Last Updated on September 30, 2021 by John Moretti
Many java fans prefer to grind their own beans to create the consistency that they desire. However, many of these machines can seem outside the budget range of many people. Thankfully, there are many budget options that could help cut back on your cost investment here and give you the great cup of coffee you need to start every day.
Budget coffee grinders help java fans to grind their beans without breaking the bank! Each of the machines I highlighted below is among the finest I could find on the market. They’re all around or under $50, which is a very fair price for this type of tool. In addition, they’re either electric or manual, each of which has benefits that may be worth considering.
For instance, electric grinders typically operate more quickly and require no effort. However, they aren’t great for camping or for when the power goes out. On the other hand, manual grinders do require more effort and take longer to use. However, they cost less money and can be used without electricity. Let’s examine the following five options to give you a better understanding of your choices.
- Best Electric Grinder: SHARDOR Electric Burr Coffee Grinder
- Best Runner-Up Model: Krups F203
- Best Manual Grinder: JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder
- Best Budget Luxury Grinder: Oxo Conical Burr Grinder
When examining the different grinders on the market, I gauged them based on many various factors. These differ based on both the type of grinder and how they are used. I broke each down into a specific category to make it easier to find the option that makes the most sense for you.
Best Electric Grinder: SHARDOR Electric Burr Coffee Grinder
- Quick Blend Design
- 16 Different Blend Styles
- Strong Burr Grinder Motor
This electric grinder is one of the most fascinating options I could find on the market. It combines a powerful motor with a myriad of different grinding options and styles. That benefit is significant because we know many coffee fans like to dry many blend types. With this grinder, you can produce very consistent and high-quality coffee grounds that just about anybody will enjoy. Consistency is so important it can affect the overall quality of your coffee without you realizing it.
Many of the reviews I researched stated this was by far the best budget grinder. I didn’t see much to make me think differently. With 16 different settings, you can quickly get what you want. The fine grind was particularly lovely. I tried out this option and compared it with the coarser chops at the denser end of the scale. Both were quite fine, as were everything in between. In this way, it’s the most consistent option on our list in many ways.
I would suggest that you grind your beans in advance before making your coffee. While this machine is reasonably quick (the fastest we could find), you will need to clean up the device after you’re done grinding. That’s not an uncommon complaint about grinders, of course, but it is one that you should take into consideration before making a purchase of any kind.
However, it’s hard to top this option if you want a good and durable electric grinder. It may not be quite as portable as other options on our list, but it gets the job done quickly and easily. Does it look great? Maybe it’s not the most attractive option, either. However, I put looks quite far down my list of important things when looking at a grinder. Instead, I focus on durability, the strength of the grind, and material quality.
- Produces very fine and coarser coffee grounds
- Works well for a French Press
- May be adapted to an Aeropress
- Price is higher than other models
- A bit noisy when operating
Best Runner-Up Model: Krups F203
- Multiple Blending Possibilities
- Uniquely Tough Design
- Handsome Overall Look and Feel
Many reviews online also highlighted the Krups F203 as the best model on the market. I do disagree but only slightly. It is definitely an excellent electric model, and one that I think would work best for many homes. It’s powerful in design, quite tough in its feel, sturdy, and long-lasting. The materials here are of the highest quality, and I feel like they could survive a direct nuclear strike. Or maybe not.
Another thing I like about this model is its overall look and design. Now, I said that I didn’t rate looks as highly as quality when reviewing machines. I stand by that statement. However, I have to be honest about this machine: it simply looks great in most kitchens. Combined with its intensive grinding strength, it’s not hard to see this option fitting into just about any home with relative ease.
One thing that I found kind of strange about this model was its lack of bean grinding setting. Don’t get me wrong: it was a pretty easy machine to use once you figured it out. In essence, you gauge your grinding by the length of time you run the machine. Instead of pushing a button to get a consistent grind every time, you’re forced to rely on your intuition to get the best results.
Now, this might be a plus for many coffee fans. Those who love creating personalized brews will find it a joy to blend these beans and estimate when to stop. However, those casual fans who just want a more accessible machine may find this off-putting. In fact, it’s the main reason why this option fell to second place on our list. If it had just added the same blend options as the previous model, it might have been the top pick!
- Works well with nuts and other types of grains
- It comes in many different colors
- It lasts a long time with minimum issue
- Very loud compared to other models
- No settings for your bean grinding
Best Manual Grinder: JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder
- Surprisingly Quiet Design
- 20 Different Grind Settings
- Very Compact Size
If you want a manual coffee grinder that fits your budget, you seriously cannot do much better than this option. The JavaPresse is the industry leader in the hand-held, manual grinders world. What I particularly love about it is its impressive 20 different grind settings. That’s more than my top pick! This variety of options allows you to create a consistent and high-quality ground every time you grind.
I loved the JavaPresse coffee subscription service, as it contains video tutorials, podcasts, and much more. Granted, that has little to do with the quality of the grinder itself. However, it’s just nice to see that they’re willing to go the extra mile for their customers. It helps to produce a stronger sense of loyalty and a better retention rate, mainly since their video tutorials are also quite entertaining.
I feel it would be remiss not to point out that any manual grinder is going to be a bit of a pain in the butt for the average coffee fan. Even this option, which we think is the best on the market, will take you some time to grind your beans. It’s the kind of device you might end up passing around the table during breakfast. You grind your beans, pass the grinder to your spouse, and so on.
