The Best Coffee Grinders of 2017

The "full flavored cup" of coffee allows you to experience a coffee at its full potential -- the taste is as amazing as the smell of the fresh ground coffee  but even better.
Looking to up your morning coffee ritual? We researched 80 coffee grinders before putting the 15 best through hundreds of hours of side-by-side testing. If you want a better cup of joe, you best start at the beginning with freshly ground beans. No matter what grinder you get it will be an improvement over pre-ground fare, but choosing the right model can take you coffee from good to fantastic. We tested every aspect of these grinders so no matter your needs, budget, or preferred brewing method, we can lead you to the perfect model. Now go get caffeinated!

Read the full review below ≫

Test Results and Ratings

Displaying 1 - 5 of 15 ≪ Previous | View All | Next ≫
Rank #2 #5 #10 #1 #8
Product
Cuisinart Deluxe Grind Conical Burr Mill
Cuisinart Deluxe Grind
Breville: the Smart Grinder Pro
Breville: the Smart Grinder Pro
JavaPresse Coffee Company Manual
OXO On Barista Brain Conical Burr
OXO On Barista Brain Conical Burr Grinder
Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Mill
Awards  Top Pick Award      Editors' Choice Award   
Price $149 List
$118.96 at Amazon
$230 List
$199.95 at Amazon
$24 List
$23.99 at Amazon
$200 List
$159.95 at Amazon
$40 List
$34.97 at Amazon
Overall Score
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86
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75
100
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56
100
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90
100
0
59
Star Rating
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Pros Very quiet, makes a great cup, simple and intuitive controlsMakes a great cup, quiet, easy to clean, useful features for espressoInexpensive, portable, ligthweightMakes an excellent cup, very simple and intuitive controls, precise dose-by-weight featureInexpensive, quiet, slightly faster than other hand grinders
Cons Pricey, but not for a super-quiet burr grinderCluttered controls, expensiveSlowNoisy, expensiveGlass body can crack and break
Ratings by Category Cuisinart Deluxe Grind Breville: the Smart Grinder Pro JavaPresse Coffee Company Manual OXO On Barista Brain Conical Burr Grinder Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Mill
Taste - 45%
10
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8
10
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8
10
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6
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9
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6
Ease Of Use - 35%
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3
10
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10
10
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4
Mess - 10%  
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9
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9
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9
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9
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9
Noise - 10%
10
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9
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9
Specs Cuisinart Deluxe Grind Breville: the Smart Grinder Pro JavaPresse Coffee Company Manual OXO On Barista Brain Conical Burr Grinder Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Mill
Blade or burr? Burr Burr Manual Burr Burr Manual Burr
Doser type: digital display, timer, Cups, grams? Digital: cups Digital: cups/seconds NA Digital: cups/grams NA
Height 12.25" 15.25" 8.25" 16.4" 8.25"
Easy-remove hopper Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Decibels at 4 feet 84.2 83.1 55 86 55
Pulse feature? Yes No No Yes No
cord storage Yes Yes No No No
Footprint W9"xD7.75" W6.25"xD8.5" W1.8"xD1.8" W7.3"x11.1" W3"xD3"
Weight 5 lb 4 oz 6 lb 8 oz 9 oz 7 lb 4 oz 1lb 1 oz
Plastic, metal or glass chamber Plastic Plastic Metal Plastic Glass
Cord length 34.5" 39" N/A 42" N/A
Expand to show full specification table  |  Hide details

Analysis and Award Winners


Review by:
Jared Marquez

Last Updated:
Sunday
October 1, 2017

Share:
Updated October 2017
After a careful review of all the new grinders on the market, the OXO On Barista Brain is still by far our favorite.

In our latest round of testing we added two manual grinders to the review. The JavaPresse Coffee Company Manual is great for camping and traveling. The Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Mill isn't qute as portable or durable, but is good for quiet at home use. Both of these grinders make a great cup, as long as you're using a small grind size.

