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The Best Hamilton Beach Coffee Makers of 2016

Product Comparisons, Shopping

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There’s more than a dozen ways to brew a good cup of coffee. And no matter the roast or the strength, coffee maker manufacturer Hamilton Beach has a machine for the java novice and aficionado alike.

Some machines use single-serving pods, such as the Hamilton Beach 49970 Personal Cup. Others, such as the Hamilton Beach 49467 12 Cup with Digital Clock, use a traditional filter and coffee grounds. Another 12-cup and Summit models get rid of a coffee pot all together and use an insulated tank to keep coffee hot and fresh. Newer models, such as the 2-Way or FlexBrew, encompass all methods and can use both pods and grounds to meet your coffee needs.

Read through our list of Hamilton Beach’s best brewers to help you decide if one is right for you.

Our analysis: Based on 11,518 reviews

NerdWallet Shopping’s scoring of the best Hamilton Beach coffee makers is based on our analysis of the opinions of experts and shoppers like you.

Whether you prefer decaf or regular, single-serve or 12-cup, you need a coffee maker that will brew a cup of joe to your liking. That’s where we come in. We analyzed the most popular coffee makers on the market, including Hamilton Beach’s, to help you purchase the right one.

We recognize that consumers look for different qualities in coffee makers, so we scored users’ observations on multiple features of top models, including ease of use, coffee quality and more.

Our scores range from a low of 1 to a high of 10. Here’s how we devised them:

Overall score: This score shows reviewers’ overall satisfaction level with the coffee maker as a whole across 11 criteria, including ease of use, coffee quality, coffee maker design, size and durability.

Coffee Quality: This score reflects reviewers’ satisfaction with the quality of coffee the maker produces. This includes coffee taste, temperature and brewing. Coffee quality is a contributor to each coffee maker’s overall score, but we also called it out separately because it’s important to many consumers.

Ease of use: This score indicates reviewers’ satisfaction with how easy the maker is to use. This includes aspects such as cleaning, setup, design and features. Ease of use is a contributor to each coffee maker’s overall score, but we also highlighted it separately because many consumers seek an easy-to-use machine.

Here are our top Hamilton Beach coffee makers, ranked in order of overall score.

The coffee makers

1. Hamilton Beach 49970 Personal Cup

Easy to brew and easy to clean, the Personal Cup is a single-serving coffee maker. Users just pop in a pod, pour water in and push a button to operate. Using pods gives coffee drinkers an array of flavors to choose from. Coffee aficionados who prefer a stronger brew, however, thought the coffee lacked the caffeine kick they crave.


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Hamilton Beach 49970 Personal Cup One Cup Pod Brewer

  • Overall score: 8.79
  • Coffee quality: 7.53
  • Ease of use: 7.79

Buyers Like

  • Compact size.
  • No spilling.

Buyers Dislike

  • Quick brewing doesn’t make coffee bold enough.
  • Coffee is too weak and not hot enough.

2. Hamilton Beach 46201 12-Cup Coffee Maker

The digital, stainless steel model brews a full 12-cup pot of coffee and looks good while doing it. Users admire the clean, compact design that takes up minimal counter space. The carafe lid, however, can be difficult to clean.


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Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Digital Coffee Maker, Stainless Steel (46201)

  • Overall score: 8.47
  • Coffee quality: 8.23
  • Ease of use: 8.91

Buyers Like

  • Display is easy to use, read and program.
  • Wheels at the base of the machine make water reservoir easy to fill.
  • Compact, quiet machine.

Buyers Dislike

  • Carafe difficult to clean.
  • Slow brewing.

3. Hamilton Beach 48465 Summit Ultra

Good for coffee drinkers on the go, the Summit Ultra dispenses the brew at the touch of a button, and the dispense tray can hold tall tumblers. The insulated tank keeps the coffee tasting warm and fresh, but can be tough to clean due to the Ultra’s bulky design. Users complained the coffee maker took up too much room and couldn’t fit under low cabinets.


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Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Coffee Maker, Programmable Brewstation Dispensing Coffee Machine, Summit Ultra (48465)

  • Overall score: 8.33
  • Coffee quality: 9.13
  • Ease of use: 7.72

Buyers Like

  • Fast, delicious, hot coffee.
  • No-pour dispenser bar prevents spilling.

