The Round Up

Shopping for a coffee grinder on a budget? We’ve got you covered! We picked out our top three budget grinders under $200; the Breville Dose Control Pro, Baratza Encore and Hario Skerton Coffee Mill. First on our list is the Breville Dose Control Pro as our favorite entry-level espresso grinder. It’s one of the cheapest grinders we have that’ll grind fine enough for a non-pressurized portafilter. For every day grinding from French press to drip, the Baratza Encore impresses baristas with its intuitive controls and consistent grind at a great price point. Lastly, the Hario Skerton Coffee Mill is a hand grinder that offers the best value on a budget. Lets check out the features and functionalities of these budget grinders.

Espresso Grinder: Breville Dose Control Pro

For under $200, the Breville Dose Control Pro blows us away with its grinding capabilities. It grinds consistently and fine enough to work for non-pressurized portafilters. Even at coarse settings, the Dose Control is consistent! This is hands-down our SCG Pick for a budget espresso grinder. With only 60 grind settings, we were excited over how easy it was to dial in on a Rocket Premium Plus (not to mention the delicious shots)! For even more control over your grind, Breville included additional adjustment settings beneath the hopper.

Another feature we love on the Dose Control is the adjustable timer that grinds for up to 50 seconds. With the start/cancel button, you can also pause or manually grind when you need to. Breville continues their focus on crafting a great user experience and included two portafilter holders in 54mm and 58mm sizes. They’ve even included an adjustable dosing tool that levels off loose grounds in your portafilter for an even tamp—now that’s great service!

Everyday Grinder: Baratza Encore

For general use grinding, we turn to the Baratza Encore. Built with 40mm conical steel burrs and a steady 450 RPM motor, the Encore turns out consistent grinds without excess heat—an excellent feature with steel burrs! This stepped grinder features 40 settings consistent even at French press settings. This grinder can also work for an espresso machine with a pressurized portafilter—sorry coffee friends, it’s just not fine enough for non-pressurized. That said, the Encore would be the perfect entry-level grinder for beginners or casual coffee drinkers.

One of our favorite design elements on the Encore is the bidirectional power switch. No matter which way you turn the switch, it’s either on or off. The overall style of the Encore is complementary to its entry-level price-point. It’s all plastic, which creates some unwelcome coffee static. However, its compact design makes it an easy fit in any home barista’s kitchen. If you’re on a budget, the Encore’s affordability and features make it a strong choice.

Budget Friendly: Hario Skerton Coffee Mill

The Hario Skerton Coffee Mill is the perfect companion for in the kitchen or on the road! It’s compact, reliable and user-friendly design makes it our go-to budget grinder. The Skerton features conical ceramic burrs ideal for pour over or drip brewing. However, we did notice that the coarser we went, the less consistent the grind got (French press fanatics beware). And while the Skerton is able to go fine enough for espresso, its burr locking mechanism makes it difficult to set at a just-right grind. And, in our opinion, it takes more time and effort to grind for a shot than we’re willing to spend.

Still, the Skerton’s lighter weight and ergonomic shape make it a comfortable fit in your hands. The Skerton also has a glass container that helps reduce coffee static and limits the mess—a blessing if you know what we mean! Pro tip: if you’re an Aeropress brewer, you’ll find that the upper portion of the grinder fits almost perfectly over the Aeropress’ brew chamber! Speaking of, the upper portion is built with plastic, but we see that as a positive feature since it reduces the overall weight and makes it less likely to break. The hopper holds up to 80 grams of coffee (or four Aeropresses worth) to get the day started with a couple of fresh cups of coffee.

Conclusion

That’s it for our top three budget grinders! Each grinder has affordable features and functionalities that offer home baristas much-needed options. If you’re looking for an espresso grinder, then the Breville Dose Control Pro is our recommended pick for you to take home. For everything else from French press to pour over, the Baratza Encore and Hario Skerton Coffee Mill are both great options.

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