If you are a coffee connoisseur then you must like to grind your coffee at home and are having a hard time setting on the best coffee grinder.
Let this article be your grinder purchase guide.
In this article, I will try to go over the best coffee grinders, and what you should look for when buying one, and my suggestions at different price ranges.
Why Should You Get a Coffee Grinder?
If you are not already convinced, then here are the reasons why you should invest in a grinder.
For starters, who doesn’t love the scent of freshly ground coffee?
In order to be able to enjoy this not only in your favorite café but also within the comfort of your own home, you need your own coffee grinder.
In addition to this admittedly subjective emotional aspect, there are plenty of other advantages of self-grinding on-demand.
According to scientific studies, over half of the flavors evaporate within a quarter of an hour after grinding.
Optical quality control can be carried out much better on whole beans than on pre-ground beans from the discounter.
You can’t tell from the powder whether stick and stone were ground or what quality the roasted beans were.
In addition, every preparation method needs its individual grind, which, especially with espresso, has to be sensitively adjusted to the external conditions and is difficult to standardize.
Before I dig in and give you some details to consider, I should mention that in this article, I am not really giving you an exact list of what you should go out and purchase, but more so, the things to consider when investing in a coffee grinder.
Before I do that however I want to let you that personally, I own, and happily use the Sage Smart Grinder Pro.
I feel it’s simple, measures correctly, and gives good grind consistency, so it is a great investment.
So if you came here looking for specific advice about which grinder to buy then I highly recommend that one.
You can buy it on Amazon HERE.
If you would like to see more specifications then we have a list of quiet grinders for you.
What To Look for When Buying a Coffee Grinder?
The most important thing is the consistency of the grind.
The task of a grinder is to crush the coffee beans as gently as possible in order to enlarge their surface so that an even extraction can take place.
Homogeneous particle size is particularly important for espresso.
But the preparation of filter coffee becomes futile if you clog the filter, while under-extracted pieces that are too coarse are bobbing around.
Then, What Matters?
The perfect coffee grinder does not run hot, is quiet, fast and cheap, infinitely adjustable, and still spits out a uniform ground coffee.
The cherry on the cake would be that it still looks fancy, has a display, and has no dead space.
You Get What You Pay
The following principle applies to coffee grinders: If you buy cheap, you buy twice – at least.
Experience shows that the deeper you sink into the sea of coffee, the more often you have to upgrade your equipment.
Before buying, you should think carefully about the purposes for which the grinder will be used.
If the only espresso is drunk, the machine must do a precise job, especially in the super to the medium-fine range.
Even the smallest fine adjustments should be possible.
Filter coffee drinkers, on the other hand, are not interested in fine powder, but whether the grinder still delivers consistently good results for Chemex or even Karlsbader Kanne.
If you want to prepare both espresso and filter perfectly, it gets even more tricky.
Grinders that do both equally well and do not tear too big a hole in the household budget are rare.
Electric or Manual?
With manual grinders, a good grist quality is cheaper than with electric ones.
But after the initial euphoria has subsided, do you really still have the time and inclination to get your wake-up coffee every morning?
If you can answer this question with yes and don’t want to spend a small fortune, you should concentrate on hand mills in your search.
However, it should not be underestimated: the finer the grind, the more tedious and difficult the grinding.
For espresso drinkers, in particular, it can quickly degenerate into an arduous show of strength when shot by shot has to be ground manually until the grind and dose are finally perfectly matched and the espresso flows as desired.
Which is the Best Coffee Grinder?
Disk grinders are basically the cheapest electric variant. As the name suggests, a blade driven by a motor cuts the roasted food into larger and smaller pieces at random.
These bean chippers tend to be discouraged due to inconsistent results.
However, they are pretty popular.
Two steel or ceramic discs lying flat on top of one another are responsible for grinding the coffee beans.
With a finer grind, these grinding disks move closer together, with a coarser one further apart.
There are also mills with a conical grinder.
In these conical grinders, the outer cone is fixed, while the inner one is driven by a motor.
But be careful:
Mills for the home barista are often advertised as ‘conical grinders’.
However, these are not per se the ultimate in coffee grinders.
The most important thing is that a powerful motor and large grinding discs complete the ensemble.
