7 Best Coffee Grinders for Pour Over Brewing
When you’re hankering for that first cup of coffee, the last thing you want to worry about is whether your grinder is up to the task. That’s why Home Grounds has put together this guide on the best coffee grinders for pour-over coffee.
There are a lot of different coffee grinders out there, but not all of them can make the perfect pour-over brew. This article will help you find the best grinder for pour-over to brew that morning cup confidently.
At A Glance:
The 7 Best Grinders for Pour-Over Coffee
A great cup of pour-over coffee requires an equally great coffee grinder. But a quick internet search will pull up hundreds of different options. So we dug a little deeper – and brewed a lot of coffee – to find out which ones genuinely perform when it comes to pour-over coffee.
|Baratza Vario Flat Burr Coffee Grinder||
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|OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder||
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|Breville Smart Grinder Pro||
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|Fellow Ode Brew Grinder||
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|1Zpresso JX Manual Coffee Grinder||
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|TIMEMORE Chestnut C2 Manual Coffee Grinder||
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|Comandante C40 MK4 Manual Grinder||
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The Baratza Vario ceramic flat burr coffee grinder is our best overall pick because of its exemplary quality and customer service. As a Specialty Coffee Association award winner, the Baratza Vario is a popular burr coffee grinder for home baristas and coffee professionals alike.
This best-in-class burr coffee grinder has durable 54 mm flat ceramic burrs for an even, consistent grind. What’s more, the Vario gives you an astonishing 230 settings, with 10 macro settings and 20 steps in between.
Unlike other pour-over coffee grinders on the market, Baratza has built this grinder with longevity and sustainability in mind.
All of its parts are replaceable, and you can choose to swap out the ceramic burrs for stainless steel ones for better edge retention. They’ve even included a tool to make this process very easy.
The same tool also fits into the underside of the Vario—where the coffee grounds drop into the catch cup—for even more precise fine-tuning of the grind size. You can easily extend the Vario’s grind range and recalibrate the burr placement, allowing you to dial in the grind size for the perfect pour-over.
Engineered with sustainability in mind, the Vario has many user-replaceable parts, is easy to disassemble for cleaning, and comes with information on various repair options. Baratza is dedicated to helping you keep your Vario running in peak condition for years to come.
The Vario is equipped with an eight-ounce coffee bean hopper and a 6.3-ounce coffee grounds bin, putting fresh-ground coffee beans for pour-over for your family and guests just a touch away. If you need to make even more coffee, Baratza also offers a hopper extender, which adds an extra 9.7 ounces to its eight-ounce capacity.
Lastly, this solidly-built, ten-pound electric burr grinder is backed by Baratza’s outstanding customer service and a one-year limited warranty.
To learn even more about this grinder, read our complete Baratza Vario review.
The OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder is our budget pick because of its excellent price-to-value ratio. The 40mm stainless steel conical burrs produce very uniform grounds in the medium-fine range, which is crucial if you want to make the best pour-overs.
Cleaning this coffee grinder is very simple, which will help keep it running longer and make it an even better value. Simply twist the hopper off and remove the top burr using its included handle. Wipe the top burr and hopper down and let them thoroughly dry before reassembling the grinder.
The OXO Brew Grinder also comes with a sizeable 0.75-pound coffee bean hopper and a 3.8-ounce—or 12-cup capacity—grounds bin, which is helpful for grinding enough beans to make pour-overs for anyone visiting. It has 15 grind size settings and steps between each, giving you the flexibility needed to dial in a perfect cup.
The only downside to this grinder is that it is relatively loud compared to others on this list. But unless you’re sensitive to noise, that is a small sacrifice for such an affordable model.
Our Oxo Brew Coffee Grinder review looks at this grinder in more detail.
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro is the perfect large-capacity electric coffee grinder if you plan to make pour-over coffee for yourself and some dinner guests. Its large 18-ounce bean hopper makes freshly grinding and brewing pour-over for a crowd easy and convenient.
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro’s 60 settings let you dial in the perfect medium-fine grind for pour-over every time. The upper burr can be manually adjusted, giving you even more control over your grind.
Unlike the rest of the coffee grinders in this guide, you even have the option of grinding beans directly into a paper filter for your pour-over coffee dripper, eliminating the mess of transferring your ground coffee from the catch cup to your pour-over setup.
The Smart Grinder Pro lets you choose between shots for brewing espresso or cups for brewed coffee like pour-overs. This ensures you get the most consistent grind and accurate dosing every time.
Our Breville Smart Grinder Pro review has much more detail about this versatile grinder.
The Fellow Ode Brew Grinder is the most stylish pick in our guide. With its small footprint, matte black finish, and minimalist design, the Ode would make a classy addition to any kitchen. And don’t worry, it’s not just a pretty face; this is also a fantastic coffee grinder for pour-over brewing.
