What Is a Conical Burr Grinder?

To the average coffee drinker, types of grinder would be of no interest, in fact, they probably wouldn’t even realize that there are several types of grinder you can get for coffee beans, each with a different purpose. If you want to understand coffee grinding a bit more, then understanding a conical burr grinder is a great place to start. That’s why we are going over what is a conical burr grinder?

Grinding coffee beans at home is recommended if you want fresh and the best tasting coffee you can get. The moment you grind coffee down from its bean state, you start to lose freshness every minute. A basic grinder is useful for those who just want a quick fix, but if you start understanding the process being coffee ratios, grind sizes, extraction, and more importantly, you use an espresso machine, a high-quality grinder is an essential tool.

The two most common coffee grinders are blade grinders and burr grinders, uncommon grinders include those like lever release coffee grinders. We will specifically look at the Conical Burr Grinder. When purchasing a coffee bean grinder, be sure to look for one with different grind size options (the cheaper ones will have just one setting).

Related: Can you grind coffee beans in a blender?

What Is a Conical Burr Grinder?

A conical burr grinder is a type of coffee grinder that contains two revolving abrasive surfaces, or “burrs”, which are shaped like cones. The burrs are the part of the grinder that grinds the coffee beans. 

These burrs are mounted on a metal axle that spins at high speed and is often vertical. The coffee beans are fed into one of the burrs and then crushed by the other. The cone-shaped burrs create a more uniform particle size than other types of grinders, such as blade grinders.

The size of the grind depends on how long the beans are ground for and how much pressure is applied to them. The more pressure, the smaller the grinds will be; while if they are ground for longer, they will be coarser.

It is said in the coffee community that conical burr grinders retain less coffee grounds when compared to other grinders. This is important when you consider the amount of coffee you are getting out of a grind as you may end up going through more beans than you have to. 

Why Use a Burr Grinder for Coffee?

There are two kinds of grinders in the market, the burr grinder and the blade grinder. 

The conical burr grinder is the best option for anyone who wants to make an effortless cup of coffee. It grinds the beans evenly and consistently, which means it produces a more flavorful cup of coffee.

Blade grinders do not heat the beans as much as burr grinders because they use blades instead of metal teeth to chop up the beans. This means that blade grinders produce an inconsistent flavor that can be bitter or burnt.

There are some rumors that surround types of grinder, specifically a conical burr grinder. One of these is that a conical burr grinder requires less tweaking and maintenance to achieve optimal performance.

The other is that a conical burr grinder can bring out different notes in specific types of beans. Of course, this is subjective and has come from baristas and individuals, nothing has been proven in this aspect. 

What to Look for When Purchasing a Conical Burr Grinder?

The key to finding the best burr coffee grinder is understanding what you need it for. If you brew coffee at home, then you will want a more affordable and less powerful machine. If you are an avid coffee drinker that needs to grind large quantities of beans at once, then you will need something with more power and speed.

The variety of grinders available today can be overwhelming. With so many variations in style, features, and price points, it can be difficult to find the right one for your needs. 

The conical burr grinder is one of the most valuable investments in your coffee addiction. These grinders are equipped with two types of burrs that rotate within a container to grind your beans to the desired size. 

You need to consider a few aspects:

Price: This is a given, you have a budget, and should stick to that. Be mindful that the more expensive the model generally means the more grind control options and better quality build.

Drink Type: If you only make espresso and espresso-based drinks, be sure to select a grinder built for this. If you want other drink options for French Press as an example, read the product to ensure it covers this type of grind.

Grind Options: Do you want a one-grind size option of 15? There are different types with different settings, be sure to select one that suits your brewing needs.

Reputation: Choosing a popular brand name with many reviews is generally a safe bet. 

What Makes the Conical Burr Grinder the Best Grinder?

The conical burr grinder is the best because it gives you the most control over your grind. It has a blade to crush beans and a set of rotating disks to create the grind size. The disks are usually made of steel or ceramic, and they can be adjusted to suit your needs.

The conical burr grinder also has a more consistent grind than other types of coffee grinders. This means that you’ll get better tasting coffee every time, no matter how finely you want it ground.

Two other major benefits of using a canonical burr grinder include:


A conical burr grinder is usually in a vertical position, therefore they don’t need high speeds to push the beans/grounds through, meaning a lower RPM. Therefore when something spins at a lower RPM, it generates less noise.

Less Retention

Unlike flat blade grinders, conical burrs do not retain coffee grounds. When coffee grounds get left behind, they can mix with fresh coffee tainting the next coffee you brew or clog up the grinder. 

Downsides of a Conical Burr Grinder

May not achieve consistency

A conical burr grinder may not achieve the same level of consistency in grind size as other grinders. This is mainly down to manufacturing and how they are set up to work. It gets very technical, but these inconsistencies probably wouldn’t be noticeable to many.


A conical burr is considered a more expensive option than other types of grinder. This would also depend on the machine, brand, and functionality involved.

Don’t Judge The Grinder

At the end of the day, it’s not about the type of grinder alone. There are many factors at many stages that impact how the grinders perform. This includes temperature, speed, design of the grinder, machine build, and more. 

Ultimately, you should always read the description of the grinder. Some will only be manufactured for espresso and others will accommodate other coffee types. 

The Final Sip

Now that we have covered what is a conical burr grinder, you have some information to help you make a purchase or take your coffee brewing to the next level. Be sure to sign up to the mailing list as we will be covering more types of grinders in the future.

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