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The moment a coffee bean is ground, all of its wonderful flavors and aromas are most present. Experts recommend grinding beans within minutes before brewing to get the most out of your daily cup of joe.
Grinders can be hefty investments, however. Some are budget priced, but those are typically blade grinders—a variety that’s less consistent and less durable than burr grinders. Burr grinders are heralded for their evenness and consistency (with blade grinders, you’ll often see fine particles mixed with larger chunks) and they produce less heat so the coffee’s flavor profile isn’t altered.
These machines can cost hundreds of dollars, likely more expensive, even, than your actual coffee maker. Our list details a number of reliable options for coffee lovers on all kinds of budgets. After all, the best coffee is fresh coffee.
Here are the top coffee grinders to buy.
Best Overall: Breville The Smart Grinder Pro Coffee Bean Grinder
Consistent grind size
Coffee grounds cup doubles as storage
Short power cord
This grinder has stainless steel conical burrs that are designed to minimize grinding heat and protect the essential oils, maximizing the flavor you get from your coffee beans. It has 60 precise-grind settings from the finest espresso to a coarse grind for French press and everything in between. You’ll always have exactly the right grind for your beans and your coffee grinder.
This has an electronic timer that allows you to adjust the grind time down to two-tenths of a second, so you can produce exactly the amount of ground coffee you need every single time. You can store up to 16 ounces in the hopper, which has a locking system that makes it easy to remove and clean. You can also grind beans directly into a filter or your favorite container, so there’s less to clean.
Sometimes a litany of features can lead to confusion, but not with this machine. Our product tester found the grinder "very comprehensive" and "simple to use." She added that there's a graph on the LCD display that "shows the grind size from coarsest to finest, complete with markers for press, perk, drip, and espresso along the way."
This machine comes with two sizes of portafilter cradles, a ground-coffee container with a lid and a cleaning brush. This model is available in three different colors to fit your kitchen décor.
"If you’re serious about coffee, you’ll be happy with this machine. From the finest grind to the coarsest, the bits of coffee were consistent." — Donna Currie, Product Tester
Best Electric: Bodum BISTRO Burr Grinder
Various grind settings
Finest grind is perfect size
Full bean hopper spills beans if removed
Coarsest grind is uneven
Hopper exposes beans to light
Prone to static cling
The Bodum Electric Burr Grinder is a middle-tier option, ideal for customers who want a few advanced features but don't want to break the bank. The conical burrs are an upgrade over cheaper, less effective blade grinders. This machine also has 12 adjustable grind settings, ranging from a fine espresso grind to a coarser grind, best for French presses. A built-in timer is extremely handy, and part of the reason the item receives so much praise for its ease of use.
There are some drawbacks worth noting, however. Even though the glass coffee ground catcher is meant to reduce static cling—common with finer grinds—our reviewer said the item is "inexplicably prone to static cling." She added that the grinder isn't quite as effective on the coarser grind settings, often leading to an end result that's "chunky and a bit uneven." Nonetheless, the Bodum Electric Burr Grinder earned an above-average score in our product testing.
"If you want a simple grinder that can be set once and used every day without fuss, this grinder will do the trick." — Donna Currie, Product Tester
Best Simple Design: OXO BREW Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
Bean hopper locks securely
Integrated scale to weigh beans
Senses empty bean hopper
Coarsest grind is chunky
Scale sometimes needs to be tared
No cord wrap
Want a burr grinder without useless, unnecessary frills? This OXO grinder might be your best bet. One feature that really sets the item apart is its built-in scale. During our product testing, our reviewer found that the "scale is accurate to the gram" and perfectly "integrates with the grinding operation." Such precision leads to a consistently delicious cup of coffee. Another small perk is that the "grinder won’t start if the cup isn’t on the scale," which prevents grounds from flying everywhere "if someone bumps or removes the cup."
On top of that, the easy-to-use digital interface lets you change the programs and dose weights, and it's also precise enough to give you anything from one batch of espresso-ground coffee to five doses of filter-ground coffee, at the touch of a button. You can also make minute adjustments to coffee strength with the gentle twist of a knob, and the hopper is easily removable to switch from bean to bean whenever necessary.
Best Budget: Hamilton Beach Custom Grind Coffee Grinder
Easy to use
Removable, dishwasher-safe grinding chamber
Small capacity (5 ounces)
For die-hard believers in burr grinders, it’s nearly impossible to find one that’s both decently operable and truly inexpensive. That’s why we’ve landed on this blade grinder from Hamilton Beach, a solid option for those who aren’t interested in spending more than $30 on this part of their morning coffee routine. This device is certainly not as advanced or customizable as more expensive models, but it does offer some broad adjustment options for at least a degree of precision above a single-button design. And it holds a lot — up to 14 cups worth of coffee. Simply fill the stainless steel chamber, set your quantity and the coarseness of your grind, and press the button. It will automatically grind to your desired consistency and then turn itself off, allowing you to continue your morning routine in the meantime. And the chamber is removable, meaning you can pour out your grounds with ease and clean up in a snap.
