Best Rated Coffee Burr Grinders 2017

This guide will help you decide which elements are most important so you can make a great purchase the next time you are considering burr grinders.

Ah, coffee. That magical elixir that sets us up for success whenever we need it. I know it’s tough to add another step in the “morning routine”, but I swear – the best cup of coffee I’ve ever had is one that I’ve made myself. Fresh grounds; brewed to fit the mood…you know. If you don’t, let’s get you started. After you find the beans you want, you’ve got to grind them down properly.

Why should I grind my own coffee grounds?

A great question. It will always be easier to purchase pre-packaged coffee grounds and put them into the filter, but you’ll come to notice that freshly ground coffee brings an entirely revolutionary experience.

For one, freshly ground beans mean fresh coffee. Pre-packaged coffee will get stale so much faster than whole coffee beans. When you grind your own coffee beans, you actively amplify the taste and the aroma they produce. Not to mention you’ve got complete control over the coffee-making process.

The perfect brew of coffee has an ideal coarseness of coffee ground in mind; some require a finer grind; some need it coarse. Regardless, the consistency of your grounds should be, well, consistent. Think of it this way – water and sand. If the sand isn’t a uniform granule size, it will clump together as water travels through it. Clumped up coffee grounds means the water interacts with less coffee, so you don’t get the brew you intended. This allows for a balanced cup of coffee, no matter how you decide to brew.

Grinding your own coffee essentially means you’re choosing to enjoy the coffee the way it was meant to be enjoyed. Not to mention, grinding your own coffee earns you some street cred, too.

How do I choose a grinder?

There are several things to keep in mind when looking for a grinder, but the first is your budget. You can find blade grinders and manual grinders for cheap, but they just aren’t as effective as burr grinders are. Blade grinders are cheaper and more accessible, and sometimes even portable. Yet they don’t offer the consistency of grain size if you’re looking to build a balanced cup of coffee. Burr coffee grinders have a great track record of checking off all the boxes involved in great coffee grounds, for a slightly larger investment (that’s totally worth it!)

Ask yourself: what kind of coffee am I drinking? Take the time to look up how coarse your grind needs to be, then match that with a grinder that is capable of that quality! If you’re not ready to explore, you may not need as many grind-quality options. Understand that the most common grind-size is fine/extra fine, the very same as pre-packaged coffee-grounds.

Next up is the volume of coffee you’ll be producing, and how easy your grinder is to clean. Usually, burr grinders are easy enough to maintain, but some tend to leave grinds behind in favor of an efficient grind.

Then you should think about how quickly you want your grinder to work, and how loud you’re okay with your grinder being. There are options that are quick and quiet, but keep in mind this is often a trade-off for other qualities.

Lastly, think about your ability to operate machinery in the morning. All jokes aside, how user-friendly do you need your grinder to be; because the more options available, the more precise your coffee can be. Some grinders attract more veteran coffee enthusiasts simply because they allow for fine-tuning in the grinding process, and may not be as approachable by newcomers.

Here’s a great video that sums up what coffee grinders offer, and how to choose one!

Do I need to brew differently?

Not at all! In theory, you can grind your coffee beans however you like, and brew them however you like. (However, I do not advocate this. Don’t do that.) Every single brew process has a specific coarseness of coffee grounds that work best with it. What works for a cold brew may not produce the best Turkish coffee.

Investing in a grinder opens so many doors for you to explore. Now, you can grind beans specifically for any kind of brew! Want an espresso? Super-fine is the way to go. Using a French press? Go coarse. There are some great comprehensive lists of which grind size works with each brewing method.

I like to have all options ahead of me in my morning, but that can be imposing for some – and that’s okay! You do you. Many coffee grinders are simple, and offer nicely organized options within certain categories (super fine, fine, coarse, etc.). However, there are those that exceed your expectations and offer hundreds of varying levels of grind-size.

What else do I need to know?

Your choice of coffee bean is important, too! Different roasts yield different flavors, so find what tastes and tones you’re looking to enjoy. Once you get your beans, make sure to seal and store them airtight!

Know your measurements. When you’re grinding, use a scale to decide how many beans to grind. Matter is conserved, and coffee brewing is science! A good rule of thumb is to take 1.6-2 grams of coffee beans for each ounce of water you intend to brew. This way, you get a fresh cup every time, instead of stale, old coffee from stale coffee grounds.

We kept all these features and more in mind when we selected these burr grinders. The guide below provides a detailed review of these 6 top models covering a wide range of features and prices ranges. You will find our number one pick  at the bottom.

What are the best burr grinders?

1. Baratza Encore

If you’re new to coffee grinding, then this may be a great option for you. Baratza is already a well-established company in the coffee grinder world, and that reliability is important. The Encore is Baratza’s introductory coffee grinder, but it’s also well trusted amongst connoisseurs. It’s known best for its ability to create a great grind for espresso. That’s why it’s made it to so many countertops across the world. I am particularly fond of the Encore because it’s so respectful! It doesn’t take up that much space, it’s relatively easy to move, and it’s quick and quiet.

