If you're on the hunt for a coffee grinder, you may be shocked to find that some of the best-rated options cost hundreds of dollars. While the best coffee grinders under $100 won't compare to those top-tier models, they'll still get you a cup of brew that tastes fresher and much more flavorful than your favorite pre-ground coffee.
Manual Versus Electric
The first step in picking out the right grinder is to be honest with yourself about how much time and effort you're willing to put into a quality cup of coffee. Are you dedicated enough to meet the demands of a manual grinder or does the ease of an electric grinder seem more appealing? If you're an espresso-drinker, you'll need to get those beans to a fine consistency, which requires more muscle with a manual grinder. But if cold brew or French press coffee is your go-to, you'll need coarser grounds, which fortunately means less work for you. On the plus side, manual models are quieter, less expensive, and can be taken on-the-go.
Burrs Versus Blades
The next decision to make in your search is whether to go with a design that uses burrs or blades. A burr grinder will give you perfectly even grounds, which means better tasting coffee. A blade grinder, on the other hand, chops beans up into uneven pieces, which can lead to bitter and sour notes in your coffee. While burr grinders are much better at their job, blade grinders are way less expensive and, as a result, still a popular choice.
To help you find the right tool to aid in your daily grind, I've put together a list of the best coffee grinders, with something to fit nearly any morning routine.
1. The Overall Best: A High-Capacity Electric Burr Grinder
At just under $100, this Capresso electric burr grinder is a rare find. (Although be warned, occasionally the price on this item does fluctuate above the $100 point.) It offers 16 different grind settings, ranging from extra fine to coarse, and it also has a timer that can be programmed to grind for up to 60 seconds, which means you can set it and leave it. Designed with a durable, ABS base, the top compartment holds as much as 8.8 ounces of whole beans at a time, while the bottom compartment holds up to 4 ounces of ground coffee. When you're done grinding, the steel burrs are removable for easy washing.
What fans say: "Life changing ... I used a blade grinder for 30 years, and recently got this for my birthday. My French-press brew is much more consistent than it used to be, probably because all the grinds are now the same size. In my previous coffee life, my coffee would sometimes be bitter. Not anymore! Every pot is now the same, and I can safely adjust the amount of coffee in order to dial in the strength. It's never bitter, just bold and smooth."
2. The Runner-Up: This Compact Manual Burr Grinder
If you're looking for the even-grinding of burr blades at a much friendlier price, this Eparé manual coffee grinder is your answer. It has 15 grind settings that, unlike some other handheld models, are conveniently marked, so there's no guesswork required. Made with durable ceramic burrs, this little device can hold a bit more than 2 ounces of whole beans. Though it gets a bit wobbly while you grind, reviewers were otherwise impressed with how simple it is to use. To wash this one out, you'll just need to unscrew the bottom and rinse it out by hand.
What fans say: "The biggest surprise was how quickly and easily I was able to grind the beans. The grounds were of uniform size—and that’s what I was looking for."
3. The Most Budget-Friendly Option: A Sleek, Stainless Steel Blade Grinder
If a manual grinder isn't for you and an electric burr grinder exceeds your budget, this AICOK electric blade grinder is your best bet. It features a sleek, stainless steel base and blades, and though it won't give you the perfect consistency of a burr grinder, it still has rave reviews, with a 4.3-star rating on Amazon. It holds a little more than 2 ounces of ground coffee at a time, and the grinding cup is both removable and dishwasher-safe. With one-touch operation, it's less precise than my previous two picks, and you'll have to hold the button for anywhere from eight to 20 seconds to get your desired consistency. But for the price, it's a pretty fair tradeoff.
What fans say: "This grinder is everything I wanted. I can grind my roasted coffee beans in the morning instead of going for instant coffee. It is really simple and easy to clean. Also, with is being detachable, I save time in the morning. It makes my work effortless!!! the time it takes to grind it also very short. I am a very busy person in the morning. Now I can still have coffee in the morning even if I am late."
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