Coffee lovers could argue over the best coffee brands, regions, and preparations for hours. One thing we can all agree on: if you aren’t grinding your beans right before brewing, you aren’t making excellent coffee.
Beans are expensive enough, and dropping tons of money on an expensive grinder probably isn’t at the top of your wish list.
Fear not, because some excellent grinding options are affordable and produce coffee-shop quality ground coffee powder in seconds.
Read on as we cover the best coffee grinders under $50 and share some essential tips to help you select the best affordable coffee grinder.
At a Glance: Best Coffee Grinder Under $50
Top Five Coffee Grinders Under $50: Our Picks
Quick Summary: Best Coffee Grinder Under $50
|Bodum BISTRO Blade Grinder
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|Mueller SuperGrind Burr Coffee Grinder Electric
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|Cuisinart Grind Central Coffee Grinder
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|JavaPresse Manual Coffee Bean Grinder
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|Mr. Coffee Automatic Burr Mill Coffee Grinder
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Whether you’re looking for a blade or burr grinder, automatic or manual, we’ve spent time with the best electric grinders on earth, and one manual one, so you don’t have to. Without further adieu, here are the five best electric coffee grinders under $50.
Bodum BISTRO Blade Coffee Grinder
The Bistro grinder from Bodum is one of the most compact and attractive cheap coffee grinders on the market, and it offers the best performance you’re going to find in an affordable and compact blade grinder.
Small households with one or two people will find the compact coffee grinder to be ideal for them. Despite its tiny size, this grinder holds an impressive 60 grams of coffee, which is enough for about six 5-ounce cups of coffee.
Bodum is one of the leading manufacturers of professional coffee equipment, and even though the Bistro grinder is their most inexpensive offering, it’s still made to Bodum’s exacting specifications.
This grinder offers a precision-sharpened stainless steel cutting blade that makes quick work of any coffee beans.
The Bistro grinder is also incredibly intuitive and easy to operate. Simply load the beans into the grinder, close the lid, and turn it on. The transparent cover provides a bird’s eye view so you can keep an eye on the coarseness of the grind.
When you’re finished, the cord is stored inside the machine’s base for a clean look.
- One of the most affordable grinders on the market
- Ultra-sharp stainless steel blades require virtually no maintenance
- Sleek, modern design looks excellent in any kitchen space
- Small capacity isn’t ideal for large households
- Doesn’t produce consistent grinds like a burr grinder
Mueller SuperGrind Burr Coffee Grinder
Mueller makes a full line of high-end kitchen equipment known for its reliability and professional-quality features.
Mueller’s high-end kitchen equipment is usually on the expensive side, but they manage to deliver incredible value for the money with their compact SuperGrind electric burr coffee grinder.
The SuperGrind is relatively compact, but its capacity is large enough to grind beans for a large pot of coffee, making it a wise choice for big households.
It has a bean hopper capacity of nearly 6-ounces of whole bean coffee, while the grinds chamber holds nearly 5-ounces of high-quality ground coffee.
The controls are intuitive and straightforward, with a single switch to turn the grinder on and off for hands-free grinding and an adjustable dial to select grind size.
Simply dial in the proper grind size from the 17 choices, turn the machine on, and you’re ready to go. You can set the device to grind coffee for as few as two cups or as many as twelve.
The coffee shop-style grind control allows you to tailor your grinds to your brewing method easily. From powder-fine espresso to coarse grinds for cold brew or pour-over coffee, the SuperGrind does it all.
Cleaning the SuperGrind is a total breeze. Both burrs remove from the machine in a matter of seconds, and you can easily remove any caked-on grinds from the burrs with a stiff cleaning brush quickly and easily.
The stainless steel burrs are virtually maintenance-free, and a quick wipe down with a hand towel is all you’ll need to keep your SuperGrind operating in top shape.
- Unbeatable value for the money
- Large capacity works for any size household
- Wide range of precise grind settings to suit any brewing method
- Easy cleaning saves time and frustration
- Grinds are not as uniform as a flat burr grinder
Cuisinart Grind Central Blade Grinder
If you’re looking for an inexpensive coffee grinder, you usually have to sacrifice the sleek looks and intuitive operation that more expensive machines offer.
That isn’t the case with the Grind Central blade grinder from Cuisinart. This grinder offers a beautiful brushed stainless steel finish that looks excellent in any kitchen, and it’s effortless to use.
This sleek grinder holds up to 90 grams of coffee beans, allowing you to grind and brew up to 18 cups of coffee at a time.
The stainless steel bean hopper has measurements embossed into the bowl, so you can easily measure beans for grinding smaller amounts of coffee, as well. The bowl is also removable and dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
A transparent lid allows you to watch the magic happen as the beans grind, and the cord coils neatly into the machine’s base for easy and elegant storage.
