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Manual or Electric – How to Pick the Right Coffee Grinder for You

How to Decide on the Perfect Coffee Grinder: Manual or Electric?

best grinder for coffee

Maybe you’re hoping to save those five bucks you spend on coffee every weekday morning. Maybe your ex broke things off with you and made off with several of your countertop appliances. Whatever the reason you’re looking for a new coffee grinder, we’re here to help.

First of all, when selecting a new coffee grinder, it’s important to evaluate technical and lifestyle factors to make sure you get the proper hardware so you can brew yourself the perfect cup of joe. Consider the following four elements when it’s time to decide whether a manual or electric coffee grinder is the right kind for you.

What’s Your Budget?

Costs vary between manual and electric coffee grinders, and between different models in each of these categories. Because of this, it’s important to nail down what price range you can accommodate before you start your search.

Manual coffee grinders usually run from $10 to $20 dollars, so they may be a more affordable option. Electric burr grinders run a bit steeper in price. Like manual coffee grinders, electric burr grinders offer a more consistent grind. However, they can set you back anywhere from $50 into the hundreds of dollars.

Electric blade grinders – less expensive but also less consistent in terms of grind – are often priced more in the $15–$30 range.

The Texture of the Coffee Bean You’re Aiming For

When scouting for a coffee grinder, it’s also essential to think about what kind of machine will be doing the actual brewing of the coffee once it’s ground.

If you’re a cold brew fan, or if you’d like the smooth, creamy finish that a French press offers, then a manual grinder might be a better fit for you. This is because they make for a coarser texture that’s ideal for these techniques.

If you’re using the pour-over method or trying your hand at espresso, then an electric grinder might be more effective in achieving the fineness of grind required. Also, they often have adjustable scales that range from fine to coarse to match your brewing needs.

Whatever style of coffee you’re looking to make, it’s important to bear in mind that electric blade grinders’ inconsistency of grind often makes for a weaker and less tasty cup of java.

Portability – Will You and Your Coffee Grinder Be Traveling?

If you’re an outdoors enthusiast looking for an electricity-free method to make your morning coffee at the campsite, then a manual grinder is the perfect no-fuss option for your caffeine fix on the go.

Electric grinders of both stripes are not quite so portable, so they’re typically better suited for kitchen countertops in more permanent abodes. If you’re willing to sacrifice the convenience of size for the convenience of hands-free grinding (and a quicker grind at that), then electric might be the best choice for you.

choosing a coffee grinder

The Volume of Coffee Beans You Will Be Grinding

The number of cups of coffee you make in a typical morning is a primary factor in determining the best grinder for your needs.

Manual grinders can accommodate enough beans for one or two cups at a time, depending on the size of both the cups and the grinder itself. As a result, they’re less than ideal for a household of four or five habitual coffee drinkers.

Electric grinders give your arms a rest and can fit far more beans in one round of grinding. So if you’re a frequent host or part of a larger family, these kinds of coffee grinders might be the better route for a one-and-done batch of coffee grounds.