Top 10: The Best Burr Grinder of 2018

If you are looking to make a fantastic cup of coffee at home, the best burr grinder can make a world of difference. While virtually any grinder can achieve a superior flavor profile to pre-ground coffee, the gulf in quality between blade grinders and burr grinders is just as big as the gulf between freshly ground beans and pre-ground beans.

Burr grinders create a vastly superior uniformity in grinds, they do not heat your beans through friction (thus preserving all the subtle aromatics of your coffee), and they produce much less unwanted fines (which can turn your cup of coffee into sludge). Burr grinders are therefore considered the best coffee grinder when it comes to a high-quality cup of coffee.

Shopping for a burr grinder can be overwhelming, however, given the vast quantity of available products. There are small burrs and large burrs, ceramic burrs and stainless steel burrs, conical burrs and flat burrs, electronic burr grinders and manual burr grinders.
This article will compare and contrast many of these features to determine the best burr grinder in terms of overall value.

Note: All the burr grinders on this list are an electric burr grinder. If you are looking for a manual burr grinder, please read:The Best Manual Burr Grinder

The Best Burr Grinder of 2018

After going through many existing coffee grinder reviews, we have compiled a list that shows you the best burr coffee grinder.
Based on features, convenience, performance, excellent build quality and great value for your money, we present you:
The Best Burr Grinder of 2018
(Tip: Check the orange buttons for full detailed coffee grinder reviews and 1-on-1 comparisons)


Smart Grinder Pro

The Breville Smart Grinder Pro tops all of our lists, as it has the perfect combination of performance, features and build quality along with great reviews. Its great design and very competitive price makes it our number 1.


Dose Control Pro

Even though the Breville Dose Control Pro doesn't look as fancy as the #1 and #3, it shouldn't be overlooked. It's grind quality is excellent, with 60 settings to choose from. Its friendly price makes this a perfect #2.


Baratza Forte

The Baratza Forte AP is simple the best grinder when it comes to features, grind coarseness and build quality. This is as professional as it gets, but so does its price tag, which is the only reason it isn't #1.

1. Breville BCG820BSSXL Smart Grinder Pro –
Stainless Steel Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

Update: The Breville Smart Grinder Pro review has received a 2017 update, check it out: Smart Grinder Pro Review 2017 Update.

Although not as vocal as Baratza fans, Breville has found a very strong following amongst the specialty coffee crowd with its Smart Grinder series. The predecessor to the Smart Grinder Pro, the BCG800, was lauded in many burr coffee grinder reviews as the best machine available for home use. The BCG820, released only last year, has addressed nearly every issue its predecessor had.

The result is an amazingly precise conical burr coffee grinder that produces excellent grinds uniformity across its entire coarseness spectrum. Be it French press, drip, or even espresso, the BCG820 will satisfy connoisseurs of every time. Although it only features 60 coarseness settings, it doesn’t struggle with espresso like comparable grinders.
There are a few small issues, however. This conical burr grinder has a weaker motor than commercial-style grinders, and may struggle on the finest settings with oily beans. In turn, this means that you’ll be cleaning this grinder often to ensure its motor is unobstructed. These are minor issues, however, especially given the overall value of this product.

With plenty of convenient features, precise stainless steel conical burrs, a high level of versatility, and a relatively low price tag, it is hard to deny that the BCG820 is a fantastic value. It does not excel above competing grinders in any one area, but the combination of all the aforementioned factors make it the best burr grinder for home use.

Fun fact: This is the coffee grinder our very own Chief Editor uses to make the grinds for a delicious espresso together with his Breville Barista Express.

2. Breville Dose Control Pro -
Stainless Steel Espresso Grinder

The Breville Dose Control Pro is a no-nonsense, high-performance stainless steel conical burr coffee grinder. In the name of simplicity and low cost, it does away with components deemed unnecessary, such as LCD displays, weight sensors, etc. Instead, it focuses on achieving an incredible uniformity, industrial-level reliability, and a prosumer level of versatility. It achieves this handily.

Its stainless steel conical burrs are best in their class, outperforming much pricier machines. With 60 grind settings to choose from, the Dose Control Pro produces impeccable uniformity on every single one. While the number of settings isn’t ideal for espresso, it is more than competent for most portafilters and machines.
While this was entirely by design, it is important to note that this device has very few features. If convenience is a top priority, the Dose Control Pro is not for you. Due to a lack of dedicated grinds container, this conical burr grinder is also the messiest on the list.

At its core, the Breville Dose Control Pro is a high-end machine outfitted as a mid-range device. It is designed for people who don’t mind a little extra work as long as they’re getting excellent performance. And excellent performance is exactly what this machine offers. This is easily the best burr grinder under $200.

