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The 6 Best Budget Coffee Grinders for Home Brewing [2021 Edition]
Written by: Garrett Oden
If you’re trying to master the art of delicious, rich, barista-level home brew, there’s no better way to start than with freshly ground beans. The only problem is that snobby baristas will tell you budget coffee grinders are not worth it, and that—if you really want delicious coffee—you’ll have to fork up some serious dough.
*Eye-roll*, amiright? You don’t really want to spend hundreds of dollars just to grind your beans and improve your brew. But you don’t want to waste your hard-earned dosh on a cheaper model either.
Your caffeinated mind is buzzing with questions: How do you choose a coffee grinder? Are budget coffee grinders any good? Which is the best budget coffee grinder for you?
In this guide you’ll discover:
- How to choose the best coffee grinder to suit your budget without wasting time on poor quality models
- Why manual burr grinders are the way to go when you’re saving your cash
- 6 of the best budget coffee grinders for home brewing
By the end you’ll, you’ll be one giant step closer to the perfect grind (and the perfect brew) — you’ll know what to look for in a coffee grinder, and you’ll have a few excellent examples to choose from that won’t break the bank.
Budget Coffee Grinders in A Snap
If you’re looking to take your coffee to the next level without having to spend a fortune, a budget coffee grinder might be just the thing you need.
Looking for the best budget coffee grinder?
What you need to know:
- A budget coffee grinder will get the grinding job done just as well as an expensive version, as long as you choose a reliable, well-made model
- You’ll get the most bang for your buck with a manual burr grinder
- Choose a model that suits your needs — a manual, lightweight design is better for travel, and a larger, electric model is great for grinding enough coffee for the whole family
- Budget grinders can produce fine – coarse grounds, suitable for all brewing methods
You don’t need to purchase a huge, café-quality coffee grinder to reap the benefits of freshly ground coffee beans!
🏆 Our Top Budget Grinder: JavaPresse Manual Burr Coffee Grinder
We think our manual burr coffee grinder is tough to beat. At ~ $40, it’s a steal for the quality. It’s built with a professional-grade ceramic conical burr to heighten the natural flavors of your favorite coffee beans.
The burr grinder provides an incredibly consistent grind for a variety of brews and makes little noise. And, its stainless steel frame and convenient size make it the perfect travel companion!
What to Look for in a Budget Coffee Grinder
Choosing the best budget coffee grinder comes down to your needs and the quality of the design.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Grind Quality and Consistency
This is the most important factor to consider when choosing your budget grinder. You’re trying to get the best flavor out of your coffee, so there’s no point buying a grinder unless it can produce a great quality grind.
The best grinders:
- Produce a consistent grind. If there are smaller grinds mixed with larger grinds, you’ll end up with over and/or under extracted coffee and an unbalanced flavor, you need that consistency!
- Can be adjusted to suit your brewing method, from a very fine – a very coarse grind.
- Don’t heat your beans in the grinding process, which can burn the coffee and damage its flavor.
To achieve the best grind quality and consistency, you’ll need to get your hands on a burr grinder, rather than a cheap blade grinder you’ll find in supermarkets.
Size: How Much Coffee Do You Need to Grind at Once?
Need enough for just you? Or are you brewing for the whole neighborhood?
- If you’re only brewing for you, a small, manual grinder is probably the best choice. You only need to grind enough for immediate use (10-15 minutes post-grind, max), so the beans don’t lose their flavor.
- If you’re grinding for the whole family, a larger electric model may be the way to go. This way you can grind enough for a few people without breaking a sweat.
You may need to spend a little more on a bigger, electric grinder, but it’s probably worth it if you need to grind for more than 2 people at once. On the flip side, choose a small, convenient grinder if you aren’t making large batches of coffee.
Materials: Stainless Steel, Ceramic, or Plastic?
All three materials can be great choices, and don’t necessarily affect the quality of your grind. The material will affect the appearance and durability of your grinder.
- Stainless Steel — Looks clean, crisp, and professional, is sturdy and lightweight, and is great to take on the road as it’s less likely to break mid-trip while banging around in your backpack.
- Ceramic — They look classy, but they can break or crack easily if not handled carefully. Best left at home tucked away in a cupboard.
- Plastic — Not as nice to look at, but functional and often cheaper. May scratch and dent, and depending on the plastic used it can be less durable than the steel models.
It’s all about what appeals to you visually, and how durable you’ll need it to be.
Design: Do You Need a Sleek, Lightweight Grinder for Travel?
