Grinding your own coffee beans using the best cheap coffee grinder will make your coffee taste much better compared to using pre-ground coffee. The best budget coffee grinders will grind whole coffee beans ready for brewing in about 20 seconds.
The problem is that the lower the price the more chance you have of getting a grinder that will not do the job you have bought it to do and it may not last as long as it should.
Buying the very cheapest coffee grinders can be a false economy because the manufacturer ends up having to use really cheap parts that end up not being effective and your money gets wasted.
It reminds me of when I was in Thailand many years ago and I bought a Rolex watch for £20 from a street stall. I obviously knew that it wasn’t real but I checked it out and it told the time and it had a strap so i handed over the cash and put it on my wrist.
I was thinking if it lasts me 6 months, I’ve had a result. When I got back to the hotel I showed a few people and went to bed.
The next morning, I went to have a shower and took the watch off. As soon as I removed it from my wrist the bottom fell off and all the insides fell onto the floor and that was the end of that. Lesson learned.
It was a great example of you get what you pay for. Nowadays the competition is much fiercer and it’s not as easy for manufacturers to get away with making something cheap in order to get a quick sale.
There are articles like this that will weed out the rubbish first and then you get to look through some of the selections and see genuine reviews from customers that have already bought the grinder you are thinking of getting so that you can make an informed decision before you part with your hard-earned cash.
There are three main types of coffee grinder.
Blade coffee grinders are the cheapest because a blade spins round at high speed and chops up the coffee beans into small pieces ready for brewing.
This method is fine if you are just starting out with grinding your own beans or you are making your coffee with a filter coffee machine or a cafetière because these brewing methods don’t need a super fine grind and a coarser slightly rougher grind is fine.
If you are going to be making mainly espresso and adding milk for cappuccino or latte then a consistently fine grind is important and you probably want to consider a burr grinder for best results.
Burr grinders are more expensive than blade grinders because two disks crush the beans instead of chopping them up and the disks are more expensive than blades. But if you choose wisely then you don’t need to spend a fortune.
Manual coffee grinders are a bit like a large pepper mill where you have to turn a handle and the ground coffee comes out the other end. We have a couple of budget manual grinder recommendations below that may be of interest.
We have been through hundreds of cheap coffee grinders and found the ones that represent the best value for money if you are on a tight budget.
These are the best budget coffee grinders out there:
This is not the cheapest coffee grinder in our list of recommendations but we think that its the best from a value for money perspective combined with the convenience of a removable bowl making it super easy to clean.
This grinder uses a central blade that spins around at high speed and chops up your coffee beans into a fine powder ready for brewing in just 10-20 seconds depending on how fine you want the grind to be.
It comes with a 200 watt motor making the grinding process quicker and the overall noise level lower. A lot of other grinders at this price level will only have a 100 watt motor so that alone makes it a good buy.
It also has a high capacity bowl that will grind up to 70g of coffee beans in one go and it has a long 105cm cord so you can easily move it around the work surface if you have it tucked away whilst not in use.
But the best feature of all is that you can simply remove the bowl from the main unit which has two main benefits.
Firstly, you can easily pour the ground coffee straight into whatever coffee machine you are using and secondly, you can just rinse the bowl under the tap without having to move the whole grinder to the sink.
An excellent value for money blade grinder. We found that other coffee grinders at this price level can chop up coffee beans into different sized pieces and leave some larger pieces.
This Duronic coffee grinder delivers an excellent and consistent grind fineness suitable for all coffee machines. The longer you hold the top down the finer the grind.
The 250 watt motor is the most powerful you will find at this price and it makes the grinding process quick and quiet.
It also has a large capacity 75g bowl that is fully removable and easy to clean in the sink without bringing the whole unit over from the work surface you normally keep it on.
It’s also multi-purpose and can be used to grind herbs, spices, nuts and seeds as well as doing a great job with coffee beans.
This is the cheapest grinder on our list and it really is an unbelievably low price. It doesn’t have a removable bowl and it only has a 150-watt motor but it does do the job it’s supposed to do and that is grind your coffee beans.
Incredibly there is an element of design to it. For this price, you’d expect all black cheap plastic but it comes in a matt silver with a see-through bowl so you can see how fine your coffee is being ground.
You get a 50g bowl capacity which is plenty for up to 7 cups of coffee and it does chop up the beans without leaving big pieces.
Altogether amazing value for money and miles better than buying pre-ground coffee.
This is the first burr coffee grinder in our recommendations and its made by a brand that sells more coffee machines than anyone else, Delonghi.
If you are not comfortable with a brand you have never heard of then this is certainly a brand you can trust and rely on. They know how to make coffee machines and this is a really good entry-level burr coffee grinder.
Only a few pounds more than an expensive blade grinder, this has two disks (burrs) that crush the coffee beans with a level of uniformity that you won’t get with a blade grinder.
