The 3 Best Cheap Coffee Grinders of 2018

Updated on October 8, 2018
PaulGoodman67 profile image

Paul's passion for making and consuming coffee extends back over thirty years. An extensive traveler, he currently lives in Florida.

My Krups 203. Grinding your own coffee is the best way to obtain a brew with a full flavor, you should never buy ready ground coffee unless you have to.  Grinding right before you brew is generally the best way to make a full flavor beverage.
My Krups 203. Grinding your own coffee is the best way to obtain a brew with a full flavor, you should never buy ready ground coffee unless you have to. Grinding right before you brew is generally the best way to make a full flavor beverage. | Source

The Top 3 Budget Coffee Grinders You Can Buy

As a huge coffee enthusiast for over thirty years, I can't emphasize enough the importance of grinding in the brewing process.

These choices are based on my own experiences and the numerous machines that I've either owned or used enough to be very familiar with their advantages and flaws.

All three of these grinders are around the twenty dollar price mark or lower, and they all offer excellent value.

  • The Krups F203 is a robust and very affordable blade grinder.
  • The JavaPresse is my favorite low-priced manually-operated mill.
  • The Quiseen is another great one-touch electric that offers great value.

Why Grind?

Grinding your own coffee beans, rather than buying them ready ground, is the best way to get a fresh, fragrant, and tasty brew.

I started grinding over twenty five years ago and I've never looked back. For sure, to some extent you get what you pay for when purchasing a grinder, and the best machines tend to start at around the $90 to $100 mark - but a $20 grinder will still do the job and give you way better tasting coffee than buying ready ground.

There are some very stylish, efficient, and affordable products on the market nowadays, both electrically powered and hand-cranked, which will meet most people's basic needs and give excellent value for money.

The ideal size of the grounds for brewing depends upon the type of coffee maker that you are using.  A French press for instance requires coarse grounds, for instance, whereas espresso machines generally require the grounds to be very fine.
The ideal size of the grounds for brewing depends upon the type of coffee maker that you are using. A French press for instance requires coarse grounds, for instance, whereas espresso machines generally require the grounds to be very fine. | Source

Types of Grinder

There are three main types of grinder: blade; burr, and manual.

  • Blade grinders are very often the cheapest type of powered machine that you will find. They may not be the quietest, or the most accurate, but they get the job done and usually won't cost you too much. I would favor them for use in a small kitchen where space is a premium, or for use as an office grinder. They work via a spinning, propeller-like blade cutting up the beans into smaller and smaller pieces. The longer the blade spins, the smaller the grounds will be.
  • (Electric) burr grinders are generally quieter than blades, more accurate and less messy, but they usually cost more. They work by crushing the beans. There is usually a choice of settings, enabling you to select the precise coarseness or fineness that you require for your coffee maker. They are widely viewed as the best type of grinder.
  • Manual grinders are generally operated with a crank and the beans are crushed by rotating burrs. Because they are not motorized, they are very quiet, and don't require a power supply so are great for taking traveling, or camping. The size of the grounds produced is dictated by how long you turn the crank for: the more you turn, the finer the grounds.

View of the inside of my Krups from above.  The grinding works through the propeller-like blade rotating quickly and chopping up the beans into small pieces.  The longer that the grinder runs, the finer your grinds end up.
View of the inside of my Krups from above. The grinding works through the propeller-like blade rotating quickly and chopping up the beans into small pieces. The longer that the grinder runs, the finer your grinds end up. | Source

My #1 Best Cheap Grinder: Easy to Use, Affordable, and Efficient: The Krups 203!

I use one of these machines on a daily basis in my workplace and can highly recommend it.

The Krups F203 will meet most people's basic needs for freshly ground coffee, in my opinion, and you won't have to take out a bank loan to buy it!

There are better grinders out there, but they will cost you substantially more money (mid-quality electric burr grinders start at around $90 - $100). The Krups can be bought for under twenty dollars and offers excellent value.

As well as coffee, I've also used mine to grind spices, nuts and grains.

I have the black version, but it is also available in white, red, and cappuccino colors.

I've had my machine for over six years and have seen no deterioration regarding its ability to grind. It's robust and small enough to stash away when not in use. I just keep it in a corner of the counter, as it doesn't take up much surface space.

The size of the grounds depends on how long you run it for, that does take a little getting used to. There are no settings that you can select.

The only other possible negative is the noise. It's loud enough to wake anyone sleeping in the next room. (Luckily my wife is an early riser!)

Pretty much all electric blade grinders are relatively noisy in my experience. If you require something quiet, you may want to consider a manual grinder, which operates with a crank.

Tip: You can muffle the sound that the grinder produces a little by placing it on top of a towel when you grind!

Tips for Storing Coffee

Buy beans instead of ready ground, and grind the beans right before you make your brew for maximum flavor.

Keep the coffee in an air tight container. (Ceramic, glass, or stainless steel containers are generally best).

Keep away from direct sunlight and big temperature changes, somewhere fairly dark and fairly cool is ideal

Avoid refrigerating or freezing the beans, if at all possible, as very cold storage will cause a loss of taste.