New coffee grinders will rejoice when they see the Encore, because it makes the process look easy. Looking at the Encore, I notice that the interface is simple; you’ll find a dial for activation, a dial for grind size, and an on button. That’s what makes Baratza’s Encore so great, because it’s a gateway into the world of coffee. You’re looking at a grinder that won’t take up too much space, and it’s a sleek, minimalist design. It can grind your coffee in 40 unique ways, and includes a pulse option for quick grounds in a pinch.

The Encore possesses conical burrs, which are especially effective because they ensure all the coffee beans are ground as gravity pulls them downward. It’s held its own when its fine espresso grounds were compared to other grinders, and offers a consistency that doesn’t often come paired with such an easy-to-use product. Are you looking to start your journey? Look no further.

PROS
  • Beginner-level coffee grinder that’s easy to use, won’t take up too much space on the counter
  • Quick, consistent grind quality
  • Conical burrs, easy to remove and maintain
  • 40 unique grind size settings
  • Relatively quiet use
CONS
  • Tends to leave behind coffee grinds when the receptacle is removed
  • No timer – must pay attention
  • 70g of coffee bean storage; will need to refill frequently (depending on coffee intake)

See how it looks and works down here:

2. Baratza Virtuoso

Another grinder in the Baratza family, the Virtuoso is the “level up” of the Encore, technically speaking. It offers a very similar skillset to the encore; you’ll find 40 settings that can lend themselves to various brewing styles. You can also rest assured that the Virtuoso is user-friendly; it’s usage still requires just one touch. What sets the Virtuoso on an entirely different level is that it’s got professional grade conical burrs. These are easy to remove, recalibrate, and clean for the user.

Even if you’re having difficulty with the Virtuoso, Baratza is a very helpful company if any questions arise. If you’re looking for the proper way to clean and maintain it, they’re there for you. However, they’ve done most of the work so you often won’t need to worry about contacting them.

The Virtuoso just has a great look, aesthetically speaking. Sitting on a countertop, the silver and black machine looks professional and efficient. Especially because the bean hopper on top is larger than other models. This is great for the coffee drinker that doesn’t want to grab his beans every morning to grab them. They’ll already be right there, all you’ve got to do is grind.

This model has a timer, so you can start your grind and step away, allowing it to finish the job for you. The model steps into the future, with metal tops and bases that give a touch of class to your countertop. It carries a bit more of a punch, however – a stronger motor allows for adjustable grinding speed. Naturally, this carries the concern of how loud the grinder will be at different speeds.

PROS
  • Sleek and stylistic feel and design
  • Avoids static with variable speed control – less clingy grounds
  • Larger bean hopper; store coffee beans for the next day
CONS
  • On the louder end of grinders
  • A bit more substantial investment for similar product

See how it looks and works down here:

3. Baratza Vario 886

For exquisite tastes, the Vario offers commercial quality in a more approachable package. Compared to the other Baratza models, the Vario offers 230 different settings between the extra-fine and extra-coarse spectrum. This added flexibility allows for any coffee fan to express themselves. If you’ve stumbled upon the Vario and you’re still learning, you’re in for a great experience in that regard. The Vario is a powerhouse that has a great many options – but This grinder is a lot more sturdy, ready to handle consistent and frequent use; and it will continue to produce consistent, high quality coffee.

You’ll find more ways to customize your coffee, paired with an LED display with every adjustment you can imagine available to you. This is a great product for someone with very specific tastes – or someone looking to explore those fine tweaks towards the perfect cup. The Vario also boasts ceramic burrs, which usually last twice as long as stainless steel burrs. If you’re looking for a grinder that blends professional and personal use – the Vario may be the choice for you.

It’s important to note that the Vario uses flat ceramic burrs, as opposed to conical burrs. This means that the grounds don’t funnel into the cone before being grounded, they simply grind on the bottom level. Sometimes, this can lend to a slight inconsistency with the quality of your grind-size. However, the Vario has not shown me a striking flaw just yet.

PROS
  • Extremely customizable – 230 different grind size settings allow for a myriad of coffee possibilities
  • Professional grade materials, made to feel comfortable at home
  • Sturdy, durable, strong – yet surprisingly quiet operation
CONS
  • Not as user-friendly – great many options may make it difficult to find the grind size for you
  • Not for beginners – lots of customization options that may coast overhead
  • Decent size investment, if for personal use

See how it looks and works down here:

4. Rancilio HSD-ROC-SD

Rancilio contributes a solid, colorful, user-friendly option with the SD Rocky Coffee Grinder. The bean hopper also acts as the grind-size dial, so all it takes is a twist to specify your needs. The Rocky is a great option for anybody that’s looking to add color and personality to their countertop. The blue accent and European design lead the Rocky to stand out as an individual amongst the other grinders.

Rancilio is a European based company with a high standard for design, function, and how they need to meet in the middle. The Rocky Coffee Grinder was built by elegant design to work elegantly, and it certainly plays the part. An additional note, is that this particular model offers a doserless model as well as a doser model. Be sure you’re purchasing the one you need! Essentially, a doser is the container that can hold your grounds. (It’s the place where they wait to get stale, if you don’t use them)!