Best Overall Coffee Grinder


OXO On Barista Brain Conical Burr Grinder


OXO On Barista Brain Conical Burr Editors' Choice Award

$159.95
at Amazon
See It

Makes an excellent cup
Very simple and intuitive controls
Precise dose-by-weight feature
Noisy
Expensive
If you tend to be on autopilot before your morning caffeine fix, you'll want a grinder that does all the thinking for you. The OXO On Barista Brain does exactly that with a built-in scale that automatically doses out just the right amount of grounds. Just select the number of cups you want, press one button, and let the smell of fresh ground beans slowly get your synapses firing again. The OXO also clearly made the best coffee of all our grinders, extracting every subtle, flavorful note. The only downside is that it's not particulalry quiet, so if you're in a house of light sleepers you might want to check out the Cusinart Deluxe. Or you could just ditch the light sleepers, becuase some things just aren't as importnat as coffee.

Read review: OXO On Barista Brain

Best Bang for the Buck


Capresso Infinity


Capresso Infinity Conical Burr Best Buy Award

$82.00
at Amazon
See It

Makes a good cup
Simple and intuitive controls
Inexpensive
Taste slightly inferior to top models
If you want a great cup of coffee but don't want to break the bank, the Capresso Infinity is for you. With a list price of $100 it certainly isn't a budget option, but it has the best taste quality to dollar ratio of any of the models we tested. In our testing it made a strong, intricate cup that was only a bit less refined than the cups from models that cost twice as much. To boot it has a nice, simple interface and relatively mess free operation that will keep your morning routine streamlined and frustration free (and the last thing you need before you've had your coffee is frustration). Overall the **Infinity represents only relatively minor sacrifices when compared to the top models, but costs significantly less, making it a shoe-in for out Best Bang for the Buck Award.

Read review: Capresso Infinity

Best on a Budget


KitchenAid Blade


Best Buy Award

$23.99
at Amazon
See It

Easy to use
Clean Operation
Inexpensive
Inconsistent grind size
You don't have to break the bank to upgrade to fresh ground beans, and the KitchenAid Blade proves that point with aplomb. Listing for $50 (But often available for less than $30), this little grinder features simple, clean, and relatively quiet operation. We particularly like the removable grinding bowl, which allows for easy transfer from the grinder to your coffee making apparatus of choice. Sure, it doesn't make quite as good a cup as the more expensive burr grinders we tested. but it is still a step up from store bought pre-ground beans. If you want to class up your coffee without breaking the bank take a shot on the KitchenAid Blade, you won't be disappointed.

Read review: KitchenAid Blade

Top Pick for Quietest Grinder


Cuisinart Deluxe Grind


Cuisinart Deluxe Grind Conical Burr Mill Top Pick Award

$118.96
at Amazon
See It

Very quiet
Makes a great cup
Simple and intuitive controls
Expensive
Ninjas and lionesses silently stalking their prey are just a couple of things that come to mind when using the Cuisinart Deluxe Grind. This powerful yet quiet machine is able to create a very consistent grind size and a correspondingly great cup of coffee while avoiding that nails on a chalkboard feeling that some other grinders produce. Yes, it's still pulverizing coffee beans so it's not silent, but it is likely quiet enough that you won't wake the late sleepers in the next room. Plus it's easy to use and mess free, so much so that it almost won our Editors' Choice Award. Its price has also been slowly falling at many online retailers, so it is becoming a better value by the day.

Read review: Cuisinart Deluxe Grind

Great for Camping and Travel


JavaPresse Coffee Company Manual



$23.99
at Amazon
See It

Inexpensive
Portable
Lightweight
Slow
If you're looking to take top notch coffee to your next campsite, the JavaPresse Coffee Company Manual is the perfect place to start. Its all stainless steel body will stand up to any abuse you throw at it, and it can make an incredible cup if you're using a fine grind size. Plus all that hand cranking is sure to fight off that just got out of the sleeping bag chill. If you're looking to complete your gourmet camp coffee rig, check out this review from our friends at OutdoorGearLab.

