The 7 Best Budget Coffee Grinders of 2020 - Reviews & Guide
1: 1Zpresso Jx 48 mm burr grinder
This grinder from the Taiwanese brand 1Zpresso has been my favorite since it was released in mid 2019.
The grounds are extremely consistent with almost no fines. This mean that your coffee just tastes a lot more smooth and less bitter.
If you buy beans from artisan roasters having flavor notes such as ‘chocolate‘ and ‘peach‘, then youneed a grinder like this bring out these flavors clearly. Most budget grinders just won’t make the cut.
Since this is a manual grinder you will have to some work yourself. However, due to the smooth bearings and sharp steel burrs, it actually grinds very fast. I usually grind 2 big handfuls of beans for my morning coffee, which takes less than 45 seconds.
Many readers of the site, have sent emails to me, saying thanks for recommending this grinder. You can see my full review here.
The only people who I wouldn’t recommend this grinder to are people who care more about convenience than coffee flavor, and people who tend to brew big batches every day. Those are probably better served with an electric grinder instead.
This is an end-game grinder that is built to last for years. If you can stretch your budget just a little bit, I’d recommend this one to most people.
Timemore C2 has become extremely popular within the last year or so. It’s easy to see why: This is a grinder that’s close to many of the famous manual grinders in terms of performance, but the price is still on the budget-friendly side.
The Timemore C2 offers a consistent grind and can be used for all brewing methods except espresso and Turkish.
The most remarkable thing about the C2 is that it’s very speedy for a manual grinder. It can almost grind a gram per second, which is quite amazing.
It’s also quite compact, while still having a solid enough capacity, which means that it can work well both as your daily workhorse or as a travel companion, if you’re going camping.
There’s a lot of good stuff to be said about Timemore’s budget model. I see it as being significantly better than the Hario Skerton, but not quite as good as the abovementioned, Jx. Check out, the full review here.
The Heihox grinder is one of those cheap Chinese products that is hard to describe.
While the brand has clearly made a couple of unique decisions regarding the aesthetics of the grinder, it also appears to be borrowed in large parts from the Timemore C2, Helor 101 and 1Zpresso Q2. It’s not a clone of any of them; you could probably call it a mutation.
While it’s usually frowned upon to steal ideas from your competitors, Heihox somehow manages to get away with it without raising too many eyebrows.
The grinder uses the same burrs as the Timemore C2, so that means that it grinds extremely fast and relatively consistent.
It will definitely be miles ahead of the similarly priced Hario Skerton Pro, when it comes to those things. So logically speaking, it must also be included on a list of the best cheap grinders even though it’s not a brand I’m really excited about.
The more recent reviews on Amazon are good. It appears that a few issues, such as an annoying grounds bin, have been fixed.
If you want to save some bucks, while getting good coffee, this makes sense logically (but my heart is not really into it).
This electric grinder features a disc burr grinder. It is fairly lightweight at 4.5 pounds. Its dimensions are 7.13” x 10.75” x 6”. It features a 140-watt motor and is BPA free.
While the grind chamber is removable and holds up to 32 cups worth of ground coffee, you can only ground between four and eighteen cups at a time.
If you want to grind less than four cups worth of grounds, you can add fewer beans and the automatic shut off will turn off the machine once it is out of beans.
The Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind features a grind selector with 18 positions, allowing you to choose anywhere from a fine grind for an espresso machine to a coarser grind for a French Press.
The removable bean hopper holds 8oz of coffee beans and comes with a scoop and cleaning brush. The stainless steel Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind comes with an eighteen-month limited manufacturer’s warranty.
This grinder has a better build quality than most of the other budget grinders, but unfortunately, the burrs are not the best. That means that the grinder is quite noisy and also produces a lot of dust, also known as fines.
Still, it should be a good grinder for most people just getting into coffee. Read our full review here.
This electric burr grinder features legit conical burrs – not the fake kind. It weighs in at 3 pounds and has dimensions of 7.75” x 5” x 10.5”. The motor is 100 watts and the grinder is made of ABS and stainless steel. The grinder has a one-year limited warranty
The bean hopper holds up to 8.5 ounces of whole coffee beans and the removable coffee ground container holds up to 4 ounces of coffee grounds. The Capresso 560.04 Infinity features 16 grind settings from extra-fine to coarse, with four settings for each: extra-fine, fine, regular, and coarse. The grinding timer can be set for anywhere from five to 60 seconds.
The Capresso 560 Infinity has a slower grinding speed to reduce friction and heat. It also features a safety lock system. For easy cleaning, the bean hopper, upper conical burr, and coffee ground container are all removable. The grinder also comes with a scoop and cleaning brush.
This grinder is more expensive than the other ones we have been looking at in this roundup review. So it should come as no surprise that it also offers a more consistent grind than the other models we have been looking at.
If you can afford the Capresso Infinity it’s a very solid option that should be able to serve you for years.
This grinder from Danish company Bodum just has a striking look. It looks more like a high-end product compared to most of the other cheap grinders. It still lands firmly in the budget range though, which means that it’s probably on your radar.
