Monday, May 20, 2024

The Best Coffee Grinders in 2018 – Overall Value & Quality

I have spent the last several weeks combing through all manner of coffee grinders. Bladed and Burr, I have narrowed down the list to what I feel offer the best value for money. This is not a list for the mega rich, this is a list for all the coffee lovers out there who know what they want to make, and don’t want to spend a couple a hundred dollars making it. All of the grinders I’ve reviewed have had their good points and their bad points, and quite a few were great at one kind of grind, and less so at another, so I will be paying special attention to the style of coffee that each grinder is most suited to.

There are two kinds of grinder on the market at the moment, the bladed grinder and the burr grinder. Broadly speaking the burr grinder is the better option. There is a simple reason for this. Uniformity. After the general level of coarseness, the uniformity of the grind is the most important part of making a good coffee. When you brew, no matter the method, the grind releases its flavor and chemicals at a rate dependant on the size of the individual particles. When the particles are randomly sized you get different rates, a muddled favor, and either a weak or bitter drink. Bladed grinders cannot do a coarse uniform grind, making them ill-suited for French press, and even drip coffee brewing. Burr grinders can grind uniformly to any coarseness level.

There is two areas that a bladed grinders do very well in. The fine grind, as there is a limit as to how small the grain can get, so holding the button in for long enough tends to leave you with a very usable fine grain, and versatility. Burr grinders are not nearly so good for making spice rubs. A combination difficulty cleaning, and the shape of the grind mechanism. Bladed grinders can make great spice mixes, and even rudimentary smoothies.

Outside of delivery method there is one other major difference in grinders. Whether or not they are electric. I prefer electric grinders, but there are many folk out there who like the overall of aesthetics of the manual grinder. Many of them look gorgeous, and the effort involved in grinding my hand literally makes the coffee taste better to the person who made it, according to some studies. I don’t know about that, seen as I just make coffee, I have others do the drinking, but it is an interesting idea a the very least. I have decided then to separate this list by manual and electric, as opposed to burr and blade, as there is only the one bladed grinder on the list.

Best Electric Coffee Grinders in 2017

KRUPS F203 Electric Spice and Coffee Grinder

KRUPS Grinder Let’s get the bladed build out of the way. I know that for the real coffee enthusiast a bladed grinder is no good, but for the likes of me, who make moka pot coffee almost exclusively, a bladed grinder is perfect. I have been using the KRUPS for a while now, and it is true that the build quality isn’t he best in the world, it does exactly what I need it to do. Grind beans extra fine. In addition, it is super easy to clean and great for making spice rubs. I’m more of a cook than a barista, and a device that can take on multiple roles in my kitchen is preferable. Icing on the cake is the price. Sub $20 in most places. I have reviewed better bladed builds, but none can beat the price to quality ratio on offer here.

Read the full review here.

Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind

Cusinart Grinder When I first reviewed the Cuisinart I was a little unfair to it. Looking back I have no idea why I thought the $40 range was expensive, maybe it’s because I’m cheap, or maybe it’s because I had just got done reviewing the wonderful KRUPS up there. Regardless, my opinion on the build itself remains unchanged. The coarse grind is fairly uniform, and when you lower the settings a little it becomes better, while the fine is fine as a very fine thing. Being quite good at making different types of coffee is a good thing, for those with multiple brewing methods available, but for the specialist you are going to want to read on. This is the middle of the road option, for the coffee fan that doesn’t quite yet know what brewing method they want to stick with yet. Overall, excellent.

Read the full review here.

Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

Baratza Featured The Baratza range has a reputation of excellence, and their most expensive grinders really are works of art, from both a use and aesthetic perspective. The Encore is one of their cheaper models, and the quality of coffee on offer here is fantastic. The $100 to $120 range is the upper bound of what I would consider cheap, and considering what you can get for this price there is little reason to go higher. The only reason the Encore missed out on the top spot in the electric category is the slight difficulty in use. Don’t get me wrong, setting it up and getting it grinding is fairly easy, the difficulty comes when cleaning it. What’s worse, when you grind slightly too much beans in one go the machine will clog, requiring a complete clean. Not a huge issue of you’re careful, but something to consider.

