This compact grinder is powerful and has a removable chamber for easy use.
Easy and convenient to both use and clean. Has a very quiet operation. Great for grinding spices, beans, and more into fine powders. The cord can be conveniently wrapped around the bottom of the grinder.
The motor can heat up with excessive use.
A high-quality grinder crafted with German precision.
Is very efficient and powerful, despite its small size. This model is easy to clean and does not have too many detachable parts. The stainless steel blades are good for spices, herbs, nuts, and grains.
There is no dial to set the level of coarseness.
A powerful grinder with very quiet operation.
The removable stainless steel grinding bowl is dishwasher safe. This is a great grinder for those who enjoy that freshly-ground, whole-bean coffee taste made in a French press. This grinder is very effective for a 2-bladed mill.
Some reviewers say the product is not very long-lasting.
The ratchet operating system is easier to use than some twist systems.
Good for people with arthritis. Move the hatchet back and forth to easily grind spices. Users can choose how coarse or fine they want their spices with a dial. Impressive capacity for its size. It's easy to fill thanks to a door on the chamber.
Some reports of parts breaking after extended use. May work better as a table grinder than a kitchen tool.
This electric grinder is simple in functionality, and comes with two bowls for grinding spices or coffee.
One touch operation makes for easy use. The clear lid provides a visual on the status of the grinding. Has a stainless steel blade, a removable larger bowl, and smaller one for using on spices. Also works great for coffee grounds.
It’s best to only use the smaller bowl for spices as the larger one won’t grind very fine,and tends to make a mess.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
If your dream meal is a richly spiced tagine or curry, freshly grinding your spices will elevate your dish to the next level. It might seem like a hassle or an unnecessary extra step, but with a decent spice grinder, your spices will be ready to use in less than a minute, and you’ll taste the difference.
There are all sorts of makes, models, and varieties of spice grinders on the market, so how do you pick one that fits your needs? Well, you're in the right place!
We have consulted Samantha Attard, an expert with a Ph.D. in nutrition, to bring you the information you need. At the top of this page, you'll find a product list that features our five favorite spice grinders on the market. If you want to learn more about spice grinders and how to pick the right one for you, please continue reading this guide.
Let's take a look at the two main types of spice grinders — manual and electric — and how to pick the right kind for you.
Manual spice grinders are operated by hand, usually with a crank that you turn but sometimes with other mechanisms, such as a pull-cord or a push-button.
You get more control over your grind with a manual spice grinder; it's common to over-grind and get a finer result than you wanted with an electric grinder.
Manual spice grinders are easier to clean, even if they don't have a removable grinding chamber, as it's okay to get a manual spice grinder wet. Electric models should not get wet.
As a rule, manual spice grinders are cheaper than electric versions.
Manual spice grinders can be used on the go — for instance, on camping trips — as they don't require electricity.
It takes longer to grind spices in a manual spice grinder.
Manual spice grinders might not be suitable for people who have problems with hand dexterity or grip.
Electric spice grinders plug into a power outlet and operate at the press of a button.
Electric spice grinders are quicker than their manual counterparts.
You can generally grind larger amounts of spices in one go in an electric spice grinder.
Electric spice grinders may give you more even and uniform results.
Some electric spice grinders allow you to choose between different grind sizes.
Electric spice grinders often cost more than manual versions.
If you only want to grind a very small amount of spice, electric spice grinders might not give the best results, as they tend to have larger capacities.
Some spice grinders, both manual and electric, allow you to select the grind size. You can choose whether you want your spices to be ground fine, coarse, or somewhere in between.
For some users, this is an essential feature, since certain types of recipes may call for a coarser grind. But others users might only ever want their spices ground as finely as possible.
Properly cleaning out your spice grinder between uses is important. If you don't, you may find the fresh cinnamon you ground for a loaf of banana bread ends up tasting like cumin.
Manual grinders are easier to clean. You can just wash them in the sink with soap and water, and some are even dishwasher safe. Electric grinders, on the other hand, can be tricky to get perfectly clean. Some have removable grinding chambers that can be washed and dried separately from the main body of the grinder, which houses the motor and electrics. However, if your grinding chamber isn't removable, you have to be more careful. Simply wipe it clean and/or brush it out with a pastry brush.
Here we're talking about the external size of your spice grinder. If you don't have much counter or cupboard space, you might want a compact model that you can tuck away somewhere.
However, if you have plenty of room in your kitchen, size won't be such an issue. In fact, you might prefer a more substantial model that would look good on your countertop.
A spice grinder’s capacity refers to how much spice you can grind at one time. Physically larger spice grinders will generally have a larger capacity, but this isn’t always true. (For instance, some electric grinders might have a large motor that accounts for most of its real estate.) It’s best to look at both the external size and the internal capacity.
When deciding what capacity you need, take this advice from our expert Sam: "If you’re freshly grinding spices at each meal, you may be able to get a manual or small grinder with a very good blade at a reasonable cost. If you’re doing a larger batch of spices, you may want an electric grinder instead, and you may have to compromise on the blade because of the size."
Color likely isn’t the main deciding factor when picking out a spice grinder, but we understand that you might want a grinder that matches your kitchen hardware or other appliances.
Most spice grinder brands come in just one or two basic colors, like black or brushed steel, but others give you a much larger range of color choices.
The good news about spice grinders is that they're all relatively inexpensive.
An average manual spice grinder costs between $10 and $20, but we recommend paying at least $15 to get a durable model that won't break after a few months.
An electric spice grinder could set you back anywhere from $15 to $50. Pricier models will have more options — for instance, multiple choices of grind size — but you can get good, durable (albeit more basic) models for as little as $20.
Q. Can't I just use a coffee grinder to grind my spices?
A. Let's refer to our expert Sam on this one: "Coffee grinders work well for grinding spices, but they may cut up the spices unevenly. This means that in your cooking, there will be uneven saturation of the spices with the food, impacting taste and texture."
So yes, you could use a coffee grinder in a pinch, but it's better to get a dedicated spice grinder. It's also unwise to use the same grinder for both coffee and spices, unless it has a removable grinding chamber, as the flavors could inadvertently transfer between your coffee and your spices ... and nobody wants that!
Q. How can I make sure my spices are as flavorful as possible?
A. For flavorful spices that will truly elevate your cooking, toast spices in a hot, dry pan for a minute or so before grinding them. Just be careful not to burn them, and let them cool before grinding.
Q. Why should I use freshly ground spices instead of the pre-ground type?
A. Jars of pre-ground spices are available in every grocery store, so why bother with freshly ground seasoning? Well, there are two main reasons: freshly ground spices taste better, and they're likely healthier.
According to Sam: "Freshly ground spices are more flavorful and healthier. The aromatics and chemicals in spices are very volatile, which means that they can dissipate quickly. If you use a freshly ground spice, you’ll likely have a higher-quality raw material, and the flavors and health benefits will be more potent."