Grinding it Down: The Best Coffee Grinder in Australia

Many seasoned coffee makers will tell you that the coffee in your cup will only be as good as the grinder you own. Too often brewers fall into the trap of spending extensive funds on beans and gear but stick with an old blade grinder that results in continuously average coffee. More important than quality coffee beans or a brewer’s expertise, a reliable coffee grinder ensures a smooth, uniform consistency in coffee grounds.

With an overwhelming presence of coffee grinders on the market, it’s important to sift out the products that rise above the rest. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the best burr grinders available in Australia.

Best for Manual Brewing: Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder

The Baratza Encore is reliable, durable, and suitable for all manual brewing styles without costing a fortune. This burr grinder is the perfect fit for the average home grinder!

The Encore allows users to adjust the grind size easily by turning the dial to the preferred mark on its base. These marks range from 0-40 (40 being the coarsest grind option). This coffee grinder offers automatic grinding using the dial feature, and a pulse grind feature using the front-facing button for smaller quantities of beans. 

With the addition of the Gearbox 2.0 technology, this grinder is sensitive enough to turn off when too tough objects come into contact with the burrs. The Encore’s design creates easy access to the burrs after removing the hopper. With a twist, one can remove the top burr to clean the set. 

Of the grinders on this list, the Encore is the simplest. As a result, it lacks special features other grinders presented here have. Also, for those who routinely grind for an espresso machine, this grinder model may not be suitable for you. 

Pros: 

  • 40 different grind settings: 
  • Pulse and automatic grinding features
  • Gear Box 2.0 technology
  • Easy to Clean

Cons: 

  • Less suitable for finer grounds 
  • Lacks special grind features

Best Espresso Grinder: Rancilio Rocky Coffee Grinder

For espresso-grade grounds, Rancilio’s Rocky Grinder is our top pick. While this flat burr coffee grinder runs on the more expensive side, the features, precision, and quality make this machine a great burr grinder for home use. This is a compact, quiet machine that handles any type of coffee with ease.

The Rocky uses flat burrs instead of conical burrs to produce a clean, sweet, more complex espresso shot. It grinds directly into a portafilter for simple operation. This coffee grinder provides a smooth display of grind settings, making it easy to switch between coarse grind and fine grind options. Users can turn the dial anywhere from 0-55 (0 being fine, 55 being course). 

This is a small, quiet grinder with a big motor! The Rocky uses the same motor found in Rancilio’s commercial MD40 grinder. Thermal protection devices are in place to keep the grinder safe from overheating. The bean hopper and outer burrs can be completely removed from the grinder, making cleaning and product maintenance easy.

The Rocky grinder packs barista-level features and functionality into an 7kg device. Worth noting is that this high quality, high output commercial grinder may not be necessary for home use. Make sure all of these features and the grinder’s price fit your needs!

Many reviews for the Rocky include discussion about a poorly placed power switch. Its location makes it difficult to man the portafilter and grind beans simultaneously. 

Pros: 

  • Perfect for espresso
  • 55 different grind settings
  • 50mm commercial grade grinding burrs 
  • Quality materials and easy cleaning

Cons:

  • Some may find the features extensive for at-home use
  • Inconvenient power switch location

Best Smart Grinder: Breville Smart Grinder Pro Coffee Grinder

The Breville Smart Grinder Pro is the perfect fit for brewers who like techy solutions. This grinder provides a level of consistency and versatility other entry-level grinders can’t. This device falls on the more expensive side, but its extra grinding features are well worth the investment.

The Smart Grinder Pro excels with medium, fine, and extra-fine grinds, and is perfect for regular espresso users. For those looking to channel their inner barista, this grinder uses a Doser IQ technology for more consistent grounds and includes programmable shot and cup volumes per grind size setting.

The Smart Grinder Pro has a backlit LCD screen that displays grind setting, grind time, and the numbers of shots or cups selected, and this coffee grinder lets users grind directly into the portafilter, airtight container, filter basket, or paper filter. With a high capacity 450g hopper, the Pro offers plenty of space to store beans. 

With 60 grind settings, 10 micro-adjustments, cup/shot classifications, many users can find this grinder overwhelming to navigate. This coffee grinder is great for reducing beans to medium and fine grinds but does not thrive with coarser grinds or the extremely fine grinds of Turkish coffee. 