While Grind Central doesn’t offer the precise control of a burr grinder, this machine still delivers excellent value and reliable operation for small and large households alike.
- Elegant brushed stainless steel finish
- Large capacity for a compact machine
- Easy cleaning and maintenance helps save time
- Not as precise as a burr grinder
- Beans get ejected from the hopper during the grinding process
JavaPresse Manual Burr Grinder
Making excellent coffee is a labor of love, and choosing a manual coffee grinder is the perfect way to tap into the primal essence of brewing your favorite beverage. Since there’s no motor to add cost to the machine, manual grinders are the best way to get the most bang for your buck.
This manual grinder offers several advantages. Since it doesn’t have a motor, you’ll never have to worry about power or batteries, and there’s less that can go wrong with the machine.
A quality manual grinder like this can last a lifetime. This portable grinder is also exceptionally quiet, especially when compared to a blade or flat burr grinder.
The JavaPresse manual coffee grinder boasts a stainless steel housing with an easy-to-use hand crank. The large handle gives you the leverage you need to make quick work of any coffee beans with little effort.
The conical burrs inside are ceramic, so they maintain their sharpness exceptionally well and require very little maintenance to perform at their best.
While this ceramic burr grinder might not offer the convenience or capacity of an automatic machine, you’ll be hard-pressed to find better components in an affordable grinder than in this model from JavaPresse.
- High-quality ceramic burrs for reliable operation
- 18 different grind settings for virtually all brewing methods
- Built to last from stainless steel
- Small capacity isn’t ideal for larger households
- Not as fast or convenient as an automatic machine
Mr. Coffee Automatic Burr Mill Coffee Grinder
An attractive, full-featured grinder for a bargain price, the Mr. Coffee Automatic Burr Mill is an ideal choice for coffee lovers on a budget.
This model is a high-capacity burr grinder, an excellent option for larger households. The large removable bean hopper holds up to eight ounces of coffee beans, and the conical burrs operate quietly.
So you won’t have to worry about waking up the entire house when you’re brewing a pot in the morning.
With 18 different grind settings, it’s easy to dial in the ideal grind size for your brewing method. The dial to adjust the grind size is a bit clumsy and difficult to use, but it’s relatively easy to make adjustments once you’re used to it.
The hopper and grind container is removable for easy cleaning and maintenance, and the hidden cord storage gives the grinder a streamlined look when it isn’t in use. A brushed stainless steel exterior finishes off this grinder from Mr. Coffee.
- Large capacity is ideal for bigger households
- 18 different grind settings for achieving the perfect grinds for your brewing method
- Two safety mechanisms to prevent messes and accidents
- Grind control is a little clumsy
- Hopper and grinds containers aren’t dishwasher safe
Why is Grinding Your Own Beans so Important?
If you’re serious about brewing an excellent cup of coffee, you need to be grinding your beans.
When coffee is pre-ground, it reduces the surface area of the coffee, which dramatically accelerates how quickly your coffee loses its flavor and oxidizes. I’m sure you’ve noticed how incredible and rich freshly ground coffee smells compared to ground coffee in a bag.
When you grind your own, that strong aroma translates directly into your cup, so you can enjoy more aromatic and flavorful coffee that’s as fresh as possible.
Types of Coffee Grinders
As you search for the best coffee grinder for your kitchen, the first thing you’ll need to consider is the type of grinder that’s best for you.
Blade grinders function similarly to a food processor – spinning blades inside the grinder chop the coffee beans into tiny pieces until the coffee is thoroughly ground. The upside is that blade grinders are inexpensive, and the blades can easily be sharpened or changed.
The downside is that blade grinders don’t produce a uniform grind since the coffee is ground by the blades randomly cutting through the coffee beans. Some of the pieces are bound to be coarsely ground, while others are finer grinds.
The resulting cup won’t deliver the rich and uniform flavor you’re after when you brew your coffee. Instead, the finer bits of fresh coffee will be over-extracted and bitter, while the coarser grinds will provide an overly bold taste.
Using a blade grinder is preferable to buying pre-ground coffee. But, if you’re after a premium coffee drinking experience, you’ll want to steer clear of a blade grinder in favor of a burr grinder.
Burr grinders are the industry standard for grinding premium coffee, and they produce a more uniform grind that coffee purists argue is paramount to achieving an excellent cup of coffee.
Types of Burr Grinders
Burr grinders fall into two different categories, flat burr grinders, and cone grinders. Both grinders are effective, and you’ll find either style in coffee shops worldwide. Still, many coffee enthusiasts have their preferences.
