Best Cheap Coffee Grinders

This buying guide recommends several blade coffee grinders for less than $30 and a few budget burr grinders costing just a bit more.

What We Considered

In our research, we looked at recommendations from consumer product experts, like The Sweethome, commentary from specialty websites and blogs run by coffee aficionados, and consumer reviews posted on manufacturers' websites and at retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Home Depot, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, and Macy's.  

We Looked At

The mark of a top-notch coffee grinder is its ability to produce uniformly-sized grounds so that each granule or powdery speck brews at the same rate, which in turn minimizes any bitter or burnt flavor. The blade grinders we researched do a fairly decent job of even grinding, although some models are more adept at a given grind size than others. The best budget blade grinders excel at medium grinds, although a few can manage coarser grinds that are relatively even. Few blade grinders are proficient when it comes to espresso-style grinds, however, and none reach the standard set by pricier burr grinders.

With the best burr grinders you're guaranteed results that meet your specifications: If you want a coarse grind, all the grounds will be coarse; if you want a fine grind, all the grounds will be fine. They're particularly good at producing the coarse grind required for French press and cold-brew processes and the better models have no problem at all with the super-fine grind needed for espresso. Due to their cheaper components, less expensive burr models may not fare quite as well, and some experts say they may not be much better than high-performing blade grinders.

Mess and cleanup are among the primary issues consumers raise in coffee grinder reviews. Grinding coffee can be a dirty business, what with the beans' residual oils and grounds that wind up where they don't belong. Stray grounds that fall to the counter as you open the top of the grinding chamber irk some users of most models we researched. Some also grumble about spills when scooping out or otherwise transferring the grinds to the cap before dumping (or measuring) them into the coffee maker, grinds that cling to the plastic lid, or fine grinds that clump up under the grinding blade. Burr grinders sometimes get dinged when the chute from the bean hopper to the burr gets clogged, which either slows or stops the grinding process.

Frequent cleaning not only helps with coffee grinders' overall performance, but it also prevents build up of rancid oils that mar the coffee flavor. Most blade grinders can be cleaned with a damp sponge or cloth, although a few boast a removable chamber (with blade) that can even go in the dishwasher. The grinder on burr models is often removable and can be cleaned with a small brush (often included). Some with removable bowls also offer convenient lids, so users don't have to dirty another container if storing extra grounds.

For those worried about cluttered counters, there are coffee grinders that provide recessed storage so users can easily tuck away cords and move the grinder out of sight.

Our Top Pick

KitchenAid BCG111
Our Picks

Pouring grinds into a coffee filter, not to mention cleanup, is easy with the KitchenAid BCG111's signature feature: a removable stainless steel grinding bowl. Some users say the look is a bit clunky, but the overall package (including performance) wins over the vast majority. There are experts who say this blade grinder works better than some costlier burr grinders.

  • Removable and dishwasher-safe stainless steel bowl with marks for measurement.

  • Slightly larger bowl (4 oz.) than most.

  • Easy to use, easy to clean.

  • Reasonably consistent grind.

  • Choice of colors.

  • Grind may not be fine enough for espresso.

  • Less effective when grinding spices, according to users; grindings may fly out of bowl into plastic lid.

  • Very fine grindings may collect between lid and housing.

Krups F2034251

Users appreciate the low price point, ease, simplicity, and solid performance of the Krups F2034251 grinder. Many longtime owners come back for more when a well-worn unit finally gives out.

  • Reliable, durable, and long lasting.

  • Easy to use, easy to clean.

  • Powerful 200-watt motor; quick and efficient.

  • Grinds coffee to even consistency; suits pour-over, automatic drip, and French press.

  • Small footprint, tight-fitting lid.

  • Lid can be difficult to remove after grinding, according to reviews.

  • Said to be less effective when grinding spices.

Bodum Bistro 11160

A coffee grinder that's attractive enough to leave on the counter, the Bodum Bistro 11160 delivers what users want: a grind to their specification, whether fine or coarse. Small but powerful is its calling card.