Pros: 

  • 60 different grind settings
  • High precision burr calibration
  • Backlit LCD screen
  • A high-capacity home grinder

Cons: 

  • Less suitable for French press or Turkish coffee
  • Some users may find options overwhelming

Best Budget Option: Sunbeam Grindfresh Multigrinder

Designed and Engineered in Australia, the Sunbeam Grindfresh Multigrinder is the best burr coffee grinder value for money spent on our list. This Sunbeam grinder is the perfect device for at-home use, and for users looking to keep things simple. This model is designed for users to grind only the coffee beans needed for each brew, ensuring fresh coffee.

The Sunbeam offers grind settings that range from super fine to coarse (0 being on the finer side, and 25 being very coarse).  Users can easily switch from setting to setting by twisting the top of the grinder to align the arrow on the desired grind size number. The stainless steel conical burrs ensure a precise and even grind. 

This model is unique for its grind direct to handle feature and users can fill their espresso handle or filter directly from the coffee chute. The Sunbeam comes with handle adaptors of varying sizes to accommodate most wand sizes.

This grinder is great for cold brew and French press levels but struggles to grind coffee beans fine enough to be espresso-grade and finer. This is not your ideal grinder if you are a regular espresso or Turkish coffee drinker. 

While it’s not unusual to have grounds miss a handle or filter, this model has a tendency to be messier than most, especially when it comes to finer grind settings. Grinding the coffee into a container closer to the chute can minimize this quirk. Coffee grounds also have a tendency to get stuck in the chute, which can lead to a mess after use. 

Pros: 

  • 25 different grind settings
  • Direct to Handle Grinding
  • Easy-to-use controls

Cons: 

  • Less suitable for fine grinding 
  • This machine can be messy

Best Hand Grinder: Hario Skerton Plus

The Hario Skerton Plus is a cost-efficient alternative to electric grinding. This grinder provides coffee lovers with an inexpensive means to have freshly ground coffee at home. In comparison with most manual grinders, the Hario Skerton Plus leans to the middle of the price bracket. With ceramic, conical burrs providing a range of grind settings, this best budget coffee grinder is versatile enough to satisfy entry-level and adventurous brewers alike.

For users looking to brew good coffee without breaking the bank, the Skerton Plus provides the same access to conical burr grinding, without the cost of electric burr grinders. Made from BPA-free plastic, stainless steel, silicone, and glass, this hand mill is sturdy. It’s even dishwasher safe. The ceramic conical burrs allow users to grind coffee beans from cold brew coarse to near-espresso fine. 

Outfitted with a strong grind shaft and burr stabilization plate, this manual grinder provides a smooth, consistent grind. The silicone base provides a secure platform for the Skerton plus and prevents the mill from moving while grinding coffee beans. The Skerton Plus has a detachable crank to make storage easy and free up countertop space.

Unlike automatic grinders, the Skerton Plus hand grinder requires time and energy to achieve the desired coffee setting. With any hand grinder, the finer the grind, the more required time to achieve the particle result. For extra-fine ground coffee, an electric grinder is more reliable. 

Pros: 

  • A budget-friendly alternative to an electric coffee grinder
  • Non-slip rubber base to stabilize the device
  • Easily disassembled for storage and travel
  • Stepped Grind Adjustment

Cons: 

  • More labour-intensive than electric grinders
  • Less suitable for settings finer than near-espresso grade

Best High-End Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Coffee Grinder

Much like our pick for the best coffee grinder for manual brewing, the Baratza Virtuoso coffee grinder is the ideal machine for anyone looking to take their grinding skills to the next level. Perfect for at-home coffee grinding, the Virtuoso offers different feature levels at a higher price than the Encore.

The Virtuoso is a great grinder to pair with a filter or manual brewing method. If you’re looking for the reliability of the Encore, but with more complexity in terms of capability, this may be the best coffee grinder for you.

The Virtuoso’s motor is controlled by a digital timer displayed on the screen, making it easy for repeatable dosing. The timer is adjustable by a tenth of a second. The upgraded burr calibration system makes sure that each model has a full range of grind. This coffee grinder can also be user calibrated if necessary. The addition of a speed reduction system allows the grinder to control the burr speed to 500 RPM. This reduces heat, static generation, and noise in the grinder.

The Virtuoso makes its high-quality grind adjustment system easy to use. Simply turn the hopper, and switch from a fine grind to coarse for French press. The grind range is from 200 to 1200 microns. With the use of stainless steel burrs designed for manual grinding, the Virtuoso’s end result is a precise, and consistent grind every time. 

On the spending spectrum of the coffee grinders listed here, the Virtuoso does run on the expensive side. This grinder is perfect for those who are looking to experiment and take their home grinding to the next level.

