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✔ What We Liked
- Consistent and clump-free medium and coarse grind
- 43 total grind settings with 15 major settings and 28 in-between settings
- Roomy bean hopper that you can remove with the beans inside
- Grinder holds up well over years of use
✘ What We Didn't Like
- Fine coffee grounds were somewhat clumpy
- The coffee grounds container doesn't lock into place
The OXO Conical Burr Grinder is a solid entry-level option, especially if you want to buy your first coffee grinder. The machine is easy to use and clean. It has a variety of quality-of-life settings and features that aren’t available on lower-priced coffee grinders. It produces consistent coffee grounds, especially at medium coarseness.
Our two knocks against the machine are that fine coffee grounds tend to clump (likely due to static electricity or heat generated by the appliance), and the coffee grounds container moves a bit during grinding. If you plan to use your grinder mostly for espresso, we think there are better options on the market.
I tested this grinder with a medium-dark roast coffee bean, and I tried it on fine, medium, and coarse grind settings. The machine was brand new and cleaned when I ran my test.
In the picture above, there are fine, medium, and coarse coffee grounds from left to right. With the fine grind, there are some clumps. Clumps can form during grinding because of static electricity, a particularly oily bean, an unclean machine, or too much heat.
Since the machine is brand new and unused and the coffee bean I was using was not oily, the cause of the clumping may be related to static electricity or heat. The clumping isn’t ideal if you’re making espresso as the clumps can cause the coffee to be under-extracted or sour-tasting. Make sure to break apart the clumps before you use the coffee grounds to make espresso.
There are virtually no clumps for the medium and coarse grinds, and the grounds are reasonably consistent. The medium grind is more consistent than the coarse grind.
Compared to the Bodum Bistro Grinder we reviewed earlier this year, the coffee grounds are more consistent and less clumpy. While this machine is pricier than the Bodum machine, the difference in quality makes it a clear winner here.
Ease of Use
This grinder is straightforward to use.
The machine has 43 grind settings. There are 15 major grind settings and 28 in-between grind settings. The major grind settings have two notches in between them. There are five fine, five medium, and five coarse grind settings. The number of grind settings gives you many options to customize the grind size. It’s also easy to adjust the machine to the right setting. The labels are clear to read on the front of the grinder.
The bean hopper holds a roomy 12 ounces or roughly 340 grams of coffee beans. We found that the hopper funnels beans smoothly into the burr. There’s no hiccupping or clogging, even when using small amounts of beans.
The grinder also comes with an eight-gram coffee scoop.
Finally, the coffee grounds container is made from stainless steel and has a plastic lid. OXO asserts that the stainless steel container helps fight static electricity. However, I found that the coffee grounds clung to the inside of the container when I was pouring them out. One of my friends who has owned this machine for several years also noted this issue with the coffee grounds clinging to the container.
The container also doesn’t snap into place under the grinder, so it will move a bit during grinding. This allows some grounds to escape over the top of the container, especially when using a fine grind. However, it was a minimal amount.
The plastic lid that comes with the container has a wide mouth, so it’s not ideal to pour coffee grounds directly from the container into something smaller. I would recommend using a scoop.
My friend that owns the machine said the machine has held up well over years of use, even using oily, dark coffee beans, which are prone to clogging grinders.
There’s a timer on the machine. The Start/Stop button (labeled “OXO” on the grinder) also acts as the timer dial. You can set the timer between zero and 30 seconds in one-second increments.
The bean hopper has a couple of notable features. It’s made from UV-blocking plastic that helps preserve your beans’ freshness if you leave them in the hopper (though we still recommend keeping them elsewhere). You can remove the hopper without spilling beans by twisting the interior knob. This will let you remove the hopper from the machine and close the bottom chute so beans don’t escape.
|Number of grind settings||15 major settings (43 total settings)|
|Capacity||The bean hopper holds 12 ounces or 340 grams of coffee beans|
|Ease of cleaning||
I found the machine easy to clean. The hopper detaches easily from the machine. Both the hopper and grounds container are hand-wash only. The coffee scoop that comes with the grinder is dishwasher-safe.
You can remove the outer burr from the machine to access the inner burr. Don’t use water or soap to clean the burr because this can damage it. Instead, use a brush and toothpick to clean out the burr. Avoid using anything metal, like a knife, on the burr grinder because this can scratch it.
Once you’ve taken the outer burr out, you can use a brush and toothpick to clean the inner burr. You can’t remove the inner burr, making it challenging to clean. We recommend having a toothpick handy to get into the nooks and crannies. After cleaning the inner burr, flip over the machine to clean the coffee grounds chute. I find it helpful to use a wooden chopstick to break up compacted coffee grounds in the chute.
The machine is compact and has attractive stainless steel finishes. The grinder measures roughly 12.8 inches tall, 7.75 inches deep, and 5.3 inches wide. It feels unimposing on the countertop because of its slim width. While it’s deeper than other models we’ve reviewed, it’s not bulky.
The grinder only comes in a stainless steel finish. While this may not be to everyone’s taste, we think it elevates the look of the appliance.
The machine weighs roughly 6.5 pounds, which is light. It’s easy to move around if you plan to store it in a cabinet. Because the coffee grounds container doesn’t snap in place, remove the container before you pick the machine up.
We measured the sound of the machine using a sound level meter. It measured the sound at around 89 decibels. Eighty-nine decibels is three decibels quieter than the Bodum Bistro Burr Grinder we reviewed last month. This is comparable to the sound level of heavy traffic, a noisy restaurant, or other home appliances, like a hair dryer or a blender.
You can buy this grinder directly from OXO or multiple retailers, including Amazon. OXO also makes a higher-end model that has an integrated scale. That model retails for around $300. We haven’t reviewed the more expensive model (yet).
All said, for the price, we think this is a great entry-level burr grinder. This machine is a good starting point if you’re new to grinding your coffee beans at home. What we like about this coffee grinder is that it produced consistent coffee grounds, it’s easy to clean, and it has many grind settings.