The Bodum Bistro has a clever design. The ground jar is what stands out on this grinder. It’s made out of borosilicate glass, which means less static and fewer fines and chaff clinging to the container.
This grinder is for people who hate having a messy kitchen counter. I haven’t tried other grinders that reduces static and stray grounds as effectively as this device!
There’s a set of true steel conical burrs inside the device. However, they aren’t capable of producing truly outstanding grind quality like my top choice, the 1Zpresso Jx. It’s sort of okay-ish for pour over and decent enough for immersion brewing.
Regular people who add milk and sugar to the coffee will probably be satisfied with the consistency. However, specialty coffee geeks need better flavor separation to enjoy single origin beans.
The Bistro has a built-in timer, which can both be a blessing and a curse. Some users complain that a maximum setting of 20 seconds isn’t enough time to grind larger quantities. So keep that in mind if you’re often brewing big batches.
The Bodum Bistro Burr Grinder is a decent choice if you can get a good deal on it, but overall I’d prefer better grind distribution — even if it means sacrificing the spectacular design.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a coffee grinder.
Some models are merely glorified salt and pepper mills, while others have advanced functions like timers and built-in scales.
However, if you’re reading this you probably want a basic model that can be used for stuff like French press, drip and pour over.
If that’s the case a manual grinder should be on your radar. It takes a bit of effort but you generally get a lot for your money with this kind of contraption.
A basic electric burr grinder without any special features could also work. Go for one with from a reliable company. Electric burr grinders operate under a lot of stress and cheaper models tend to have more problems down the line.
Pro tip: I would definitely recommend that you skip any coffee grinders that use blades and only focus on burr grinders. Burr grinders have the ability to grind at different settings and are just way, way better. Trust me on this one!
Why should I grind my coffee at home?
You may be wondering why you should have the added expense of whole beans and a coffee grinder. The answer is quite simple and scientific: oxidation.
As oxygen meets your ground coffee, it starts to break down the oils and aroma compounds.
This causes your ground coffee to go stale, giving your coffee a more boring flavor. Simply put, the fresher your ground coffee is, the more flavorful it is.
Blade vs. Burr Coffee Grinders
When it comes to the inner workings of coffee grinders, there are two main choices: blades or burrs. They both grind your coffee, so how do you know how to choose?
Blade grinders work like a blender or a food processor with blades set to chop up the coffee beans. The problem with a blade grinder? Consistency. The blades chop the coffee beans, rather than consistently grinding them, making some pieces smaller than others. Since different sizes extract the coffee flavor at different rates, you may over extract the ground coffee. This over-extraction is what can cause a bitter flavor to your coffee.
The burr grinder is superior. These coffee grinders feature two pieces of either metal or ceramic with sharp surfaces. This allows the coffee bean to fall between the burrs and be cut from both sides, usually resulting in a more consistent grind.
The shape of the burrs can be either conical or flat.
Both are good in their own way, but usually, the entry-level models will feature conical burrs and more expensive espresso-oriented grinders that are used in coffee shops will have flat steel burrs.
Can’t choose between an electric or manual grinder?
Comparing a manual grinder to an electric one is a bit like comparing apples to oranges; they are quite different and there are use cases to both. There are a variety of choices to choose from either way you go.
With a manual grinder, you basically put the beans in, turn the crank, and out comes your freshly ground coffee. Sizes can vary from incredibly small grinders suitable for travel, and go up to larger models meant for daily use at home.
Manual grinders tend to grind more uniform for the money, and they also last longer since only few parts can break.
The caveat is that they do require a fair amount of biceps exercise for every cuppa joe you want.
An electric grinder is way more convenient for most people. Especially, if you’re often brewing bigger batches of coffee. Realistically, manual grinding becomes cumbersome if you have to grind for more than two people (around 30 grams).
There are three main benefits to choosing an electric grinder over a manual one.
The first benefit is speed. With a manual grinder, you can typically grind out two or three cups worth of beans before you run out of stamina. However, with an electric burr grinder, it takes a fraction of the time to do even larger amounts of coffee beans. Need 14 cups worth? Just hit a button.
The second benefit is the fact that it is often easier to adjust an electric version. With a lot of manual grinders, you will have to experiment a bit before you find the preferred size. With an electric grinder, you just have to memorize the right number or step and it should be a breeze to readjust to, say, your preferred setting for pour over coffee.
The final benefit to an electric burr coffee grinder is that you can find some special ‘extra’ features that a manual grinder won’t have. These include the ability to choose how many cups you want to grind, and the grinder will do it automatically, timers and digital scales.
Top Featured Image: David Joyce | CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source
Hello, and welcome! I'm the editor & founder of this site. I have been a coffee geek since I started home roasting more than a decade ago. Since then, coffee has taken me on countless adventures: From ancient coffee ceremonies in Ethiopia to the volcanos of Sumatra. My background is in journalism, and today I'm also a licensed Q Grader under the Coffee Quality Institute.
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