As your local coffee shop’s barista would tell you, the secret to a great cup of Java lies in having the best burr coffee grinder. Sure, a good coffee machine and good quality beans matter a lot.
However, these won’t mean anything unless you use a consistent and even grind. This is a well-known fact among coffee experts and enthusiasts.
In this review, we’ll explain everything that you need to know about the different types of burr coffee grinders, and how to choose one. Our team has also identified 5 best burr coffee grinders in the market that we can confidently recommend in 2020.
Oxo Brew Conical Burr Grinder (8717000)
- 15 grind settings
- 40mm conical steel burr
- Grind speed 2.4g/s
- 12-ounce hopper
- 3.8-ounce ground container
- Weighs 4.5 lbs
Filling the number one slot in our best burr coffee grinder reviews is the Oxo Brew 8717000. This is a model that emerges a lot in most comparisons of the best burr coffee grinders for the money, and for good reasons.
The Oxo Brew is an entry-level electric conical burr grinder with a premium design, and precision coffee grinding capabilities to match.
Starting with the basics, this inexpensive burr coffee grinder measures 7.4’’ by 5.25’’ by 11.75’’ and weighs around 4.5 lbs.
This height can be attributed to its 12-ounce bean hopper capable of brewing enough coffee to make up to 62 (9.oz) cups. Perfect for hosting regular home coffee parties, right? The ground container itself accommodates approximately 3.9 ounces of ground coffee.
This model is fitted with a stainless steel conical burr grinder with 15 grind settings. Even with its relatively fewer settings, any Oxo Brew conical burr grinder review will reveal that you can make anything from Aeropress, V60, espresso, and French press using this grinder.
A chief advantage of this affordable burr coffee grinder is that it remembers your last grind settings. So, consistency has been entirely taken care of here.
Let’s switch gear to another vital aspect when buying the best conical burr coffee grinders in 2020: ease of cleaning. This is one of the areas where the Oxo Brew 8717000 beats most high-end grinders in this review.
What our review team appreciates here is that static electricity has been cleverly eliminated. Besides using a metallic grounds bin and a low RPM motor, this inexpensive burr coffee grinder also has a grounded power plug that dissipates static electricity.
In addition, the steel burr grinder can be easily removed for cleaning. To your relief, you won’t need to deconstruct the entire grinder.
✔ Large bean hopper
✔ Reduced static build-up
✔ Relatively quiet
✔ Unbeatable price
✔ Easy to clean
✘ No scale
✘ Bottom burr is irremovable
✘ Prone to clogging
Best for Black Coffee: Baratza Encore Review
- 40 grind settings
- 40mm burr
- Grinds 0.8g/1.1s
- 8-ounce hopper
- 5-ounce grounds bin
- Weighs 7.1 lbs
One of the best burr coffee grinder brands, Baratza- an American company- is known for its premium quality products with incredible value for money. What we particularly love about Baratza electric coffee grinders is that you can fix most of the critical components instead of dumping the entire unit.
The Encore is one of the best burr coffee grinders from this company. It measures 4.7’’ by 6.3’’ by 13.8’’ and weighs around 7.1 lbs. It has an 8-ounce bean hopper and a 5-ounce grounds bin.
This model tends to be a favorite pick for most people who love black coffee brews, including pour-over, French press, and Aeropress.
This grinder offers 40 grind settings (25 more than the Oxo Brew above). So, if you like trying out other types of coffee brews like Chemex, Hario V60, and espresso, this could be the best burr coffee grinder for the money.
One thing that stands out in the Baratza Encore review section on Amazon is its fast grinding process. This model uses a 450-rpm motor that spins its 40mm hardened alloy steel burrs to grind 0.8g of coffee every 1.1 seconds. It’s also one of the quietest burr coffee grinders that we’ve come across so far.
The Encore grinder does create some static, but not more than other mills in its price range. The best part, however, is that it won’t scatter grounds all over your counter.
