I switched from a modestly priced blade grinder to a moderately priced cone grinder because the results were inconsistent (some very fine powder and some only fragmented beans mixed with usable grounds).

Will I have more consistency and control if I switch to a high-end cone grinder? I'm thinking about a refurbished restaurant grade grinder, not an industrial grade machine as one might find at a Starbucks or boutique roaster.

3 Answers 3


Yes, high end grinders are generally adjustable. Some even have macro and micro adjustments. For example the Baratza Vario grinder

Hand grinders are also adjustable, and provide a good grind. See the Hario range

The larger commercial grinders are sometimes aimed more at bulk output than at a precise and consistent grind. They grind the coffee very quickly, which may not be the quality you are looking for. Some people prefer grinders that operate at a lower speed so that the temperature of the burrs stays low, reducing the chance of the grind getting over roasted

Here's a list of mid to high end grinders. You will notice that they all have adjustments.



What you describe as a conical grinder is also known as a burr grinder. Burr grinders are important because they allow you to create ground coffee that is both homogenous and set to a specific granular size/coarseness. This is a key feature and selling point of these grinders and it easily allows the user to grind for espresso one moment and drip coffee the next.


Most high-end automatic grinders allow you to adjust for coarseness, not speed, as they're driven by a gear box that makes them operate consistently. This is important, because consistency allows you to produce exactly the same cup that you did previously by simply reproducing the grind / tamping / temp / etc.

If you drink exotic beans, such as alamid, then you probably want to also purchase a hand (crank) powered burr grinder as some beans are particularly sensitive to the heat that can be produced by the grinding process itself. While ceramic burr grinders do very well at minimizing heat, it's nice to have a hand grinder for when you want full control.

The Breville smart grinder is a very good grinder for home use at a just above entry-level price. All the control you want, easy to use, extremely consistent and handles baskets or portafilters of either size.

For a hand grinder, I'm quite fond of my antique steel burr grinder:

old but reliable

I can grind enough for a double shot in about 30 - 45 seconds, the top knob adjusts for coarseness while how fast I move my arm controls the amount of heat I produce just grinding the beans :)

I don't use blade grinders because you have no real control over either - they tend to get too hot and they produce inconsistent grinds.

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