A coffee grinder is a must-have for those who want to be able to grind their own beans.
This tends to be a highly recommended option because you’re more likely to get fresh, effective grounds.
Many people who are looking into purchasing their own beans eventually have to make the decision between a manual or electric grinder.
In order to make the best decision for you, there are a few factors to take into consideration.
For example, you may want to think about the amount you’re willing to spend and the kind of effort you’re willing to put in.
Below, we’re going to take a closer look into both kinds of coffee grinders in order to help you make the choice that will suit your needs.
Read on and enjoy!
Manual vs Electric Grinder Considerations
To find the perfect option for you, it’s a good idea to know the basics of what you’re looking for. That means taking a closer look into the aspects of a new grinder that are going to be most important to you.
The first thing many people consider is the level of convenience. Naturally, an electric option will allow you to avoid much manual labor.
Typically, these devices can run at the push of a button.
Meanwhile, manual options can take more work.
There can also be a difference in size and price that can set the different types apart.
Because of that, you’ll want to consider how much you’re willing to spend and the amount you’ll need to grind.
For those in search of a low cost option, who’ll only need smaller amounts of grounds a low-cost manual grinder can be a fantastic option.
For a stricter budget, the same may not be true for an electric grinder.
To further explain these differences, let’s take a closer look into the two main types of coffee grinders.
Manual Coffee Grinders
Manual coffee grinders are what you’d expect for the most part.
Essentially, you add in the amount of coffee beans you need and turn the crank, typically found on the lid, to grind up the beans.
Many of the options you’ll find are on the smaller side, which does make them easier to travel with and easier to use.
As can be expected, the less you have to grind, the easier a manual grinder is going to be.
Manual options are also known to often be more durable as well, which tends to make them a better option if you’re looking for something low cost.
Because the designs of manual grinders are much more simple, more of the cost related to the grinder can go into using durable materials.
If you get the right kind of manual grinder, it can not only grind well but also be cleaned easily.
Generally speaking, a manual grinder is the ideal option for those who favor a low cost and ease of use.
They are able to create uniform grounds, though there are likely to be fewer grind options than with electric grinders.
This is an aspect to keep in mind if you like wide variety, finer grounds or will need to grind for a large amount of people.
Unless you’re okay with coarse grinds, it can be tiring to use a manual grinder as you’ll have to keep turning the crank until all the beans have been ground down to your preference.
If you get a higher quality option, then you may be able to get a finer ground a little more easily but it will still be far from automatic.
Even if you prefer an electric option at home, a small manual grinder is worth considering for travel, camping or similar situations.
- Have no problem producing grounds that are evenly-sized.
- Often come in a small, lightweight size.
- Known to be very durable.
- Have a simple, easy-to-use design.
- Are typically very easy to clean.
- Typically rather inexpensive.
- Easy to travel with.
- There may not be many setting options for types of grounds produced.
- Can cause fatigue to use, especially for higher amounts.
- May be a lot of work if you need a lot, or a very fine grind.
Electric Coffee Grinders
Electric grinders can be a little more complicated, but are able to offer a much higher level of convenience for users.
The options on the higher end can be very powerful, taking short amounts of time to create your grounds at the touch of a button.
There are often many more settings, so you’ll be able to get exactly the kind of ground you need easily. They are also able to grind using a timer setting or weight.
Essentially, for those who can’t or don’t want to have to put a lot of effort into grinding up their coffee beans, an electric option is ideal.
For the most part, electric grinders are excellent in situations where a large amount of grounds are needed.
So for coffee shops and similar situations it’s going to be worthwhile to pay the extra cost for a high-quality electric grinder.
There are a few caveats to keep in mind while shopping for electric coffee grinders.
For example, they are often going to drop quite a bit in durability and effectiveness when you reach the lower-end items.
This is because they tend to be more complicated than manual grinders, so when the price goes down, quality does as well.
Because of that, you can end up with grounds that aren’t very evenly-shaped or having to replace the device more often.
If you want quality with these devices, it will mean that you have to invest more money than you might with a manual option.
So if you’re set on purchasing an electric grinder, then be prepared to spend more.
That said, once you’ve put that money in, it’s sure to pay off with a highly powerful device.
For example, brands such as Baratza are known for making highly-recommended, durable electric grinders that many people enjoy.
- High-end options are often extremely powerful.
- They are much easier to use than a manual grinder.
- Can grind by weight and time of desired dose.
- Often provide a lot more options for grind types and sizes.
- A great option for those who need to grind high amounts, like businesses.
- High-end electric grinders are known to be convenient and precise.
- Inexpensive options may not work as well as a manual grinder.
- Lower-end options may not be able to produce grounds that are evenly-sized.
- They can be flimsy unless you are willing to spend a lot.
- Typically expensive to get a model that works efficiently.
A Comparison of Manual and Electric Grinders
Based on the differences between manual and electric grinders, it can be more efficient to buy a manual grinder if you’re on a strict budget.
Manual grinders are often more durable and efficient at lower costs than electric grinders that may even be a little more costly.
They’re also handy to have as a back-up option, or one you use for travel, camping or other situations where the electric grinder may not be able to be used.
Overall, if you only need smaller amounts, coarse grounds, or just want to get the best functionality for the lowest cost, a manual grinder is going to be the best option.
Meanwhile, there are a number of situations in which an electric grinder is going to be more suitable.
Namely, if you’re looking for more convenience and a higher amount of grind options.
Furthermore, if you’re looking for something that can handle a lot of use more quickly, an electric grinder will be the ideal choice.
Just remember that you’ll likely have to spend quite a bit more for a high-quality electric grinder than a manual one.
Depending on your situation, that extra cost can be very worthwhile.
Just take your time, consider your unique needs and enjoy shopping for a new coffee grinder!