Suppose you’re an espresso hobbyist who has taken your entry-level gear as far as it will go, but you’re still yearning to pull a better, more perfect shot. All you need is a great espresso machine, right?
Well, not exactly!
A mid-grade or pro espresso machine can certainly help level up your java game, but the truth is that a high-quality grinder is just as instrumental to your success.
At a Glance: Best Espresso Grinders Under $1000
If you’re ready to invest in an incredible grinder that will greatly improve your brewing experience, then you’re in the right place. Our top picks for espresso grinders under $1000 are your ticket to fine, fluffy, and consistent grounds and a better shot of espresso.
Quick Summary: Best Espresso Grinders Under $1000
Our Top ChoiceBaratza Sette 270wi
|Check on Amazon →|
|Rancilio Rocky||Check on Amazon →|
|Eureka Mignon Specialita||Check on Amazon →|
|Niche Zero||Check Price →|
|Kinu m47||Check on Amazon →|
The Best Espresso Grinders Under $1000
Baratza Sette 270wi
The Baratza Sette 270wi is the top model in the Sette series, which includes the popular Baratza Sette 30 and Baratza Sette 270.
This espresso grinder has an active weighing feature that measures your dose by weight as it’s being ground, which sets it apart from other models in this series. This feature provides tons of convenience, but there are some users who don’t find the scale to be accurate enough.
The unique, 7-shaped design of this grinder isn’t just for looks- it’s instrumental in achieving a better grind.
The shape allows the grinder motor to be located behind the grinder assembly, rather than beneath it. This keeps the heat of the motor away from your beans and allows your grounds to fall directly from the burrs into the container, reducing trapped residue.
Let’s talk technical specs. The Baratza Sette 270wi is a 40-millimeter conical burr grinder made of hardened stainless steel, and it grinds 3.5- 5.5 grams per second. That’s roadrunner fast, y’all!
This grinder also has 270 possible grind size adjustments- the 30 main settings that are present in the entire Sette series, plus 9 micro settings between each division.
It’s easy to switch between those different grind settings, so if you plan to use your grinder for espresso and other coffee preparations, you might find the Sette 270wi intriguing.
The 10 oz bean hopper on this grinder makes grinding for a single espresso dose as well as larger preparations, such as a pot of drip coffee, a breeze!
What We Like:
- Low to no retention means less mess and less wasted coffee
- Super fast grinding
- The motor is located behind the grinder, keeping heat away from the beans
What We Don’t:
- Some users find the scale inaccurate
If your espresso machine sees a lot of use, you’ll need a sturdy grinder that’s up to the task of grinding dose after dose. That’s where the Rancilio Rocky comes in.
This commercial-grade grinder is built to last, and it features 50-mm tempered steel flat burrs that will produce a nice and fine espresso grind.
This is a stepped grinder, meaning that the grind fineness can’t be tweaked infinitely- instead, you’ll have to choose one of the 55 grind settings on the machine.
Your grinder should only be adjusted while it’s running, and the Rocky only runs while you’re holding down the button, which makes finding the correct setting a bit awkward.
The Rancilio Rocky is best for grinding espresso (and that’s what you’re looking for, right?) but rest assured that it’s perfectly able to produce coarser grinds for other brewing methods, too.
This espresso grinder comes in two versions- one doserless, and one with a doser. The version with a doser is designed to deliver 7 grams at a time, but it works best only when the bean hopper is full, and that’s not ideal for home use.
We prefer the doserless version, but keep in mind that you’ll have to measure the coffee grounds yourself with a great scale.
What We Like:
- Flat burrs for a finer espresso grind
- Sturdy and long-lasting
What We Don’t:
- The stepped grinder makes fine-tuning your grind trickier
- No dose measurement by weight or time
- High cost for the entry-level features
Eureka Mignon Specialita
We love coffee in all of its forms, but some people are espresso purists and we respect that. If you’re all-in on the espresso scene, a dedicated espresso grinder like the Eureka Mignon Specialita may be just what you need.
This grinder’s 55 mm flat burrs operate super quietly, making it a great choice for espresso lovers with sleeping babies, sleeping roommates, or those who just appreciate a little peace and quiet in the morning. It’s also fast, putting out around 1.2 to 1.8 grams per second.
You’ll see a yield of fluffy, fine coffee grounds with very little clumping from this grinder. It also achieves pretty low retention, although not quite as low as the Sette 270wi.
