Coffee grinders come in many shapes, sizes and grind types. Knowing which one is best for your coffee drinking pleasures can be confusing. Luckily we have had the privilege and sometimes misfortune of testing dozens of coffee grinders.
Before we dive into the best home coffee grinders let's first understand the grinding process and why it is necessary. The grinding process usually involves two methods. One is to use a blade grinder. This as you would expect is a series of blades cutting coffee beans like a blender. The problem with this method is that the beans are really just getting cut and not ground. The particle size will not be uniform and thus not the best during the brewing process.
The other method involves burr units. Burrs truly grind the coffee beans and depending on the quality of the machine they can create a close to uniform particle size. Even better is that you can control the size of the coffee grounds to accommodate different brewing processes. This isn't really possible with blade grinders.
So as you can expect we recommend looking for home coffee grinders with Conical Burr grinders. Here are a few other key buying factors to consider:
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro has a ton of high end features that are sure to grind your beans with the most control and precision. There are over 60 preset grind levels ranging from the finest espresso size grounds all the way to the coarsest french grinds. You can also choose from shot size to 18 cups. The amount of controls were somewhat overwhelming but the instruction book gave the guidelines for the grind size and measurements.
The Baratza Virtuoso features 40mm conical burrs that can produce amazingly accurate and small grounds. We preferred this model for espresso grinds but it would still work if you are looking for larger grind options as well. It also comes with a convenient frontend pulse button which allows you to grind directly into an espresso filter basket. The Baratza only has 40 settings compared to the Breville which offered 60. That is not a big deal for most users as the settings in the middle range are often unnecessary as not many brewing methods require them.
OXO has long been known for creating high end kitchen tools for an affordable price. Their conical burr home coffee grinder is no different. It has 40 mm burrs that can produce 38 different preset grind sizes. The integrated scale adds even more control for the perfect balance of grind size and production amount. The production amount is limited to 125 grams which should amount to 12 cups which is less than the others we tested.
The Bodum Bistro lacks many of the high end features of the before mentioned coffee grinders but it won’t put as big of a dent in your wallet either. The Bistro comes with 14 preset options ranging from fine to coarse and we found that most popular sizes are covered. If you are looking for a budget home coffee grinder this would be our top choice.