Burr Vs Blade Grinder: What’s the Difference, Which is Better?

Burr Vs Blade grinder: What’s the difference between a burr and blade grinder? A coffee grinder is an important equipment when it comes to making a great cup of joe and burr and blade grinders have more to offer than you can imagine.

If you are looking for a new coffee grinder, you need to know the different types of grinders available on the market and what sets them apart.

Essentially, the two main types of coffee grinders are burr and blade grinders. A burr grinder is consistent, durable and grinds coffee uniformly whereas a blade grinder is cheap and inconsistent.

In the end, it’s worth noting that a bad grinder ruins good coffee beans.

In this article, we are going to look at the two main types of grinders to help you understand the difference so you can choose wisely.

Let’s get started.

Choosing the Right Coffee Grinder

No matter how great your beans are or your brewer is, having the wrong coffee grinder can be detrimental to your coffee experience. If overheated or inconsistently ground, coffee beans aren’t going to give you the flavor you are looking for in your cup of coffee.

Well, the two types of grinders can give you a great grinding experience but one is much better than the other one.

Why Grind Your Own Coffee?

Ideally, coffee flavors are extracted from the oils in roasted beans and to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee, you must make sure the flavors are extracted effectively. That’s why you need the best coffee grinder so that you can be grinding your own coffee immediately before brewing.

Why Use a Grinder?

When you grind your own coffee beans you get the opportunity to adjust the consistency of your grounds based on your brewing technique. That’s why a grinder is necessary since it will allow you to fine-tune the setting to suit your brewer.

Equally, you should make sure your grinder allows you to experiment with the setting so that you can adjust the consistency according to your coffee maker.

And this takes us to the meat of this article: Burr vs. Blade Grinders.

Let’s take a look at each type of coffee grinder so you can understand the difference between them and which one is best for your coffee grinding needs.

Burr Coffee Grinders

Burr grinders can be manual or electric and use two serrated plates that are oscillated to crush coffee beans into uniform grinds. Burr grinders offer control over the grind size and consistency of the grinds that’s why they are the grinders of choice by most professional baristas.

Burr grinders are different from blade grinders in that the burrs generate very little heat when grinding coffee beans hence the flavor isn’t affected.

Also, burr grinders allow you to adjust the burrs to get the exact grind size you are looking for.

Variations of Burr Coffee Grinders

Burr grinders come with conical or flat burrs. Although the two are different, they both grind coffee beans consistently.

Conical burr grinders, like the name suggests, have rings that are cone-shaped whereas flat burr grinders have discs with the burrs placed between the discs.

The reason most baristas prefer conical burr grinders over flat burrs is that with the latter, more coffee is retained in the burrs.

Burr grinders are also made from different materials: Ceramic and Steel burrs.

Ceramic burrs are durable and are suitable for espresso whereas steel burrs are suitable for pour-overs and single-source coffee.

Pros

  • Burr coffee grinders grind coffee beans uniformly hence producing coffee with a balanced flavor.
  • With burr grinders, you can adjust the setting to suit your brew method.
  • Burr grinders are also durable.
  • Suitable for travelers- particularly manual grinders.

Cons

  • Tend to be costly than blade grinders.

Blade Coffee Grinders

Blade grinders have blades in a chamber at the bottom that spin rapidly slicing up coffee beans into smaller pieces. These coffee grinders follow the same principle of a blender.

Unfortunately, blade grinders produce inconsistent grinds, unlike burr grinders. The finer grounds collect to the bottom while larger grinds stay at the top hence giving you coffee with inferior flavors.

Blade grinders are budget-friendly options though and that’s why you will find them in most grocery stores and coffee shops out there.

Blade grinders produce grounds of different shapes and sizes and sometimes you will find coffee beans that have just been halved after grinding.

The heat generated while the blades are spinning can also alter the flavor and make the coffee taste bad.

Pros

  • Cheap and easy to use.
  • Readily available.
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Generate heat that affects the coffee flavors.
  • Not durable.
  • You can’t adjust the setting according to the brew method.
  • Lack of control over the grind size.

Burr vs Blade Grinder: Which is Better?

Now that you know all about burr and blade coffee grinders, which is the best?

Let’s compare them side by side.

Convenience

When it comes to convenience of using, blade grinders are easy to use and faster since they come with a powerful motor, on the other hand, burr grinders are more convenient to clean and maintain.

Consistency

Burr grinders win in terms of consistency. Some models can even grind beans for use with espresso machines. The blade grinders, on the other hand, aren’t going to grind beans consistently thus you can’t use them for espresso.

Heat Transfer

Blade grinders produce more heat when grinding which affects the quality and flavor of your coffee. Although some inexpensive burr grinder models produce some heat, it doesn’t affect your coffee.

Control

With burr grinders, you have plenty of control over the coffee grind size. You can adjust the burrs to grind your coffee consistently. Blade grinders, on the other hand, don’t offer control over the grind size. For this reason, you cannot use them to grind espresso beans.

Price

Blade grinders are inexpensive but not as durable as burr grinders. You can expect to get a blade grinder with less than $20.

A high-quality burr grinder will cost you more than $1,000.

Burr Vs Blade Grinder – FAQs

Are burr grinders better than blade grinders?

Both burr grinders and blade grinders have advantages and disadvantages. For instance, blade grinders are convenient in that you just press a button and wait for the equipment to do the grinding. On the other hand, burr grinders produce consistently grinds and offer plenty of control over your grind.

Which is better between the two depends on your preference although coffee aficionados prefer burr grinders over blade grinders.

Do burr grinders really make a difference?

Burr grinders come with conical or flat burrs that grind your beans in a uniform size hence making them better than blade grinders.

Are manual coffee grinders better than electric?

In terms of convenience, electric coffee grinders win. They are fast when it comes to grinding coffee beans although they aren’t better than manual coffee grinders.

What is the difference between a burr grinder and a blade grinder?

Burr grinders use burrs to crush coffee beans whereas blade grinders like the name suggest, use blades that spin at a high speed chopping coffee beans into smaller pieces.

Burr grinders are different than blade grinders in that the former grind beans precisely than the later.

Can you use a blender to grind coffee beans?

Yes, a blender has a blade system that spins at a fast speed to chop coffee beans the same way a blade grinder does. Some blenders have a grinder setting. You just need to grind small amounts of coffee at a go and you will get coarse grinds.

Burr Vs Blade Grinder: Who Wins?

Hands down, burr grinders win the grinding showdown. They are incredible when it comes to grinding coffee beans to your required size and consistency and they offer you full control over the grinding process.

Final Thoughts

When looking for a coffee grinder, you should keep in mind your preferences. However, even though you would prefer a coffee grinder that grinds coffee beans faster you also don’t want to sacrifice coffee flavors for speed.

As well, even though you will want to consider the convenience a coffee grinder offers, you don’t want to get inconsistent grounds.

That’s why we have prepared this burr vs blade grinder article to help you choose your equipment wisely.  Read our guide on the best coffee makers with grinders.

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