When it comes to coffee grinders, there are two types that you can choose: blade grinder and burr grinder. While blade grinders have rotating blades like a propeller, they are not created mainly for coffee beans; however, it’s widely used for grinding coffee beans. On the other hand, burr grinders are similar to those manual, vintage coffee grinders, but with an electric motor inside. They have two abrasive surfaces, known as burrs, that grind the coffee into a very fine powder.
If you use a blade grinder, you might notice that it loses its sharpness over time. Since the blades can become dull, it won’t be able to properly grind the beans, which will drastically affect the coffee taste. Therefore, it is very important, even mandatory, to have nice and sharp blades in your grinder. There are a few ways of sharpening blades in your grinder, so let’s check them out.
Sharpening Coffee Grinder Blades
The simplest and easiest method is to use rice. Just take one cup of the uncooked rice and put it into the grinder. Then, grind the rice for 60-70 seconds, and turn the grinder off. Take out the rice and wipe the blades with a damp cloth first, then with a dry cloth. Some people actually use grinder cleaning pellets instead of rice for sharpening the blades. However, due to its material and solidness, rice is a much better choice.
While sharpening the blades, rice will also do the cleaning and remove any oils or coffee hiding in the nooks of a grinder. However, if you want to do only the cleaning without sharpening the blades, then you can use pellets instead of rice. It’s up to you.
You can also remove the blades from the grinder and sharpen them manually, although it might require the use of some tools. Also, don’t forget to unplug the grinder, instead of just turning it off, to prevent any possible injury. The grinder engine is pretty powerful and rotates at a very high speed. When you remove the blades, the sharpening process is similar to sharpening the knife. If you have never done that before, it might require a bit of trial and error until you get the desired results.
Basically, just begin by running one of the blade edges on a sharpening stone or a similar material that you choose. Of course, be sure to keep the angle that the blade is already sharped to. When you think you have finished with that edge, turn the blade over and sharpen the other side.
Usually, each blade will have two back, and two front sides and a grinding machine will have four blades in most cases. Repeat the same process for all sides on each blade, and your grinder will be as sharp as new. Of course, be sure to run the blade away from your body to prevent any possible injury. Also, you might want to sharpen the blades whenever you notice a decrease in performance.
Rules When Sharpening Grinder Blades
When sharpening grinder blades, you should always wear protective gloves, in case the blade slips from your fingers. Although the blades are not super sharp, they are sharp enough to cause damage.
Also, the foremost rule is that you actually never slide the sharpening stone over a blade, but a blade over the sharpening stone. That way, you will create heat and friction needed to sharpen the edge. If you slide the stone instead, you will do the same thing, but the effect will be much less powerful since you can’t do that at the same speed.
As mentioned, the most recommended technique is to slide the blade away from the body. It is not only necessary because of safety but has an effect on the actual sharpening process, too. It’s much easier to get the desired heat and friction when sliding the blade away from the body.
On the other hand, if you prefer, you can just remove the blades and buy new ones. Usually, you can find them online, at a very low price, but be aware that not every model uses the same blades. If you are not sure or have any questions, it is most recommended to contact the manufacturer about all the necessary info.
As you can see, sharpening coffee grinder blades is not a big deal. The most important thing is actually not to injure yourself. In the end, don’t forget that dull blades might be noticed, not only in decreased performance but in the taste of coffee, too. Dull blades won’t be able to cut the beans properly, so instead of a fine powder, there will be small chunks that have a significant effect on taste.
These are the best methods of sharpening grinder blades, so depending on your skills and what you find to be the easiest, the final decision is up to you. So what are you waiting for? Sharpen those grinder blades and get grinding again!