Burr Grinder Vs Blade Grinder: Which Is The Best?
Updated 02-04-2021 – Dan Alvazrez
If you are a regular coffee drinker, you probably thought about having a dedicated coffee grinder at your home. Burr grinder Vs blade grinder, which one is the best? With so many figures available, it becomes harder and harder to select one that will suit your personal needs and of course fit into your budget. Every figure has a ton of money spent on a dedicated grinder so finding a grinder that not only provides you with quality grinds but also is available is highly important.
Before I go on a long rant about how burr grinders are far superior, there is the major difference between a burr grinder and a blade grinder:
Burr has two separate surfaces which are usually revolving to grind coffee. The blade grinders are closer to regular blenders with propeller-like blades.
It seems like a small difference between the two, but in reality, it is a significant difference. But understand that we must also understand what a burr coffee grinder is and what a blade coffee grinder is, how they work, how they are made, and how is the consistency of the ground coffee they deliver.
Burr Grinder Vs Blade Grinder
Many experts and coffee lovers will argue that burr grinder is the best there is. I personally also recommend that you get a burr grinder if you are serious about making good quality coffee at home or office. Blade grinders have their place as well, but I’d recommend that you avoid them, especially if you’re into espressos.
Burr Grinder – How It Works
A burr coffee grinder which is also known as a burr mill has two burrs that revolve and grind the coffee. The beans are generally crushed between the grinder wheel and a non-moving solid surface. This is the basic concept that all burr grinders follow, and it works really well. However, there are two major types of burr grinders.
Types of Burr Grinders
There are two types of burr grinders, one is the conical burr grinder and the other is the flat burr grinder. Both of these produce great quality coffee grounds however there are some minor differences between how they work and what kind of coffee grounds they produce.
I’d also like to clarify that there are manual burr grinders as well as electric burr grinders. A manual burr grinder uses your hands for the grinding process while an electric burr coffee grinder simply uses an electrical outlet.
There are certain advantages of using a manual burr grinder but these days good quality electric burr grinders are almost at the same level. The biggest differences between the two is that the hand burr grinders produce a lot more consistent grain size and are usually lightweight. On the other hand, the electrical burr grinders are a lot more convenient and better suited if you need quite a lot of coffee in a short amount of time.
Another thing I’d like to note is the material of burrs. Some burr grinders are made with good quality stainless steel while others are ceramic in nature.
Ceramic penetrators are mostly used in domestic products. These are high-strength blades that are usually very long-lasting. They’re not as sharp as steel, but they can retain their sharpness for a very long time. They are not that wrong when it comes to bigger impacts so as long as you don’t put anything harder than coffee beans inside, they will continue working in perfect condition for years. Furthermore, they also don’t conduct heat, so you don’t have to worry about heat messing up the chemical composition and essential oils inside the coffee beans. Ceramic burrs don’t rust either, so you don’t have to worry about maintenance.
Stainless steel burrs are becoming popular inside a lot of coffee grinders. Stainless steel contains chromium which makes them corrosion resistant. However, the biggest advantage of having a stainless steel burr inside your coffee grinder is the consistency of the grind. The coffee particles that come out of this grinder are going to be uniform and even. But, stainless steel can conduct heat so if you live in a hotter environment, they might not be for you. Stainless steel burrs are also sharper than ceramic ones however they lose their sharpness faster.
Conical Burr Grinders
This is the industry standard when it comes down to grinding coffee. As the name suggests, this method uses a cone-shaped central burr that is placed inside an outer serrated burr. The picture explains this a lot more easily than my words ever will. This method is amazing when it comes to perfectly ground and consistent coffee. It’s no wonder that all experts recommend conical burr coffee grinder all the time. The design is not only heat resistant but also has natural energy efficiency, which makes it a darling of home baristas as well as professional coffee makers.
However, conical burrs are not going to produce evenly ground coffee. While it may seem like that’s the case to the naked eye, when examined under a microscope, the results are a bit different. You’ll notice the different sizes of ground coffee particles in the mixture, while this inconsistency won’t be enough to make your coffee taste bad, it is not that great when it comes to making espresso.
Flat Burr Grinders
Flat burr grinders have a different method of grinding coffee, they have two circular disc-shaped burrs that are perpendicular to each other. Both of them have very sharp edges and this design makes the beans stay between the burrs until they are absolutely ground. Compare this to a typical conical burr grinder, and you’d see that the latter allows the beans to hop around and sometimes remain completely intact. If you’re after superb consistency and love espresso, a flat burr grinder is the way to go. As the coffee grounds are exactly the same size (most of the time) the flavour is consistent as well, this is amazing for those who require a bit more creative room when it comes to their cup of coffee.
Nothing is perfect and flat burr grinders are no exception. While they produce superbly consistent coffee grounds, they are obnoxiously loud. They are louder than conical burrs and require a lot more energy to work. This in turn generates heat, and we all know it is the enemy of essential oils stored in a coffee bean. If used for extended periods, a flat burr grinder will start roasting the burr beans themselves. As they are loud, they’re not suitable for commercial usage or even homes where someone might be sleeping. But when you need consistent and precise coffee grinds, a flat burr grinder is the way to go.
Blade Grinder – How It Works
A blade grinder basically chops and cuts the coffee beans into finer pieces. That’s all it does, and it can practically be used on spices and other ingredients as well. There is a big metallic blade in the centre of the Blade Coffee Grinder that is reminiscent of a food processor or a blender. While this method is significantly faster than burr grinders, it is also highly uneven and inconsistent when it comes to coffee ground size.
The inconsistent size of the coffee grounds can and most probably will lead to a bad tasting coffee. Flavour from the bigger size particles as well as bitterness from smaller size particles will only lead to disappointment.
However, the blade renders for Blade Grinders are very inexpensive to purchase and if you are looking for a simple setup, this can be great for you. I highly recommend that you use pulsing veterans instead of simply holding down the grind button. This not only allows the heat to dissipate inside the beans but also can result in good quality consistency in grind size.
Burr Grinder Versus Blade Grinder
Here is a simple and easy-to-follow chart that explains all the benefits of a burr grinder versus a blade grinder.
Consistency of grounds
They say the best coffee grinder is the one you have on you. Okay, no one actually says that I just made it up, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. The coffee grinder that fits perfectly in your budget and provides you with a quality service is the best one for you.
If money is no objection, I recommend that you go with a burr grinder there are more sturdy, longer-lasting, and produce good quality coffee grounds.
We do have some great lists about the Best Coffee Grinders, Best Burr Coffee Grinders, and Best Manual Coffee Grinders. So if you do decide on buying one, make sure you check out these lists as well.
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