It's a little-known fact that the grinder is actually the single most important piece of coffee equipment you can own. In fact, if you're making a budget for your home coffee set-up, whether you prefer a French press or you can’t get enough espresso, you should set aside a significant chunk of money for the grinder, regardless of your brewing equipment. Why? Because the uniformity and size of the individual coffee grounds you brew is one of—if not the—most important part of your lineup.... If your coffee is unevenly ground, sitting in your filter in all different shapes and sizes, the effect will be the coffee equivalent of trying to evenly roast vegetables that are cut in various thicknesses from paper thin to one inch chunks. Different sizes of cut veggies will roast at different rates, and different sizes of coffee grounds will brew inconsistently. The end result? A cup of not great coffee that was completely avoidable.
Here, we examine some of the best coffee grinders on the market at every budget and for any use—whether you're making French press, espresso, or anything in between—to make sure you get the perfect cup, every time.
01 of 08
This grinder has stainless steel conical burrs that are designed to minimize grinding heat and protect the essential oils, to maximize the flavor you get from your coffee beans. It has 60 precise-grind settings from the finest espresso to a coarse grind for French Press and everything in between. You’ll always have exactly the right grind for your beans and your coffee grinder.
This has an electronic timer that adjusts the grind time in 2/10s of second increments, so you can produce exactly the... amount of ground coffee you need every single time.
You can store up to 16 ounces in the hopper, which has a locking system that makes it easy to remove and clean. You can grind beans directly into a filter or your favorite container, so there’s less to clean.
This includes two sizes of portafilter cradles, a ground-coffee container with lid and a cleaning brush. This model is available in three different colors to fit your kitchen décor.
02 of 08
If a $500 grinder isn't in your future but you want something reliable, Baratza has another model for you. The Virtuoso's conical burrs will last roughly two-thirds as long as the ceramic burrs in the Vario, and their shape encourages an even and just as adjustable particle size as those in the machine's more expensive, flashier cousin.
The Virtuoso has the capacity to create grinds coarse enough for French press and fine enough for just about everything short of espresso, which makes... it ideal for the everyday coffee geek who loves their daily brew but isn't ready to go down the espresso rabbit hole. Baratza is also dedicated to service, which means that parts and repair are relatively simple on these units, unlike many other home appliances available.
03 of 08
Want a burr grinder without any bells and whistles? This OXO grinder might be your best bet—except it comes with one big whistle, in that it actually has a built-in scale! An easy-to-use digital interface allows you not only to change the programs and dose weights, but is also precise enough to give you anything from one batch of espresso-ground coffee to five doses of filter-ground coffee, at the touch of a button. You can also make minute adjustments to coffee strength at the gentle twist of a... knob, and the hopper is easily removable to switch from bean to bean whenever necessary.
04 of 08
This stylish little budget grinder actually does a fairly serviceable job, considering its reasonable price tag and not-coffee-specific brand. Consider it a good "starter" grinder, perfect for anyone who has been buying pre-ground, or bringing bags of whole beans to the local market or cafe for grinding. It might not be perfect, or come with designer cred, but it's a good little grinder that gets the job done, churning out really solid coffee at home on a budget. Plus, it comes in... five fun colors.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Slim, sleek, portable, infinitely adjustable: The Porlex stainless-steel hand grinder is a perfect tool for the coffee geek who has little space, needs a noiseless grinder, or travels a lot. Stepless adjustments make the tool adaptable for any number of coffee brewing methods, from French press to something close to espresso, and the tiny footprint is ideal for a counter, a cubby at work, or a luggage pocket for the on-the-go coffee brewer. While hand-grinding can admittedly be a chore, the... Porlex only holds enough for one or two cups at a time (about 40 grams), making it a powerful weapon in the fight against single-brew mediocrity—but don't try to grind enough for a crowd with this thing.
06 of 08
While the Hario Skerton is less stable than the Porlex hand grinder, its separate parts make it an ideal travel companion: A screw-top lid is included in the package, making it possible to remove the grinder top, seal the bottom bowl, and use it as a storage unit for freshly hand-ground coffee. The ceramic burrs are long-lasting and precise, offering an incredibly even grind particle size for a manual grinder. As with the Porlex (and basically every other hand-powered grinder in existence),... adjustments to the grind-particle size are something of a pain to make, but the accuracy and uniformity of the grind once you settle on the right one is hard to beat at the price.
07 of 08
Espresso requires a find grind, and this commercial-grade burr grinder provides it with 30mm tempered steel burrs, a 120-watt motor, and 34 grind settings. This has a gear-reduction system that runs quietly and reduces annoying static buildup.
The housing is impact-resistant plastic that’s easy to keep clean and there is an 8-ounce container for the ground coffee and a 10-ounce bean hopper. The doser makes it easy to dispense a pre-measured portion of coffee into a filter holder — just pull the... lever once for a single cup of espresso or twice for two cups.
Since this had a variety of grind settings, you can also use this for your everyday coffee. The manufacturer notes that all machines are tested before shipping, so some grounds might remain when the product is shipped.
08 of 08
This burr coffee grinder has a unique shape that’s reminiscent of a KitchenAid stand mixer, but that shape also makes it shorter than the more upright grinders, so it fits better under low kitchen cabinets or on storage shelves. It has 15 different grind settings, all the way down to a very find grind that’s ideal for making espresso.
This has stainless steel cutting burrs that are durable and powerful. The burrs turn at a slow speed, so there’s less frictional heat that can degrade the coffee... flavor, no matter how find the grind. The 7-ounce bean hopper and grind jar are made from glass, so you’ll get less static cling that’s common with plastic containers. This includes a coffee scoop and a burr grinding brush for easy cleaning. This grinder includes a one-year hassle-free replacement warranty.
At The Spruce, our expert writers are committed to researching and writing thoughtful and editorially independent reviews of the best products for your life and your family. If you like what we do, you can support us through our chosen links, which earn us a commission.