Like the Baratza Encore, this coffee grinder is not the best-suited device for espresso. For those looking for a consistent moderate to coarse grind, the Virtuoso excels.  

Pros: 

  • 40 different grind settings
  • 40mm conical burrs
  • Digital display and timer upgrade
  • Grind calibration and speed control

Cons: 

  • Not recommended for espresso grinding
  • One of the more expensive grinders

Best For All Brewing Styles: Welhome Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

The Welhome conical burr grinder is one of the most versatile electric grinders on our list. Designed to work for all brewing styles from manual espresso brewing, to French press and drip coffee. The grinder as a whole is simple, yet effective and is made to bring the best grinding experience to every user. The machine’s easy-to-use design and versatility combined with a reasonable price point make it a contender for the best budget pick on our list, too. The Welhome is a great investment for beginning grinders or for experienced professionals.

With 20 different grind settings, the Welhome grinder is capable of grinding for espresso coffee and manual brew methods alike. Regardless of the desired grind size, this grinder ensures uniform grounds in all settings. This model includes a 60-second dial timer above the power button. This simple and effective timer allows users of all experience levels to accurately time consistent grinds.

The Welhome is equipped with 38mm stainless steel conical burrs that can last for years if well-maintained. Likewise, the grinder body is built from BPA-free plastic, making the machine easy to clean and long-lasting. 

Of the electric grinders on our list, the Welhome has the fewest available grind settings for users. However, this grinder consistently meets expectations for every setting on its spectrum. It is not a grinder that specializes in espresso-grade grinding, as the Rancilio Rocky grinder mentioned earlier, but can effectively produce even, fine grinds for manual espresso making. 

With a predominantly plastic body, one quirk the Welhome has with grinding is static electricity. While in use, particles from ground beans have a tendency to stick to the plastic body, which can be bothersome and messy over time. Most users have noticed the static more when using lighter roast coffee beans. 

Pros: 

  • 20 different grind settings 
  • Effective dosing timer
  • Durable for long-term usage

Cons: 

  • Fewer grind settings 
  • Clingy grounds from excess static

Buying Guide: Tips for finding the best coffee grinder for you!

There are many coffee grinders on the market, and it’s important to invest in a grinder that fits your needs and enables you to brew the best coffee possible.  There are many micro-decisions one needs to make before picking out the best grinder! This buyer’s guide seeks to offer helpful context to make these decisions easier.

Manual Grinders vs. Electric:

The first of many decisions one needs to make is whether or not to invest in a manual grinder or an electric grinder. Both types of grinders can be found across the price bracket spectrum. Depending on how often you plan on grinding, one grinder could be a better fit than others. It is not uncommon for experienced coffee brewers to own both manual and electric coffee grinders.

While being more work-intensive, a hand grinder is perfect for those who only grind coffee in small quantities. When it comes to the outright cost of the grinder, manual coffee grinders may save you a bit of money. Likewise, manual grinders are easier to travel with, if you’re looking to grind on the go. Most hand grinders and coffee mills are ergonomically designed with travelling and storage in mind.

Some caveats to manual grinders are that they lack access to certain grind settings that are helpful in producing a quantity of flavourful coffee. More work is also required for users striving for fine grinds.

If you are a more consistent coffee grinder, an electric model would save time but might be a more expensive purchase. However, the footprint of the machine is also a consideration, as these devices may take up valuable bench space in small kitchens.

When thinking about a manual or electric coffee grinder, rest assured that both types can provide you with a much more flavourful cup than pre-ground coffee.

Grind Features and Settings: Does quantity determine quality?

As the price bracket increases for coffee grinders, different grinding features are available to enhance your grinding experience. The best grinders aren’t necessarily the grinder with every single feature, but for daily grinders having some extra settings can make a huge difference.

Most electric blade and burr grinders offer a “pulse” feature that grinds coffee when it’s pushed. Other electric coffee grinders offer an auto grind setting that eliminates the need to press a button. With this feature, users can step away from their device while their coffee grind and all that is needed is a programmed setting. Another alternative to pulse grinding and auto-grinding is a timed grinding feature that allows users to set a timer, and allow the machine to grind beans to perfection.

All available grinding features are good for home coffee grinding, but adding more grind features to your device does add to the cost. If you are someone who grinds for multiple cups a day, these features may be a worthwhile investment.

In our coffee grinder reviews, we have mentioned the number of grind settings on each machine. Usually grinding coffee beans from espresso fine to French Press coarse, the number of settings usually correlates directly with the cost of the grinder. But is it true that the more settings available, the better the grinder?