If you’re on the go, choose a model that features a lightweight design.
- For work or travel, manual grinders are the best option. They’re small, light, and easy to throw in your backpack or suitcase.
- Choose a stainless steel or hard plastic design. These materials won’t shatter in your bag like ceramic models, and won’t add too much weight.
For travelers, big electric grinders will only weigh you down, and your brew should only ever perk you up.
Reliability and Ease of Use
You don’t want to purchase a grinder and have it break within a few uses thanks to a flimsy design. Make sure the grinder is well-made, reliable, easy to clean, and relatively quiet.
Look out for:
- Great reviews. Plenty of 5-star reviews? You can probably bet that it’s a fantastic, reliable grinder.
- A stainless steel design. Stainless steel is more likely to stand the test of time than ceramic or plastic models.
- Mechanisms that are easy to pull apart and clean. If it’s tough to clean, you’ll end up with old coffee oils ruining the flavor of your next cup, and you’ll be pulling your hair out.
- A smooth grinding function. Electric models are obviously less effort on your end, but manual grinders can be just as easy to use (or close to!) as long as you pick up a well-designed model.
- Quiet grinding. No one wants their grinder to sound like a plane taking off at 6am. Manual grinders are virtually noiseless, but electric models can be relatively quiet if you choose wisely.
Choose your budget grinder carefully and it will join you on your coffee-making adventures for many years to come!
6 of the Best Budget Coffee Grinders Available
We’ve rounded up 6 of the best budget coffee grinders on offer, so you can start grinding your way to better coffee.
Our grinder is the #1 best-selling manual grinder on Amazon for good reason — the grind quality is incredibly good for ~$40.
If you’re looking to improve the quality of your coffee and extract the full flavor of your favorite beans on a budget, you can’t go wrong with this grinder. It's made with a professional-grade ceramic conical burr and was born out of necessity to provide an incredibly consistent grind for a variety of brews.
- It has a built-in adjustable grind selector with over 15 settings, ensuring you have 100% control over the coarseness of your grind, perfect to experiment with different brew methods.
- There are no batteries, power, or long cords needed to operate the grinder and it’s lightweight, so you can enjoy fresh ground coffee beans on your next camping, hiking, or backpacking trip or at the office.
- Its burrs are built to last 5x longer than other grinders. The ceramic burrs undergo three quality inspections and are more durable than grinders built with stainless steel burrs.
We’re really proud of the quality of our manual burr grinder. Its hand crank mechanism makes it quiet and easy to use, it’s reliable and consistent, super affordable, and most importantly it makes a seriously good cup of coffee (with the right grind size for your brew method of course).
The TIMEMORE Chestnut C2 manual conical burr coffee grinder is novice-friendly and features a sturdy aluminum body with a practical design. Grinding is smooth and easy, and the beans are cut fast and consistently with a uniform grind size. This grinder comes in at around the $80 mark.
- Ability to grind for a range of brewing methods, including espresso, AeroPress, pour-over, cold brew, and french press.
- Sturdy, reliable design with stylish color handles and effortless grinding to produce a uniform coffee particle size.
The OXO Brew Grinder is an electric model, featuring durable stainless steel conical burrs to create uniform grounds. It’ll set you back approximately $100 and is on the larger side — it may be handy for those who would rather not grind manually and are looking to keep their grinder on their kitchen bench.
- 15 settings plus micro settings let you adjust your grind to suit your taste and brewing method.
- Just push to grind. The one-touch start timer keeps your last setting and the electric mechanism does the grinding work for you.
This conical burr grinder by Capresso is another electric model worth considering. It can hold up to 8.8 ounces of beans and features commercial-grade, solid steel conical burrs with an advanced cutting design for precision grinding. The black plastic model comes in at around $80, and the stainless steel model at $100.
- It features a wide grinding range, from ultrafine for Turkish coffee or espresso to coarse for french press and everything in between.
- The gear reduction motor preserves the bean’s flavor and aroma. It grinds slowly with reduced noise and little static build-up.
The Mini Slim manual ceramic coffee mill from Hario is small and lightweight, great for easy storage and travel. It features a new and improved reinforced hexagonal adapter for increased grind consistency and reduced wear. It’ll only cost you around $30, and is ideal for grinding small amounts of coffee.
- The ceramic mill is easily adjusted to achieve the right grind coarseness. It provides a consistent grind for perfect fresh coffee.
