Blade vs. Burr Coffee Grinder: What is the difference?
If you are a regular coffee drinker and have a sophisticated taste for coffee, you may have thought about grinding and making your own coffee. Since you will have to buy a coffee grinder, the main question that comes to mind is whether to buy a blade or burr coffee grinder.
When choosing between these two types of grinders, there are various things to consider. Both of them have their pros and cons, so you should pay attention to that when buying a grinder. A coffee grinder can be an investment that you will use for years, so it’s better to consider everything before buying one.
How Does a Coffee Grinder Work?
Most blade grinders on the market, if not all, are very similar in design and work on the same principle. There is a double blade at the bottom of the chamber that spins rapidly, grinding the coffee. They usually have only one button — to turn the grinder on and off.
The beans that hit the rotating blade blast into many different sized particles. The small, fine pieces fall to the bottom of the chamber near the blade and are repeatedly chopped until they turn into a fine powder. However, the big grounds usually stay on top, rarely getting hit by the blade.
What you get at the end of the grinding process are uneven sized pieces of coffee. That can have a terrible impact on coffee taste. Besides, if you grind coffee for too long, the heat that’s produced can affect the flavor of the coffee and eliminate those fresh flavors that make your coffee taste great.
Also, if the pieces of coffee are not of the same size, they will brew at different rates, and won’t provide you with a great coffee experience.
The fact is, blade grinders are inexpensive, very accessible and easy to find, and pretty convenient and easy to use. However, the quality of the coffee is not so great most of the time, and you can’t even choose the desired grind size.
On the other hand, we have burr coffee grinders. They are very different and work on a much different principle. Two burr pieces funnel the coffee beans, only a few at a time, and produce a beautiful, fine coffee powder. The burrs are usually made of high-quality stainless steel and will last much longer than blades made of cheap metal. They are also pretty easy to maintain and can be an excellent, long-term investment.
Burr coffee grinders usually allow you to set the inner and outer burr closer or further to each other, which directly affects the ground size. Therefore, you can experiment and make small changes until you find the taste you like, ranging between French coffee and espresso, and many more different tastes. The thing is, no matter which ground size you choose, you will always get uniform-sized coffee, which is never the case with blade grinders.
Long story short, burr coffee grinders are built to last. They are very adjustable and grind coffee to a uniform size, which leads to a balanced taste. On the other hand, they are pretty hard to find since you probably won’t find one in a grocery store. Also, hand burr grinders can be found for as low as $20, but if you want an electric grinder, the price will be much higher, depending on the brand and quality.
So, Which is the Winner?
When it comes to the blade vs. burr coffee grinder battle, without a doubt, the burr coffee grinder is a definite winner. On the other hand, you should think about what you really need. If you are not that much into coffee and just drink it from time to time, or in the morning to keep with the routine, then you probably don’t care about the coffee taste very much.
Having that in mind, you probably don’t want to invest a lot of cash in an expensive grinder, so a blade grinder will do the job for you. It is also pretty easy to maintain and gets a thorough clean when cleaned with the rice method.
However, if you are a coffee lover, the actual taste of your coffee might be the most important thing for you. Therefore, you are probably ready to invest a little more for a high-quality grinder. In that case, you should aim for the burr coffee grinder.
Both electric and manual grinders will make coffee. The difference is that if you need to make coffee for a group of people, using a manual grinder can be tiring. However, using an electric grinder can make that job much easier for you. You should keep in mind that electric burr grinders are much more expensive than the manual ones. Depending on your needs, either electric or manual, can be a perfect choice for your favorite drink.