With a single-dose, 2.8-ounce hopper and 64mm stainless steel flat burrs, it’s ready to grind your beans whenever you’re ready to brew a fresh pour-over. Moreover, Fellow has made the coffee-brewing experience much quieter by removing the gearbox and replacing the larger bean hoppers with a single-dose one.
With 11 grind size settings and 31 steps in between, there’s plenty of flexibility for fine-tuning the perfect medium grind to brew coffee with a Chemex or V60. We have a Fellow Ode review with much more to say about this grinder, or you can watch Steven from Home Grounds review it in this video:
As the first manual grinder in our guide, the 1Zpresso JX is a popular pick for anyone who’s looking for a versatile coffee grinder boasting a good balance between quality and affordability. It is one of few grinders in its price range with the chops for both espresso and pour-over brewing, making it one of best manual coffee grinders.
With 48 mm stainless steel conical burrs and a one-ounce bean hopper, the JX is an excellent portable coffee grinder for camping or backpacking – or just using in a kitchen where countertop space is at a premium.
The smooth action of the hand crank makes manually grinding beans for your morning pour-over a meditative experience, and it’s quicker than you’d expect. It takes under 25 seconds to grind 0.76 ounces of medium-fine, light roast coffee for a pour-over. And with 40 grind settings, the 1Zpresso JX is as precise as an automatic coffee bean grinder.
If you’re looking for an affordable but capable manual coffee grinder for drip coffee, look no further than the TIMEMORE Chestnut C2.
It has a unique, textured checkerboard-patterned exterior. And the 38mm stainless steel conical burrs guarantee a consistent, even grind. The 36 grind settings give you the flexibility and customization to dial in the right grind size for pour-overs.
The hand crank is buttery smooth, thanks to internal ball bearings that allow the crank to continue moving even after you’ve released the handle. So the grind speed is excellent, taking an average person 20 seconds to grind a single dose for a pour-over coffee maker like the Kalita Wave.
The one-ounce bean hopper strikes the perfect balance of capacity and portability, making it the perfect coffee companion on your travels.
If you’re looking for a cream-of-the-crop manual coffee grinder, we recommend the Comandante C40 MK4.
With a set of precision engineered conical burs, the C40 MK4 is our top manual burr grinder due to its excellent quality, ease of use, and consistency. Everything, from the hand crank and axle to the axle bearings and burrs, is made from high-nitrogen martensitic steel.
This specially formulated steel requires specialized machinery and experienced machinists, but it’s well worth it because these conical burrs have excellent edge retention. They’ll maintain their consistency and evenness of grind for years to come (1). You can learn more about this and other features in our comprehensive Comandante C40 review.
The MK4 has a larger bean hopper capacity than other manual burr grinders. Depending on the beans being ground, it can hold between 1.4 and 1.5 ounces. That’s enough coffee for a 6-cup pour-over coffee maker.
The MK4 has several customizable options and accessories. The genuine, hand-carved oak pommel is removable and can be swapped out for other styles. And you can choose wood veneers like American cherry or Virginia walnut, making this a great coffee grinder to keep on the counter as a permanent fixture alongside Chemex and V60. Comandante also offers barista brushes, cloth carrying bags, and air-tight coffee bean jars for pre-portioning or traveling.
How to Choose the Best Grinder for Pour-Over
Any coffee connoisseur worth their weight in coffee beans, including Mike Green of Prima Coffee, will tell you that one thing is a priority when choosing a coffee grinder (2).
Grind consistency and uniformity is the single most important variable in brewing consistently quality coffee.
So how do you find a grinder that delivers grind consistency while balancing quality and affordability? Keep reading, and this buyer’s guide will walk you through it.
Burr Grinders vs Blade Grinders
Burr coffee grinders crush coffee beans into specific grind sizes between either flat burrs or conical burs. Because pour-overs rely on water dispersion through the grounds, it’s important that coffee grounds are uniform in size and evenly distributed. Otherwise, you’ll end up with very inconsistent flavors.
This is why even fresh-roasted coffee won’t yield the best cup if you use a blade grinder. Blade grinders chop the coffee beans into uneven pieces. If you were to examine your coffee, you’d find there are both fines and large pieces, not a consistent medium-fine grind. Brewing coffee with a blade grinder results in uneven extraction.
Conical Burr Grinders vs. Flat Burr Grinders
Burr grinders can have either flat or conical burrs, and both work on the same principle, as described by coffee expert James Hoffmann (3).
You’ve got two cutting discs. One spins against the other…controlling the distance between the two controls how big the pieces are…
A conical burr coffee grinder relies on one main cone-shaped cutting surface. Because the cutting surface is larger, you can grind more coffee per rotation, both in manual and electric grinders. By contrast, a flat burr coffee grinder cuts the coffee beans using two rings of very sharp teeth, which spin against each other.
Conical burrs are known for producing more fines, producing a brew with more texture but sometimes muddier flavors. Flat burrs yield more consistent grounds and a cleaner cup. Many people prefer flat burrs for pour-over and a conical burr coffee grinder for espresso, but this comes down to personal taste.
