Best Coffee Grinders
Are you an avid coffee drinker? Are you also an individual who can’t function correctly without your morning brew? If you answered yes to one of these two questions, then you are in for a treat today. You see, for people like you, nothing is going to be as satisfying then sipping on fresh ground coffee in the morning. In order for you to enjoy this sensation, though, you will most likely need to own a special grinder. And, yes, that is why you are here today. In this guide, it will be documented in-depth the key factors and features to look for when you are in the market for a coffee grinder. However, first, let’s take a look at some of the best models on the market today.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 2.75 hrs of research
There are 230 grind settings
The front mounted control panel eases operation
Includes an all-metal PortaHolder
- BARATZA VARIO
- RANCILIO HSD-ROC-SD
- BREVILLE SMART
- KONA MANUAL
- OXO ON
- BARATZA ENCORE
- CAPRESSO COFFEE
- 3E HOME MANUAL
- BARATZA VIRTUOSO
- HARIO SKERTON
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Expert Interviews & Opinions
- Frequently Asked Questions
OUR TOP PICKS FOR THE BEST COFFEE GRINDERS
1. BARATZA VARIO
There are 230 grind settings
The front mounted control panel eases operation
Includes an all-metal PortaHolder
It can jam when you get into the finer settings
This right here is a prime example that some of these grinders can be downright expensive. If you do not mess around in the morning, though, the Vario may be right up your alley.Read more
Thanks to the professional-grade, 54-millimeter ceramic flat burrs, the Vario is able to deliver exceptional results. However, some buyers have noted that jamming can occur at the finer settings.
In addition to the 230 different grind settings (which is insane), this is also equipped with a built-in digital timer and programmable buttons. With these, you can save up to three different presets.
Ease of Use
Though this seems like an overly complicated appliance, it is made easier thanks to the front mounted control panel (that happens to sport an LED display).
Coming with your purchase is a regular 180-gram grounds bin and also a heavy-duty PortaHolder.
Let’s just say the Vario is not cheaply built. This is evident with the aforementioned PortaHolder as it is made with nothing but heavy-duty metal.
Ask yourself this; is premium coffee worth this kind of price? If you believe that it does indeed justify this much money, then your mind is probably already made up.
2. RANCILIO HSD-ROC-SD
Designed with commercial-grade grinding burrs
Features simple controls
Equipped with a metal removable fork
Some reviews have pointed to this producing clumpy results
One aspect that really sets the HSD-ROC-SD apart from many of the other models in the world is its commercial-grade grinding burrs. Of course, the price is pretty steep here.Read more
The combination of the powerful 166-watt motor and the 50-millimeter commercial-grade burrs allow this to perform at a high level. Yet, clumpy results may persist from time to time.
This is certainly not a complex design and is actually not overflowing with features. What it does come equipped with, however, is variable control for you to achieve exactly what you want.
Ease of Use
With the quick spin of the bean hopper and a simple unlock of the integrated lever, you can easily alter the controls of the HSD-ROC-SD. It will not get much easier than this folks.
The tinted hopper that is included sports a 0.65-pound capacity. This means that it can keep over half-a-pound of fresh coffee on-demand.
First off, a stainless steel housing is in order here making this both durable and aesthetically pleasing. Also, the removable fork that is integrated is made of metal.
Once again, you will pay the price for this superb machine. The sheer power and simplicity of this model will deliver the goods, though, so you can count on that.
3. BREVILLE SMART
There are 60 precise grind settings
Extremely easy to switch between modes
Built with a clear and concise LCD screen
A few buyers were dissatisfied with the performance
In the world of kitchen appliances, Breville knows a thing or two. Their Smart Grinder is another instance of their greatness and is designed with the consumer in mind.Read more
A few buyers noted that this was incapable of delivering finely coarse French press. Yet, the stainless steel conical burrs do help to minimize the amount of heat buildup to protect the essential oils of the beans.
All sorts of features are integrated into this smart model. This includes a precise electronic timer that allows for 0.2-second increments and 60 different grind settings.
