Shopping for a coffee grinder can be a confusing experience.
You may have ended up here after scouring the hundreds of makes and models available in a confused daze until finally asking Google which type or coffee grinder is best; burr or blade?
You’re in the right place.
Firstly, there are advantages to both burr grinders and blade grinders.
Consider these points before going any further:
Do you have a budget in mind?
You can pick up an excellent budget bladed coffee grinder for around £20, or a fancy all singing all dancing burr grinder for around £60.
Is the coffee grinder to be used whilst travelling; ie. whilst camping, or is it strictly for the kitchen?
Manual conical burr coffee grinders are excellent for taking on holiday with you, especially fun when camping! Small bladed budget coffee grinders are great for storing in a cupboard in a small kitchen between uses and more advanced conical burr grinders or flat disc grinders are perfect for leaving out on display in your kitchen.
Are you coffee connoisseur?
Coffee tasting experts claim that conical burr coffee grinders produce the finest flavour, followed by a close second of flat disc coffee grinders, and finally bladed coffee grinders.
(But we have tried coffee from all three and to be honest, can’t tell the difference!)
Blade Coffee Grinder
Pros of a Blade Coffee Grinder
- Manual control, you control how long you grind for and how fine you want the coffee grounds to be with button controlled coffee grinders under £30
- Very easy to clean
- Quick and easy to use
- Usually cheaper than burr grinders
- Bladed coffee grinders are usually smaller, they are perfect to store away in a cupboard between uses
- You can easily blend other ingredients using a blade coffee grinder, (like dry herbs, spices and nuts) the smell and taste won’t transfer onto the next thing you grind as you are able to access the blades to clean them
Cons of a Blade Coffee Grinder
- No way of measuring the correct amount of beans to use
- Transferring of the coffee grounds can sometimes be a little messy as they sit directly in the container with the blades
- Bladed coffee grinders are always electric – no good for travelling
- More difficult to achieve a consistent fineness in the coffee grounds
Burr Coffee Grinder
Pros of a Burr Coffee Grinder
- The beans are crushed and not chopped, this is supposed to bring out the flavour of the coffee more
- These machines usually look and feel more premium than bladed coffee grinders
- Great to take on your travels, perfect for camping holidays!
- Machines tend to have a dial to set the correct quantity of coffee beans to grind, so you don’t have to worry about using too many beans
- Manual burr grinders are the quietest coffee grinders
- You can choose from two types of burr grinder; conical burr or flat disc grinder
- Coffee beans can be stored in an airtight compartment at the top of the grinder machine
Cons of a Burr Coffee Grinder
- More awkward to clean than a bladed coffee grinder
- Takes a long time to grind beans manually using a conical burr grinder (around 1 minute for enough for two cups)
- Burr coffee grinder machines tend to be bigger and therefore are more awkward to put away between uses, you end up leaving it out on show (not good for tiny kitchens)
- Cant really grind anything other than coffee using a burr grinder, the smell and taste may transfer onto the next thing you grind
The bottom line.
Both blade grinders and burr grinders have their good points and bad points. Which one you should buy really depends on:
a) Your budget
b) How often you would like to use it
For occasional use, I would but a small and inexpensive blade coffee grinder, one that I could put away between uses and one that is easy to clean and possibly even multifunctional.
For everyday use, I would get a more premium burr coffee grinder, that looks awesome sitting on the kitchen counter.
Burr grinders require less setting up the blade ones, as the beans are stored in an airtight compartment on top of the machine. The coffee grounds are conveniently dropped into a container ready to be transferred to brew.
If you need help working out the best coffee grinder for your needs, head over to our Best Coffee Grinders post, where we review and compare the top ten coffee grinders available now.
(We cover five budget coffee grinders and five more premium coffee grinders, including blade grinders, cylindrical burr grinders and flat disc grinders!)