Burr Mills use two revolving abrasive elements, such as wheels or conical grinding elements, between which the coffee beans are crushed or “torn” with little frictional heating. The process of squeezing and crushing of the beans releases the coffee’s oils, which are then more easily extracted during the infusion process with hot water, making the coffee taste richer and smoother.
Both manually and electrically powered mills are available. These mills grind the coffee to a fairly uniform size determined by the separation of the two abrasive surfaces between which the coffee is ground; the uniform grind produces a more even extraction when brewed, without excessively fine particles that clog filters.
These mills offer a wide range of grind settings, making them suitable to grind coffee for various brewing systems such as espresso, drip, percolators, French press, and others. Many burr grinders, including almost all domestic versions, are unable to achieve the extremely fine grind required for the preparation of Turkish coffee; traditional Turkish hand grinders are an exception.
Conical burr grinders use steel burrs which allow them to grind effectively while rotating relatively slowly, usually below 500 rpm, reducing frictional heating of the ground coffee, thus preserving maximum aroma. Conical burr grinders are quieter and less likely to clog than disk grinders.
Grinders with disk-type burrs usually rotate faster than conical burr grinders and warm the ground coffee a little by friction, manual models less than electrical. They are cheaper than conical burr grinders, and are well suited for grinding small amounts of coffee (with no time for heat to build up) for home use.
Info courtesy of Wikipedia