Looking to elevate your coffee game without breaking the bank? In the bustling world of burr coffee grinders, the $100 to $500 price range is where magic truly begins to happen.
Gone are the days when a premium grinder would cost you an arm and a leg. Today, anyone willing to invest up to $500 can lay hands on a fantastic grinder that not only outperforms those under $100 but also rivals some higher-end models.
The coffee industry has seen a remarkable enhancement in grinder quality at lower price points in recent years. Innovations in technology, craftsmanship, and design have paved the way for a vast array of options that cater to different tastes and preferences without compromising on quality.
But how do you sift through the plethora of choices? Fret not! We’ve taken on the grind (pun intended) to help you find the best match. We bought and rigorously tested 20 of the most promising grinders in this category, all to uncover the best coffee grinder under $500 for different user needs.
Here’s what we found.
Testing The Best Grinders Under $500 – Our Results
|Baratza Encore ESP||
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|Comandante C40 MK3||
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|Eureka Mignon Specialita||
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|Baratza Sette 270||
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|Fellow Ode Gen II||
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|Eureka Mignon Silenzio||
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- Excellent range for a variety of brew styles
- Looks and performs great
- Price: $195.00
- Excellent for single dose grinding
- Super high quality 64mm stainless steel burrs
- Price: $349
- Espresso-focused upgrade on the original model
- Really good all-round grinder
- Price: $199.95
- Makes incredibly good coffee
- Perfect for home, office, camping or travel use
- Price: $419.50
- Perfect for espresso machines
- Very small dial adjustments for accurate dialing in
- Price: $649.00
- Durable construction is built to last
- Exceptional grind consistency
- Price: $399.95
- Delicious drip, filter, pourover and other coarse ground brews
- Elegant design and solid build
- Price: $345.00
- Performs best with espresso
- Lots of custom mods available to upgrade functionality
- Price: $429.00
As lovers of all Fellow products, we were excited to review the Fellow Opus and put it through its paces. We fell in love with its sleek, matte black design right off the bat.
But it’s not just about looks; this grinder is an all-purpose gadget that caters to every brewing preference, from true espresso to French press and cold brew.
The Fellow Opus stands out for its easy-to-use interface and versatile settings range. With 41+ adjustable options, you can nail down your preferred grind size with precision.
Another feature we liked was the volumetric dosing lid that measures beans for up to 12 cups of brewed coffee, ensuring mornings are fuss-free thanks to the Opus’s anti-static technology.
It became evident quickly that Fellow places consistency on a high pedestal as well, thanks to the 6-blade 40mm conical burr set and powerful motor delivering 6Nm of torque. You’re guaranteed uniform grounds every single time regardless of your chosen brewing method.
As someone who appreciates a mean cold brew on hot summer days or loves waking up with an aromatic drip coffee, such versatility is refreshing.
When it comes to tasting, we found the coffee produced by the Opus had high body and sweetness with medium clarity of flavor. At $195.00 this grinder is an absolute bargain.
2. Turin DF64 – Best Single Dose Grinder
High quality Italian-made 64mm flat burrs
- Near-zero retention with less than 0.2-gram loss
- Stepless adjustment for precision grind quality from fine to coarse
- Powerful yet quiet grinding with low noise and fast speed
- Best all-round single dose grinder on the market
We’ve tried all versions of the Turin DF64 coffee grinder. The latest version is designed with a metal dial indicator and a new 2-piece declumper. It features 64mm Italian-made ItalMill stainless steel flat burrs, ensuring precision grind quality. For those that like to customize their grinders, the burr set is easily upgraded to SSP burrs or another set.
The stepless adjustment dial offers a range of settings from fine to coarse, accommodating the full spectrum of brew styles.
The DF64 emphasizes a clean and efficient grinding process. The single dosing and zero retention approach, featuring a blow-out funnel, ensures nearly zero retention at less than 0.2 grams. A 58mm transparent food-grade dosing cup adds convenience to the grinding process.
The DF64’s thoughtful design and functionality, including low grind noise and low retention, place it amongst the best grinders on the market at any price range. This is definitely the best espresso grinder under $500.
Like with the Fellow Opus, the Baratza Encore ESP is a game changer in the space for coffee grinders under $500.