To get the most out of your coffee beans, you need to store them correctly.  This means keeping them away from sources of light and heat. Ideally you should keep them in an airtight container in a cool dark place.
To get the most out of your coffee beans, you need to store them correctly. This means keeping them away from sources of light and heat. Ideally you should keep them in an airtight container in a cool dark place. | Source

I can't imagine a day without coffee. I can't imagine!

— Howard Schultz
I just love the sleek design of the JavaPresse.  As it is hand-cranked and there is no motor, you can take it anywhere: traveling, camping, on the road. Unlike the Krups it has settings to help you get the precise size of grind that you require.
I just love the sleek design of the JavaPresse. As it is hand-cranked and there is no motor, you can take it anywhere: traveling, camping, on the road. Unlike the Krups it has settings to help you get the precise size of grind that you require.

Sleek Design and Portable: The JavaPresse!

The best budget coffee grinders don't have to be electrically powered! A hand-cranked mill has the advantage of being portable and usable anywhere. I take mine camping and on road trips.

The JavaPresse manual grinder has such a lovely, sleek design, it's great to look at and hold, as well as use.

There are 18 settings for grinding, making it easy to be precise. Different coffee makers require different sized grounds so this really helps.

It is easy to use, easy to clean, and compact enough to store away easily when not in use, I've found.

As it's a manual grinder, it is also very quiet, so you don't wake anyone if you are the first up on a camping trip and decide to make the coffee.

The only down side is that being a manual, it does take time and effort to grind your coffee. You can't just press a button or flip a switch like with an electric.

We want to do a lot of stuff; we're not in great shape. We didn't get a good night's sleep. We're a little depressed. Coffee solves all these problems in one delightful little cup.

— Jerry Seinfeld
Palestinian women grinding coffee in 1905.  It was the Arabs who first cultivated coffee and made it into the product we recognize today.  The Arabs controlled the world coffee market, until European colonialists got hold of the plant.
Palestinian women grinding coffee in 1905. It was the Arabs who first cultivated coffee and made it into the product we recognize today. The Arabs controlled the world coffee market, until European colonialists got hold of the plant. | Source

A Brief History of Coffee

According to legend, coffee was first discovered by an Ethiopian goat herder, who noticed that his animals became more lively after eating berries from a certain plant. At first the berries were chewed, but then people realized that they could be used to make a drink. In the 15th century Arabs in Yemen began cultivating the plant. By the 16th century coffee was being drunk in Iran and Turkey before spreading to Western Europe via Italy. The first American coffee house began business in 1689.

The Quiseen is a one-touch electric grinder that is both affordable and durable.  It does the job basically.  You hold down the button and wait until the spinning blades have chopped up the beans to the required coarseness of grounds.
The Quiseen is a one-touch electric grinder that is both affordable and durable. It does the job basically. You hold down the button and wait until the spinning blades have chopped up the beans to the required coarseness of grounds.

Affordable Grinder With a Cool Design: The Quiseen!

I thought that I would never find a budget grinder to rival my Krups, but then my brother introduced me to the Quiseen One-Touch Electric.

This compact machine has a striking and practical design. It works in a similar way to a Krups with a push button that hold down until your beans have been reduced to the size of grounds you want. A transparent top allows you to see the spinning blades and the grounds

For the price this machine is difficult to beat.

Downsides are that as with all the blade grinders of this type, you judge the coarseness of the grounds by sight, there are no settings to determine it for you. It also seems easy to overfill and cause spillages.

On balance I still prefer my Krups by a whisker but this is the only rival that I would consider switching to.

Questions & Answers

    © 2011 Paul Goodman

    Comments

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      • Carbonated Coffee profile image

        Carbonated Coffee 

        21 months ago

        Thanks, possibly can save some $$$ using this.

      • profile image

        Ramen Boy 

        4 years ago

        Also, what about the Hario burr grinders like the Hario Slim Mill?

      • profile image

        Ramen Boy 

        4 years ago

        @PaulGoodman67 - Kyocera vs Mr. Coffee BVMC-BMH23???

      • FloridaFacts profile image

        Paul Askew 

        6 years ago from Florida USA

        After reading this, I've decided to go for the Krups. I need a basic grinder for my work office.

      • profile image

        femmeflashpoint 

        7 years ago

        My family had an old one, wooden with an iron grinder on the top and a little drawer to catch the grounds towards the bottom. No idea where it is now. I saw one a few years ago in a shop, a new one made to look old, lol. Wish I'd picked it up because I haven't seen any like it since.

      • PaulGoodman67 profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Goodman 

        7 years ago from Florida USA

        @femmeflashpoint - the Kyocera is a very nice grinder if you like manuals. The design is great and cleaning it is easy!

      • profile image

        femmeflashpoint 

        7 years ago

        Paul - very good information here for coffee lovers and wanna-be-bean-grinders. :)

        I'm preferring the Kyocera Ceramic. It's more pricey but less messy. The grinders that don't dump the processed coffee to the bottom leave me with a mess that I have to clean up.

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