Last Updated: February 2017
Perhaps you are new to coffee grinding and are not yet ready to invest in a high-tech grinder. Maybe you are on a limited budget, but wish to enjoy a fresher cup of coffee each morning by grinding your own beans. Whatever your reason, there are a number of “entry level” coffee grinders that are suitable for casual use. Here are some things you should know in order to help you choose the right one.
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Best Entry Level Coffee Grinder 2016
Below you will find the best entry-level coffee grinders and we will continue to update this page on a monthly basis, including our top recommendations which you will find below.
*5 Star Rating: this is based on the percentage of consumers who rate the coffee grinder 10/10.
Many coffee aficionados get their start with a manual grinder. A manual grinder is one that you hold in your hand while turning a wheel or knob to perform the grinding process. This type of grinder has a number of advantages for beginning users, including:
- Simple and easy to use, requiring virtually no learning curve
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Can be used in the event of a power outage
- Fewer replacement parts to wear out or require maintenance
- Small and lightweight, taking up very little room inside a cabinet or on a countertop
Even those who consider the best entry level coffee grinder to be an automated one often purchase a manual one to use as a backup unit in case of a power outage. Manual grinders also tend to be very small, making them ideal to take with you when traveling.
Others may purchase a manual grinder for its appearance alone. Manual grinders tend to have a vintage look about them that appeals to a wide group of people, and their classic appearance tends to go well with any type of kitchen cabinetry you may have.
Recommended Manual Grinder Choices
When it comes to choosing a manual coffee grinder, here are a few we think are ideal for first-time buyers:
Designed to reduce friction and static, this grinder has a rubber-based silicone cover to keep grounds in place. Its ceramic burrs easily pummel beans into the desired consistency and can be adjusted for multiple levels of fineness. Users remark that this is a very simple grinder to use once you master the art of adjusting the grind size. This requires removing the nut on top to access the washer and then loosening or tightening it as needed.
Hario Mill Slim Mini
Another top seller from Hario, this manual grinder is very slim and compact, making it the perfect travel companion. It is also ideal if you have limited storage space or would also like to grind herbs and spices. The fact that is a rather sleek grinder means it is also easy to grip, which is something you’ll appreciate if you suffer from arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome. While it is rather easy to use, it will produce only a limited quantity of ground beans, and may therefore not be suitable for grinding more than one or two cups.
This grinder is also very slender, and its sleek, cylinder-like design is enhanced even more by the fact that it is also made from stainless steel. As such, this is the perfect grinder to show off on your kitchen countertop. It is very easy to adjust the grind setting by tightening or loosening the white plastic nut on the top. One problem many people have involves holding onto the grinder, as its stainless steel exterior can be somewhat slippery. Aside from that, there are few problems reported with it.
Tanor’s Manual Ceramic Burr Coffee Grinder
This grinder’s ceramic burrs provide for exceptional quality on each and every setting. You’ll find it very easy to use the Tanor grinder due to its solid base, which contains a non-slip surface to keep it from slipping and sliding on your countertop. Use the brush that’s included to remove particles between grindings, and you should continue to achieve consistent results for as long as you own it.
Cozyna Ceramic Burr Manual Grinder
The Cozyna Ceramic Burr Manual Grinder was actually designed with Aeropress users in mind, as the size and shape of this grinder means it will easily fit inside one. As such, you can take it with you anywhere you are using your Aeropress coffee maker. It is also made from stainless steel, and features an easy-to-turn handle with ergonomic knob for added comfort.
Manual grinders are simply not suitable for everyone. Whether you have limited use of your hands or wish to grind your beans much faster, an electric grinder has several advantages. A few of the advantages an electric grinder may have over a manual one include:
- Being able to grind larger quantities of beans
- Quieter operation
- Easier to adjust grind settings to obtain more precise results
- Requires less time for grinding
- Hands-free operation means you can go on doing other things while your beans are grinding
Electric grinders tend to cost a little more than manual ones, but will nonetheless provide you with greater convenience. The fact that they are so versatile makes them an ideal choice if not everyone in your household prefers the same grind. You’ll also appreciate their quick operation if you regularly serve hot beverages to large groups of people.
While people are impressed with the nostalgic look that manual grinders offer, they are equally as pleased with the sleek, contemporary look of modern electric models. You’ll find a huge selection of grinders that will not only operate efficiently, but complement your other kitchen appliances very nicely.
When choosing an electric grinder, you’ll find plenty that are both affordable and easy to master. These are just a few models you may want to look into if you have determined that a manual grinder is not your best option.
The Krups F203 Electric Spice and Coffee Grinder contains a 200-watt motor for fast, even grinding on any of its numerous settings. This grinder will also grind enough beans for up to 12 cups of coffee. The shiny black exterior is offset by a lightly-tinted lid, which opens easily so you can place coffee beans, nuts, grains, or spices inside. This lid also acts as a safety switch, shutting off the grinding mechanism to prevent injury.
Hamilton Beach 80365
If you desire an elegant-looking grinder at an affordable price, then this one is for you. The Hamilton Beach 80365 is made from platinum, with a solid black base, knob, and dial selector for added visual appeal. It also features a removable grinding chamber, which will make keeping this appliance clean a breeze. This is another unit that is also perfect for grinding spices and herbs in.
Epica Electric Coffee Grinder
Featuring stainless steel blades and a removable grinding cup, the Epica Electric Coffee Grinder is very easy to clean and maintain. Containing a 250-watt motor, this grinder will easily cut through beans to leave you with even-sized particles in as little time as possible. It also operates very quietly, even when using it to chop nuts or grains, and comes with a two-year “wake up guarantee” from the manufacturer against any defects in workmanship.
This electric blade grinder is available in three colors: Onyx Black, Espresso, and Empire Red. All three contain a clear top cover and solid black trim around the handle and base. The KitchenAid BCG111OB also comes with a removable four-ounce stainless steel bowl, which contains markings that will help you determine whether or not you have the right quantity of coffee beans. This removable bowl also makes it very easy to transfer coffee grounds to your coffee maker.
Mira Electric Spice and Coffee Grinder
This square grinder contains smooth edges to give it a somewhat softer look. Its clear, flip-top lid secures tightly to keep out air and prevent your beans from becoming stale. The safeguarded lock button inside the lid keeps the unit from accidentally being turned on while the lid is open, an added bonus if you regularly use it around children. It also comes with stainless steel blades, which will remain sharp enough to cut through coffee beans, nuts, grains, or spices for some time to come.
Which one is Best?
Since manual and electric grinders are often comparatively priced, choosing the best entry level burr grinder can largely be a matter of personal preference. Some people derive a great deal of satisfaction out of grinding their beans by hand, and feel as though they are missing out on that experience by opting for an electric grinder. Others feel that grinding beans manually is too time-consuming or difficult, in which case an electric grinder is preferred. Even if you do elect to go with an electric grinder, you may still want to invest in a manual one for times when you are feeling a little nostalgic or find yourself without power.
You don’t have to invest a great deal of money in a coffee grinder in order to achieve amazing results. Any of the above-mentioned grinders will provide you with an even consistency, and will not require a great deal of technical skill to operate. Best of all, each one is also very affordable, allowing even those who do not have a great deal of money to spend to enjoy delicious, freshly-ground coffee.