Our Complete Guide To Finding The Best Burr Grinder

Our Complete Guide To Finding The Best Burr Grinder

A great cup of coffee in the morning can change the course of the day, and a bad one can worsen it. If you’re looking to make the best coffee at home, then you’re going to need the right equipment to brew it. As you would expect, the coffee machine and the beans that you use will influence the flavor of your joe the most.

However, if you want to be sure that your coffee brewing goes as smoothly as possible, then you’re going to need some other accessories. For example, if your coffee maker doesn’t come equipped with a built-in grinder, then you’re going to need to get your hands on the best burr grinder.

Coffee In Grinder

Finding the best burr coffee grinder is often a challenge because you won’t know how it performs until you get your hand on it. Low-quality grinders also typically have problems with reliability, so there’s a good chance that you may end up wasting some money if you pick the wrong model.

Unfortunately, unless you have a repertoire of burr grinder knowledge, then you’re likely taking a shot in the dark when picking the best product for your needs. We’re here to take some of the guesswork out of the buying process, and we’re going to review five of the best burr grinders on the market.

Our list will cover three choices in the best conical burr grinder category, while the other two products will be in the best manual burr grinder section. We’ve chosen a wide range of products to ensure that as many readers as possible can find the model that appeals to them. Now, let’s get into our burr coffee grinder reviews.

Best Conical Burr Grinder

Winner: Baratza Virtuoso Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

The Baratza Virtuoso is a high-end coffee grinder for customers who want the best of the best and don’t mind spending a little more money on their appliances.

Coming in at about 230 dollars, you’ll find that this is one of the most expensive grinders out there, but we’d argue that it’s worth the cost.

This conical burr grinder comes equipped with a wide range of features that help improve its performance and put it a cut above the rest of its competitors.

For example, the sculptured top and base may not have a specific function, but they help make this burr grinder look like more of a work of art than an appliance.

Specifications:

  • Sculptured base and top improve aesthetics
  • 40 different settings improve versatility
  • High-quality 40mm conical burrs enhance the quality of grounds
  • Features a 60-second time for optimal grinding
  • Designed with a small footprint to save space
  • Single button control and an adjustable dial
  • The burrs are manufactured in Europe

The design of this grinder is about more than just form, though, as function has also been considered. The Baratza Virtuoso features a small footprint which ensures that it will fit in even the most crowded of kitchens, so you won’t have to worry about displacing things just to make space for it.

When it comes to the actual grinding performance, then you’ll be more than satisfied with the 40 different grind settings, giving you the perfect consistency for a wide range of beans. You’ll also find that this grinder is about twice as fast as its nearest competitors, so you won’t have to wait around.

The grinder is also equipped with a 60-second timer that will track the duration of the grind, to ensure that you don’t end up wasting your time when your grounds are ready. All of the controls are laid out, though you won’t find much beyond a grind button and a dial to help choose the setting.

Of course, the most significant benefit of buying one of these grinders is in the build quality. With burrs made in Europe, you won’t have to worry about this model suddenly failing on you. If you’re looking for a high-end burr grinder, and it’s within your price range, this model from Baratza is an excellent choice.

OUR RATING


Runner-Up: Rancilio HSD-ROC-SD Rocky Espresso Coffee Grinder

If you looked at the previous model and figured that you could do better than that, then this is the coffee grinder for you.

The Rancilio HSD Rocky Espresso Coffee grinder is a heavy-duty machine that wouldn’t be out of place in a commercial setting, likely due to its inclusion of 50mm commercial-grade burrs.

The inclusion of such high-quality burrs ensures that this model has excellent grinding performance, but they are also complemented by a powerful, 166-watt direct drive motor.

Along with keeping your burrs spinning at a rate of 1725 RPM, this motor is also designed to be far quieter than those installed in other coffee grinders.

Specifications:

  • Equipped with 50mm commercial burrs to improve grind performance
  • Grounds are deposited directly onto a porta filter
  • The 166-watt direct drive motor is quiet and efficient
  • Each unit is fully tested before delivery to ensure quality
  • Hopper capacity: 0.65 lbs
  • Spin the hopper to change the grind setting

All of this means that this is one of the quickest coffee grinders on the market, and you won’t have to worry about finding half-ground chunks in the filter once you’re done. Speaking of which, this machine deposits your grounds onto a metal plate that is shaped to accommodate a porta filter, improving ease of use.

With a hopper capacity of a little over 0.6 pounds, you can grind about 7.7 lbs of coffee per hour, making this model perfect for even light commercial use. This model’s robust design makes it an excellent choice for larger households and families, where several people are likely to use it over the course of a day.

