The Independent's journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission. Why trust us?

8 best coffee grinders to help make brewing a breeze

Unlocking flavour and aroma, these machines are the key to a better cuppa

Jessica Carter
Thursday 11 January 2024 11:39 GMT
<p>We looked for easy cleaning, storage and portability</p>

We looked for easy cleaning, storage and portability

One of the simplest things you can do to up your coffee game at home is to grind the beans fresh each time you brew. This is because the all-important aroma and flavour of your coffee comes courtesy of the compounds locked inside each bean. As soon as you grind them, that flavour starts to deteriorate.

To grind those beans, coffee mills use either burrs – abrasive surfaces that rotate and grind the beans between them – or regular blades, not unlike those that you’d find on a hand blender or food processor.

“When you’re choosing a grinder, start by thinking about the brewing method you most often use, and also how much coffee you tend to make,” says a spokesperson from Extract Coffee Roasters. “Different grinders will use different burrs. Some that are suitable for filter won’t work as well on espresso and vice versa – look for one specific to your brew.

“Electric grinders are going to be faster and easier for making multiple cups at once. If you’re grinding for espresso, which is a fine grind, manual grinders will be pretty labour intensive,” they add. “However, manual grinders have the advantage of being more mobile, smaller and quieter.”

The use of burrs is generally considered best, as it gives you a more uniform, consistent grind, but we’ve included a variety of coffee grinders in our guide, to suit different needs and budgets.

How we tested

We tested a range of grinders and put the results to work using a chemex, which needs a medium-course grind. For each mill, we took into account the range of grind sizes, ease of use, consistency of grind, price and practicality – think storage, cleaning, portability. We wanted to get a heady whiff of coffee from those freshly ground beans, and enjoy as much flavour as possible in our resulting cup of joe. These are the ones that packed the best punch.

The best coffee grinders for 2024 are:

  • Best coffee grinder overall – Wilfa svart coffee grinder: £95.04, Cheshirevending.com
  • Best budget electric coffee grinder – VonShef 150W coffee bean grinder: £19.99, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best premium coffee grinder – Niche zero: £538.80, Nichecoffee.co.uk
  • Best on-the-go coffee grinder – Hario mini-slim+: £33.19, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best handheld electric coffee grinder – Bodum bistro blade electric coffee grinder: £39.86, Amazon.co.uk

Wilfa svart coffee grinder

Wilfa svart coffee grinder .jpg
  • Best: Coffee grinder overall
  • Weight: 2.2kg
  • Dimensions: ‎32.5cm x 20.2cm x 15.9cm
  • Coarseness settings: 5
  • Why we love it
    • Lots of different grind sizes
    • Large enough to cater for a crowd

Wilfa is one of the most respected names in the coffee-brewing business – and this model seems to balance professional-level functionality and affordability (which makes sense, seeing as it was designed in collaboration with a World Barista Champion). Several of the coffee pros we spoke to recommended this grinder, telling us it’s a favourite at-home option among them and their colleagues.

There are five settings here for grind size – each labelled with the type of coffee they’re intended for – and 32 steps between them, so you can refine your grind to a pretty specific level. The grinder can take up to 250g of beans at once – meaning you can cater for a crowd, too. To grind, it’s just a case of selecting your grind time with the dial on the front, and pressing the power button.

Our ground beans had really great consistency and aroma, and were collected in a clear, slide-out container that’s happily easy to clean.

Back to top

VonShef 150W coffee bean grinder

VonShef 150W coffee bean grinder  .jpg
  • Best: Budget electric coffee grinder
  • Weight: ‎800g
  • Dimensions: ‎9cm x 9cm x 19.5cm
  • Coarseness settings: 1
  • Why we love it
    • Easy to store
  • Take note
    • Only one grinding setting

If you like a decent cuppa but wouldn’t lose sleep over getting your caffeinated sip scientifically spot on, a handheld electric grinder will see you right. Using stainless steel blades as opposed to those abrasive plates that burr grinders rely on, this no-frills number might not achieve the most precise grind but it’s super easy to use and won’t break the bank. It’s also plenty small enough to be stashed in a cupboard or drawer when not in use, saving you precious worktop space (there’s even room in the base for storing the power cable).

