Contrary to popular belief, “the best coffee grinder” is not necessarily one of those brutalist-architecture-inspired $5,700 state-of-the-art monstrosities. (Just kidding about the monstrosity thing, I’m sure they do grind beans very well.)
But for the rest of us, the ones who aren’t interested in taking out a reverse mortgage just to make our coffee taste better, the best coffee grinders are those that can produce a consistent grind size—without causing too much heat buildup, and without being too annoying to clean.
Not counting the old-fashioned manual coffee grinders, there are basically two different types of coffee grinders on the market—blade grinders and burr grinders.
Let’s take a closer look at both types:
Which is the Best Type of Coffee Grinder (For You)?
Blade grinders are typically the less expensive option, but they often produce inconsistent results.—and due to their lower cost, they can sometimes be less well-made.
Keep in mind there are exceptions to these rules, so be sure to read reviews before you decide on the best coffee grinder to buy. If you don't want to spend a lot of time researching, you generally can't go wrong with a quality burr grinder from a reputable brand like Cuisinart, Krups, or Bodum.
If you have the budget, Breville makes some of the best coffee grinders (and best coffee equipment in general) for the consumer market—but they come at a premium price.
When it comes to buying the best coffee grinder, there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind. First, think about what type of coffee you like to drink. If you prefer a stronger cup of coffee, you'll want a grinder that can produce a fine grind. If you prefer a more mellow cup of coffee, a coarser grind may do.
Most coffee grinders will allow you to choose a grind size, but the best ones will allow you to really "dial in" the perfect size.
Frequency of Use
Another thing to consider is how often you'll be using your grinder. If you only plan on using it occasionally, a blade grinder may be all you need.
But if you drink coffee every day, or drink several cups a day, you'll probably want to invest in a burr grinder so you can get the most consistent (and highest quality) results.
Coffee Grinder Features to Look At
Finally, think about what features are important to you. How will a new coffee grinder best fit into your daily routine or coffee making ritual?
Consider what features would make your life easier, and help you make the best cup of coffee possible. Look out for things like:
Grind Size Settings
Any good coffee grinder will allow you to set the grind size, but some have much more precise grind size controls than others.
Some grinders come with built-in timers that will allow you to essentially grind the perfect amount of coffee for the number of cups of coffee you're going to make.
If you're someone who is sensitive to noise, you'll want to find a coffee grinder that doesn't make too much of it. Even the best coffee grinders can be quite loud, so if noise is a concern for you, make sure to look for a quieter model—even if it's not quite as feature-packed. A good way to find the quietest coffee grinder is, as usual, to check online reviews.
Ease of Use/Cleanup
As with anything else, the easier a coffee grinder is to use, the more likely you are to actually use it. Look for a model that is easy to set up and use so you'll be more likely to use it on a regular basis, rather than giving up and going back to buying pre-ground coffee.
Cleaning should also be easy. Cleaning a grinder is very important to keep the coffee tasting its best—but you may not want to spend an hour taking apart and cleaning your grinder on a regular basis. If this sounds like you, do yourself a favor and look for a coffee grinder that is easy to clean before you make a purchase.
Best-Priced Coffee Grinders
Of course, price is always a consideration when purchasing anything. In general, blade grinders are going to be less expensive than burr grinders. But keep in mind that you usually get what you pay for when it comes to coffee grinders, so don't necessarily choose the cheapest model you can find. Instead, look for a grinder that offers good value for the price.
The takeaway from all this should be that the best coffee grinder is the one that best meets your needs. Whether you’re planning on getting by with a blade grinder or have your sights set on a slightly fancier burr grinder, make sure to consider all of the factors above to find the best grinder for you.