After researching many grinders, we ended up with five fantastic products to recommend and found the Fellow Ode Brew Grinder to be the best for making French press coffee.
While many of the coffee grinders in this article work for French press (including the manual grinder), the Fellow Ode had the most grind size consistency. Having a uniform grind is critical to proper coffee extraction. Low-quality grinders often need help with the coarser grind of the French press brewing method.
The Ode also has professional-quality flat burrs that you can adjust to 31 grind settings. This flexibility means that besides dialing in the perfect grind size for the French press, you can also use the Fellow Ode for other coffee brewing methods. Overall, the consistent grind, aluminum body, and high-quality stainless steel burrs optimize this grinder for French press.
The Fellow Ode Brew Grinder is one of the top electric coffee grinders for home use, and there are many reasons we chose it as the best French press grinder. Most coffee lovers know that buying fresh coffee beans and grinding coffee right before brewing is crucial. But this Fellow Ode won as the best grinder because of its remarkably uniform grind.
What makes the grind so consistent with this machine? Primarily, the stainless steel 64mm commercial burrs chop up the beans to the same size. Every grinder produces some fine particles that slip through the burrs. But at the coarse French press setting, this grinder performed well, which means the coffee will have an even extraction.
It is also worth noting the compact, sleek, and elegant design. This grinder will easily fit into your kitchen coffee setup. It will look beautiful while providing you with professional grind quality. The Ode is not the cheapest option, but the grind consistency will make dialing in delicious French press coffee easy. This grinder is best for serious coffee drinkers!
In comparing the Fellow Ode burr grinder to its competitors, the following features stood out as benefits:
- Even grind particle size
- Sleek/elegant aesthetics
Compared to the other burr coffee grinders we researched, the Fellow Ode had the following downsides:
- The grinding size chart is slightly inaccurate
- Not suitable for grinding espresso
Compared to the premium pricing of the Fellow grinder above, the Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill is much more affordable. Compared to the blade grinder models from Cuisinart, you will have a lot more flexibility with this model’s burrs. There are 18 grind positions, and the stainless steel material makes this a solid grinder.
In terms of even particle sizing, you will not get the quality that the Fellow Ode provides. But for an electronic model of conical burrs, you will get good enough quality to make major improvements to your French press brewing. And there is a useful feature for automatically setting the amount you wish to grind.
Overall, this model is best for folks that want to upgrade their coffee brewing but want something affordable.
Some of the top features that stood out for the Cuisinart electric burr grinder include:
- Large hopper (holds ½ pound of beans)
- Stainless steel material
- Heavy-duty motor
Although this product is a fantastic electric grinder, it did present the following downsides:
- Limited grind positions
- Less consistent grind
Next is the KRUPS Precision Grinder Flat Burr Coffee, the only other grinder with flat burrs in this roundup. You usually find flat burrs on professional grinders. They produce remarkably consistent particle sizes that make proper coffee extraction easy. These burrs are metal, but be aware that they can put out more fines than ceramic burrs.
One of the most convenient features of this grinder is the automatic quantity dial. You set the dial between 2-12 cups, and the machine will grind the correct amount. This feature is convenient for grinding beans while multi-tasking around the kitchen.
You might find that the 12 grind presets are limiting, especially if you brew on other devices at home. But for French press brewing, this limitation is less of a concern. The benefit of a consistent grind (and even extraction) from flat burrs makes up for it.
Compared with other electric burr grinders for French press coffee, the KRUPS Precision Grinder had the following benefits:
- Affordable electric model
- The flat burrs make an even grind
- One-touch operation
When comparing this product with other top French press coffee grinders, the following cons stood out:
- Smaller bean capacity
- Only 12 grind presets
- It produces coffee fines
The Handground Precision Manual Coffee Grinder: Conical Ceramic Burr Mill shows that high-quality grinders do not have to be electric. Sometimes you will get better quality grind consistency for a much more affordable price. You just have to be willing to put up with the annoyance of grinding by hand.
Aside from the obvious downside of manual use, the 40mm ceramic burrs are fast and consistent. You can also adjust the grind between 15 settings. This means dialing in your coffee to the ideal extraction should be easier.
And compared to many cheaper hand grinders, this model is durable and sturdy. It is quiet as you grind, and the sturdiness makes for a steady grind every time you brew. This model is ideal for a serious coffee drinker who travels a lot!
In researching the Handground conical burr grinder, the following benefits stood out:
- Triple-mounted axle with a high stability
- The ceramic burrs make an even grind
The Handground manual coffee grinder has fantastic features. But it’s worth noting the following downsides:
- The 15 grind presets are limiting
- Grinding takes effort
- The internal gears can move out of alignment
The Manual Coffee Grinder by JavaPresse tends to have a much more affordable price than the Handground model above. This is probably due to the lighter-weight material. The quality of the grind is comparable. But it will likely be somewhat less consistent than the Handground grinder.