Even with extended use, the Rancilio HSD is designed to last as long as possible, so you likely won’t be buying a new grinder any time soon. However, one thing to keep in mind is that the superior build quality makes this model much heavier than other high-end coffee grinders.

If you’re worried about a product arriving broken or malfunctioning, you’ll be happy to hear that each Rancilio HSD grinder is tested out before being sent to the customer. If you’re looking for the best coffee burr grinder and you don’t care about the price, then this is the ideal option.

OUR RATING


Alternative: OXO BREW Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

The OXO BREW Conical Burr Grinder is an excellent choice for buyers who want a quality product but don’t want to break the bank.

While this model may not feature parts made in Europe, it is still a high-quality burr grinder with a variety of aspects that help make it more user-friendly.

Starting with the most important part of the grinder, the 40mm burrs are made out of stainless steel for improved resistance to corrosion and superior durability.

This helps ensure that you get your money’s worth out of this conical burr grinder, as it will be sure to last longer than otherwise.

Specifications:

  • The 40 mm stainless steel burrs are designed to be durable
  • 15 settings with incremental micro-settings
  • Equipped with a start timer that remembers your preferred grinding time
  • Tinted hopper holds up to 0.75 lbs of coffee beans
  • Comes with a grounds container
  • Features a small footprint

Grinding settings range from fine to coarse, and they’re spread out over 15 marked increments, though there are also micro-adjustments between each of those levels. This lets you get the perfect consistency for your cup of coffee, though it may take some trial and error to decide on the right one.

As for the features that make this one of the most user-friendly coffee grinders out there, the most impressive one is the start timer. The machine will remember exactly how long you like to grind your coffee for, so if you’re relatively consistent with the kind of brew that you drink, then you’ll love this feature.

The hopper that comes with this coffee grinder is tinted so that it can protect your beans from UV light that can damage them. With a capacity of 0.75 lbs, you can keep a supply of coffee beans in this grinder, ensuring that you don’t have to fill it up every time you go to use the appliance.

For the price, we have to admit that we were also impressed by the build quality of this coffee grinder. As you go lower in price, it’s normal to expect the quality to drop, but this model looks like it’s made to last you a long time. If you’re looking for value for money, look no further than this.

OUR RATING


Best Manual Burr Grinder

Winner: Coffee Gator Manual Burr Grinder

The Coffee Gator has revolutionized the world of coffee, and we’d argue that this is the best burr grinder for French press that you’ll come across.

While it may not be the most expensive manual grinder out there, the Coffee Gator is still rather pricey, but throughout our review, we found that it was well worth the money.

The first thing we noticed is that this model has 15 different grinding settings, which is nearly unheard of for a manual grinder.

This will allow you to brew all kinds of different coffee, ranging from pour-over brews all the way to joe that’s been French pressed.

Specifications:

  • Comes equipped with fifteen adjustable settings
  • Tight build tolerances improve stability and grinding precision
  • Magnetic top makes the grinder easy to load up
  • Features a glass collection container
  • Noiseless operation
  • Only 50 revolutions needed to grind your coffee

The most obvious reason for this grinder’s high price is its excellent build quality. Unlike competing models, the Coffee Gator has very tight construction tolerances, meaning that it grinds better and that it’s less likely to malfunction. Another advantage is that this grinder is almost entirely noiseless.

One of the main problems with manual coffee grinders is that they simply take too much effort to use, and they can feel like you're endlessly rotating the handle. The Coffee Gator is designed to get the job done quicker than the competition, taking an average of 50 revolutions to get done while competing models too up to 150.

This coffee grinder is also designed to be as user-friendly as possible, and it comes equipped with an easily detachable magnetic top. Whenever you're ready to load up the hopper, pop off the top, throw in your coffee beans, then put it back on, and you'll be ready to grind.

When you’re done grinding your coffee beans, you’ll find that the grounds have been deposited into a glass container at the bottom, much like in a traditional manual grinder. While it may be a little more expensive than other manual grinders, nothing can beat the Coffee Gator’s quality.

OUR RATING


Runner-Up: Handground Precision Manual Coffee Grinder

This manual coffee grinder from Handground Precision may be a little more affordable than the previous choice, but it’s still one of the best options on the market.

While it may not come equipped with the same features, and even though its performance may not be consistent, this model is also half the price of the Coffee Gator.

For your money, you'll get a choice of three different colors, though keep in mind that the stainless steel shade costs extra.

You'll also get a choice of 15 different grinding settings that have been specialized for brewing methods that include drip, cold brew, Chemex, French press, and much more.

