Manual vs Electric Coffee Grinder: What’s The Difference?

Last Updated on August 13, 2021 by Cynthia A. Rose

If you are a morning person r work till late at night, you require coffee to warm you up. The question of which coffee grinder to use is always in the minds of coffee lovers. There are a lot of factors to look out for when choosing a manual vs electric coffee grinder. Let us navigate through the two kinds of coffee grinders in this article.

Why is grind important?

The grind plays a leading role when it comes to making great coffee. It is as essential as the coffee itself. You will not be able to make a great espresso unless you have a quality grinder. It guarantees that the ground coffee does not assemble together.

When grinding, the grinder keeps the coffee beans cool and assists in distributing coffee in the basket equally. On the other hand, unequal grinds cause major problems.

Manual Coffee Grinders

A manual grinder is an affordable and easy-to-use coffee machine. It is able to fine-tune your grind to suit your preference. The following is the procedure to follow when using it.

  • Deconstruct the unit by getting rid of the locking ring, handle, and top nut. It helps you gain access to the inside of the grinder where you will make necessary amendments. For a finer grind, revolve the adjustment ring clockwise and anticlockwise for a coarse grind.
  • Once you are done with setting the grind, return back the locking ring. Ensure that the grinder does not tamper around with the adjustment you had earlier done. Put back the top nut and handle.
  • The next step is testing the grind setting using a few coffee beans just to be sure it is what you prefer.

By following this simple procedure, you can start grinding coffee using this manual machine.

Manual Coffee Grinder Advantage

Besides it being an “old school” machine, it offers the following advantages;

1. It does not heat up coffee beans

Most hand grinders do not heat up the beans during grinding. Theoretically speaking, it alters the tastes of the coffee grounds.

2. It is quieter

When compared to the automatic ones, hand coffee grinders are not noisy.

3. It does not need electricity

Manual grinders are suitable for people who love to travel and camp since they do not require electricity. You can purchase a travel-sized manual grinder to ensure that you are enjoying hot and fresh coffee while on the road.

4. It is small in size and affordable

For those on a low budget and with limited space, then manual grinders are the best for you. These grinders are both smaller and affordable than the automatic ones.

Manual Coffee Grinder Disadvantage

1. It gives inconsistent results

With a manual coffee grinder, you are the one to regulate how coarse or fine your coffee grounds should appear.

2. It does not control temperatures

The grinder is not also able to control the temperatures leading to overheating of the coffee beans.

Electric Coffee Grinders

If you are tired of brewing coffee manually, then an electric coffee grinder is the best solution for you. These grinders are quite expensive but offer tons of benefits when compared to manual ones.

Electric Grinder Advantage

The electric coffee grinder offers a lot of advantages to its users. These include;

1. It accommodates big batches and is fast

The electric coffee grinder is very fast in operation and handles big batches of coffee.

2. It safeguards your coffee beans’ freshness

The electric machine grinds the whole beans before brewing them leaving the coffee all fresh.

Electric Grinder Disadvantage

Some of the demerits of using this device include;

1. It consumes a lot of electricity

When it comes to power consumption, the electric grinder is top on the list. You will realize that your electricity bills will be going up if you are a regular user of the machine.

2. It is expensive

At times purchasing an electric machine may exceed your budget as it is very pricey.

Manual vs Electric Coffee Grinder

We shall look at manual vs electric coffee grinders in a tabular form.



Cleaning It is easy to maintain and clean Complex to clean
Noise It produces less noise It is very noisy
Price implication Very affordable Very expensive
Durability It is very durable Not durable
Size It is large Small in size

Which one is right for you?

The manual coffee grinder definitely carries the day. It is the best especially for commercial use as it does not consume a lot of power and is easy to clean and maintain. It also saves you the trouble of always changing it since it is durable. When it comes to cost, you will get exactly what you want at an affordable rate.

It gives you great coffee saving you the trouble of having to take it from a café. The hand coffee grinders are the best when it comes to mobility. Enjoy your road trips without any worry. You can comfortably carry it around and the good news is that you will enjoy hot and fresh-made coffee as you are on the wheels.