With no options to set the coarseness of your grind, it simply has one button, which you hold down to grind – a longer grind time gets finer results, while a shorter session will give you a coarser texture. Despite its compact size, the VonShef grinder is punchy in terms of power and can prep enough beans for four cups of coffee at once.

  1. £19 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
Back to top

Cuisinart burr mill

Cuisinart burr mill .jpg
  • Best: Value burr coffee grinder
  • Weight: ‎1.8kg
  • Dimensions: 22cm x 19cm x 31cm
  • Coarseness settings: 18
  • Why we love it
    • Great mid-range option
    • Lots of settings
    • Dishwasher safe

If you’re after a burr mill but aren’t blessed with ample kitchen surfaces or wads of cash to sacrifice for a hulking great machine, Cuisinart’s grinder is a great mid-range option. There are 18 settings for coarseness of grind, which are selected using a dial on top. The hopper (the compartment the whole beans are added to) and the grind storage vessel are removable and dishwasher safe, and can hold up to 250g of coffee. Once your beans have been shown who’s boss by the burr plates, they’re dispensed into a plastic airtight chamber to maintain that just-ground freshness.

Back to top

Niche zero

Niche zero .jpg
  • Best: Premium coffee grinder
  • Weight: 4.1kg
  • Dimensions: 122mm x 211mm x 311mm
  • Coarseness settings: Infinite grind dial
  • Why we love it
    • Stunning design
    • Takes up minimal countertop space
  • Take note
    • Expensive

This is the best-looking grinder we tested. We love the gloss-white finish against the natural oak base and feet, which gives it Scandi style and means it will look at home both in a sleek, modern kitchen or amid more-rustic decor. While reassuringly weighty, it’s nice and compact, taking up minimal surface area – which is great for kitchens in which worktop space is at a premium.

It’s not all about form here, though – this grinder has real A-game when it comes to function. The grind is super consistent and noticeably aromatic, resulting in a really full-flavoured morning cup. Simple to use, it has a dial around the top to select the grind size – and it’s stepless, so you have pretty much limitless control – while the burrs are activated by an on/off switch on the side. A patented grinder design shortens the journey of the beans through the burrs too, so zero coffee gets left inside the machine.

Sure, it comes with a hefty price tag, but it really does look and feel like a premium bit of kit – and we noticed the difference in the coffee, too. So, if you’re willing to drop some serious cash on a coffee grinder that will get you top-notch results, this might be the one for you.

Back to top

Sage smart grinder pro

Sage smart grinder pro .jpg
  • Best: Mid-range burr coffee grinder  
  • Weight: ‎450g
  • Dimensions: 21.4cm x 16cm x 38.9cm
  • Coarseness settings: 60
  • Why we love it
    • Can save your preferences
    • Lots of settings

“Smart” is definitely the most appropriate adjective to describe this does-it-all burr grinder, thanks to its 60 precise pre-programmed settings. The cool LCD screen displays the number of cups you’re grinding for (up to 12 per batch), grind size and grind time – all of which are adjustable using dials and buttons on the control panel. You can save your settings, to speed things up in the future, too.

The hopper is removable and easy to clean, as is the air-tight container that collects the grounds. Alternatively, you can grind straight into your portafilter, if the beans are destined for a pro coffee machine, thanks to the slot-in cradles included.

Quiet and speedy, the smart grinder pro has more than enough power to tackle our domestic caffeine needs, without fear of breaking into a sweat – the grind is really consistent, too.

Back to top

Wilfa uniform+

Wilfa uniform+ .jpg
  • Best: Coffee grinder for precision 
  • Weight: ‎428g
  • Dimensions: ‎24cm x 27.5cm x 63.7cm
  • Coarseness settings: 41
  • Why we love it
    • Bluetooth connection
    • Easy to operate

With its cylindrical shape and black, eggshell-style finish, this electric burr grinder has a real contemporary and understated style. It comes with digital scales that sit comfortably on the top of the unit and allows you to measure your beans with an accuracy of 0.1 of a gram. It can even connect to your phone via Bluetooth – so, if you want to get really geeky over your brew, download the app and go crazy.

