Best Burr Coffee Grinders 2024
As coffee lovers, we are all different. Some of us aren’t too fussy about what we drink, whereas others have taken preparing their own specific brew to an art form. If you’re someone who enjoys the preparation of your morning coffee almost as much as the drink itself, and every cup starts with a fresh handful of your favorite beans, you’re going to need a good grinder. Most people agree that a burr grinder is better than a blade grinder, so if you’re looking for the best burr coffee grinders to choose for your brewing process, read on to learn more about my favorite picks.
My Top Burr Coffee Grinders For 2024
In general, burr coffee grinders are better than blade grinders, but are all burr grinders created equal? Judging by the range of features and prices, the answer is, definitely not. Which one is right for you depends greatly on what you need it for. Is it for the home or are you planning on taking it with you when you travel or perhaps go camping? Is it for grinding coffee for espresso or pour-over coffee, or are you looking for an all-rounder that can do both, and more?
While the best burr coffee grinder is arguably the one that’s best for your budget and requirements, unless either of these are at the far ends of the scale, it’s possible to identify a range of grinders that are the best choice for most people. So read on for what I think are the best burr coffee grinders available at the moment, with details of what I think makes them the best coffee grinders, and what, exactly, they are best for.
Choosing the Best Burr Coffee Grinder For You
Just a quick search online for ‘burr coffee grinders’ will tell you that you’re going to have plenty of choice – perhaps even too much! There’s such a wide range of good-quality burr grinders for you to choose from that thinking about some key considerations will be useful to help you find the grinder that’s best suited to what you need it for.
I’ve covered some of the main points for you to consider when you’re sizing up the different grinders, but you should spend some time thinking about any other requirements you might have to make sure you choose the best option.
While most manual grinders use conical burrs, you can actually get flat burr grinders as well. These are usually used in high-end commercial grinders, but manual flat burr grinders are also available. Apart from the shape, the main difference between these two types of burrs is that flat burrs work by grounding the beans between two burrs, one on top of the other with ‘teeth’ on the inside of the sandwich, pushing the grounds out of the edges of the burrs. Conical burr coffee grinders have one burr sitting inside the other, and the beans are ground when they fall down between them, with the ground coffee dropping out the bottom. In terms of how this can affect your coffee grounds, flat burr grinder can get a bit hotter during operation, which might affect the coffee, and most manual grinders will have conical burrs as they tend to have a smaller profile and are better suited to compact manual grinders.
The other choice you need to make is whether or not you want a manual grinder or an electric. Electric are obviously easier to use, but bigger, can be noisier, and aren’t portable – not to mention potentially less environmentally friendly. Manual grinders require a bit more effort on your part to get your coffee grounds, but as they use no electricity and have no circuit boards etc. they are greener – plus you can take your favorite grinder with you when you’re away from home traveling.
You might think a burr coffee grinder is a coffee grinder that’s great for making ground coffee for any kind of brew. While most burr grinders are probably more than capable of creating ground coffee for most types of brews, with such a wide range of coffee types and brewing methods, it’s possible that some might be more suitable than others, depending on how you like your coffee. For example, most manual grinders will be fine for a coarse grind for cold brew, pour-over, and drip brewing methods, but unless specifically designed with a finer espresso grind in mind, they can lack the settings and precise adjustment capabilities for espresso brewing. So, if you are a creature of habit and tend to drink the same type of coffee every day, then choosing the best grinder for that brewing method would make sense. If you’re more of an all-rounder or it will be used by different people with different tastes, then a burr grinder that’s as flexible as possible, while still providing consistent grounds at different sizes, might be the better option.