  • Several color choices; outer casing easy to grip.

  • Cord storage in base.

  • Fast; gets to fine grind quickly.

  • Suitable for small amounts of coffee.

  • Poor seal between lid and body, so some grinds may escape.

  • Grinds may cling to plastic lid.

  • Push-button start mechanism seems flimsy to some users.

Mr. Coffee IDS57/55

The Mr. Coffee IDS57/55 (black/white) blade grinder is a simple machine with a high quality-to-price ratio. Some users choose it for the iconic brand name, some laud its lifespan, and many praise its convenience.

  • Straightforward and user-friendly.

  • Works quickly, produces consistent grinds; best suited for drip coffee.

  • Most effective when grinding chamber is full.

  • Good job on seeds and spices.

  • Users say static cling on plastic lid can make emptying grinds a mess.

  • Hard to clean.

Black+Decker Smartgrind CBG100S

The biggest drawback to the Black+Decker Smartgrind CBG100S, according to reviews, is its short lifespan. Otherwise, it puts in an acceptable, though lackluster, performance. There are much more capable options in this price range.

  • Grinds coffee and spices fairly well.

  • Easy to use.

  • Cord storage under base.

  • Limited durability, many users report; components seem fragile.

  • Grinds stick to plastic lid.

  • Hard to get consistent grind, especially fine, owner say.

Other Products We Reviewed

Krups Fast Touch 203-42

Krups Fast Touch 203-42 Review

A reviewer at Coffee Maker Review notes that this coffee grinder preserves the rich aroma of the coffee beans. Another asserts that not many coffee grinders are as useful, long lasting, and compact as the Krups Fast Touch 203-42 (starting at $19, Amazon). A reviewer at Epinions recommends this grinder for people who use auto-drip coffee makers and people who make espressos, but not for those who need the larger ground size (used for a French press coffee maker). The Krups 203-42 is a compact coffee grinder with an oval design and stainless steel blades. It can grind up to 3 ounces of coffee at one time. It has one non-adjustable grind setting and comes with a limited one-year warranty.

The Krups 203-42 is a simple well-designed coffee grinder and users report being very satisfied with it for many years. If you are looking for a cheap, solid, reliable coffee grinder, look no further.

Mr. Coffee IDS77 Electric

Mr. Coffee IDS77 Electric Review

Mr. Coffee IDS77 reviews are generally positive, with a few dissensions. Many users at Walmart report that the IDS77 is a great grinder, although one was annoyed that grinding residue got stuck at the bottom of the grinding cup and another was disappointed with the cleaning system. A user at Amazon praises the Mr. Coffee, noting that the grind and cup quantity settings take the guesswork out of using a blade grinder. On a contrary note, one Amazon user notes that this grinder is not good at producing a coarse grind for a French press coffee maker.

The Mr. Coffee IDS77 coffee grinder (starting at $18, Amazon) is a blade grinder that has the capacity to grind enough beans for 4-12 cups of coffee. This grinder has three different grind settings: course, medium, and fine. It also has a "chamber maid" cleaning system that consists of three plastic bars that move around the grinding chamber to remove residue. The grinding chamber is removable and dishwasher safe. It also has a flip-top lid that makes it easy to pour out the coffee grinds.

Mr. Coffee IDS77 is a well-designed coffee grinder with some interesting and useful features not found in other low-budget grinders. We can easily recommend this coffee grinder.

lg jura capresso 501 cool grind lg

Jura Capresso 501 Cool Grind Review

A user review at the Home Cooking in Montana blog notes that that large capacity of the Capresso 501 Cool Grind (starting at $20, Amazon) reduces heat build-up when grinding, and thus helps preserve the coffee aroma. A user at Cooking.com notes that the Capresso 501 Cool Grind grinds coffee to a good consistency. The site Coffee Grinder Review recommends this model as an ideal choice for anyone who is looking for a high quality grinder at an affordable price. The Capresso 501 Cool Grind coffee grinder is larger and heftier than most of the other low-budget coffee grinders, but it grinds enough beans to fill a large pot of coffee, and the extra capacity keeps heat build-up to a minimum. This model also has a longer grind time than other grinders, which helps it maintain a lower temperature. If you use this for spices, get a second grinder.

