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Coffee grinder burr finder

Quickly find upgrades and replacement burrs

Table of contents

Why replace your burrs?

Over time, the burrs in your grinder will wear out. The grinding action causes gradual wear on the surfaces of the burrs, which leads to uneven particle sizes. Your coffee will have less clarity and less balance in taste.

By replacing the burrs in your grinder, you can restart and maintain the quality of your coffee.

Many grinder manufacturers and suppliers sell parts separately including burrs sets.

Identify the model name of your grinder, you can use our tool to find the exact replacement burr set. If your grinder isn’t listed, try the official website of the manufacturer or other authorised dealers.

We don’t recommend everybody replace or upgrade their burrs — see Why you shouldn’t upgrade your burrs

  1. Dull appearance or visible damage. If your burrs look or feel worn, chipped or scratched — however insignificant it may seem — it may be the cause in the inconsistencies in your coffee.

    After turning off your grinder (if it’s electric), disassemble and detach the burrs our of your grinder. After cleaning them, feel with your finger if they’re still sharp. If you see or feel any rough or dull surface, you should replace your burrs.
  2. Inconsistent grind size. If your grinder is producing sub-optimal tasting coffee no matter what you change, or If the same process produces completely different coffees, it is most likely attributable to inconsistent, dilapidated burrs.
  3. You keep having to go finer for the same brew method As your burrs wear down, the particle size becomes uneven, producing larger particles. To compensate, you may unknowingly over time, grind finer and finer for the same brew process. The resulting coffee is still fine, but not nearly the same quality as your burrs used to grind.
  4. Your grounds are clumping. There are many factors to the cause of clumping in grounds (including static, and moisture), but if you see an increased amount of clumped up grounds, your grinder burrs may need replacement.

    As your burrs dull, they produce more fines and boulders instead of the desired particle size. Smaller particles like to adhere to surfaces more, especially to each other and with larger particles, causing clumping.
  5. Your grinder is noisier. These factors are less indicative of dulled burrs but may be an indicator. Duller burrs are less efficient, the same way it takes longer to use a blunt kitchen knife instead of a sharp one.

    This means it takes longer for the beans to be ground — this increases friction and small vibrations which causes more noise, and puts strain on the motor of your grinder.
  6. Your grinder is slower. Similar to the previous point about noise, the strain from inefficient burrs can start to slow down the motor. A slower grinder may just have a motor that is getting old, but it is more likely that more friction and congestion in the burr chamber is overworking your grinder.

    So if it takes longer to grind the same amount of coffee as you have before, consider changing your burr set.

How long do burrs last?

Knowing exactly how long your burrs will last is vital in deciding the right time to change the burrs, especially for industrial and commercial grinders that are in frequent and heavy use.

  • The quality and make of your burrs. Burrs made from materials like hardened steel with titanium coating last longer than others, as the durability of these materials contributes to the burrs maintaining their sharpness over time.

    Although steel burrs without special coatings have a hard outer shell (produced from a process called quenching), this shell can dull quickly with frequent use, and this degradation is not always visible to the naked eye.
  • The frequency of grinding and the time between grinding. The rate at which your burrs dull is very dependent on how often you use them. If you grind coffee in the kilograms (or pounds) every day — like in a café or roaster — then replacing your burrs should be a consideration.
  • The type of coffee and roast level. Depending on the type, average roast level and hardness of the bean, your burrs might dull at a different rate. As a general rule, lighter roasts will dull burrs faster, as they are much more dense and harder than darker roasts. In some cases, light roasts can even clog smaller home-grinders.
  • The lifetime given by the manufacturer This is less reliable factor, as most manufacturers benefit from exaggerating the lifespan of their products. Burrs are technically still serviceable even when fully dulled, and because the wearing down of burrs is a slow gradual process, the notion of a clear-cut expiry date is arbitrary and not universally acknowledged.