Electric Coffee Grinders vs. Manual Coffee Grinders
There are pros and cons to both electric and manual burr grinders. Let’s look at what those are and why you might prefer one to another – or why you might want one of each.
Why You May Want a Manual Burr Grinder
Manual burr grinders start at a more affordable price. If you don’t want to compromise a uniform grind for affordability, a manual grinder is a great way to have fresh-ground coffee beans and great-tasting pour-overs. They are also relatively simple with few moving parts, which can drastically cut down the money you may spend on repairs and maintenance.
Because manual grinders are hand-operated, they necessarily have a much lower RPM than electric grinders. With more RPMs comes more friction and thus more heat, and the transfer of heat to your coffee grounds can negatively affect the taste.
Finally, if you are on the road or have little counter space, a manual burr grinder is a much better choice for its small footprint. When not in use, it neatly tucks away into a drawer, day bag, or cabinet, which opens up the space for your Kalita or V60.
Why You May Want an Electric Grinder
While manual burr grinders are more affordable and have fewer moving parts, grinding those coffee beans for your morning pour-over still requires, well, manual labor. And when your schedule’s already packed, that extra time and effort can add up.
With the touch of a button, an electric grinder will produce uniform, medium-fine grounds and dispense the perfect dose of coffee for your pour-overs into an air-tight catch cup. Some even have the option of grinding coffee beans directly into your pour-over dripper’s paper filter.
Leveling Up Your Coffee Grinders: Stepped vs. Stepless
Once you’ve well and truly embraced coffee as your life’s mission, you can decide between a stepped and stepless coffee grinder.
A stepped grinder has expertly-calibrated burrs, and each click of the adjustment knob moves the discs a specific distance.
These stepped coffee grinders are great for when you’re just starting your coffee journey or if you use multiple brewing methods and often switch back and forth between two grind sizes – like a coarse grind for French press and cold brew.
However, if you just want to dial in the perfect pour-over, then a stepless grind adjustment is the way to go. Unlike the tactile clicks of the stepped grinder, stepless burr grinders’ adjustment knobs are smooth, giving you total control over the grind size.
Burr Grinder Capacity
The final criterion you’ll want to consider is the burr grinder capacity. Ask yourself whether you’ll be making coffee for family and friends or just yourself. A burr grinder with a coffee bean hopper capacity of 12 ounces will be faster and more convenient when you’re entertaining as compared to a one-ounce hopper. On the other hand, if space is an issue, or if you plan to travel with your grinder, a smaller capacity will be more suitable.
Choosing the best coffee grinder for pour-over comes down to your needs. For regular household use, the Baratza Vario wins hands-down for its convenience, build quality, and uniform grind. On the other hand, for a compact grinder that can travel, we think the elegant Comandante C40 MK4 is the best manual coffee grinder for pour over.
To clean a burr grinder, consult your grinder’s manual first. Use the included brush to brush out any remaining coffee grounds between the burrs.
If you decide to disassemble your grinder, follow the manual’s instructions. Be sure to thoroughly clean all the components, keeping a close eye on all the O rings, washers, and screws.
Note: If your grinder’s burrs are carbon steel and you need to rinse your burrs, dry them immediately. Unlike stainless steel, carbon steel will rust with moisture (4).
Yes, you can grind other foods, like spices, with your burr grinder, but we wouldn’t recommend it. Coffee contains many oils and volatile compounds that can linger and impart off flavors to whatever you grind.
If you choose to grind spices, bread, or nuts in your burr grinder, be sure to thoroughly clean ti to prevent any lingering flavors (5).
Coffee grind size affects a pour-over coffee’s flavor. If your coffee grinds are too coarse, your water will drip down too quickly, leading to a sour cup and under-extraction. But if your grind size is too fine, your water will drip down very slowly—leaving behind a muddy, over-extracted coffee bed and brewing a bitter cup (6).
- Comandante. (2015). Comandante USA. https://comandanteusa.com/pages/info
- A Beginners Guide to Pour Over Coffee Brewing. (2019). Prima Coffee Equipment. https://prima-coffee.com/learn/article/coffee-basics/a-beginners-guide-pour-over-coffee-brewing/29106
- Hoffmann, J. (2021). A Beginner’s Guide to Coffee Grinders [YouTube Video]. In YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgjvLQu5NlE
- Rusty Burrs – Really?? – Baratza. (2013, October 15). Baratza. https://baratza.com/rusty-burrs-really/
- Holman, L. (2015, December 4). 5 Surprising Uses for Your Coffee Grinder. WonderHowTo; WonderHowTo. https://food-hacks.wonderhowto.com/how-to/5-surprising-uses-for-your-coffee-grinder-0166732/
- RealChrisBaca. (2017). Extract Everything 012: Pour Over Coffee Troubleshooting | High & Dry + Flat Bed FAQ [YouTube Video]. In YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1AeJ0MGSYI