Watch out for products which purport to be grinders but are in actual fact bladed choppers/blenders.
What’s the difference you may ask?
Grind: To crush, pulverize, or reduce to powder by friction, especially by rubbing between two hard surfaces: grind wheat into flour
Chop: To cut into small pieces
A chopper usually uses a sharpened stainless steel blade which spins at high speed, you control the fineness of the end product by the length of time you chop for.
PROS: The cheapest machine to get your coffee beans into a usable size for making filter coffee.
CONS: Noisy, Inconsistent particle size, you tend to end up with some extremely fine parts and other large pieces, Results are as consistent as your judgement
Whereas a grinder usually consists of one stationary and one rotating ceramic disc. The closer the discs are together the finer the final grind.
PROS: Consistent particle size, means more consistent results, You can set the grind and you’ll get the same result each time, Reasonable price if you shop around
CONS: Noisy, Can get hot if used for large volumes of bean
I definitely think it is worth spending the extra to get something that does what the cheaper versions like to say theirs does, grind. I bought a Krups GVX2 about 2 years ago and it has served brilliantly.
Reasonably priced grinders
Prices are what I found at the time of writing, find a better deal let me know and I’ll add it.
Gater Manual Burr Grinder – R349
Great but they can be a workout the more cups you plan to do.
Porlex Mini Hand Mill – R795
Tiny but packs a punch, fits into an aeropress for travelling and grinds about twice as quick as the Hario Skerton at the same fineness.
Make sure you give your machine a break if you are grinding a lot of beans otherwise you’ll warp the plastic and you’ll have a costly door stop.
Melitta Molino Grinder – R679
Severin Conical Burr Grinder – R1339
Graef CM 702 Coffee Grinder – R1850