If you’re a coffee hobbyist and enjoy modifying your gear, there are some known mods that will help you get your Mignon to close to zero retention when single dosing.
Speaking of dosing, this grinder doses by time, and you can program two timed presets or hold down the button for a manual dose.
The Mignon Specialita is a stepless grinder, which allows you to tweak and dial in your grind to exactly where you want it.
For espresso fans who are focused on brewing a perfect shot, that’s a huge advantage. It’s less convenient, however, for casual coffee drinkers who want to use their grinder for a variety of brewing methods.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but we think the Mignon Specialita will look great on any counter. It has a sleek, square design and comes in a wide range of colors to match your kitchen aesthetic. It’s operated by a touch screen, which looks modern and functions well.
What We Like:
- Stepless grinder for a perfectly dialed-in grind
- Durable flat stainless steel burrs provide a fine grind that yields a nuanced brew
- Sleek design with a variety of available colors
What We Don’t:
- Some modification is needed in order to single dose with close to zero retention
- Inconvenient if you want to use your grinder for multiple brewing methods
The Niche Zero is a single dosing coffee grinder, with premium 63mm conical burrs, designed to deliver the highest quality grind.
Whether you’re deep in the espresso game or just dabbling, you’ve probably already heard of the Niche Zero grinder. This single-dose grinder made a splash in the espresso world, and it lives up to its reputation!
Retention is a hot topic when it comes to espresso grinders. Compared to the amount of coffee that goes in, how much comes out, and how much is left behind in the grinder?
The “zero” in this grinder’s name makes a big promise, which is that there will be zero retention of coffee grounds. You’ll get out exactly as much as you put in, and none of that will be old, stale grounds from your last session.
The Niche Zero’s burrs are another stand-out feature of this machine. They’re 63 mm conical burrs from Mazzer Kony, a high-end company whose grinders will run you over twice the $1,000 budget we’ve set for items in this guide.
This grinder is a bit slower than some of the others on this list, yielding around 1-2 grams a second, but that isn’t necessarily a disadvantage.
The slower grind reduces popcorning and guarantees a nice, fine grind without “boulders.” An average double shot is in the ballpark of 22 grams, so really, you’re still looking at less than a minute of grind time. You can wait, we promise!
This is a single-dose grinder, so there’s no bean hopper to speak of. Just put your beans directly into the grinder for the dose you’re about to prepare. If you’re new to espresso, that may seem inconvenient, but it’s really ideal for keeping your beans fresh.
The Niche Zero is a stepless grinder, allowing you to perfectly dial in your grind. It’s capable of coarser grinds, too, but users are divided on how easy it is to switch back and forth.
Purists might want to preserve their espresso settings on this grinder and use a backup grinder for their pour-overs.
Grinder aesthetics are a personal choice, but there’s no denying that the Niche Zero has a unique look. It’s rounded where most grinders tend to be more squared off, and the white or black body sits on a wooden base.
What We Like:
- As the name states, nearly zero retention of grounds
- Designed for single dosing
- Incredibly high-quality burrs at a mid-range price
What We Don’t:
- May be inconvenient for switching between brewing methods
- Can be tough to get your hands on- it often sells out
Does your idea of the perfect morning start out with a little manual labor? Ok, mine either, but some things are worth working for!
The Kinu m47 is a manual grinder, which means it’s the only grinder on our list that relies on your elbow grease to prepare your beans for sweet, sweet, espresso.
This stainless steel grinder is attractive, slim, and much smaller than any of the electric grinders on our list. This is a huge advantage for those with small kitchens, alternative housing situations like RV-dwelling, or just coffee fanatics with too much gear and not enough space.
It sports 47 mm stainless steel conical burrs and is a stepless grinder with a “click feeling system” that makes it feel more like a stepped grinder when you’re making adjustments.
This is a best-of-both-worlds situation, with all of the flexibility of a stepless grinder, but the visual and tactile feedback of a stepped grinder to help you dial back in after you’ve changed your grind settings.
The catch cup is made of stainless steel rather than plastic, so the grinds fall out smoothly when you’re ready to brew, and the cup is held securely in place by 11 magnets.
Thanks to its stainless steel construction, this manual grinder is hefty and sturdy. That’s great news in terms of build quality, but it does make the grinder a bit heavy and not ideal for use as a travel grinder.
