Domestic Grinder Buying Guide
Choosing the right grinder is key to getting the most out of your espresso machine or brewing kit. Here's our guide to choosing the right grinder to suit your needs from our range.
The two main types of grinder are hand or electric, below we'll walk you through the pros and cons of both including the various optional features of electric grinders.
Hand grinders are an affordable way of achieving good grind quality for the money. They contain conical burr sets and are all capable of grinding for a range of brew methods, including espresso.
- Low cost
- Ability to grind across a range of settings
- Portable - perfect for camping, taking on holiday or using in the office
- Versatile - very easy to change between coarse and fine settings
- Minimal waste / grind retention
- Slower than electric grinders
- Can be tiring to grind for more than 2 or 3 coffees
- Very course settings sometimes result in uneven grind (due to low price point)
Entry Level: £30 - £40
The Mini Mill produced by Hario is the industry standard, go to grinder for under £40. It is a very capable grinder at entry level, that will satisfy most beginners in learning about hand grinding. It has a slight drawback in that the courser you adjust it, the less accurate the grind quality is, which results in a slightly uneven grind. That said, it delivers a very good standard for the price, without getting into the world of much pricier pieces of kit. A perfect entry level grinder for most, but not a grinder of choice for the speciality coffee aficionado. Easy to set up and adjust the grind plus it houses around 25g of coffee. Price £35.
The Tiamo Large is ultimately a mirror copy of the Hario Skerton, the larger model of the Hario Mini Mill. The only major difference between this grinder and the Hario Mini Mill is that it houses 45-50g of coffee and has a glass base. It's a slightly better option for those that want to grind enough for coffee for a large cafetiere without needing to repeat the process twice. Price £40.
High- End Level: £120 - £200
Timemore have become one of the leading names in high end / pro-sumer hand grinders in 2019. They are a Chinese company focused on producing exceptional hand grinders, aimed at those who appreciate the difference between acceptable and high quality (uniform) grind.
Their Nano model is currently the world leader in micro hand grinders that produce a fantastic precision grind. It's micro in size, holds around 18g of coffee and can grind very accurately from Turkish to Cafetiere with ease. It has some very neat features such as an auto-click extendable arm for grinding that snaps into place when extended and a rubber seal behind the handle that stops the arm damaging the main body of the grinder. The housing is made from aluminium and is crafted in a rough pattern, which makes the grinder great to hold tight whilst grinding. The whole production feels very slick and premium. Priced at £120.
Comandante have become the world leader in precision hand grinders, aimed at the very top end of the scale. Beautifully presented, with amazing detail and fantastic grind quality all contribute to what is, a very premium product that has a world following. It can house up to 50g of coffee, comes with two glass bases (one clear and another tinted) and is very easy to adjust and use. It comes in a range of finishes such as Black, Wenge (pictured), Red, Zebra and now new Green, Blue and Burgundy. Priced at £195.
The one major difference between entry level and high end grinders is that all high end grinders have 3 points of contact along the shaft and the burr set, which removes any 'wobble' which results in larger particles of coffee falling through. Furthermore, in higher end grinders - the burr set is held in place with a spring and controlled up and down very accurately. This makes the adjustment very accurate and smooth, which produces less boulders and fines and much (MUCH) more of a uniform grind.
There are a large range of electric grinders to choose from depending on what your preferences are. Here's the run down the options we currently have available on our website:
If you're looking for an electric grinder for filter coffee then the Wilfa Svart (Silver) at £95 is the best sub £100 brew method grinder available on the market (Note: it is not suitable for espresso). This area of the market used to be dominated by the likes of the Baratza Encore, however, the Wilfa has now supplanted all other contenders on price, speed and grind quality. You can now buy this grinder in it's second version known as the Svart Aroma. It is Black in colour and has a slower RPM motor, which results in a slightly better grind quality. BUT, at this level - the difference between the silver and black model is marginal at best. Very easy to use & clean. Priced from £95-105.
Wilfa have now released their Uniform range, which offers the same style of convenience grinding as the Svart, but with quality levels ramped up a gear across both filter AND espresso. There are two options. First the Uniform Silver, then the Uniform Plus Black, which is the exact same unit, with a very slick set of scales built into the top of the unit that you can detach when required. Both adjust the grind setting by moving the top of the unit on a sliding scale, which is both very effective and easy to use.
