The Difference Between Burr Grinder and Blade Grinder

05 Apr 2022

The difference between burr grinder and blade grinder is probably one of the many questions you’ve hear in the coffee industry.

Comparing these two types of grinders depends on what you want out of a cup. The blade grinders use a propeller-like blade while burr grinders use two revolving abrasive surfaces to grind the coffee. While this may seem insignificant, it is necessary to know that a bad cup of coffee results from poorly ground coffee beans.

Brew Solutions can help you find the best type of coffee grinder. But you have to determine first the difference of burr grinder and blade grinder. Let’s tackle this further below.


Burr Grinder

Also called a burr mill, this type of coffee grinder comes with burrs made of ceramic or stainless steel. It performs a lot longer than the cheap metal blades. The little heat created through the grinding process leaves the flavours intact.

The burr grinders for coffee are very much different than the blade grinders. Through the grinding area where beans are ground to a uniform size, two burr pieces funnel the beans. The uniformly sized grounds extract at similar rate and produce a balanced brew. Just like what you are considering for a coffee grinder.

Burr grinder allows you to adjust the burrs closer and farther apart in order to adjust the coffee grounds size. You can use any coffee brewer you want since various coffee makers thrive with different grind sizes. For instance, a French press or a stovetop espresso maker.

Unlike blade grinder, small grind size adjustments are possible between brews to improve your coffee.

Advantages of Burr Grinder

DURABILITY – Made of burrs that can stay sharp even for years. 

ADJUSTABILITY – Burr grinder allows you to grind coffee beans to different sizes. Thus, enabling you to use various brewing devices and brew your coffee just how you prefer it.

UNIFORMITY – This type of grinder uniformly grinds coffee beans, encouraging a much-balanced flavour.

Disadvantages of Burr Grinder

HIGHER ELECTRIC COST – Hand burr grinder starts at $20. However, you’ll need to have higher budget if you opt for an electric burr grinder.

UNCOMMON – This type of coffee grinder is seldom found in grocery and kitchen stores.

What are the types of Burr Grinder?

Two main types of burr grinders are called Conical burr grinders and Flat burr grinders. While these two have some differences, both still produces a consistent and high-quality grind.

It’s important to know the differences of the two in order to determine which burr grinder is right for you. It depends on your preference, but you can also choose between manual burr grinder or electric burr grinder. Hand grinder is very simple to use and produces a more consistent grind size. On the other hand, electric burr grinder is much more convenient that can handle a larger amount of coffee.

Conical Burr Grinder

When it comes to burr grinders, conical burr is the industry standard. It uses a cone-shaped center burr with an outer serrated burr that helps in producing well-ground coffee. This makes a great option for professional and home baristas because of its naturally energy-efficient and heat resistant design.

However, conical burrs do not produce evenly ground coffee. In fact, you’d notice different sizes of bean in mix when put under a microscope. Although this won’t impact the overall taste of coffee, some people prefer a flat burr grinder for espresso. It even became popular when it was introduced during the 2013 World Barista Championship.

Flat Burr Grinder

The flat burr features two donut-shaped burrs facing one another with very sharp edges. Its design allows the coffee beans to stay between the burrs until they are perfectly ground up. Once coffee grounds are uniformly-sized, the flavour is very one-note – thus giving baristas room for their creativity.

Unlike conical burrs, flat burrs are louder and utilize more energy and heat while grinding. This makes them less ideal for commercial use or even at home use. However, when precision is required, flat burr grinders are the better option.


Blade Grinder

The blade grinder chops coffee beans into a bunch of differently-sized pieces. Its blade at the center looks like a propeller, similar to a blade in a blender or food processor. The grinder offers more power for a quicker grinding, but the grounds are uneven. This could result to a bad taste of coffee since you will taste different flavours of coffee. For instance, the bitterness from the finely ground coffee paired with the bold flavour of the bigger pieces.

With blade grinder, you may try pulsing as opposed to holding down the grinder until it is done. This would result to a much better cup of coffee for you to enjoy. Pulsing the beans to readjust and fall back toward the blade so you can achieve your preferred consistency. Also, it will avoid heating the beans which can impact the overall flavour.

Advantages of Blade Grinder

ACCESSIBILITY – You may find this type of grinder in any grocery or kitchen store.

AFFORDABILITY – It will run you less than $20 for a blade coffee grinder.

CONVENIENCE– Simply press the button for a couple of seconds, and you are good to go.

Disadvantages of Blade Grinder

HEAT – You may find this type of grinder in any grocery or kitchen store.

CHEAPLY MADE – It will run you less than $20 for a blade coffee grinder.

UNCONTROLLABILITY – Simply press the button for a couple of seconds, and you are good to go.

INCONSISTENCY – The grind sizes are inconsistent, so you never know what is going to be the next output.