Ease of Use
Overall, the LCD display makes operation much more intuitive. With that said, it will take some time for you to get accustomed to the controls (which is not uncommon).
The bean hopper can hold up to 18 ounces of beans. That works out to just over one pound of beans, which is not too shabby.
Improvements were made to the impeller as it is completely encased by a metal shield. Oh yeah, and the conical burrs are made of stainless steel.
At the end of the day, it really is hard to bet against Breville. They are one of those rare brands where you expect so much from them that you forget that their products are so fantastic. That is definitely evident here.
4. KONA MANUAL
The quality is insane for the price
The crank handle is ergonomically designed
Perfect for travel
The lid is not held securely in place
Can take a while to see results
Though you may believe that manual models are obsolete with the takeover of electrical units, they are actually still quite useful. KONA proves that with flying colors, after all.Read more
The heart of this design is in its high-density conical burrs. They are made of industrial ceramic and are resistant to corrosion and can withstand heavy wear.
Even though this is a manual model, there are integrated grind settings (18 in total) to mess around with. But, one flaw to point out is with the lid and the fact that it will not lock in place.
Ease of Use
The longer hand crank combined with the thick glass base makes cranking easier. This is indeed geared to prevent hand fatigue but it also means that the overall process can take longer.
You can expect to make enough coffee for right around three cups with the glass jar that comes with your purchase. For specifics, it can store up to 50 grams of ground beans.
For the price, the quality is literally phenomenal. The burrs are made of industrial ceramic and the jar of clear thick glass. Nope, there is no cheap plastic here.
If you have the patience for a manual grinder, then you may not find a superior model on the market. What is also nice about this option is it is perfect for travel, as well.
5. OXO ON
Features built-in overheating detection
Backed by the OXO Better Guarantee
Equipped with many fine settings
It can be a bit messy
A time function is missing
When you analyze this next model, it becomes obvious that OXO paid attention to the details. Example of this is the built-in overheating detection and the integrated scale.Read more
The built-in high torque motor and the 40-millimeter stainless steel conical burrs speak for themselves here. Due to the gap between the collector and the chute, however, things can get messy.
It was claimed that the attention to detail is evident here. Well, it mostly is. This model does feature up to 38 different settings for you to choose from and also built-in overheating protection. Yet, a time function has been omitted.
Ease of Use
With just a single dial, you are able to switch between certain modes. In a matter of no time, you should have the controls down pat.
The hopper itself can hold up to 16 ounces (or one pound) of beans. In turn, the grounds bin can hold up to 125 grams of coffee (which works out to right around 12 cups).
Stainless steel was one of the primary materials utilized in the construction phase of this model (which is always a good thing).
Should such an expensive machine come with noticeable flaws? Well, that is a subjective question but know this, OXO deserves a lot of credit for their engineering skills here.
6. BARATZA ENCORE
The design is very straightforward
Built with high-carbon steel burrs
Quality engineering as always from Baratza
The noise can be an issue
Assembly is not very intuitive
Due to the name of this model and the seller, it is really ironic that it closes out this list. After all, why not have one more encore from Baratza?Read more
The 40-millimeter high-carbon steel burrs are able to deliver a high-quality grind for you every single time. That you can take comfort in, ladies and gentlemen.
With 40 different grind settings, you can explore many different brew methods. Yet, you must do so while dealing with the loud racket from this machine.
Ease of Use
Though the assembly has been criticized for being too difficult, the operation here is quite simple. All you have is the grind settings and a simple on/off switch.
Much like with the Virtuoso, the Encore comes with a hopper that can hold up to 10 ounces of whole beans.
This is Baratza so you know if nothing else, the build quality is great. Once again, they manufactured the burrs in Europe.
If you want a Baratza model but do not want the steep price tag that accompanies it, then the Encore is going to be an excellent option for you.
