Even if your coffee machine has impressive brew chops, it won't do you much good if paired with a bad grinder. A good grinder processes coffee beans evenly. If it doesn't, it will ultimately result in uneven taste extraction and likely a cup of coffee that could have tasted much better.

Don't let this happen to you. Get a serious coffee grinder that will deliver the goods cup by cup. I've picked my three favorites below, followed by a list of the other electric grinders I've put through their paces. The ultimate coffee grinders deliver even grind (fine or coarse depending on the degree of grind) with powerful motors and useful grinding functions and settings. They are easy to use and easy to clean.

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Yes, this shopping guide list starts at $ 100, which is by no means cheap, but that's because I've personally tested all of these coffee grinders and just didn't like the results from the budget set. (See the test details below, plus the pros and cons of each model, and a full list of the other models that failed the cut.) I'll keep track of if another bargain grinder is worth the trade off in the future and update the story corresponding.

Be sure to read our guide too The best espresso machines for sale right now.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

If you're a coffee drinker in need of a solid, (relatively) inexpensive, all-purpose coffee grinder, I recommend the $ 100 Oxo Brew Conical Burr Grinder as the best coffee grinder overall. In terms of grind consistency, the Oxo Conical Burr coffee grinder took second place in my test group. That's behind the $ 200 Breville Smart Grinder Pro, which came first when it came to grinding, but also costs twice as much. However, the Oxo Brew Conical Burr Grinder can grind beans faster. Oxo's stainless steel machine is more versatile, although it has fewer rough grinding settings. The Oxo Burr coffee grinder can be ground finely enough to be used as an espresso grinder in a pinch. The stainless steel Oxo coffee grinder can also produce coffee grounds coarse enough to make a cup of siphon, French press, and a cold brew. Other pros are that the Oxo Brew is easy to clean and creates less dirt when grind than other grinders. $ 100 might sound like a lot, but keep in mind that a good quality coffee and espresso grinder should grind for a long time.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

It couldn't be easier than with Baratza's $ 139 encore. The Encore Conical Burr Grinder has only one control: a switch that turns the grinder on and off. It's not just easy – it's just easy. Continuous pressing of a button on the front of the Encore also enables grinding. The particle size of the machines was relatively constant. The machine is also easy to clean and grinds quieter than many other coffee grinders we tested.

Read our Baratza Encore review.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

If you want a cup of espresso, check out an espresso machine here. Pay a little more for the sanding with the $ 200 brushed stainless steel Smart Grinder Pro. However, if you feel like drinking espresso at home, the Smart Grinder Pro is the best coffee grinder for espresso, cup by cup. This smart stainless steel burr grinder can produce extremely fine coffee grounds, which are necessary for making high quality espresso or Turkish coffee. The machine also created the most consistent floor of any machine I tested. The Breville has 60 settings and comes with adapters for espresso machine portafilter. However, if you're into brewing siphon, french press, or cold brew, you should look elsewhere. Even in its coarsest form, the bottom of this coffee bean grinder is too fine for these methods.

Read our Breville Smart Grinder Pro review.

How exactly do we test coffee grinders?

An ideal coffee grinder produces ground particles of a consistent and correct size. By this we mean that the size of the ground coffee particles should match the coarseness of the grinder, whether fine or not. The size of the soil produced should also be suitable for the intended brewing method as indicated in the product manual.

To test each grinder on our coffee grinder reviews, we first hand wash and dry all the parts recommended by the manufacturer. We then set each machine to the appropriate level for grinding filter coffee or automatic coffee brewers (again as indicated in the manual). Sometimes the manual is missing certain instructions. In this case, we select the medium coarse setting for grinding coffee and then increase it by another coarse setting (from fine grinding such as espresso grinding to coarse grinding). For example, if a grinder has 16 coarse grind settings (assuming 16 is the coarsest grinding option and 1 is fine), we'll set it to coarse 9.


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Five things to know before buying a coffee grinder

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Next, we weigh 10 grams of whole coffee beans for grinding. Our test beans are standard Kirkland Colombian Roast. It's the same beans we use for our coffee maker tests. (No judgments, please.) When you grind as much coffee and espresso as we do, it pays to be economical.

Then we run our sample beans through the mill. We also note how long it takes the grinder to grind coffee beans. Next, we carefully collect the terrain and then sift it with a two-sieve for 60 seconds. We use the Kruve Sifter System. Our original Kruve Two unit came with two mesh screens with different opening sizes (800 and 400 microns). With this step we can measure the grind size and consistency of our sample. The Kruve Base has now replaced the Kruve Two and offers five mesh screens (300, 500, 800, 1,100 and 1,400 micrometers).

We used a Kruve coffee strainer system to confirm the consistency of the grind size.

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A superior electric coffee grinder or hand mill creates soil, preferably with stainless steel blades, the particle size of which is mostly between 400 and 800 microns (at our selected grinding level). Finally, we'll weigh the soil that will accumulate between the two screens (800 microns on top, 400 microns on bottom).

A bad grinder grinds particles of various sizes, from large to small. Knife sharpeners are notorious for this problem. Unlike a bladed coffee grinder, a coffee grinder with steel or ceramic burrs typically provides bottoms that are much more uniform in size.

Oxo's coffee grinder weighs the bottom for extra precision

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In addition, we grind at least twice. From there we can record an average optimal yield for each mill.

Want more? Whether you prefer a cup of espresso, coffee, or Turkish coffee, here is a list of the coffee grinders I put through their paces for this review in addition to the ones above. And below that you will find a table that lists the advantages and disadvantages of grinding, as well as the strength of the comparison. Now enjoy a cup!

Coffee grinders compared

Baratza Encore

Bodum Bistro coffee grinder

Breville Smart Grinder Pro

Capresso Infinity conical burr grinder

Cuisinart Supreme Grind Automatic Grinder

Krups GX5000

Mr. Coffee Electric 12-cup coffee grinder

Oxo Brew Conical Burr coffee grinder

Average optimal yield (grams)

2.6

3.9

6.5

2.9

1.8

1.9

1.8

3.2

Percent optimal yield

26.3%

38.7%

64.7%

28.7%

18.0%

19.0%

18.3%

32.3%

Average grinding time (seconds)

26th

9

10

10

33

19th

12

7th

price

$ 149

$ 100

$ 200

$ 99

$ 54

$ 60

$ 19

$ 100

More coffee recommendations

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