Owning a coffee grinder is one of the most helpful kitchen tools you can have. These helpful gadgets not only grind your coffee beans into a fine powder to give you the freshest tasting cup of coffee, but they can give you freshly ground spices, wheat, and other grains.
There are two types of coffee grinders, burr coffee grinders, and blade coffee grinders. While many coffee enthusiasts rave that burr coffee grinders are the best, coffee grinders with blades are widely accepted and used by many. If you use a coffee grinder with blades, you may wonder if the blades will ever get dull.
Coffee Grinder Blades Do Get Dull
After a while, your coffee grinder’s blades will get dull. Your coffee grinder’s blade getting dull is something that cannot be avoided. The blades will become duller over time, but generally, they won’t begin dulling for quite some time.
Do Dull Grinder Blades Affect Coffee?
There are a few ways you’ll be able to tell when your coffee grinder’s blades have gotten duller. The simplest way to find out if your coffee grinder’s blades have gone dull is to run your finger along the blade. You’ll need to be careful doing this to avoid any injuries.
If the blades are still sharp, you’ll feel refined and sharp edges. If you feel anything but sharpness, your blades may have started to become dull.
The second way you’ll be able to tell is that after the grinding has completed, you may still see more giant chunks of the coffee beans. Dull coffee grinder blades cannot properly grind the coffee beans, leaving larger chunks.
If you haven’t seen larger chunks in your ground coffee, you’ll be able to taste the difference when you brew a pot of coffee.
When the blades are dull, and the beans aren’t ground correctly, it affects the flavor of the coffee. The coffee’s oils and flavors will be disrupted, and you may have a very bitter-tasting cup of coffee.
How to Sharpen Coffee Grinder Blades
So, you’ve noticed that your coffee grinder’s blades aren’t working as they should be. What do you do? Well, you’ll need to decide if you can sharpen the blades or if you need to replace the blades or coffee grinder completely.
The easiest way to sharpen your coffee grinder’s blades is to use rice. If you’ve regularly cleaned your coffee grinder, you know that rice is the ideal way to clean the grinder, but it can also keep your blades in the best shape possible.
You’ll need a small amount of uncooked rice, probably about 1/4 of a cup. Then you’ll place it in the grinder and grind the rice for about 60 to 70 minutes. After this, you’ll wipe the blades with a damp cloth to remove any residual rice powder and then follow up with a dry cloth.
Many people prefer to use grinder cleaning pellets to sharpen their coffee grinder blades. While this isn’t the worst option, using rice tends to be much easier because you more than likely have it on hand, and it’s easier on the grinder’s blades.
Another option you have to sharpen your grinder’s blades is by doing so manually. You’ll have to remove the blades from the coffee grinder and then sharpen them with tools you have on hand. This is an effective way to do this, but the safest and quickest method is using rice.
What to do If Sharpening Your Coffee Grinder Blades Isn’t Working
If you’ve tried sharpening your coffee grinder’s blades often, and they seem to keep getting duller, you may need to replace the blades. Some coffee grinders can easily replace blades from the same manufacturers, but others may require you to replace the coffee grinder entirely.
Ways to Keep Your Coffee Grinder Blades Working Well
While dulling of the blades is inevitable, there are a few things you can do to keep them functioning at 100% for longer. Even though people praise coffee grinders for being multifunctional, using your coffee grinder only for coffee beans will help keep the blades stronger for longer.
When you’re cutting spices and other ingredients regularly in your coffee grinder, you’re wearing on the blades. Some spices and grains are very hard, and therefore will cause strain on the coffee grinder blades.
Of course, if you enjoy using this device for more than just coffee beans, you’ll need to check on your coffee grinders blades more often to ensure they’re still grinding well.
Another reason you may not want to grind other ingredients in your blade coffee grinder is the potential that the blades will break.
Blades going dull is frustrating, but it happens. If you’re trying to grind hard ingredients, there’s the chance that it may break the blades. You can sharpen dull blades, but if they fail, you’ll find yourself in a situation where you’ll need to replace the device.
A Burr Coffee Grinder May Be a Better Option For You
If the idea of maintaining coffee grinder blades doesn’t sound appealing to you, investing in a burr coffee grinder may be a better option for you. Burr coffee grinders are made of stainless steel or ceramic and tend to hold up for much longer than a coffee grinder with blades.
Now, just because you purchase a burr coffee grinder doesn’t mean that the burrs won’t begin to wear down over time. They will wear after grinding hundreds of pounds of coffee beans, but they tend to last longer than blade coffee grinders.
Another factor that may influence your decision to move to a burr coffee grinder is that they do not alter the taste of your coffee. Many people don’t notice a difference in the taste of their coffee until they make the switch. Coffee grinders with blades produce heat when the blades are running. This heat can alter the taste of the coffee, making the coffee grounds taste burnt or bitter. When you use a burr coffee grinder of either material, no heat is produced, therefore avoiding any flavor altering.