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Published Jul 20, 2022 7:30 AM

Choosing the right grinder is paramount when it comes to brewing the perfect cup of coffee and getting the most out of your beans. While the most affordable coffee grinders break down coffee beans using spinning metal blades, burr grinders use burrs to crush and grind them. This process produces less heat, which allows the beans to retain their flavor. Burr grinders also give users more control, allowing you  to choose your desired grind texture based on whether you’re making espresso, drip coffee, or pour-over coffee.

Shopping for a coffee grinder online can become overwhelming since there are so many options available. We’ll break down what to look for when shopping for the best burr coffee grinder for your kitchen, and discuss the key considerations to keep in mind as you shop. Keep reading for tips on choosing the best option, and explore our curated picks for the best burr grinders on the market.

How We Picked the Best Burr Grinders

While it’s easy to assume that all burr grinders offer similar performance, a number of factors affect their functionality. Several years of experience covering home goods and kitchen essentials as well as extensive product research went into choosing our final curated selection. We reviewed over 25 burr grinders and weighed a number of practical considerations before making our recommendations:

Grind Consistency: The primary consideration when choosing a burr grinder is its ability to produce consistent grounds. We only included options that would meet this standard. 

Type: For this guide, we opted to include both manual and electric grinders, but prioritized electric models since those are the best choice for most users.  

Additional Features: All burr grinders serve the same basic purpose, but we gave priority to models with extra features that make the grinding process faster, easier, and more precise. 

Best Burr Grinders: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

Best Overall

The Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder offers 40 grind settings and comes in two colors to suit your design style. Baratza

Why It Made The Cut: This electric grinder from Baratza offers top-notch performance but has a simple user interface, making it perfect for beginners and experts alike. 

Specs:

  • Type: Electric
  • Number of Grind Settings: 40
  • Hopper Capacity: 8 ounces

Pros:

  • 40 grind settings
  • User-friendly interface
  • Large hopper
  • Two colors available

Cons:

  • High price

This grinder from Baratza uses 40-millimeter conical burrs that rotate at 550 rpm, ensuring a perfectly consistent grind every time. It offers 40 grind settings, ranging from 250 to 1,200 microns, allowing users to make everything from an ultra-fine grind for espresso to a coarser grind for French press coffee.

The large hopper is capable of holding 8 ounces of whole beans, allowing users to store enough beans for several servings of coffee. While this machine features a sophisticated design and is crafted for coffee aficionados, it’s still incredibly easy to use, and has a user-friendly interface with minimal controls. There’s a simple on/off switch and a pulse button which gives users additional control.

It’s available in either black or white, allowing you to choose the model that best suits your kitchen’s decor scheme. 

Best Value: OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

The OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder provides excellent performance, offering 38 grind settings and featuring a large hopper and grounds container. OXO

Why It Made The Cut: The simple design and high performance of this burr grinder make it an excellent budget pick. 

Specs:

  • Type: Electric
  • Number of Grind Settings: 38
  • Hopper Capacity: 12 ounces

Pros:

  • Large hopper capacity
  • Static-fighting grounds container
  • Features 38 grind settings

Cons:

  • Loud performance

Those looking to try out a burr grinder without making a major financial investment will appreciate the performance of this model from OXO Good Grips. The machine’s 40-millimeter stainless-steel conical burrs ensure optimal flavor extraction and create uniform grounds every time. It features 15 grind settings, plus additional micro settings in between, for a total of 38 grind options, giving users excellent control over their grind without overwhelming them with options. The grinder is capable of saving the last setting used, so once you figure out how to brew your perfect cup, you can ensure it’s the same every day. 

The hopper has a 12-ounce capacity, allowing users to store plenty of coffee beans so the machine is always ready to go. It also features an extra-large grounds container with a capacity of 110 grams, which is enough for 12 cups of coffee. The grounds container has static-fighting properties, ensuring the grounds won’t stick to the sides.

Upgrade Pick: Baratza Virtuoso+ Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

The Baratza Virtuoso+ Conical Burr Coffee Grinder offers users the ultimate level of control, with 40 grind settings and a digital timer for consistent dosage. Baratza

Why It Made The Cut: This Baratza grinder is designed with coffee experts in mind, providing 40 grind settings and a digital timer that allows users to exactly control their dosage. 

Specs:

  • Type: Electric
  • Number of Grind Settings: 40
  • Hopper Capacity: 8 ounces

Pros:

  • Digital interface
  • Broad grind range
  • Features a digital timer for precise dosage
  • Operates quietly

Cons:

  • High price

Professionals and coffee experts who want the optimal level of precision should consider the Baratza Virtuoso+ Conical Burr Coffee Grinder. This model uses 40-millimeter conical burrs and operates quite slowly at 550 rpm, which means it produces less heat, ensuring that the beans retain their flavor. It also means that it performs quietly, making your morning routine more peaceful. 

It features a broad grind range, going from 200 to 1,200 microns, which allows users to make any type of coffee, including finely-ground espresso. A 40-second digital timer is adjustable to the tenth of a second, allowing users to perfectly recreate their dosage once they’ve perfected it. 

The hopper capacity is 8 ounces, and the grounds bin has a 5-ounce capacity, with a clear design that allows users to see the quantity of grounds they’ve produced.