The Capresso 501 Cool Grind coffee grinder gets positive reviews across the board. For an inexpensive way to produce large amounts of evenly ground, aromatic coffee, we highly recommend the Capresso 501 Cool Grind.

lg toastmaster 1119 lg

Toastmaster 1119 Review

The Toastmaster 1119 Push Button Electric Coffee and Spice Grinder (starting at $12, Amazon) receives mixed reviews from users. Generally users are very happy with this model as a spice grinder. Users at Amazon, Shopping.com, and Coffee Drinkers Heaven report that it works great for grinding flax seeds. When it comes to grinding coffee beans, however, the reviews are more mixed. Some users at these same sites report that the Toastmaster is a simple, durable coffee grinder, but others find it loud, messy, and difficult to clean.

The Toastmaster 1119 Push Button Electric Coffee and Spice Grinder is a durable grinder suitable for both coffee beans and seeds. It has stainless steel blades and the capacity to grind enough beans for eight cups of coffee. It has a push-button control and a convenient tuck-away cord to help safe space on your counter. While we can give this Toastmaster grinder a high recommendation for grinding flax seeds and other types of spices and nuts, we have to give it a somewhat qualified recommendation for grinding coffee.

Black & Decker CBG100S
Cuisinart DCG-20

Cuisinart DCG-20 Review

lg proctor large

Proctor Silex E160B Fresh Grind Coffee Grinder Review

A user review online reports that Proctor Silex E160B (starting at $12, Amazon) is a perfect grinder for someone who uses a French press coffee maker to make two cups of coffee at a time. Users at Epinions, however, complains that the design of the cap allows coffee beans to spill all over, and that the grinder does not distribute the beans well while grinding. Many users at Amazon report that they found this model very good for grinding flax seeds. Others note that it's adequate for grinding enough beans for one or two cups of coffee at a time. The Coffee Grinders blog notes that this grinder works well as long as you do not grind more than three tablespoons at a time. Another user at this blog reports that this grinder is only suitable for a course grind, and it does not fine grind. The Proctor Silex E160B is a very compact coffee grinder with stainless steel blades, a retractable cord and a safety on/off switch. Users report that this grinder works very well for grinding flax seeds and other types of seeds, and for producing a coarse grind for one or two cups of coffee. If you want a very compact grinder for these purposes, this model might work for you.

lg hamilton large

Hamilton Beach 80365 Review

The Hamilton Beach 80365 (starting at $17, Amazon) garners some mixed reviews from users. One user at Epinions describes this low budget grinder as a nice little grinder that gets the job done. Another positive review comes from Target user who reports that this grinder works perfectly for producing a coarse grind for a French press coffee maker. This user reveals that shaking the device while grinding yields the best result. Many users at Amazon, however, are not so forgiving. These users report that the 80365 does not grind evenly, and one complains that even the most coarse setting produces some large chunks of coffee beans and some dust.

The Hamilton Beach 80365 is the only low-budget coffee grinder we reviewed that allows hand-free operation. With this grinder, you can choose the appropriate grinding settings and simply start the grinding; the machine will determine the grinding time for you. This grinder comes with a removable chamber for easy filling and washing; it is dishwasher safe. This grinder has a capacity to grind enough beans for 12 cups of coffee.

The Hamilton Beach 80365 coffee grinder is reportedly easy to use and easy to clean. While some users are dissatisfied, others are very pleased with this product. If the ease-of-use appeals to you, this grinder is worth a try.

Cuisinart DCG-12BC Grind Central

Although the Cuisinart DCG-12BC Grind Central has received mixed user reviews over the years, a majority of owners commend its performance, with some saying it's the best blade grinder ever. There are even reports of it being used for tapenade, pesto, and pastes made from spices.