The Uniform is not really a dedicated espresso grinder, meaning that it does not have a holder fork for a portafilter, and instead grinds into a coffee bin. A good option if you are looking for high quality filter grind and have the option to grind for espresso if you choose to do so. Priced from £279-315.
If you looking for a dedicated espresso grinder, then check out the Eureka Mignon. It is arguably the best sub £400 dedicated espresso grinder on the market. There are lots of other brands out there such as Baratza, Dualit, Mazzer, Compak etc, but we have tested many (MANY) grinders and we have found that the Eureka Mignon is the best out there considering price, grind quality and build. It's a simple, but highly effective unit that delivers the best quality home espresso for between £279 & £400. There are actually 3 different models in the range:
A dedicated espresso grinder with a holding fork for grinding directly into your portafilter, in the same way that commercial grinders do. It has manual controls on the side of the unit for timed and manual dosing, alongside 50mm flat steel burrs. It is 6KG in weight and built like a mini tank. Perfect for those wanting a solid home espresso grinder to pair with a Dualit, a Gaggia Baby or Classic, a Di-Longhi, a Rocket or an Expobar HX. Priced at £279+
An Espresso & Filter grinder with a holding fork for grinding directly into your portafilter, in the same way that commercial grinders do. It has touch screen controls on the front of the unit for programmed, timed and manual dosing. With 50mm flat steel burrs and 6KG in weight. Perfect for those wanting a solid home espresso grinder to pair with a Dualit, a Gaggia Baby or Classic, a Di-Longhi etc, whilst also able to grind for a home filter machine or similar. As the grind range is wider, it is less precise for espresso than either the Silenzio or the Specialita, but perfect as a grinder that covers both grind options. Priced at £249+
This is a dedicated espresso grinder with a holder fork for grinding directly into your portafilter, in the same way that commercial grinders do. Like the Perfetto it has touch screen controls on the front of the unit for programmed, timed and manual dosing. Featuring 55mm flat steel burrs and 6KG in weight. Perfect for those wanting a solid home espresso grinder to pair with a Rocket, Expobar and other solid E61 machines. Priced at £379+
In addition to the Mignon range, we now offer the Faustino grinder from Rocket. This range is actually produced in partnership with Eureka, so you are getting Eureka standard grinders, with the design aesthetic of Rocket Espresso Milano.
The Faustino is Rocket's first dip into the home espresso grinder market. You wouldn't have known, as it is so slick and functional that it looks like they have been doing it for years. Think the style of a much more futuristic and slicker Mini Mazzer, fused with a Mignon and you are close. It has 50mm flat steel burrs, with touch screen controls, Eureka's patented micrometric grind adjustment and fast quiet grinding.
The touch screen controls sit on top of the chute doser, offering single, double and continuous grind settings. It comes in Chrome, Black and matching Appartamento designs in Copper & White. Priced at £415-495.
Lower mid-range - for home or light commercial use
If you are a serious coffee enthusiast, or simply recognise the increased quality and speed of coffee ground on 65mm + burrs, then there are two grind options for you. Firstly the Eureka Zenith 65E HS (High Speed). It is on demand, holds 65mm flat steel burrs, is well manufactured and offers excellent grind quality and speed (17g - 5 secs). Available in Chrome or Matt Black. Priced at £795.
As an alternative, there is the Fausto is the Faustino's bigger brother. It is basically a scaled up version of the Fausto, and is a mirror of the Eureka Zenith 65E, but with a much slicker finish. It features 65mm flat steel burrs, with touch screen controls, Eureka's patented micrometric grind adjustment and fast quiet grinding. It's the model and price point that sits just between high end domestic and low volume commercial use. Available in Chrome or Black. Priced at £759-789.
Which is the best grinder for my equipment?
Choosing the right grinder is key to getting most out of your espresso machine. so here’s an at a glance guide to which grinders work best with which espresso machines.
Espresso Machine or Brew Method
Chemex, V60, Kalita, Clever etc
Moccamaster or Wilfa Classic +
Filter grind only:
Filter & Espresso Grind:
Rancilio, Gaggia, Di-Longhi, Morphy Richards & Duality domestics
Eureka Mignon Silenzio or Perfetto
Rocket & Expobar E61 (Pro-Sumer machines)
Mahlkonig EK43 or EK43s