The conical burr coffee grinder has long been the industry standard; they’re relatively inexpensive and operate quietly. These grinders feature a cone-shaped burr that sits inside of a ring-shaped one.
As the conical burr spins, it draws beans into the grinding area, where they’re crushed between the conical and the ring-shaped burrs.
Conical grinders are relatively inexpensive, generate little noise, and produce pretty uniform coffee grounds.
However, some coffee purists argue that the nature of conical grinders makes two different grind sizes at once. Many believe that conical grinders suffer from similar problems as blade grinders and thus limit the coffee’s flavor potential.
Flat burr grinders employ bagel-shaped burrs which move against each other to grind the beans. Their design prevents coffee from being ejected from the grinder prematurely, which results in a completely uniform grind.
These grinders are a bit pricier, and they’re much noisier than a burr grinder. However, many argue that a flat burr grinder provides the best and most uniform grind, which they claim is critical to an excellent cup of coffee.
Considerations When Shopping for a Coffee Grinder
Before you make a purchase, there are some essential characteristics you’ll need to consider to make sure you’re choosing an ideal grinder for you.
Manual vs. Automatic
While blade grinders are almost always automatic, conical grinders are available in manual or automatic models.
With a manual model, you’ll need to turn a handle, or the grinder itself, to grind the beans. Automatic electric models have a powerful motor inside, which does the hard work of manual grinding for you.
Automatic grinders are faster and easier to use, while manual grinders are more affordable. Both are equally effective.
Different grind sizes are ideal for various coffee preparations. You will use a medium grind for a drip coffee and a fine grind for a French Press coffee brew. If you only have a couple of preferred brewing methods, the adjustable settings may be less important to you.
Meanwhile, if you like to brew coffee in many ways, look for a model that provides plenty of different options for grinding your beans to the perfect grind size.
Grinders are available in stepped or stepless varieties.
Stepped grinders are more common and affordable, and they allow you to choose any of their preset grind sizes for your beans. Stepless grinders allow for more minute adjustments and enable you to create custom grinds in any size you prefer.
Ease of Cleaning
The only drawback of grinding your own coffee is that it means you’ll have another kitchen appliance to worry about cleaning. If you neglect cleaning, your grinder will become less effective and more prone to breakage.
Blade and conical burr grinders are pretty easy to clean, while flat burr grinders require a bit more regular maintenance.
That said, many flat grinders are smartly designed to allow for easy cleaning. Whichever style you choose, look for a grinder you’ll be able to clean quickly as necessary.
Smaller grinders are ideal for one or two people, whereas a larger grinder is necessary if you’ll be brewing coffee for the whole family. Depending on how you’ll be using your grinder, a larger model with higher bean capacity may be necessary.
Depending on your household, noise levels could be an essential factor for you. All coffee grinders generate some noise, and automatic grinders are louder than manual ones.
Blade and flat burr grinders tend to be the loudest, while conical burr grinders can operate at lower RPMs, so they’re much quieter.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Often Should I Clean My Coffee Grinder?
Keeping your coffee grinder clean is crucial for achieving reliable performance and consistent grind size.
Most people clean their grinders every few months, and more often for those that use the grinder several times each day.
Cleaning your grinder is as simple as removing the burrs, cleaning them with a stiff brush to remove stubborn grounds, and wiping the burrs down to remove residual oils from the coffee.
How Many Grind Settings Do I Need?
Depending on how you enjoy coffee, you may need several grind settings or just a few. Each style of coffee preparation works best with different grind sizes, but that won’t matter much to you if you only make coffee one or two ways.
If you like to make coffee in different ways, or you think you may be interested in making coffee in different ways in the future, look for a grinder that offers ten or more size adjustments, so you have the versatility you need for various preparations.
What Kind of Coffee Grinder is Best?
Burr grinders are the industry standard in coffee shops worldwide. If you’re serious about your morning coffee, you’ll want to invest in a burr grinder, as well. Burr grinders provide the most uniform grind size, and they offer precise control over the size of your fresh ground coffee.
While there’s plenty of debate over whether a conical burr grinder or flat burr grinder is superior, what’s certain is that any metallic burr grinder is preferable to a blade grinder.
If you’re serious about making excellent coffee at home, a quality coffee grinder is perhaps the most crucial piece of the puzzle. Without an ideal grinder, you’ll never be able to achieve a smooth, rich, and aromatic cup of coffee.
Each of the grinders on our list represents an excellent choice if you’re looking for a quality grinder, but one, in particular, earns the distinction of the best budget coffee grinder under $50.
The Mueller SuperGrind burr grinder offers high-end features, attractive looks, and reliability. Most importantly, it’s versatile and grinds excellent coffee across all 17 different settings. Check out our favorite coffee grinder today!