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4 Types of Coffee Grinders & Which Is Right For You (With Pictures)

coffee grinder with coffee beans and ground coffee

If you’re new to the premium coffee world or want to become a coffee enthusiast, you will quickly learn one of the most important aspects of coffee drinking: fresh-ground coffee. Any true coffee fanatic will have a coffee grinder or food processor to grind up coffee beans and brew them right away. Fresh-ground coffee simply tastes better, which is why many prefer to buy whole beans and grind them up at home. If you’re looking to buy a coffee grinder, it is best to familiarize yourself with each type. Here are 4 types of coffee grinders currently available on the market:

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The 4 Types of Coffee Grinders

1. Electric Blade Grinder

black coffee grinder
Image Credit: Crew, Unsplash

The quietest and most popular type of coffee grinder, the electric blade grinder is a sharper version of a food processer. It’s designed to chop coffee beans down to a near-fine powder, as quietly and quickly as possible. They’re usually on the smaller side, so it’s sometimes tough to get an even grind and you may need to tap the sides to even it out. The blades will get dull eventually after multiple uses, but they’re otherwise easy to use and not nearly as loud as other grinders. While some have settings, other electric grinders only have one setting so you’ll have to watch it closely to make sure you have the right grind for your beans.

  • Quieter than other grinders
  • Easy to use
  • Can grind to a fine powder
  • Usually on the smaller side
  • Blades will dull after a while

2. Manual Grinder

manual coffee grinder with coffee beans
Image Credit: Lukas, Pexels

If you don’t mind the arm workout and the time it takes, a manual grinder is not only noticeably quiet but requires no electricity whatsoever. It’s not ideal if you’re in a rush during the morning, but it grinds up evenly almost every time. Some brewing methods would pair well with a manual grinder since it requires minimal grinding, so coffee drinkers who use a French Press or make their cold brew at home may prefer a manual grinder. They range in sizes and some even have settings to make it easier to crush the beans, so they’re not as big and bulky as they once were. The best part about manual coffee grinders is that they’re travel-ready since they don’t need an outlet.

RELATED READ: JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder Review: Worth Buying?

  • Fairly quiet
  • Requires no electricity/outlet
  • Consistently even grind results
  • Travel friendly
  • Needs to be cranked manually
  • Takes time to grind up

3. Burr Grinder

conical burr grinder
Image Credit: nikkytok, Shutterstock

A burr grinder is an old-school method of grinding, which passes the coffee beans through a metal crusher. It consistently produces evenly ground coffee beans and usually has multiple grind options, making it a huge favorite with coffee enthusiasts. It typically has the most even grind out of all grinders, but it’s the loudest grinder by far because of the metal and style of grinding. Burr grinders are usually on the large side, so they can make bigger batches at once.

It’s important to note that there are two types of burr grinders: conical burr and flat burr. Both conical and flat burr grinders will produce ground coffee with precise consistency, something that other grinders may struggle with. Conical burr grinders, name after their cone-like shape, are a little less consistent but also less expensive. Flat burrs are more consistent with grinding, they but are generally more expensive.

  • Can make big batches
  • Most consistent grind results
  • Multiple grinding options
  • Usually on the larger side
  • Can be loud
  • On the expensive side

4. Coffee Maker with Built-In Grinder

Cuisinart Grind & Brew 12 Cup Coffeemaker

If you’re looking to not only save up cabinet space but still grind your own coffee beans, a drip brew coffee maker with a grinder is the way to go. They are usually programmable to grind and brew automatically, making your morning a lot easier to handle. Coffee makers with built-in grinders are often adjustable with the strength of the grinder and the brew, so it’s fully customizable to your taste. You can also remove the ground-up beans if you’re just using the grinding portion of the machine, which is great if you want to make a cold brew or use a French Press. However, it can be a bit of a pain to clean both the grinder and the coffee machine, so it’ll take some work to descale.

See also: 8 Best Coffee Makers with Grinders (Grind & Brew)

  • Will grind and brew automatically
  • On the quieter side
  • Can adjust grind level
  • Less counter space with a built-in grinder
  • Can be hard to clean

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Buying a coffee grinder is an important step in becoming a coffee enthusiast, a great appliance that will elevate your coffee-drinking experience. However, due to the oversaturation of the coffee appliance market, it can be challenging to figure out what types of grinders there are and which one is best for you. If you’re new to coffee grinders and you currently use a drip-brew coffee maker, getting a new coffee maker with a built-in grinder is probably your best option. However, if you’re exploring different methods of coffee brewing, the other options may suit your needs better. Regardless of the grinder type, fresh-ground coffee will undoubtedly become your new favorite thing.

Featured Image Credit: voffka23, Shutterstock


Jaimie Wisniowski

Jaimie is a freelance writer fueled by coffee, whether it’s hot, iced, or made from a local coffee shop. She enjoys writing all things coffee, especially if it means trying the latest coffee shop trends (hello cold foam!). After spending years writing poems, college essays, and short stories, it only a matter of time to turn writing into a career. Writing about coffee simply combined two of her favorite things! When she’s not drinking coffee by the minute and writing at her laptop, Jaimie spends time hiking, exercising, and living an active life. She also loves to snuggle up with a good book and her dog, Margo. If you catch her without a cup of coffee, she’s probably on her way to the coffee maker now.

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