The Definitive Guide to Finding the Ultimate Coffee Grinder: Unveiling the Wirecutter Favorites
Are you tired of settling for mediocre coffee? Say goodbye to subpar brews and hello to exceptional mornings with the Wirecutter's best coffee grinders of 2022! From our top pick, the Baratza Encore, to budget-friendly options like the OXO Brew Conical Burr Grinder, we've got you covered. Whether you're a seasoned coffee connoisseur or just starting your brewing journey, our upgrade pick, the Baratza Virtuoso, will take your morning ritual to new heights. And for those on the go, check out the compact and reliable Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder. Get ready to immerse yourself in the world of coffee, where every sip becomes an extraordinary experience. Join us as we unveil the secrets behind the finest grind, because life is too short for average coffee.
The Best Burr Coffee Grinders of 2022
Below, you will find my recommendations for the best burr coffee grinders in various categories. It's important to note that these grinders serve different segments of the market and should not be compared directly to each other. Instead, think of them as models that cater to specific needs.
I am confident that one of these grinders will meet your particular requirements. Good luck!
1. Baratza Encore (Filter Coffee)
The Baratza Encore is considered a modern classic for a good reason – it's a reliable and solid grinder. While there are other models on the market that boast more advanced technology and flashy features, a good grinder should excel at one or two functions. And that's precisely what the Encore does.
If you primarily make black coffee like French press, pour-over, and Aeropress, this grinder will serve you well. Although it's not designed specifically for espresso, with some adjustments, it can grind finely enough for that too. This versatility allows you to experiment with different coffee styles.
The Encore is an excellent entry-level grinder for most coffee enthusiasts, as affirmed by The Wirecutter in their comprehensive grinder test (source). The only downside is that it may not provide the ideal consistency for specialty coffee and lighter roasts. If you prefer fruity and floral notes instead of body and strength, you may want to consider a hand grinder in the same price range. It's worth mentioning that Baratza is renowned for its exceptional customer service, particularly in the US.
- Consistent grind for pour-over coffee
- Well-known and trusted brand
- No-frills and easy to use
Learn more about the Baratza Encore in my Baratza Encore Review and discover the best manual coffee grinder as well as the best grinders for Aeropress.
2. 1zpresso jx (Filter/Espresso)
The 1zpresso jx has been a personal favorite of mine since its release in 2019. Despite being a manual grinder, it offers incredible speed and consistency in terms of grind quality, surpassing electric grinders that are much more expensive.
This portable and sturdy grinder is one of the fastest manual grinders available, processing nearly a gram per second. It excels in delivering a consistent grind, making it a top choice for those seeking the most precise grind for their money. However, if convenience is a priority for you, an electric grinder may be a more suitable option.
To learn more about the Jx's performance, read my comprehensive review here.
- My personal favorite
- Quiet and portable
- Professional grind quality
3. 1zpresso K-Max (Filter/Espresso)
The 1zpresso K-Max is the latest flagship model from the esteemed Taiwanese brand. While it is slightly pricier than its counterpart, the Jx, it comes with convenient upgrades that make it worth the investment.
One noteworthy feature of the K-Max is its external grind size adjustment, allowing for effortless switching between drip coffee, espresso, and French press. Additionally, it includes a magnetic catch cup, enhancing the user experience by simplifying the grinding process.
In terms of taste, the K-Max offers superior flavor compared to the Jx, particularly in high extractions and espresso brewing. Although the K-Max is similar to the K Plus model, it incorporates subtle tweaks that enhance its overall appeal.
For a comprehensive explanation of its features, read my detailed analysis here.
- In my opinion, the best hand grinder in 2022
- Multipurpose: Excellent for both espresso and filter coffee
- Professional grind quality
4. Timemore Chestnut c2 (Filter Coffee)
The Timemore Chestnut c2 is another outstanding hand grinder. It is the most affordable option that still delivers an acceptable grind quality and allows you to appreciate the true flavors of specialty coffee.