✔ Feels solidly built
✔ Uniform grinds
✘ Creates static
✘ Minimal functionality for price
Best Grinder for Consistency: Baratza Virtuoso Plus
- 40 grind settings
- 40mm burr
- Grinds 1.5g/s
- 8-ounce hopper
- 5-ounce grounds bin
- Backlit screen
The Virtuoso has been one of the best burr coffee grinders for close to 2 decades. Baratza recently released an updated replacement for it. While it’s pretty much the same product that coffee snobs trust and love, the new product has a few improvements that make the already great grinder even better.
The first feature that we are going to mention in this Baratza Virtuoso Plus review is the digital display and timer. This is the biggest improvement that the Virtuoso Plus added, and it allows you to set just how long you want the motor to run from 0-40 seconds.
Although this burr grinder lacks a scale, the timer makes it a little bit easier to determine how much coffee ground you want once you get a good hang of the machine. We appreciate that the screen is backlit, too, as it makes reading easier.
The Baratza Virtuoso Plus uses a Europe-made 450-RPM motor with a gear reduction system. This system tweaks the power produced by the motor to just what the 40mm conical burr needs. This translates to 2 things. First, you are assured of a consistent grind each time. Second, this system prevents the motor from overheating, and this means improved durability.
Another important highlight in this Baratza Virtuoso Plus review is the ability to adjust the motor speed. At its default 450-RPM speed, this machine grinds 1.5g/second, which is pretty fast. If you want speed, you can tinker the gearbox to make up to 490 RPMs, which consequently steps up the grind speed to 2.4g/s. Note that increasing the speed may negatively impact your ground’s flavor by transferring heat.
Lastly, the Baratza Virtuoso Plus is quite compact at 6.69 x 6.69 x 12.6 inches and weighs around 8 pounds. It has an 8-ounce hopper and a 5-ounce ground container.
✔ Sturdy build
✔ Backlit screen
✔ Consistent grounds
✔ Not overly loud
✘ Cleaning requires patience
✘ Assembly instructions not clear
Best Burr Grinder for Espresso: Breville BCG820BSSXL – The Smart Grinder Pro Review
- 60 grind settings
- 40mm burr
- Portafilter compatible
- LCD Digital Timer
- Hopper capacity 16oz
- Weight 6.4 lbs
As you’ll soon find out in this Breville Smart Grinder Pro review, this model is meant to fill the price gap that restricts coffee lovers from getting a semi-professional burr grinder. This is an inexpensive espresso burr grinder that interests most coffee lovers shopping on a budget.
Compared to other contenders in our best burr coffee grinder reviews, the first standout feature of this model is the ability to grind directly into a portafilter. If you own an espresso machine, the Smart Grinder Pro comes with a pair of magnetic cradles that accommodate 2 common portafilter sizes 50-54mm and 58mm.
Its LCD Precision Digital Timer also makes it one of the best burr coffee grinders for 2020. This is a sophisticated backlit timer that shows not only your selected grind time but the number of shots/cups and grind size too.
What coffee beverages is it best for?
This burr coffee grinder is designed to allow 60 coarseness settings, which is much higher than our previous recommendations. This is good news among espresso aficionados who want to dial into their perfect shot every time.
The Breville BCG820BSSXL Smart Grinder Pro burr grinder isn’t limited to espresso drinks only, though. Its incredible consistent grinds make it the best burr coffee grinder for most coffee beverages that require coarse to fine grinds, including drip coffee, Chemex, siphon, cold brew, paper filter, and Aeropress.
Similar to most grinders in its price range, the Smart Grinder Pro tends to lose consistency at very coarse levels. We’ve not heard any complaints from French Press coffee lovers, but this is something you’d want to keep in mind.
Here are Breville BCG820BSSXL Smart Grinder Pro specs: size, 12.5” x 8.5” x 16.3”, weight 6.4 lbs. The bean hopper has a capacity of 16 ounces.
✔ Large hopper
✔ Lots of grind settings
✔ LCD screen
✔ Intuitive settings
✔ Magnetic portafilter handle
✘ Could be quieter
✘ Ground cup lid slides out
✘ Inconsistency at coarse levels
Best Burr Grinder for Budget: Capresso 560.01 Infinity Conical Burr Grinder
- 16 grind settings
- Commercial-grade burr
- 8.8-ounce hopper
- 4-ounce ground bin
- Weight: 4 lbs
Our last recommendation in these burr coffee grinders reviews isn’t the least in any way. If anything, this could be the best burr coffee grinder for you if you are an apartment dweller or if you want a small but reliable mill. The Capresso 560.01 Infinity grinder review is worth checking out, too, if you want something affordable.
