Coffee Hand Grinder vs Burr Grinder: How Do They Differ?

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You can buy ground coffee, but grinding your own coffee beans is still the best way to enjoy this popular drink at home. You see, coffee beans begin losing their flavor a few minutes after being crushed. This is why it’s much preferred to grind them only when you’re ready to brew yourself a cup.

If you want a coffee grinder, you need to choose between its two major types. Between a coffee hand grinder vs burr grinder, your best option depends on your needs. We’ll show you how you can choose

Coffee Hand Grinder vs Burr Grinder

Do you take the art of coffee-making seriously? If so, you’d know that an immaculate cup requires that the beans are ground just before you use them for your brew. A coffee grinder allows you to do that. To choose between the two, here’s what you need to learn about them:

What’s a Hand Grinder?

A coffee hand grinder or a manual grinder crushes and cuts coffee beans without the need for electricity. Instead, it has a hand crank protruding from the lid of the container. By spinning this lever, the beans are pushed into the burrs to grind them.

Advantages of Using a Hand Grinder

The act of spinning a lever to grind beans manually seems like too much of an inconvenience just to produce coffee grounds. So, why would you, or anyone for that matter, actually choose to make coffee grounds this way?

There are plenty of benefits from using this type of coffee grinder that you wouldn’t find anywhere else, including:

  • No Heat

One of the biggest selling points of a hand grinder, like this one from JavaPresse, is that it produces little to no heat. It’s common for electric coffee grinders to roast the beans further because of the motor’s heat production.

Unfortunately, this can significantly reduce the essential oils you get from the beans. And, in turn, affect the flavor and quality of your coffee ground. Since manual coffee grinders don’t use a motor, they preserve the quality of the beans and keep your cup of coffee flavorful.

  • Compact and Cheap

If you’re looking to save space in your kitchen, you might be interested to know that manual coffee grinders are compact. Without motors and electronics, they are not as bulky as their electric counterparts. Even better, manual coffee grinders are significantly cheaper than electric grinders.

  • Quieter Operation

Do you dread the sound of your electric grinder’s motor in the morning? It kind of jolts you up and puts you in a bad mood sometimes, right? Fortunately, this is something you won’t experience in manual coffee grinders.

The absence of the motor, combined with the slow speed of the burr, significantly reduces the noise produced. In general, manual coffee grinders are quieter than electric coffee grinders.

  • No Power Source Needed

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, manual coffee grinders allow you to enjoy a cup of coffee virtually anytime and anywhere. They don’t need a power source, so you don’t have to worry about bringing them to your camping trips where there’s no electricity.

coffee hand grinder vs burr grinder difference

What’s a Burr Grinder?

A burr grinder or electric grinder crushes and cuts beans by pushing them to two burrs rotating at high speeds. To do this, it needs electricity to power up a motor, allowing the burrs to spin. All you have to do is plug it in, flip the switch on or press a button, and let it do its job.

Advantages of Using a Burr Grinder

An electric burr grinder won’t go down without putting up a good fight. If the benefits of a manual coffee grinder are attractive, why should you still choose an electric grinder? Well, if you want to have these benefits, perhaps you’ll change your mind:

  • Convenient

The first and most important advantage of using an electric burr coffee grinder is its convenience. Everything runs on electricity, which means you wouldn’t tire yourself working a manual grinder’s hand crank.

Electric burr grinders have a button or a switch somewhere in their body. Pressing this will start the burrs, and releasing your finger will stop it.

On the other hand, some electric burr grinders are capable of continuous grinding. This means that once you press the button, you can leave it to its own devices and come back once it finishes grinding.

  • Versatile

Electric burr coffee grinders are generally more versatile than manual coffee grinders. They often have a grind size option with which you can choose the fineness or coarseness of the coffee ground.

Because of this feature, they are ideal for anyone who wishes to use their coffee grinder to make different types of coffee brews.

  • Durable

Unlike manual grinders, where you need to work the hand crank, electric burr grinders require little to no external force. Thanks to this, they are sometimes more durable than their manual counterparts.

In some commercial-grade coffee grinders, the burrs can even last anywhere between 10 and 15 years before needing replacement.

  • Fast

Lastly, electric coffee grinders work relatively faster. As you can imagine, manual coffee grinders can only grind the beans according to how quickly you spin the hand crank. Sometimes, it can take several minutes before you can prepare enough coffee grounds for just one cup of coffee.

On the other hand, coffee grinders run on electricity, and their burrs spin significantly faster than their manual counterparts. In some cases, it may only take you about two to five minutes to prepare enough coffee grounds for a dozen cups of coffee.

Which Is the Right Grinder for You?

Now comes the most important question, which grinder is the right one for you? The choice ultimately depends on your needs and lifestyle.

If you generally stay at home, we believe that the electric coffee grinder is your best bet. The convenience it provides will play an integral role in your daily life. It can prepare coffee grounds for one cup of coffee in just a few seconds, which is vital if you’re in a rush every morning.

Additionally, you just need to plug it in and press a button, which means you don’t have to exert much physical effort to keep it running. If you’re practicing making different coffee brews, electric coffee burrs also offer versatile grind size options.

In comparison, people who love the outdoors and enjoy taking on all sorts of adventures will benefit a lot from manual coffee grinders. The fact that they don’t need electricity makes them a great piece of equipment to have in remote areas. Plus, they take up little space in your bag, and they’re significantly lighter.

Lastly, a manual coffee grinder is an ideal option for those who want to invest in coffee equipment but don’t want to shell out too much money.

Choosing Between Coffee and Burr Grinder

As you can see, there can be no one clear winner in the battle between coffee hand grinder vs burr grinder. At the end of the day, what really matters is your personal preferences and needs.

We’ve laid down the strong and weak points of each one. It is now up to you to decide which coffee grinder will be beneficial to your coffee-making and coffee-loving journey.

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