7. CAPRESSO COFFEE
There are a total of 16 settings
The conical burrs have been hand assembled in Switzerland
Flavor is enhanced due to the slow grinding action
The knob is made out of cheap plastic
Various users have had issues with leftover ground coffee
There is a lot to love about this next model. It is headlined by its best-in-class, slow grinding speed. As such, less friction will be created and the end result will feature enhanced flavor.Read more
Indeed, Capresso designed their model to operate with slower grinding speeds to preserve the maximum flavor and aroma on any of the grind settings. Yet, at the same time, various users have noted that coffee often remains in the burrs.
This really has all the features you would ever want including grind settings for four different categories (extra fine, fine, regular and coarse). There is also an integrated timer that can be set from 5 to 60 seconds.
Ease of Use
Even though the knob that is engineered is not necessarily difficult to use, it is quite cheap as it is made of flimsy plastic.
This machine is a bit smaller when compared to other models on the market, admittedly. The container can hold up to four ounces worth of ground coffee.
Outside of the cheap knob, this sports an ABS housing. Yes, this is plastic but ABS is a relatively durable copolymer.
Capresso’s heart was certainly in the right place when they engineered their grinder. In spite of some cheaper materials, this remains a fantastic choice for just about anyone.
8. HOME MANUAL
No batteries or electricity will be needed
Crafted with a premium ceramic body
You are given control over the coarseness
It can be difficult to grip the slippery exterior
The cover design is flawed
Yep, this is another old-school, manual model. Even though it is old-fashioned, it is still designed with top-notch technology such as the high-quality ceramic burrs.Read more
Though you will need to expend the effort, featured here are high-quality ceramic burrs that ensure precise and consistent grinds every single time.
The cover is connected to the rod that is between the crank handle and the grinder and this makes it difficult to secure it when you are cranking. Despite this flaw, there is a built-in adjustable selector that gives you control over the coarseness.
Ease of Use
Yep, get ready to do some cranking. While this is to be expected with a manual model, the exterior of this unit is quite slippery and that makes it much more difficult to establish proper grip.
Though it will depend on the grind setting that you select, one user did note that they were able to churn out three ounces of delicious coffee at a time.
With its stainless steel top and its ceramic body, it is safe to say that this model is not poorly built with cheap and inferior materials.
For home usage, there are superior options out there. What this and most manual models, for that matter, excel at is being superb for travel.
9. BARATZA VIRTUOSO
Designed with a small footprint
Made up of high-quality components
Features a front-mounted pulse button
The grounds bin shape makes it difficult to transfer the coffee
A few users had issues with the longevity
Baratza actually kicked this list off and here they are again. Their Virtuoso is not quite as advanced as their Vario but it remains an excellent electrical machine.Read more
One thing is for sure; you can’t accuse Baratza of making poor coffee grinders. Their Virtuoso features an efficient motor that only runs at 450 RPM to ensure reduced heat buildup and enhanced flavor.
Though it does not have nearly as many grind settings as the Vario, this does come with 40 (which is certainly not bad at all).
Ease of Use
While the actual operation of this unit is not too tricky (thanks to the front-mounted pulse button), transferring the liquid can be due to the shape of the grounds bin.
The hopper itself can hold up to 10 ounces of beans. Though this does not sport the largest capacity on the market, it is far from pathetic.
With a combination of die-cast zinc and plastic, Baratza designed their Virtuoso. Now, do be aware that there have been instances of this unit breaking down within a year (as noted by some previous users).
If nothing else, you know that Baratza knows what they are doing. This model they have put forth is not flawless but what product out there is?
10. HARIO SKERTON
The non-slip rubber base adds stability
Equipped with an ergonomically designed crank handle
Ideal for travelers
It takes a while to grind
The jar itself is awkward to hold
Hario presents yet another great manual option for you to consider. Their model sports several terrific features such as a non-slip rubber base and ceramic conical burrs.Read more
Though you really can achieve superb results here, it is going to take quite a long time. Simply put, many of you will probably not have the patience needed to operate this model.
As with most designs on the market, you can adjust the grind of this model. On another note, this is also dishwasher-safe so that is nice.
Ease of Use
For the good news, this sports a non-slip rubber base and an ergonomically designed hand crank. But, and you knew a “but” was coming, the jar is awkward to hold unless you have larger hands.