One of the features that have made the Encore ESP a standout in our kitchen is its user-friendly design. Adjusting the grind size is as simple as a twist of the hopper, followed by a push of the front-mounted pulse button, or a turn of the ON/OFF switch. We’ve also come to appreciate the quick-release burr, which allows for easy cleaning without taking the entire grinder apart.
Built with 40mm hardened alloy steel burrs manufactured in Liechtenstein, Europe, the Encore ESP is engineered for consistency and durability.
The micro-steps from #1-20 allow for high-resolution espresso grinding, while the macro-steps from #21-40 cover filter brewing methods.
We’ve found the grind to be consistent, and the powerful DC motor adds to the grinder’s robust performance. The Encore ESP’s upgrades over the original are worth every cent, from the super easy adjustments to the single-dose cup and the major improvements in cleaning. Backed by Baratza’s world-class support and warranty, we can attest to the quality that users have come to expect from the Baratza brand.
If you want one of the best grinders for espresso under $500, that can also make a great filter coffee, then the Encore ESP is an excellent choice.
4. Comandante C40 MK4 – Best Hand Grinder
Unique mill technology ensures a uniform grind with virtually no fines across all degrees
- Made of high-nitrogen martensitic stainless steel with approximately 58 Rockwell hardness
- High edge retention with extremely sharp, individually sharpened Z cutting edges
- Newly developed mill geometry for a very homogeneous grinding result
- Grind quality is comparable with electric prosumer grinders
The Comandante C40 MK4 is the gold standard when it comes to manual coffee grinders.
The MK4 uses a unique milling technology, incorporating grinding parts made of 100% stainless steel crafted through patented manufacturing techniques. The result is an ultra-durable construction that stands out among competitors.
What truly distinguishes this grinder is the precision and uniformity of the grind, achieved through sharply curved and individually sharpened edges, almost entirely eliminating fines. Grinding at a speed of approximately one bean per turn, the results we’ve achieved with this grinder have been consistently impressive.
The attention to detail in the design of the Comandante C40 MK4 is evident in every component. The heart of the mill features a grinder made from high-nitrogen martensitic stainless steel, that boasts a hardness of around 58 Rockwell. This translates to high edge retention and incredibly sharp cutting edges.
The double-mounted axle is sturdily enclosed with stainless steel ball bearings, and the oak wood handle knob adds an elegant touch while providing practical removable functionality. We appreciated the secure magnetic connection that holds the crank on the axle as well as the durability of the Eastman Tritan copolyester plastic parts.
The Mk4 enhances the bean loading experience, providing two convenient jars, one made of unbreakable tritan polycarbonate and another of attractive brown glass.
We previously reviewed the Mk3 and it offers similar grinding performance as the burr set is the same. However, the Mk4 brings innovative improvements that make it the preferable choice in current production models.
Whether used for super fine espresso, pour-over or other brewing methods, once you’ve dialed in, the Comandante C40 does an outstanding job. The rock-solid construction, combined with the high quality burrs make this a must have grinder.
5. Eureka Mignon Specialita – Best Splurge
Silenced grind technology reduces grinding noise by 20 dB
- Easy to use touchscreen controls
- Equipped with 55mm stepless burrs
- New chute design with anti-clumping system for fluffier grounds
- Designed for both espresso & frew with versatile grinding options
When testing the grinder, we were immediately impressed by the Silenced Grind technology. The sound-insulated case reduced the grinding noise by an impressive 20 dB, making it quieter than most grinders we’ve tried.
We loved the touchscreen controls that allowed us to easily adjust the grind time for single, double, and continuous modes. The high contrast and large digits on the backlit resistive touchscreen provided a user-friendly experience, and the 55mm flat steel burrs, made short work of even the lightest roast coffee beans we tried.
We found the new chute design, enhanced with Eureka’s anti-clumping system, to be quite effective in producing fluffier grounds. The bottom burr adjust feature, which preserves the grind setting between disassemblies, was a thoughtful touch.
Eureka’s technological advancements such as the ACE System and “High Speed” Maintenance added to the overall convenience and performance of the grinder. Moreover, we appreciated the grinder’s compact size which was suitable for our small testing space without compromising its professional-level performance.
The Specialita’s burrs, coupled with the stepless infinite grind settings, offers a whole new level of control when dialing in, especially for espresso. We loved the all-purpose adjustable “hands-free” fork and the stepless micrometric regulation system, patented by Eureka, as they provided us with a precise and uniform finish.