Read review: JavaPresse Coffee Company Manual

select up to 5 products
Score Product Price Our Take
90
$200
Editors' Choice Award
If you're looking for the best cup of coffee possible, the OXO is the perfect second step (after buying good beans)
86
$149
Top Pick Award
With quiet operation, good coffee, and an intuitive interface, this model was almost our Editors' Choice Award winner
76
$249
Makes a great cup, but also costs a lot, tends to create a mess, and isn't particularly user friendly
76
$100
Best Buy Award
High quality taste at a mid range price makes this the best value per dollar
75
$230
A good performer that makes great coffee, but a high price tag and somewhat flummoxing controls make it less desirable
68
$100
A good machine that is particularly good for french press, but doesn't feel as well built as other models
68
$145
Makes a great cup, but costs a lot and tends to create some messes during operation
59
$40
A high quality hand grinder that uses a glass body, making it feel less portable and more fragile than we would like
58
$50
Best Buy Award
Decent taste and user friendliness for less than $30
56
$24
A go anywhere model that makes great pour over, but is quite slow
56
$50
Inexpensive and fairly portable, but makes a relatively mediocre cup of coffee
50
$70
Poor taste make this a correspondingly poor choice fro most users
46
$20
Inexpensive, but doesn't produce great coffee and can be messy
34
$50
Inexpensive burr grinder that is very messy and doesn't live up to its burr grinding pedigree
29
$300
A very expensive machine that has essentially zero redeeming qualities

Analysis and Test Results


With coffee being one of the most highly consumed beverages in the world, choosing a coffee grinder is perhaps a more frequently required decision than buying a car. However there's one big difference: you can't test drive a coffee grinder. You can read about what kind of features and buttons and LED display it might have, which is helpful, but you can't quite take it for a spin until you've already made your buying decision and taken it home. And this might not be a big deal if all grinders were roughly the same, but there are different styles of grinders and prices that range from $20 to $200. Of course, they all grind coffee, but so many options and prices can leave you wondering if the more expensive models will really feel like a better investment for your morning cup or if you're better off with an option that just matches the colors in your kitchen.

The "lineup" of the most reputable and popular electric coffee grinders on the market. Some rose to the top while others were surprisingly disappointing.
The "lineup" of the most reputable and popular electric coffee grinders on the market. Some rose to the top while others were surprisingly disappointing.

So we selected 15 of the most popular and reputable grinders on the market, paid retail price, and test drove them for you. The nature of our tests revolved around the simple question, "Which grinder is going to help me make better coffee?" So we actually made coffee, lots and lots of coffee, trying to discover which grinder is going to make the best coffee and do so most effectively.

We dialed in each grinder to find its "sweet spot," brewing over 200 cups of coffee until we felt we had achieved the best possible brew with each machine. We did this making drip style as well as French press coffee to get a bigger picture of how each grinder performed. We tasted each sample in a giant all-at-once lineup and taste tested further in extensive side-by-side grinder face-offs. Each coffee was sampled hot as well as cool and darn good notes were taken all throughout the process.

Were we wired? You have no idea! I didn't know there was such thing as a coffee hangover until we started this review. But it was worth all the hard work as now we are confident that we can provide you with the best information around to select the coffee grinder that's right for you.

We tasted over 200 coffees in all-at-once and side-by-side tastings for both French press and drip style brew.
We tasted over 200 coffees in all-at-once and side-by-side tastings for both French press and drip style brew.

While taste is the highlight of the coffee experience, there are other things that a coffee maker (that's you) thinks about as they're using a grinder. Which button to press, which setting to use, how much to grind, how to get the coffee into the brewer without making a fat mess, and "Is this grinder going to wake up my roommate?" Well we thought about these things too and so we also rated each grinder for intuitive use, mess-free operation, and noise levels.

Upping Your Coffee Game


There are plenty of things you can do to make your morning cup more delicious, more adventurous, or more exciting. But if you ask around, just about every coffee professional is going to tell you that the first step to greater coffee glory is all in "the grind." Not only that, but having your own coffee grinder can be a handy convenience. Sometimes the coffee you crave isn't available pre-ground and you have to resort to a less exciting alternative or find a good friend who has the means to grind it for you. And although you can buy most coffee pre-ground, one benefit of using your own grinder is that it gives you the ability to find the perfect grind for your brewer. In our quest to produce the best possible cup of coffee from each grinder we sometimes achieved significantly better results by adjusting the grind by only 2 increments out of 40 (a small adjustment). Having your own coffee grinder not only allows you to grind coffee for brewing, but it allows you to grind it fresh and at just the right size for your brewing style. Dialing in the grind is uber important for getting the most out of your grinder. Don't miss out! Read more about it in our Buying Advice article.

