Finding the BEST coffee grinder can really be a drastic job. And if you are a coffee aficionado, you know that the perfect grinder unit isn’t just about speed: it’s all about the output, consistency, and quality of grinds. This is why instead of picking blade coffee grinders that apparently can do the work faster, we opt for burr types that reflect our mission to find the true “quality” every coffee lover is looking for in their grinds. With burr coffee grinders excelling in terms of consistency, you can experience a cafe-like blend.
Of course, we still respect others who choose blade types. However, using one to grind your precious beans can cause irregularity in their sizes and this can apparently affect the taste of the coffee. Also, the ability of blade coffee grinders can be truly limiting. Due to its inconsistency, you might end up with some bits of grinds larger than others. This is why such a type of grinder is not ideal for a cup of espresso.
Burr coffee grinders, on the other hand, have a better system. As their name implies, they use two burrs that move opposite each other to crush or pulverize the beans within a tight space. With this, you can be sure that each piece of beans would be processed with great uniformity. The burrs can also be adjusted, making them capable of producing ultra-fine grinds. One example is the Capresso Infinity that can give you fine grinds for Moka pot and extra-fine grinds for Turkish coffee. The Baratza brand is also one of the big names in the industry and it has a lot to offer. One of them is the new Virtuoso+ which can shift from fine to coarse grinds with great efficiency.
To get more products like the ones stated above, our SolidSmack Household Appliance and Tool Research Team scoured Amazon to find the best coffee grinders. With the aid and pieces of advice from coffee enthusiasts and baristas, we came up with the ones that can ensure 5-star blends. We also considered other important points such as the advanced features of the unit, price, and build. And to ensure the reliability of each one, we get into our yearly test of the said type of appliance. Here’s what we found out:
1. Baratza Virtuoso+
timed grinding and pulse
40 mm stainless steel conical
Baratza Virtuoso+ is famous among baristas which will assure you of its great reputation. It is the successor of the original Baratza Virtuoso coffee grinder that also made a remarkable name in the industry. So, what’s new about it? Better and more features. This includes the new thermal cutoff switch which will stop the motor in case of overheating due to continuous use.
When we get the first look at it, we noticed how brilliant its external is: digital display, backlit catch bin, and rounded black body. The transparent bean hopper with an 8-ounce capacity is also as alluring as the body itself. It lets you see as the beans slowly enter the grinder and the ground coffee get dropped under your container placed on the lit catch bin. Compared to the former model without this feature, it will allow you to use it and keep an eye on the process even in low-light conditions.
According to our experts, it comes with 40 mm hardened steel burrs that are aided with a high-torque DC motor. With all this, you get a sufficient 550 RPM which is more than enough to get consistent results at all times while preventing heat that can alter the taste of the coffee beans.
It has a timer dial in front of the body that also serves as a pulse-grinding switch by simply pressing the timer knob. During this mode, the screen will display a ‘P’ which will tell you of the current mode you are performing. It also lets users set the timer from 1 to 40 seconds in 0.1-second increments which means great control on one’s end.
Generally, using it is very simple and our experts were overjoyed by its straightforward use. You can adjust the bean hopper to the grind particle size of your liking, set the time, and hit start. You have 40 grind settings to choose from which makes it perfect for French Press, espresso, and more. What we love about it nonetheless is not just the plethora of adjustments you can do in the grind sizes of the beans but in its consistency in its output. When we tried it, it managed to produce uniform and consistent sizes of fine and coarse grinds which really impressed us. This is where you will see the magic conical burrs can bring.
2. Capresso Infinity
40 mm steel conical
This is probably the best coffee grinder you can rely on if you want to reach the extremity of grind perfection: ultra-fine to super-coarse. You can use it for all styles of brew from French Press to espresso, even for Turkish coffee that has a very particular requirement for the grind particle size!
It has 40 mm conical stainless steel burrs that are run by a multiple-gear motor and produce a total of 450 RPM. It is one of the quietest coffee grinders we tested, making it perfect for a household setup. According to the team, the slow-speed motor has a more controlled heat level which is what just you need to assure the taste of the grinds stays the way you want it.
