Tips for Using a Blade Grinder

Blade grinders aren't useless, but much less effective than burrs. Discover how to use a blade grinder to it's fullest potential with these tips.
Blade Grinder
✍ Written by: Garrett Oden
📅 Published: June 18, 2023
🗃 Filed under: BREWING | EQUIPMENT

Blade Grinder

It’s no secret that the specialty coffee world prides itself on the ability to control numerous variables when drinking coffee. One of the most important variables is grind size and consistency.

Without a doubt, burr grinders are leagues ahead of blade grinders.

Burrs will actually grind, while blades will do more chopping. Blades aren’t useless, but much less effective than burrs.

Unfortunately, burr grinders can be expensive, especially if you want to brew espresso. Many people stick to blade grinders for the much lower cost. Fortunately, you can do several simple things to make your blade grinder more effective.

For those looking for the TLDR, Tonx created a good video with some tips on how to use a blade grinder to it’s fullest potential:

  1. Give it a shake while grinding
  2. Grind a few more coffee beans than you would normally
  3. Brew coffee for a little less time
  4. Grind in short pulses instead of just holding the button down

How to grind coffee beans for espresso with a  blade grinder?

While blade coffee grinders may present some challenges, it is not all doom and gloom. There are a number of things you can do to increase your chances of enjoying a better coffee

Grind your coffee as close to brewing as possible

My advice and the advice of others is to grind your coffee as close to brewing as possible, ensuring you enjoy the beans’ full flavor profile. 

Use short bursts

My next tip is to take a few pauses. Never press down the button and let it rip.

Because of the friction that is generated when the blades are rotating at rapid speeds, the longer you grind the beans without taking any pauses, the more heat the blades will create. This could result in coffee that tastes bitter and burned.

Use short bursts, i.e., a few seconds at a time, to stop your coffee from burning before its brewed.

Shake the grinder while it is in use (hold the lid down while doing so!)

When using the grinder, I recommend pressing the lid tightly to the grinder’s body and shaking it up and down during the short bursts.

This will help you get more of an even grind because you will mix up the small and large grounds of coffee while the blade works its magic. 

Don’t use your coffee grinder for spices

Later in the guide, I will enlighten you on some of the best blade coffee grinders today. A lot of them are advertised as being ideal for coffee, as well as herbs and spices. However, I would never recommend using the same blade grinder for spices and coffee!

Spices contain volatile oils, which contribute to their strong smells. This aroma will contaminate your fresh coffee grind, no matter how effectively you clean your coffee grinder.

Garrett Oden

Garrett Oden

Coffee Industry Writer

Welcome, fellow coffee lover!

The entire purpose of this coffee blog is to empower you to explore the wonderful world of coffee. There’s much to learn and experience, so get to reading!

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  1. Matt Brock

    Somehow I missed this video from Tonx. Thanks for sharing Garrett.

    • Garrett Oden

      Glad I was able to help!

  2. Bruce

    I’ve used blade grinders for years….stumbling onto these tips by trial and error…I constantly shake while grinding, which also helps keep the temp down. But I’m now thinking it’s time to move on to a burr grinder. Thanks for an informative and good-looking site!

  3. CattieBye

    So … what if you want the coffee REALLY finely ground? Seems like a blade grinder might be OK then? Since it creates lots of fines, what if you just keep going until it’s ALL finely ground? A friend of mine uses a blade grinder in conjunction with his Aeropress, and I thought the resulting coffee was pretty good. My favorite methods are ones that tend to use coarse grinds (immersion/French Press), so blade grinders have never been a good choice for me – it’s just too hard to get anything resembling even with one.