And hey, maybe you're thinking, "Guys, it's just a cup of coffee." Maybe you don't care how good it tastes as long as it's super easy to make. Maybe you're on the hunt for a coffee grinder for occasional "emergency" use. Maybe someone gifted you two pounds of whole bean coffee and you just need something more efficient than your peppermill to turn it into the stuff of life before work each morning. Maybe you're looking for something that's super compact or for something that's super quiet. These are definitely things you'll want to consider when looking for a coffee grinder. Everyone has different needs and preferences. So what kind of grinder does it really take to get the flavor and convenience that's right for you? Read on. Let's start by taking a quick look at the types of grinders out there to help you find what you're looking for.

Types of Coffee Grinders



Blade



 

Blade grinders are both more affordable and compact than burr style grinders. This is great for the buyer who is trying to preserve their remaining kitchen counter space like a national park, wants to take their grinder along when they travel, or doesn't want to spend very much on a grinder. These grinders operate by spinning a blade which whacks the coffee beans apart. When using a blade style grinder you would continue shattering the coffee in the chamber until you think you've accomplished the right grind size for your brew. However, during this process some coffee bean particles are obliterated a bit more than others and the consistency of the grind becomes a mix of larger and smaller particles.

Burr



 

The majority of products we tested were burr style grinders because there were a larger number of top rated and reputable grinders in this category. Burr grinders have hoppers to store coffee in, a bin to grind into, and often have some sort of timer or dosing feature to select how much coffee to grind. These operate by crushing coffee between a pair of rotating burrs (pictured above). The coffee, fed from the hopper, continues to grind until it falls through an adjustable gap between the burrs and into a bin. These types of grinders are often thought to be superior to blade grinders in taste because of their ability to produce a more consistent grind size. However, in our testing we found that this is not always true.

Criteria for Evaluation


We've defined a good grinder as one that "helps you make better coffee with minimal inconvenience." But what does that look like in real world application? Well we pulled together a few criteria to define exactly that and used them to guide our testing and evaluation of each product.


In the following section we'll tell you what criteria we used, what tests we performed, and which items scored the highest. If you really want to nerd out with us and read about the details of our testing, pull up a chair and go to our How We Test article.

Quality of Taste



French press brew (left) produces a murkier cup with more body  less clarity of flavor  and is great for hefty  medium to dark coffees. Pour over coffee (right) is less bodied  more layered and sweet  and is highlights the virtues of clean  light to medium coffees.
French press brew (left) produces a murkier cup with more body, less clarity of flavor, and is great for hefty, medium to dark coffees. Pour over coffee (right) is less bodied, more layered and sweet, and is highlights the virtues of clean, light to medium coffees.

In a perfect world, a coffee grinder would give you the ability to brew what I like to call the "full flavored cup" of coffee. This means that you can experience the full potential of the coffee's flavor, that it tastes as good as it smells. In a full flavored cup there are layers of delicious flavor, some deep, some lively, sweet, juicy, chocolaty or whatever—all these layers are maximized and combined together in a beautiful balance to create a chorus of flavor that saturates your whole palate. The full flavored cup is full, rich, exciting, and void of any undesirable taste.


We wanted to evaluate each grinder's ability to produce this full flavored quintessence. We did this through an exhaustive trial and error process where we adjusted each grinder near its ideal setting, brewed a sample, tasted the results, and then adjusted the grind setting for better results. If the resulting brew lacked depth we would tighten the grind; if it were a bit bitter or dirty we would grind coarser. We repeated this process with each grinder until we felt that each grinder had produced the best possible cup that it was capable of for both drip style and French press style coffee.

