Best Coffee Grinder for the Money 2017-2018 [Starter’s Guide & Reviews]
Affordable Coffee Grinder Comparison
Let's jump right to it, here's the list of coffee grinders I've found that's affordable and high-quality. The Best Coffee Grinder for the Money are as follows:
Blade / Burr
If you’re looking for a coffee grinder, then you probably know that it’s the most important equipment in your home-brewing arsenal. It’s more important than a coffee maker or a flashy espresso machine.
Why’s it so important?
Well, it’s because of the volatile flavors and aromas that’re trapped inside. When you grind coffee beans, it exposes the volatile compounds inside, which causes them to deteriorate and dissipate – usually within a few hours.
This also explains why pre-ground coffee is bad; it’s because they’re normally grounded and stored several weeks ago; by the time you grind it, it’s going to be stale already. As such, to remove this problem, you’ll need a coffee grinder to get fresh coffee yourself.
When my friends ask me to recommend them a grinder, I noticed not everyone is ready to shell out $300 for one, and even $150 is pushing it if you’re completely new to this.
It’s completely understandable that people might be unwilling to commit that amount of money to something that they’re new to, it’s perfectly fine. There are many different types and models to choose from under $100, but only few are actually fit for the job. Due to the sheer volume, it’ll take lots of time and hassle.
Therefore, to help you save time and make your decision easier, I’ve conducted extensive research in the under $100 range, assessed different coffee grinders based on several factors, and found several diamonds in the rough.
Things to Consider
Another reason I decided to write this article is that one thing stood out for me. I noticed people who just started out in home brewing have very different priorities compared to the more experienced, hardcore coffee geeks.
After a very quick and informal with a few friends who are starting out, along with comprehensive research on the internet, these are what I think a beginner finds important:
A coffee grinder’s primary purpose is producing coffee grinds. For every cup, you want coffee that’s the same size and shape, which we refer to as consistency. That’s because if they’re different size, you’ll create a cup of imbalanced coffee. The finer grinds will be under-extracted, which creates a sour flavor, while coarser grinds will be over-extracted and be way too bitter. You don’t want t a cup of sour and bitter coffee, do you?
Ease of Use
From research, this is the most important factor for most starters. It’s understandable, what good would a coffee grinder be if you can’t use it, right?
As such, you need to consider the machine’s learning curve? Is it a simple operation where you just have to press a button? Or do you have to test different size and dosage to find the perfect grind?
Ease of Cleaning
Like all coffee grinders, your machine will require regular cleaning.
There are coffee grinders that are easy to disassemble for cleaning, there are ones with no detachable parts, and there are coffee mills that have so many different parts, that it can only be taken apart by a trained expert.
Cleaning your grinder is crucial because stale grinds from your previous run will ruin the quality of your fresh batch.
The level of noise is not an issue for everyone; it depends on the people you live with and when you use it. If you’re planning to have a morning coffee ritual every day or live with kids or elderly, then it’s better to get a coffee grinder that doesn’t make too much noise.
Best Manual Coffee Grinder
Manual coffee grinders are devices operated by hand manually. I normally recommend this type of coffee grinder to those who don’t want to break the bank. That’s because in the lower price bracket, hand-crank grinders offer the best performance, although at the expense of convenience – be expected to turn the crank handle until the grinds are ready, which usually takes 1 – 2 minutes.
If you’re tight on budget but still determined in pursuing a transcended coffee experience, then you should check out these manual coffee grinders that’re under $50:
The Top 3 Manual Coffee Grinder Under $50
These are the best hand-crank coffee mills under $50 in the market:
Hario Skerton Coffee Mill
Hunt Brothers Coffee Grinder
Porlex JP-30 Tall Burr Mill
1. Hario Skerton Ceramic Burr Coffee Mill
Are you in love with espresso, drip filter, or filter? Then you won’t go wrong with the Hario Skerton. The Skerton is the most popular choice in the market because of its performance and versatility. The burr mill produces excellent fine to medium grinds, and together with the community developed kit (additional purchase), it will produce high-quality coarse grinds too.
