4 Types of coffee grinders

Investing in a quality coffee grinder is an essential step for any home barista. With the right grinder, you can prepare your beans just seconds before brewing, experiencing their aroma and flavor at peak freshness. 


But how do you know what type of grinder best suits your unique needs?

In this article, we'll go over the most common types of coffee grinders, how they vary, and how to choose the ideal grinder for your home café.

Understanding grind size and consistency

Before diving into different types of grinders, it’s important to understand how to grind coffee beans for optimal grind consistency.

● Grind size – Your ideal grind size is actually determined by your chosen brewing method. For instance, French press coffee is brewed best with coarse grounds, while espresso coffee necessitate grinds that are very fine. Achieving the correct grind size for your brew method will ensure you extract the ideal amount of flavor and caffeine from your coffee. 

● Grind consistency – The second factor to consider is the consistency of your grind. If your grinds aren’t uniform in size, some of them may end up over- or under-extracted. 

Blade grinders

The technology behind the blade grinder is more rudimentary; spinning blades oscillate quickly within the grinder and slice through the beans like a propeller. The longer you grind the beans, the finer your resulting grounds will be. 

While the blade coffee grinder gets the job done, its somewhat random grinding patterns will result in an imperfect grind. Although this will impact the flavor of your final drink, it won’t be to a drastic degree. In fact, for beginner coffee brewers, the slightly less complex flavor of coffee made with varied grinds may not even be noticeable. 

However, if tasting a consistent, optimal flavor profile is a top priority for you, it’s wise to choose a coffee grinder that can provide a controlled extraction by executing an even grind size.  

All in all, the blade coffee grinder performs the minimum function needed to prepare the coffee bean for brewing. To that end, blade grinders are an excellent choice for people who prioritize: 

● Ease of use – These tools are great for coffee novices trying their hand at brewing.

● Affordability – This is typically the least expensive type of grinder on the market, costing as little as $10.

● Keeping tidy – Compared to other coffee grinder types, blade grinders are the easiest to clean. 

Burr grinders

The more sophisticated electric burr grinder is a step above the blade grinder. In fact, this is the type of grinder that’s most commonly used in professional cafés. Instead of slicing through beans repeatedly, burr grinders guide beans down a funnel, then crush them against a hard surface using two adjustable, serrated plates. 

Because of this design, the burr coffee grinder offers two distinct advantages:

● Accuracy – By adjusting the plates, you can define how coarse or fine your coffee ground will be. 

● Durability – Often made with ceramic or steel, a burr grinder is an investment built to last. 

However, given their enhanced features, burr grinders are more expensive than blade grinders. You can expect to pay over $35 when entering the territory of burr coffee bean grinders. 

Flat burr vs. conical burr grinders

Within the larger category of burr grinders, you can choose a flat grinder wheel or a conical burr grinder wheel:

● Flat burr grinder – These are usually louder and slightly messier, but they produce a consistent grind size that espresso fans love. In fact, the flat burr grinder is considered by many to be the best coffee grinder for espresso. 

● Conical burr grinder – Conical burr grinders are generally more methodical, grinding at a slower RPM. This means they’re quieter, cleaner, and more affordable than their flat counterparts. To help this tool last longer, remember to explore how to clean conical burrs. However, these grinders produce a bimodal distribution of the coffee ground, meaning that some coffee particles are small and some are large. 

Manual grinders

If you don’t mind putting a little elbow grease into the coffee grinding process, this tried-and-true method of working by hand can be a great choice. The main selling points of a manual coffee grinder are that it tends to be quiet, affordable, and portable. 

If you’re brewing coffee consistently, you may grow tired of grinding your beans by hand. However, a manual coffee grinder is still a fantastic tool to own as it features an adjustable grind size that can be adapted to work with a wide variety of different brewers. 

Manual coffee grinders range in price from about $20-$200. 

Electric grinders

When you need an advanced, intuitive tool that can grind large amounts of coffee efficiently and effectively, an electric coffee grinder can serve you well. Electric grinders often come equipped with a wide range of settings that make grinding (and brewing) a breeze. 

Of course, all the features of an electric coffee grinder can mean a higher price tag. However, investing in a high-quality grinder will allow you to enjoy premium performance and convenience for years to come. 

If you’re at the point in your coffee journey where you’re ready to secure a dependable electric grinder for routine use, make sure to select a machine made with the best materials. High-end coffee grinders of this caliber usually cost around $100-$200.

Get the perfect grind every time with Breville 

Coffee experts emphasize that if you’re going to splurge on one area of your at-home barista setup, it should be investing in a high-quality grinder.

Here at Breville, we’re proud to offer premium coffee machines and coffee bean grinders, like our electric conical burr grinding machines. With advanced settings and precise control capabilities, you can maximize your ability to craft the perfect brew every single time.

Take the guesswork out of your coffee grinding by outfitting your home with premium kitchen appliances from Breville.



1. Perfect Daily Grind. Coffee Grind Size & How It Affects Consistency & Flavor. https://perfectdailygrind.com/2017/12/a-guide-to-coffee-grind-size-consistency-flavor/

2. Gear Patrol. How to Properly Grind Coffee Beans, According to Experts. https://www.gearpatrol.com/food/a35163819/coffee-grind-size/#

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