Due to the fact that a manual coffee grinder is meant to be held and used in your hands, they tend to be fairly compact so they are able to be used easily and safely. As a result, they are not the best for grinding large quantities of coffee beans. The average cup of coffee will require about 10 grams of grounds, and the average manual coffee grinder will probably be able to produce around 30-40 grams of grounds – giving you enough for about 3-4 decent cups. If you are grinding for a lot of people or are wanting to brew more than a couple of cups, you might need to opt for a grinder with a larger capacity, or a different grinder altogether. But unless you’re making coffee for the whole family, the benefits of a manual burr grinder should outweigh having to grind more than once.
Manual burr grinders are typically pretty easy to look after and don’t require a huge amount of maintenance. You always want to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, of course, but if you’re grinding darker, oily beans, the oil can build up in the grinder and eventually affect the taste and flavor of your coffee. You should probably aim to clean your grinder every couple of weeks, and as most manual burr grinders often need some kind of recalibration, you can combine these two chores to keep your grinder in the best shape. Some grinders may need more or less maintenance than this, and you probably don’t want a grinder you’re constantly having to clean, so bear this in mind when choosing – it’s also worth considering grinders that come with their own cleaning kits.
The majority of burr grinders, whether countertop or manual, typically come with everything you need to be able to achieve the coffee grounds you need to make your brew, but it’s always worth checking if any useful accessories or additional tools come with your new grinder. Most grinders will need cleaning fairly regularly, so any included cleaning tools (brushes, blower etc.) will be useful and save you having to buy them yourself. Manual grinders, particularly those that are designed for you to use when traveling, camping, etc., often come with convenient carrying cases – which are useful accessories even if your manual grinder is going to stay at home.
Perhaps one of the factors with the biggest influence on which burr grinder you decide to go for could be your budget. The price range for burr grinders is huge, with manual grinders starting from around $20, and electric versions for not much more, all the way up to the state-of-the-art electric grinders with titanium burrs, features that could confuse a professional barista, and four-figure price tags. If you have a list of the essential features you want from your grinder this will help you narrow down the best option for your wallet, and if you’re mindful of the ‘nice to have’ options, it may be that your budget will stretch to one that has those, too.
GOOD TO KNOW
A burr grinder is a burr grinder, right? I’ve already looked at how you can have conical burrs or flat burrs, but even with the conical burrs found in most grinders, the burrs themselves can be made of different materials. For example, manual burr grinders at the cheap end of the price range will often have plastic burrs. While you might expect a plastic burr grinder not to perform as well, they may last longer as they don’t dull as quickly as metal burrs. There are also ceramic burrs, which like plastic, can also be fairly resilient and potentially last twice as long as steel burrs, but they can chip if you get grit or stones in with your beans. Steel burrs tend to be sharper to start with, but will dull over time, and then if you have the money you could even splash out on titanium burrs! Whatever you choose, just be aware of the potential differences and investigate how long your burrs are likely to perform well before they either need replacing or your grinder is done.
The good news is that if you opt for a manual burr grinder, it should be pretty environmentally friendly. Aside from it not needing any electricity to operate, just a firm grip and a short arm workout, they are usually made of readily recyclable materials such as different types of metal. Most also allow you to replace the burrs once they’re worn, further extending their life. Electric burr grinders will obviously consume some power, although most should be fairly energy efficient, this might be something to bear in mind if you plan to use your grinder a fair bit. Also, as there is more to them than with manual grinders, it’s worth investigating what metals, plastics, and electronic components they’re made of and how recyclable they are, not to mention how easy it is to replace parts in these more complex machines.
The best BURR Coffee Grinders
The 1Zpresso J grinder (formerly called the JX) is a fantastic all-round manual grinder, and even though it specifies it is designed for pour-over brewing, it can handle grind sizes from coarse to fine, which means it’s ideal for most brewing methods, from drip and pour-over to espresso – which can be rare in a manual grinder.
The reliable 48mm stainless steel burrs, combined with the range and accuracy of the settings mean that this is a simple grinder to use that produces 30-35g of consistent grounds quickly and easily. With a price tag of just over $100, it is not the cheapest manual grinder available, but the performance you’ll get from it makes it good value for the investment and comparable to some basic electric grinders.
