In this article I will help you choose the best coffee grinder for french press.
Working as a barista I have used my fair share of coffee grinders. Everything from cheap blade grinders to the most expensive smart grinders out there.
For this article however I added a lot of research to my experience. I went through hundreds of customer reviews as well as professional reviews to find the best coffee grinder for french press for every category.
A good coffee grinder is a staple appliance in any coffee lover’s kitchen. Being able to get freshly ground beans at the touch of a button is a true joy.
Sadly though, the best coffee grinders usually come at a hefty price. Even “non professional” ones can be surprisingly expensive. And choosing which one fits your needs is not an easy task either.
That’s why I have created a short and easy-to-follow buying guide at the end of this article so be sure to check that out.
So without further ado let’s dive into the list and find you the best coffee grinder for french press.
Looking for other coffee-related content? Check out our other coffee-related reviews.
Here’s What This Article Will Cover
- Top pic – Baratza Virtuoso Plus
- Easiest to Use – Baratza Encore
- Best Small – Bodum Bistro
- Best Single Serve – Hamilton Beach Fresh Grind
- Best for Cold Brew– Breville Smart Grinder Pro
- Best for French Press – 1Zpresso JX
- Best Portable – Best for “Espresso” – Hario Skerton Pro
- Best for Moka – Porlex Mini
Want to know what to look for in a grinder? Go straight to the Buying Guide
Baratza Virtuoso Plus – Best Coffee Grinder For French Press
The Baratza Virtuoso Plus has a lot of things going for it. This is a workhorse that you can depend on. It gives you more than adequate performance for a french press grinder in a nice looking package.
Add to that the positive reviews from customers and you have yourself the best coffee grinder for french press overall.
So let’s go through some of the pros and cons of the Virtuoso Plus.
Let’s start by mentioning that Baratza is a Washington-based company that makes nothing but coffee grinders. This single focus shows in the products, from smart design features to easy user serviceability.
The Virtuoso Plus is well made and will last you a long time. The outside might seem a bit “plasticy” to the touch, but don’t be fooled, the interior of this machine has proved time and time again that it will keep working as long as you take care of it.
And speaking of taking care of the Virtuoso, the maintenance is truly low effort. Baratza’s experience in the business shines through here. They have done a great job of making the parts that need cleaning easily accessible and easily cleanable.
Adjusting the grind size on the Virtuoso Plus is easily done by turning the bean container. While a hardcore espresso lover might want a bit more adjustability to the grind the Virtuoso works great for french press.
While there isn’t too much complaining to do about the Virtuoso there are one or two things worth bringing up.
The machine seems to struggle somewhat with single dose grinds according to professional testers. It needs some tinkering to get the entire dose which adds to the total grind time.
Some customers have also mentioned that you need to play a bit with the settings on the Virtuoso at first to get it right. I would say that this is not an uncommon issue since a lot of adjustable grinders won’t work perfectly out of the box.
If you have issues with the machine, Baratza offers some of the best customer service in the industry.
Baratza Encore – Best Entry-Level Electric Grinder
Baraza makes it on the list once again, but this time with their most basic model. The Encore outperforms the competition by punching above its weight class in a few key areas that I will get to.
As a company Baraza will offer great customer service as well as a lot of replacement and upgrade parts, such as the M2 upgraded burr set.
Now let’s get into some of the pros and cons of the Baratza Encore.
The Encore is easy to use with simple settings and few buttons. You can pick and choose between 40 grind settings depending on the occasion. Stick to medium or coarse grinds since the machine struggles with the really fine grinds.
The catch bin works as advertised and collects most loose grounds. Although some people claim that it can struggle, especially with finer grounds. So be careful when cleaning it out.
The build quality is great for the price tag. Even though the internals are mostly plastic it is of high quality and has stood the test of time so far. The steel burr design is a nice touch that adds to both quality and performance.
The slow grind rate and improved gearbox are intended to reduce wear and tear which means that the Encore should last you for a long time. The slow grind rate also ensures that your beans don’t prematurely heat up, which can ruin the taste.
It is worth mentioning that the downside to the slow grind speed is that the Encore is kind of a slow grinder.
The low price tag comes with the downside of not giving you any nice-to-haves. Instead, the Encore gives you all you need and nothing more. This can be off-putting to people who want a bit more features on your machines.
