Our coffee grinder just broke and we need a replacement, but we don't have a large budget. We aim to spend no more than $50 and I am trying to decide if we should get a cheap burr grinder or not. The only cheap one that got okay reviews was the Mr. Coffee, and even then the reviews were not great. Do people think that it's better to get a cheap burr grinder, or use the money to get a slightly nicer regular electric grinder? I've heard raves about burr grinders and others that say it doesn't make much of a difference. I can't decide if it's worth it if it's just going to be a so-so one. Anyway, any input would be appreciated (including brand recommendations). Thanks!
Go to Ebay and look at the Kitchenaid Proline burr grinders. I got one of these several years ago and it's a great grinder!. You can find one in the area of 50$
FWIW, Cook's Illustrated did a comparison and concluded that regular electric blade grinders made better coffee than burr grinders. Controversial, I know, but they seemed to think that burr grinders were more even but tended to overgrind so that you ended up with a slightly bitter cup, while electric grinders left some bigger chunks but overall produced a better balanced cup. I've never compared personally, but it's always nice when the cheaper option ends up coming out on top!
I would only regard a burr grinder as NECESSARY for espresso making. Krups or Bosch propeller models are okay for coffee.
That said, I use a burr grinder for everything--espresso and coffee. It's a Starbucks Barista model, which I bought on sale years ago for $70.