What We Like:
- The stepless adjustment system makes it easy to fine-tune your grind size settings
- Smooth, quick operation
- Hefty and sturdy stainless steel construction
What We Don’t:
- Too heavy to use for a travel grinder
- Not ideal for coarser grinds
- The bean funnel doesn’t come with a lid
What to Look For in an Espresso Grinder
When it comes to choosing a grinder for espresso, there are plenty of elements to consider:
Grind retention refers to the amount of ground coffee that gets trapped somewhere in the workings of your grinder rather than falling into your doser or container. Too much retention is a problem for a couple of reasons.
First, you don’t want to waste your precious beans. We’re sure you’re buying only the finest, freshest coffee (aren’t you??), so it’s imperative that what goes in comes out the other side.
The other problem with retention is even direr. Grinds that remain in the machine will fall out sometime, but they’ll do it when they’re pushed out by a later grind session.
That means you’ll either have old, stale grinds mixed in with your fresh ones or you’ll have to purge the first part of your yield, resulting in even more waste.
It’s no wonder that low to zero retention is a big advantage in an espresso grinder.
Stepped vs Stepless
Stepped and stepless grinders refer to the way the grind size settings are adjusted. A stepped grinder has some pre-set grind settings that you can choose from. This can be a disadvantage when it comes to really tweaking your grind- if a “2” is too fine but a “3” is too coarse, you can’t land somewhere in the middle.
However, a stepped grinder is advantageous if you find yourself often switching between grinding for espresso and other brewing methods, because it’s very simple to find your preferred setting.
A stepless grinder, on the other hand, can be adjusted to any degree of grind fineness, allowing the user to make minute tweaks and changes.
This is great if you’re trying to dial in just the right grind size, but trickier if you’re often switching between your espresso maker and your drip coffee maker.
Whether a stepped or stepless grinder is better for your coffee setup really depends on whether you’re looking for a versatile grinder or more of an espresso-dedicated machine.
Type Of Blade
Your coffee grinder can be equipped with blades (a big no-no for great espresso, and you won’t see them on our list) or burrs for breaking the full bean down into particles. Some of our top picks have flat burrs, and others sport conical burrs.
While most espresso enthusiasts will opt for a flat burr grinder, there are some advantages to using a conical burr grinder and, indeed, we have some on this list.
In general, flat burrs do a better job grinding very fine coffee with an even particle size. More serious espresso brewers will probably lean toward this type of blade for this reason.
On the other hand, conical burr grinders produce less heat, which is better for preserving the delicate oils of your coffee beans, and they’re often more economical, which could sway coffee lovers who are trying to stretch their budget.
If you’re still undecided, you can read more about the distinction between flat and conical burr grinders here.
Single Dose or Hopper
Some of the grinders on our list have a hopper where you can store larger amounts of beans, while others are designed to hold only a single dose. That’s more of a user preference and has a lot to do with your espresso-drinking habits.
To maintain freshness, you should store your beans in a cool, airtight location. If they remain in the hopper of your grinder for too long, they’ll go stale.
If you’re cranking out tons of shots, a grinder with a hopper will be helpful, but for most users who are only making a shot or two a day, you’ll want to add fresh beans each time anyway.
Fancy Upgrades: Built-In Scales and Dosers
Some of the grinders on our list offer additional convenience in the form of a time-based or weight-based dosing system that will measure your coffee grounds for you.
This is helpful, but ultimately not required. A good coffee scale is the best way to make sure you have your dose just right.
Size of Burrs
When it comes to burr size, bigger really is better. A larger burr typically means faster grinding, so you’ll have a quicker yield and less heat will be created. Heat is the enemy of your beans’ flavor, so a cool, speedy grind is your friend.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is an expensive espresso grinder worth it?
We know it hurts to buy an expensive grinder after dropping a chunk of change on an espresso maker, but a high-quality grinder truly does make a huge difference in your espresso brewing experience.
Even the best espresso machine can’t produce top-quality shots if the grounds that go into it aren’t up to snuff.
Does grind size matter for espresso?
The grind size always matters! Whether you’re making espresso, French press, or a big old pot of drip coffee, the right grind size is key. Espresso requires a fine, consistent grind for proper extraction.
Wrapping It Up
If you’re serious about making quality espresso, your grinder is every bit as important as your espresso machine.
For the best espresso experience, look for a grinder that produces fine, consistent coffee grounds and doesn’t leave much behind in the chute.
Those focused on low retention and single-dosing may love the popular Niche Zero, while those who look for all the bells and whistles may prefer the Baratza Sette 270wi.
Whichever grinder you choose, any of these picks will set you up for an amazing espresso experience!