The Timemore C2 shares many advantages with the 1zpresso Jx, but it is lighter and easier to hold, particularly for those with smaller hands. Although its capacity is slightly limited at around 25 grams of coffee, and it isn't suitable for grinding espresso, it remains an excellent choice for a fast, efficient, and capable hand grinder. It outperforms traditional hand grinders from brands like Hario, Porlex, and JavaPresse.
For a comprehensive review of the C2, visit here.
- Great for travel
- Fast for a manual coffee grinder
- A great way to start your coffee journey
Explore more options for affordable coffee grinders here.
5. Eureka Filtro (Filter Coffee)
The Eureka Filtro is the natural step up from the Baratza Encore. Made in Italy by the renowned grinder legends from Eureka, this grinder boasts impressive grind consistency and is considered the most consistent grinder I have ever tested.
While the Filtro excels in grind quality, there are a few design decisions that could be improved. For example, the need to hold in the pulse button during grinding instead of having a simple on/off button can be inconvenient. In addition, the retention of ground coffee is slightly higher than desired for precise single dosing. However, attaching bellows and removing the declumper can resolve this issue.
The Eureka Filtro surpasses the Baratza Encore in terms of materials, construction, and grind consistency while remaining only slightly more expensive. Its performance offers exceptional value and consistency.
- The most affordable flat burr grinder
- Extremely consistent
- Italian quality
Read my detailed review of the Eureka Filtro here.
6. Fellow Ode (Filter Coffee)
The Fellow Ode grinder experienced some initial issues when it was first introduced to the market. However, the Gen 2 version of this grinder has rectified most, if not all, of these concerns, making it the new king of brew grinders.
If you're seeking an electric grinder that excels in everything except espresso and Turkish coffee, the Fellow Ode should be at the top of your list. Its unique and eye-catching design is complemented by a superb user experience. It also offers the flexibility to switch to other burr types, such as those from SSP, enabling it to grind for espresso.
It's worth noting that the Fellow Ode is specifically designed for single dosing, requiring you to measure out your dose each time. This approach is preferred by coffee enthusiasts who prioritize precision. To learn more about the Fellow Ode, read my review here.
- Beautiful and innovative design
- Made for single dosing
- Great flavors for drip coffee thanks to pro-level 64 mm flat burrs
7. Eureka Mignon Specialita (Espresso)
Eureka, an Italian brand with a rich heritage dating back to 1920, is known for producing some of the best grinders on the market. When it comes to espresso grinders, the Eureka Mignon Specialita reigns supreme. As an owner of this grinder myself, I can attest to its outstanding performance.
The Mignon Specialita is exceptionally well-constructed, compact enough to fit on a kitchen counter, and impressively quiet. Its timing mechanism is precise to 1/10th of a second, providing ultra-accurate dosing with each operation. Not to mention, it has an undeniably stylish appearance.
Learn more about the Eureka Mignon Specialita in my review here.
8. Df64 / G-iota (Espresso/Filter)
The DF64 grinder has generated significant hype in 2021 and 2022. Developed by the relatively unknown Chinese company called FL Coffee, this grinder manages to incorporate numerous features that appeal to coffee enthusiasts at an affordable price.
Designed for single dosing, the DF64 minimizes ground coffee retention inside the burr chamber, allowing you to switch between beans or brewing methods without concern. Furthermore, it features 64 mm flat burrs, which can be easily replaced with burrs from other manufacturers to explore different flavor profiles. Many users immediately upgrade to SSP burrs to achieve the exceptionally clean flavor associated with professional-quality burr sets.
Though primarily intended for espresso, the DF64 is also capable of producing a decent pour-over brew, especially with some customization. However, certain modifications and improvements are recommended to fully unleash its potential. To delve deeper into its capabilities, read my detailed review here.
- Designed for single dosing
- Well-suited for both espresso and pour-over
- Robust design and powerful motor
9. Baratza Sette 30 (Espresso)
When the Baratza Sette was introduced a few years ago, it garnered significant attention due to its groundbreaking design. Offering virtually zero retention, exceptional speed, and excellent consistency at an affordable price for home baristas, it lived up to the high expectations.