We manually brewed all coffee for our taste tests in order to control brewing variables and make the best coffee possible. Brewing variables include water temperature  water to coffee ratio  and even the temperature of the brewing device.
We manually brewed all coffee for our taste tests in order to control brewing variables and make the best coffee possible. Brewing variables include water temperature, water to coffee ratio, and even the temperature of the brewing device.

I admit, we set the bar pretty high with our definition of the full flavored cup. But we had a few grinders prove that it is indeed possible to attain. The OXO On Barista Brain really stole the show here, landing a solid 9 for quality of taste. The bodied and full flavored cup that this grinder produced was unmatched by any of its competitors. The OXO gave us a very nuanced, sweet, full, well-balanced and rounded cup. Gosh! It was everything we could ask for! I mean, you could almost chew on the flavors they were just bursting from the cup. And while we noticed a trend of grinders producing a French press that was one point lower than their drip score, the OXO made an excellent cup of coffee for both brew methods. (Round of applause for the OXO.)

The OXO at the optimal grind setting for a single cup drip coffee  which was a little tighter than we had expected but tasted incredible.
The OXO at the optimal grind setting for a single cup drip coffee, which was a little tighter than we had expected but tasted incredible.

The Cuisinart Deluxe Grind, Baratza Virtuoso, and Breville Smart Grinder Pro followed behind, each scoring an 8. The Cuisinart Deluxe (NOT to be confused with the Cuisinart Supreme) stood out among these three in that it also brewed up a French press that matched the quality of its drip coffee. We found it interesting that each grinder highlighted different aspects of the coffee we brewed, even those that had similar or tied scores for quality of taste. The Cuisinart Deluxe made a great cup of coffee that was super smooth, sweet, and straightforward. It had a good balance of flavors that was "complete" but not explosive like its competitor the OXO. Check out our Buying Advice article to read more about flavor differences between grinders.

Both manual models we tested, the JavaPresse Cofee Company Manual and the Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Mill earned a 6 out of 10 in this metric. Both of these models made incredible pour over brews. However, if you open up the grind size for a french press brew, things get a bit inconsistent, leaving a bitter taste.

Three of the blade grinders we tested both scored a 5 although the Krups Fast Touch made a better drip style coffee than the Epica. The KitchenAid Blade also made a decently but not overly flavorful cup, no matte the brewing style we used. And although burr grinders are commonly thought to produce better taste than blade models, the Krups GX5000 earned only a 4, the Cuisinart Supreme Grind tested out to a 3, and the KitchenAid Burr scored a 2. We were unable to produce a cup of coffee with either of these grinders that could outmatch a blade grinder.

As you can see below, the Epica blade grinder (left) has noticeable inconsistencies in the grind, however the Cuisinart Supreme burr grinder (right) produced clumps of powder that resulted in an inferior brew.

 

Ease of Use


Ease of use is all about the question, "How helpful is this machine in getting me caffeinated (or decaffeinated if you're into that kind of thing)?" Wouldn't you love it if you pulled your brand new grinder out of the box and there was just one button on it that did exactly what you needed? Or let's say you give this thing as a gift to a friend or family member who doesn't want to read a manual, take lessons, or feel like they're operating a spaceship just to make a good coffee. A good grinder should help you make good coffee by being simple and intuitive to use.


Amidst all the pressing of buttons and reading of manuals, the OXO On Barista Brain enamored us with its simple and intuitive design, scoring a well-deserved 10 for ease of use. The unit has just one central control button with a surrounding dial and an easy-to-read LED display. The user turns the dial to select the number of cups to make then pushes the button to grind their desired amount of coffee. The grinder then has a built-in scale that stops the grinding process once the selected amount of coffee has been ground into the chamber—incredibly simple, and very accurate.

The OXO gives the user a very accurate dose at the push of a button.
The OXO gives the user a very accurate dose at the push of a button.

The Cuisinart Deluxe Grind was a very close second to the OXO. In comparison, the Deluxe Grind scored a 9, only lacking the precision of the OXO's built-in scale. Other models followed with 7 or 8 points, usually having some kind of dial that operated a timer to dose out coffee grounds. A few exceptions were the KitchenAid Burr and the Breville Smart Grinder Pro. The KitchenAid scored a 4 because the grind settings were difficult to operate; after adjusting from one grind setting to another (e.g.: from very coarse to very fine) the machine would dispense a mixture of both grind settings. The machine would either have to grind through a LOT of coffee to fully adjust to the next grind setting or be cleaned out after any adjustment. It's not uncommon for some previously ground coffee to remain among a coffee grinder's burrs, but for this machine, adjusting the grind size was problematic.

