Coffee Gear 101: Blades vs. Burrs

Updated: May 30, 2020

First thing's first, in order to ensure you're getting the most out of your coffee beans it's important to grind your beans no sooner than 15 minutes before brewing. Now, what kind of grinder should you use? Let's take a look at your options.

Blade grinders are all very similar to each other consisting of a double-pronged blade at the bottom of a chamber that spins rapidly, chopping up the beans as they come intact with with the blades.

As the coffee beans are hit by the blade they are pulverized, into a bunch of differently-sized pieces. The fine grounds fall to the bottom of the chamber where the blade is and get chopped all over again. The large pieces stay towards the top, occasionally getting hit by the blade.

Blade grinders produce coffee grounds of all shapes and sizes. The heat produced by the rapid blade spinning can alter the flavor of your coffee grounds, eliminating some of the fresh flavors that would make your coffee taste incredible.

These differently sized grounds brew at different rates, so coffee made with grounds from a blade grinder will be unbalanced. Blade grinders are typically found at your local grocery and kitchen supply stores.

Alternatively, burr grinders are very different than blade grinders.

Burr grinders consist of two burr pieces that funnel a few beans at a time through the grinding area. The beans are ground into a relatively uniform size. Due to the uniformity of the grounds the rate of extraction is same resulting in a more balanced brew and a better coffee drinking experience.

The burrs are typically made of ceramic or stainless steel and will hold up a lot longer than the metal blades found on the blade grinders. Additionally, the burrs create very little heat during the grinding process, leaving your coffee's flavor profile intact.

Burr grinders allow you to adjust the burrs closer and farther apart allowing you to adjust the size of your coffee grounds. This function allows you to create a grind specific to your brew method ranging from Turkish to French Press. This method also allows you to hone in your brew, something that is impossible to accomplish with a blade grinder.

Ultimately, burr grinders can create a coffee experience like no other by revealing all of the flavor notes that your favorite roast has to offer.


Although a blade grinder will improve your coffee game to an extent, a burr grinder will completely transform your coffee experience. Electric burr grinders can be quite costly however, a manual coffee grinder is inexpensive even when compared to an electric blade grinder.


Coffee professionals flock to the Baratza burr grinders however, there are many great burr grinders out there. Please check out the link below for some of the best burr coffee grinders.

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