We’ve reviewed this grinder as our “best splurge” as it is more expensive than $500 unless buying refurbished or second hand. However, if your budget can stretch that far, it’s a really worthwhile investment.
6. Baratza Sette – Best For Batch Brewing
Specialty Coffee Association award-winning grinder
- Exceptional for both espresso and manual brewing methods.
- 270 grind settings for the most precise dial-in capabilities.
- High-speed grinding up to 5g/second with minimal retention.
- Great for batch brewing and large coffee makers
During our testing of the Sette 270, we were immediately impressed by its build quality and construction. It’s no surprise that Baratza has won numerous awards for their designs.
With 3 programmable buttons, we found dosing to be accurate and consistent down to a tenth of a second. The dual dosing options enabled us to grind directly into both a portafilter and grounds bin, adding to the convenience.
The Sette has 270 grind settings, facilitated by macro/micro adjustments, which allowed us to explore different layers of flavor, from dense, syrupy shots to high-yield, tea-like extractions. It makes beautiful espresso and also has the capability to grind for manual brewing methods.
To get the espresso grind just right, some adjustments were needed, such as using the finer settings or installing the “shims” that come with the grinder to enable finer grinds.
In our tests, we appreciated the high-speed grinding feature of up to 5g/second, perfect when grinding for the 14 cup coffee maker in our office.
Finally, when it comes to aesthetics and design, we found the Sette 270 to be a beautiful addition to the kitchen. It’s not only attractive but also built with a focus on longevity. With regular maintenance, the grinder can provide an excellent and accurate grind for many years.
We did find it to be a bit loud, ruling out any early-morning quiet espresso preparations, but overall, the Sette grinder offers great value for its price, especially for those looking to indulge in a top-tier espresso experience at home. It’s loud but elegant, and its high-end functionality makes it a winner in our book.
7. Fellow Ode Gen II Brew Grinder – Best For Filter
Features 64 mm stainless steel, flat, uncoated Ode Gen 2 Brew Burrs, designed in-house
- Provides a flavor profile with enhanced body, sweetness, and medium clarity for a complex, balanced cup
- Offers precision grind quality with 11 settings and 31 steps total, catering to all roast preferences
- Faster and quieter than competitors like the Breville
- Offers single dose grinding for flexibility and ease in changing beans
We praised the original Fellow Ode highly in our review, so it’s of no surprise that we’re also big fans of the Ode Gen 2.
Fellow products look great and this grinder is no different. The compact and aesthetically pleasing design was a delightful addition to our counter space.
One of the standout features of the Fellow Ode Gen II was its grinding speed and noise level. We noticed that it was both faster and quieter than some competitors, completing a 17-gram grind in less than 10 seconds. This speed, coupled with its single dose grinding capability, made changing beans effortless—a clear advantage we found over other grinders.
We were particularly taken with the consistent grind quality, ensuring full and flavorful V60s, Chemex and Clever Dripper brews, with no off notes.
The new two-stage grinding geometry of the Gen 2 Brew Burrs provided a balanced and complex cup, suitable for both light roasts and dark.
We enjoyed the precision in grind quality, with 11 settings and 31 steps in total, allowing us to achieve the desired particle size with every use.
However, it wasn’t all praise. Despite its strengths, we noticed some minor quirks with the Fellow Ode Gen II that need attention. The anti-static technology, while effective, still left a few stray grounds on the countertop.
We also felt that the catch cup’s design, specifically the lid, was finicky and perhaps contributed to the stray grounds issue.
Though these concerns were minor and vastly outweighed by the grinder’s performance, they were areas where we saw room for improvement.
Nevertheless, if you mainly drink pour overs, filter coffee, French press or cold brew, this is the go-to grinder.
8. Eureka Mignon Silenzio – Quietest
Features a sound-insulated case with rubber mounts and gaskets for low resonance
- Equipped with stepless 50mm burrs made from resilient, hardened steel
- Utilizes a micrometric adjustment knob for precise grind setting changes
- Offers timed dosing with a side case timer for an ideal dose
- Handbuilt in Florence, Italy for an authentic touch
In our testing of the Silenzio grinder, we were immediately impressed by its quiet operation, living up to its name by grinding at just 73 dBA. The sound-insulated case, equipped with rubber mounts and gaskets, allowed for a remarkably low resonance.
