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The Difference Between a Burr Grinder vs a Blade Grinder

Fueled by our love of coffee, the global coffee shop industry is set to hit $143.3 billion by 2025.

If a lot of that money has come from your own pockets, perhaps it’s time to learn more about brewing the perfect cup at home. You don’t have to give up quality to lower the cost.

One of the first lessons all coffee lovers must learn is that a fresh, even grind is the key to bold, flavorful coffee. The question is, how do you know which coffee grinder to buy?
Let’s look at the difference between a burr grinder vs blade grinder so you can decide which one is best for you.

What Is a Burr Grinder?


If you head to your favorite coffee shop and ask what kind of grinder they keep behind the counter, the answer will almost definitely be burr! Burr grinders are often considered more reliable, producing an even, consistent grind. Overall, most coffee experts name the burr grinder as the best kind of coffee grinder.

Burr grinders (or burr mills) crush coffee beans between two hard, abrasive surfaces covered in burrs. They first make their way through a set of large burrs before filtering through to another level of smaller burrs. The grinds will continue to filter through to smaller and smaller burrs until you’ve achieved the grind you prefer.

The grind is so consistent because the beans have to be small enough to pass from one set of burrs to the next. As long as every bean makes it to the same level, your grind will be perfectly consistent.

You’re probably thinking, “If a burr grinder is the better option, why doesn’t everyone buy one?”

The truth is that burr grinders can get pretty pricey. If you’re not sure that grinding and brewing your own coffee is a habit you’re going to stick with, you may not want to drop a ton of money on the tools of the trade.

That being said, you don’t have to spend hundreds to get a topnotch burr grinder. The Krups GX5000 is one of the most popular, renowned grinders on the market–and it’s affordable!

What Is a Blade Grinder?

True to their name, coffee blade grinders use two blades to grind coffee beans. These blades whirl around in concentric circles, not unlike a food processor. The blades chop the beans (so grinding is sort of a misnomer) into smaller and smaller pieces as you continue to run the grinder.

A blade grinder can certainly get the job done, but it may take a little patience. First, it’s important that you pulse the button rather than leave the grinder running, or the blades emit heat that alters the flavor of the beans.

Second, you’ll have to make sure that the beans are cycling properly from top, where they are untouched by blades, to bottom, where the blades are secured. Otherwise, half of your beans are turning into a fine powder while the other half aren’t ground at all.

Burr Grinder vs Blade Grinder: The Choice Is Yours!

When choosing between a burr grinder vs blade grinder, it’s a question of investment. Do you want to spend more upfront for a coffee grinder type that will last? Or do you want to save some money and test out your interest in home-brewed coffee before dishing out more dough?

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