This inexpensive burr coffee grinder is super compact at 14.6” x 9.6” x 7.8”. It’s also incredibly lightweight at 4 lbs- at least compared to others that max at 7 pounds! Even better, it comes in a wide range of finishes to complement different kitchen styles.
Commensurate with most models in this review, the Capresso 560.01 Infinity has an 8.8-ounce whole bean capacity. The ground coffee capacity is a tad smaller at 4 ounces, though.
What makes it one of the best burr coffee grinders, though?
Our review team points out at the commercial-grade burrs first. Even at its unimaginable price tag, it’s super impressive that Capresso chose to go with burrs that are commonplace with commercial-grade models. These are high-quality stainless steel burrs that promise longevity while producing consistent grinds.
The other big plus in this Capresso 560.01 Infinity conical burr grinder review is its 16 grind settings. Of course, these settings are nothing compared to those of the Breville Smart Grinder Pro. However, we couldn’t ask for more for such an inexpensive burr coffee grinder. Nonetheless, this machine’s coarseness range still offers everything from finer espresso grind right up to the French press grinds.
Lastly, we should mention that this budget burr coffee grinder is less noisy, which is great compared to most of its competitors.
✔ Fairly priced
✔ Quality construction
✔ Authentic conical burrs
✔ Minimal static electricity
✔ Small footprint
✘ 1-2% coffee waste
✘ Burr needs daily brushing
✘ Lots of plastic parts
Having gone through the 5 best burr coffee grinders to buy in 2020, which model would you go with? Of course, your best pick here will be subject to your budget and your exact coffee needs. If you are looking for an inexpensive burr coffee grinder to introduce you to home-made barista-style coffee beverages, your choice lies between the Oxo Brew 8717000 and the budget-friendly Capresso 560.01 conical burr grinder.
For true connoisseurs in need of the best burr coffee grinder that doesn’t hurt the wallet so much, we’d recommend the Baratza Encore. This model’s 40 grind settings will allow you to explore the extreme ends of home-ground coffee while being awesomely accurate.
Best Burr Coffee Grinders Explained
Any coffee snob will agree that nothing beats the flavor, texture, and aroma of freshly ground coffee (as opposed to coffee that’s already ground). That’s why coffee grinders have become so popular among coffee lovers who want to pull barista-style coffee beverages at home.
Coffee grinders come in 2 different types; blade grinders and burr grinders. These grinders vary in almost every aspect, from the consistency of the grind to the level of accuracy, and noise levels.
Blade coffee grinders
This type of grinder uses a double-pronged propeller-like blade that spins rapidly to cut up the beans in the chamber into smaller and smaller dices.
Blade grinders often have one button that turns the propeller on and off. That’s to say that the only way of controlling the fineness of the coffee grounds is through the length of time that you let the propellers run.
This is the biggest drawback of blade grinders. The ground coffee often has varying particle sizes, thereby leading to inconsistencies with each dose. Also, as the blades rotate, they cause heat build-up in the chamber, which further throws off the consistency and flavor of the grounds.
Blade grinders are for people who believe that ‘‘bad coffee is better than no coffee at all.’’ They are also ideal for coffee lovers on a budget as they are way inexpensive than the best burr coffee grinders. Also, these grinders are fast and a breeze to use.
Burr coffee grinders
What is a burr coffee grinder? This is a type of mill that actually ‘‘grinds.’’ A burr grinder uses 2 toothed discs/wheels to crush coffee beans into a particular grind size usually pre-set by the user. The best burr coffee grinders on Amazon allow multiple settings so that you can customize the grounds to your brew.
The freedom to dictate your desired size of coffee grounds and actually getting what you ‘asked for’ is the most significant advantage that the best burr coffee grinders offer. This means that you can get a consistent shot of Joe with every brew.
