Coffee Grinder Electric Vs Manual: Which Is For Me?

If you’re trying to grind your own coffee at home, our coffee grinder electric vs manual comparison will help you determine which is best for your needs.

Coffee grinder electric vs Manual

I’ve always been a coffee lover, but a few years ago, I started to grind my own beans. The process is a bit more time-consuming, but I actually save money by buying beans in bulk, and the coffee is so much better and more flavorful. 

When I decided to switch to at-home grinding, I was faced with a choice – electric or manual. At first, I thought an electric grinder was far superior, but I wound up buying a small manual grinder for work trips, and I find myself using it about half the time. If you’re unsure which type will work best for your needs, our coffee grinder electric vs. manual comparison may help.

What Are Electric And Manual Coffee Grinders?

Coffee grinder electric vs manual
Manual coffee grinders require that you turn the mechanics by hand

An electric coffee grinder is a machine that automatically grinds your coffee beans when you turn it on. There are two primary types of electric grindersblade and burr. Both types have pros and cons, but I find that a flat burr grinder delivers the best results, especially if you like espresso or other coffees with a fine grind. 

Instead of plugging in a machine and letting it work automatically, manual coffee grinders require that you turn the mechanics by hand. Manual grinders only use burrs because it would be virtually impossible to grind beans with a hand-turned blade. Also, because you have to put in the effort to grind the beans, these models are often handheld and compact. 

What Electric And Manual Coffee Grinders Have In Common

What electric and manual coffee grinders have in common
Common element is that you can find compact electric grinders that are about the same size as a manual version

When choosing an electric coffee grinder, you can pick between a blade or a burr model. Burr grinders use two plates that rub against each other to crush the beans. Manual grinders use burrs, so if you buy that kind of electrical device, they have that in common. 

Another common element is that you can find compact electric grinders that are about the same size as a manual version. Some of the prices may also be similar, depending on factors like the brand and quality of the device. 

Coffee Grinder Electric Vs Manual: The Differences

CheapCan be expensive
A little loudVery loud
PortableNeeds an outlet
LightCan be heavy
Relatively slowSuper fast and efficient

What’s Better About Manual Grinders?

I find that manual grinding is ideal if you don’t mind getting a little bit of a workout when making coffee. Also, these devices will last longer because there are fewer moving parts involved. I could use my manual grinder for decades before having to retire it, while my electric model will likely die within five years. 

Another reason to use a manual grinder is if you travel a lot and don’t want to mess with outlets and cords. Plus, if you like to camp regularly, you can bring your grinder along. 

Since you control the speed and intensity, manual grinders can be much quieter than electric grinders. They’re ideal for early mornings before work when you don’t want to wake up the whole house.

What’s Better About Electric Grinders?

If you want to make large batches of coffee grounds or don’t have time to wait, I recommend going electric. Burr grinders will always be better for consistent results, but bladed grinders can also be pretty convenient and affordable. 

Who Should Get A Manual Grinder (And Why)?

Those who prefer to roll up their sleeves and do things themselves should get a manual grinder. Because you have more control over the grinding process, you can ensure consistent results. Also, anyone who wants to grind on the go needs a manual version. 

If you’re on a budget, a manual grinder is also a better choice. Because there are no motors or intricate electronics involved, a manual coffee grinder will always be less expensive than an electric model. If you’re looking for an affordable electric grinder, bladed devices are cheaper than burr grinders. 

If you like to go camping or travel often, a manual grinder is a better choice as it doesn’t need an outlet. There are small, portable electric grinders and battery-operated ones, but you might find yourself worrying about breaking them. Learn more in our reasons why you should buy a manual coffee grinder.

Who Should Get An Electric Grinder (And Why)?

Anyone who doesn’t want to do a full workout to get a cup of coffee should buy an electric grinder. While blade grinders are the fastest and most affordable, burr grinders are better quality and deliver superior results. Most types of electric grinders are quicker than manual ones, so those who make large batches of coffee grounds need an electric model. You might also be interested in our coffee grinder coarse vs. fine comparison. 


  • Jonathan

    Jonathan is an avid coffee drinker, although he's known to knock back a few energy drinks too. He's been a writer for over seven years, which is why caffeine runs through his veins. Find Jonathan on WriterAccess.