 

The Breville Smart Grinder Pro had us scratching our heads a bit. It has incredible precision and it has many features, but at the end of the day we scored it as a 6 for ease of use. This unit features a programmable memory, the ability to adjust grind time to the tenth of a second, and has almost half of its available grind settings designated for espresso making, but we often felt smothered by all the features in our field of vision. "Ah! What is all this? I just want to grind some coffee!" It's like all those apps on a new smart phone that you don't have any use for and your phone won't allow you to delete. The machine offers incredible precision that could be useful, but the cluttered design was a significant drawback to simply making a good cup of coffee. The Krups GX5000 also earned a 6. It was generally easy to use but has limited grind size settings. Fine coffee particles also tend to gather on the wall of the grinder, which requires some extra cleaning. The *KitchenAid Blade** also scored a 6. Its grinding bowl can be removed, which makes tranfersing grounds eays, but it also has a clumping problem that can be a bit frusterating.

The Breville Smart Grinder Pro allows you to adjust grind time to a tenth of a second and has a programmable memory  but the interface is cluttered and not intuitive to navigate.
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro allows you to adjust grind time to a tenth of a second and has a programmable memory, but the interface is cluttered and not intuitive to navigate.

Blade grinders were evaluated a little bit differently. Since their design does not allow them to perform some of the tasks that burr grinders handle, like measuring out the amount of coffee for the user, they require more work to operate. And while their "press 'n' guess" operation is incredibly simple, the blade grinders we tested do not allow the user to select their preferred grind size. However, the Epica Electric Coffee and Spice Grinder scored a 6, stacking up decently given its disadvantages as a blade. Features like the Epica's long cord with cord storage and its easy-to-view and easy-to-clean grind chamber left us feeling happy rather than frustrated after using it.

The Cuisinart Deluxe (below), OXO, and Breville all include a locking hopper which can be removed while full without spilling coffee beans. This is a handy feature which allows you to clean the machine or fill the hopper with another coffee without turning the entire unit upside down.

A handy feature on the Deluxe is its easy-remove hopper which comes off with a twist  allowing you to swap coffees or clean the machine without tipping the unit upside down.
 

Mess-Free Operation


Coffee preparation is a pretty messy task if you think about it. You grind this stuff up into a bunch of tiny pieces so that it basically looks like dirt (yes, very very delicious and wonderful dirt). Then once you add water to it, you create this dark liquid that will stain whatever fabric it touches. So when selecting a grinder, or any coffee equipment for that matter, it's best to opt in for whatever damage control you can get.


While we were grinding away and brewing up our 200-plus coffees, we noticed certain grinders that stood out. We noticed the ones that we had to clean up after the most, that we avoided using because they made the biggest mess while we were trying to operate them or make what seemed like a simple transfer of ground coffee from the grind chamber to our brewer of choice. By far the most difficult to work with was the Cuisinart Supreme Grind (NOT to be confused with the Cuisinart Deluxe Grind). The Supreme spits coffee into the chamber from the side instead of from the top and because the grinder creates a substantial amount of dust the chamber gets caked and coated with coffee powder. When the chamber is opened, powder on the lid creates mess on the counter and static build-up in the chamber causes coffee to escape and magnetize to your hands and surrounding items. Once the coffee is removed the chamber remains dirty and should be rinsed. The Supreme Grind landed the lowest possible score of 1 for mess-free operation because we found ourselves painfully avoiding the hassle that this machine required. We got better at using it over time by inventing tricks to control its chaotic nature, but even then, the inconvenience of managing this machine's mess still clearly fell into the deal-breaker category.