This model has 41 grind settings, ranging from super-fine to coarse, meaning you can make a top-notch espresso, perfect French press cup or anything in between. Considering it’s clearly one for coffee gurus, we found it easy to operate. There’s one button to set the burrs in motion, and it automatically stops when the beans have all been processed. The grind container is metal, to prevent static energy that often causes the ground coffee to stick.

Back to top

Hario mini-slim+

Hario mini-slim+ .jpg
  • Best: On-the-go coffee grinder 
  • Weight: 300g
  • Dimensions: ‎10.16cm x 17.78cm x 7.62cm
  • Coarseness settings: Manual
  • Why we love it
    • Uniform grind
    • Helpful measurement markers

With enough capacity for two cups of coffee, this hand mill is great for grinding on the go. It’s relatively small and really lightweight – made mostly from durable plastic – so is super portable. It also comes apart, so will store away easily in an already-bulging drawer or cupboard.

It uses ceramic burrs to get a nicely uniform grind, and you can adjust the coarseness easily. When grinding, we found a modest amount of elbow grease was needed to get it going, but once those burrs were in motion the action was smooth and easy. Helpful measurements marked on the grind container gave us a rough idea of when we had enough grounds to make our cup, too.

  1. £33 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
Back to top

Bodum bistro blade electric coffee grinder

Bodum bistro blade electric coffee grinder  .jpg
  • Best: Handheld electric coffee grinder 
  • Weight: 755g
  • Dimensions: ‎9cm x 9.5cm x 16.6cm
  • Coarseness settings: 1
  • Why we love it
    • Small but mighty

This grinder has the portability and space-saving convenience of a hand grinder, but with the efficiency and speed of an electric machine. Certainly small and light enough to pack in a bag and take on your travels, it’ll store away easily when not in use.

Like with other handheld options, this isn’t a burr grinder. Instead, it has a really robust stainless steel chopping blade that made short work of our beans, with minimal fuss and noise. Just hold down the pulse control button for the length of time it takes to get your required grind size – the top of the unit is totally transparent, so it’s easy to keep an eye on progress.

Although compact, this number can grind up to 60g of coffee, meaning you can still make several cups at once, and the consistency of the grind was pretty decent, too.

  1. £39 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
Back to top

Coffee grinders FAQs

What are the benefits of an electric grinder vs hand grinders?

Electric coffee grinders are normally at a higher price point but also have higher automatic performance as a durable and convenient high-end grinder with several different grind size settings. However, with electricity comes noise, bulk, and a much larger price tag.

On the other hand, manual coffee grinders are portable, durable, and mid-high performing, creating consistent coffee grounds on a budget. A manual coffee grinder may suit you if you don’t want to splash the cash, and enjoy a bit of elbow grease and the process of making coffee – especially on the go.

The verdict: Coffee grinders

There’s no doubt the premium grinders here promise a great user experience and a belting cup of coffee but they do come at a price.

Although not usually ones to follow the crowd, we couldn’t deny the virtues of the much-praised Wilfa svart grinder, which comes at a more palatable cost than others. The sturdy, easy-to-use machine gives a great range of grind options and super-uniform results – not to mention it comes with a five-year warranty. It’s a pretty sleek-looking machine, too, and it’s not too bulky, so it won’t take up an awful amount of room.

Meanwhile, the Sage smart grinder pro will give you great control over your grind, though it is a little pricier.

Voucher codes

For the latest discounts on coffee machines and other kitchen appliances, try the links below:

We’ve created the ultimate coffee machine buying guide for the perfect cup of joe

Voucher Codes

TUI Discount Code
£250 off per bookings £2,500+ with this TUI discount code
ASOS Discount Code
Up to 30% off new in items at ASOS
Travelodge Discount Code
5% off all bookings with this Travelodge discount code
The Body Shop Discount Code
20% off everything with The Body Shop discount code
The Perfume Shop Discount Code
15% of all orders with The Perfume Shop birthday discount
Domino's Voucher Code
Get 40% off mains, sides, and desserts - Domino's voucher code

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in