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Burr Coffee Grinders

Burr Coffee Grinders

Important considerations when choosing a burr coffee grinder for espresso...

Burrs

Burr coffee grinders use either flat wheel or conical burrs.

Flat Wheel Burr Grinders

Flat wheel burrs are used on all qualities of grinders, from low price high-speed grinders up to commercial grade low-speed direct drive grinders. Low priced coffee grinders often use small diameter burrs. They produce a passable espresso grind, but dull very quickly and are frustrating to use.

Most top range grinders also use flat burrs. In this case they are usually 50mm in diameter or larger, constructed from very high grade metal and designed to grind efficiently over a long time.

Conical Burr Grinders

Conical burr grinders use a conical shaped grinding surface and produce a more consistent grind than flat wheel grinders. They also dissipate heat well.

Speed

Coffee grinders operate at either high or low speed.

High-speed Burr Grinders

High-speed burr grinders are the best choice if you are looking for an economical coffee grinder, but may be quite noisy and will create heat and static.

Low-speed Burr Grinders

Low-speed burr grinders are the best coffee grinders you can get. They are very quiet, produce very little heat and little or no static charge. Also, the motor does not clog up with fine grinds.

Low-speed burr grinders can be divided into two categories, direct drive and gear reduction.

  • Direct drive grinders use high quality motors which spin very slowly, creating minimal heat or static and are whisper-quiet.
  • Gear reduction grinders tend to be noisier than the direct drive style, but are less expensive.

Grind Adjustment

The grind can be adjusted either in preset steps or steplessly.

Stepped Adjustment Grinders

Stepped adjustment grinders are the most popular type of grind adjustment. They can be divided into two types, self holding and lever release.

  • Self holding grinders adjust the grind by either turning the bean hopper or an adjustment knob.
  • Lever release grinders adjust the fineness setting by pushing down a release lever and then turning the bean hopper.

Stepless Adjustment Grinders

Stepless adjustment grinders are not as popular as stepped adjustment models. The grind setting may be freely set which is useful if you are trying to fine-tune your grind for espresso and need to make minute adjustments.

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