Bodum Bistro – Best Value
This Danish grinder brings an interesting look to the otherwise uninteresting designs of the budget grinder market. It’s lightweight, sleek looking and has a few nice-to-have features on top of that.
This is a grinder from a company famous for their french press. So you would expect this to be the ultimate french press coffee maker at this price range, but is that the case?
Well let’s go through some pros and cons to find out…
The design of the Bistro makes it look more like a fancy kitchen appliance than a budget friendly coffee grinder. And while the build is entirely plastic, it doesn’t look cheap.
The quality is also better than expected given that it is a pretty lightweight machine. You can’t expect this machine to last you a lifetime however and parts like the switches do feel a bit flimsy.
One of the most beloved features on this machine is the non-static materials used to make it. Especially the catch jar, which is made out of borosilicate glass. A feature not found on even more expensive models.
You can set the grinder to 12 different settings from the finest, made for espresso (allegedly) to the coarsest, made for french press. However some users complain that the coarser grinds have very uneven results and need to be adjusted.
Something I know many of you might find annoying is that you can only grind for 200 seconds at a time. After that Bodum recommends a 5 min cooldown.
As mentioned above the coarser grinds are somewhat sub par, which can be annoying for french press. But after a bit of tinkering you should be able to improve those results. And given that this is a cheaper machine it is something I feel like you can live with.
Hamilton Beach Fresh Grind – Best Cheap Electric Grinder
Hamilton Beach makes some unique products that appear on a lot of our top lists for budget machines ( check out their single-serve coffee machine in this review ).
The Fresh Grind keeps true to the more-for-less ethos by bringing you a grinder that does exactly what it sets out to do and nothing more. The reason it beat out the competition for the Best Cheap Electric Grinder is that most reviewers tend to praise it for having a higher quality build than its competitors.
So let’s go through some pros and cons with the Fresh Grind and see if it might fit you.
As mentioned above the quality is what makes the Fresh Grind stand out. Now don’t expect this to be built like a Rolex with Swiss perfection in every detail. Quality in this case is relative and according to customer reviews the Fresh Grind is well built for the price.
Obviously, the price tag is a big plus with the Fresh Grind. If you need a grinder and you don’t want to spend more than 20 bucks, then this is your best bet.
When it comes to performance the Hamilton seems to have done a good job of delivering on their promise. The blades are durable and according to multiple customer reviews, they have stayed sharp for many years. The blades also achieve a consistent grind, important for the French press.
Customers even seem to enjoy the look of the Fresh Grind. Which is surprising for a cheap grinder.
The downsides to the Hamilton Fresh Grind are compromises that come with machines in this price range.
For example, the blades do not grind the beans in the same way as a burr grinder would. This means that the grind will not be good enough for espresso. You can still make espresso with the Fresh Grind but the result will not be up to par with the others on this list.
Overall, this machine performs beyond expectations and delivers great results for a really affordable price. Making it the best coffee grinder for French press if you are on a budget.
Breville Smart Grinder Pro – Best For French Press And Espresso
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro is a true gem for coffee aficionados seeking a versatile and precise grinding experience on a budget. The Australian company did a good job with both the design and usability of the smart grinder pro.
If you are looking for more of an all-around grinder for both French Press and Espresso this is for you.
So let’s dive into what makes this machine great and where it could improve.
With its brushed stainless steel exterior and minimalist design, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro has a premium vibe to it.
The machine’s compact footprint and thoughtful placement of controls and clear LCD display make it a valued addition to any kitchen countertop. “Compact” is relative though, so be sure to check the dimension before buying.
Performance wise one of the standout features of the Smart Grinder Pro that consumers remark on is its ability to consistently deliver a precise grind.
Equipped with stainless steel conical burrs, it grinds coffee beans with great precision. Moreover, the grinder offers 60 grind settings, from ultra-fine for espresso to coarse for French press, allowing you to customize your grind for every cup.
The intuitive LCD display lets you customize everything from grind time to the number of cups desired. The grind-by-time function in the Smart Grinder Pro means you can get by without a scale ( even though I would still use one personally ).
As with most things there are a couple of downsides worth mentioning here, although fewer than I thought.
