Coffee Grinders

How To Compare Coffee Grinders

Because of differences in personal preferences, when you attempt to select the best grinder, you might disagree with these and other reviews. There are a few basic things you might want to consider.

Know the Types of Coffee Grinders

There is a significant number of models available, but the usually fit into one of three categories.

Blade Grinders

These grinders are the least expensive available. Blade mills use an electric motor that rotates a metal blade, much like a kitchen blender.

These units essentially chop the coffee beans and have several disadvantages to compare with their one advantage. Typically these units cost under $20.

With blade mills, you cannot produce a ground fine enough to brew a decent espresso. Regardless of the size of the grind you are trying to create, it is not consistent. The chopping blade velocity combined with the rubbing the mill produces up the coffee grounds, sometimes to the point that the heat changes the flavor.

However, even with the disadvantages, with limited funds, the blade grinder might be the only option that fits your budget.

The two quick blades transform beans into something smaller.

The process creates a single basic process as it chops.

The beans are repeatedly chopped into random sizes, with a profile that ranges from the minuscule to gigantic. You might find particles that range from dust to ¼ of a bean in the mix.

Some of these pulverized particles are so small that they clog the holes in French presses, espresso cups or even paper filters.

Heat produced in the chopping process alters the coffee flavor profile and causes static electricity. Burr grinders reduce these issues.

Burr type grinders:

Burr type grinders

Currently, burr grinders offer the greatest value for the price. These mills are typically priced at under $100. There is some more expensive grinders under 500 dollars and several can be found that are priced in the $50 price range.

Burr grinders use tow milling wheels that are identical in size that grinds the beans in the machine.
These machines have an adjustable gap between the wheels. While traditional burr grinders can produce a decent espresso grind, the newer technology conical burr grinders offer an even better performance. The typical burr grinder is unable to create a Turkish grind. However, the conical burr can grind beans that fine.

Burr grinders work using two burred plates, made from metal or ceramic, positioned with enough space between them to crush the beans by rotating, producing a better grind than is possible with a blade.

Unlike the spinning blades that chop the beans, the burrs shear them into exact sized particles.

The process produces a better cup of Joe, without clogging the filters and gives the users more flexibility. With burr grinders, you adjust the burrs to adjust the size of the coffee once it is ground.

With burr grinders, it is possible to increase the speed at which the burrs grind to speed up the grinding process, but the faster speeds cause the beans to heat and increase the problems with static electricity. Static charges cause problems because the grinds tend to attach to nearby objects and are more likely to spill when you open the hopper. This increases the cleanup due to spillage. Low-speed models or models that allow you to slow down the grinding process are less likely to cause static charges.

The primary disadvantage of burr grinders is that you have to take them apart and use a brush to clean the unit. Without proper cleaning, the old ground coffee causes the burrs to slip.

Manual units:

It usually takes a little more time to grind manually. Many manual users see this as an advantage that they enjoy when preparing their coffee.

Even with the manual grinder, you can finish the process in less time than it takes to boil the water. Manual models are often available at a lower price. When compared to electric grinders of similar quality, manual units are much less expensive.

The price of a burr grinder varies widely, with some costing as little as $50 and others ranging to several hundred dollars.

Before you start shopping, decide which of these three types of coffee mills will work best for your own needs.


Coffee grinders have several features, so it is important to determine which are most important to you before making a final selection.

Evenness of Grinding

Evenness of Grinding

Even grinds brew at approximately the same size, for better flavor. The type of brewing system you choose determines the appropriate size grind. If you mix the sizes of the grinds, some of the particles are over-extracted while others are under-extracted.  Over-extraction causes coffee to become acidic, while under-extraction causes a dull cup.

Large chunks of bean simply do not extract in the same way as fines during any of the brewing processes.

Coarseness of The Coffee Ground

If you brew coffee in more than one way, it is important to select a grinder that allows you to adjust the coarseness. Espresso and Turkish brew require a very fine grind, while a French press works best with a course grind.


If you are only making coffee for yourself, a small device may be perfect for your needs. If you are brewing for business or family, you need a larger grinder that has the capacity for a greater volume of beans for each grind.

Noise While Grinding Coffee

The grinding process creates some noise, which can be annoying. If a partner is sleeping when you normally grind, you might select a model that makes less noise. Even if you live alone, the sound might not be a welcome early morning sound.

Electric grinders tend to make more noise than manual ones.  If you must have an electric grinder, you should know that you will pay more for a quiet unit than a noisy one.


While all coffee grinders require cleaning, some are easier to clean than others. If you do not clean your machine, it can affect the taste. Neglecting the cleaning procedure can also cause a grinder to wear out sooner than if you clean it regularly.

If you use yours daily, you will have to spend more time cleaning. Some units have small, tight corners that are hard to reach. Grinders that are low static units are also easier to clean because the fine powder does not stick to the hopper. Some units are easily disassembled and also dishwasher safe.

Machines that offer a removable top burr are easier to clean. With the burr removed, you can easily access the chute and bottom burr for cleaning.

Heat and Static

The faster the motor turns, the greater the issues with static electricity and heat. Consider sacrificing speed to eliminate these problems.

Lower-speed motors:

While low-speed motors take more time to grind, they reduce the noise, heat and static. These units have motors that are connected to the burr, but that rotate at a slower speed. Because the unit still requires power, they can be more expensive than a high-speed motor.

Manual VS Automatic Burr Coffee Mills

Manual VS Automatic Burr Coffee Mills

Finding manual grinders for less than electric models is easy. Manuals are usually more portable and easy to pack for travel. However, you have to use muscle power to grind the coffee, requiring both time and effort. Some people enjoy using a manual grinder, but others find it tedious.

What is involved in using a manual burr coffee grinder? Primarily turning a crank instead of pushing a button. Depending on the fineness of the grind you desire, you typically must turn the crank for three to four minutes if you are preparing a full pot. However, if you are using a French press, that uses a coarser grind, the grinding time is reduced.

Most burr mills allow you to change the size of the grind to suit your needs. With some, it is only the matter of turning a dial at the top of the machine. Others require you to adjust a screw for the grind you want. These features apply to both automatic and manual burr grinders.

The adjustable burr grinder allows you to select the right grind for your needs or the brewing process you are using at the time.

If you are a fan of Arabic coffee, you should select your burr grinder with care. Most are not able to produce the fine grind you need, but there are a few that will work.

Step Adjustments

Step adjustments give more precision as you grind your coffee. Mills that have more steps provide more control than those with fewer. However, if you are a set it and forget it type of person, a large number of steps might not be necessary.

Other Features

Features such as the size of the bean hopper, timers, doses, weight and design might also influence your decision. Once again, take into account your personal preferences as well as how you intend to use the mill.

Coffee Grinder’s Cost

For most consumers, the cost is a primary consideration when considering the best burr grinders. You know your budget and how much you are willing to pay for a new grinder.

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