Did you know that Americans collectively consume over 517 million cups of coffee every single day? Whether you’re a fan of expensive specialty coffees or just crave a quick pick-me-up, we all love to indulge in a good cup of joe (or three, because coffee lovers few stick to one).
But what if you could take your coffee game to the next level and save money in the long run — all while making your home smell like the fanciest coffee shop in town? In that case, a good coffee grinder will answer all of prayers you never knew you should have said.
This guide walks you through the different types of coffee grinders on the market and shows you how to pick the one best for you. Then, we’ll give you a tour of some of the best options.
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Are you ready to say goodbye to mediocre coffee and enjoy specialty coffee at the tip of your fingers whenever you fancy a cuppa?
Why You Need a Coffee Grinder — Now
The harsh truth? If you don’t grind your own coffee, you either overpay for great coffee or endure an inferior experience. No matter which group you fall into, a coffee grinder will fix that for you.
In no particular order, you need a coffee grinder because:
- Buying whole coffee beans is more cost-effective than buying pre-ground coffee. It’s much cheaper than buying your coffee from coffee shops, and infinitely more flavorful than instant coffee.
- Freshly-ground coffee is the most flavor-rich. Coffee starts to lose its flavor as sound as it’s ground, and with store-bought coffee, you never know how long it’s been sitting there.
- Grinding coffee beans yourself gives you maximum control over your coffee-drinking adventures, as you can choose how coarsely you want your beans ground.
The “too long; didn’t read” version? A coffee grinder allows you to enjoy the best cup of joe ever for a fraction of the cost. What’s more, grinding your own coffee doesn’t have to take a lot of effort.
What to Look for in a Coffee Grinder
Let’s take a quick peek at the types of coffee grinders you’ll find on Amazon:
- Two basic types of coffee grinders exist. Blade grinders are cheaper and they use a spinning blade to grind your coffee, much like an immersion blender. Burr grinders rely on abrasive surfaces called burrs to grind your coffee. They’re pricier but give you a better flavor and more control.
- You can also choose from electric or hand-crack coffee grinders. Electric grinders are fast, convenient, and consistent. Hand-crack coffee grinders are portable and work without electricity. Because they generate less heat, some coffee enthusiasts swear they result in more flavorful coffee.
Because we believe in burr grinders, this review is heavily “biased” toward them. However, you’ll find electric and manual options on our list!
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1. Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder: Best Overall Pick
Have you never owned a coffee grinder, but do you appreciate specialty coffee? The Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder will happily initiate you into the world of freshly-ground coffee with a rich flavor profile.
This best-selling electrical burr grinder has a grand total of 40 grind settings, features a cleverly-designed on/off button that prevents you from getting your fingers stuck in the wrong places, and was made to last. The Baratza Encore is a long-time favorite among true coffee snobs (including pros!) and grinder noobs alike.
Price-wise, it hits the Goldilocks zone — not too hot, not too cold, but just right.
Let’s take a look at the finer details:
- The steel burrs, manufactured in Europe, will wear out eventually if you use your Baratza grinder every day. Baratza makes replacing them a breeze, so this shouldn’t stand in your way. The rest of the grinder? Let’s just say that the Encore is not the “fast fashion” equivalent of coffee grinders, and you’ll still love it 10 years from now.
- This grinder is perfect for home use.
- We doubt you’ll have to explore all 40 grinder settings before finding your perfect brew — but you can if you want to.
If you’ve already decided to invest in a dedicated electric burr grinder, and the $150 price tag doesn’t scare you off, we’re more than happy to endorse the Baratza Encore.
2. Breville The Smart Grinder Pro: Best Splurge
If you’re looking for an electric burr coffee grinder fit for the 21st century, love smart displays, and don’t mind forking out a bit more, we’d recommend you look at the Breville The Smart Grinder Pro. True coffee aficionados (coffee influencers?) said a lot of terrible things about this coffee grinder when it first arrived on the market, but Breville has since updated its design — and it rocks.
In our experience, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro is intuitive and extremely versatile. With over 60 settings, it allows you to make anything from Turkish coffee to espresso.
Some other things you should know about this coffee grinder include:
- The electronic timer ensures you’ll get the perfect grind every time.
- It’s super fast.
- There’s nearly no learning curve, so you can enjoy your perfect cup of joe right away.
- The smart features make this coffee grinder slightly pricier than others, but that’s only to be expected.
While the Breville Smart Grinder Pro isn’t our absolute top pick, we honestly don’t see how anyone but the most hardcore coffee snobs could hate this burr grinder.
3. Krups Silent Vortex Coffee and Spice Grinder: Best Budget Electric Coffee Grinder
The Krups Silent Vortex Coffee and Spice Grinder is the only blade coffee grinder we’ll include in this review. It’s here because we wholeheartedly believe that everyone deserves excellent coffee, and you shouldn’t have to adjust your budget to buy the grinder that makes it possible.
This coffee grinder is compact, tidy, and versatile. The blade design ensures that you can’t just grind whole coffee beans with this machine, but also various spices. We’d recommend the Krups Silent Vortex (named because it’s exceptionally quiet — another nice bonus!) to anyone who wants to spend less than $100 on an electric coffee grinder and loves getting creative in the kitchen.
Other good stuff:
- Blade coffee grinders allow you to achieve a finer texture by extending the grinding time, making the Krups Silent Vortex pretty versatile.
- This coffee grinder comes with a handy storage lid that keeps your coffee fresh right in the bowl.
4. Comandante Coffee Grinder C40 MK4 Nitro Blade Sunset: Best Hand-Crank Coffee Grinder
Many coffee enthusiasts choose hand-crack coffee grinders because they generate less heat while giving users more control over the process — something that theoretically ends with exquisite cups of coffee.
However, there are more practical reasons to choose a premium hand-crank coffee grinder like the Comandante Coffee Grinder C40 MK4 Nitro Blade Sunset. They’re portable, don’t use electricity, and less can go wrong.
We’d recommend this ridiculously high-end manual coffee grinder to anyone who has to have the best, even when the power’s out, because:
- It’s durable — even the glass jar won’t shatter easily if you happen to drop it.
- It’s beautiful.
- It results in delicious coffee.
- It’s easy to clean.
At $287.95, this coffee grinder is also an excellent gift for someone you really like.
5. Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill ‘Skerton Plus’: Best Budget Manual Coffee Grinder
If you’re only considering a manual coffee grinder because you’ve heard they tend to be cheaper, we’d recommend the Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill. This Amazon favorite can tackle 100 grams of coffee at a time, grinding it to perfection. An updated version of the original Skerton, the Skerton Plus ensures a deliciously uniform grind.
Is the Skerton Plus Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill the Queen of manual coffee grinders? No, but it definitely deserves a place in your life. If you’re sipping on instant coffee as you read this or wasting big bucks on specialty coffee shops, the Skerton Plus is the best entry-level answer to your dreams about excellent coffee.
You should also know that:
- This coffee grinder was specially designed with travelers in mind. With a durable design that easily packs into your suitcase, you can take it anywhere.
- You don’t need electricity, obviously — and we think that’s a real win.
- Hand-crank coffee grinders like the Hario Skerton Plus are super quiet, making them great for dorm rooms, too.
A Final Word
Are you still sipping on mediocre coffee? You’ve just run out of excuses. Whether you prefer hand-crank or electrical, burr or blade, there’s a coffee grinder for everyone on this list. Grinding your own beans ensures a supremely fresh and flavorful brew every time, and the grinders we’ve reviewed will keep you caffeinated for a very long time.
Enjoy — and don’t forget to pour yourself a large glass of water every once in a while.