Whether you’re a coffee aficionado or just enjoy a delicious cup of coffee, you probably know that the best coffee grinder is a burr-style grinder. Burr grinders pass the coffee beans between two notched plates. This crushes the beans in a similar manner to a mortar and pestle.
Blade-style coffee grinders simply hack away at the coffee beans. This results in an uneven grind. If you love your French press, you’ve probably found grounds floating in it if you’ve used a blade grinder. Blades also produce more heat, leaving you with coffee that tastes slightly burned. Even if you just make drip coffee, you’ll be able to taste the difference when you use a quality burr grinder.
This article goes over the best burr coffee grinder reviews. We understand that not everyone wants to make a grand investment for a coffee grinder. On the other hand, you might be ready to spend a little more and take your brewing to the next level. To be sure, we’ve included products for every budget and level of expertise.
In this article you will find the best coffee grinder for 2018, along with its pros & cons. You will also find an alternative, along with a comprehensive report of how it differs from the #1. We have also included a more pricier alternative, to show you what you can get if you raise your budget.
Best Choice for Coffee Grinder Overall
Best Budget Coffee Grinder
Best High-end Coffee Grinder
The goal of each of the reviews on Let's Grind Some Coffee is to do an insane amount of research, so you don't have to anymore. We work with a number of talented and experienced writers, who know what they're talking about. Each writer is responsible for conducting his/her own research, so there's no miscommunication possible. When doing this article we didn't own any of the products. For conducting this article we used other product reviews, customers comments, and instruction videos and manuals.
Sometimes we've had the products in our hands to test it directly, but in most cases, we rely on other espresso machine reviews, product manuals, comment sections, Youtube videos, forum discussion and so on. This way you don't only get our opinion, but a collective opinion of experts all around the globe.
By combining all of our findings in our reviews, each article should serve as your definite resource to base your decisions on. As the research can get quite extensive, our individual product reviews tend to be very long and detailed. However, when making a "Best Pick" article like this one we try to be as comprehensive as possible. We will break down the pros and cons of each product as clearly as possible, so you know what you're buying. If you want to learn more about a product you can read its longer and more detailed review.
We base our "Best Choice" on a couple of points, including:
The feature set, build quality/durability and output quality. After we rate each finding, we have a look at its price. We want you to be able to afford the product you're interested. It's easy to get a maximum score with a product costing $5,000+. While this ultimately may be the best product you can get, its price tag will prevent most people from being able to afford it. Therefore, the price of a product is an important consideration before declaring a product the best.
For each category, we list the following options:
- What is the overall best product, based on price vs. quality?
- What is the best product under $XX (where we use a relevant budget)?
- What is the best product is money is not an issue?
This way we think we can satisfy anyone looking for a product, as well as being able to show what you can get for each different price range. After all, it's up to you whether you think a better product is worth its money, we just make sure you know what you're getting.
Don't hesitate to leave any feedback or questions in the comment section. We're more than happy to help. We're always open to adding relevant information to the article if there's an omission or if something is unclear, just let us know.
When it comes to coffee grinders, there’s a wide range of prices and quality. Many manual grinders tend to be more affordable than electric grinders. However, in this review, we’ve stuck to electric grinders. If you make more than one or two cups of coffee a day, a manual grinder may be a hassle.
On the other hand, an electric grinder can be expensive. We looked for the quietest ones so that you can make your first cup of coffee of the day without waking the kids.
These coffee grinders produce differently sized grounds. You can play barista and make anything from a espresso coffee to a French press when you have control over your grinding technique.
This pretty little piece of equipment produces a reliably uniform grind in a short amount of time. It’s not as quiet as a manual grinder, but none of the electric grinders are. This is still one of the quietest, even if you do wake up the whole family. You’ll be able to handle their morning crankiness with your coffee in hand, however.
This workhorse is sturdy. It feels heavy and substantial. Its stainless-steel burrs are commercial quality. Of course, they’re on the introductory end of commercial. Still, that means that they’ll stand up to practically all of the coffee making you’ll be doing at home.
There is a doser model that allows you to portion out separate quantities for your brews. However, this model doesn’t have a dosing mechanism.
The downfall is that you’ll need to use an extra collection vessel and portion out the coffee accordingly if you’re making several different styles. However, many users prefer the ease of the doserless version. This article at 1st-Line Equipment details the differences between doser and doserless grinders.
Accordingly, you’ll have to take extra steps to weigh out your coffee. Some machines have a built-in scale or portion indicators. This one does not. However, if you make the same cup of coffee every day, you’ll quickly get a feel for how much to use.
One of the standout features of this machine is that it produces coffee that’s even coarser than what’s necessary for a French press. That’s hard to find. There are 40 labeled settings, with 55 total grind adjustments.
To Burr or not to Burr?
Burr grinders are far superior to blade grinders, as they allow for a more consistent grind. Two burr are rotated against each other to grind the coffee, with different grind setting to get the grind as fine or coarse as you need.
To Burr or not to Burr?
Anything over 40 is great for French press. The settings from 0 to 10 provide fine espresso. You can experiment with the coarseness from 20 to 40 for drip coffees and pour overs.
Some burr coffee grinders have trouble keeping an even consistency at the coarser grinds. The larger burrs on this model grind consistently, smoothly, quickly and quietly. You can’t adjust the grinder beyond 0. This protects the burrs, preventing them from scraping against each other as they operate.
The lack of complicated features makes this machine easy to operate, even for a newbie. The procedure for setting the grind can be a little complicated, however. If the setting slips out of place as you’re trying to lock it, the clearly labeled numbers help you find it again. The hopper holds 8 ounces of beans. This is a generous amount for the home brewer.
Pros & Cons
If you want to know more about this grinder, check out our Rancilio Rocky review.