But the burrs are ceramic, and one upside to this model is that there are 18 grind presets. These extra settings give you more flexibility if brewing on other devices. The sleek and lightweight design also makes this grinder easier to travel with. And it still manages to be pretty quiet.
Overall, the Javapresse Manual Coffee Grinder is a fantastic French press coffee grinder for its price. You will likely love its sleek design, especially for camping/outdoor traveling.
The Javapresse Manual Coffee Grinder had many features that stood out, including:
- Ceramic conical burrs are durable
- 18 grind presets for flexibility
This hand grinder has many positive qualities. But it’s worth noting the following drawbacks:
- Produces coffee fines
- No markings for grind presets
- Turning the handle takes a lot of effort
What To Look for in a Coffee Grinder
We’ve covered features of the best coffee grinders for French press covered. So let’s review now the general features you should look for in a good coffee grinder.
The ability to precisely adjust the grind setting is crucial. This applies to both manual coffee grinders and electric grinders.
Grind settings range from a fine grind used on an espresso machine or for Turkish coffee to a coarse grind size for a French press. So the first element to adjusting your grind settings is to make your coffee grounds approximately the correct size.
But you then still have to adjust the burr grinder more precisely to get proper extraction. Look for a coffee grinder with many grind settings and/or steps. The best coffee grinder for French press coffee should be the most precise in this aspect. Similarly, a proper espresso coffee grinder optimizes for adjusting grinds on the fine end of the spectrum.
A burr grinder is the best method of grinding coffee because the grind settings correspond to the distance between the burrs. A conical bur grinder has a vertical setup and tends to be quieter and better for French press coffee grinding. Flat burr grinders tend to be more precise with small grind size adjustments.
Most important is to avoid using a blade grinder for French press coffee. Blade grinders tend to make uneven ground coffee, making proper extraction difficult.
One element when searching for the best coffee grinder for French press is the ease of use. If you can afford the higher cost of an electric grinder, it will be much easier to use than a hand grinder. Manual grinders can have high-quality ceramic burrs and are better than blade grinders, but they require work.
Compared to electric grinders, manual grinders take up to two minutes to chop up the coffee beans. You will need both hands to turn the ceramic burrs on a hand grinder, and you will likely be tired by the end. So if ease of use is a big factor for you, consider an electric burr grinder.
And within the world of electric grinders, look for those with easily adjustable grind settings. Conical burr grinders are also much easier to take apart and clean when needed.
Grinding coffee beans can be loud because the best coffee grinders often have steel burrs and powerful motors. So it is worth paying attention to the noise level of a grinder before purchasing. Noise level is also one way that manual grinders have an advantage over electric motors.
A manual grinder is not necessarily soft, but it will not be as loud as blade grinders or electric burr grinders. Generally speaking, a conical burr grinder will be softer than flat burrs. And the best design will have heavy material that seals the coffee beans into more of a sound-proof area.
Capacity refers to how many coffee beans can fit in the top chamber of a coffee grinder. The best coffee grinder for french press coffee should be able to hold at least 30-40 grams of coffee beans.
Having a small capacity is one of the biggest downsides of a manual grinder. With many hand grinders, you will have to reload more coffee beans as you grind. So when searching for a proper coffee grinder for French press brewing methods, make sure it can hold the amount of coffee you expect to brew.
When you grind coffee beans, whether it is for French press, cold brew, or espresso, you will slowly wear away elements within the coffee grinder. Blade grinders have the same problem of wear and tear, but a burr grinder will begin making uneven grounds as the burrs become dull.
For this durability reason, a proper grinder for French press should have ceramic or stainless steel burrs. A blade grinder already makes uneven particle sizes and fine particles that disturb coffee extraction. Furthermore, a dull burr grinder can have the same problem.
And besides material, the best coffee grinder should be heavy and feel solid. Even with a manual grinder, the feeling of solidity and weight translates to a more durable coffee grinder.
Types of Coffee Grinders
Brewing coffee at home gets significantly better when you begin grinding your own coffee beans just before brewing. But not all freshly ground coffee is the same—every burr coffee grinder produces different quality coffee grounds. There are no specific coffee grinders for French press coffee, but some are optimized for the grind size of this brewing style.
So let’s examine the categories that differentiate each coffee grinder. We’ll also delve into which coffee grinders tend to make perfect French press coffee.
Electric Grinders vs. Manual Grinders
One of the primary decisions you will have to make before purchasing a grinder is whether to buy an electric or manual one. The options in this article were all burr grinders, meaning you can expect a high-quality uniformity to the resulting grounds. But the main difference is in whether you have the patience to manually turn the grinder every time you brew.
