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What Is the Best Coffee Grinder for the Money?

Updated on August 22, 2014

How to Choose the Best Coffee Grinder

Anyone who loves coffee knows that one of the best things you can do to improve your coffee drinking experience is grinding fresh beans

Freshly ground coffee fills the air with a wonderful aroma that enhances the overall coffee drinking experience and it tastes so much better. It's worth it to grind your own beans, but you need the best coffee grinder you can afford for good results.

When you want the best coffee grinder for the money, you're considering not only performance but value as well. I hope I can help you improve your coffee drinking experience with this lens.

Ceramic burr plates
Ceramic burr plates

An overview: Burr versus Blade Grinders

After manual and electric, the biggest difference between the coffee grinders that are available is the method they use to grind.

Blade grinders cut the beans with a spinning blade. Burr grinders force the beans through rotating plates.

A burr grinder is preferable to a blade because it allows you to adjust the size of the grind and it produces a consistent grind, unlike the blade grinder which gives uneven and unpredictable grind size. For most applications, a burr grinder is superior and allows you to make different grind sizes, such as fine for espresso makers or coarser for a French press.

Burr grinders are more expensive so I will be featuring blade grinders as well. If you aren't concerned with an even grind size, a blade grinder may suit your purposes. People who use mainly drip coffee makers won't really benefit much from the added expense of a burr grinder and may be just as happy with a cheap blade grinder.

Still confused? Click here for a video featuring Mike Phillips from Intelligensia Coffee in Los Angeles.

Photo by nalundgaard

Looking for a gift?

Figure out what type of coffee the person you're shopping for likes and get them the grinder that best fits their preference.

Invite yourself over one morning for some espionage or make breakfast together and watch how they make their coffee!

Burr or Blade Grinder?

This video shows the difference between the two types of coffee grinders and details why you would want to be able to control the size of your grind.

This video also demonstrates the Bodum grinder that I've selected below, so if you want to see it in action, here's your chance.

The Best Burr Coffee Grinder

I've chosen the Bodum Bistro as my "Best Conical Burr Coffee Grinder For the Money".

There are certainly more expensive and more complicated burr grinders available but the Bodum Bistro offers the same high quality features and good design without the unnecessarily expensive materials, construction methods or add-ons of other models.

It has a solid 4 stars on Amazon.com and the reviews are overwhelmingly positive.

I use this grinder almost every day. I like it a lot - I only wish it could be run for more than 20 seconds at a time, although I know now that the short time is to prevent heat buildup from damaging the coffee.

It's also kind of loud, although all electric grinders are, to some extent. The only truly quiet grinder is a manual one.

Bodum Bistro Burr Grinder, Electronic Coffee Grinder with Continuously Adjustable Grind, Black
Bodum Bistro Burr Grinder, Electronic Coffee Grinder with Continuously Adjustable Grind, Black

Glass hopper prevents static electricity from charging the chaff like with plastic hoppers.

14 grind settings to get whatever grind you need for any method from fine espresso to extra-coarse Turkish or French-press.

Quiet operation - many burr grinders are extremely loud.

1 year limited warranty on manufacturer defects.

A tightly sealed lid means you can use the hopper to store your coffee beans until you're ready to grind them.

 

Other Great Burr Grinders

If the Bodum's price tag is too high, here are some other grinders that offer a good value.

Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill
Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill

I like this one OK but I think it's too loud and has too much plastic.

 

The Best Blade Coffee Grinder

The Krupps 203-42 is a ubiquitous item in many kitchens because it's reliable, tough and easy to use and clean. The only thing that would make it better would be an easily removable blade, but with a 4 1/2 star rating and the cheapest price anywhere, it's a clear winner.

You might want to get two - one for spices and one for coffee.

The Best Manual Coffee Grinder

Manual coffee grinders are more work but they offer a unique satisfaction to their owners. They offer the quality of a consistent grind without the high price tag of many electric burr grinders. Since they do not require electricity, they're great for travel and camping. The Kyocera's ceramic burr plates and affordable price tag make it the best manual coffee grinder for the money.

Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill "Skerton"
Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill "Skerton"

I've heard this is the same grinder as the Kyocera but cheaper - however I can't confirm this.

 

Want to snag a deal on a coffee grinder?

eBay has nearly everything, including some great deals on coffee makers. These auctions are ending tomorrow, check it out!

How do you grind your coffee?

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    • Tom Maybrier profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Maybrier 

      4 years ago

      @FanfrelucheHubs: Wow, sounds awesome. I want one.

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      Nathalie Roy 

      4 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      Manual Porlex, ceramic blades. Expensive, but one of the best grinder you can find.These are made in Japan.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 

      4 years ago from San Francisco

      I have the black Krups blade grinder you mention, and I count down 20 seconds each time I use it. Even in that time, it warms the coffee, so finding a better grinder is on my list. I've often thought about upgrading to a burr grinder for the flexibility and uniformity. Does the Bodum warm the grounds in the twenty seconds it operates? How many twenty-second sessions does it take to grind a few ounces? How long do you have to wait between grinds?