- Its small, lightweight and slim design makes for easy storage and travel. It can be stored without the handle for extra convenience.
The Unooder Manual Grinder is on the pricier end of the manual scale at ~$95. It features an internal adjustable stainless steel burr, is easy to clean, and boasts ultra silent grinding.
- It grinds accurately and consistently thanks to the built-in adjustable digital dial. This ensures the manual grinder can control the coarseness of the coffee grind.
- Smooth, easy grinding with the durable stainless steel 420 conical burr and dual bearing support spindle.
Common Questions About Buying a Coffee Grinder
Still not sure how to choose the best budget coffee grinder? We’ve answered all your coffee grinder questions.
10-Second Summary: Why Do I Need a Coffee Grinder?
You probably already know you need one for the best possible coffee experience, but here’s a quick rundown on why you should pick one up ASAP:
- Freshly ground coffee is the best coffee. Ground coffee begins to lose its flavor after just 10 minutes of being ground, so for the best cup, it has to be fresh.
- Use any coffee brewing method you want. With a grinder you can adjust your grind size to suit different brewing methods, whereas pre-ground coffee will only suit one or two types of brews.
- Adjust the grind size to brew the perfect cup. Sometimes your cup of coffee may come out tasting a little bitter or a little burnt — just adjust your grind size up or down a touch to find your sweet spot!
Sure you could miss out on the benefits of freshly ground coffee, but when it’s as easy as a few twists of a handle, or the click of a button — why would you?
Are Budget Coffee Grinders Worth it?
You could spend a little extra and get the best of the best, but unless you’re setting up a home cafè, the lofty, pricey grinders aren’t necessary. A budget coffee grinder will get the job done just as well, as long as you choose a reliable, well-made model.
- May take a little longer to achieve a fine grind for espresso, particularly the manual models.
- May only handle small amounts of coffee at a time.
- Can be great to travel with or take to the office as they’re often slim and lightweight.
- Can still be long-lasting if they’re made with quality materials.
Choose a well-made grinder and you’ll definitely notice a difference in your coffee quality, regardless of whether you’ve spent $40 or $400.
Are Electric or Manual Budget Coffee Grinders Better?
Both offer pros and cons, but manual coffee grinders are equally as powerful at a fraction of the cost, making them ideal when you’re on a grinder budget.
Manual grinders are:
- Affordable — You can purchase a high quality model for under $40, whereas a quality, budget electric grinder may cost upwards of $80.
- Convenient — Manual coffee grinders are small, lightweight, quiet and easy to travel with or take to the office, they’re also easier to clean.
- Perfect for grinding small amounts — Grinding coffee just for you? Manual grinders are great for a single brew (or two).
If you’re looking for a great quality grinder on a budget, a manual version is likely the best choice, but choose based on your grinding needs.
Are Burr or Blade Budget Coffee Grinders Better?
Whether you’re spending small or spending big, always choose the burr grinder. Blade grinders chop your beans into a rough, inconsistent powder and heat them at the same time, damaging their flavor.
Burr grinders on the other hand:
- Grind beans into a uniform size without causing heat damage from friction. They rely on two burrs, spinning in opposite directions to direct the beans down a funnel
- You can fine-tune your grind and perfect your brew by making tiny adjustments to the burrs; the closer they are together, the finer the grind
- Are built to last with quality burr materials, so they can be a little pricier
The 6 budget grinders we recommended earlier are all burr grinders. Burrs produce superior tasting coffee, and are a sturdier, more reliable mechanism.
What’s The Best Budget Coffee Grinder for Espresso?
When you’re grinding for espresso, things get a little trickier because your grind needs to be super fine.
- Small, budget electric grinders can have trouble achieving that consistency reliably.
- Budget manual grinders do a better job at producing extremely fine coffee grounds.
- You’ll just need a little extra elbow grease to achieve that fine consistency.
- Choose a burr grinder with a sturdy design.
Also Read: The Ultimate Guide to Espresso
Producing the perfect cup of coffee is an art, and having a reliable budget coffee grinder on your side will make your morning coffee routine a little easier, and taste a whole lot sweeter.
Try Our Coffee Club, Get Our #1 Rated Coffee Grinder FREE!
Our Manual Burr Coffee Grinder is the #1 rated budget grinder on Amazon for good reason. With over 18,000 positive reviews, coffee lovers choose the JavaPresse manual grinder for its affordability, reliability, consistent coffee grind, and sturdy, lightweight design. It’s a win-win for your cup of coffee and your bank account!