We liked the stepless 50mm burrs made from resilient, hardened steel, and the bottom-burr adjust that ensured we didn’t lose our grind setting during cleaning.
When exploring the functionality of the Silenzio, we found the timed dosing and redesigned chute to be particularly noteworthy. The side case timer enabled us to grind our ideal dose, while the wider chute, featuring anti-clumping technology, provided an added convenience in our daily grind. The 1350 RPM motor and 50 mm flat hardened steel burrs performed efficiently, and the inclusion of Eureka’s ACE system made clumping a non-issue, ensuring consistent doses.
During our tests with the Eureka Silenzio, we loved most aspects of the grinder, the only minor concern was a few stray grounds, which could have been a usage issue on our part. Overall, the Silenzio has proved itself to be a quiet, efficient, and well-designed grinder. If you want a grinder that won’t wake the family up when grinding early in the morning, this is the best choice.
Electric Vs Manual Hand Grinders
Both electric and manual grinders have carved out their unique niches, each boasting distinct advantages. If performance and consistency are your top priorities without splurging on your budget, manual grinders might catch your eye.
Often outperforming their electric counterparts in the same price range, these hand-powered machines offer precise control over grind size and an experience many purists swear by. However, it comes with a catch: the hands-on grinding requires more effort and can be time-consuming.
Electric grinders, conversely, bring the convenience of speed and ease to coffee preparation. They’re ideal for those who need to cater to larger serving sizes or are always on the run. While they may not offer quite the same level of grind uniformity as a similarly priced manual grinder, their automatic nature makes them a go-to choice for many.
In the end, picking between electric or manual grinders depends largely on your lifestyle needs and personal preferences. If you want something portable or you’re ready to invest a bit more time and energy for a slightly superior grind, manual may be the way to go. If convenience and speed are paramount, an electric grinder is the way to go.
The Importance of Burr Quality
The heart of a coffee grinder lies in its burrs, and understanding their geometry, size, and material is essential to avoid the duds. High-quality burrs are vital in achieving an even and consistent grind, which translates to a more flavorful and aromatic cup of coffee.
The size of the burr, measured in millimeters, also has a significant impact. Larger burrs tend to grind faster and more thoroughly, breaking down each bean with precision. Material matters as well, with stainless steel being a reliable option for its ability to stay sharp and resist wear.
64mm burr grinders are hot right now, but there are plenty of other high-performing burr sets that can go from 30mm up to 98mm and beyond.
Equally essential is the stability and alignment of the burrs; they must not move or wobble during grinding.
Lastly, the shape of the burrs plays a significant role in how a grinder performs, with the three most common shapes being flat, conical, and block burrs.
Block burrs also referred to as false burrs, are generally found in cheaper grinders. They lead to muddier cups and should be avoided.
Flat burrs utilize two horizontal rings that grind the coffee beans into a consistent size, often leading to a balanced and uniform flavor profile.
Conical burrs grind beans between one cone-shaped burr and a ring-shaped one, often producing a grind with a broader range of particle sizes for a more complex cup.
Each burr shape offers unique benefits, and the choice between them may come down to individual preferences in flavor, texture, and brewing methods.
How Do You Brew?
Choosing the right coffee grinder is as much about matching it to your brewing style as it is about quality and budget. If you find joy in exploring different coffee types – from a morning espresso shot to an afternoon pour-over or French press – a versatile grinder that easily adjusts to various grind sizes is the way to go. Such all-rounders give you the flexibility to enjoy the full spectrum of coffee experiences without compromising on quality.
On the flip side, if you have a firm favorite brewing method, such as espresso or V60 pour overs, then a specialized grinder designed specifically for that brew style might be your best option.
Furthermore, some grinders are optimized for single-dose brewing, providing precision and consistency for a particular cup, while others are engineered for batch brewing, allowing you to prepare larger quantities efficiently.
Find Your Perfect Grind
Our exploration of the world of coffee grinders under-$500 has revealed a wealth of great options, each with distinct features and capabilities. Whether you’re a home barista experimenting with different brew styles or someone looking for a specialized grinder for your favorite morning espresso, this price point offers quality, performance, and innovation to suit a variety of grinding needs.
What’s your top rated grinder under $500? Let us know in the comments below. Happy grinding!