Are you a home brewer looking for precise grinding of coffee beans but unwilling to fork out hundreds of dollars for a coffee grinder? Then you must be shopping for a burr grinder that’s priced under 50 bucks. Is that possible? After reading this post, I bet you would be setting your sights on a burr grinder that’s efficient in grinding coffee beans but won’t cause you to break the bank..
What is A Burr Grinder?
Burr grinder is one of the types of coffee grinders; the other being blade grinders. The burr grinder consists of two revolving, serrated surfaces which are called burrs. The coffee beans are placed in between them; ready to be grounded.
Blade grinders, on the other hand, have a blade in the middle that looks like a propeller. It works similar to a blender’s blade.
Coffee aficionados will tell you this--- there’s no point in buying a blade grinder because blade grinders don’t grind the beans to uniform size, which affect the flavor of the brew. But because blade grinders are cheaper than burr grinders, a lot of home brewers settle for them.
Well, the good news is that you don’t have to shell out a lot of money if you want to have a burr grinder in your kitchen. As I’ve said, there are plenty of burr grinders worth around $50 or even less. Let us now look at the factors that you should take into consideration in buying this kind of kitchen appliance.
What To Look For In A Burr Grinder?
1. Type of operation
There are electric burr grinders, and there are hand-operated coffee grinders. The former is best for households while the latter is designed for travelers.
2. Conical Or Flat Shaped
When buying a burr grinder, you will have to determine if you want a flat or a conically shaped burr. A flat burr has two rings sitting horizontally to the ground. One burr faces upwards while the other faces down. There’s a space between the burrs where the beans enter and are then grounded.
On the other hand, conical burrs have a cone in a ring which grinds the beans down to the right size. Many experts agree it is better than flat burrs.
Burrs can be made of steel or ceramic. Steel burrs are cheaper but have a shorter lifespan. Ceramic is expensive but very durable.
4. Grind Settings
Just like in shopping for a personal blender where you want as many speed settings as possible, you should look for a burr grinder with many grind settings so you can choose how coarse or fine the beans to be grounded.
How many grind settings should a burr grinder have? It’s nice to have a burr grinder that has 20-plus grind settings although it’s difficult to find a burr grinder like that with your budget. I’d say a model with at least five settings should be good enough for you.
Similar to most modern kitchen appliances like blenders for frozen fruits, burr grinders have an array of features designed to make them efficient and safe.
One typical feature that you can find in burr grinders that are within the $50 price range is safety switches which ensure that the blades will not spin unless the lid of the grinder has been placed.
6. Bean Capacity
Simply put, this pertains to a number of beans that the burr grinder can hold. Bean capacity would be really up to your needs. If you live by yourself, then this may not be an important consideration. But if you have a big household where everyone likes coffee, you naturally would want a burr grinder with a larger bean capacity.
Burr grinders should not take up a lot of space in the kitchen. Look for a burr grinder that’s compact and space-saving.
8. Ease Of Cleaning
Because you want to spend more time brewing and enjoying home brewed coffee, right?
Best Burr Grinders Under $50 Available On The Market Today
Now let’s take a closer look at five burr grinders that you can have for less than $50. As I’ve said earlier, these are good quality burr grinders that you can get without breaking the bank. These models may not be as features-rich as more expensive burr grinders, but they can grind your beans to a more consistent size.
#1 KRUPS Electric Spice and Coffee Grinder F203
This flat burr grinder has metallic blades. It has a burr mill system designed to avoid overheating and preserving the aroma and flavor of the coffee beans.
Measuring 3 inches long, 3.5 inches wide and 6.75 inches tall, this burr grinder won’t take up a lot of space in the countertop, so this is a good choice if you have a small kitchen. The burr is removable and comes with a brush for easy cleaning. It has an 8 ounce bean capacity, making it ideal for a small household with a few people who like coffee.
This unit also features a safety lock that prevents the grinder from operating unless the lid is properly put into place.
#2 Hamilton Beach Coffee Grinder 80365
This is another compact and functional coffee grinder. It features five grind settings and a cup selector switch that would let you program the number of cups you want.
It is also very user-friendly. Once you have made your selections, press the On button, and the machine will start to grind. It will then automatically shut off once the grounds are ready.
It measures 4.8 inches long, 4.4 inches wide and 8.3 inches tall. With its size, there should be no problem storing this coffee grinder.
This grinder has a chamber that can make up to 12 cups of coffee beans. The said chamber is removable and dishwasher safe, thus cleaning should not be much of a concern. There’s also an internal cord storage and a cleaning brush included in the unit.
#3 Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Grinder
Hario is a Japanese firm which has been in the business of glassware manufacturing for nearly a century. This hand grinder is designed for coffee lovers who are on the go. It’s an affordable coffee grinder that’s easy to use clean. It’s also small enough for most countertops and drawers.
As I have pointed out earlier, ceramic burr grinders are noted for their durability. So you’re getting a good deal with this coffee grinder as it should last for a long time. It’s also affordable.
But with its size, this isn’t the type of coffee grinder that you would want if you have a big household teeming with many coffee lovers. It’s designed for 1-2 people who love coffee and are always on the go. And it can be labor-intensive as it is hand-operated.
#4 Hario Mini Mill Slim Hand Coffee Grinder
Another hand grinder from Hario, this unit comes with a ceramic mortar that’s not only durable but also won’t cause the odor to the coffee beans.
Like the other Hario product, this coffee grinder is designed for use of 1-2 people. It’s a grind-as-you-go type which can give you about 2 cups of grinding capacity.
It’s quite easy to use. Simply put the coffee beans in the cubicle, hold and turn the handle at a moderate pace and you will have ground beans in 1-2 minutes.
Once you are done with it, the parts are easily disassembled for quick and effortless cleaning.
#5 Kyocera ceramic coffee grinder
Like the other two products, this is a ceramic coffee grinder that’s durable. It won’t also alter the flavor of the coffee beans so you can expect fresh and flavorful coffee. You may also use it in grinding other items like green tea, pepper and sesame seeds.
It’s also easy to use. For one, you can set the size of the coffee grounds. You can drop the coffee beans into the hopper then into the grinding mechanism. The grinding handle is also easy to turn.
The unit disassembles easily so you can clean the parts well. You can use an old toothbrush to clean the burr grinder. And once you are done the cleaning, you can store this grinder in the cabinet.
Don’t get me wrong---the ceramic burr grinders are really nice and durable, but I would have to go with the KRUPS Electric Spice and Coffee Grinder if I were asked to choose just one burr grinder.
This electric burr grinder can grind coffee beans better and faster than those hand operated grinders. It also has a decent number of coarse settings, plus it is very compact too. Sure, you can’t bring this in your next camping trip, but overall, this has the best features among burr grinders worth less than 50 dollars.