Burr vs. Blade Grinders: One is Much Better For Your Coffee

Updated Dec 21, 2023 • Amélie Bigras

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The grinding process plays a crucial role in unlocking the flavors and aromas trapped within the beans. As coffee lovers, we often find ourselves faced with the decision of choosing the right grinder to enhance our daily coffee ritual. Among the various options available, two primary contenders stand out: the burr grinder and the blade grinder. By understanding the distinctions between these two grinder types, you will be better equipped to make an informed decision and elevate your coffee brewing experience.

The 5 key elements for a quality coffee grinder

1. Grinding Mechanism

Burr Grinder: A burr grinder utilizes two abrasive surfaces, known as burrs, to crush coffee beans into consistent particle sizes. These burrs can be either conical or flat, and they can be adjusted to achieve various grind sizes, from fine to coarse. The beans are fed into the gap between the burrs and crushed evenly, ensuring a uniform grind.

Blade Grinder: On the other hand, a blade grinder employs a single blade that rotates at high speed to chop the coffee beans. This chopping action results in an uneven grind, with some particles turning out fine while others remain coarse.

Blade Grinder before and after coffee beans being grinded

2. Grind Consistency

Burr Grinder: One of the main advantages of a burr grinder is its ability to produce a consistent grind size. The precision of the burrs ensures that the coffee particles are uniform in size, promoting an even extraction during brewing. This leads to a well-balanced and flavorful cup of coffee.

Blade Grinder: Conversely, a blade grinder tends to produce an inconsistent grind. Due to the chopping action of the blade, it can create a mix of fine, medium, and coarse particles, resulting in an uneven extraction. This can lead to over-extraction or under-extraction of flavors, affecting the overall taste of your coffee.

Finely grinded coffee beans exiting a grinder

3. Control and Adjustability

Burr Grinder: Burr grinders offer greater control and adjustability when it comes to grind size. With the ability to set specific grind settings, you can customize the grind size to match your preferred brewing method, whether it's espresso, pour-over, or French press. This versatility allows you to experiment and fine-tune your coffee experience.

Blade Grinder: Blade grinders lack the precision and control of burr grinders. Since they operate based on timing rather than grind settings, achieving a consistent grind size can be challenging. You have less control over the coarseness or fineness of the grind, making it harder to optimize your coffee brewing process.

French press making coffee

4. Heat and Flavor

Burr Grinder: Heat generated during the grinding process can impact the flavor of coffee beans. Burr grinders produce less heat due to their slower grinding speed, helping to preserve the natural flavors and aromas of the beans. This makes them an excellent choice for coffee enthusiasts who prioritize taste.

Blade Grinder: Blade grinders, due to their high-speed chopping action, can generate more heat during grinding. The excess heat can lead to a loss of flavor and aroma in the coffee beans, resulting in a less desirable cup of coffee.

Coffee beans and three white cups containing coffee beans, coffee grinds and black steeped coffee

5. Price Range

Burr Grinder: Generally, burr grinders are considered to be more expensive than blade grinders. However, they also tend to offer better quality and more precise grinding capabilities. Depending on the brand and features, burr grinders can vary in price, with high-end models catering to professional baristas and coffee aficionados.

Blade Grinder: Blade grinders are generally more affordable and widely available. They are often considered entry-level grinders for those on a budget or casual coffee drinkers.

The Winner: Burr Grinder

While burr grinders are generally considered the preferred choice for grinding coffee beans, it's worth noting that they tend to be more expensive than blade grinders. However, the investment in a burr grinder is often justified by the superior grind consistency, control, and flavor preservation it offers. Ultimately, if you're passionate about coffee and value the nuances of flavor in your cup, a burr grinder is an excellent choice to elevate your coffee brewing experience.

Why do I need a better coffee grinder?

Investing in a better coffee grinder can significantly enhance your coffee brewing experience and elevate the quality of your cup of coffee. A better coffee grinder offers improved grind consistency, control over grind size, enhanced flavor preservation, efficiency, and durability.


The choice between a burr grinder and a blade grinder boils down to your preferences, budget, and commitment to achieving the best cup of coffee. Burr grinders offer superior grind consistency, control over grind size, and preservation of flavors, making them a popular choice among coffee enthusiasts. However, if affordability

Meet the expert

Amélie has a dual Bachelor of Biological Sciences and Literature. She wrote a Master's Thesis on the importance of blending scientific knowledge with the arts to create a healthier culture. She also has a Bachelor of Education and has been teaching Biology and Language Arts since 2016. She is happily addicted to coffee and constantly learning.

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