Another difference between blade coffee grinders and burr coffee grinders is that the latter does not emit a lot of heat, especially the low-speed models. As such, the flavor of your fresh coffee beans isn’t affected a lot.
Burr coffee grinders have been around for around 2 centuries now, and the actual grinding mechanism hasn’t changed much.
2 types of burr coffee grinders
These devices come in 2 different types; wheel/flat burr grinders and conical burr grinders.
To the naked eye, it’s quite hard to tell the difference between coffee grounds from these 2 devices. However, the difference in grind sizes starts to unfold when scrutinize each of these grounds under a microscope.
Generally, even when set at the finest grind setting, all conical burr grinders produce coffee grounds with a mix of small and large particle sizes.
On the other hand, wheel/flat burr coffee grinders produce coffee grounds that are extremely uniform in size.
Which is best, wheel or conical burr grinders?
If you were to rate these 2 types of burr coffee grinders in terms of consistency, then wheel burr types would definitely have the upper hand. Coffee experts and aficionados have a different opinion, though.
Coffee baristas say that the bimodal grind of the best conical burr coffee grinders is what makes these grinders the best for conventional espresso recipes. They argue that during the actual brewing process, the smaller size particles restrict water flow. This increases the amount of time that the water is in contact with the large coffee grounds, which leads to greater saturation.
On the other hand, it may be a little hard to pull a standard espresso with the even particle grounds from a flat grinder. However, these grounds allow baristas to pull longer shots, which creates a base for getting creative with the espresso drinks.
ii) Coffee waste
Another noteworthy aspect when comparing conical burr coffee grinders and flat burr coffee grinders is the amount of coffee that goes to waste.
Due to the shape of flat burr grinders, some grounds get trapped in the wheel assembly. Besides making the cleaning process a tad messier, these trapped grounds also tend to throw the flavor of your next batch off, albeit by a slight margin.
On the other hand, the grounds drop straight down in conical burr grinders. As such, they are less likely to become trapped. Cleaning is notably easier, too, and the flavor of each batch is upheld.
Also worth mentioning, the best conical burr coffee grinders are much cheaper than flat grinders. This is because the former has a considerably simpler grinding mechanism compared to the latter. In addition, flat grinders require a more powerful motor to force coffee beans between the wheels and out again after grinding. The powerful motor coupled with the complex grinding mechanism call for higher price tags in flat burr grinders.
Both flat and conical burr grinders will offer great-tasting brews for the average home barista. However, if you are looking for the best burr coffee grinder for conventional espresso, you’ll want to gravitate more towards conical models.
Flat grinders also make a great choice also, especially if you’d prefer playing around with the espresso recipe. Keep in mind that the latter tends to trap more coffee waste, which would affect the freshness of your future batches. They are notably pricier too.
Best Burr Coffee Grinder Buying Guide- What to Consider
The biggest decision that you are going to make when buying the best burr coffee grinder in 2020 is choosing between conical vs. flat types. However, beyond this, there are a few more nuances that will impact your coffee experience in one way or another.
Having optimum control over the size of coffee grounds means a lot for the coffee lover. There is a consensus that the best burr coffee grinder for the money should offer hundreds of grind settings.
While having more options is great, 10-40 grind settings tend to cater to most families of coffee lovers just fine. Our review team didn’t see the need for over a hundred settings when a coffee lover would use utmost 10 of those. This means that you’ll end up paying a premium for settings you’ll never use.
Burr size vs. speed (RPMs)
The best burr coffee grinders online differ in terms of actual burr size and the speed of the motor. High-speed coffee grinders will grind your coffee really fast. They are also inexpensive and, therefore, ideal for coffee drinkers on budget.
On the downside, most high-speed grinders tend to be noisier. They also generate a lot of heat, which might slightly affect the flavor of your brews. Heat generation is a problem in grinders with smaller burrs, though.
So, if you prefer a high-speed grinder, be sure to get a model with a larger burr. If you want a low-speed coffee grinding machine, it should be accompanied by a smaller burr. 40mm burrs are the most common and the best too.