So for all the French Press folks out there, although it’ll be more expensive because you’ll have to get the upgrade kit as well, you’ll still be able to benefit from this grinder’s capacity, portability, and other features for less than $50. You can read the full review here.
2. Hunt Brothers Coffee Grinder
Do you love French Press?
The Hunt Brothers Coffee Grinder is a compact machine developed by coffee lovers for coffee lovers. For a hand-crank coffee grinder, it has the most stable burr design I have ever seen. Instability is one of the main causes of inconsistency.
As such, the stable design is good news for all the French Press folks out there because it enables the grinder to offer a full spectrum of grinds without any upgrades or additional purchases. In our list above, this machine produces the best French Press.
One problem though, when I first opened this device from its packaging, it smelled weird. My friend and some people on Amazon also said the same thing. So make sure you wash it thoroughly with soap a few times before you use it. Read our detailed review here.
3. Porlex JP-30 Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder
If you are looking for a nifty little grinder to bring with on your travels, then you won’t go wrong with the Porlex Tall Coffee Grinder. This device is modern, sleek, and very small, it’s also very to clean and doesn’t create a lot of mess – it’s perfect for all the travelers and adventurers out there!
Do make sure you bring enough coffee though, preferably in a separate container, because the Porlex Tall’s total capacity (hopper and ground container) is tiny. Find out more in our review.
PORLEX JP-30 TALL GRINDER
Ease of Use
Ease of Cleaning
The Barrister's VERDICT:
Does all these manual grinding sound like too much work? I get you; sometimes I just want to press a button and come back in a few minutes to see everything ready. If that’s you, then keep reading to see what automatic and electrical options are there.
Best Blade Coffee Grinder [Under $50]
There are two types of electric coffee grinders; blade and burrs. I’ll start with the cheaper option, blade coffee grinders. You can find a really good blade grinder for less than $50!
In general, blade grinders are all-purposes machines that’re used for a variety of kitchen spices, including coffee. The device slices the spices into smaller pieces by using a high-speed rotating blade.
Since a good cup of coffee requires very consistent grinds, I usually wouldn’t recommend this type of grinder – the blade inside chops the coffee into random size and shape. However, if you’re looking for a solution for all your kitchen spices (and not just coffee), then a blade grinder does the job very well, and will give you excellent value for money.
Based on several hours of in-depth research, I think these are the best blade grinders in the market:
Top 3 Blade Coffee Grinders Under $50
These are the best electric blade grinders in the market at the moment:
Hamilton Beach 80365 Hands-Free Grinder
PROCTOR SILEX E160BY Fresh Grind Coffee Grinder
KRUPS F203 Electric Spice and Coffee Grinder
1. Hamilton Beach 80365 Hands-Free Grinder
I think the Hamilton Beach 80365 is the best blade grinder on the market because it’s one of the few hands-free products at the moment; it comes with a convenient timer that you can preset. Performance wise, it produces consistent grinds compared to other blade grinders.
However, I noticed users complaining about the build quality, that it doesn’t feel as substantial. Also, since it’s a blade grinder, the grind is not perfect, especially on the coarser end, it’ll be inconsistent. None the less, the Hamilton Beach 80365 should do the job for Turkish coffee or any filter coffee.
2. PROCTOR Silex E160BY Fresh Coffee Grinder
The Proctor Silex Coffee Grinder is fairly compact and features a sleek, futuristic exterior. The device is also durable, with customers claiming that it’s still working after five years. For a blade grinder, it also grinds surprisingly well.
There are drawbacks though. This Proctor Silex Grinder uses a high-speed blade inside that is very noisy (even for a blade grinder!), and also create lots of heat that will ruin the coffee’s natural flavors. Therefore, this coffee grinder is not perfect, but it’s still pretty good value for money considering its surprising performance.
