How Often to Replace Burrs On Coffee Grinder | Know When It’s Time

No matter how good your coffee beans are, the final result might not always be as vibrant as before. If there isn’t any apparent reason for the deteriorated taste, most probably the burrs on your coffee grinder have gone dull. And they should be replaced.

So, how often to replace burrs on the coffee grinder? Metal burrs should be replaced after grinding approximately 500 lb of coffee. Ceramic burrs can last up to 750 lb of grinding before being dull.

We will discuss the signs that show the burrs on your coffee grinder should be changed. The benefits of changing burrs and the installation process will also be covered. Let’s grind it.

How to Tell If Your Burrs Are Worn Out?

Internals of a burr coffee grinder

The durability and performance of the burrs can vary depending on the material and use frequency. But here are some clear indications that tell you to replace the burrs on your coffee grinder as soon as possible. Check if your grinder shows the same.

1. Grinding Is More Difficult Than Before

When the grinder is new, it should perform with subtle noise that is on the quieter side. And the ground coffee should come out pretty fast. As the burrs start aging, it becomes more challenging for them to grind the coffee.

As a result, you will hear harsh noises from the grinder. Plus, the grinding time will also increase. This is a sign that you need to replace the burrs. But you may not make the right judgment every time, only depending on the noise.

2. Inconsistent Grind

Though all particles in one grind might not be exactly the same, you should have a balanced size that indicates consistency. If the burrs are dull, you will miss this consistency. Ground coffee will have particles of various sizes.

Inconsistent grind is another sign that it is time to replace the burrs. But don’t forget the following symptoms.

3. Extraction Time Is Inconsistent

When the burrs are sharp, they produce consistent grounds that can be extracted in a specific period. If you are using the same recipe, the extraction time should also be the same. But the time starts going up and down if the burrs are dull.

4. You Need to Choose Finer Setting

Say, you grind coffee beans at setting 9 for a specific recipe. As the burrs age, they can’t produce the fineness required by the setting. So you will see coarser results. And you need to select setting 8 or 7 to get the right grind size.

It indicates that the burrs are dull and you need to replace them.

5. Coffee Tastes Muddy or Flat

The taste of your coffee mostly depends on the grind quality. If you don’t feel that sparkling taste or transparency in your coffee, it is time to change the burrs. When the burrs are dull, the brewed coffee will taste muddy, cloudy, or flat.

6. The Grounds Are Clumped

When the burrs lose their sharpness, the coffee ground will be clumped. Though you can break the clumps with your fingers, it will result in bitter coffee. It is a sign that the burrs need to be replaced.

7. Blunt Dull Edges or Chipping

Another common sign you want to look at is the physical condition of the burrs. If the edges don’t feel as sharp as new, the burrs have probably taken a lot of beating. There can also be signs of chipping or wear on the burrs. These signs tell that you need to replace the burrs.

Effects of Old Burrs on the Flavor of Coffee

As we have already stated, grind quality is crucial for the flavor of the coffee. When the burrs are new and sharp, they produce consistent grounds that result in a vibrant cup of coffee. You should feel that energy and happiness while tasting coffee.

But if the burrs are old and dull, they can’t maintain the consistency of the grounds. And when the ground size isn’t consistent, the extraction time will also differ. It will result in bland or stale coffee. The freshness of the coffee won’t be present. Instead, you will get a muddy or cloudy flavor from the coffee.

Close shot of a burr coffee grinder

How to Install New Burrs On Your Grinder?

It only takes a bit of your time and effort to install new burrs on your coffee grinder [1]. We have a step-by-step guide here to help you throughout the process.

  • Step 1: Start by removing the old burrs from the grinder. After unplugging the grinder, take the bean hopper off.
  • Step 2: One burr will be attached to the carrier and the other to the shaft. You can use a flat-head screwdriver to unscrew them.
  • Step 3: After removing old burrs, clean the area.
  • Step 4: Take a new set of burrs and start screwing them one by one. Tighten the screws evenly.
  • Step 5: Put the burr carrier in place and lock it. Then, put the bean hopper on.

The Benefits of Replacing Your Grinder’s Burrs

You will enjoy the following benefits after replacing the grinder’s burrs.

  • The grinder will perform quietly and generate less heat. So, the ground coffee won’t be hotter than it should be.
  • It will deliver consistent grounds after replacing the burrs.
  • The coffee will taste fresh and delicious, just like you get on a new grinder.
  • New burrs will produce the same amount of ground much faster.

Cost Considerations for Replacing the Burrs

Using stainless steel burrs on your grinder might cost less than $100 per set. But the burrs will warp or be dull much faster.

Ceramic burrs are a lot more durable than stainless steel burrs [2]. And they can cost more than double the price of steel burrs. But once you invest in a good set of ceramic burrs, they will continue to perform for a long time.

Ceramic burrs are harder than steel and last (on average) about twice as long as steel burrs.
Burr Coffee Grinder and Coffee Beans


Check the answers to frequently asked questions about replacing burrs on your coffee grinder.

Can I rinse the burrs instead of replacing them?

Burrs may have some deposits on them that help lower the performance. But rinsing them won’t solve the problem.

How long will the burrs last after replacement?

If you grind two pounds of coffee every week, steel burrs should last about five years. Ceramic burrs will last a bit longer.

How do I test burrs for dullness?

After exposing the burrs, you can run your fingers across the edges. It should feel dull. You can also use a magnifier to see micro wears on the burrs.

Wrapping Up

A fresh cup of coffee can change your mood anytime. But the taste greatly depends on the ground size, consistency, and brewing time.

All these factors will be affected if the burrs on your coffee grinder aren’t sharp enough. So the question arises, how often to replace burrs on the coffee grinder?

Burrs should usually be replaced after grinding 500-750 lbs of coffee. But that range might not be the same for all grinders or individual users.

We suggest checking for signs of dullness. If you see the above-mentioned symptoms, you should consider replacing the burrs on your coffee grinder.

Coffee Gears that I Use Daily

Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

This is my favorite grinder when I’m at home to start my day with the perfect cup. It delivers excellent grind consistency & offers versatile settings. The price is also reasonable. I recommend this grinder to all my fellow coffee enthusiasts. Check it out on Amazon now.

VSSL JAVA Manual Hand Coffee Grinder

I travel a lot, but can’t take Baratza with me. So, I carry this fantastic manual hand coffee grinder made by VSSL. It’s compact and lightweight, and its crank handle comes with a convenient carabiner feature, making it the perfect on-the-go companion for me. Get yours on Amazon today.

Coffee Scale

I rely on my trusty digital scale to measure the exact amount of coffee grounds and water for the perfect flavor and strength. Whether I’m at home or on the go, this scale is a must-have. Available on Amazon, get your hands on one and elevate your coffee game to the next level.


Sujit Modak

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