Some customers have said that the Smart Grinder Pro can sometimes struggle with coarser grinds. This is typical in the “semi-budget” range of grinders, if it’s great at one end of the spectrum it usually faults at the other. It still performs decently for coarse grinds, just not as well as some others on this list.
Some people report jams now and then. This is uncommon and easily fixed by removing the hopper and upper part of the burr to remove the beans causing the jam.
Overall, this is a great grinder. It gives you the best customizability for a grinder at this price point.
Pair that with the features and high quality build and you have got yourself the best coffee grinder for french press and espresso with the Breville Smart Grinder Pro.
1Zpresso JX – Best Manual Coffee Grinder
The 1Zpresso JX brings quality and performance that I have yet to see in manual grinders below 200 dollars.
I find that most manual grinders are created with espresso making in mind. The coarser grinds that you need for French Press then come in as more of an afterthought.
The 1Zpresso thankfully breaks that pattern and makes consistent coarse grinds as well as fine grinds.
So let’s see what else the 1Zpresso JX can offer and if it is made for you or not.
The design and quality of the JX are just what you want. With its premium aluminum construction and meticulous attention to detail, it has a very satisfying feel. The build quality ensures no flimsy grinding and the ergonomic design makes for a smooth grinding process.
Equipped with a high-quality, stainless steel burr set, the 1Zpresso JX offers exceptional grind consistency that surpasses most reviewers expectations. The grind settings are easily adjusted to achieve the perfect grind size for you.
Cleaning the 1Zpresso JX is easy. The grind catcher comes right out and the steel burrs are easily accessible.
If you are on the go or like to move around a lot the portability of this grinder is perfect for you. The small size lets you put the JX wherever you want and the high-quality build means you don’t need to worry about it easily breaking.
The 1Zpresso is a bit expensive for a small manual grinder when compared to its competitors.
Weighing in at around 700g some reviews on amazon have complained about it being a bit heavy for when carried around.
Overall this is by far my favorite manual grinder. The grinding performance alone makes this stand out as the best coffee grinder for french press in the manual arena.
Add to that the quality and ease of use and you can easily see why this is your best option at the moment.
Hario Skerton Pro – Best Budget Manual Grinder
The Hario Skerton Pro Manual Coffee Grinder is a budget-friendly option that offers a delightful grinding experience at a welcoming price.
With its improved design and enhanced features, the Pro version caters to coffee enthusiasts who value affordability without sacrificing the essential elements of a reliable and consistent grind.
In this review, we explore the notable characteristics that make the Hario Skerton Pro a commendable choice for those seeking a wallet-friendly manual coffee-grinding solution
The Japanese design of this grinder makes for a very adorable looking grinder, kind of reminds me of that Totoro cartoon.
Crafted with durable materials, such as high-quality ceramic burrs and a reinforced glass container, this grinder ensures longevity and dependable performance. Although the glass container could be an issue if you are prone to dropping things ( slowly pointing the finger at myself ).
Despite its affordable price point, the Hario Skerton Pro delivers commendable grind consistency. The sturdy ceramic burrs effectively grind coffee beans to a uniform size, even the larger ones to some extent.
The Hario Skerton Pro is designed with user convenience in mind. The detachable handle and compact size make it travel-friendly. If you choose to stay at home the transparent glass container with a non-slip base ensures stability during the grinding process
The grinder’s simple assembly and disassembly make it easy to clean and maintain.
As I mentioned before the glass jar can be quite sensitive so that is something to keep in mind.
Even though the Skerton Pro does perform better than expected some reviewers have pointed out that it is still lacking in the coarser grind settings. It will still serve you well for French press, just not as well as the higher-end models maybe.
Overall the Hario Skerton Pro is a cost-effective option that offers commendable grind consistency and user-friendly functionality.
While it may not possess all the bells and whistles of higher-end grinders, it serves as a reliable companion for coffee lovers on a budget or those seeking a portable grinding solution. Making the best coffee grinder for French press if you are on a tight budget.
Porlex Mini – Best Portable Coffee Grinder
The Porlex Mini Hand Coffee Grinder is a compact option that combines portability and precision into one impressive package.
Designed with attention to detail and built for on-the-go coffee lovers, this grinder does all it can to make you forget it’s the size of a beer can. But does it succeed?
