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Coffee Maker with a Grinder vs a Separate Grinder

Alexis Labadie Profile image

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Updated August 27, 2022

If you enjoy making different kinds of coffee, you probably thought about whether you want a coffee maker with a grinder vs a separate grinder. The size of coffee grounds differs for popular drinks. For example, a French press uses a more coarse grind than an espresso shot. Even the best coffee maker requires ground coffee beans, though some people prefer pre-ground coffee. Similarly, you should consider whether you prefer a coffee urn vs a coffee maker.


  • A coffee machine with a built-in grinder ensures ease of use by grinding the beans and brewing them within the same device.
  • A separate grinder allows users to utilize different grinds and brews easily.
  • A built-in grinder can save counter space and overall cost for your coffee machine.

Differences Between a Coffee Maker with a Grinder and a Separate Grinder

Every coffee lover knows that their morning coffee requires ground coffee beans to attain the desired flavor. Some people even prefer to buy whole coffee beans to grind on their own or in their coffee machine. As a result, the discussion about whether the coffee maker should come with a built-in grinder or you should buy a separate grinder. However, the answer depends largely on your preferences and the amount of time you have. Like with a coffee maker vs a pod coffee machine, the greatest factor probably comes down to convenience. For more convenient machines, check out our mashup of the Breville grind control vs a Precision brew.

Insider Tip

A separate grinder offers easier brew switching than a built-in one for coffee lovers who drink more than one type of coffee.


As you might expect, a coffee grinder inside a drip coffee maker provides greater ease of use, time savings, and convenience compared to a separate coffee grinder. With built-in grinders, you fill the compartment with your coffee beans, select a setting, and let it do the work for you, from grinding to brewing with water. In some cases, the machine even determines the proper amount of beans and water and the exact consistency for your desired cup of coffee. Other times, the device allows you to choose the option for each setting. These factors also provide more consistency when it comes to each cup of coffee and save you time in the process.

Desired Texture

Both separate and built-in burr grinders give your cups of coffee the most intensive taste and aroma because the seeds are ground straight before brewing. In addition, with a separate grinder, you end up with greater control over your grind and the pot of coffee itself. You can grind the beans by hand with some separate grinders or have the machine do the work for you. Meanwhile, built-in grinders offer few feature grind settings, and you may have more trouble emptying them before switching brews or textures.

Smaller Size

Although both types of coffee machines take up quite a bit of space, the built-in grinder ultimately saves counter space and some of your costs. Therefore, if you want a grinder and a coffee machine at the same level, you want to save some money by buying the integrated grinder, though you may not lower the price of the product very much. Similarly, the brands design the combination machines with less space and a more efficient design at a slightly lower price setting.

Burr Vs Blade

A burr cuts coffee grounds instead of crushing them. On the other hand, a blade grinder crushes coffee beans, which causes a lack of precision. Ceramic burrs retain sharp edges longer than a steel option, but they are more brittle. Additionally, you may end up with a cheaply made ceramic burr, so check the brand and parts that you are buying. However, a ceramic burr is said to provide consistent grinds for cups of coffee with equal particles while remaining sturdy for a long-lasting cutting device.

For more tips on coffee makers, you’ll want to read our guides on why a coffee maker is making weak coffee and how to find the right coffee maker for you.


Some ceramic burrs are cheaply made, so you should make sure you check the brand and parts on your grinder.


What’s the difference between a burr grinder and a blade grinder?

The burr grinder cuts the coffee grounds rather than crushing them. As a result, the burr grinder is preferred for greater control and specialty blends.

What’s the difference between conical and flat burr grinders?

A flat burr grinder provides more consistency in the grinding process at a higher price range. A conical burr grinder makes less noise and less heat than flat products.

Are ceramic burrs or steel better?

Ceramic burrs have longer lifespans because they retain their sharp edges. In many cases, they may handle espresso roasts better than steel as well.

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Alexis Labadie Profile image