Factors to consider when purchasing both manual vs electric coffee grinder

You do not wake up one day and walk into a shop to purchase a grinder without a plan. You need to do your due diligence before buying one. The following are some of the things you need to look out for when buying one;

  • The coffee bean’s texture

When sourcing for a grinder, consider the kind of machine that will be performing the actual grinding. For a creamy finish with a French press taste, cold brew, and smooth drink, settle for a manual grinder. The manual grinder makes a coarser texture that is suitable for these methods.

On the other hand, if you love a cup of espresso, go for the electric grinder.

  • Budget factor

There is a difference in cost between electric and manual coffee grinders. As you start to search for a grinder, ensure that you work within your budget. A manual one goes for $10 to $20 making it an affordable alternative. As for the electric one, you will part away with a $15–$30 price range.

  • Portability

It is essential to consider the portability factor when purchasing a coffee grinder. If you are always on the road or love camping, a manual coffee grinder will suit you best. As for electric grinders, they are mostly placed in the kitchen and limit movement.

  • Grind consistency

Ensure that you lookout for uniformity in grinding. The blade grinder is not uniform when it comes to size leaving the coffee with a bad taste. A consistent grind means a great cup of coffee.

  • Durability

As you shop for a coffee grinder, look for the one that will last longer. It will save you the trouble of unnecessary repair and maintenance.

Reasons for testing coffee grinders

Once you determine all the factors needed before buying the coffee appliance, the next step would be testing it. Testing the appliance is both applicable for manual and electric burr grinders. The reasons for testing the grinders are;

  • Fine grinds are uncomplicated to find

Various kinds of coffee require different-sized grounds, so purchase a coffee grinder that is consistent in grind size. For instance, cafetiere coffee needs coarse grounds while espressos require fine powder-like grounds.

  • Manual burr grinders are consistent

In terms of consistency, burr grinders carry the day when compared to the blade ones. The blade grinders are unable to completely crush the grounds. The burr ones will grind them completely leaving you with freshly ground coffee.

  • Almost all electric grinders produce noise

The electric grinders are very noisy and can wake up your whole house. It is important to do a prior test on them so as to know which is the best room to put them to avoid unnecessary commotions.

As for the manual ones, you will literally not know where there is a coffee grinder in the kitchen as the noise is very minimal.

  • Having more grind settings is not always recommendable

It is essential to note that having extra grind settings does not necessarily mean that you will get more benefits from the grinder. The grinder needs to be checked before using so as to set the necessary settings. Once they are set, it will be easy for you to grind your coffee properly without any problems.

  • Some grinders are difficult to clean

There is a lot of cleaning involved after using a grinder. Some grinders are left with stubborn powder stains making it difficult to clean them. This is why testing the grinder first is in order so as to know how to handle the different types of powder stains when cleaning it.

In this area, the manual coffee grinders are the best as they are easy to clean when compared to their electric counterparts.

Manual vs Electric burr coffee grinders

When it comes to burr coffee grinders, you will take home the electric ones. It is because they are pain-free and very fast in operation. People who have suffered hand injuries prefer this burr grinder because with just a click of a button the machine does everything.

The electric burr grinders are also convenient and easy to use and assemble. Be sure to clean your grinder regularly so as to avoid stubborn stains that will cause havoc when using it in the future. With just a push of a button, everything is sorted. Ensure that if you really want this grinder, you will part with quite a huge share of capital. Its operation is worth every penny.

If you have enough space in your kitchen to keep a bulky machine, then the electric burr coffee grinder is the thing for you. You will enjoy perfect espressos, cappuccino, latte, and fine ground coffee with this machine.

When shopping around for an electric burr coffee grinder, do your research thoroughly so as to make no mistake of buying a counterfeit product. You can ask around friends who have to use this gadget before. If it is a shop with an online presence, ensure that you visit their website and read the customer reviews about the product.

With all of this information at hand, you will be sure to get what you really want when you go shopping for it.

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The Bottom Line

The above article has share real facts on the manual vs electric coffee grinder. Use this information if you want to learn more about both. After all, drinking coffee should not be a one-day affair. With the right device, you will continue to enjoy all the kinds of coffee you want without any stress.

Just know which of the two grinders meets your coffee expectations and go for it whether it is for family or business use.