What is the cheapest espresso grinder?

Choosing the best grinder for our espressos is strongly influenced by its cost and our budget. If we had infinite money this article would be about much more advanced (and expensive) grinders, and I wouldn’t even consider using a manual one.

I will share with you my personal experience and a comparison between two different grinders (one very cheap and the other not so cheap) that you can use to prepare espresso: the Sage The Smart Grinder Pro (electric) and the Hario Mini Mill (manual). I’m already telling you that you can achieve the “perfect espresso” with both.

How to get the best flavor for your espresso?

The optimal coffee flavor is achieved by grinding freshly roasted beans immediately before the extraction. You must leave aside commercial coffee beans and purchase specialty coffee.

In this context, we will explore two coffee grinders that serve the same purpose, but their use and cost are very different.

Sage The Smart Grinder Pro ($199.95)

The Sage The Smart Grinder Pro is an extremely practical, silent, and simple electric grinder, offering up to 60 grind settings. This versatility allows us to maximize and adjust the flavor potential of the coffee beans of each beverage we prepare.

Thanks to its wide grinding range, we can prepare coffee for espresso, Italian coffee, filtered coffee or French press!

It offers digital functionalities such as the “shot” option (middle button in the image below), which provides multiple pre-programmed doses. This is especially useful for filtered or French press methods.

The multiple options of the Sage The Smart Grinder Pro
The multiple options of the Sage The Smart Grinder Pro

The amount of ground coffee can be obtained by programming the grinding time. This is ideal for those who need to grind a lot of coffee at once and accurately.

The Smart Grinder Pro includes two adapters for different portafilters, so you can directly dose them. Just place the portafilter and push with it until you get the desired amount of coffee.

Two adapters for different filter holder sizes
Two adapters for different filter holder sizes

This grinder is ideal for those just starting in the world of coffee because it offers versatility and ease of use at a much lower cost than its direct competitors.

Regarding its cost, it is important to note that the $199.95 is a fair investment, considering the features it offers. This grinder makes the grinding process easy and convenient and maintains the professionalism required for every cup of espresso.

Hario Mini Slim Plus

On the other hand, the Hario Mini Slim Plus is presented as an extremely compact manual grinder, ideal both for coffee preparation at home and to take with you on a trip.

The simplicity of the Hario Mini Slim Plus hand grinder
The simplicity of the Hario Mini Slim Plus hand grinder

Its design allows you to grind beans instantly, although its use can be tiring if you are looking for fine grinds. The Hario Mini Slim Plus features a high-quality shaft and ceramic conical grinding burrs, which provide an even grind with “click” adjustable coarseness options.

Hario Mini Slim Plus grinder's conical grinding wheels and click adjustment
Hario Mini Slim Plus grinder’s conical grinding wheels and click adjustment

Its price of $37.50 is an affordable option for those looking to start experimenting with filter coffee makers, whether manual or electric and where a very regular grind is not required. This makes it an affordable alternative for those on a tighter budget who wish to venture into the world of filtered coffee.

It is a cheap option for those looking for quality without compromising their pocket.

Nevertheless, I tested this grinder with the Delonghi Dedica coffee maker, despite it not being the most suitable choice, as this type of machine requires a fine and uniform grind to avoid channeling.

The result? I got the quality espresso I was looking for, but at the cost of some channeling and stiffness in my arm.

It should be noted that there is room for improvements and adjustments that could enhance the experience with this grinder. In this sense, it is essential to consider the type of coffee we select and the available accessories.

Differences between each grinder

It is worth exploring the differences between the Sage Smart Grinder Pro and the Hario Mini Slim Plus to make the best decision when choosing a coffee grinder. Although the Sage outperforms the Hario in grinding efficiency, the latter excels in portability, making it a practical choice for those who travel or have limited space.

The divergence between the electric Sage and the manual Hario is evident in price, with the former being more expensive. However, this difference translates into considerable advantages in speed and convenience.

Differences between Sage the smart grinder pro and Hario mini slim plus
Differences between Sage The Smart Grinder Pro and Hario Mini Slim Plus

As we get into the texture of the grind, the Sage offers a more compact and uniform experience, enhancing the characteristics of the bean outstandingly. On the other hand, the Hario provides a looser and more irregular grind that highlights fewer notes and unbalances the flavor of the coffee.

The time factor also plays a very important role; the Sage achieves a quick grind in seconds, while the Hario requires up to 5 minutes and demands physical effort due to its manual operation.


The choice between the Sage Smart Grinder Pro and the Hario Mini Slim Plus goes beyond simply opting for a coffee grinder; it is a decision that directly impacts the experience of enjoying your favorite cup of coffee.

The Sage Smart Grinder Pro stands out for its grinding efficiency, versatility, and speed, making it a solid choice for those looking for convenience and fast results.

Its ability to adapt to different brewing methods, along with the quality of its grind, places it as a preferred choice for those who appreciate practicality without sacrificing quality.

On the other hand, the Hario Mini Mill stands out for its portability and the manual touch it adds to the coffee brewing experience.

Although its grind can be more irregular, it is a valuable choice for those who want the flexibility to take their grinder wherever they want, in addition to saving quite a bit of money.

The decision between these grinders depends on your personal preferences, lifestyle, and how you immerse yourself in the world of coffee. Both offer unique attributes,

Written by Pablo Barrantes Nevado
I am Pablo Barrantes, a coffee lover. I decided to start this website to solve all the doubts that arise every day when preparing our favorite drink: coffee. I am an industrial engineer by profession, but I have worked in coffee shops for many years, where I have learned all the secrets about coffee machines and coffee. My passion for coffee has led me to investigate and study beyond the obvious, and thanks to this, I can offer solutions and give news about coffee and coffee makers. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I research, document and write here.

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