Spice Grinder Vs. Coffee Grinder

Spice Grinder Vs. Coffee Grinder

Were you planning to buy a coffee grinder but you were appalled by the expensive cost?  A spice grinder is the next best alternative as it is affordable and performs a similar purpose. But can you actually use a spice grinder in place of a coffee grinder? 

Spice grinder vs. coffee grinder: What are the differences?

A spice grinder is usually used to grind various spices like cloves, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, pepper and Chinese five spices, among others. Meanwhile, a coffee grinder is meant to extract the taste and aroma from coffee beans so you can brew delicious coffee. 

One difference between the spice grinder and a coffee grinder is that the former is good at chopping soft and hard as well as wet ingredients, especially the higher-priced ones. This is not quite possible with the latter.

A spice grinder also has bigger canals although the blades do not cut up the substances to a homogenous size. On the other hand, a coffee grinder has a smaller canal since it is specially designed for grinding coffee beans. It is also meant to produce a homogenous grind quality. 

Another difference between a spice grinder and a coffee grinder is the cost. The latter is relatively costly compared to the former because they are usually more precise and has different adjustments which increases the cost.

A big difference between the two grinders is that spice grinders use blades to grind spices and herbs while coffee grinders use conical burrs to grind coffee beans. A spice grinder does not grind the ingredients but only slice it as opposed to the coffee grinder which grinds coffee beans. 

Spice grinder: Types and how it works  

Spice grinders come in two types, electric and manual. Electric is more costly but it is more convenient to use. It is the ideal type for people who often use ground spices in the food they cook such as kitchen cooks and chefs. The manual one is ideal if you do not use spices often. It requires effort to use so if you always need to grind a large volume this type is not for you. 

Spice grinders can grind tough and dried spices resulting in textures that are fine or coarse.  Some are designed like bottles and if you are using the spice whole just remove the lid and put it out. If you need to utilize the ground spice just invert the jar, turn the lid and it will grind the spice. Some designs have a catch mechanism on the top where the ground ingredients are deposited.

Pros and cons of spice grinders

These are the pros and cons of spice grinders:


  • It has many uses. 
  • It features a wide range of levels from entry-level to professional. 
  • Some high-end and modern models can chop hard ingredients like nuts. 


  • It is not consistent enough for grinding coffee beans.

Recommended spice grinders

These are our recommended spice grinders:

1. Kuhn Rikon Adjustable Grinder

It features a high-performance ratchet operating system and ceramic grinding stone. To operate it, simply move the ratchet back and forth to grind. It is easy on the wrist and delivers a consistent grind. It is made of plastic and with a dimension of 8.5 inches in height by 2.25 inches in diameter. The contents are visible and hassle-free to use. 

2. Krups Electric Spice and Coffee Grinder

This spice grinder also functions as a coffee grinder. It features an oval blade shape to ensure an even and uniformed grinding. It has a large capacity and can grind up to 12 cups of coffee. It grinds all kinds of dry spices and has a lid activated safety. switch. It weighs around 1.76 pounds and its dimension is four inches long by four inches width by  9.13 inches height. 

Coffee grinder: Types and how it works 

Coffee grinders were originally just the blade type but with the advent of technological advances, there are now two other types, the burr grinder and burr disc and conical. 

The blade type works the same way as a blender since it grinds ingredients using small blades. However, it cannot grind very evenly. It is quite cheap because of the simple technology. 

The burr type is more widely used compared to the blade type. It grinds coffee beans evenly resulting in more flavorful coffee. You can also adjust the size of the grind. 

The disc and conical type is the most advanced one and can provide very precise grinding. It has grooves located in the crones of discs which allow coffee beans to find their way to the grinding bowl. It results in an improved grind because the grooves have sharp edges and the beans are cut more evenly and precisely. This type is also the most expensive among the three types.

Pros and cons of coffee grinders

These are the pros and cons of coffee grinders:


  • It is the best device for grinding coffee because of the burr design. 


  • It should not be used to grind anything except coffee beans.
  • The electric versions are loud. 
  • It is quite costly. 

Recommended Coffee Grinders

These are our recommended coffee grinders:

1. Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

This award-winning coffee grinder comes in colors white or black and the preferred choice for brewing coffee at home. It features a user-friendly design and has 40 grind settings to let you explore a wide range of brew methods. Its alloy steel burrs are manufactured in Europe. It also has a powerful DC motor. 

2. Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind 

This stainless steel coffee maker can hold up to 32 cups of ground coffee. It has a four to 18-cup slide dial and an 18-position grind selector. It also has a scoop or cleaning brush along with it. Its dimension is six inches in length by 7.13 inches width by 10.75 inches height with a cord length of 34 inches. 

Even though coffee grinders are not meant for it, some people do use them for grinding other ingredients such as spices, bread crumbs, small amounts of flour, dry herbs, chopped nuts and seeds, herbs for teas and powdered sugar. 

Image: istockphoto.com / art_jordison