The inexpensive conical grinders are usually built with weak motors, which quickly run hot when the speed is too high.
As is well known, heat is one of the most common enemies of coffee and it contributes seriously to the destruction of aromas.
The premier class is clearly gastro mills.
These usually have conical grinders, which are driven by a powerful motor with low speed and high torque.
The disc diameter plays a crucial role in the generation of heat – the larger the grinding discs, the slower they run hot.
This is why gastro mills have built-in discs from 60mm, with devices in the home segment the diameter is 40-50mm.
According to the cost-benefit factor, professional grinders are anything but cheap. They are probably only a worthwhile investment for the most ambitious home baristas.
On a Budget
If you don’t want to compromise on the model and still want to save your wallet, you could fall back on a used grinder.
Here, however, the question arises whether the device was regularly cleaned and serviced by the previous owner and how worn the grinding discs are.
Blunt slices crush the beans like a grinder, producing unclean results.
Grandma’s retro beater mill may have style and evoke childhood memories, but the grist quality will most likely leave a lot to be desired, which is why it is probably better suited as a decorative element.
In the case of used mills, it is best to choose a model in which the grinding disks are exchangeable. So that you can reorder from the manufacturer.
Grinders Under $100
Can you expect solid grinding results from a grinder under $100?
Well, if you really want an electric coffee grinder at this price, you shouldn’t expect too much.
With this budget, it will surely amount to a plastic-clad fly knife mill.
However, here are a few tips to get the most out of a blade drive grinder:
Stop every few seconds during the grinding process. Then gently shake the grinder to distribute the beans evenly in the grinder.
Next, pour the grounds through a sieve and grind the large pieces that got stuck in the sieve again.
After which, sieve a second time and dispose of the remaining oversized remains.
In order to get rid of the fines in addition to the coarse particles, you can spread the grist with your fingers on a piece of kitchen roll.
After tipping, the fine dust particles stick to the cloth.
With a lot of work, you may be able to achieve results for filter coffee.
However, due to the inconsistency and poor reproducibility, the approach seems futile when it comes to preparing espresso.
Grinders under $300
With a budget of $300, you have completely different options.
The built-in materials are of higher quality, some models are equipped with an LCD display, timer, automatic adjustment of the dose when the grinding degree changes, or a holder for hands-free grinding directly into the portafilter.
High-quality hand grinders are available for less than $300.
You can get the Breville Smart Grinder Pro in this range which is an amazing grinder for home use with fancy options.
Grinders under $600
Between $300-600, you have even more freedom of choice.
Fancier, more elaborate designs usually meet more powerful engines.
The built-in grinding disks are also getting bigger and better.
Nevertheless, high-priced grinders are not in principle faster or quieter, and there is no general maxim: the more expensive the more features.
If you want all the bells and whistles and have the budget for it, then go for it!
Grinders upto $600
From $600 the range of top-class home mills and entry-level professional models is mixed.
If you know exactly what you want and need, because you may have already owned two or three cheaper grinders, then you are in the right place.
Here, the prospective buyer’s personal demands and preferences lead to the desired model.
Before buying, it is important to determine for which individual purpose the device is to be used. Then you can start the search with an exact idea.
How important is the appearance, how much value do you place on special accessories and features or a certain manufacturer?
Otherwise, the following contribute significantly to long-term satisfaction:
A small dead space is important to minimize bean waste.
Quite a few devices have so much space between the grinding disks and the ejector that several grams of unwanted stock often get stuck.
If the bean container is removable, it can be cleaned and emptied more easily.
In the case of filter coffee grinders, a collection container should be available, a direct ejection with a portafilter holder for espresso grinders.
Some models scatter very strongly, which can be quite annoying in the long run. As you will have to brush the entire work area after each grinding process.
For this reason, antistatic materials are built into some mills.
The grinding speed is more important for commercial use. Anyone who prepares a handful of coffees a day at home can safely cope if a double shot is ground in 12 instead of 6 seconds.
Below I have added a table, with a small selection of what you get from each price range.
Personally, I think the overall best, for the price, is the Breville/Sage Smart Grinder.
Now you know what you should be looking for in a coffee grinder. You also must have set a budget for this purchase.
All that’s left to do is order one or go buy it yourself!