 
A few different grinders we tested and their unique messes. From left to right: The Krups (2) tended to get caked with old coffee that had to be brushed and wiped out; the Baratza grinders (6) expelled some chaff onto the counter after several uses; the Cuisinart Supreme (1) hassled us with the additional work of trying to control a chaotic static mess.
A few different grinders we tested and their unique messes. From left to right: The Krups (2) tended to get caked with old coffee that had to be brushed and wiped out; the Baratza grinders (6) expelled some chaff onto the counter after several uses; the Cuisinart Supreme (1) hassled us with the additional work of trying to control a chaotic static mess.

Over the course of time we noticed that different grinders, not unlike roommates, each make their own special kinds of messes. While the Supreme Grind made the most mess during transfer to the brewer, the KitchenAid Burr (with a score of 4) would spill some coffee from the burrs if it was moved or the table was bumped; the Baratza grinders (each scoring a 6) would begin to expel a puff of coffee chaff onto the counter when the grinder was repeatedly used and the chamber was returned to its station; the Capresso Infinity made a little mess after a long time (we scored it as a 7) but was a bit difficult to wipe up after. The Krups GX5000 (with a score of 5) creates clumps of fine particles that stick to the wall of the grinder and need to be scraped off.

 

On the other hand, the Cuisinart Deluxe scored a 9 in the mess-free category, going virtually unnoticed while we were wiping up the little spills of the majority of grinders. The Breville and OXO tied with the Deluxe because they not only created very little mess but they also have a feature that allows you to remove a plate under the grind chamber to easily transfer any mess to the trash without having to move the machine or wipe up.

But the mess-free winner of the blade style grinders we tested is definitely the Epica Electric Coffee and Spice Grinder. We awarded this grinder a 9. The grind chamber twists off and the coffee easily transfers into your brewer with minimal mess. Afterwards the grind chamber can be quickly hand-washed under running water to remove residual coffee dust. The Krups, however, scored a 2 for mess-free because it was both inconvenient and time consuming to manage the ground coffee from this unit. The Krups requires that the whole unit is turned upside down, knocked and brushed to remove ground coffee, and cannot be submerged for further cleaning.

Noise


In the big scheme of things, a coffee grinder's job is to grind coffee, not necessarily to be quiet. But a noisy appliance can be a real pain, especially an appliance that you're likely to use first thing in the morning. You may have a sleeping baby or spouse, a house guest, an exhausted roommate, or maybe you're really just not in the mood for the sound of a loud motor crushing coffee beans when the sun's barely up.


To find the quietest grinder we started by busting out the decibel meter. While the decibel meter gave us quantifiable readings of volume levels, we only used this as a guide to our final scoring in this category. The decibel readings we took had some close calls and ties, yet it was obvious that some machines had a more agreeable frequency that was more like white noise, whereas others had high pitch whizzing motor noise that was much less appealing. Ultimately we asked ourselves the question, "If someone was sleeping in the next room and you had to press one of these buttons for 10 seconds, which one would it be?"

Quietness scores were assigned by taking decibel readings at an equal distance from each machine  paired with a consensus of the agreeableness of the noise each grinder created.
Quietness scores were assigned by taking decibel readings at an equal distance from each machine, paired with a consensus of the agreeableness of the noise each grinder created.

Honestly, choosing the quietest grinder was a piece of cake. The Cuisinart Deluxe Grind scored a solid 9 for quietness. Its sound quality had everyone saying, "Woah!" every time we used it. The Breville Smart Grinder Pro took a 9 as well, tying for highest score. Even though the motor noise had a less pleasant frequency, the Breville was still impressively quiet and even had a slightly lower decibel reading than the Deluxe Grind.

The blade grinders we tested (the Krups Fast Touch and Epica Electric Coffee and Spice Grinder) were both moderately loud, scoring a 4, but the loudest models were really the Cuisinart Supreme Grind and the KitchenAid Burr. We were almost afraid to turn these on. The Cuisinart Supreme came in with a 2 on quietness. It not only had the highest decibel reading but it also created the most noise—the rattling and crushing of beans along with a whirring motor that finished with a record-scratching sound. The KitchenAid Burr scored a 3 on quietness, having a slightly lower decibel reading but a screaming high pitch motor.
Jared Marquez

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