The magic starts with the simplicity of its controls. It has a timer dial which can be adjusted for 5 to 60 seconds. In case you turned the dial too much and want to stop the machine right away, you can simply turn the hopper in a counterclockwise direction. The black dot imprinted on the base should just be moved past the markings so be careful not to go overboard. Doing so will cause the hopper to be detached from the grinder body, with your precious beans dropping everywhere. We think it is something Capresso should work on but it is a small flaw compared to the gigantic things the Infinity unit can do.
It has 4 grind categories such as the Extra-fine, Fine, Regular, and Coarse. This seems typical but it has something huge to offer. These four categories allow 300 to 1200-micron grind range, thanks to the sub-settings under each category. This means that within the Extra-Fine setting, you can still go further and push it to its limit which will give you the finest grinds possible. When tested, we fell in love with how it created the perfect texture required in a cup of Turkish coffee: very fine and without exaggerations… ULTRA fine. Of course, it has its flaws. When we tried to see its ability by setting the Extra-fine and Coarse to their extreme sub-settings, we experienced inconsistencies in its performance. On the other hand, its Fine and Regular categories performed perfectly fine without fuss. Despite all this, it shouldn’t discourage you from considering it. It doesn’t have the smart features of the Breville BCG820BSS or the easy cleanup routine you get from other models, but it is one versatile coffee grinder that can create the right grind particles for all types of brew within its 4 grind category. And to be precise, it is the only coffee grinder at this price point that can pass both the requirements of a decent French Press and Turkish coffee.
3. Breville BCG820BSS Smart Grinder Pro
manual and digital
40 mm stainless steel conical
Breville did a great job at the release of BCG820BSS Smart Grinder Pro by giving the market an affordable unit but with a handful of smart and pro features.
Just like the Baratza Virtuoso+ we tested, it is equipped with an effective 40 mm conical steel burrs. It has a 165-watt motor which can push it up to 450 RPM. This seems typical if you would compare it to other products on the market but Breville pushed really hard to help this masterpiece stand out from other choices.
Its brilliance starts with its versatility. Compared to others with a single catch bin, Grinder Pro lets users put the grinds into the (there’s one included in the package!) container, portafilter, or even filters. We were also overjoyed with the two additional portafilter cradles included in the package. They are perfect for 50-54 mm or 58 mm portafilters and the best thing about them is that you can easily attach and detach them from the magnets installed.
As for the grinder itself, Breville justifies what it really meant by the word ‘smart’ it has added to the name of this model. It has a blue LCD panel that shows the number of shots, grind size, and grind time you set using the dials and buttons of the unit. It has four grind categories (Espresso, Percolator, Plunger, and Filter) and with these controls, you can choose the setting you want and set the number of shots. From that, the machine will automatically set the grinding time. There’s also a manual grind button that will allow you to customize the amount of grind on your own. At first, our team found it hard to figure out how to handle these things as its layout and controls are too far from the conventional models we tested. Fortunately, the LCD was really of great help as it shows everything you need to see.
With all of those things said, Grinder Pro really offers great control on the end of the users. It managed to produce consistent grinds all throughout the series of tests we conducted. Regardless of the setting, it gave us the right size of the particles with pure consistency and uniformity. We also love the fact that its top burr allows 10 steps of micro-adjustments. With this, it lets you give the unit some tweaks according to your needs and get an extra finer or coarser grind! Sweet!
4. Baratza Vario
pulse, smart, and timed grinding
54 mm ceramic flat burrs
Baratza Vario is one of the fewest coffee grinders that can meet cafe-standard grinds. Though it is meant for home use, we won’t be surprised if you would see it in a small cafe due to its great reputation when it comes to durability, consistency, and ability to deliver ultra-fine to super-coarse grinds.
