The Best Burr Coffee Grinders for the Serious Home Barista
A burr coffee grinder is a must if you want to achieve optimal extraction. In this review I’ll guide you to some of the best bean grinders on the market.
You must have a proper burr grinder, capable of producing somewhat uniform particles if you want to brew truly delicious coffee at home.
It doesn’t have to be the most expensive grinder out there (as some snobs will claim) but there are a few minimum requirements.
Today there are so many different types of grinders on the market, so it’s important to get the right one for your particular needs.
If you want to see my recommendations, then read on.
⚠️ Why should you listen to me?
In my time as a professional coffee taster (Q Grader) I have tested a bunch of burr grinders. Currently, I have 14 grinders at home, but I have tried many more models in my time as a coffee geek.
I believe a grinder is an extremely important tool, so pay close attention here, so you can find the right one for your needs!
How to choose the best home coffee grinder
Grinders come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s important to choose one that fits your brewing style.
Broadly speaking, grinders can be broken down into 4 main categories – however, there are exceptions to these rules:
From my experience, the Baratza Encore is at the sweet spot when it comes to quality, value and convenience.
It’s a workhorse that has proven itself over time. Another benefit is that Baratza probably has the best customer service in the coffee industry.
In reality, most people reading this are primarily looking for a grinder they can use at home to brew stuff like drip coffee or French press.
- ElectricConical Burr Grinders: Most people just getting into the whole ‘grind-your-beans-at-home’-thing, should pick a model from this category. It should have conical burrs made of steel and it shouldn’t necessarily cost a fortune.
- Electric Flat Burr grinders: This type of grinder is too expensive for most regular people, but many hardcore coffee geeks eventually invest in a flat burr grinder due to its more uniform particle distribution. Both when it comes to drip coffee and espresso, flat burrs tend to provide more flavor clarity.
- Espresso Grinders: These grinders are usually a lot more expensive, and only suitable for one thing: espresso. They can grind extremely fine, and are designed specifically for espresso. Even, if they technically can grind the correct coarseness for other brewing types, they are better suited for their original purpose. You can find them with either flat or conical burrs. Read my guide specifically to espresso grinders here.
- Manual Grinders: You can often find great value in this category! Due to their elongated design, hand grinders usually have conical burrs, (although I can think of two or three exceptions to this rule). Cheaper versions usually have dull, ceramic burrs, but the best manual coffee grinders tend to have high-quality steel parts. Hand grinders are versatile and can often be suitable for both pour over and espresso.
- Single-dose grinders: This type of grinder has become really popular in the last couple of years. A single-doser doesn’t have a big hopper, where you can store your beans. Instead, they have a small grind chamber that is designed for a single dose. So you have to measure out your desired dose before grinding each time. This is usually combined with very low retention. This approach is ideal if you want the purest and freshest flavors possible. (Pro tip: When we talk about single-dosers, we typically refer to electric grinders, but essentially, all hand grinders are single-dose grinders!)
- Commercial grinders: In the coffee shop you’ll mainly see huge grinders with flat or conical burrs. They are designed for volume and workflow. Often, they are also more consistent than the grinders home-users have access to, however, this isn’t always the case. Today, some prosumer grinders can actually rival professional equipment.
As other tools, burrs can have different shapes and be made from different materials. However, it’s hard to generalize and say that one size, shape or material is superior to the other. It all depends on the use case and the individual manufacturer.
As a general rule of thumb we do see more flat burrs in professional equipment but that doesn’t mean that they are more desirable tastewise.
They are just better suited for high volume. Also, they typically produce fewer boulders (big chunks) compared to the conical ones. But both types of burrs have their own pros cons:
- Conicalburrs: Common in entry-level electric grinder as well as hand grinders due to their smaller size. When it comes to espresso they tend to create a grind with better mouthfeel. Because they are smaller in diameter, they are typically slower.
- Flatburrs: Often used in the big, professional espresso grinders. They are fast and efficient but retain more grounds and can be harder to dial in.
Ceramic vs steel burrs
Ceramic burrs are usually cheaper than steel. They are often utilized in manual grinders in the sub 100 category.
In general they tend to be more dull than their steel counterparts. When used in manual grinders, it means that you have to do a lot of extra work using your biceps.
Ceramic burrs are rarely used in electric grinders; the main reason is probably that they are more fragile than steel and could shatter when getting in contact with a small stone that had gotten mixed up with the beans.
That being said, some manufacturers do use ceramic in their espresso grinders – most famous is probably the Baratza Vario.
One good things about ceramic, however, is that the material is rust resistant and stainless, unlike most steel used in budget grinders.
But overall, I think it’s fair to say that in 2021 the time for cheap ceramic burrs is over. Go for steel instead, and your life will be lot easier.
How to Clean a Burr Grinder?