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Breville Smart Grinder vs. Baratza Virtuoso

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3. Baratza Forte AP (All-Purpose) –
Flat Ceramic Burr Coffee Grinder

The Baratza Forte AP is truly an all purpose device, a feature packed flat burr grinder that will satisfy virtually any grinding preference you may have. It has a bright LCD screen, programmable settings, precision timer, precision scale, macro/micro coarseness adjustment, grinds container, and portafilter holder.

Whatever brewing method or quantity, the Forte AP will make easy work of it. Its flat ceramic burrs produce excellent uniformity on all settings, and can be replaced with stainless steel if you desire. There is two main issues keeping it from the number one slot: Its high price point, and its build quality. While the Forte AP is built considerably better than the cheaper Vario, Virtuoso, and Encore machines, it is less sturdy and more finicky than the cheaper Breville machines. It is clear that Baratza’s cost cutting measures impact even its best burr coffee grinder.

Without a doubt, this is the most convenient and versatile burr grinder on this list. It does absolutely everything you need it to do, and it does so perfectly. If you have the money to splurge and don’t mind a few build quality issues, this may very well be the best burr coffee grinder for you.

4. Baratza Vario-W Coffee Grinder – Baratza 985

The Baratza Vario-W is an excellent ceramic flat burr grinder with a slew of convenient features that distinguish it from Baratza’s less expensive models. The most notable addition is a high-precision electronic scale, which automatically grinds your beans to a desired weight—a perfect feature for precise dosing. Furthermore, the Vario-W can remember up to 3 preferred weight settings, ensuring you won’t have to tinker with the machine every time you want some coffee.

The Vario-W also uses Baratza’s patented macro/micro coarseness adjustment, yielding a total of 230 possible increments. Not only does the Vario-W produce excellent grinds for pour-over and drip, but the additional adjustment options also make it more than competent for a myriad of espresso grinds. Because the Vario-W uses ceramic flat burrs, even the coarsest setting may be a bit too fine for French press. To achieve the ideal grind for French press, you have to invest in a set of replacement stainless steel burrs. Burr grinder reviews have also mentioned static cling, which can negate some of the dosing precision of the Vario’s electronic scale. Finally, as always, Baratza’s build quality is suspect.

As long as you don’t mind investing a little more money for additional burr sets, and as long as you don’t mind spending some time on the phone with Baratza’s customer service, the Vario-W can completely transform the way you drink coffee. It may not be the best burr grinder available, but it comes very close.

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Top 10: The Best Manual Coffee Grinder

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Top 5: The Best Espresso Grinder

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5. Kitchenaid Pro Line Coffee Grinder-onyx Black

The KitchenAid Pro Line Coffee Grinder is not only the most beautiful grinder on this list, it is also one of the most beautiful appliances ever conceived—and it has design awards and hundreds of burr grinder reviews to prove it. Its beautiful exterior conceals its powerful innards: a high-torque, low RPM motor, and a set of high precision stainless steel flat burrs. The grind uniformity on this device is excellent, and its die-cast metal body and glass containers prevent static buildup and clumping. The Pro Line Coffee grinder has 14 coarseness settings, from French press to Turkish pot.

Although this device technically has an espresso setting, a mere 14 increments cannot possibly provide the precision necessary for all the different varieties of espresso machines and portafilters. Ignoring variability, many burr grinder reviews point out that the Pro Line Coffee Grinder’s generic espresso setting is way too coarse. This difficulty with espresso grinds is the main obstacle keeping it from claiming the burr grinder title. Another minor issue is a lack of a timer, scale, or any quantity adjustment to speak of.

If you’re only planning to use the Pro Line Coffee Grinder for French press, cold brew, pour-over, or drip, you will be more than satisfied with this device. With its gorgeous aesthetics, sturdy build quality, and excellent grind uniformity, this conical burr grinder manages to slide into the top five.

6. Mazzer Mini Grinder

Based on the general design of the Super Jolly, the Mazzer Mini takes the same fantastic Italian-built mechanics and places them in a more compact, affordable package. Mazzer produces incredible stainless steel flat burrs in-house, and this machine is a testament to their precision. Like the Super Jolly, the Mini produces astounding grind uniformity with virtually no static buildup or clumping. The mini’s coarseness adjustment is also “infinite,” but still limited to the espresso range.

While the Mazzer Mini answers the concerns of the Jolly’s price and size, it is still just an espresso grinder. Its main issue apart from that is its “doser,” a cylindrical container that holds up to a dozen shots worth of grinds. While it is highly convenient in a café setting, at home it gets in the way of grinding a single shot at a time.

Minor inconvenience aside, this is easily the second best burr grinder for espresso, next to the Jolly. Its smaller form and cheaper price however, make the Mazzer Mini a better value overall. If your goal is to make truly café quality espresso at home, invest in a Mazzer Mini.

