Buying a coffee grinder can be intimidating. Not every person needs to spend over $300 on a precision grinder, but many low-cost burr grinders aren’t up the task. Finding a balance between performance and price is tricky, and as a 16-year coffee industry vet, I think the OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder walks that line excellently. As senior culinary editor Daniel Gritzer said in our coffee grinder review, “Priced at the low end of what a person can hope to pay for a decent burr grinder, this is the one to get if you want to up your coffee game by playing with grind settings but don't want to shell out for our other top picks.” And I agree with him—the next grinder I recommend is nearly 50% more expensive.
Burr grinders are built around two metal grinding disks that move closer and further apart to create finer and coarser coffee grounds, and the way those burrs are designed has a major impact on the quality of the ground coffee. Ultra cheap burr grinders use crushing burrs—meaning the metal disks have blunt bumps on them that crush the coffee into irregular shapes. The OXO Brew grinder, however, is the cheapest grinder I recommend that has cutting burrs, where the metal disks have sharpened teeth that grind coffee precisely.
Aside from our testing, our senior commerce editor Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm has used the OXO Brew grinder extensively at home. “The OXO was the first burr grinder I bought and it holds up years later: it grinds coffee quickly and couldn't be easier to use. With just one start/stop button and a top you twist to adjust the grind setting, it's just really great. Plus, at $100, it's very reasonably priced for a burr grinder,” she says. If you’ve been on the fence about making the transition from a spinning blade grinder to a burr grinder, the OXO grinder is a great choice (and easy on the wallet, compared to other quality grinders).
To buy: OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder, $100 at amazon.com
Good to Know
- Dimensions: 7.5 by 5.25 by 12.5 inches
- Weight: 4.5 pounds
- Burr type: Stainless steel conical burrs
- Number of grind settings: 15 (plus micro settings)
- Warranty: 2-year
Does an expensive coffee grinder make a difference?
High-end coffee grinders require powerful motors and more precise grinding burrs—and both of those things are pricey components. True coffee nerds will likely notice the difference in grind quality as the cost of the grinder goes up, but for most people, a moderately priced grinder (like the OXO Brew Coffee Grinder) will perform just fine.
How do you use an OXO Brew coffee grinder?
The OXO Brew interface is fairly simple—there’s an adjustment collar, which grinds coffee coarser or finer, and a built-in timer, which you can set to stop grinding after a certain amount of time. For drip, pourover, and French press brewing, we recommend starting with a grind setting around eight and weighing your coffee out ahead of time.