Burr Grinders: Conical and Flat, Manual and Automatic

Conical And Flat Burr Grinders.

So, you have decided that you want a burr grinder over a blade coffee grinder. But you still can’t walk to a store to buy one just yet. How well do you know a burr grinder? Can you tell the difference between a good burr grinder and the other types of grinders for coffee ?

Think about it, there are manual coffee grinders, as well as electric ones among burr grinders too. How would you know which one is best for you? That’s why we are here to help. We don’t want you spending money (investing) on a device that you won’t need. By the end of this article, you would know exactly the kind, size, and type of burr grinder that you should buy.

See, we are starting right now with our table showing our top picks of burr grinders that are durable and amazing. Look through it and shop away. Just, keep reading.

Why Pick a Burr Grinder?

If you are still unsure about whether or not a burr grinder is the one for you, take a look at the reasons below. You would have your mind made up at the end of the list.

  • It is pricey but very durable: A burr grinder is more expensive than a blade grinder. It is also more durable. Some would say that the blade grinder is penny-ante because it is designed not to last long. So, if you are a frequent coffee drinker, you know where your choice would lie.
  • Gives you uniform coffee grounds: Another cool thing about a burr mill (because it grinds like a pepper mill) is that your coffee ground would be grounded evenly. This is especially true for the flat burr grinder (we would get into the details soon). A blade grinder can never give you extremely fine ground because it chops the beans unevenly.
  • Grind size settings are available: Though this is not a blade vs burr grinder comparison article, there sure is a lot to compare. Burr grinders have a mechanism that allows you to set grind sizes.

Types of Burr Coffee Grinder

Here we`ll compare manual burr coffee grinders, an electric one, a conical burr grinder, and a flat burr grinder.

Manual And Automatic Burr Coffee Grinders.

  • Manual Burr Grinder: This type is operated without the need for electricity. They are the smallest coffee grinder type and they are also very cheap. However, you can spend a long time grinding with a manual grinder because you have to constantly test the grind size with small amounts of coffee beans. Also, you would have to sit with the process since you’ll be turning the handle until the ground is done.
  • Electric Burr Grinder: Your grinder has to be plugged into electricity before it can work. It is also not as small as a manual blender which makes it a good choice for family use. It is more consistent than the manual one and it’s faster too.
  • Conical Burr Grinder: The electrical version of a conical burr grinder grinds coffee beans in no time and produces an even and consistent ground. It is characterized by two nonidentical burr shapes. One is conically shaped, and the other is serrated and sharp. The burrs are also arranged vertically inside the chamber. They help to pass and ground the coffee beans into the required grind size.
  • Flat Burr Grinder: This type has two identical sharp burrs, and they are arranged horizontally against each other. The space between the two burrs can be increased or decreased. The smaller the space between the two burrs, the finer the grind would be. It is easier to get an extremely fine ground with a flat burr grinder than a conical one. But they are much louder and could produce too much heat if there isn’t enough ventilation.

Conical And Flat Burr Mechanism.

What to look for in a Burr Grinder?

Now, you know the types and you might have decided on which one is for you. But here is a burr grinder buying guide for you so that you don’t make a mistake on your pick.

  • Grind Size and Consistency: If you are very much concerned with the consistency or you are more into finer grounds, then you should go for the flat burr grinder. However, if you are more of a medium to coarse ground kind of coffee lover, then you can stick to the conical type.
  • Size: If you are likely to grind coffee for more than 5 persons, then it is better to buy larger sizes of the grinder. Also, you might need to shop for a large manual coffee grinder since manual types usually come in small sizes. But if you are grinding coffee for very few people or yourself alone, you can shop for a handheld coffee grinder or any other small option.
  • Quietness vs Noise: It’s not every time you want to wake the entire house because you are grinding coffee. A quiet option is either a manual or a conical grinder. But if you live alone, the noise might not bother you.
  • Speed: Electronic grinders are generally faster than manual types, but more expensive. So, if the cost is not a factor, you can opt for electronic burr grinders to get you your result in no time.
  • Ease to Use and Clean: If you are a regular coffee drinker, you might want to consider how quick and easy it is to clean and use your grinder (since you would be using it frequently). The easiest grinder to use is a flat burr grinder, but the conical is easier to clean. A manual grinder is easy to clean but a little challenging to use.
  • Material: The material your coffee grinder comes in dictates its durability. Stainless steel is not so durable but is cheap, and easily accessible. Ceramic burr grinders are more durable but are hard to find. So you might find it difficult to replace it if needed.
  • Cost: Finally, shop within your budget. Manual grinders are the cheapest while electric ones are pricey. However, you would always be able to find affordable electronic conical and flat grinders that are within your budget.

How to use a Burr Grinder?

A burr coffee grinder is pretty easy to use. For the electric version, simply check the grind settings, pour in your coffee beans, and turn it on. For a manual grinder, set the grind size first (by removing the hopper and turning it), then pour in the coffee little by little to test the ground size until you are fine with the result.

Best Burr Coffee Grinder for Home

Using the list of things to consider before buying a burr coffee grinder, you can be able to tell which type is the best for your home. For example, someone who lives alone loves to have his coffee ground extremely fine and has only a few minutes to grind and brew his coffee every day would be better off with a flat burr coffee grinder.


There is more that goes into selecting the best burr grinder than walking into a store to get one. That’s why we provided you with relevant information to make the process easier and profitable. We hope this article has been helpful. If so, you can move on to selecting a grinder from the options in our table above.


Are Manual Coffee Grinders Better Than Electric?

If electricity bills are the major factor, then yes, the manual is better. But other than that, an electric coffee grinder is faster. It is also more efficient, and easier to use.

How to clean a manual coffee grinder?

A nice wash should effectively clean a manual blender. However, ensure to remove all the parts of the coffee grinder before washing. With that, you would be able to reach all the parts of the device.

How Often Should I Clean My Manual Coffee Grinder?

As often as you use it. You wouldn’t want to pour new coffee beans into a dirty grinder. That’s why ease of cleaning is a factor to be considered before buying.

Can I Grind Spices in My Coffee Grinder?

You can grind spices only in a blade coffee grinder (since it is very much like a food processor). But make sure that you clean immediately after. Using a burr grinder would not give you a good result.

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