  • Grinds to consistent and desirable coarseness.

  • Attractive square shape; brushed chrome housing.

  • Dishwasher-safe grinding bowl/blade.

  • Stainless steel bowl features measurement marks and lid for storage.

  • User friendly.

  • Some users report difficulty getting grinds out of bowl.

  • Reports of blades wearing down quickly.

A good low-cost entry into the world of higher-end burr grinders, the Krups GX500050 is easy to use and a solid buy for those eager to step up from blade grinders and looking for a reasonably priced model from a well-respected brand. Usually, it just skirts $50, so we definitely perked up to find it selling for less.

  • Nine primary grind levels, each with intermediate steps.

  • Removable bean hopper (7 oz.) and grinding chamber.

  • Removable top burr for easy cleaning; comes with brush.

  • Users can select number of cups for automatic shut-off.

  • Very good for medium and coarse grinds.

  • Effective with nuts and seeds.

  • Two-year limited warranty.

  • Some say grind settings not well calibrated, with little difference between them.

  • Some grousing from owners about longevity.

The Mr. Coffee BVMC-BMH23-RB is adept at grinding beans for drip coffeemakers, users say. It gives value for the money with features like the auto-cup select and removable grinding chamber. A starter burr grinder, it may not be the best choice for espresso drinkers.

  • 18 grind settings, easy to adjust.

  • Large capacity, holds 8 ounces of beans.

  • Removable bean hopper and grinding chamber.

  • Consistent grind size; best suited for medium.

  • Users can select number of cups for automatic shut-off.

  • Cord storage under base; comes with scoop and mini brush.

  • Large capacity, 8-ounce bean hopper.

  • Oilier beans can get stuck in the grinding chamber and chute.

  • Grinds fly around when cup is removed, according to some users.

  • Some reports of limited durability.

Cuisinart Supreme Grind DBM-8

The Cuisinart Supreme Grind DBM-8 is a popular low-priced burr coffee grinder. For the money, owners say, this easy-to-clean burr model is hard to beat if you use an automatic-drip coffeemaker.

  • A good step up from a blade grinder.

  • Large capacity, holds 8 ounces of beans.

  • Removable bean hopper and grinding chamber.

  • 18 grind settings; can select number of cups for automatic shut-off.

  • Has cord storage; comes with scoop, cleaning brush.

  • Stainless steel housing.

  • Less effective for French-press and espresso grinds.

  • Users report fine-grind residue, and a lot of static, in the chamber.

  • Some reports of limited durability.

Frugal aficionados consider the Hario Skerton Ceramic MSCS-2TB the ultimate hand grinder. The grind is slow and beans don't overheat. Plus, ceramic conical burrs beat the metal disk burrs found on budget burr grinders. With no electrical parts to worry about, it should last a good long time.

  • Ceramic conical burrs produce consistently even grinds for most grind sizes.

  • Easily portable.

  • Well-designed grinding/turning mechanism.

  • Good build quality; glass grind chamber eliminates static.

  • Manual operation less user-friendly than electric coffee grinders.

  • Lots of effort required for larger quantities of coffee.

  • Mechanism requires manual adjustment to change grind size; may take some effort to lock in on the preferred consistency.

  • Less effective for coarse French-press grind.

Buying Guide

Choosing a Coffee Grinder

If you enjoy a good cup of coffee, making an investment in a coffee grinder is a small price to pay for fresh coffee at its best, brewed at home or in the office. Coffee is most flavorful when the beans are ground just before brewing: Once exposed to oxidation through the grinding process, coffee beans begin to lose flavor. High-end versions of this countertop appliance can set you back a few hundred dollars, but we sifted through expert commentary and user reviews to find several costing $30 or less that are more than adequate for this simple task.

Coffee Maker Brands.

The major manufacturers of lower-cost electric coffee grinders are Krups, Mr. Coffee, Capresso, Proctor Silex, Hamilton Beach, Cuisinart, and Black+Decker. These companies offer a range of models at different prices, including some very cheap coffee grinders that meet frugal consumers' expectations for performance, ease of use, and durability.