For those experienced grinders looking for a machine to explore all brew styles, buying a machine with 40 or more settings is a smart move. This will allow you to grind adventurously from espresso to cold brew. Grinders offering 30-40 settings are great if you’d like to make sure you can grind for trademark brewing styles, with room to experiment. For standard brew styles like drip coffee, you can operate successfully with a grinder with 30 or fewer settings. 

For Turkish coffee and cold brew, one may need to consider their own specialty grinders. Turkish grinders are specialized in consistently producing superfine coffee, while those grinding for cold brew will need a machine that can grind extra coarse.

Grind setting is all about personal preference, and a grinder having more settings doesn’t make it better for you. Select the grinder best fit for what you need it to do.

Blade vs Burr Grinders: What’s the difference?

The key to a flavourful cup of coffee is all in the grind, there is a definite difference in flavour freshly ground coffee can offer that pre-ground coffee can’t.

The quality and consistency of the particle size maximize flavour extraction during the brewing process. Heat and speed are essential components in preserving precious flavour notes in the coffee beans. Each type of grinder measures up differently in achieving this. Read more about each below!

Blade Grinder:

Blade grinders are a low-cost, high-speed grinding method that don’t have the best reputation for uniform grind output. While the price may seem attractive, the double-pronged blade system creates uneven and inconsistent coffee. This makes for a poor extraction consistency, and the heat saps flavour from the beans. These grinders do not offer timed grinding settings, either. 

While these coffee grinders are readily accessible and convenient, they generally do not lead to good coffee. If you’re looking for a high-speed grinder that won’t sap the beans’ flavour, conical burr coffee grinders are the way to go.

Conical Burr Grinder:

This low-speed grinder uses stainless steel or ceramic cone-shaped burrs to create a consistent grind. A conical burr grinder is great for espresso machine owners, and those looking for barista-quality coffee at home. Flat and conical burrs last longer than the dull metal of a blade grinder and produce a flavour-filled cup of coffee. 

Another benefit of the conical burr model is more control over your grind. Users can experiment with adjustable settings and avoid the heat and static build-up present in high-speed grinders. Users can guarantee a quieter experience with a conical burr grinder as well. 

Flat Burr Grinder:

While the high-speed flat grinder runs on the more expensive side, this grinder excels in producing a consistent particle size no matter the grind setting. A flat grinder is noisier, hotter, and can withhold more grind waste than conical burr coffee.

Conical burr grinders are widely used in coffee shops as they allow for a level of control over particle size to allow for maximum coffee extraction.

Price Brackets:

What you want to get out of a coffee grinder, and your budget limitations are major factors in determining your spending range. As grinders graduate from one price bracket to another, certain features and characteristics change.

Depending on the type of coffee you enjoy, and the frequency you plan to use your machine, a certain price bracket may make more sense than others. If you’re seeking a durable grinder and fresh quality coffee, a more expensive grinder may be a worthwhile investment.

Grinders under $50

Typically, blade grinders and entry-level hand grinders fall into the lower end of the price bracket. For users looking for a cost-efficient electric grinder, a blade grinder would be a fit for your needs. Blade grinders cannot guarantee the precision and uniformity of particle size that a burr grinder can, though. For those on a tight budget seeking a burr grinder, a conical burr hand-grinder may be the best option.

Grinders between $100-$200

Many reliable electric burr coffee grinders fall in this range, and they allow you to channel your inner barista without breaking your bank account. With this price bracket, users gain the convenience of an automatic burr grinder, as well as a more even coffee bean size. 

While the cheaper blade grinders burn out quickly after years of frequent use, a burr grinder can last for years if properly maintained. The longevity of these coffee grinders and the quality cup of coffee they help produce make spending the money worth it. 

Grinders over $200

While high-end grinders seem like a steep investment, experienced coffee connoisseurs swear by the coffee shop quality grind they produce. Not only can users find most flat burr coffee grinder options in this category,  but certain cone-shaped burr grinders as well. 

As the price increases for your grinder, users gain access to additional grind features, settings, and a commercial-grade coffee result. If you are an adventurous coffee brewer looking for a consistent grind for filter coffee, espresso, and more, the best coffee grinders for you fall in this price bracket.

While there are many factors that go into picking out the perfect coffee grinder, your personal preferences are invaluable to the process. Whether you are a barista-level coffee maker or an entry-level brewer, your grinder is meant to empower you in the task of creating good coffee every time.