In this review, we delve into what makes the Porlex a good option for you, and why you might want to go for another option on this list.
The Porlex Mini is made with a slim and durable stainless steel body, making it lightweight and travel-friendly. Its sleek and cylindrical design will fit comfortably in your hand, allowing for more comfortable grinding.
Equipped with spring loaded ceramic conical burrs, the Porlex produces uniform coffee grounds. It even pulls off the coarser grinds which is unusual for a grinder this size and great news for french press.
The detachable handle and compact size facilitate easy cleaning and storage. The grinder’s simple assembly and disassembly make it easy to access the burrs for cleaning, ensuring the longevity of the device.
The low capacity of this machine is a natural downside to any portable device such as this one. Still worth keeping in mind though.
As with a lot of things made to Japanese perfection standards, the Porlex is quite expensive. But if you can pay the price it is definitely worth it.
Overall the Porlex delivers on all the fronts I would expect it to and then some. If you can stomach the somewhat high price you have yourself the best coffee grinder for french press that you can carry with you.
Coffee Grinder Buying Guide:
This coffee grinder buying guide will help you understand what type of grinder suits you the best.
What Type Of Coffee Grinder Suits You The Best
When I say type I am talking about how the grinder turns whole beans into ground beans. And there are 3 main ways of doing this.
Conical Burr $$
This is the go-to method for grinding your coffee beans. The conical burr crushes the beans into a fine powder by pressing it between two burrs of conical shape.
This is an all round good option that works great for french press as well as espresso.
Flat Burr $$$
A flat burr is an option more suited for baristas or prosumers. The flat burr uses teeth as well to grind the beans. This produces a finer and more controllable grind according to some.
This is more suited for espresso since spending the extra cash wouldn’t be worth it for only making french press.
You can kinda compare this to a miniature blender that blends coffee beans instead of smoothies. A blade coffee grinder uses a blade instead of burrs to cut the beans into the right size.
The plus side to blade grinders is speed and price. They are cheaper as well as faster than their burr counterparts.
The downside is that the grind will not be as fine or as even as a burr grinder. This can negatively impact taste, especially in espresso.
How Much Are You Willing To Spend
When it comes to price tags coffee grinders start at 10-15 dollars and go up to thousands of dollars.
As a general rule, you don’t want to go for the cheapest options. The low price tag might be tempting but those grinders are basically useless. You’ll be better off just smashing your beans with a rock.
For french press specifically however you don’t need to go for the most expensive grinders out there. French press is an affordable way to make delicious coffee. So the grinder needs to match that.
And besides, the fancy functions on expensive grinders are not going to do much to improve the french press in any way.
That’s why I haven’t included the more expensive grinders out there in the list either.
How Much Coffee Do You Plan On Making
If you are an avid coffee drinker you want to invest in a grinder of a higher quality.
This is because grinders actually have a maximum lifetime. For example a burr grinder will make you about 500 lbs of coffee before it gets worn out.
So if you drink a lot of coffee I would suggest getting a higher quality grinder, It will save you money in the long run.
By following these steps you can easily choose which one of the options on this list will be the best coffee grinder for French press for you.
Can You Use A Regular Coffee Grinder For French Press?
Yes, you can use any coffee grinder out there as long as it can grind coarse enough. While most grinders are able to do this the consistency to which they do differs. So check out my list above to find the one that suits your needs.
Do You Need A Burr Grinder For French Press?
No, a blade grinder will do just fine. Check out the Hamilton Fresh Grind, it is probably the best coffe grinder for french press on a tight budget if you want an electrical motor.
Is A Blade Grinder Fine For French Press?
Yes, in fact if you are on a tight budget they might be the better option for you. Check out the Hamilton Fresh Grind for an affordable alternative.
How Much Grind Do You Need For French Press?
You need quite a coarse grind for the french press. Usually between 0.75 – 1 mm is the sweet spot.
Is Coffee From A French Press Better?
No, it really depends on your taste preference but it is a delicious option that is very easy and cheap to make.
Why Is Coarse Grind Best For French Press?
Since french press requires the beans to be submerged in water for a long period we want a coarse grind to avoid over extraction. If you use a fine grind you risk getting some bitter aftertaste.