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Oct 13, 2010 08:04 AM

Burr Grinder - How long do you last?

Does the grinder part of the burr coffee grinder wear out? We've had our Capresso burr grinder for 7.5 years and it seems that the fine grind we have it on is now producing a fairly coarse grind. (There are ~8 options for grind levels on this machine.) Is this because the grinder is wearing out?

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  1. If you live near a large city, chances are that there is a home espresso repair business in it. They would be able to tell you.

    I have an OLD Braun burr grinder (maybe 16 years old) that I take apart occasionally to clean. While I have noticed that the flat surfaces of the opposing burrs seem a little more POLISHED, the edges are still pretty sharp. On the finest setting it still grinds well.

    I'm not familiar with your brand/model, but is it possible that the burrs are somehow misaligned (e.g., cross-threaded) or the grind setting is no longer true (e.g., no positive stop at your finest grind setting)? Is your machine clean of sticky oils and dust inside? When mine starts to gum up, I think I've noticed a bit coarser grind. Finally, check the "play" in the burr halves; if they're loose (in an up-and-down direction), then she's probably worn out.

    Hope this helps.

    1. huruta: "Does the grinder part of the burr coffee grinder wear out?"

      Yes. Anything that cuts gets dull: scissors, knives, chisels, backhoe teeth, and the burrs of burr grinders. We had a Braun KMM30 flat burr grinder (presumably the same model that kaleokaku has) for several years, and had to replace it when the initially sharp-toothed burrs wore down to nubby disks. (And as the burrs wore down, the grinder's initial serious static charge problem got progressively worse.) Also, the shaft of the burr sits in a collar, which develops play over time.

      Part of the difference between less expensive burr grinders and more expensive burr grinders is materials cost. The burrs in high-end grinders often are made from harder metal, more expensive in itself, but also more expensive to machine during manufacture of the grinder. The shaft collar in most inexpensive grinders is made of nylon, while in more expensive grinders it is made of bronze or other hardened metal. Third, making a grinder that can easily be taken apart for replacement of component parts usually is more complex and expensive than fusing a few plastic casings together.

      While I have seen the Capresso Infinitys on shelves, I have not seen inside the casing. However, there is an excellent chance that all you need is a couple of replacement component parts.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Politeness

        Thanks, kaleokahu & politeness, for your responses. Both were very helpful. Our burr grinder was an inexpensive model and quite frankly I've been waiting for years for it to die -- it is so loud and messy, so perhaps this will be an upgrade to a new grinder rather than a replacement of parts!


      2. Depending on your Capresso model burr grinder you may be able to replace the grinder

        I have a conical burr grinder and the replacement burr set was about $65. I replaced it after 10 years and works like new. It was a $300 grinder that's about 18 years old, it better last a lifetime.