    Many professionals will change their burrs around half of the recommended lifespan given by the manufacturers, probably because this is the moment when noticeable dulling starts to occur.

How to maintain your burrs

Not only does maintaining the burrs of your grinder ensure consistent grind quality, it also extends the lifespan of your grinder and burrs by preventing buildup of old coffee grounds and residue.

Regular Cleaning

The most crucial maintenance step for coffee grinder burrs is regular cleaning. Remove any coffee build-up and oils on the burrs to prevent them from affecting newer coffee. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for disassembly, and acquire these useful items for cleaning:

  • A brush or toothbrush — for loose coffee particles.
  • Cloth or rag — to wipe surfaces and remove clumped coffee.
  • Toothpicks or other non-abrasive pointy utensil — to clean small nooks and crannies.
  • Coffee grinder cleaner or grinder cleaning tablets — Please make sure to read the recommendations for which detergent to use for you particular grinder, by reading the instructions or contacting your manufacturer.

Other useful items if you have them:

  • Screwdrivers or Allen keys (hex key, or Allen wrench) — to take apart the grinder
  • A vacuum cleaner with a small nozzle attachment — for quickly removing coffee buildup inside the grinder.

Avoid using water, soap or washing liquid (especially for electric coffee grinders), as this can lead to rusting of parts, including the burrs. Please use dedicated coffee grinder cleaning products instead.

Avoid oily beans

Use high-quality, non-oily coffee beans to minimise oil build-up on the burrs. Oily beans can cause increased coffee retention, which in turn requires frequent cleaning. If you drink dark roasted coffee, consider cleaning out your grinder more often (around every 3 days), as dark roasts contain much more oils than lighter roasts.

Cooling breaks (commercial users)

For those who use their grinder constantly, allow the grinder to cool between grinding sessions. Continuous grinding generates heat, and cooling breaks help prevent the burrs from retaining excessive heat, which can contribute to wear and dulling over time.

Why upgrade your burrs?

The standard or “stock” burrs in affordable grinders are often designed to balance cost-effectiveness and performance for a broad range of users. Manufacturers may prioritise affordability, making compromises in material quality and precision to keep the overall cost of the grinder reasonable.

Higher quality burrs on the other hand are constructed with more precise engineering, and using stronger materials like tool steel and titanium nitride (TiN). But these expensive burrs are more likely to be housed within similarly expensive grinders.

This is why upgrading burrs is a particularly attractive path for those who have budget constraints but seek to improve grind quality with their current set up. You gain the advantages of high-quality burrs, while avoiding having to buy a whole new expensive machine.

Additionally, upgrading burrs allows you to keep the grinder that you are accustomed to and cherished! Especially if it is a well designed model. It is also a more environmentally conscious choice as you are reducing uneccesary waste.

Find a compatible upgrade by inputting your grinder model in the coffee grinder burr finder tool at the top of the page — The tool will provide basic specifications about each burr set, with links to sites where you can buy them.

Why you SHOULD’T replace or upgrade your burrs.

There are many reasons why replacing your burrs, let alone upgrading them is over-kill or even useless. Here are the reasons.

Reasons you shouldn’t replace your burrs.

  1. You grind coffee at home With a home grinder, you’re probably only grinding coffee a few time a day at most. If that’s the case, you probably won’t come close to the full lifespan of your burrs even after decades of use.
  2. You own a cheap grinder / hand grinder Replacing your burrs in entry-level grinders or hand grinders may not make any huge difference in taste, as the quality of the rest of the machine may not leverage the benefits of new burrs. Many manufacturers of low-cost grinders typically do not offer replacement parts like burrs, and third-party burr manufacturers may introduce uncertainties regarding reliability and compatibility. Definitely replace yours burrs if they get chipped or damaged though!
  3. Minimal use or low expectations If you use your grinder infrequently or don’t high expectations of quality, the improvements gained from replacing your burrs might not be significant enough to justify the expense.
  4. Compatibility and warranty issues Some grinders are not designed for aftermarket burr replacements, and attempting to install incompatible burrs may damage the grinder or compromise its performance.