With a solid build quality that, thanks to its metal body and silicone grip, which also helps it look good, this is a reliable manual grinder in every sense. With its foldable handle and accompanying cleaning brush, it’s also a great grinder to take on your travels.
Solid design & burrs
Can do espresso
Reliable & consistent
Mid-range price tag
For anyone wanting an easy-to-use electric burr grinder, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro is definitely worth checking out. With good design, strong looks, consistent performance, and simple but customizable settings, it’s a great choice for anyone wanting to up their grinding game without investing huge amounts of time and money.
With 60 precise settings, it can handle grinds from French Press course to the finest espresso, and even allows you to grind directly into your portafilter, paper filter, or the air-tight container that comes with the grinder, so there’s less mess, too.
There are pre-programmed settings for all brewing types for quick and easy grinding, but these can be easily adjusted using the precise electronic timer and cups/shots settings, with a large LCD display making this easy to do and to see what you’re setting the finder up for.
Combine all this with its large capacity hopper and you have a consistent electric grinder for a mid-range budget of around $200 that should satisfy most home baristas. Some reliability issues have been reported, and while these seem to be a minor problem, they may be worth bearing in mind as Breville doesn’t appear to do replacement parts at this time.
Coarse to fine grinds
LCD display for simple setup
Direct grinding for less mess
Some reliability issues reported
The Timemore Chestnut C2 has a lot going for it as far as an entry-level manual burr grinder, not least of which is the price and what you get for your money. For around $70 you get a great little grinder that will manage grounds for most coffee types, although it’s not going to be the first choice if you want fine espresso grounds.
It is a cheaper grinder, so while it is pretty solidly built, with good quality stainless steel burrs that are good at what they’re designed to do, it may sound and feel a little ‘cheaper’ than some more expensive grinders. Having said that, it should give you consistent grounds for all coffee types except espresso, and the burrs are very effective for a grinder at the lower end of the price range.
There is a newer C3 version of this grinder, which Timemore says is an improvement. Still, with a lukewarm reception and questions over whether it is actually better, you could save a few books and go for the perfectly capable C2 instead. Or use the extra money to upgrade to the C2 with a foldable handle, for extra portability, or the C2 Max if you want a slightly bigger collection cup.
Affordable quality manual grinder
Small & compact, ideal for travel
Good quality burrs
Consistent and effective grinding
Smaller collection cup
Not for espresso
The mk4 C40 is the latest iteration of what is probably Comandante’s most popular manual burr grinder. In terms of the difference between this and the very popular mk3, Comandante has made some slight improvements that make the grinder easier to fill and clean.
Everything else is pretty much the same and what C40 users have come to love about this grinder. You still have the impressive high-alloyed, high-nitrogen stainless steel ‘nitro’ burrs that grind really well, along with a range of settings for all coffee types, from French Press coarse to espresso fine. Solid design and contemporary good looks are again present, with a range of grinder materials/colors to choose from.
While still an impressive and consistent grinder, the C40 has always been quite expensive, and with adjusting the 40 different grind settings quite fiddly compared to other cheaper grinders with exterior numbered settings, not to mention the difference between settings making ultra-fine adjustments difficult, you might be able to get similar/better performance in other grinders costing a lot less.
High-performance ‘nitro’ burrs
Larger than most 40g capacity
Full grind range
Higher end of price range
The K-Ultra is at the top of 1Zpresso’s grinder range and has all the features and performance you would expect from their flagship burr grinder. With their specialised heptagonal ‘K Burr’ that provides high-performance grinding across the complete range of grind sizes, making it suitable for all brewing methods.
Coupled with this are the user-friendly fine adjustment capabilities, thanks to the external settings dial that offers 100 clicks per rotation, at 20 minor increments, making it easier to dial in the exact to dial in the exact grind size you’re looking for.