I’m glad you asked about that question. I have an article here where I talk about how often you should clean a grinder and what you should be aware of.
What is the Best Coffee Grinder to Buy?
The best coffee grinder to buy is the one that fits YOUR needs. If you want to brew a shot of espresso, you should go for one that is capable of grinding very fine – almost to a powder. I know that’s a boring answer, but grinders are complicated. Check out my post here for some more guidance.
Are Burr Grinders Really Better?
The short answer is YES. They are way more consistent than blade grinders. This is important when it comes to coffee extraction.
Are Manual Coffee Grinders Better than Electric?
No, often manual grinders aren’t better than the electric ones. However, you tend to get more value for your money with manual grinders, as they are less expensive, while still providing decent capabilities. Check out my post for an in-depth exploration of this topic.
Is a Coffee Grinder Worth It?
Yes, a coffee grinders is totally worth it. It’s essential if you want to brew top-notch coffee at home. To find out why, check out this post.
Top Featured Image: N. Lundgaard | Source
- James Freeman et al, Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee – 2012 Oct
- Colin Harmon: What I Know About Running Coffee Shops (2017)
- Erol Uman et al: The effect of bean origin and temperature on grinding roasted coffee (2016)
Best Electric Weed Grinders Available Now
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- By Cecelia May Thorn
- Updated Jan 12, 2023 at 4:45pm
Electric weed grinders are perfect for anyone with hand or wrist problems. But the best electric weed grinder is also amazing for anyone who just loves convenience.
(If you still love old-school manual grinders, check out our guide to our favorite weed grinders of all kinds.)
Best Vibrating Grinder: Tectonic9 Manual Herb Grinder with Electric Dispenser
The Tectonic9 Manual/Electric Herb Grinder combines the best of manual and electric grinders.
It’s not a fully electric grinder, but its motor sure helps you get the job done.
You still have to manually twist the grinder, like with traditional weed grinders. But unlike traditional grinders (where you have to manually scoop out your herb), this machine actually vibrates the herb out through a funneled dispenser. You can place the opening right above your bowl (or vaporizer chamber), and the machine will dispense a perfect waterfall of ground herb directly where you want it.
Full disclosure: I received a free unit to test out. It works perfectly! While many grinders can get gummed up with the resinous byproducts of grinding, the electric vibrations simply dispel all the ground herb at the touch of a button. It’s awesome!
Best Herb-Viewing Window: LONZEN Rechargeable Electric Dry Herb Grinder
The LONZEN Rechargeable Electric Dry Herb Grinder stands out because, unlike the other electric handheld marijuana grinders on this list, it features a glass window so you can see your herb while it’s getting ground up.
It boasts a long battery life, so it can be used around 300 to 500 times between charges. This automatic weed grinder also comes in a wide variety of colors. This would make a great gift for the person with hand or wrist issues who also loves nifty gadgets.
It features sharp blades, but it won’t operate while they’re exposed, as an added safety measure.
Electric “Tobacco Shredder”
This Electric Tobacco Shredder actually works perfectly for cannabis, according to dozens of reviews. And one of my friends swears by this machine!
Fun fact: The only negative reviews of this product are written by people who wanted to shred actual tobacco in it.
Customers love how well (and how quickly) it shreds their herb. Some comment that it’s the perfect consistency for a vaporizer. Some don’t know how they lived without it before.
Unlike some herb grinders, this does not have a kief catcher. However, multiple customers mentioned that they used a small paintbrush to remove the kief after grinding.
Be careful not to over-grind your herb. If you press the button for too long, you may end up with a fine powder! However, you can see through the clear lid, so you’ll know just to pulse carefully until you see that your herb has reached the perfect consistency.
OTTO Electric Herb Grinder and Roller
This OTTO Electric Grinder and Roller is the best electric grinder and roller available today.
The Otto Herb Grinder uses “artificial intelligence” to calibrate the perfect milling pressure for your cannabis, which is ground directly into a cone. (It comes with unbleached, organic paper cones, which fit perfectly into the transparent lower chamber.)
You do need to tap the affixed plastic chamber down against the table while your robot grinder hums and whirrs. If you don’t tap it during the grinding process, the ground herb may not descend into the paper cone, and may get stuck in the grinder. But since the plastic is transparent, you’ll be able to tell if this is happening.
Full Disclosure: I received a free one to test out. It fills the included cones perfectly. You twist off the end and it’s all set and ready to burn. The package includes one cylindrical plastic “doob tube,” so you can send a friend off with a perfectly-rolled joint, too.
This is perfect for anyone who struggles to roll joints due to hand tremors, injuries, or other motor function challenges. It’s also great for anyone who has cannabis allergies, and doesn’t want to touch their marijuana more than necessary. (Cannabis allergies are actually more common than you might think — they generally pop up after years of exposure to the plant.)
But the OTTO Electric Grinder and Roller reduces the need to actually touch your herb. When the joint is filled, you simply push up on the plastic sides, and it comes out of the chamber. You twist the end and you’re ready to go.
Side bonus: The opening at the bottom of the grinder also fits perfectly over the mesh chamber of a Volcano vaporizer. They’re exactly the same size. (You can use the electric grinder portion of this unit, without attaching it to the plastic lower chamber that normally holds your cone upright.) So if you use other smoking methods, aside from joints, you can still grind cannabis directly into your other hardware.
With this humming robot sidekick, you may feel like a savvy stoner from the future.
Smallest Coffee Grinder: Best Small Coffee Grinder For Home
I live in an apartment with a tiny kitchen, so space was a premium when choosing what coffee grinder to use at home. This article is a summary of my search for the smallest grinder, what options I considered, as well as the best small coffee grinder I bought (spoiler alert: it was the Eureka Specialita below).
My small kitchen espresso set up with my Rocket Appartamento and Eureka Specilita.
I’ll start this guide by listing good small coffee grinders for home use, give an overview of each option (including why I choose my grinder), then I’ll generally talk about what makes a good grinder for your particular needs.
I’ll be focusing on espresso but will also list some mini coffee grinders for brew coffee. By the end of this guide you should find a compact burr grinder for your needs and budget.
If you’re new to this site I should also let you know that I am a barista of 10 years who now makes a lot of coffee at home. So I know what makes good coffee. I’m not just talking out of my ass. I have years of experience with different grinders (big and small) in cafe and home environments.
Best Small Coffee Grinders
Best small grinder (my pick)
If you visit any coffee forum, one the most popular home grinders is the Eureka Specilita. This is because it is quiet, fast, and most importantly compact. It comes in at 5.6 (L) x 5 (W) x 13.8 (H) inches and is the grinder I use personally at home. It also has automatic timed dosing that is controlled by a touch screen.
Budget compact coffee grinder
The Rancilio is a small espresso grinder that pairs perfectly with entry level machines. It comes in at 9.8 (L) x 4.7 (W) x 13.8 (H) inches. The reason it didn’t get my top spot is because I was looking for a grinder with timed dosing. But if you single dose or grind direct, then this is a great grinder for a good price.
Hario Mini Mill Hand Grinder
If you drink brewed coffee, a good hand grinder like the Hario Mini is likley all you need. It’s cheap, portable, and grinds good coffee for filtered brew.
If you like to mix up between manual brew styles from french press, to aeropress, to pour over, this is a great grinder. It’s very well built, with a big lever to make it easy to grind, and over 200 grind settings.
Small electric burr grinder for brew coffee
Fellow Ode Brew Grinder
If you want to step up from a hand grinder for your brewed coffee, the Fellow Ode is a popular option among coffee geeks. Since it’s electric you don’t have to manually grind your beans. It’s also small, coming in at 4.7(L) x 9.5 (W) x 9.4 (H) inches.
How I Picked My Smallest Coffee Grinder
Best mini espresso grinder
What I like
Timed digital dosing to micro second
Fast, grinds a double dose in 10 seconds
Size: 5 W x 5.6 D x 13.8 H inchesBurr: 55mm flat stainless steelBuild: Stainless steel, Italian made.
When I was looking for a smaller coffee grinder for my home I had to deal with limited counter space. I had to fit both an espresso machine and a grinder in a section of my kitchen that is only 23.6 inches wide (60cm). That’s not a lot of space!
On top of small size, the grinder I chose had to meet the following requirements:
- Be suitable for espresso.
- Quite (I’ve had loud grinders in the past. it was impossible to talk while it was grinding).
- Has low grind retention.
- Passed the wife test (can’t have an ugly appliance for everyone to see).
- Timed dosing.
- Fit my small counter space.
My Eureka grinder with portafilter holder installed.
What I Like
From the date of publishing this post, I’ve had the Eureka for three months. I’ve had enough experience with it with daily use. I tend grind 2-3 coffees a day.
So far the Eureka has met all of my above requirements and I have been happy with it. It’s consistent, I love the small size, it looks great, and it’s fast.
It’s 55mm stainless steel flat burrs alow it to grind coffee fast. It also has sound dampening features built into it that that make it quite for a grinder. You can actually hold a conversation while grinding coffee which I haven’t experienced before in the past.
There are only two minor negatives about this grinder. one being easily fixed, and the other is only a price concern.
The first is if you use the portafilter holder to grind directly into your group head the grinder can get messy. I recommend getting yourself a dosing cup to grind directly into. This makes grinding coffee a much cleaner experience. The portafilter holder on the grinder is detachable so it is very easy to grind directly into a dosing cup.
The second minor con is that this is an expensive grinder. However once you get this grinder you will see where the money went.
The grinder is built like a tank.
It’s fully stainless steel, comes in a range of colours, and is made in Italy. Honestly, for a home grinder you will likley never need to upgrade again.
It’s also important to remember that a grinder is more important than your espresso machine when it comes ot making coffee. so you want to invest in a quality one. Later on this guide I have a chart that shows how much you should spend on a grinder in comparison to your espresso machine. Keep on reading to check it out.
I’ll write a more indeth individual review of the Eurerka later on, but if you’re interested in checking out one of my favourite smallest coffee grinder, click the button below to view its price and more user reviews.
Small Burr Grinder Reviews
I’ll now be giving a quick review of the other small grinders I recommended at the start of this post.
The main reason I recommend the grinders on this list is due to their size and performance. They may be small, but they are still powerful enough to grind uniform beans.
Rely on a quality angle grinder for cutting, grinding, carving, and a host of other tasks.
By Timothy Dale and Tom Scalisi | Updated May 20, 2022 11:08 AM
We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.
Angle grinders are versatile power tools that can handle a variety of projects, such as cutting iron pipe to replace a faulty valve, carving wood to craft furniture, cutting tile for a backsplash, and removing grout from between tiles.
Interchangeable rotating discs—some made for cutting and others with an abrasive edge for grinding—can be swapped out based on the application. For safety, a guard sits between the disc and the handle to protect the operator.
If you’re ready to add this tool to your collection, read on for more on its capabilities and what to look for in the best angle grinder. Each of the top picks below was selected after an in-depth review of the market and thorough product vetting.
- BEST OVERALL:Makita XAG04Z 18V LXT Cordless Cut-Off/Angle Grinder
- BEST BUDGET:Metabo HPT 4.5-in 6.2-Amp Angle Grinder
- UPGRADE PICK:DeWALT 20V MAX XR Brushless Cut Off/Grinder
- BEST CORDED:Porter-Cable Angle Grinder Tool, 4-1/2-Inch (PC750AG)
- BEST LIGHT-DUTY:Black Decker Angle Grinder Tool, 4-1/2-Inch (BDEG400)
- BEST HEAVY-DUTY:DeWALT Angle Grinder Tool, 4-1/2-Inch (DWE402)
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Angle Grinder
There are a few things to understand before clicking “add to cart” on just any old angle grinder. The best angle grinders may have unique features, different power sources, and some might simply be better suited to particulars. The following points are worth considering when shopping for a good quality grinder.
Angle grinders come in sizes, denoted by a number that refers to the maximum diameter of the grinding wheel or disc it will handle. For most DIY projects, a 4-, 4.5-, or 5-inch disc will suffice. In fact, these compact sizes and weights are ideal for DIYers, as larger discs can become unwieldy or tedious to work with.
Larger discs (up to 9 inches) are more commonly used in industrial situations by professionals cutting through thick pieces of material. As the disc gets larger, the grinder itself must be larger to handle the cutting strength. This translates to a heavier tool that’s likely to cause hand fatigue sooner than using a small angle grinder.
Angle grinders are available as corded models (which plug into an electrical outlet) and cordless (which use a battery).
- Corded grinders typically generate more power at a consistent level due to the direct connection to the outlet. But corded models restrict the user to a physical location, limiting range without an extension cord. The cords can also be a tripping hazard and, therefore, a nuisance while working on a project.
- Typically, cordless grinders lack the sheer power of their corded counterparts. And functionality depends on battery capacity, so a dead battery could mean downtime in the middle of the project. On the plus side, cordless angle grinders offer hassle-free mobility and are better for use in tight spaces.
Angle grinder speed is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm). Speeds typically range between 5,000 and 10,000 rpm, though some very robust grinders reach up to 12,000 rpm. Keep in mind, however, that the rpm rating is under “no-load” conditions, meaning that the disc isn’t cutting or grinding anything, just spinning in the air. Once the disc is cutting or grinding, that speed will lower considerably.
Obviously, the higher the rpm, the easier and more quickly the tool can cut through the target material. But the disc also becomes hotter at higher speeds and could be vulnerable to rupture—an injury risk. Be sure to use the correct disc for the task, and note the maximum supported speed marked on the disc. For example, a disc rated at 7,500 rpm that is running faster can break under the force, sending shards of the grinder wheel flying.
Angle grinders measure power output potential in volts (V) and amperes (amps). Cordless angle grinders use volts to measure the power available from their battery, with most cordless models using 18-volt or 20-volt batteries and outliers ranging from 7.5 volts to 24 volts. The “magic number” in most cordless power tools is 18 volts to 20 volts, offering the best mix of affordability and functionality.
Fibonacci Luxury 4 Piece Herb Grinder
Voltage readings on corded angle grinders only indicate whether they can be used with 120-volt or 220-volt power outlets. Shoppers can assess the power output potential of corded models by checking amperage, which ranges from 5 amps to 15 amps. Larger discs will require a larger output, so for a 7- or 9-inch grinder, expect it to have a higher power output potential.
The guard on an angle grinder is a crucial safety measure that covers half the disc. Its purpose is to protect the user’s hands, by preventing sparks and debris from flying toward the user, and to protect surfaces from damage when using the grinder in tight spaces.
Some angle grinders have a movable guard, and others have a fixed guard. The movable option is more popular as it allows for left-handed or right-handed use and can adjust to better protect the user from flying debris. If left untightened, however, a movable guard can fall off the unit. Fixed guards are more robust, and there’s no risk of them coming off a grinder.
Because angle grinders are fast, powerful tools, they can recoil a bit upon power-up. This is particularly true if the grinding wheel is large and heavy. The recoil from the motor can result in the angle grinder jumping in the user’s hands, potentially causing serious injury.
To combat recoil, soft-start technology reduces the power output to the motor at first, slowly increasing until the angle grinder is fully up to speed. This throttled control over the power output prevents an angle grinder from recoiling during start-up, increasing safety while also reducing the jolt to the user’s arms and wrists.
Tips for Buying and Using an Angle Grinder
Keep these tips in mind when choosing and using an angle grinder.
- The most common DIY projects where an angle grinder will be of use—such as cutting tile or pipe, metalworking, or removing grout and mortar—rarely require more than a 4.5-inch grinder.
- The ongoing vibration of an angle grinder can cause what is known as Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), with symptoms including pain and cold sensations in the user’s fingers, loss of grip strength, and a loss of sensation in the fingers and hands. An angle grinder with cushioned or vibration absorbent material on the grip can protect hands from ongoing vibration.
- Always wear personal protective equipment (PPE) including safety glasses/goggles, hearing protection, and respiratory protection when grinding.
- Check the grinder before use to ensure the disc and guard are properly attached and tightened. Discs and guards can become loose between uses. Tighten them before connecting the power to the angle grinder.
Our Top Picks
While all that information on the best angle grinders ought to be helpful when shopping, there’s really no substitute for hands-on testing. Tom had the pleasure of personally putting all the following angle grinders through their paces during a recent metalworking project.
Each of the models reviewed passed our tests and met our standards (see “How We Tested,” below), though Tom found some models better for specific tasks than others. Note that all of the following models feature movable guards and screw-in handles.
Makita XAG04Z 18V LXT Cordless Cut-Off/Angle Grinder
The Makita XAG04Z is worth checking out by anyone looking for the best cordless angle grinder performance. This top-rated angle grinder features an 8,500 rpm top speed thanks to its brushless motor and the 18-volt lithium-ion battery. It can handle 4.5- and 5-inch discs.
What is The Best Weed Grinder? (For your cannabis needs): Cannabasics #112
We found the XAG04Z excellent to work with. While it doesn’t boast the highest top speed, the automatic speed adjustment enabled it to maintain speed during tough cuts and grinds. We noticed very little vibration thanks to the rubber over-molded grip and handle, and the lock-on switch proved to be a huge plus.
The only downsides I see: Assembling the two-piece handguard was a little awkward, and it would be nice if the tool came with a battery and a charger.
- Automatically adjusts speed and torque settings
- Slow start keeps the tool from jumping
- Lock-on switch
- Very little noticeable vibration
Get the Makita angle grinder at Amazon, Walmart, The Home Depot, and Ace Hardware.
Metabo HPT 4.5-in 6.2-Amp Angle Grinder
When it comes to DIY projects and budgets, not everyone can afford top-of-the-line tools every time. So those hoping to save cash and still get a quality grinder may want to give this corded model from Metabo HPT a look. It uses 4.5-inch discs, has a 6.2-amp motor, and spins at up to 10,000 rpm.
This is one of the best 4.5 inch angle grinder options for the money, and the Metabo HPT’s usefulness was somewhat of a surprise. I enjoyed how compact and lightweight it was in my hand. The location of the power switch is very convenient, especially during cutting.
The lock-on feature allowed me to kick it on and leave it on—very helpful in my project. My only complaint is that the Metabo HPT lacks the power of other corded models, and the 6.2-amp motor seemed like it could overheat during all-day use.
- Lock-on switch for long use
- Lightweight angle grinder (only 4 pounds)
- The most compact of all the grinders tested
- A little lacking in power compared to other corded models
- The 6.2-amp motor isn’t ideal for all-day use
Get the Metabo angle grinder on Amazon and at Lowe’s.
DeWALT 20V MAX XR Brushless Cut Off/Grinder
DeWALT’s 20V Max XR Brushless Cut-Off/Grinder cordless angle grinder could be the ultimate upgrade for pros and DIYers who take their tools seriously. This cordless model utilizes the brand’s 20-volt Max XR lineup, and its brushless motor spins 4.5-inch discs up to 9,000 rpm.
My experience with this DeWALT model was just as I expected: great portability and truly outstanding power. It made short work of cutting and grinding, without a cord to get in the way. The grip and handle both feature thick rubber, keeping vibration and fatigue to a minimum.
The safety features are certainly a plus: The electronic brake stopped the disc within 2 seconds (other models can take up to 10 seconds), and simply knowing that there is a kickback brake instilled confidence.
- Safety includes two-stage trigger, electronic brake, and kickback brake
- Excellent ergonomics and anti-vibration
- Plenty of power
Get the DeWALT angle grinder at Amazon, Walmart, and Lowe’s. Check for a refurbished DeWALT on Amazon.
Porter-Cable Angle Grinder Tool, 4-1/2-Inch (PC750AG)
This Porter-Cable product is one of the top corded angle grinder options for dependable power. This model features a heavy-duty 7.5-amp motor that spins a 4.5-inch disc at speeds up to 10,000 rpm, providing plenty of speed and power for workshop use.
The Porter-Cable grinder felt truly in its element on my metalworking project, handling cuts and grinds nicely. While it doesn’t have the most power compared to others on our list, it’s pretty close. It’s also one of the only grinders to feature a traditional trigger switch, which I felt was easy to use and more intuitive than most. I also really liked the top-mount position for the handle attachment, as it can make cutting much more manageable.
The one negative worth mentioning is that vibration control isn’t top-tier, so although it can take all-day use, the user’s hands and wrists might tire.
- Top-mounted handle position
- Comfortable trigger switch
- The 7.5-amp motor has plenty of power
Get the Porter-Cable angle grinder at Amazon, Walmart, and Lowe’s.
Black Decker Angle Grinder Tool, 4-1/2-Inch
If you’re searching for the best angle grinder for wood carving, sanding, grout removal, and other light-duty projects, Black Decker’s Angle Grinder Tool might be a wise choice. This affordable model features a 6-amp motor that produces up to 10,000 rpm of speed, and it’s compatible with 4.5-inch grinding and cutting wheels.
Black Decker markets this model at light-duty, DIY-type users, and that’s where it excels. This very affordable model is easy to use, thanks in part to its lock-on trigger. The three-position handle mounting system works for plenty of scenarios, such as cutting and grinding at unusual angles. Just don’t expect the Black Decker to handle heavy-duty jobs like large metalworking projects for any length of time, as it only has a 6-amp motor.
- Plenty of capability for the price
- Three-position handle, including top-mount
- Trigger locks into position
Get the Black Decker angle grinder at Amazon, Walmart, The Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Ace Hardware. Check for a refurbished Black Decker on Amazon.
DeWALT Angle Grinder Tool, 4-1/2-Inch (DWE402)
Heavy-duty projects like production welding and cutting require a grinder that can keep up, and DeWALT’s DWE402 can handle the job. This burly machine features an 11-amp motor and spins 4.5-inch grinding and cutting wheels at speeds up to 11,000 rpm.
I found the DWE402 to be the ideal grinder for my work, though not everyone will need its power and high-speed capabilities. It cut through angle iron faster than any other grinder, and it made short work of my large, lumpy, amateur-grade welds (though it’s definitely a pro-grade tool, and the speed-boosting button on the handle base helped a lot).
While this is one of the best variable speed angle grinders, neither the DWE402’s vibration control nor its grip got much attention on the drawing board.
- Pro-grade capability
- Very fast and powerful
- High amperage motor for heavy-duty work
Get the DeWALT angle grinder at Amazon, Walmart, and Lowe’s.
With portability and power in mind, the Makita XAG04Z is a great choice for almost any home workshop, though pros may also appreciate this model. And for those who need the best angle grinder for cutting metal and other heavy-duty weld materials, the DeWALT DWE402 has the power and speed to match.
How We Tested the Best Angle Grinders
Sometimes, I have the best job in the world. I’ve had a project on my plate for months now (building a welding cart), and it just so happened to be the ideal project to test these top angle grinders. I used the same set of cutting and grinding wheels for each model to make apples-to-apples comparisons.
I used each grinder to cut through angle iron, switching grinders between each cut until I felt comfortable with the strengths and weaknesses of each model. I recorded myself cutting all the pieces for the welding cart in order to determine how long each cut took and how easy it was to use. After cutting all the pieces, I welded the cart together (rather heavy-handedly, I admit, as it’s been a few years since I last welded).
With those big, burly welds to address, I used each grinder to knock them down to flush. Again, I noted ease of use and handling. In the end, I had all I needed for these honest angle grinder reviews—as well as a cart for my new welder.
Shopping for a Used or Refurbished Angle Grinder
Historically, most people would baulk at the idea of spending good money on a used or second hand tool, but today’s refurbished models are not the dubious equipment found at a neighborhood yard sale. For some time, reputable manufacturers and retailers have been offering refurbished or renewed products like angle grinders alongside new models.
The idea is that when a commercially viable fix is possible, it cuts down on waste—which is always a good thing. It may also offer buyers the opportunity to acquire products that might otherwise be outside their budget.
These should not be tools that have been beaten to death for 364 days and returned on the day the warranty expires. It’s true that often they have been tried by another buyer but will have been returned within a relatively short return window. Other times, they might be tools damaged in transit or in the warehouse.
So are refurbished angle grinders any good? In our opinion, yes. There’s every chance they could represent a real bargain. There are some interesting offers on refurbished or renewed angle grinders at Amazon and Walmart among others. However, care and common sense is needed.
- Specify the type of angle grinder you want first. Look at new models. Then see what you can get on the refurbished market that comes close to those specifications.
- Keep a tight rein on your budget. It’s easy to get carried away. The idea here is to save money, or get better value.
- You should be looking for a substantial cost reduction. If the saving is only saving 10 percent or 15 percent, it might be better to buy new. Make sure you know exactly what is included. Cordless tools often won’t include battery or charger, for example.
- Be sure to check warranty and return periods before you order. Don’t make assumptions, even if you bought from the retailer before.
While refurbished, reconditioned, or renewed tools are often excellent, there’s always a chance it could be a dud. Buy from a reputable source. Check the angle grinder as soon as it arrives so you can get your money back if there’s a problem.
Even with ample background on the best angle grinders, you might have some additional questions. Here, we answer some of the most common queries about angle grinders, so check for the info you need below.
Q: What kind of tasks can I use an angle grinder for?
The most common uses for angle grinders are metal grinding and cutting, such as steel for welding or metal piping. However, they’re also useful for wood carving, refinishing, and other projects. Some farriers even use them to trim hooves.
Q: How does an angle grinder operate?
After attaching the correct disc for the job, hold the angle grinder in two hands for safety and security (the tool’s initial torque will cause it to jump). Push the trigger down or hit the power switch, and the disc will start rotating. Move the grinder until the rotating disc contacts the material you want to cut or grind.
When finished, release the trigger or switch off the power button and wait for the disc to stop rotating completely before placing it in a safe location, keeping in mind that the disc is still hot due to the friction caused during operation. Unplug the power cord or detach the battery and allow the tool to cool down.
Q: How much does an angle grinder cost?
An angle grinder can range in price from just 30 to over 200, though it’s more common for these tools to cost about 80 to 100.
Q: How do you cut metal with an angle grinder?
Use a metal cutting disc on an angle grinder to cut through lead, iron, copper, and other metals without a problem. The rotating blade slices easily through metal, but it’s important to wear safety glasses and gloves because a significant amount of sparks are produced during the grinding process.
Q: How do you cut pavers with an angle grinder?
Angle grinder equipped with masonry discs can be used to cut through paving stones without much difficulty. Measure and mark where you want to cut the paver, then position it on a workbench. Turn the grinder on and start to slowly cut into the paving stone. Once you have started the cut it will be easier to accurately finish cutting through the paver.
Q: How are the discs on an angle grinder changed?
First, unplug the grinder or remove the battery. Then remove the nut that holds the disc in place, using the factory spanner included with the angle grinder. Replace the disc and tighten the nut bolt using the factory spanner.
Q: How can I remove the disc with vise grips?
Grinder discs are secured with a specialized nut that is usually tightened or removed with an included spanner. However, if you lose the spanner the nut can still be removed with a set of vise grips. Simply tighten the vice on the grinder blade, locking it in position, then use your hand or a screwdriver to turn and remove the locking nut.
Q: How do you properly recycle an old angle grinder?
Instead of tossing your old angle grinder in the trash, take it to a local electronics recycling location. Typically, the municipality or town will have a program for recycling electronic tools and other devices, though some home improvement stores, like Home Depot, also offer tool recycling programs.
The Best Spice Grinders for Your Kitchen, According to Chefs
Clarissa Buch Zilberman is a freelance Commerce Writer at Food Wine, specializing in product reviews and roundups. Her work has also appeared in Travel Leisure, Bon Appétit, Entrepreneur and Realtor.com, among other print and digital titles.
In This Article
It’s tough to beat the convenience of pre-ground spices. But with the right spice grinder in your kitchen arsenal, crushing dried, whole spices, like cloves or cumin, becomes effortless. By granulating spices at home with one of these spice grinders, you’ll have the chance to take full advantage of the complex flavors sometimes lost in a pre-ground version. Plus, using a spice grinder ensures you choose everything going into your next meal — whereas pre-ground spices sometimes contain additives that aren’t necessarily listed on the back of the bottle. (Scary, we know.)
