW. It’ll produce great-tasting coffee that will certainly start your day with a kick, and at a fraction of the price of other burr grinders.
With a simple rotation of the hopper, and after setting the timer, the grinder effortlessly gets to work for you with its durable and stainless steel burrs. The burrs are notably more substantial than other economical grinders. The timer is a one-touch start, too, so it keeps the last setting you used.
While we’re talking about settings, the OXO BREW offers 15 of them so you can adjust the grind to a variety of different textures.
The user experience is one of the key areas the coffee grinder takes charge. It’s just so quick and simple to use, and the large hopper and burr are easy to remove and clean.
All of this comes with a two-year warranty. There’s very little here not to like.
Keep in Mind
Some users have mentioned that the coffee grinder is prone to clogging up.
In a Nutshell
- Large stainless steel burrs
- 15 grind settings
- One-touch start timer
Made in Osaka, Japan, it’s stainless steel ceramic burrs have a wide range that can grind beans to perfection.
Why we Picked It
In terms of our favorite manual coffee grinder, the Porlex Mini shines brighter than the rest. Made in Osaka, Japan, it’s stainless steel ceramic burrs have a wide range that can grind beans to perfection.
The portable coffee grinder features a long hand crank, and you can twist to adjust the settings. The critical distinction here is that it’s a coffee grinder that you can take anywhere with you, from camping to international travel.
It’s worth noting how durable this coffee grinder is, too. The stainless steel materials make it highly resistant to the wear and tear of traveling life. It’s the sort of grinder you leave in your bag, and when you get it out, you can be confident it will still be in one piece.
The conical burrs are excellent because they grind the beans, but they don’t sacrifice on the resulting flavor of your coffee. That’s because it offers a slow grind that doesn’t retain much heat, unlike some metal burrs are known to do.
It’s simplified and functional, and quite simply, we love it.
Keep in Mind
The Porlex Mini does come with a warranty, but it’s not valid via Amazon, so just be aware of that.
In a Nutshell
- Stainless steel burrs
- Portable and durable
- 20-gram capacity
How We Chose the Best Coffee Grinders
When we were considering the best coffee grinders, we looked at some key areas. Everything from the quality of the materials, to the ease of use and price, were considered. After we weighed all of these factors, we then made final decisions to form our top picks.
Ultimately, the best coffee grinders work as advertised and make great tasting coffee without unnecessary difficulty. Burr grinders tend to dominate here, even to the most casual of coffee drinkers.
To help make it all a bit more transparent for you, here’s everything we looked at:
Burr vs. Blade
We looked at burr vs. blade grinders when choosing our top picks. Burr grinders almost always produce better-tasting coffee because of consistency, but blade coffee grinders are more affordable. When we weighed up our top picks, we mostly opted for burr grinders simply because of the quality on offer. We’re always looking for machines that produce the most memorable of coffee. With that said, a blade grinder that outperforms can still make our top picks.
Having high-quality materials is essential to the health and durability of all products. Coffee grinders, therefore, are no different. When we look for the best coffee grinders, we’re looking for those with high-quality materials such as steel burrs that can stand the test of time and perform how they should. Brands that cut corners when it comes to material quality won’t make our top picks, as this can affect the taste and quality of the overall coffee.
Ease of Use
We look for grinders that are easy to use with clear and easy-to-understand grind settings. Even though those who use coffee grinders tend to be more knowledgeable than regular coffee drinkers, that doesn’t mean a coffee grinder should be confusing to use. Expertly presented settings that allow you to get on with the coffee grinding are essential. We also look for coffee grinders that are easy to clean, allowing for simple maintenance over time.
Most people would say that the price is one of the most important considerations before diving in with any purchase. We agree and always look for coffee grinders that offer a healthy and fair balance between price, performance, and durability. A durable coffee grinder that performs well and at a reasonable price is our ideal pick.
Customer reviews can be a significant indicator of the overall quality of a coffee grinder. We look for detailed reviews and discussions and then form a consensus on what they’re saying, taking note of the critical points. For example, customers that frequently mention coffee grinders that were easy to use will always score highly in our books. We’re aware that anyone can create a review on the internet, so we always take the time to form a proper judgment here.