Our research identified three budget-priced blade grinders for our "best" category: the top-rated KitchenAid BCG111 (starting at $25), the no-frills favorite Krups F2034251 (starting at $14), and the Bodum Bistro 11160 (starting at $21) for coffee drinkers who value style as much as solid performance. For the "good" category, we picked two more blade grinders, the Mr. Coffee IDS57/55 (starting at $15), and the Cuisinart DCG-12BC Grind Central (starting at $26), both of which earn their share of raves from consumers. The Black+Decker Smartgrind CBG100S (starting at $18), by contrast, is probably worth bypassing; it garners relatively more complaints about durability than the other models we researched.

Cheap versus Expensive Coffee Grinders.

The cheapest electric coffee grinders are blade grinders that chop the beans with stainless steel blades rotating at high-speed. They're less precise than some more expensive grinders and are best suited to churning out the medium to fine grind used in pour-over filtered coffee and automatic coffee makers. Another common use for blade grinders is grinding spices and nuts; most models we reviewed work for this purpose.

Burr Grinders.

Serious coffee aficionados may prefer a seriously expensive coffee grinder. High-priced models, such as those from companies like Baratza and Breville, typically are burr grinders. Rather than chopping beans, burr grinders shave and crush them, either between abrasive plates or a cone circled by a serrated disk, to produce more uniform grounds. Burrs in expensive grinders, whether conical burr grinders or flat burr grinders, can be either steel or ceramic; ceramic burr grinders are the more expensive option and some say better for delivering the best tasting espresso. Lower-priced electric burr grinders, including some slightly above the Cheapism ceiling, feature flat disk burrs that tend to be made from cheaper materials and are a tad less effective.

One popular budget-priced burr grinder is the Mr. Coffee BVMC-BMH23-RB (starting at $31). What might be considered a "starter" model, it's good for slightly more discerning coffee drinkers still interested primarily in a medium grind that will work in an automatic pot. We also found two other burr grinders that should appeal to consumers looking for a slight step up in their grind game without a big step up in cost: Both the Cuisinart Supreme Grind DBM-8 (starting at $42) and the Krups GX500050 (starting at $35) garner positive reviews from thousands of satisfied owners. For those who take a relaxed attitude toward coffee making in the morning, the Hario Skerton MSCS-2TB (starting at $38) is a manual coffee grinder with ceramic conical burrs that makes it on to many experts' short lists.

Features Comparison

Sort by:
Review Score:
Product Title
Type of Grinder
Capacity (beans)
No. Grind Settings
Cord Storage
Extras
Product Title
Type of Grinder
Capacity (beans)
No. Grind Settings
Cord Storage
Extras

KitchenAid BCG111

$25
Blade
4 oz.
N/A
No
Removable bowl, storage lid

Krups F2034251

$14
Blade
3 oz.
N/A
No

Bodum Bistro 11160

$21
Blade
3 oz.
N/A
Yes

Mr. Coffee IDS57/55

$15
Blade
3.2 oz.
N/A
No

Cuisinart DCG-12BC Grind...

$26
Blade
3.2 oz.
N/A
Yes
Removable bowl, storage lid

Black+Decker Smartgrind...

$18
Blade
3.2 oz.
N/A
Yes

Mr. Coffee BVMC-BMH23-RB

$31
Burr
8 oz.
18
Yes
Removable hopper and grinding chamber, scoop and cleaning brush included

Cuisinart Supreme Grind...

$42
Burr
8 oz.
18
Yes
Removable hopper and grinding chamber, scoop and cleaning brush included

Krups GX500050

$35
Burr
7 oz.
9 (5 steps each)
No
Removable hopper and grinding chamber, removable top burr

Hario Skerton MSCS-2TB

$38
Manual Burr
3.5 oz.
Adjustable
N/A
Storage lid for glass base.