What sets the Rancilio apart is its ability to stay entirely cool and quiet. Unlike the Rocky Coffee Grinder, multiple grinders sacrifice flavor in favor of quickly completing the grind. When running at full power, the grinder can heat up and slightly roast the beans in the hopper even more! Your coffee beans have already been roasted once! You don’t want the grinder to heat up and mess with the roast they were given. This grinder is also very quiet, which makes it a great option for anybody using it in a shared space. Whether that’s in your apartment that you share with roommates, or if you’re married and want to respect your spouse’s morning routine. The Rocky is a smooth path to a great, balanced coffee.

PROS
  • Amazingly quiet, and doesn’t sacrifice power to do so
  • Aesthetically pleasing; the design is sleek, functional, and accented with color
  • Solid design, heavy and powerful – without looking the part
  • Easy to use
CONS
  • Many of the pieces need to be locked into place – make sure you do, to avoid mess
  • May arrive dusted with coffee grounds due to testing on actual coffee beans, be ready

See how it looks and works down here:

5. Capresso 565.05 Infinity

Capresso appeals to a crowd of entry-level coffee grinders with the Infinity model. It harbors specifically engineered conical burrs that are placed carefully in the mechanism to maximize their potential. The rest of the product is built with a similar attention to detail – its designed to work well and handle a lot of use. Where it is sleek and simple looking, the bean hopper and engine are both capable of great things. It only offers 16 settings, but it’s built to be solid, strong, at an easy-to-move size (only 6 pounds)!

What’s really nice about a Capresso is that it is a welcome departure from the normal coffee grinders. It is capable of really great things, and can help a coffee-lover’s morning immensely. Granted, the Capresso could lead to laziness, as it can maintain coffee beans and a healthy amount of grounds too. Just make sure that you don’t run out of coffee grounds simply because habit told you not to replace the beans.

You’ll find the hopper able to hold 8.5 ounces of coffee beans, if you don’t want to measure every time. This is a great feature for people that are just looking to get a quick grind and go. Capresso’s infinity model even offers the extra-fine grind size if you’re looking for the Turkish coffee effect. The Capresso is built to succeed in a private environment – you’ll notice a rubber bottom that holds it in place, but also keeps the pieces safe from anything it may come near. It’s also very quiet, and affordable!

PROS
  • Great for beginners; easy to use and understand the different settings and how they would work
  • Extra fine setting is capable of grinding beans to make Turkish coffee
  • Carefully built to optimize working potential
CONS
  • Can lead to lazy practices - large bean hopper will enable you to grind fresh less often
  • Coffee grinds often fall out when removing receptacle
  • Less aesthetic

See how it looks and works down here:

6. Breville BCG820BSSXL

The future is here with the Breville Smart Grinder Pro – it’s a new product on the market, and is looking to change the game. Breville has taken a step towards a machine that does its job well, while taking little effort to operate it. The machine allows you to log the grind-sizes that worked the best for you; so when you experiment later on, you can still return to your favorites. It also comes with a large bean hopper, so you can make great use of the Breville’s ability to adjust the amount of grounds.

The Breville is actively working towards a responsive and user-friendly interface. Their first stride is the LED screen that displays the different specifications that your alterations will result in. The next is the hands-free capable operation. And no matter how you’re grinding, the Breville can make sure you’ve got exactly how many beans you need to create the right water-coffee ratio.

This grinder also offers a “dosing timer”, which essentially allows you to alter the grind time to 0.2 second increments for super-specific control. There’s about 60 settings, which is a fine balance between approachable and flexible. Lucky for us, it’s been simplified. If you feel the need to get a little extra fancy, you can remove the upper burr to calibrate the way your grinder works. It can allow a more fine or coarse grind. The Breville is for anybody who loves to the have the latest up-to-date technology, and it’s paving the way for smart grinders.

PROS
  • Cutting edge technology; the new age of coffee grinder
  • Hyper-specific dosing timer, the time you beans grind can be specified within 0.2 second intervals
  • 60 unique grind-size settings – allowing for specific grinds
  • Specific grind memory, your favorite grind will not be forgotten
  • Easy to move parts around to adjust your grind; be careful!
CONS
  • New technology – may be prone to jams
  • The extremely fine and extremely coarse options fall short

See how it looks and works down here:

Conclusion

Every single one of these coffee grinders brings an elite skillset to the table, and by no means are any of them a poor decision. However, when you weigh in all the factors, it’s clear that the greatest option for the everyday coffee grinder is:

The Baratza Encore

This little powerhouse does everything I need it to, and its shortcomings are mostly rooted in the human variable. It is a great fit for somebody new to the grind, as it is easy to use, affordable, and quiet. It is also a nice staple in the experts’ corner, as it is consistently looked to as a great source of a fine espresso grind.

You can never go wrong with a burr coffee grinder – just make sure you assess your needs beforehand. Think about how creative you want to be, how frequent you’ll be grinding, and how quickly you need it to run, and walk forth confidently! I hope this helped you out, and happy grinding!