“Nine out of ten times that you get a bad cup of coffee it’s because you use a different amount of coffee grounds, a different amount of water, or a different size grind. We recommend that you get a burr grinder because it will grind your coffee evenly and consistently. And consistency is key.”
-Allie Caran, Director of Education at Partners Coffee
Best Value: Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
40 grind settings
Prone to static cling
Tinted coffee bin, difficult to see through
If a $500 grinder isn't in your future but you want something reliable, Baratza has another model for you. The Virtuoso's conical burrs will last roughly two-thirds as long as the ceramic burrs in the Vario, and their shape encourages an even and just as adjustable particle size as those in the machine's more expensive, flashier cousin.
The Virtuoso has the capacity to create grinds coarse enough for French press and fine enough for just about everything short of espresso, which makes it ideal for the everyday coffee geek who loves their daily brew but isn't ready to go down the espresso rabbit hole. Baratza is also dedicated to service, which means that parts and repair are relatively simple on these units, unlike many other home appliances available.
Best Versatile: KitchenAid Blade Coffee and Spice Grinder Pack
Easy to use
Grind size is changed manually
If you shy away from single-use appliances (or don’t like them taking up your limited storage space), then the KitchenAid Coffee and Spice Grinder Pack has appealing versatility. Its stainless steel blades can grind coffee beans for your morning joe or take on herbs and spices for lightning-fast ingredient prep while cooking. And with its single-button design, it couldn’t be easier to use. The downside of the one-touch button, however, is that the only way to adjust grind size is by manually grinding for a shorter or longer amount of time, which may lead to unevenness.
The item achieves such versatility through interchangeable pieces, which may be an annoyance for some or a non-issue for others. It comes with a 4-ounce hopper for coffee beans and two 2-ounce grinding bowls for spices. This grinder doesn’t offer the advanced features or precise control of the more expensive models on this list—coffee connoisseurs may even express horror at the concept of a multi-use grinder-—but if you’re looking for a way to grind coffee at home without devoting counter space to a single-use device, then this is a worthwhile option.
Best Manual: Hario Skerton Plus Ceramic Coffee Mill
Adjustable grind size
Tough to keep stable
Coarser grinds can be inconsistent
While the Hario Skerton Plus is less stable than the Porlex hand grinder, its separate parts make it an ideal travel companion: A screw-top lid is included in the package, making it possible to remove the grinder top, seal the bottom bowl, and use it as a storage unit for freshly hand-ground coffee. The ceramic burrs are long-lasting and precise, offering an incredibly even grind particle size for a manual grinder. As with the Porlex (and basically every other hand-powered grinder in existence), adjustments to the grind-particle size are something of a pain to make, but the accuracy and uniformity of the grind once you settle on the right one is hard to beat at the price.
Best for Espresso: KitchenAid Burr Coffee Grinder
15 grind settings
Unique low-RPM grinding
On the larger side
This burr coffee grinder has a unique shape that’s reminiscent of a KitchenAid stand mixer, but that shape also makes it shorter than the more upright grinders, so it fits better under low kitchen cabinets or on shelves. It has 15 different grind settings, all the way down to a very fine grind that’s ideal for making espresso.
This has stainless steel cutting burrs that are durable and powerful. The burrs turn at a slow speed, so there’s less frictional heat that can degrade the coffee flavor, no matter how fine the grind. The seven-ounce bean hopper and grind jar are made from glass, so you’ll get less static cling that’s common with plastic containers. This includes a coffee scoop and a burr grinding brush for easy cleaning. This grinder includes a one-year hassle-free replacement warranty.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Erin Meister has spent years both working in and reporting on the coffee industry. Since moving to New York City in 2003, she has worked at Joe Coffee Company and Counter Culture Coffee. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe Serious Eats, Rachael Ray Every Day, and more. Erin is also the author of New York City Coffee: A Caffeinated History.
This piece was edited by Derek Rose, the coffee and tea expert for The Spruce Eats. He researches a variety of coffee products, from measuring scoops to commercial espresso machines, and interviews field experts for their insight. Some of his favorite coffee beans to grind up are the extra-dark, extra-caffeinated Death Wish Coffee.
What to Look for in a Coffee Grinder
A large hopper is convenient since you don’t need to refill it daily, but if you like to brew different types of coffee on different days, a small bean hopper works just as well—plus, it reduces the overall size of the grinder.
Grind size options
How many types of coffee do you drink? If you always make the same variety, you may never need to change the grind size. However, if you make espresso on some days and French press coffee on others, it’s nice to be able to select exactly the right size every time.
Most grinders don’t need a lot of cleaning, particularly if you use them daily. Even if you switch between dark and light roasts, a few errant beans won’t ruin the brew. But if you occasionally like flavored coffees, you’ll want a grinder that’s easy to clean, so your morning coffee doesn’t retain a hint of hazelnut for longer than you like.