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Conical burr vs Flat burr vs Ghost burr vs Block burr- let's analyze

Updated: Jan 18

It's a long-existing debate that which is the best burr in the world. It has confused lots of people and the question seems to be unsolvable.


So today, we will share our knowledge about it from the producer's perspective. I hope we can make it clear to you. And if you have other opinions, we are willing to hear from you.


Today the rivals are Conical burr, Flat burr, Ghost burr, Block burr.


So First let's check the features of each burr and working principle


Firstly, the burr means the object with the sharp edges arranged on its surface. So all below burrs have similar outlines.


Conical burr

The conical solid burr consists of the inner conical burr and the outer hollow cylindrical burr. When working, the beans will go through the gap created by the inner burr and out burr. The gap distance will become smaller when the beans go insider. With the inner burr rotating and outer burr fixed, the edges on both sides will cut and crush the beans slowly. In the last stage, the small enough powder will pass through and arrive at the container or portafilter. So you easily figure out from the above principle that the gap between two burrs determined the fineness of the coffee powder.


The powder comes out will have an almost round shape. And because of low speed, the noise is lower than any other burr.


Flat burr

The flat burr is made of 2 similar burrs which look like a hollow disc with the sharp edges on one side. When using, the sharp edges will be put face-to-face. With a high speed, the beans will be pushed to the gap created by the 2 similar burrs by centrifugal force. The gap determined the size of powder come out too like the conical burr.


The powder is more like flat shape and consistency is excellent. But has disadvantages like noise and heat.


Ghost burr( a variant of flat burr)

The ghost burr is called masticating burr too. The structure and principle are similar to flat burr. The only difference is the sharp edges. The ghost burr has the sharp and rough edges both. So the outcome will be more round instead of flat.


We can say the ghost burr is between flat burr and conical burr. And it has the same disadvantages as flat burr: noise and heat.


Block burr( a variant of flat burr)

The block burr is similar to ghost burr and flat burr. It has only the rough edges like blocks on one side. So we call it the block burr. The outcome will be more round than the ghost burr.


We can say the ghost burr is between ghost burr and conical burr. And it has the same disadvantages as flat burr: noise and heat.


Conical burr Vs flat burr VS ghost burr Vs block burr

So let's compare them from different perspectives according to our manufacturing experience


Remark:

  • The result is all based on the metal burr and similar price range.

  • The ghost burr and block burr are not that popular, so the comparison is based our manufacturing experience.


Fineness:


Fat burr = conical burr > ghost burr > block burr


For a good burr grinder, they all can reach a high fineness no matter it's a flat burr or conical burr. But there is one thing that the burr needs to be metal instead of pottery. Only the metal grinder can make high fineness.


Consistency:


Flat burr ≥ conical burr > ghost burr > block burr


In this part, I think the flat burr wins a bit. The flat burr has more disadvantages but it wins on consistency. That's why many commercial grinders in the cafe and coffee shop are flat burr grinders. But also they have some conical grinders in use.


Ghost burr and block can't get high fineness powders, so they are not recommended for espresso in normal conditions.


Noise:


Flat burr = ghost burr = block burr > conical burr


In this part, the conical burr wins totally because of the low-speed grinding. The conical burr is much more silent than the other burrs we mentioned above.

(flat burr and its variants has the same principle)


Heat:


Flat burr = ghost burr = block burr > conical burr


In this part, the conical burr wins totally too because of the low-speed grinding. The conical burr generates much less heat than the other burrs we mentioned above.

(flat burr and its variants has the same principle)


Shape:

  • Flat burr: flat shape powder

  • Ghost burr: Not that round, not that flat powder

  • Block burr: almost round/ round powder

  • Conical burr: Round shape powder


Grind retain:


Flat burr = ghost burr = block burr > conical burr


Here we found that the flat burr loses again because more retain is found in the burrs. Check the structure and design, we can find that the flat burr throws the powder away from the gap on sides. The conical burr release the powder from the button. So the flat burr can't get rid of the extra powder inside by gravity.

(flat burr and its variants has the same principle)


Production:


The production is based on the burr size and motor power. So it's hard to say which burr can make more production. I will show you how to enlarge the production of some conditions.

  • The bigger burr can make more production.

  • The powerful motor can make more production.

  • Choose the lower fineness powder, will be more production


Price:


I will share our experience based on some conditions because it's complicated.


  • Conical burr is used at very low cost and very high cost. There are rarely medium price appliances in the market.

  • Flat burr is the element used normally in the medium price and very high price appliances.

  • Ghost burr is used in low cost and medium cost products normally.

  • Block burr is common in low-cost grinders.

Above is the conclusion based on our experience and there's the exception anyway. And technology is always getting forwarder, maybe in the future, this fact will be changed. If you have other ideas, welcome to share your knowledge.


Above is all we know about the burrs, we try to make it short and easier to understand. So if you have questions or any other ideas, welcome to leave messages to us.


Thanks for being here



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Based near Shanghai, Coffeeappliance is a professional supplier of the coffee appliance and juice appliance. Our main products are coffee grinders, coffee makers, juicer and blender. Owning to the best quality, reasonable price, promote delivery and excellent service, we have developed an extensive network of agents and agent all over the world.

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