3. KRUPS F203 Electric Spice and Coffee Grinder
The KRUPS F203 is an attractive little grinder, with simple designs and the ability to grind different things very efficiently; anything from coffee, to fruits, and to spices. The device grinds very quickly, and it produces acceptable quality grinds for drip coffee or other types of filters.
However, similar to the Proctor Silex E160BY, it comes with a pulse switch that you have to hold on to for the blade to spin. This could be quite annoying for some people but depending on the coarseness of the grind; you only need to do this for 10 – 30 seconds.
Best Burr Coffee Grinder [Under $100]
Electric burr grinders are grinders designed specifically for coffee. This type of grinder produces superior grinds that are consistently shaped and sized.
A reasonable coffee grinder usually costs over $150, but for this article, I managed to find a few decent ones for less than that. The best burr grinders under $100 are as follows:
The Best Burr Coffee Grinders Under $100
Here are the best burr grinders under $100 in the market:
Cuisinart DBM-8 Burr Mill
Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Grinder
DeLonghi KG89 Coffee Grinder
1. Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Automatic Burr Mill
The Cuisinart Burr Mill features an aesthetically pleasing exterior that comes with 18 adjustable grind size, which allows you to change your grinds quickly for anything you brew, from espresso to drip filter.
However, the machine is also extremely noisy! Also, even though the Cuisinart Grinder is a huge step up compared to a blade grinder, the results still aren’t the best. The burr mill uses what we call “fake burrs”, which crushes the beans instead of grinding it. These types of burrs create lots of fine grinds that affect the batch’s overall consistency.
Of course, if you’re preparing fine grinds in the first place (ie. for any espresso based drinks), then the unexpected fine grinds created will be less of an issue. Furthermore, if you’re a complete beginner to coffee, you might not even be able to tell the difference in quality just yet. As such, I think this coffee grinder is perfect for beginners who just want to test the waters before taking it to the next level in home-brewing.
2. Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder
Don’t want something noisy like the Cuisinart DBM-8? Then check out the Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Grinder, it’s a lot quieter! The Bodum Bistro is a unique looking coffee grinder that features an eye-catching exterior, and a glass container made from borosilicate (static-free material). It’s very easy to use; it comes with a timer switch for convenience and 14 adjustable grind size settings.
Once again, the grind performance is not the best; for example, it’s not fine enough for espresso. However, for an entry-level burr grinder, it does the job. Also, I noticed other users complaining about the short cord, and also the timer’s maximum time is too short and not enough for a pot of drip coffee.
3. DeLonghi KG89 Coffee Grinder
The DeLonghi KG89 Coffee Grinder is very easy to use; you turn the machine on with an on-off switch (hands-free), and you can control the grind size and number of cups very easily – simply with a selector button. The machine also features a sleek steel exterior with a tinted plastic hopper and container.
Similar to the above, this coffee grinder is not perfect. The Delonghi KG89 is quite messy; when you take out the ground container, it leaves a trail of coffee behind – although it’s an easy fix, it could be annoying for some. Also, I noticed some other users have complained about their grinders breaking, but these complaints were nearly all written several years ago – it’s probably due to a bad batch, or the problem has been rectified already.
DELONGHI KG89 COFFEE GRINDER
Ease of Use
Ease of Cleaning
The Barrister's VERDICT:
The Coffee Barrister's Verdict
Overall, to make the most of your coffee experience, you must own a coffee grinder. That’s because fresh coffee contains more flavor and aroma than pre-ground coffee.
In this article, we’ve discussed three different types of grinders and for each type, three different machines. If we’re solely focusing on the grinder’s coffee performance, then you should consider these:
If coffee is not your only consideration and you plan to use it for other spices as well, then you should check out these splendid blade grinders too:
- Hamilton Beach 80365 Hands-Free Grinder
- PROCTOR Silex E160BY Fresh Grind Coffee Grinder
- KRUPS F203 Electric Spice and Coffee Grinder