If you're thinking of buying a coffee grinder, one of the most important decisions you'll need to make is between burr and blade grinders. While blade grinders cut beans up between fast-moving blades, burr grinders grind them between two plates.

Here are just four reasons why burr grinders produce a better cup of coffee.

1. Uniform Grind

When you use a burr grinder, you can set how far around the two grinding surfaces are. If you want relatively coarse grounds, you can set them far apart; if you want extremely fine grounds, you can position them very close. Regardless of your chosen ground size, you can expect all grounds to be the same size. In contrast, blade grinders merely chop your coffee beans to pieces, so they often produce an uneven grind. An uneven ground produces inferior coffee because the flavour isn't extracted evenly.

2. Reduced Friction

Burr grinders grind beans quite quickly and then pass them through the burrs. In a blade grinder, the spinning blade makes constant contact with most of the beans, much like a blender makes contact with all of whatever you're blending. That constant contact creates lots of friction, which in turn creates heat. When coffee grounds are heated during the grinding process, they lose some of their natural flavour. This is particularly noticeable when using freshly ground beans. For the fullest flavour possible, it's smart to choose a burr grinder over a blade grinder.

3. Unlimited Options

You can make most types of coffee with either a blade grinder or a burr grinder. However, not all coffee can be made with grounds from a blade grinder. For example, espresso is made by forcing hot water through the coffee at high pressure. There must be enough resistance from the coffee, which means the grounds must be very fine and of a uniform consistency. You can't achieve such a grind with a blade grinder, but a high-end burr grinder can do the job.

4. Easier Cleanup

Finally, keep in mind that cleaning up after using a blade grinder can be a little more tricky than cleaning up after using a burr grinder. For example, if you're using a French press, you'll want your grounds to be quite coarse to avoid them passing through the filter. When grounds aren't uniform, you'll end up with some fine grounds that seep through the filter and create a sludgy residue at the bottom of each cup.