You have 16 different levels of grind fineness to choose from so you can grind your coffee exactly how you like it and it will hold up to 120g of coffee so you won’t need to refill it each time you make a cup of coffee.
You can also select the number of cups you want to grind at one time and it will stop automatically. You press one button to start and it will stop on its own according to how you have set it, about as easy as it gets at a very attractive price.
Here is a short video showing you it in action:
This is another really well-priced burr grinder from a brand that is well known for coffee. Krups coffee machines have sold in the hundreds of thousands over the years and they have done a great job with this grinder.
17 settings for grind fineness ensures you will always get the correct grind size whether you are using a cafetiere, filter coffee machine or espresso machine or any other type of coffee maker.
It has a large 225g container for the beans and you can choose the number of cups you want to grind for, press one button and it will stop automatically when done.
Perhaps you only drink one or two cups of coffee a day and don’t want another appliance that plugs into the wall but you do want to enjoy a freshly ground cup of coffee each day.
The Henry Charles manual coffee grinder works just like a pepper mill. Fill it up from the top, turn the handle and the ground coffee goes into a container built into the bottom of the grinder.
Simply unscrew the base to access the ground coffee and brew a freshly ground cup of coffee.
Finished in tasteful stainless steel it comes with burr grinders similar to the electric burr grinders but without the higher price.
If you want no frills with no bells and whistles then this is a great value for money manual coffee grinder. Despite its low price, it does a great job of grinding your beans and it allows you to easily adjust the grind mechanism to get the level of grind fineness you require.
You even get a small jar in addition to the grinder to store your coffee beans in. Great value for money.
This manual grinder stands out from others within the same price range because it has two neat features that other ones don’t have. You get a black rubber collar that sits over the top of the stainless steel cylinder.
With some grinders it can be difficult to hold them properly and they can slip out of your hand when you are turning the handle to grind the beans but the rubber allows you to grip it firmly making the grinding process easy.
It also has a hole in it so that you can remove the handle when not in use and store it on the side of the grinder inside the rubber collar making it easier to store and more convenient so you don’t have to look for the handle each time you get it out.
There are multiple settings for all brewing methods and it produces a consistently good grind quality
Is a coffee grinder worth it?
Considering you can pick up a half-decent coffee grinder for £10-£20 it is definitely a good investment if you like to drink good coffee.
If you normally drink instant coffee and you would prefer to drink coffee that tastes more like your local coffee shop then its easily done if you grind your own coffee beans.
Instant coffee is the lowest quality of coffee that you can get but it’s the most convenient and easiest way to make coffee which is why most people still drink it.
This article explains why drinking instant coffee is a bad idea if you want to properly enjoy a cup of coffee:
Can you grind coffee in a blender?
You can if you want but it is not recommended. I have tried it and a blender will grind coffee beans but it’s really hard to get the ground coffee out and into whatever coffee maker you want to brew your coffee in.
The beans will also be chopped up into very uneven pieces which is not great when it comes to making a good cup of coffee.
You need the coffee grounds to be ground down into very small pieces so that water can permeate evenly through it.
For the sake of around £20 you are much better off avoiding the blender and getting a grinder that has specifically been made to grind coffee beans.
This article explains the best and worst ways to grind coffee beans:
Are burr grinders better than blade grinders?
It depends on how much you actually care about coffee. Most people will tell you that you should go for a burr grinder every time.
The problem with that is that these are people that care very deeply about fine-tuning their coffee in a coffee nerd kind of way and they do all sorts of weird and wonderful things to try and extract the best possible flavour.
Burr grinders are better than blade grinders because you get more uniformity of grind and more consistency but it really does depend on how geeky you want to get with your coffee.
If you make a latte with coffee that has been ground in a cheap blade coffee grinder and then you make another one with coffee that has been made in an expensive burr grinder then unless you are a coffee expert you probably would not be able to tell the difference.
So if you are just starting out with grinding your own coffee and you are not bothered about getting the grind of your coffee perfected and you just want a freshly brewed decent cup of coffee then a blade grinder will do just fine.
Are manual grinders better than electric?
Manual coffee grinders can be quite hard work so why would you bother using one when you can just throw your beans into an electric grinder and push the top down or press a button to get your ground coffee without any effort at all?
Manual coffee grinders are good for home use if you don’t drink a lot of coffee but if you and other members of your household drink coffee then you are much better off with an electric grinder.
Manual grinders are also good for occasional use away from the home such as in caravans or holiday homes or camping.
There is also an element of satisfaction to be gained from doing something yourself and not relying on electricity and an automated appliance to do the work for you.
If you apply some elbow grease and turn the handle yourself then it can add to the overall enjoyment of your coffee drinking experience.
But if you drink coffee every day or multiple cups every day then stick to an electric grinder because manual grinders are not any better and they can be hard work.
We have a detailed article that explains the merits of all the different types of coffee grinder across all the different price ranges:
And you can see all of our coffee grinder recommendations on this page: