A guide to coffee grinders – part 1: blades or conical burrs?

A guide to coffee grinders - part 1: blades or conical burrs?

To obtain a great espresso coffee, in addition to a good coffee machine, you need a good coffee grinder. For coffee lovers, the grinder is a fundamental accessory that constantly guarantees the achievement of a correct grinding point for quality espresso.

The variables influencing the choice of a coffee mill are many: flat blades, conical burrs, with dispenser or without dispenser, grinding speed, manual or automatic adjustment system. Here below we just do a little ‘clarity on all these variables to provide a brief guide to the choice of this important accessory.

Coffee grinder with blades


It is the equipment of the classic kitchen grinder that through the blade rotating mechanism produces the crushing of the coffee powder according to the chosen level of grinding (finer or thicker powder according to the preferences). An important aspect of this equipment, which usually characterizes low-budget coffee grinders, is the rotation speed that generates a friction capable of heating the coffee beans, affecting the intensity of the original flavour of the beans. Within this range of products there is a high variability depending on the materials (steel, ceramic, titanium) and dimensions (from 45mm to 100mm diameter). The operation of the blade coffee grinder is usually of the manual type, with switch.

Coffee grinder with conical mills


Classic equipment of coffee grinders used in commercial activities that require the grinding of medium or high volumes of coffee. The mill is different from the blade already from the shape much more like a vine. The grinder, thanks to its shape, acts at the pressure level on the coffee beans by performing a more delicate crushing action than the rotary cutting of the blade. In this case the system avoids the heating of the grain with very positive effects on the fragrance and on the quality of the grind obtained. Conical burrs models often involve automatic or programmable operations and maintenance and cleaning mechanisms are much more practical and quick than those of the blade models.