That’s why so many people say manual grinding is more of a lifestyle than anything else. You have to be genuinely dedicated to grinding your coffee this way to get much enjoyment out of it. That said, those who do feel a stronger connection with their brew in most circumstances. As a result, many people never go back to electric grinding after trying a manual option.
- Amazingly quiet, even for a manual grinder
- It goes perfect for traveling situations
- Feels great in the hand
- It shouldn’t be used for multiple cups of coffee
- May take some time to grind properly
Best Budget Luxury Grinder: Oxo Conical Burr Grinder
- Very Fast Grinding Speed
- Integrated Scale Design
- Time Dosing Options
Confession: this grinder is technically out of the $50 range I tried to keep when starting this article. It costs more, which may make some people question whether it qualifies as a budget grinder. I think so because it is still much lower in price than grinders that it technically competes with it in quality. In fact, if it cost less, it would have been my top choice! How about that?
The biggest reason I loved this grinder was its intense speed. You simply can’t get a faster grind on the market for this price range. I found that I could grind up to 10 grams of coffee in no more than six seconds: on the medium setting! You can even get faster speeds if you like, though that will vary depending on the type of coffee you’re trying to make with your machine.
Just as importantly, the consistency of the grinding was very high with this machine. It’s definitely more consistent than the best overall pick, though honestly not by as much as you’d imagine. I was surprised to find that our top pick could just about compete with it for consistency. That little fact pushed that cheaper model to the top of the pile due to its overall lower price.
However, if you have more than $50 to spend on a coffee grinder but don’t want to spend much over $100, this is easily your best choice. It’s what I call the lower-end of luxury models. It has many of the same features you find in the $200-300 coffee grinders. However, it isn’t quite as sturdy, not as robust, or diverse in its grinding. That said, it’s a fantastic steal at $105!
- The most consistent grinder on our list
- The diverse range of grinding options
- Luxury grind at a budget price
- It costs more than other grinders here
- It has a time-based grinding design
Best Quick Manual Grinder: 1ZPressoJX
- Faster Manual Grinding Speed
- Strong and Durable Design
- Compact Hand-Held Size
1Zpresso is a Taiwan-based company that gives a good name to the phrase “Made in Taiwan.” They have been producing great products for a long time, and their manual grinder is the fastest we could find. It’s not relatively as high-quality as our top model, but if speed is what you want, this is the choice for you. It can grind two handfuls of beans in under 45 seconds for most users.
That might not seem that fast to many people. I understand that. But think of it this way. You’re grinding those beans by hand. Each turn of the wheel is going to start wearing you down and becoming potentially exhausting. Some grinders may take up to two minutes to finish! Therefore, 45 seconds is faster than you might think and definitely a good speed for a manual grinder.
That said, I emphasize that this option is not for everyone. The same as manual espresso machines. For example, if you want a fast cup of coffee (we’re talking in under 30 seconds), you shouldn’t buy a manual grinder. That said, this option is a good choice for traveling due to its compact size. I particularly loved how easy it was to slip this cutie into my backpack or suitcase and take it with me wherever I needed to go.
The material quality and overall design are relatively strong, but I ended up liking the other manual grinder more. That model just feels sturdier in the hand, even with a slower grinding speed. In the end, the difference between the two is relatively small. If speed is more your thing, this model is your best choice. If overall quality and construction matter more, try the other model instead.
- Surprisingly fast for a hand grinder
- Sharp steel burrs produce consistent grinds
- Small enough to take just about anywhere
- It is a bit more expensive than all but our luxury options
- It still requires a lot of hand-grinding labor
How to Choose a Budget Coffee Grinder
The following traits are all things that I carefully examined when choosing the best budget coffee grinders for this list. Thankfully, it shouldn’t be too hard for you to use these elements to gauge other machines if those on this list don’t appeal to you. Make sure that you do as much research as I to get the best results. I spent a few hours examining each machine to get the best results here.
Obviously, you want to find a grinder that fits within your budget. Budget grinders typically range from $50-100, though some may consider $200 a budget option. Personally, I think $50 is the sweet spot for those on a budget. All but one of the grinders we highlighted is within that range. However, even $100 is a good choice if you have the money and want an overall better quality of the grind.
The grind consistency is crucial to consider when buying a budget coffee grinder. The grind size (the size of the individual grains and the overall production of your grinder) should be taken into account as well. How well does the grinder produce a consistent and reliable ground? Are there any times when it doesn’t work correctly? Is it consistent when grinding on all speeds?
Is a high-speed grinder always better than a slower option? That depends. Faster speeds may wear the machine out more quickly. That said, slow machines may also be too pokey for some people to tolerate. It all depends on your budget. Personally, I think a good middle ground is appropriate here. A medium blending speed is good enough for most situations and minimizes damage.
Other Factors to Consider
How much heat will your grinder produce? You want minimal heat to avoid affecting the taste of your coffee. You also need to consider the overall size and style. After all, you want a grinder that fits into your kitchen, literally and stylistically. Pay attention to the ease of use, the overall grind settings, the intensity of its noise, the overall unit durability, and the dosing level as well.
Pick the Machine That Makes Sense for You
By weighing these options (and the factors mentioned in the last section), you should find it reasonably easy to purchase a high-quality and reliable coffee grinder. Remember, though: these are budget options. If you’re willing to spend a little more, you’re likely to get an even better product. That said, we stand by our choices here. They may not always be flashy, but they should last you for years if you’re careful.