We’ve tested 14 coffee grinders, including electric blade and burr grinders and manual models, and found one grinder that stands head and shoulders above the rest.
Whether you use a traditional espresso machine, a cafetiere or a Chemex, the grind level and freshness of your coffee grounds are an important factor in getting the best results.
The coffee grinders we’ve tested range in price from £7 to £220. We rated them for how well they grind beans to coarse, medium or fine grounds, how quick and easy they are to use, and how noisy they are. One model stood out with its speedy, even grinding – with a score of 83%, it’s our top pick. It’s also relatively cheap, at less than £50.
Find out which models we named Best Buys by heading to our coffee grinder reviews. Alternatively, read on to find out more about some of the models we’ve just tested and how to choose the best grinder for you.
Budget vs premium coffee grinders
If you have browsed coffee grinders at the shops, you’ll have noticed that prices can vary wildly.
We’ve tested all kinds of coffee grinders, from premium to budget, and we’ve found that price and performance don’t always go hand in hand.
Pricier models tend to be made of premium materials such as brushed steel, are more customisable for those who are picky about their grind, and have extra features. But they’re often much bigger, too. As an example, below are three models with a range of prices that we’ve just tested:
Sage The Smart Grinder Pro, £129*
This Sage electric burr grinder is one of the most expensive grinders we’ve tested. It has 60 grind settings to choose from, allowing a huge level of control over how your grounds look. You can use it in manual or automatic mode, depending on how much control you want.
Handily, and similarly to more commercial-style grinders, it also has an attachment so you can grind your coffee beans straight into your coffee machine portafilter (the part you fill with ground coffee), to save time on prep if you want a quick espresso.
Krups F20342 Coffee and Spice Mill, £20
At a fraction of the price of the Sage grinder, you’d expect the Krups blade grinder to be more basic.
Krups says that this compact model is ideal for grinding coffee for espresso, and it can also be used to grind spices. You’ll need to clean it well between uses, though, as coffee picks up other flavours and aromas easily – nobody wants a coriander-seed-scented espresso first thing in the morning.
Even though this machine is much smaller than the Sage, it can still grind about 75g of coffee – or about 12 cups-worth, so it could be handy if you are strapped for space in the kitchen.
Kitchen Craft Delux Le’Xpress coffee grinder, £7
You might first mistake this Le’Xpress manual coffee grinder for a pepper mill, as it looks remarkably similar. It needs your muscle power to grind the beans, so be prepared to spend some time and energy using it.
Although small and basic, it actually has three grind settings: coarse, medium and fine. The coarse grind will be suitable for making longer black coffee, such as with a cafetiere, while the fine grind is necessary to make an espresso using a traditional coffee machine.
We’ve tested each of these grinders, and many more, for how well they grind coarse, medium and fine coffee. Head to our coffee grinder reviews to find out which grinders proved effective at blitzing beans in our tests.
How to buy the right coffee grinder for you
The main thing to think about when buying a grinder is what kind of coffee you like to make at home.
If you prefer espresso, look for a model that excels at getting the fine grind needed for this method. If you prefer longer coffees, and use a cafetiere or similar method, you’ll need a grinder which does a good coarse grind.
If you like to mix it up, opt for a versatile all-rounder that will let you easily switch the grind level.
The reason for this is down to the difference in brewing methods. The fine grounds you’d use for an espresso have a larger surface area than coarser grounds. This allows the water to extract more flavour in a shorter amount of time, producing the characteristic espresso flavour. Coarser grounds work better for slower brewing methods, avoiding over-extraction and producing a less intense brew, while still allowing the flavour to develop.
Find out more about the different types of grinder and how to pick the best for you in our coffee grinder buying guide.
Coffee grinders reviewed for 2018
Here’s the full list of coffee grinders we’ve just reviewed. To see how they fared in our tests head to our coffee grinder reviews.
- Bodum Bistro 11160, £35
- Bodum Bistro 10903, £110
- Bosch MKM6003, £30
- DeLonghi KG79, £45
- DeLonghi KG40, £28
- DeLonghi KG521.M Dedica, £200
- DeLonghi KG49, £30
- Dualit CCG2, £80
- Hario Skerton MSCS-2, £40
- Krups Expert GVX242, £41
- Krups F203, £20
- Kitchen Craft Le´Xpress, £7
- Melitta Molino, £49
- Sage The Smart Grinder Pro BCG820BSSUK, £129
*Prices correct as of 23 August 2018