The 4 best burr coffee grinders
When it comes to burr coffee grinders, there's a lot of variation with both price and design. Your choices range from the most bare-bone grinders to professional-quality models with all the bells and whistles you could ever need. But after doing a lot of research, I've put together a list of the best burr coffee grinders that has something for nearly any budget.
Before contemplating a purchase, the first decision to make is whether to go with a manual or electric grinder. A manual grinder is perfect for those who want complete control over their coffee grounds and have extra time to spare in the morning. Quiet and compact, it's also a great option to take on-the-go, working well for business trips, camping weekends, and everything in between. An electric grinder, on the other hand, makes quick and easy work of grinding coffee beans. But the downside is that it's bigger, noisier, and not designed to travel.
Once you've figured out which type of burr coffee grinder is right for you, the next thing to consider is your budget. The options on this list vary widely in price and style, from a $27 manual grinder to a $560 commercial-grade electric grinder. But the good news is that all of them will get you perfectly even grounds.
As for whether to go with a flat or conical burr grinder, the jury is still out on this one, as much of the existing theories are based on pure anecdotal evidence. What really matters is that your grinder's burrs are made from a tough, durable material, like stainless steel or ceramic.
Read on to find the best burr grinder for your needs, so you can enjoy a perfect cup of coffee every time.
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1. The basic electric grinder
What makes it great: With stainless steel burrs, a one-touch timer, and 15 ground settings (plus additional "micro-settings"), the OXO electric coffee grinder is arguably your best option at this price. Able to hold enough ground beans for 12 cups of coffee, the removable grounds container is made of stainless steel, which means that it's durable and also less likely to create static cling (which is a common complaint with other grinders). Meanwhile, the hopper (that's the top compartment) can hold as much as 3/4 cup of whole beans. A top-quality option that produces uniform grounds, this is the perfect option for espresso drinkers, French press enthusiasts, and everyone in between.
One reviewer says: "I've tried a number of grinders, some at higher prices than this one. They all have plastic bins and thus all create static electricity. This one has a stainless steel bin and does not do so. It takes all the cleanup hassle out of grinding coffee. The grind adjustment and timer also work well. This is a superior product."
2. The basic manual grinder
What makes it great: If an electric burr grinder isn't for you, this conical ceramic burr grinder is your best bet. While it doesn't boast the ease or size of the OXO model, it does have 15 precise grind settings, as well as a glass grounds container (which also makes static cling less likely). As for the hopper, it can hold up to 16 grams of whole beans. With tough, ceramic burrs, this grinder will no-doubt require a bit of elbow grease, so it's not a great choice if your mornings are hurried. But many reviewers find satisfaction in the manual grind, and they also appreciate how quiet this model is.
One reviewer says: "We used to have an electric burr grinder, this is by far the best grinder I’ve ever used ! Yes, you have to do it by hand, but the coffee tastes amazing !"
3. The investment grinder
What makes it great: At the current price point, the Baratza Vario-W burr coffee grinder is certainly not for everyone. But if you have the money to spend and are looking to bring professional-level coffee into your home, this is the way to go. Designed with flat ceramic burrs, it features an impressive 230 grind settings, making it perfect for the most discerning coffee drinkers. The superior control over grind coarseness also makes this the best grinder for espresso. Additionally, the built-in scale and corresponding LED screen allow you to grind your beans by weight.
Perhaps the best part about this grinder: If the burrs eventually wear out over time, they can be replaced, which means that this grinder is meant to stay with you for the long haul. The only downside is that the grinder does have a plastic grounds container, and while some reviewers wrote that they experienced no cling, a few said there was a bit more static than they'd like.
One reviewer says: "I used to work for a specialty coffee company in Seattle, so when I left that job I knew I needed a good home setup for coffee. I've had this grinder for about six months now and it has worked like a charm. The micro-adjustments make it easy to get the perfect grind setting for every brewing method. It is smaller than I thought it would be, which is great because my counter space is limited. It is pretty quiet too -- more than most others that I've used ... Overall, I highly recommend it if you have the money."
4. The budget grinder
What makes it great: At the other end of the price spectrum is this Coffmax manual burr grinder, which is one of the best options you'll find for the money. With a grind time of three to five minutes, it's certainly not built for speed. But it has 16 grind settings that are clearly marked (unlike many of the other hand grinders in this price range). It also comes with a handy cleaning brush. While the grounds container is made of plastic, it's fairly tough, and there weren't any reviews that complained of the dreaded static cling. All in all, this grinder is a really great budget find.
One reviewer says: "As we are traveling a lot, my husband was looking for a small and convenient coffee grinder to assure he has his cup of fresh coffee every morning. We are very happy with this easy to use product. Highly recommended."
Also useful: a digital coffee scale
What makes it great: If you need a handy tool to weigh your beans in the morning, this Coffee Gator digital scale is a great investment. With a 4.9 star rating, it has surprisingly passionate reviews for a scale, but perhaps that's because it's specifically designed for coffee drinkers, with plenty of thoughtful touches. The big LED screen measures both weight and volume in imperial or metric units. This slim scale also has a grippy rubber mat that can handle high temperatures, as well as a built-in timer, making this especially convenient for pour-over coffee drinkers.
One reviewer says: "This scale is easily the best I’ve ever bought. It allows for precise, accurate, and repeatable results, which is paramount to good work coming out of a kitchen. The ability to not only weigh while in process, but also keep track of time on the same product is perfect! I also love the non-slip surface, and the fact that the tray that comes with it is removable is great."