What to Consider When Choosing a Coffee Grinder
There are numerous points to consider when picking the best coffee grinder for you—everything from the burr vs. blade debate to the special features, price, and warranty. One thing’s for sure; there’s a lot to think about when choosing a coffee grinder.
That’s why we’ve broken down each section for you and have gone into detail about each of them below:
Burr vs. Blade
There are two different types of blades in coffee grinders. Burr coffee grinders feature two oscillating, serrated plates that work together to grind the beans. You can adjust the distance between the burrs, too, giving you control over the consistency of the grind. Blade coffee grinders rely on spinning blades to chop beans into smaller pieces.
Blade coffee grinders produce coffee grinds that are less consistent in size than a burr grinder. For that reason, burr coffee grinders almost always produce better-tasting coffee, and that’s why they comprise most of our top picks.
There are different grind settings in coffee grinders. Blade grinders don’t tend to have settings, and the only aid you have is to use your eyes and ears to watch the fineness of the grind.
Burr grinders, on the other hand, come with all sorts of settings. There are grind adjustments, such as stepped and stepless.
Stepped adjustment grinders come in two styles, self-holding and lever release. With self-holding grinders, you turn the bean hopper or an adjustment knob to change the grind setting. You will feel a click as the setting becomes locked into place. With lever release grinders, you have to push down a release lever and then turn the bean hopper to change the setting.
With stepless adjustment grinders, you can adjust your grind to any setting, and as little or as much as you would like. Essentially, there are no preset spots that grind setting will stop at like stepped adjustment grinders.
You need different grind settings because coffee makers take various sizes of grind. For example, drip coffee machines require a medium grind, while french press machines tend to work best with coarse grinds. Still with us? There’s a whole world to coffee grinding, you know!
Many coffee grinders come with special, unique features. For example, some come with a preset dosage that allows you to grind the same amount of coffee each time. This dosage is useful, certainly when you get into the routine of using a coffee grinder.
Others have a timer so you can set them to grind for a set amount of time—this results in the same amount of ground coffee every time. Some grinders come with a built-in scale, too. The scale on a coffee grinder allows you to measure how much coffee you have ground down. Think carefully about which special features are the most important for you.
It’s fair to say that most of the best grinders are at least $100. These models will usually produce much better coffee than the cheaper models. It’s worth mentioning that the higher-end models tend to last longer, so you don’t have to worry about their durability as much. More expensive grinders tend to come with warranties, too, so it’s worth putting in some extra money to get the quality you deserve.
Most coffee grinders come with warranties of one to two years on average. There are longer warranties out there, so always check before you purchase to ensure you get a good deal. A warranty should cover you if your coffee grinder breaks during a set period.
How to Care for Your Coffee Grinder
Using your coffee grinder correctly and following some general best practices can prolong its lifespan and can lead to better coffee.
Like almost anything you buy, you need to maintain and clean your coffee grinder. Oil and dust will coat the burrs over time, and this can cause the motor to overwork. In the end, the motor can even fail due to improper maintenance. That’s why you need to give it an occasional deep clean.
In terms of general cleaning, you need to ensure you’re dusting off coffee grounds daily, or whenever you use your coffee grinder. Doing so will prevent a build-up of dirt and dust that can slow the entire process down.
Secondly, you should remove the grind chamber and hopper once you’ve unplugged the machine. Be sure to wipe these with a lint-free cloth or coffee filter to remove any coffee dust and oil build-up.
For stubborn oil residue, you can clean the components with some soap and warm water. Always rinse them quickly afterward so that your grinder doesn’t become contaminated with soap. Be sure to dry them, so you don’t get the burrs, and particularly the motor, wet—this can cause corrosion.
We mentioned deep cleaning your coffee grinder earlier on. Ideally, this needs to be completed every three to six months. Some people choose to do this with rice, and there are advantages and disadvantages to doing so. Be aware that using rice can void the grinder’s warranty, too.
The advantages are that rice removes a lot of the coffee dust and oils that build up over time with relative ease. Ground rice grains will push out the dust and will absorb the oils. With that said, grinding rice grains may strain the motor. Dry quick-cook rice is softer and less starchy, and therefore, is a good option here to reduce the risk.
Lastly, don’t forget that you’ll still need to disassemble your grinder fully to clean it from time to time.
Since you’re here, why not check out another one of our comprehensive coffee guides below?