Specifications:

  • Available in three colors: black, white, and stainless steel
  • 15 settings give you the versatility for various brewing methods
  • Features a 40mm conical burr mill that’s made out of ceramic
  • Triple-mounted axle negates wobble in the burrs
  • Extremely close tolerances improve grind performance
  • Almost silent operation

The most impressive part of this coffee grinder is its components and the material that they're made out of. Unlike other coffee grinders, the burrs in this model are built out of ceramic, and they feature a triple-mounted axle that helps ensure that they don't wobble while they move around.

These axles are created using a CNC machining process that gives them incredibly tight tolerances. This helps improve the performance of the grinder, but it also makes it more reliable. Along with the excellent build quality, you’ll also benefit from a one-year warranty that comes included with each of these grinders.

As with many other manual coffee grinders, this model from Handground Precision is also nearly silent, making it perfect for morning use, when everyone in the house is asleep. You also won’t have to worry about standing around grinding as your arm gets tired, as this model works pretty fast.

Portability is another aspect that was emphasized by the designers of this product, and it’s an excellent choice for camping trips and other times when you’ll need to bring along a coffee grinder. Overall, this model is a more affordable choice, and we’d argue that it’s the best budget burr grinder.

OUR RATING


What Features To Look Out For

Grind Settings

Pouring Coffee In Grinder

The first thing that you’ll want to look for in your new coffee grinder is the selection of grind settings that it comes equipped with. The majority of grinders will come with 15 settings, though lower-priced options may only have one or two, especially if they’re designed for a specific type of brewing.

You should also consider the controls for adjusting the grind settings and how accessible they are. Some grinders have the dial hidden away underneath them or in some other inconvenient spot, so if you’re constantly switching between brewing techniques, then makes sure that the dial is within reach.

Capacity

Another thing to consider is the capacity of the hopper in your new coffee grinder, as that will determine how frequently it needs to be refilled. The capacity of your coffee grinder will usually be linked to its overall size, with some of the smallest coffee grinders holding enough beans for only one or two cups.

On the other hand, larger models can often hold enough beans for several days worth of coffee, and this can save you time in the long run. While it may only take a minute or two to refill the hopper on your grinder, that time can add up if you have to do it every morning.

Endurance/Material

Another thing to consider is how long your burr grinder can last, as they have a lot of moving parts, and they’ll start to wear out after extended use. One of the key things to consider when determining whether or not your burr grinder will be reliable is the material that it’s made out of.

The best burr grinders usually have burrs that are made out of ceramic or stainless steel, as they’re both resistant to corrosion, and they’re both hard enough to last a long time. Keep in mind that a more reliable coffee grinder can save you money in the long run, even if it costs more up front.

While a cheaper model may initially look like a good investment, it can end up failing on you within a few weeks or months of purchasing it. On the other hand, a high-quality coffee grinder can last you for years, so consider it an investment that will pay itself off, since it won’t need to be replaced for a long time to come.

Consistency

You’re also going to want to look at the consistency of the coffee grounds that a grinder outputs, as that will determine what kind of coffee it will be best for. As we mentioned earlier, coffee grinders have adjustable levels so that you can get different kinds of grounds, but some are geared towards a certain type of ground.

For example, some coffee grinders are better at chopping up your beans into coarse grounds that are perfect for methods like the French press. On the other hand, you would use a medium consistency for a pour-over brewer, and you’d be better off with fine grounds when making Turkish coffee.

Electric Or Manual

Manual vs Electric Grinder

You’ll also want to look at how your burr grinder operates, as some will use electricity while others will be powered by hand. As you would expect, the best electric burr grinder will often be more convenient than a manual model, but it can also end up costing far more money due to a more complex design.

On the other hand, a manual grinder has a few advantages of its own. If you make your coffee in the morning while everyone else is asleep, then the quiet operation of a manual grinder will appeal to you. Manual models are also less likely to malfunction since they have fewer moving parts.

Ease Of Use

You'll also want to take a look at how user-friendly a coffee grinder is before you pick it up. If you have to break out the instructions every time you use it, then your coffee grinder will likely be more of a frustration than anything, and it will probably end up sitting around collecting dust.

Take a close look at the controls on the burr grinder that you’re considering purchasing. Ease of use is only really a crucial concern with electronic grinders, as they’re the only ones with a range of controls. However, manual grinders should have a handle that’s easy to turn, and they should be easy enough to open up for cleaning.

Warranty

The final thing to account for when buying your new coffee grinder is whether or not it comes included with a warranty. If it does, consider how long the warranty will last relative to the build quality of the product. This will determine the likelihood of you getting to benefit from it.

Conclusion

Choosing the right burr grinder can feel nearly impossible when you can even test out the options at your disposal, but we’ve gone ahead and done it for you. We hope that our burr grinder reviews were helpful enough to guide you in your search for the best choice on the market.

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