Granted you do not expect to produce tons of coffee in one sitting with this model, you should be satisfied with the capacity. Indeed, this is suitable for only a few cups.
Hario actually means “The King of Glass” in Japanese and that is a nice little tidbit to the design of this model (as it is designed of heat-resistant glass from Japan).
The time it takes to achieve results is less than desired and the jar can be difficult to grip. Everything else, with that being said, plays a role in achieving one fantastic cup of coffee.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
If you take your coffee drinking seriously, then you need to pay close attention to the details here.
In order to assess how effective a specific model is, you will first need to know the different types of coffee grinders that there are. For example, you have manual and electric models that will either sports blades or burrs. In regard to the manual versus electrical debate (in regard to their performance), low-end electrical units will probably not yield the results of most manual models. And this is very important because if all you want is the best of the best, then you need to go with burr grinders. While they will cost a little bit more than blade grinders, they also perform much, much better and will yield enhanced results.
There are also two different types of burrs (flat plate and conical). Do note that they both generate great results. But, flat burrs will are a little better at producing consistency in particle size. Meanwhile, conical burrs oftentimes are quieter in operation. Now, it is also important to point out that grinders with higher speeds are not necessarily better. You see, the faster a motor is running the more heat it is going to generate. And, too much heat can burn the coffee and affect both the aroma and the flavor. In this case, speed really does kill and slow and steady wins the race (and every other cliché out there).
As with virtually any other kitchen applaince, you will need to keep some key features in mind.
There are some kitchen appliances out there that are loaded with tons of fancy features. For the most part, however, that is not really going to be the case here. With that said, there is still extra functionality that you should keep an eye on. In specific, keep an eye out for how many grind settings a specific model has equipped. Some higher-end models will have several dozen grind settings that you can mess around with. But, as the buyer, why should this matter to you? It really all comes down to how you prefer your coffee. With this functionality built-in, you can tailor yours to the consistency you desire. So, in theory, this means you could create a superb French press and also a stellar espresso with the same machine.
Also, the noise factor may be important to you. If you go with a cheap, electrical unit then it is probably going to be very loud. Yet, if you go with one that sports conical burrs then the noise should be kept to a minimum. This is also where manual grinders are nice as there are no electrical components to generate noise.
Ease of Use
No matter the type of model you buy, you may want it optimized for simplicity.
The best way to go about this section is to break it up and talk about manual and electrical models individually. While it may seem obvious that electrical models will be easier to use, not all of them will be a breeze. Some units out there will be extremely intuitive while others will leave you scratching your head on how to operate them. The key is to look for an integrated control panel and possibly even a digital display. Then again, this also depends on how many features are integrated. And, always remember that, over time, you will become more accustomed to the interface.
Then, there are manual coffee grinders. The question is, are they more of a hassle than they are worth? For the most part, the answer is no. Though it can be a bit labor-intensive, operating the crank handles on these units is not that difficult. Of course, designers and engineers can also make the process easier. This is why you should keep an eye out for ergonomic handles and bases that can easily be gripped.
This is all about you and how many salivating mouths will be wanting your coffee.
Everyone knows that too much of a good thing is never good and coffee exemplifies that perfectly. Why the goal is not to list off all the reasons to avoid drinking too much of it, it is important to assess how much of it you need to brew. And, not only that but also ask yourself how many people you are buying for. If you are simply buying for yourself then you probably will not need a unit that can make 10 to 12 cups of coffee. Depending on how much you drink in one sitting, you may suffice for one to two cups. And, even the smaller units out there will be able to handle that.
Then again, if you have two or three other avid coffee drinkers in your home, then it may be advisable to opt for units with larger capacities. This is also an appropriate time to clarify that most manual models will be pretty small. Part of the reason for this is they are optimized for portability and travel.
If you want your model to last a good while, it better not be crafted with cheap materials.