      Thank you for this review and for the information. I've also thought about researching manual grinders, as we are downsizing our lives in every way we can, so I appreciate their inclusion here.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 

      4 years ago

      I grind my coffee each morning in my Cuisinart -- haven't bought ground coffee in years.

    • Tom Maybrier profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Maybrier 

      4 years ago

      @tom_henry: Thanks for catching that typo - while you're right that there are better grinders out there, this is my personal endorsement of a budget grinder - for the money, the Bodum is a great deal and will make perfectly wonderful coffee.

    • profile image

      tom_henry 

      4 years ago

      Firstly, the Bodum is a poorly made and terrible grinder. It will not produce a grind consistently fine enough for a quality espresso. DO NOT skimp on the grinder!

      Secondly, I shan't be taking advice from someone who uses the phrase "extra-coarse Turkish". Turkish coffee is ground unbelievably fine, similar to flour, never coarse..

    • profile image

      Donna Cook 

      4 years ago

      Great lens! My Krups has been going strong for over 20 years!

    • profile image

      Lynn Klobuchar 

      4 years ago

      Blade grinder. Also have one dedicated to spices.

    • profile image

      michael-gillispie-90 

      4 years ago

      Do yourselves a favor and skip a blade grinder. They are pretty much suitable for grinding spices. Get a burr grinder and couple it with fresh roasted coffee to really see a huge difference in your coffee.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 

      4 years ago from Seattle, WA

      We have both types of grinders avail. I prefer the burr, but apparently the only prerequisite for everyone else in the house is how FAST it can grind :)

    • KathyZ1 profile image

      KathyZ1 

      5 years ago

      Great lens, thanks for your sharing.

    • profile image

      othellos 

      5 years ago

      Excellent review lens. Grinders are very important in the process of making a tasteful cup of coffee but a lot of people don't pay a lot of attention to this. Really beautiful lens with lots of interesting content. Thank you for publishing it.

    • frenchlingo profile image

      frenchlingo 

      5 years ago

      I just love the smell of coffee every Sunday morning. Great way to wake up. The grinder we use is an old one. The beans just split better using a manual.

    • profile image

      BlowDryBar 

      5 years ago

      I use a burr grinder and I love getting fresh beans from Peet's Coffee. I love African coffees best.

    • MelanieKaren profile image

      Melanie Wilcox 

      5 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      I pulverize it to get jet fuel :)

    • Tom Maybrier profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Maybrier 

      5 years ago

      @topbuilderlist: Ground coffee declines in quality after only a few hours. Coffee should be ground only when needed.

    • profile image

      topbuilderlist 

      5 years ago

      I like drinking coffee but I always take grounded one. What would be the typical life span of ground coffee with still maintain quality.

    • profile image

      ChristyZ 

      5 years ago

      I've never tried grinding my own coffee, being a coffee lover I should give it a try. :) Great article!

    • howards522 profile image

      howards522 

      5 years ago

      I did not know there was this much to coffee grinders. My mom used to have one and I remember being able to tell the difference. This is going on my wish list.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      Nice and informative lens !

    • sarasentor lm profile image

      sarasentor lm 

      5 years ago

      I just love coffee.

    • myoyster1957 profile image

      myoyster1957 

      5 years ago

      Great lens. I use a grinder all the time, makes the best coffee.

    • mommysue lm profile image

      mommysue lm 

      5 years ago

      I usually buy my coffee already ground. But now I may consider a grinder to make a better cup of coffee. Not sure which one I will choose. I never realized there were so many to select from!

    • profile image

      alistairrattray 

      5 years ago

      Good to see some emphasis on burr versus blade, particularly in controlling grind consistency.

    • profile image

      nifwlseirff 

      6 years ago

      Personally, I love my Graef burr grinder (I think it's sold as Krups, model GX610050 in the US), and use it for both espresso and drip coffee machines - it's a workhorse in my household, and is easy to use and grinds evenly.

      With any type of grinder, the most important thing is to clean it regularly, or the coffee will start tasting stale!

    • greenmind profile image

      GreenMind Guides 

      6 years ago from USA

      "manual coffee grinder"? AKA "just chewing on the beans." Cool lens on a cool topic.

    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 

      6 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      I have a blade grinder that I have had for years. Used to be a cafe manager for Borders. But I am a coffee snob, and have been eying a burr grinder. :) No one else in my family drinks coffee though. *sigh*

    • Tom Maybrier profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Maybrier 

      6 years ago

      @verymary: They are a great value!

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 

      6 years ago from Chicago area

      Blade grinder, mainly because it's affordable :) thx for the tips!

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