Blade Coffee Grinders

blade coffee grinderBlade coffee grinders are the simplest and least expensive type of coffee grinder. Even though they are inexpensive, they can actually do a decent job.

A blade grinder consists of whirling blades at the bottom of a small container. You put the beans in, put the cover on and push a button to start the blades spinning to grind the beans. You can think of the way it works as a small blender.

Different brands have somewhat different features. For example, engineers have put considerable effort into designing the contours of the container holding the coffee beans to improve the mixing of the beans as they get ground.

All blades grinders have an interlock system that assures that the blades won’t spin if the container isn’t securely covered with the top attached.

Other differences are relatively minor. On some blade grinders you need to hold a button down to keep the blades spinning. Others have a timer so you can have it run for a set time automatically. In some, the container and motor are one piece so you lift the whole thing up to empty the ground beans. On others, the container separates from a base containing the motor.

Pros and Cons of Blade Coffee Grinders

Blade coffee grinderAs a category, the pros of blade grinders is that they are inexpensive, simple to use and relatively easy to clean.

The downside is that it is difficult to consistently control the fineness of the grind and they don’t do a very good job of producing a very fine grind, such as you need for espresso. If you make espresso at home you are going to even need to buy your coffee pre-ground or use a burr grinder.

Also, the blades can overheat the coffee causing loss of important oils and possilbly creating a slightly burnt flavor.

In my opinion, the differences between brands of blade grinders relate more to convenience then ability to grind beans. The differences are relatively minor in terms of the quality of the coffee. You can make your selection on the basis of what’s important to you. I’ll suggest some specific brands that I like later if this is the way you want to go.