However, the initial versions of the Sette grinders had their fair share of bugs and issues, particularly with the built-in scale model. Fortunately, Baratza has resolved most of these problems, and combined with their excellent customer service track record, it is now a reliable investment (note that this primarily applies to the US market).
If you want to create outstanding espresso at home without breaking the bank, the Baratza Sette 30 is an excellent choice. While it only offers 30 grind settings, making it slightly more challenging to dial in compared to the more expensive 270 version, its focus on providing a fine grind range suitable for espresso and Aeropress ensures exceptional results.
- Zero retention grinder
- Produces fluffy grounds
- Attractive price point
- Precision digital timer
Gain a more in-depth understanding of the Baratza Sette by reading my comprehensive review here.
Our choice: Baratza Encore
We recommend the Baratza Encore coffee grinder. It is priced lower than most competitors at around $140, compared to about $200 for other similar grinders, and it performs just as well or better. While Baratza offers a range of similar grinders with different features and prices, we found that the entry-level Encore was the best choice for most people. It grinds beans quickly and evenly, and it is easy to use, adjust, clean, and maintain.
While it is inevitable that even the most consistent burr grinder will produce some particles that are smaller or larger than the desired size, the Encore performed the best in terms of even grinding. Using the Kruve sieve set to measure the amount of particles that were too big or too small on a medium grind setting, the Encore had the best results out of all the home grinders we tested. The professional-grade Mahlkönig EK43 produced a more uniform grind, but the Encore (along with the Virtuoso) came very close. As expected, the grinder that produced the most consistent grinds also produced the best-tasting coffee according to our panel and Counter Culture's coffee refractometer. The coffee brewed with the Baratza Encore had an extraction percentage of 19.53 percent, which was the best among all the grinders we tested, and a TDS measurement of 1.32 on our first attempt.
This demonstrates how impressed we were with the Baratza Encore in terms of its ability to produce a great cup of coffee easily. Despite lacking the additional features found in other grinders we tested, such as the built-in scale on the OXO Barista Brain or the precision of the Breville SmartGrinder Pro, the Encore performs admirably with its simple on/off toggle dial and push-down pulse button. We see its simplicity as an advantage, especially compared to other machines with confusing dials and digital settings. The Encore is easy to use and more than sufficient for the average home coffee drinker.
Adjusting the grind size on the Encore is easy. Simply turn the hopper to the desired tick mark on its base, which is numbered from 0 to 40 (40 being the coarsest). This allows you to quickly switch between settings and remember your preferences. Most grinders we tested have this feature, except for the Krups grinder, which had inconsistent grind settings. The Encore took 30 seconds to grind 68 grams of medium grinds, suitable for filter brewing, which is enough for multiple servings.
It is easy to clean and maintain the Encore. Removing the hopper allows for easy access to twist out the top burr. When it is time to replace the burr set, which the manufacturer suggests after grinding 500 to 1,000 pounds of coffee, you can easily order the part from Baratza's website. The Encore comes with a limited one-year warranty, provided that you regularly maintain and clean the grinder and do not misuse it. Baratza has a great reputation for durability and customer service. In our Wirecutter test kitchen, we have been using the Baratza Virtuoso (our higher-end recommendation, built similarly to the Encore) daily for the past two years, and it is still in excellent condition. If your Encore breaks outside of the warranty period, you can send it to Baratza for repairs, which come with a separate six-month warranty, for a fee of $45 at the time of writing.
It is not surprising that both the Baratza Encore and Virtuoso (our higher-end choice) came out on top. We spoke with coffee experts, and they agreed. Unlike other companies that make electric grinders, Baratza specializes exclusively in coffee grinders. Ramage explains, "At home, I think a lot of people just look to brands they know, and the problem with that is those people don't make coffee equipment, that's not their thing." Baratza seems to be doing something right.
Budget pick: OXO Brew Conical Burr Grinder
If you don't want to spend more than $100 on a coffee grinder, the OXO Brew Conical Burr Grinder is a great choice. It outperforms our previous budget pick, the Capresso Infinity, with its rich features and consistent performance. While it may not grind as evenly or finely as the Baratzas, it offers a wider range of settings than the Capresso. Although it's not suitable for espresso, it's perfect for everyday use. Additionally, it offers convenient features like a timer, a removable hopper, and a mechanism to reduce static build-up.