Read the full review here.

Gourmia GCG195 Stainless Steel Electric Coffee Grinder

Gourmia Featured My top pick in the bets electrical grinders that don’t break the bank list is the Gourmia. It can do everything the Baratza Encore can do, and do it as well, without the slight design issue the latter suffers from. Tear down is super quick and simple, and I found cleaning it out a joy, well not a joy, it is still cleaning, but the process was at least painless. The quality of the grains was top notch, and the french press brew smell glorious, and I am told it tasted pretty good too. I mentioned my love of the Moka pot earlier, and I am happy to say that the Gourmia can grind up a fine grain that would melt in your mouth, if you wanted to eat it. Price range is in the $100 to $120 range, same as the Encore.

Read the full review here.

Best Manual Coffee Grinders in 2017

Now the manual grinders, and one firm reigns supreme here.

JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder

Javapresse Featured These first two are functionally identical, so the cheaper one is ranked higher. I was struck by how similar they felt when I reviewed them, and I would bet money that the Prestige Premium and the Javapresse share a manufacturing hub somewhere out there. Grinding the beans was fairly easy, but be careful how long you’ve been grinding, as taking too long can lead to a poor drink. The coarse setting was okay, while the fine was better, but honestly the uniformity caused me some concern. I love the form factor, and the overall look of the build is gorgeous, few grinders can match the manuals in terms of looks.The Javapresse is n the $20 to $25 range, but tends to skew more expensive than the Culinary prestige.

To read the full review click here.

Culinary Prestige Premium Manual Coffee Grinder

Culinary prestige The Culinary Prestige is nearly identical to the Javapresse in terms of look and feel. I guess there is a limit to how different a manual grinder can be, but on the plus side they both make excellent coffee. The grains are a little more random than I would like, but you can get some good results in the middle of the pack settings, excellent for a drip coffee. The main difference that I have found is the price, both are in the nice cheap $20 to $25 range, but the Culinary Prestige skews cheaper, making it better in my eyes. Be sure to check the prices yourself when you go looking for one to try out, at this range it can change on a dime.

To read the full review click here.

Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Mill Grinder

Hario Grinder Featured Here’s a surprise, I am sure all you coffee aficionados are aghast at the Hario Skerton not topping the list, but there is a simple reason for it. The highest coarseness setting on the Hario is not up to snuff. There. I said it. Don’t get me wrong, you can get a damn fine fine grind, and the second and third coarsest settings are fairly good, but for a good french press coffee you want a nice coarse uniform grind, and if that is your primary brewing method the Hario Skerton is not for you. In addition, I don’t like the stiffness of the grind, now, that might be due to it being a new grinder, and I don’t have the time to grind a hundred times and see what it’s like. At the end of the day this is still an amazing products, and well worth the sub $40 asking price, be sure to look around for the best value.

To read the full review click here.

Hario Mini Mill Slim Hand Coffee Grinder

Hario Mini Mill And my top pick for manual grinders is the Skerton’s smaller brother, the Mini. I adore my Hario mini. It’s highest coarseness setting is perfect, and the form factor fits me well. I tend to only make a cup or twos worth of coffee at ay one time, so this is great. the quality on offer is up to Hario’s usual standard, and the price is excellent, you can find it for around $30, give or take $5 in most places. the Hario range has only one big caveat. Most of the documentation is in Japanese. Not a huge issue in the age of the internet, but something that needs to be addressed by the firm. There is one thing to look out for as a consumer as well. Hario is popular, and so there are a myriad of fakes out there, coming from China for the most part. Be very careful about who you decide to do business with.

To read the full raving review, click here.


There we have it, my top picks for grinders that do the job, and don’t cost hundreds of dollars. I might eventually look at the more expensive models in more detail, but honestly I cannot see much of a difference in terms of grind quality. Sure, they might be more consistent, but that is hard to get across. If you have a grinder that you like, but didn’t make the cut, let me know i the comments and I’ll take another look at my list.

Barry W Stanton
Barry W Stanton
Irish born writer who drinks too much caffeine and reads too much Terry Pratchett. I enjoy long walks on the server and Korean cuisine.


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