Worth pointing out, thanks to the advancement in technology, we now have high-speed burr grinders, for example, the Baratza Encore that grinds really fast while generating less noise and heat.
Ceramic vs. Steel burrs
The best burr coffee grinders on Amazon use either ceramic or steel burrs. Both of these burrs handle your roasts pretty much equally. However, the differences come in the price tags and durability.
The key advantage that ceramic burrs have over their steel alternatives is that they are much harder. On average, ceramic grinders usually last twice longer than stainless steel burrs.
However, despite being the strongest, ceramic burrs are brittle and are more prone to chipping or shattering in case a hard rock found its way into the chamber by hiding in your coffee beans. For this reason, ceramic burrs are mainly used in manual grinders. That’s not to mean that you won’t find ceramic burrs used in electric grinders, though.
Hopper Capacity vs. Size of Grinder vs. Storage Space
Another important consideration when going through the best burr coffee grinder reviews is the capacity of the hopper. How much coffee can the hopper hold at once? What about the ground container?
This is more or less a personal preference and will depend on how much coffee you want to make with every cycle.
As you think about the hopper capacity, you also need to factor in the overall size of the burr coffee grinder. Most of the best burr coffee grinders for espresso, French press, and pour over have an 8-ounce bean hopper. Most of these models are compact and tend to slide under most kitchen cabinets with less hassle.
Will it grind into a portafilter?
For espresso lovers, the best burr coffee grinder for the money is the one that grinds directly into a portafilter. These models have a bracket that you fit the portafilter, so you brew the grounds directly. Some of these models have an adjustable bracket to accommodate portafilters of different sizes. Others come with more than one removable brackets.
If you are making both espresso and other brews, consider a grinding machine that allows you to remove the portafilter bracket to brew directly into a ground container.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does a burr coffee grinder work?
These grinders work by squeezing and milling coffee beans between a stationary and a rotating groove. The space between these grooves can be changed by the user to customize the size of the grounds to the intended brew.
Are burr coffee grinders better than blade grinders?
Even a first-timer will tell a significant difference between blade coffee grinders and burr coffee grinders. Blade grinders are not grinders in real sense. They work by chopping the beans as the blades rotate inside the chamber. As anyone can guess, the grounds have inconsistent particle sizes. This inconsistency is carried over to the brews.
What makes a burr grinder better is that it actually “grinds” the beans. By crushing the beans (as opposed to chopping them), a burr grinder increases the surface area upon which water comes into contact with the grounds. This means that most of the natural oils, aromas, and flavor of your Guatemalan Peaberry are extracted into your cup.
What is the right grind size for different coffee brewing methods?
Here is an approximate guide on the fineness or coarseness of the grind for different coffee brewing methods. The guide is on a scale of 1-8 in the following range: 1 Very Fine, 2-3 Fine, 3 Medium-Fine, 4 Medium, 5-7 Coarse, and 8 Very Coarse.
- Turkish coffee (grind setting 1: very fine) – this brew requires a powder-like coffee grind. So, consider setting your grinder to the finest setting.
- Commercial style espresso machines (grind setting 2-3: fine) – the ideal grind should have the size of caster sugar for the espresso to achieve the required tasty crema.
- Espresso machine with crema enhancer (grind setting 3: medium fine) – it should feel like sand if you rubbed it between 2 fingers.
- Aeropress and Stovetop (grind setting 4: medium).
- Paper filter and cold brew (grind setting: medium 5: medium-coarse).
- Chemex, siphon, and drip coffee (grind setting 6: coarse).
- French press (grind setting 8: very coarse).
Best Burr Coffee Grinders Tips
- Always clean your coffee grinder frequently. Stale grounds from the previous batches may affect your future brews’ overall quality.
- Avoid leaving or storing your coffee beans in the hopper to prevent oxidation and loss of aromas and flavors.
- Consider grinding just what you need for a particular time. This ensures optimum freshness of your brews.
- Every brew method has its ideal grind setting. Understand the grind setting for your favorite drink and be sure to use it.
- Playing around the grind settings might introduce you to newer tastes.
- Burrs don’t last forever. Ideally, replace them every 1-2 years (if possible).