It’s no secret that the grind of your coffee has a lot to do with how good your brewed cup turns out to be. Unfortunately, many people tend to skip on buying a grinder due to the fact that they’re usually quite expensive. However, that’s not the case when it comes to the two budget grinders we’ll be comparing today.
The Cuisinart DBM-8 and KRUPS GX5000 are both under $50, which makes them a perfect buy for anyone on a budget. What are those critical details that make one favorable over the other? That’s what we will be answering in this post.
The Cuisinart DBM-8
Admittedly the name sounds more like a droid from Star Wars than anything associated with coffee. Still, that might speak to its high level of efficiency!
The Cuisinart features a large grind chamber. It’s got enough room for thirty-two cups of grounds. While you can feed beans into the eight-ounce hopper if you have a proper way to store your grinds it could be to a great advantage to have the large grind chamber. This is certainly a grand feature to have in a large household or just for convenience sake.
The Cuisinart is surprisingly easy to use for dosing after a little trial and error. The automatic stop is particularly handy but it’s not the Bluetooth controlled upper tier automatic grinder one might think it is.
Although it is automatic it might require some practice to achieve ease-of-use and get easily accustomed to single dose creations.
The fact that this affordable grinder has 18 settings is an impressive feat unto itself.
If the Cuisinart is named like a droid then the KRUPS might be a sports car. It’s not that either is any less impressive than the other but it’s certain that they shine in different ways. Let me explain further.
The KRUPS features a sleek metallic frame. While the inside is harkened with a fast 110-watt burr mill system. Made with efficiency in mind it avoids overheating, preserving aroma and has grind fineness selector for a precise grinding. There are 9 grind levels altogether, from fine espresso style to coarse for a French press-style coffee.
The KRUPS is equipped with an eight-ounce bean container, and is grindable by quantity, from two to twelve cups. For safety, if the bean container and lid are not properly in place to activate the microswitches, the grinder will not operate. Saftey first!
What Class of Grinder Are They?
Grinders function in various ways, and with various success. What we do know is that the quality of the grind has a lot to do with the quality of your coffee. Thus, treating your beans with a proper grinding mechanism is very important. Especially if you’re spending the extra money on great organic coffee.
A flat burr grinder does a very different job with because it is a very different shape than a conical burr.
Both of these grinders we’re comparing today have flat burrs sit on top of each other, while conical burrs are cone-shaped and are nested into each other with a grinding mechanism that is on a slightly vertical plane.
While these burrs work differently, both can provide consistent results.
Recent years have seen a decided shift towards flat burr grinders. Perhaps the reason for this is the affordability factor. While many will find the conical burr grinder to be immensely efficient, they also come with the much larger price tag.
True to their name, flat burrs feature two matching burrs that sit flush against each other. This creates a very uniform particle size distribution. That factor is what contributes to extracting more of the coffee without worrying about bitter, dry flavors drawn from finer particles.
The lack of flow restriction with flat burr grinders, because there are fewer fine grinds, typically, forces the baristas to either grind finer grounds or pull longer shots. Now we’re getting into some advance coffee preparation lingo but the move toward much larger shots was made possible by these grinders, and if you’re hoping to break out of SCAA parameters for your espressos, you’ll likely need a flat burr grinder to do it.
If you’re looking at high-end burr grinders there are some significantly notable options out there.
If you thought the flat burr grinder was out of style, then the return of its popularity can be linked to the famous Matt Perger’s 2013 World Barista Championship routine, in which he impressed the coffee world at large by preparing all of his beverages with a Mahlkönig EK 43.
Keep in mind, the Mahlkönig was designed to grind spices. So the two grinders we’ve chosen to compare today, are actually intended to grind coffee beans.
Still, the application of a flat burr grinder is tested and proven. The quality of the flat burr is likely a determining factor, but it’s important to understand that these are gateways to better and better grinding!
Things to Consider When Spending Under $50 On A Grinder
It seems like an act against the bylaws of the order of coffee monks, but buying a grinder under $50 isn’t a crime.
Though it should be noted that most coffee enthusiasts would tell you to simply avoid any electric coffee grinders under $50.
Sure, grinders in that price range are of mostly questionable quality. Typically one will find the build material cheap and the resulting grind to be inconsistent and frustratingly hard to hone in on. There’s still some hope though.
For the coffee enthusiast, the homebrewer with an experienced taste, it’s likely that the there will be some gripes with these entry-level machines. These cost-effective grinders aren’t going to provide the level of quality necessary for a truly on-the-nose pour-over, and their consistency will be lacking. Still, it’s worth just making the small investment if you’re interested in pursuing these styles.
On the other hand, one of these grinders may be just perfect for the homebrewers just looking for a solid cup of coffee. Basically, if you’re looking to grind beans fresh and make a pot of drip coffee, plain and simple, this is a great place to start.
Most of these will put out a grind good enough for an automatic drip brewer and are a step up from blade grinders. They are a great way to take advantage of freshly ground drip coffee at a very inexpensive price.
Blade grinders are really just poor uses of your beans and money. The blades will continuously pummel your beans, breaking them down into smaller and smaller unusable bits. Sure, you can get away with using one, but it’s going to seriously hinder the investment of buying fresh beans. You’ll be missing out on the proper oils and flavors that go along with fresh ground coffee as they splatter against the walls of the blade grinders chamber.
That sounded a bit harsh, let’s move on.
The benefits of a burr grinder are that it simply processes the beans down to a uniform size. There is very little, if any, grind size control with a blade grinder. The only way to get course grinds is less time, and fine grinds come with more time in the deadly chamber of blades.
Still too dramatic? Okay, let’s talk comparison of the two grinders again. But if you’re still stuck on the blade grinders, check out the ones we’ve reviewed previously.
The Point-by-point Comparison
There are a few things this sort of buyer wants to look out for before buying one of these grinders:
Both of these grinders have some intriguing aspects to them. It’s also a matter of understanding what you’re getting for your dollar. So, we thought it would be wise to pair these grinders up and break down the pros and cons right up against one another.
The biggest difference here is in the details. The KRUPS GX5000 is well designed and inexpensive. However, its burr tends to produce a lot of fine particulates. This means that regardless of the size of the grind, there’s going to be some fine coffee dust that sneaks through filters and French presses to impart a bitter taste. Additionally, this makes the cleaning of this grinder a bit of an added chore.
While it’s likely that grinding anything will make a bit of a mess, one will find the added static and coffee dust to be a notch against the grinder.
Still, this is an affordable grinder that functions with ease, and thanks to a very simple operating system. It’s likely that anyone new to grinding fresh coffee beans will appreciate the user experience and the price tag.
The DBM-8, on the other hand, has its own issues. The grinder doesn’t offer a high enough grind quality for espresso or pour-over brewing, but, as stated, it works just fine for auto-drip and French press. There’s still a range of espresso grinders for various price points out there if that’s what you’re searching for. Additionally, many users report this to be a loud grinder, and there isn’t much resolve from that. Understand, though, that you’re grinding beans quickly and unless you’re worried about waking up roommates this shouldn’t be much of an issue.
Besides, you should be waiting for the perfect time of day to have your coffee anyway.
All and all, Cuisinart has produced a really good grinder at a really decent price point. It won’t give you the perfect grind to win the national coffee competitions, but then again it’s a great investment that you won’t be disappointed with.
If you are new to the craft coffee idea, and fresh ground beans are the next step on your list, then these are great grinders to start out with. If you’re interested in looking into coffee grinders further, then check out our great coffee gear reviews here.