While chefs love to wax poetic on old-fashioned mortar and pestles, electric spice grinders get the job done quickly and efficiently. So before you go shopping for your next spice grinder, consider these chef-bought favorites that are reliable, durable, easy to use, and even easier to clean. For every grinding need in the kitchen, we’ve got you covered, so read on to learn more about our top picks.
Cuisinart Electric Spice and Nut Grinder
Pros: A smaller electric grinder makes it quick and easy to crush your favorite spices while ensuring you make just enough to enjoy peak freshness.
Cons: This grinder itself is not dishwasher-safe, only the bowl.
A medium-sized grinder like the Cuisinart Electric Spice-and-Nut Grinder — not too big and not too small — forces you to grind your spices fresh. If you use a big grinder, you might prepare too large of a batch that will sit on the shelf for longer and ultimately lose its aromatic freshness.
The alternative is a grinder like this, where you can crush and smash in small doses, controlling the freshness to the maximum extent, explains chef Tarik Fallous of Lebanese restaurant Au Za’atar in New York.
FW Best New Chef alum Nina Compton, of Compère Lapin and Bywater American Bistro in New Orleans, opts for the Cuisinart Electric Spice-and-Nut Grinder, too. “It’s very easy to use, and the best part is that it can also be used to grind nuts. Another perk is that this grinder is easy to maintain.”
They’re not the only chefs who prefer the Cuisinart gadget either: Donatella Arpaia uses the same one. The space-efficient grinder features extra-sharp, stainless-steel blades that can handle ingredients like whole cloves to cinnamon sticks. It’s easy to clean too, with a removable grinding bowl and includes a removable airtight lid for seamless storage.
Price at time of publish: 40
- Material: Stainless steel blade
- Dishwasher-safe: Grinding bowl is dishwasher safe
KitchenAid Blade Coffee Grinder
Pros: This coffee grinder features one-touch control and a spice-grinding accessory kit to grind seasonings like coriander and cumin.
Cons: This grinder is more expensive than other models.
Top Chef star Jeremy Ford avoids a traditional spice grinder at his Miami restaurant Stubborn Seed. The chef, who stars in the truTV show Fast Foodies, says that the best grinder he’s ever used isn’t meant for spices.
“My favorite spice grinder isn’t a spice grinder at all—it’s a coffee grinder,” he says. “I use the KitchenAid one at Stubborn Seed because it’s so durable. It can withstand the roughness and wear and tear of daily use in a real restaurant kitchen.”
The KitchenAid tool includes a one-touch control, making grinding so easy that you’ll wonder why you ever bought pre-ground spices. Push down on the cover to begin grinding and release to stop, and use the clear lid to view the size and consistency of spices and grinds.
If you’re wondering whether you’re one of the only ones using a coffee grinder for spices, the short answer is no. This gadget is equipped with spice-grinding accessory bowls and specialized blade designs that you can swap in to grind spices such as coriander and cumin.
Price at time of publish: 40
- Material: Stainless steel blade
- Dishwasher-safe: Grinding bowl is dishwasher-safe
Krups Silent Vortex Electric Grinder
- Material: Stainless steel blade
- Dishwasher-safe: Grinding bowl is dishwasher safe
Best Mortar and Pestle
Cole Mason Granite Pestle and Mortar
Pros: This mortar and pestle will work just as beautifully as it looks on your kitchen counter.
Cons: This kitchen tool requires more effort than electric grinders and might not be ideal for big batches.
After years of trying various spice grinders and being disappointed, executive chef Ryan Pera of Coltivare in Houston, Texas, uses a mortar and pestle. “It’s reliable and multi-use,” he says. “I use it to make guacamole, pastes, even aiolis, as well as grinding spices.”
Maneet Chauhan, James Beard Award-winning chef, cookbook author, and co-founder of Morph Hospitality Group, would rather use a mortar and pestle, too. “This way, your spices aren’t ground to powder, but instead, they are left a bit more coarse, similar to cracked pepper versus powdered pepper, which gives you a better texture,” she explains.
In her kitchen, she uses the 7″ Cole Mason Granite mortar and pestle from William Sonoma, which is “the ideal size whether you’re working with a small or large amount of spices,” she says. “Another trick I often do is I toast my spices before grinding them, which gives you the best flavors,” she adds. “When the spices are still warm, they break and mix together more cohesively.”
This particular mortar and pestle is heavyweight black granite, which provides steady control when grinding. It works for both wet and dry ingredients, with an unpolished, rough-textured interior that will help take spice-making to the next level.
Price at time of publish: 41