Manual grinders can provide surprisingly fantastic grind quality in comparison with their price. And in terms of noise, hand grinders are much quieter than their electric counterparts. But you will have to devote around two minutes to turning the burrs every time you want to have French press coffee.
Electric grinders use a motor to spin the burrs, and most can grind a dose for French press in under 20 seconds. The automaticity is convenient, and brewing many batches in a row is no problem. The only downside to electric models is that they can be noisy.
Burr Grinders vs. Blade Grinders
All the models we recommended in this article were burr grinders. Notably, they are far superior to blade grinders. You can think of a blade grinder as a small blender for coffee beans. While these appliances are affordable and convenient, they produce inconsistent grounds. So particles will range from large to tiny.
Especially for brewing on a French press, a blade grinder will produce fine particles that create bitter coffee and produce a thick sludge in your cup. For these reasons, we recommend spending a bit more to get a burr grinder if you want to make delicious French press coffee. Even the more affordable hand burr grinders can be fantastic compared to blades!
Flat Burr Grinders vs. Conical Burr Grinders
Both flat and conical burr systems are fantastic for French press brewing. They are essential to the reproducibility needed for consistently delicious French press coffee. The design for flat burrs has two rings lying on an even plane. The coffee bean falls through the space between these rings, and you adjust the space to alter the grind.
But conical burrs have a vertical design where the inner burr is shaped like a cone and fits inside of a larger ring. Since the cone expands, adjusting it towards/away from the ring will change the grind setting.
Both burr systems can produce the proper consistency for delicious French press coffee. But flat burrs tend to be better when all other factors are equal. Furthermore, since there are other factors involved in grind consistency, do not rely solely on the type of burr to assume the quality.
Steel Burrs vs. Ceramic Burrs
Another factor you will come across when searching for a grinder is steel vs. ceramic burrs. For most home applications, the difference will be negligible, but it is worth knowing the advantages of one over the other.
Surprisingly, ceramic burrs are harder than steel and therefore have higher durability with normal use. Years of grinding coffee will slowly dull the sharpness of the burr’s edges, and you can expect ceramic to last longer than steel. But because of the chemical bonding of ceramics, they will chip more easily in the presence of a small rock.
Lastly, despite what you might think, there is no noise difference between steel and ceramic. The only remaining factor is friction heat produced during grinding. Ceramic is less heat conductive than steel, meaning it will not heat up as easily when grinding a large dose of beans.
Grind by Time vs. Grind by Weight
There are two ways to measure how much coffee goes through a grinder: time and weight. When measuring grind by time, the grinder knows the exact rate that it processes coffee and stops at the desired dose. Grinding by weight is where the machine will stop grinding once it registers that a certain amount of coffee falls into the grinding chamber.
Since even the fanciest grinders can have a slight variability in their grinding rate, grinding by weight will be more precise than grinding by time. And since you should store coffee in an airtight container anyways, you probably will not keep your coffee beans in the grinder’s hopper. Instead, measure out the dose of coffee you need right before you make your French press.
No matter where you are on your coffee journey, graduating from pre-ground coffee to a proper burr coffee grinder is crucial. While there is no specific coffee grinder for French press coffee, the best coffee grinder makes even coffee grounds. Coffee drinkers can argue over steel burrs vs. ceramic burrs or manual grinders electric.
But in our testing and research, the Fellow Ode Brew Grinder won overall as the best coffee grinder for French press. While it is not the only grinder that will work with the French press, we believe it is the most consistent, flexible, and professional quality.
Now that you know which grinder to get for your French Press, check out our recommendations for the best coffee for French Press coffee.
Deciding on the best coffee grinder for the French press can be daunting. To help you choose, here are the answers to some of the most common questions people have about this topic.
What Grind Size is Best for French Press?
Coffee lovers like to debate about what setting is perfect on a French press coffee grinder. And the truth is the best grind setting is the one that tastes the best. But generally, a coarse grind similar to sea salt will be best for the French press brewing style.
Is Pre-ground Coffee Too Fine for French Press?
Pre-ground coffee is usually a remarkably even grind. But the grind setting optimizes for other brewing methods such as drip and pour-over. Investing in a coffee grinder for the French press brewing method allows you to make a coarse grind and flexible grind settings.
Why Does French Press Need Coarse Grind?
The French press method requires a coarse grind. This is because, as a full immersion brewing style, it is easy to over-extract the coffee. Bigger particle sizes result in less surface area and hence less extraction.
How Long Should Grounds Sit in French Press?
Once you add hot water to the French press, aim for a total brew time of four minutes. If you mix the coffee and water too long, you produce over-extracted flavors that are bitter and dry.