Oxo Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder Review: Yay or Nay?
If you’re starting to get serious about coffee, you’ve probably realized that pre-ground coffee won’t cut it. You need a good grinder. You need a burr grinder!
If you don’t want to break the bank with a fancy prosumer grinder, there are a few worthwhile lower-priced options. And of these, the Oxo Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder offers the best bang for your buck. Keep reading to find out why.
SUMMARY: The Oxo Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
- High quality 40 mm stainless steel conical burr set with 15 grind settings
- Great value for money thanks to above-average grinding consistency
- Easy to use with one-touch grinding capability
It’s wonderful. You can easily adjust the grind from coarse to fine, and there is a timer so you can get the exact amount of ground coffee that you want.– Customer
The Full Oxo Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder Review
Looking for more than just a quick summary? Keep reading as I explore the nitty-gritty details of this popular and affordable burr coffee grinder. We’ll strip it from its build quality to its value for money.
Design – 4/5
The Oxo Brew Conical Burr grinder is well designed from an aesthetic standpoint. No surprise for a company that has built its reputation on functional and attractive kitchenware (1).
It’s nice and compact.
With a small footprint of just 6.8” x 11.8”, it won’t take up a lot of space on your counter. It is relatively tall, at 14.8”, but still low enough to slide under your upper cupboards. Its slender body coupled with the more substantial height gives it a stately appearance, enhanced by its shiny silver finish.
Perhaps the standout feature in the design of this grinder is the bean hopper. With a 12 ounce capacity, it is larger than most of its competitors. But even more impressive is its airtight design and UV tint. This allows you to store coffee beans in the bean hopper for up to a week at a time without worrying that they will degrade.
Durability – 3/5
As one of the cheaper electric burr grinders on the market, I won’t claim that this Oxo conical burr grinder is built to last forever. But it does have some nice features to enhance its longevity.
Most impressive in this price range is that the top burr is removable for easy cleaning. By making this kind of basic maintenance as easy as possible, Oxo helps you increase the lifespan of your grinder. Unfortunately, the bottom burr isn’t removable, a feature some users have requested.
Additionally, the amount of stainless steel on this model, including exterior panels, the grounds catch bin, and the burrs themselves, makes this grinder more durable than most. On this exterior, this helps avoid rust and makes this grinder easy to keep clean. And while stainless steel burrs do dull a bit faster than ceramic, they are less brittle, making them far more durable in the long run.
Ease of Use – 3.5/5
The Oxo Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder uses a timer to dose the right amount of ground coffee instead of a grinder with an integrated scale. A scale is a bit more accurate and more expensive, and more apt to break (2).
The timer on this model is especially great because it maintains your setting. So as long as you’re grinding the same amount each day, which is certainly true for many of us, you only need to press a single button to get the perfect amount.
The most common complaint about this coffee grinder is that it is pretty loud. But that isn’t true. The Oxo conical burr grinder uses a relatively slow grinding speed to keep the noise level moderate at about 88 dB. This is comparable to other grinders in its class. However, it has a particularly high-pitched sound that certainly isn’t pleasant. It won’t last long as the timer maxes out at 30 seconds, but if you’re sensitive to high-pitched sounds, this may not be the grinder for you.
There are also some issues with static causing the grinds to jump out of or get stuck in the grounds bin. This is a common issue with nearly every reasonably priced grinder, as it’s quite expensive to tackle. In fact, the steel bin of this Oxo burr grinder is better than many plastic options in this regard.
Grinding Capability – 4/5
At the heart of this grinder is an impressive set of 40 mm stainless steel conical burrs. Stainless-steel burrs have three advantages over ceramic, the other popular material in this price range, making them generally preferred by experts. Steel burrs are:
- Sharper than ceramic, though they will dull more quickly.
- Less brittle and thus more durable.
- Steel is more thermally conductive, which means these burrs dissipate their heat more quickly than ceramic.
On the other hand, the great burr shape debate between flat and conical burrs continues to rage among coffee nerds. In the end, it mostly comes down to personal preference.
Flat burrs usually offer better grind consistency. According to Marco Beltrame, a grinder brand Della Corte technician, this is because they are easier to align (3). That said, some tasters prefer coffee brewed with a bit of grind size distribution, believing it offers more body.
In conical burrs, it is necessary to achieve perfect parallelism and perfect concentricity, while with flat burrs, only parallelism is important. Therefore, it is easier to obtain better homogeneity of the particle size.
Conical burrs, for their part, offer lower retention, which means more accurate dosing. If you like to brew coffee with a precise recipe, this will be important to you. And if you are worried about grind consistency, you’ll be happy to hear that the Oxo burr grinder punches above its weight in this category.
This grinder has 15 grind settings, which is not all that many relative to some of its competitors. So it’s probably not the right coffee grinder if you’re looking to dial in the perfect espresso. But for filter coffee or a coarse grind for French Press or cold brew, it works perfectly.
Value for Money – 4.5/5
Value for money is where the Oxo Brew Conical Burr grinder really shines. No, it’s not the best grinder on the market. But it could easily be the best grinder at this price.
I’d even venture that it’s better than some more expensive models thanks to its impressive grind consistency.
If you’re primarily interested in brewing drip or filter coffee, you’ll get your money’s worth.
In the following section, I’ve suggested some alternative grinders for those with other preferences. But it’s worth noting here that all of them are more expensive than the Oxo Brew, some of them considerably so.
Don’t Buy the Oxo Brew Conical Burr Grinder If…
You mostly make espresso – Pulling a proper shot of espresso, especially if you’re using a non-pressurized basket, demands a high quality grinder. Not only do you need grinds fine enough for espresso, but you need them to be light, fluffy, and a uniform grind size. If espresso is your thing, consider a dedicated espresso grinder like the Baratza Vario instead.
You want flat burrs – As I said, burr shape is a personal preference. If you prefer the grind consistency and clean cup of a flat burr grinder, look at the whole line-up of Eureka coffee grinders. They come in various styles and prices, with options for espresso, filter, and both.
You want more grind settings – While the average coffee drinker will be satisfied with the range of the Oxo grinder, if you’re getting a little more serious about brewing a specialty cup of coffee, you might want a few more variables to tinker with. Take a look at the popular Breville Smart Grinder Pro, which has 60 grind settings, or the Baratza Virtuoso, which has 40.
The Oxo Brew Conical Burr grinder is a fantastic choice if you brew drip or filter coffee, especially if you grind the same amount each day. It offers incredible value for money given its consistent grind size and easy-to-use one-touch grinding. As long as you’re not put off by its high-pitched whine, you’ll have no complaints!
- Fox, M. (2013, June 21). Sam Farber, Creator of Oxo Utensils, Dies at 88. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/22/business/sam-farber-creator-of-oxo-utensils-dies-at-88.html
- Petrich, I.L. (2019, May 8). Gravimetric vs Timed Grinders: The Espresso Consistency Debate. Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2019/05/gravimetric-vs-timed-grinders-the-espresso-consistency-debate/
- Petrich, I.L. (2020, May 12). Coffee grinders: What’s the difference between conical & flat burr grinders? Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2020/05/conical-vs-flat-burr-coffee-grinders-difference/