Reasons why you shouldn’t upgrade your burrs.

  1. You own a cheap grinder/hand grinder Similar to the previous point, if your grinder came at a low cost, investing in high-end burrs will have little perceived benefit than if you were to upgrade your grinder entirely. The cost difference will be similar, so if you want to improve the quality of your coffee, we highly recommend you look for an entirely new grinder.
  2. Diminishing returns If your existing burrs deliver consistent and acceptable results, gains from upgrading may be quite limited in the final cup of coffee.
  3. When replacing will do the job Don’t upgrade you burrs if replacing them can do the job. If your old burrs are damaged or chipped, restoring your grinder’s performance without the added cost of upgrading may be a better move.
  4. Manufacturer recommendations Again, manufacturers may advise against aftermarket burr upgrades, which could void warranties.

How do burrs affect the taste of the final cup?

The type and condition of burrs in a coffee grinder influence how evenly the coffee is ground. Consistent grinds help achieve a balanced and flavourful cup, while uneven grinds can lead to bitter or sour tastes.

Burr shapes explained

Most coffee grinder burrs come in two distinct shapes — Conical and Flat.

Burr materials explained


Although very durable and cheap, ceramic burrs are never very sharp, so create a very wide particle distribution. Drinks from these burrs will be generally “muddier” than steel burrs.


Steel burrs are commonly used in coffee grinders due to their durability and consistent grinding profile. These burrs are typically made from stainless steel or high-steel.

Stainless steel is chosen for its corrosion resistance, ensuring longevity and suitability for coffee applications. High-carbon steel is known for its hardness and retaining their sharpness.

Burr coatings explained

Titanium Nitride (TiN)

TiN is a hard and durable coating applied to coffee grinder burrs to enhance their wear resistance. A thin layer of titanium nitride increases the longevity of the burrs and reduces friction during the grinding process. It is known for its gold colour (sometimes a reddish gold).

Titanium Aluminium Carbo-Nitride (TiACN)

TiACN (also known by the commercial name Red Speed) is an advanced coating that combines titanium, aluminium, carbon, and nitrogen. This coating is applied to coffee grinder burrs to provide extreme hardness, wear resistance, and thermal stability.

Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC)

DLC is a thin film coating that imitates properties similar to natural diamond. It is often much harder than Titanium based coatings, and is grey or black in colour.

Seasoning the burrs

The seasoning process involves running a batch of inexpensive coffee beans (or dry grains like rice) through the grinder to help wear down any microscopic irregularities (like harsh serrated corners and edges) or manufacturing residues. This is to ensure that the first coffee drinks made with the grinder are balanced.

Burr and grinder manufacturers normally use this procedure for their product before they are sold. The amount of seasoning is dependent on individual companies, but it’s generally an inadequate amount to fully season the burrs.

During your use of your grinder, you will find that your coffee will taste differently as you use it over time. The burrs will incrementally wear down to a point where they will be fully seasoned and your coffee will taste very good, after which they will slowly degrade further and become dulled.

Should you repair or sharpen your worn out burrs?

No. We don’t recommend repairing or sharpening worn-out burrs — even professionally.

  1. Burrs have to be precise Burrs are precision-engineered components (sometimes to an 1/1000 of a mm), and any slight notch or wear on them can change the taste profile of your coffee drastically. Sharpening them will compromise their original design and grind distribution.
  2. Material integrity DIY sharpening may remove the coating and hardened shell your burrs. If the hard outer shell is gone, the burrs deteriorate faster.
  3. Safety Some grinder manufacturers discourage or explicitly advise against attempting to modify burrs. This is most likely for health and safety reasons.

We recommend replacing worn-out burrs is a more straightforward and reliable solution, ensuring the grinder continues to produce consistent and high-quality grinds.