Nice features like the magnetic catch cup and foldable handle make this a great grinder to use at home or on your travels, especially with the included carry case and cleaning kit, and despite the higher price tag that this top-of-the-line grinder comes with, the performance represents good value for money.
Easy to use external number settings
Fine 20-micron adjustment
100 clicks per rotation
Suitable for all grind sizes
Bit more expensive
There are plenty of good manual burr grinders on the market, in fact, I’ve looked at a few of them. But when I wanted to choose what I thought was the best, I went with the VSSL Java because, not only does it do a good job of what all grinders should do, i.e. grind coffee beans, but it also has a lot of other positive features that make it stand out.
The grinder itself is made of aircraft-grade aluminum with a high-carbon stainless steel conical burr and 50 different grinder settings that should allow you to cover grind sizes from coarse French Press coffee, all the way down to the fine grinds you need for espresso.
As well as all this, it is the perfect manual grinder to take out and about with you, whether traveling or camping/backpacking. Super hard-wearing, compact, and durable, with neat features like a carabiner handle for attaching to your pack, as well as a cleaning brush and its own pouch this is a great little grinder for home and away, as long as you’re not grinding for large numbers.
50 settings for precision grinding
Can do fine espresso grounds
Robust build meant for outdoors
Carabiner handle for carrying
Small size means only 1-2 cups per grind
The Baratza Encore makes my list of the top best burr grinders because it’s straightforward and does a good job for most coffee brewing methods. Good-looking and compact, it comes with 40mm conical hardened steel burrs and 40 different grind settings. Its simple looks reflect the simplicity with which you can set it and great your coffee grounds. It’s also pretty simple to clean and look after with tool-free access to the burrs.
The Baratza Encore is best used for the medium-coarse end of the grind spectrum, so great for slow-brewing methods like pour-over, Chemex, Aeropress, and drip coffee. Where it falls a little short is its inability to offer really fine grounds that espresso lovers will need, but there is an answer in the shape of the Baratza Encore ESP.
If you like the Encore but also want the ability to get the really fine grounds you need for espresso, the ESP version has precisely adjustable micro settings that enable you to achieve the fine grounds you need for this type of brewing, making this version ideal for the full range of brewing methods. So whatever your brewing needs, the compact, good-looking Encore and Encore ESP versions make good, reliable burr grinder choices.
40 different grind settings
ESP model for espresso grinds
Low RPM for ‘cooler’ grinds
Large bean hopper
Need ESP model for espresso
The OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder is not only a good little grinder, it’s also a very affordable electric grinder, which is one of the reasons it’s made my list. Retailing for around $100, it has most of what you need in an electric burr grinder with the added benefit of not hurting your wallet.
Unlike most ‘cheap’ grinders, the Oxo not only looks good with its sleek stainless steel design, the important features are also excellent value for money, with stainless steel conical burrs, 15 settings from coarse to fine, a large hopper for your beans and a large stainless steel collection cup.
As well as all this, it’s easy to use and easy to clean. Oxo does say that it will give you fine grounds good enough for espresso, but real espresso aficionados may want something more consistent with finer grounds. Having said that, for pour-over and drip coffee brewing the Oxo does a great job for the price.
Reliable & affordable grinder
Large capacity bean hopper
UV protection for bean hopper
15 grind settings + micro settings
Not suitable for espresso
The last drop
So there you have it, not only a list of what I think are the best burr coffee grinders for different situations, budgets, and brewing methods, but also a range of factors to bear in mind if you want to consider any other burr grinders instead. Most ‘grind and brew’ coffee lovers agree that a burr grinder is usually better and more consistent than a blade grinder, so if you’re convinced and agree, you just need to decide what type of burr grinder is right for you.
Electric or manual, conical or flat, metal or ceramic, there’s certainly plenty of choice, but armed with the information above you have a range of good grinders to choose from, as well as a clearer picture of what you need to think about to make your final choice.
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