Blade vs. Burr vs. Manual: The Complete Coffee Grinder Guide

Paul’s passion for making and consuming coffee dates back over thirty years. extensive traveler, he currently lives in florida.

what are the different types of coffee grinders?

As a passionate coffee drinker and consumer for over 30 years, I can say with certainty that grinding your own coffee, rather than buying it pre-ground, is one of the easiest ways to achieve superior beverages.

Reading: Best type of coffee grinder

For those who have little or no experience with the different types of grinders, the variety of products for sale can be confusing; expressions like leaf or strawberry mean nothing to the average person.

the three main types of coffee grinder

  1. blade grinders
  2. burr grinders (two main subcategories: wheel and conical)
  3. manual grinders
  4. I will discuss which types are considered the most accurate, which are considered the messiest, and which are considered the quietest. Last but not least, I’ll cover which types of grinders are generally the cheapest and which tend to be more expensive.

    I will also give examples of specific models on the market that I can personally recommend.

    1. blade grinders

    Blade grinders are generally the cheapest type of coffee grinder.

    As the name suggests, they use a blade to cut the coffee beans. the blade spins very fast and resembles a propeller. cut the beans into smaller and smaller pieces.

    The fineness of the ground coffee is controlled by how long the coffee beans are ground. this makes them less precise than milling machines, as uneven sized coffee beans can result, resulting in a slightly less consistent drink quality.

    The heat generated by the rapidly rotating blades can also affect the flavor.

    These machines are also relatively noisy, compared to hand and burr grinders.

    If you just want something simple for a low cost that gets the job done and doesn’t take up a lot of space, this type of grinder will satisfy most coffee lovers. they are great for small kitchens and office spaces.

    my favorite affordable blade grinder: the krups f203

    I use a krups f203 in my home office. They’re ideal for a small kitchen or work area, as they don’t take up a lot of counter space and are easy to store.

    See also: The Best SF Coffee Shops For Getting Work Done

    I would also recommend a krups for coffee lovers on a budget, they offer an inexpensive opportunity to grind your own beans.


    • inexpensive
    • very compact.
    • The 200-watt motor is fast and allows you to grind quickly.
    • You can use the krups for spices, herbs, nuts, and coffee.
    • easy to clean.
    • reliable, sturdy and durable in my experience.
    • disadvantages

      • noisy. if someone is sleeping nearby, she will wake him up.
      • relatively messy compared to my burr grinder.
      • the fineness of the grind depends on how long you press down. some experience is needed to learn the optimum required for your coffee maker. for example, espresso machines require a very fine grind and French presses much coarser.
      • 2. burr grinders

        This type of grinder works by grinding the coffee beans against a stationary surface with a grinding wheel. the coarseness/fineness of the ground coffee is determined by the position of the burr.

        This means you can determine the size of the ground coffee much more accurately and consistently than with a blade grinder.

        burr grinders often have several settings, allowing you to choose the appropriate coarseness required for your coffee maker.

        There are two main types of burr grinders: those with flat wheels and those with conical wheels.


        this type generally costs less than the two.

        However, they have two main drawbacks compared to taper milling machines. the first is that they can be noisy, due to the wheel, which spins extremely fast; and the second problem is that they are relatively messy.

        however, they are still superior to blade grinders in most respects.

        conical wheels

        conical grinders are generally accepted as the best type of grinder available, but they are also the most expensive.

        Because they can work at a slower speed, you won’t have the heat issues you might have with a blade machine.

        They don’t create as much noise as wheel grinders and are less messy since the grinder doesn’t need to work as fast.

        You can also grind oilier coffee beans without worrying as much about clogging your machine, which can be a problem with other types of grinders.

        my favorite affordable burr grinder: the capresso 560.01 infinity

        See also: 10 Charming Upper West Side Cafes Guaranteed to Satisfy

        This capresso model is the main grinder I use on a daily basis. Unlike other grinders I’ve owned or used, this machine has proven reliable and efficient over time.


        • 16 grind settings, so if you drink different styles of coffee like I do, it’s easy to use.
        • the integrated timer is very simple.
        • Advanced, long-lasting tapered burs.
        • quiet compared to most other motorized machines.
        • the bean hopper is large enough to handle up to 8-1/2 ounces of beans, more than enough for any situation you’ve encountered.
        • at a reasonable price.
        • disadvantages

          • easy to clean inside and out. I have the black version, but would buy the stainless steel version if I had a choice, both for looks and to clean the exterior.
          • The black dot used to set the coarseness was never easy to see at a glance, but has now faded over time, making the setting harder to tell.
          • some grounds tend to get stuck and then spill out onto the counter.
          • blade vs. burr: a summary of the differences

            3. manual grinders

            Most modern burr grinders are powered by electricity, but there are also some manual grinders available on the market.

            This type of grinder usually works when the operator turns a crank. the size of the grains depends on the crushing time.

            There are a number of advantages to having a manual grinder. First of all, you don’t need a power source, so you can use them outdoors or when you travel. they are also very quiet to operate and often relatively inexpensive to purchase.

            Hand grinders can also look more attractive than their electric counterparts, especially those with an antique or exotic design, and can be a good talking point at social events.

            my favorite affordable hand grinder: the javapresse

            The sleek and stylish javapresse is my grinder of choice for traveling, hiking, or outdoors. It’s way above the average manual grinder and it costs nothing to buy.


            • It looks beautiful.
            • no power supply or batteries needed, so you can use it wherever you go.
            • Unlike many more basic manuals, there are click settings to make it easy to get the right grind for your coffee maker.
            • no motor, so it’s quiet.
            • burrs last longer than blades.
            • disadvantages

              • more expensive than many other hand grinders on the market.
              • grinding is time consuming compared to an electric one.
              • not the easiest grinder to clean.
              • Do coffee grinders really make a difference?

                yes, grinding the coffee beans immediately before brewing will maximize the flavor of your beverages. Using a grinder also gives you more control over the flavor and strength of the coffee. if you want a coffee that rivals your favorite store, grinding your own beans at home is the way to go.

                Should I grind all the coffee beans at once?

                no, it is much better to grind the beans just before preparing them. batch processing is problematic because ground coffee starts to lose its freshness very quickly. This is because the oxygen in the air breaks down any soil that is exposed.

                Are cheap coffee grinders really any good?

                In my opinion, almost any coffee grinder is generally better than no grinder at all. however, if you’re serious about your coffee, it’s definitely worth paying the extra for. The problem with bad coffee grinders is that they produce particles of varying sizes, resulting in lower quality beverages.

                how much do coffee grinders cost?

                A typical price range for coffee grinders is between $20 and $75. however if you are serious about your coffee i would recommend buying a burr grinder instead of a blade and these tend to be upwards of $35. generally speaking the more you pay for your grinder the more uniform the beans will be produced and the better the taste of your drinks.

                how long does freshly ground coffee last?

                Ground coffee will begin to lose its fresh flavor within twenty to thirty minutes, once it has been exposed to oxygen in the air. for a tasty experience, you should aim to drink it within a week, two weeks at the most.

                © 2011 paul goodman

                See also: The 5 Best Vanilla Syrups For Coffee


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