Outside of functionality, this is probably the one area where you really pay for what you get. Now, that is not insinuating that all costly models will sport unbelievable builds. However, it works both ways as most cheap units will be crafted of cheaper materials. In regard to coffee grinders, you need to assess a number of components. Firstly, not all burrs will be made equal but the two most popular types will be made of stainless steel and ceramic. Though stainless steel burrs are more common, ceramic models have longer lifespans. That is not to say stainless steel varieties are cheap but they may need to be replaced once every few years.
Also, the external housing should be analyzed. You may want to avoid cheap plastic and instead go with more durable and aesthetically pleasing material. Truthfully, you get both with one material and that is referring to stainless steel. Oh, and do not forget about the engine (if it is electrical) as high-speed motors will wear down quicker than direct drive engines. Of course, this is also where manual models hold an advantage. Due to the lack of electrical components, manual models may last longer as there are fewer parts that can break down and seize to function.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
One of the reasons why you are here, in the first place, is because you seek a machine that can improve your coffee. Well, in order for this to be achieved, you need to know what you are looking for. Now, both manual and electrical models can produce superb results. It does all depend on their main design, though, as you really want to go with burrs.
This type of hot drink is very unique because there are a plethora of different brewing methods that you can employ. The list of varieties is nearly endless with French press and espresso immediately coming to mind. In order for you to tailor your grinder to produce the results you want, however, it is vital for there to be different grinding settings. And, top-end units will oftentimes have several dozen to choose from.
No matter if you ultimately end up going with a manual or an electric grinder, their ease of use is going to be dependent on various design integrations. Clearly, at their cores, electrical units are easier to use as they do not require any labor whatsoever. But, both variants can be made either simpler or more complex based on the design of the specific model.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Will they fit in kitchen cabinets?
The answer to this question is going to come down to two factors. One, how big is the grinder itself? Two, how large are your kitchen cabinets? Yes, these questions are quite obvious but there is no reason to beat around the bush, right? Now, this does come back to the capacity that you desire, as well. So, when you take all these factors into play, you will be able to determine if the model you desire will fit in your kitchen cabinets. And, yes, this is something you should think about.
q: How do you go about cleaning one?
Clearly, this is a machine that you will need to clean on a regular basis. Of course, it does depend on how frequently you utilize the machine as the more you do so, the more you will need to clean it. The question is how do you go about this? Your first instinct may be to toss all the components into the dishwasher. Yet, unless the seller gives you the all-clear, you should avoid doing this. And, clearly, avoid submerging any electrical components in water. The best action you can take, honestly, is to reference the user manual (if one is included) to see how the manufacturer recommends you clean their device.
q: What are some signs that it is time to replace the burrs?
It sure would be nice if products were made to never wear down but this is an ignorant mindset. With this technology, one of the components that is going to wear down over time is the burr (or burrs, more specifically). To provide you with a better understanding of when your model’s burrs need replacing, here are some dead giveaways. If you notice that their edges feel dull and that you need to grind the beans finer than you normally do, they need replacing. Along the same line, if the grounds are starting to come out as clumps and are inconsistent each time you brew then the burrs shelf life is up.
q: What models are best for camping?
Enjoying the best coffee you can have is also something that you may want to do while you are camping. Who is to say you can’t? But, if this is your intentions, what models should you prioritize? While the obvious answer would be manual designs, electrical models can also work well (if you have access to electricity). Either way, look for more compact grinders that are optimized for travel.
q: Why do you need one, in the first place?
In all honesty, nobody needs to own this product. This type of beverage comes in many forms and it all comes down to your personal preference. Owning a grinder can be considered a luxury as opposed to a necessity. Because grinding the beans right before you brew yields the best tasting results, this type of machine is preferred by avid drinkers. However, it is a lot like owning a cheap pair of headphones. Sure, top-end models will provide enhanced sound clarity and quality but they are technically not needed. Cheap headphones can suffice just fine for certain people. It all depends on you, quite frankly.
q: What is the ideal grind size for French press?
Truth be told, this question could have been asked for all different types of coffee types. So, if there is a specific type that you want to brew, do note that you should be able to find suitable directions online. But, to give you an idea, let’s look at French presses. For this type, you will want to use a coarse grind. Using grind that is too fine can yield bitter-tasting results.