Its ability is attributed to its 54 mm flat ceramic burrs. This is something you won’t always see in models at such a price point since most use steel material nowadays. According to our experts, the ceramic material helps the burrs to last longer. Further, the burrs work at 1350 RPM but for this speed, it was relatively quiet when we tested it. It also didn’t heat up past but in case of such an incident happens, Baratza integrated a thermal cutoff switch that will protect the motor.
On the other hand, besides the removable 6.3-ounce capacity of the catch bin, we also love the portafilter holder attachment that you can use in place of the bin. Even better, the holder can cater to any size of portafilters!
As for grinding ability, you have a total of 230 grind settings. Basically, its grinding system is composed of 10 major settings with 23 sub-settings for each one. This gives you to give your grinds the best tweaks possible and leaves you with an astounding grinding range from 230 to 1150 microns. With such power, we were really pleased when it managed to give us the perfect fine grinds for our espresso. The result for the French Press wasn’t as pleasing as the one mentioned, however. During the test, we were a bit dismayed when we explored its major coarse setting and sub-settings. Regardless of the 23 choices to choose from the latter, it simply couldn’t reach the perfect coarse grind we need. Nonetheless, the plethora of its grind settings can still be beneficial in creating grinds for a lot of other types of brew.
5. Baratza Encore
pulse and timed grinding
40 mm stainless steel conical
If the espresso is the realm of Baratza Vario, French Press is the expertise of the Baratza Encore. It is an entry-level unit that has 40 mm conical stainless steel burrs working at 550 RPM which means a more controlled level of heat during the process. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles such as dose control and timed grinding but it is very equipped in accomplishing the tasks it is meant for. Further, this is what makes it more attractive as it means ease of use on the end of the users. It only has an On/Off switch button on its side, a Pulse button on the front body, and the grind size can be achieved by simply turning or adjusting the hopper. Truly easy. This is why it is a famous option among beginners and enthusiasts.
On the other hand, despite the limited controls it has, it doesn’t lack a good number of grind settings. It offers a total of 40 grind adjustments which range from 250 microns to 1200 microns. It can achieve a decent espresso grind but where you’ll see its power is in the production of French Press grind. When we tested it, it easily managed to deliver extra-coarse grinds. However, during our test, its inconsistency started to become obvious around the maximum settings of 35 to 40. Yet, keep in mind that it is an affordable model. And though you really can’t rely on its extreme settings to get the most perfect and most consistent grinds, it is worth appreciating the wide range of grinds it can cater to.
Best Coffee Grinders - Buyer's Guide
A fast grinder will give you more consistent performance. However, the problem with high-speed grinders (high RPMs or revolutions per minute) is that they can cause heat faster and as you know, heat is not the best when you are grinding coffee beans. High temperatures can affect the grinds, making them bitter.
When looking for a coffee grinder, you could encounter a unit literally offering hundreds of grinding settings. While it might look tempting as it means more options to choose from, some models do it for the sake of marketing gimmick. This is why we tested the entries above to prove the reliability of the numbers and determine how far these numbers can go in terms of creating ultra-fine to super-coarse grinds. You really don’t need hundreds of grinding settings. What you need is a reliable performance from the machine that can achieve the right size of grinds your particular blend needs.
As said, what you need to look for in a coffee grinder is performance. Yet, it is still better if the grinder has some helpful features that will make your work easier. Some of them include LED lights for the catch bin, dose control, timed grinding, screen, and more.
Apparently, the more features the coffee grinder has, the higher the price could be. And while you can always let go of those things, the consistency and precision of the machine are points you shouldn’t ignore if you are really looking for a quality unit. Of course, coffee grinders with great performances cost higher than others but if that’s what you need and really want, we say you better spend extra than end up with a dismaying model.
Best Coffee Grinders - FAQs
Coffee grinders can heat up with continuous use. The heat can affect the taste of the grinds and can make them more bitter. This is why you need to rest the motor when you think it is getting hotter.
Coffee grinders can produce more uniform grinds by using two burrs that move opposite each other to crush or pulverize the beans within a tight space.
Blade coffee grinders are incapable of producing uniform grinds all the time, with some bits being larger over the others. With this, it can’t achieve the fine grinds you need for espresso.