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro looks a little more complicated than the Rancilio Rocky. It’s not quite as sleek, and it looks more futuristic. That’s because there are a few more features that allow you to automate your grinding technique. Here’s a detailed review of the Breville Smart Grinder Pro.
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro has a well enough number of settings. There are 60 grind settings, to be exact. The more control you have over the grind, the more control you have over the way your final cup of coffee tastes. Even the slightest variation can make a big difference when it comes to taste.
This machine also has a unique Dosing IQ system. This allows you to create the right dosage. It automatically adjusts when you change the grind level or timer.
You can store the number of cups or shots and how long you want it to grind in the machine’s memory. That makes it easier to create the perfect brew even when you have morning brain fog.
With the vast number of options, you might think that it would take a lot of time and effort to learn to use the machine. However, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro is surprisingly simple to operate. The controls are straightforward. The smart features make repeating a perfect brew even easier. Plus, you’ll probably be so excited to experiment with the machine that you’ll learn how to use it in a jiffy.
If you’ve ever used an electric coffee grinder, you might be aware that sediment and residue can build up in the grounds tray. The magnetic grounds tray in this model is removable. This prevents buildup that can ultimately damage the equipment. It also makes for a tidier experience.
Another tip to prevent the grinder from locking up when producing fine grinds is to adjust the settings while the machine is running with beans already in the hopper. You’ll have to deal with some uneven grounds initially, but you’ll get a more controlled grind overall.
Pros & Cons
If you want to know more about this grinder, check out our Breville Smart Grinder 2017 review.
Many experts consider this to be the best introductory coffee grinder. It offers great value for the price. It’s not as durable and reliable as the more expensive models. However, it’s a great machine for learning about the beauty of freshly ground coffee.
You won’t get the smart features that are available with the Breville Smart Grinder Pro, or the consistency from the Rancilio Rocky. However, if you’re new to grinding coffee, you can get more hands on with the manual functioning. If you’re not a novice grinder, you may appreciate the pulse-button functionality. You can simply push the button to get the burrs to grind your coffee. This allows you to pause as you operate the machine, which can prevent jamming with finer grinds.
The Baratza Encore has 40 grind settings. That said, this machine may be best for a medium grind.
If you have a high-end espresso machine, you might need a higher end grinder for the best results. The finest setting on the Encore can produce a decent espresso with a light taste. However, espressos made with a grind from this machine tend to run fairly quickly.
Some users are also unhappy with the uniformity of the grind for French press. Even on the coarsest setting, the device produces some fine powder. You can get around this by sifting it out. However, that may be more work than you want to do for your first cup of coffee in the morning.
However, if you typically make drip, pour-over or Aeropress coffee, you may be delighted at the results. You can play around with the different settings, and you’ll definitely notice a difference from pre-ground coffee. Baratza offers a list of grind settings to get you started.
There is no portafilter holder. You’ll have to dispense the coffee into the collection container and spoon it into your desired brewing mechanism from there.
One of the problems with many coffee grinders is that they heat up when you’re creating a fine grind. The DC motor on the Encore and the gear speed reducers help reduce friction and heat.
Pros & Cons
This coffee grinder offers a fantastic quality grind. The disadvantage is that it’s so new to the market that it doesn’t have the history to prove its durability.
The futuristic design is streamlined and sleek. It will make you look like a professional barista even if you’re just moving away from your trusty drip coffee maker.
The Baratza Sette comes in two versions: The regular 270, and the 270W. We are focussing on the Sette 270W for our reviews. This W means is has a built-in weight-based mechanism to control the grind dose, which is found in the portafilter holder.
At this price level this is pretty spectacular, as this feature usually is only found on much more pricier devices (including Baratza's). It uses the scaling technology from Acaia, which has already proven itself.
This grinder can easily end up as the #1 coffee grinder of 2018 when we do an update of this list, but since it's so new it has yet to prove itself in the long run.
You don’t have to worry about overheating the beans when you’re using the Baratza Sette. The gear box, motor and circuitry prevent things from getting too hot even when you’re grinding a fine powder. The thermal cutoff switch protects the delicate flavor of the coffee.
This grinder offers 30 stepped grind adjustments. You can make finer adjustments within those labeled steps for complete control of the resulting brew. Technically, there are about 270 setting options between the macro and micro adjustment settings. It’s easy to get back to the macro setting if you lose your place. Then, you can adjust more precisely.
Whereas many grinders retain old grounds from the previous session, the Sette minimizes leftovers. There is no chute or hidden corners in which the extra grounds can get stuck. This results in the freshest brew every time. A downside of this design is that there's little room for noise reduction, which make this a rather loud grinder.
Besides the quality and streamlined features of this machine, we really love its convertible device holder. You can insert a portafilter, grounds bin or brewing device directly under the release. You can even grind directly into your Aeropress.
If you are using the grounds bin, you won’t get as much static as you do with other devices. The anti-static plastic encourages your grounds to stay put as you get ready to brew.
Another feature that’s new and noteworthy is the Sette’s Bluetooth capability. You can monitor and track just about every aspect of your grind, including weights and timing. However, the feature may be too new to be useful. The company hasn’t designed an app yet, but you can use Acaia's Brewbar app.
Pros & Cons
If you want to know more about this grinder, check out our Baratza Sette review.
Hopefully, these burr coffee grinder reviews helped you understand what’s to like and what’s not to like about the best grinders on the market. We would recommend any of these grinders for beginners as well as connoisseurs. Each has its benefits and disadvantages. A lot of that has to do with the type of coffee that you prefer to brew.
Thanks for sticking around through this review. If you’ve gotten this far and end up taking the next step and purchasing a burr coffee grinder, let us know what you think.