The OXO's simple and intuitive design, combined with its consistent performance, make it stand out as our top budget pick. It offers similar grind consistency to our top picks, although its coarsest grind may be less consistent. However, it may not be able to grind as finely as our top picks. When comparing the OXO to the Baratza Encore using the Kruve sifter, the OXO produced 4.9 grams of coffee ground to the desired size, while the Baratza produced 5.1 grams. The Capresso, on the other hand, only yielded 3.8 grams.
The OXO grinder is also quick, grinding almost 10 grams more coffee than the Baratza Encore or the Capresso within a 15-second interval. It offers a wider range of grind sizes compared to the Capresso, which has a more limited range. The OXO's extra features, like the removable hopper and the mechanism to reduce static build-up, make it a convenient choice.
We appreciate several other aspects of the OXO as well, such as the removable hopper, which is not commonly found in home coffee grinders. This feature allows you to switch or empty the hopper without messing up the whole machine. This is a practical feature for those who like to switch between different types of coffee. In contrast, other grinders require you to invert the entire machine over a bowl.
Furthermore, the OXO has well-designed markers that are easy to understand. The grinding timer is marked with numbers that correspond to actual seconds, and the grind settings are clearly defined with easily readable increments. In comparison, the timer on the Baratza Virtuoso lacks numbers, and the numbers on the Capresso grinder may confuse users since they relate to clock time rather than actual grinding time. The Capresso's grind settings are also imprecise and not as clear.
The OXO Brew also improves upon the canister design of the more expensive OXO On Conical Burr Grinder. The grounds canister of the OXO Brew is positioned below the exit chute, effectively collecting all the grounds without any mess.
OXO has also addressed the issue of static build-up during the grinding process, which is a common problem with other grinders. They have implemented a mechanism that electrically grounds the steel Grounds Container, allowing static electricity to dissipate. While this feature helps minimize static, it doesn't eliminate it entirely. Continued long-term testing will determine its effectiveness with different types of coffee in various conditions. The shape of the canister also makes it easy to pour freshly ground coffee into a filter.
One drawback of the OXO is its weight. It is lighter than the Baratza Encore and Capresso Infinity. A heavier grinder can reduce vibrations and prevent the machine from moving on the counter, which may require frequent readjustment of the grind setting. This aspect will be closely monitored during long-term testing, especially when grinding lighter-roast coffees that require more effort from the machine.
We also understand that $100 may not be considered cheap for a budget grinder. We made an effort to find a decent burr grinder under $50, but after testing the Krups GX-5000 and the Cuisinart CBM-18N, we couldn't recommend anything cheaper than $100. While the OXO doesn't provide significant cost savings compared to our top pick, the Baratza Encore, it still offers a worthy alternative within the $100 range. The Krups grinder produced uneven grinds, noticeable even without using the Kruve sifter, while the Cuisinart grinder showed flimsy construction when the handle for lifting the burr snapped off. On the other hand, the OXO feels sturdy and durable, rivaling the Capresso in its price range.
The OXO grinder is backed by a two-year warranty, during which OXO will repair or replace your machine if needed. However, unlike Baratza, OXO does not sell burr replacements. Nonetheless, the top burr of the OXO can be removed for cleaning. Keep in mind that if you require new burrs outside the warranty period, you won't have the option to buy them from OXO.
Upgrade pick: Baratza Virtuoso
If you're willing to spend more, the Baratza Virtuoso is a similar grinder to the Encore with some additional features. It has a slightly faster burr set, a timer-switch on the side, and a heavier base for improved calibration stability. In our previous version of this guide, the Virtuoso was our top pick. However, in recent testing, we found its grind consistency to be comparable to that of the Encore. Therefore, considering the price increase, we believe the Virtuoso is more suitable for serious coffee enthusiasts who value the extra features.