7. Baratza Virtuoso –
Conical Burr Coffee Grinder (with Bin)

Not as popular as the Encore or the Forte AP, Baratza’s Virtuoso is still a very strong contender for the best burr grinder in the mid-range. Using the same fantastic European made stainless steel conical burrs found on all Baratza machines, the Virtuoso produces excellent grinds uniformity with minimal clumping and a marked lack of fines. Like the Encore, Baratza’s Virtuoso features 40 adjustment increments for coarseness, which is plenty if you’re not planning to use it for espresso.

Unlike the Encore, the Virtuoso features a grinding timer, a notable convenience that allows you to step away from the grinder while it’s operating. However, if you are indeed an espresso aficionado, you may be disappointed by the lack of macro/micro coarseness adjustment found on pricier Baratza machines.

The build quality issues Baratza has become infamous for are also present on this machine and some burr coffee grinder reviews have complained about the timer knob falling off the machine. As always, Baratza’s customer service will do all they can to ensure you have a functioning machine, including sending you a replacement if necessary. By virtue of performance, grind uniformity, and features, the Baratza Encore is a great conical burr coffee grinder and a worthwhile investment.

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Breville Smart Grinder

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Baratza Encore

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Baratza Preciso

The Preciso and the Virtuoso not only look almost identical, they are also very similar in features. The difference is in the grinds settings and we found out if that turns out in favor of the Preciso.

8. Mazzer Super Jolly Electronic Doserless Grinder

Mazzer grinders are a marvel of Italian engineering, and are one of the few existing product lines completely manufactured and assembled in Italy. The Mazzer Super Jolly uses large stainless steel flat burrs to produce an incredibly precise and uniform grind. Designed specifically to grind beans for your espresso machine, the Super Jolly has a “stopless” adjustment, giving you infinite variability of coarseness within the espresso range.

Every aspect of this machine exudes quality, from its aesthetics, build, and performance. It competes with grinders like the Rancilio Rocky series and the Mahlkonig K30. The only reason the Mazzer Super Jolly didn’t rank higher on this list is its highly niche application. It is a very large, expensive, industrial grinder with a singular function of grinding café quality espresso beans. While it is indeed the best burr coffee grinder for espresso, it is useless for French press, pour-over, and drip.

While the Mazzer Super Jolly may have a singular function, there is no grinder on the market that does it better. This is the best burr grinder for espresso, and few can even compare.

9. Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder with Bin

When scouring the web for burr coffee grinder reviews, you will find the Baratza Encore as one of the most frequently recommended product for specialty coffee grinding. This is a fan favorite for many reasons. The Encore’s European made stainless steel conical burrs churn out a very uniform grind, and its coarseness adjustment mechanism has a hefty 40 settings—a variability seldom seen on entry-priced devices.

The Encore’s biggest problem is build quality; burr coffee grinder reviews frequently mention poor factory calibration, short shelf life, and a high defect rate. Another minor issue is the Encore’s coarseness adjustment. While it is undoubtedly more versatile than the Bodum Bistro, 40 settings may still not be enough for the perfect shot of espresso.

Baratza’s issues with build quality are easily rectified, however, as their customer service is keen on helping you diagnose problems, fix issues, and replace “lemons,” as they call them. As long as your goal is not café quality espresso, the Baratza Encore is a great grinder, and the best burr grinder under $150. It's also one of our most compared grinders :-)

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Capresso Infinity

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Baratza Virtuoso

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Bodum Bistro

The Baratza Encore and the Bodum Bistro are in the same price class, making it direct competitors in the entry-level burr grinder market. Reason enough to do a head-to-head comparison.

10. Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder

The Bodum Bistro is a fantastic mid-range burr grinder priced like an entry-level device. This funky-looking machine is a conical burr coffee grinder, which uses a set of stainless steel burrs to achieve a fairly uniform grind in 14 different settings, from French press to Turkish pot. It is well built, uses high quality materials like Borosilicate glass, and performs reliably for such an inexpensive device.

Burr coffee grinder reviews over the web mention several recurring issues with the Bodum Bistro, however. Its rubber finish is a dust magnet, its grinding times are substantially longer than standard, and internal clogging can cause the weaker motor to halt. Furthermore, while this grinder is perfectly capable of grinding for most brewing methods, 14 settings is not enough variability to find the perfect grind the wide variety of espresso portafilters available.

Given the entry-level pricing of the Bodum Bistro, its issues can be seen as minor. It may not be the best burr grinder of the bunch, but it does provide a great value, and would serve as a very significant upgrade from pre-ground coffee. It is, however, the best burr coffee grinder in the $50-100 range.

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