Best for Beginners: Mueller Ultra-Grind Conical Burr Grinder

Best for Beginners

The Mueller Ultra-Grind Conical Burr Grinder is designed with ease of use in mind, with limited grind settings and a simple timer system. Mueller Austria

Why It Made The Cut: This grinder from Mueller makes grinding coffee a breeze, with an easy-to-use interface and limited settings that cater to beginners. 

Specs:

  • Type: Electric
  • Number of Grind Settings: 10 (plus micro settings)
  • Hopper Capacity: 8.5 ounces

Pros:

  • Affordable price
  • Limited settings for ease of use
  • Includes built-in cleaning brush
  • Quiet operation

Cons:

  • Fewer grind settings than other models

The simplicity of this grinder from Mueller makes it perfect for beginners. There are 10 primary settings as well as additional micro settings, making the grinding process simple for those who don’t need extreme precision while offering plenty of options for those who do. As an added bonus, it operates quietly, at under 76 decibels. 

The grinding time can be increased or decreased with the push of a button, allowing users to control their dosage. These controls aren’t as precise as those offered on higher-end models, but they’re simple enough for beginners to get the hang of. The grounds container is removable and seals completely, allowing for it to be taken on the go on camping or hiking trips. 

The ground container has a 4.6-ounce capacity, while the hopper has an 8.5-ounce capacity. The burrs are easy to clean, and even include an embedded cleaning brush to make the process even more straightforward. 

Best Manual: TIMEMORE Chestnut C2 MAX Manual Coffee Grinder

Best Manual

The TIMEMORE Chestnut C2 MAX Manual Coffee Grinder is a great choice for travel, with a sleek, compact design and top-notch performance. TIMEMORE

Why It Made The Cut: This manual grinder is simple and easy to use, grinding an ounce of beans in under 2 minutes. 

Specs:

  • Type: Manual
  • Number of Grind Settings: N/A
  • Hopper Capacity: 1 ounce

Pros:

  • Perfect for travel
  • Streamlined design
  • Works quickly
  • Made with ultra-sharp burrs

Cons:

  • Low capacity
  • Labor intensive

While most shoppers will likely opt for an electric grinder, a manual grinder is a handy tool to have for coffee lovers who want to make their perfect brew on the go. They’re also convenient to store and make significantly less noise than electric grinders, making them ideal for quieter mornings. This manual model is one of the most popular on the market because of its consistent performance and sleek, streamlined design. It features adjustable grind settings and simply requires users to turn a crank to grind the beans. It uses sharp stainless steel burrs which can easily be cleaned with a small brush.

While a manual grinder inevitably involves more work than an electric model, this one does work quite quickly, grinding an ounce of coffee in between one and two minutes. The hopper only has a 1-ounce capacity, so it isn’t capable of storing much coffee in between uses.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Burr Grinder

With so many types of coffee grinders on the market, choosing the right one for your kitchen requires careful consideration. Keep the following factors in mind while making your purchase.

Grind Consistency

One of the primary advantages of burr grinders over blade grinders is that they grant users more control over the consistency of the grind. All burr grinders offer various consistency settings in order to produce a finer or coarser grind. 

Most burr grinders that are intended for home use employ a stepped system featuring numbers that represent different grind consistencies. They can have anywhere from 10 to 50 grind settings. Stepless grinders, which are more popular for professional use, still feature numbers but also allow users to choose a point between two numbers, offering additional control for brew customization. 

Manual vs. Electric

Coffee grinders are either manual or electric. Most users will prefer an electric model, which is convenient and easy to use, but a manual machine — also known as a hand grinder — comes in handy when you don’t have access to electricity while camping or hiking. Manual grinders are also much more compact, so they provide an advantage in kitchens without much storage space. As an additional advantage, they’re quiet, so they work well if you brew coffee early in the morning and don’t want to wake up the entire household. 

Burr Material

High-quality burr coffee grinders feature burrs made from either ceramic or stainless steel. 

  • Stainless steel burrs are very sharp and simple to clean and maintain. They tend to be more affordable than ceramic burrs. 
  • Ceramic burrs may be slightly less sharp than steel at first, but maintain their sharpness for longer. They’re typically found on higher-end machines. 

Hopper Capacity

Burr grinders typically feature a hopper where users can store their beans until they’re ready to be ground. While the most cautious coffee aficionados may prefer to store beans in a cool, dark cupboard until it’s time to brew, a large hopper is convenient when brewing multiple cups at a time. Look for a machine with a hopper capacity of at least 1/2 to 3/4 pound. 

FAQs

Q: How do you know the right grind size for different types of coffee?

The size of a coffee’s grind is typically measured in microns. Espresso requires the finest grind at about 300 to 400 microns. A French press uses the coarsest ground at approximately 1,000 microns. The 400- to 800-micron range works well for drip coffee, pour-over, Moka pots, and Aeropress. 

Q: How often should you clean a burr grinder?

A burr grinder should be deep cleaned every 4 to 6 weeks, though it may need to be cleaned more often if you’re using oily bean varieties. 

Q: Is a burr grinder better than a blade grinder? 

Experts agree that burr grinders offer superior performance when compared with blade grinders. They’re capable of producing consistent grounds of varying sizes, offering users much more control over the brewing process. 

Final Thoughts

Our recommendations cover a variety of types and styles of burr grinders to best suit different needs. The Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder is our top pick because of its multitude of grind settings and top-notch performance. Our recommended choice for those on a budget is the OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder, which offers excellent performance at a more affordable price.

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