The Virtuoso is also aesthetically appealing, with a cast zinc body that may complement modern decor better than the simple matte black Encore. However, the extra features weren't compelling enough for our team to recommend spending nearly $100 more than the Encore. While having a timer switch instead of a flip on and off switch offers some convenience in terms of repeatability, the timer is still imprecise. It lacks numbers or time increments, using different line thicknesses instead. Although this additional feature is good, it falls short of the precision provided by countdown timers like those found on the OXO On grinder or Breville SmartGrinder Pro.
However, if you're a power user who plans on grinding large amounts of coffee daily and demands durability from your machine, the Virtuoso's sturdier base may be worth the investment. It will require fewer adjustments to maintain calibration over time. Coffee writer Scott Rao explains that home grinders often experience alignment shifts due to the force generated during grinding, emphasizing the importance of heavy-duty construction. The Virtuoso may require alternate methods of measurement, such as time or an external scale, to achieve precise coffee doses, as it does not grind by weight. Nevertheless, like the Encore, the Virtuoso is affordable and easy to replace the burrs. It also comes with a one-year warranty, and Baratza offers repair services for at the time of writing.
Also great: Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder
If you're in the market for a portable hand grinder for travel or a convenient forearm workout, we recommend the Porlex Mini. Both the Hario Mini-Mill and the Porlex Mini, which we evaluated, have high-quality ceramic burrs, but the Porlex Mini outperformed the competition.
The Porlex is not a suitable alternative to an electric grinder if you plan on brewing more than one cup at a time, especially considering its price.
With its compact design, the Porlex is easier to grip. The hand-cranking action is faster and smoother, and beans seem to drop down at a quicker pace compared to the bulkier lucite Hario grinder. Moreover, the Porlex is constructed with stainless steel, making it more durable and resistant to cracking when accidentally dropped, unlike the Hario. As an additional benefit, it fits perfectly inside the chamber of an AeroPress brewer for convenient packing during travel or camping trips.
Although a hand grinder may not be as practical as an electric one, particularly in terms of grinding speed (especially during the first cup of the day), we do not recommend it for regular use. Rao explains, "What I dislike about hand grinders is that many of them take several minutes to grind one cup of coffee because they lack a mechanism to force the beans into the burrs. In fact, you can spend 10 minutes manually grinding and still not get 20 grams of beans through. My brother-in-law even tried using a drill attachment, but we couldn't find a drill speed that would work."
Therefore, do not expect the Porlex to replace an electric grinder, especially if you need to brew more than one cup at a time. However, there are instances when a manual grinder is suitable: when you only need to prepare a small amount of coffee or when you are traveling to a location without a grinder or coffee shops, or when you plan on spending a long time in the great outdoors. In such cases, the Porlex will make the grinding process easier, if not effortless.
In conclusion, when it comes to unlocking the full potential of your coffee beans, the best burr coffee grinders of 2022 prove to be indispensable companions on your brewing journey. Whether you choose our top pick, the reliable and consistent Baratza Encore, or opt for the budget-friendly OXO Brew Conical Burr Grinder, or even splurge on the exceptional grind quality provided by the Baratza Virtuoso, one thing is certain - a flavorful and aromatic cup of coffee awaits you. And for those seeking a portable and durable option, the Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder delivers exceptional performance on the go. Elevate your coffee experience and savor every sip with the wirecutter's top recommendations for the best coffee grinders on the market.
Looking for the perfect coffee maker with grinder? Discover the ultimate guide to find the best one for you! We'll explore the advantages and disadvantages, along with our top picks, to help you make that perfect brew. Click here now!
Looking for the ultimate coffee experience? Discover the best single cup coffee makers with integrated grinders! Our comprehensive guide explores top-notch features, a detailed comparison, and even highlights the pros and cons. Elevate your mornings with the perfect brew in every cup. Click here now!
Discover the top burr coffee grinders of 2022 in our ultimate guide to choosing the best grinder for pour over. Elevate your coffee experience and achieve perfection with these expert-recommended options.
Find the perfect weed grinder on Amazon with our comprehensive guide! Explore our top recommendations for the best grinders, ranging from sleek designs to high-quality materials. Don't miss out on this ultimate guide to maximize your smoking experience and elevate your ganja game.