Buyers Dislike

  • Size and height.
  • Hard to clean.

4. Hamilton Beach 49981A Single-Serve

The Hamilton Beach 49981A Single-Serve — better known as The Scoop Single-Serve — is a simple coffee maker with multiple brewing options to make your coffee customizable. Users especially like how quickly it can churn out a strong, hot cup.


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Hamilton Beach 49981A Single-Serve Scoop Coffee Maker

  • Overall score: 8.25
  • Coffee quality: 7.17
  • Ease of use: 8.13

Buyers Like

  • Brews strong, hot coffee quickly.
  • Easy to clean.

Buyers Dislike

  • Coffee tends to spill over.
  • No indicator to show how much water is in the reservoir.

5. Hamilton Beach 49980A 2-Way Brewer

The Hamilton Beach 2-Way lets users brew coffee for one or 12, with grounds or pods. No matter what you choose, the 2-Way produces a nice cup of coffee, though users mentioned it takes a little longer to produce that perfect batch.


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Hamilton Beach Single-Serve Coffee Brewer and Full Pot Coffee Maker, 2-Way (49980A)

  • Overall score: 8.17
  • Coffee quality: 7.49
  • Ease of use: 8.69

Buyers Like

  • Makes bold, delicious coffee.
  • Carafe design prevents spilling.
  • Easy to clean.

Buyers Dislike

  • Slow brewing.
  • Bulky, too tall for low cabinets.

6. Hamilton Beach 49467 12 Cup Coffee Maker With Digital Clock

The Hamilton Beach 12 Cup Coffee Maker With Digital Clock is a simple brewer. This machine uses a cone filter, which helps it brew consistently delicious java and is easy to clean. Eager coffee drinkers appreciated the “pause and serve” feature that lets users pour a cup mid-brew. The time saved was spent cleaning, however, because the carafe tends to spill unless poured slowly.


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Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Coffee Maker With Digital Clock (49467)

  • Overall score: 8.1
  • Coffee quality: 8.91
  • Ease of use: 6.89

Buyers Like

  • “Pause and serve” feature.
  • Easy-to-fill water reservoir.

Buyers Dislike

  • Carafe spills when pouring.
  • No option to make coffee stronger.

7. Hamilton Beach 48464 Summit

A carafe-less coffee maker, the Summit has an insulated tank where it brews 12 cups of coffee to dispense in single servings. Users liked features such as the removable water reservoir for easy filling and the auto shut-off on the keep-warm timer.


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Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Coffee Maker, Programmable Brewstation Summit Dispensing Coffee Machine (48464)

  • Overall score: 7.63
  • Coffee quality: 8.55
  • Ease of use: 6.88

Buyers Like

  • Keep-warm timer.
  • Carafe-less dispenser.
  • Rich, hot, smooth coffee.

Buyers Dislike

  • Hard to clean
  • Bulky and tall.

8. Hamilton Beach 47950 12-Cup Dispensing Coffee Maker

Hamilton’s original 12-cup coffee dispenser is its first to go carafe-less. It uses a dispenser bar instead, and removing the coffee pot means no more pouring, spilling, breaking or tasting burnt java.


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Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Coffee Maker, Programmable Brewstation Dispensing Coffee Machine (47950)

  • Overall score: 6.62
  • Coffee quality: 6.65
  • Ease of use: 6.42

Buyers Like

  • Easy-to-program interface.
  • Removable water reservoir.

Buyers Dislike

  • Coffee can taste watery; needs double amount of grounds.
  • Coffee not hot enough.
  • Water tends to leak or overflow.

9. Hamilton Beach 49983A 2-Way FlexBrew

Just as the name implies, this two-dispenser coffee system gives users plenty of options to meet their coffee fix. It can brew one cup or 12, and can make coffee with pods or grounds. Users liked the brewing flexibility but said that K-cups would impart a plastic-like smell and taste to the coffee.


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Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Coffee Maker, Programmable Brewstation Dispensing Coffee Machine (47950)

  • Overall score: 6.62
  • Coffee quality: 6.65
  • Ease of use: 6.42

Buyers Like

  • Can fit in small counter spaces.
  • Option to brew single cup or 12 cups.

Buyers Dislike

  • K-cup pods leave plastic-like taste in coffee.
  • Long brew time.

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Nina Tabios is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: ntabios@nerdwallet.com.