Coffee. That beautiful, brown, warm life-giving morning juice is delightful.
But, if you’ve only ever bought pre-ground packaged coffee from a store shelf, then you’re missing out. Nothing tastes better than freshly ground coffee, and the best way to achieve that is to buy your own coffee grinder and do it yourself.
Whether you have some money spare to really splash out, or you don’t want to pay too much, there’s something for everyone.
We could argue all day about whether you should get a manual or electric one – being a tech site we’re gonna stick to the ones you have to plug in – but either way, your coffee will tastes better if you’ve only just ground up the beans before pouring your hot water on them.
Our guide to the best coffee grinders to buy today
Smeg CGF01 Coffee Grinder
There’s no denying this is a bit of a pricey number, but it’s a truly fantastic machine. Of course, a big part of its appeal is that it has that classic Italian styling to it that Smeg is synonymous with. If you already have one of their coffee machines, this matches perfectly.
At the top it has a large transparent hopper that can hold up to 350 grams of coffee beans, which is enough to make up to 50 espresso shots. It’s easily removed and easy to fill up without any spilling.
Beneath it is where all the magic happens. It has a lever to adjust how fine a grind you want, with 30 incremental steps to choose from. Plus, the Start/Stop button allows you to select the number of cups-worth of coffee you need, or choose between a single or double shot.
Coffee is ground by stainless steel conical burrs which sound just great when they’re whirring away, and when coffee is poured out the spout on the underside, it’s done so in a way that makes it neat and tidy. Hold an espresso filter/basket underneath it using the dedicated stand and it’ll barely spill.
Everything just feels sturdy about this machine. It’s solid and stays put without any of that annoying ‘wasps caught in a lawnmower’ buzzing you might get from a cheap and cheerful machine. You’re definitely paying for quality here, but if you’re serious about coffee, you need a serious grinder, and this is definitely that. Without going extreme and buying commercial machines, the Smeg delivers in every way.
De’Longhi Dedica Style KG521
Feature-wise the De’Longhi offers many of the same benefits of the Smeg. You can grind coffee directly into your espresso filter/cup or into a container directly below the shoot, offering minimal waste and spillage.
It doesn’t have quite as many different coarseness settings as though – offering 18 – but the modern styling, smaller footprint and 2.1-inch LCD display on the top may appeal to those who don’t want Smeg’s huge, retro machine on their countertop.
It has a maximum capacity of 170 grams of beans (not quite enough for a full 250g standard bag) but can fit 14 cups’ worth of ground coffee in the included canister.
For the coffee obsessed who have their brewing down to a fine art, the beauty is found in the small details. Getting the right coarseness is paramount, as is ensuring you have the exact right amount of coffee to brew. This is where the Melitta comes in.
Melitta’s Calibra grinder has 39 different coarseness settings to choose from and has a built-in digital scale for weighing up the exact right amount of ground coffee. It has a simple to use button control system, with a basic calculator-like LCD display for showing the weight in numbers. Add that to the fact it has space for 375 grams of coffee beans in the container up top, and there’s a lot going for it.
This kind of setup is incredibly versatile and will allow you to get your pour-overs, espressos or filter grounds exactly right for whichever type of brewing method you want. For those who just want it easy, it might seem a bit too granular, but at this price, it offers a lot for the money.
Sage Smart Grinder Pro
If you want to go all-out and spend proper money on a coffee grinder to get one of the best looking, technologically advanced and versatile grinders around, then this could be your dream machine.
Sage products (often very similar to the Breville-branded machines in the US) offer premium design and advanced features you may not get elsewhere, or lower down in the market. For this model, that includes up to 60 different grind settings. It has so-called ‘intelligent settings’ to help you get the right kind of grind for the specific type of coffee you’re brewing, all shown on a lovely cool blue-backlit LCD display on the front.
It’s all designed in order to allow you to adjust and tweak timers, burr positioning, timing and coffee volume. Essentially giving the coffee lover the precision tools they need but in a flashy looking package. What’s more, there’s a 450-gram coffee hopper on the top, which is really generous in comparison to most of the others on the list.
You can grind directly into your espresso filter basket, or a canister, or your regular drip filter paper. Just don’t look at the price point, it might make your eyes water.
Bodum Bistro blade grinder
Moving way down in terms of price and size here, the Bodum Bistro grinder is pretty small in comparison to the large, countertop options listed so far. Unlike the bigger machines, you don’t get a lot of the fine-tuned control over grind coarseness, and you definitely don’t get any real bean storage.
What makes this worth checking out, however, is that it’s compact, inexpensive and you can grind up to eight cups of coffee using the blade inside the machine. It has a transparent lid, so you can see how coarse or fine the grind is. To make it finer, you just keep grinding it for longer.
The results may not be as consistent as a solid stainless steel conical grinder might offer, but it’s an easy-to-use machine that’s also easy to take with you whenever you’re travelling. Plus, if you’re low on counter space, it’s not going to hog too much real estate in your kitchen.
Dualit Coffee Grinder
Think Dualit, and you’re more than likely thinking of the best toaster in the world, but the company does more than just heating up pieces of bread. They also make a surprisingly inexpensive countertop coffee grinder. Granted, you don’t get the volume of bean storage or variety of coarseness settings on offer from the bigger machines, but it’s a good middle ground between the compact machines and the larger ones.
Dualit’s short and stocky machine has a hopper on top capable of storing 250 grams of coffee, which is the exact right size for those standard small bags of coffee beans. It grinds directly into the container below without spilling, and it couldn’t be simpler to use. Turn the dial on the side to select one of 10 grind settings and then press the big button on the front.
Cuisinart professional burr grinder
As far as value for money goes, there’s not a lot out there offering the capabilities of the Cuisinart grinder in terms of volume, price and practicality.
The hopper on the top holds 250 grams of beans – again, enough for a full regular sized bag – with a large 18 cup container on the bottom. What’s more, it offers 18 different coarseness settings and is made from durable stainless steel housing. If that wasn’t enough, a lot of the parts are removable and dishwasher safe.
For those wanting to keep costs down and still get a practical and sturdy grinder, there’s not a lot out there that competes with it at this level of cost.