Updated: June 5, 2021 by Owen Richardson
If you are considering a new gadget for your coffee-making, you may have weighed the benefits of a spice grinder vs a coffee grinder. Purchasing a spice grinder may seem like a bargain buy since you can use it for grinding both coffee and spices, but this is not always the case.
A spice grinder may seem more attractive since you save money by buying only one gadget for your kitchen, but it can make your coffee taste less pleasant.
Spice grinders usually consist of a sharp blade that spins to grind up the coffee or spices, whereas when you purchase a coffee grinder, you can opt for a burr-styled grinder to create a consistent grind for your beans. Knowing the differences between a burr grinder and a blade grinder can help your decision.
Main Differences Between Spice Grinders vs Coffee Grinders
To help you decide whether to buy a spice grinder or coffee grinder, the main differences are:
- A spice grinder can be used for grinding a variety of dried spices, nuts, and beans, including coffee beans, as long as it’s properly cleaned in between uses, whereas a coffee grinder should be solely used for grinding coffee beans.
- A spice grinder usually doesn’t have a large capacity, as a little spice goes a long way, whereas a coffee grinder would have to have a bigger capacity as you would need to grind a whole lot more beans to brew a pot of coffee.
- A spice grinder may produce an inconsistent grind with no adverse effect on the flavor of the final dish, whereas a coffee grinder should create a consistent grind for the resulting brew to taste its best.
The best spice grinder is the Kuhn Rikon Adjustable Ratchet Grinder due to its wrist-friendly grinding handle. The price range gives you an affordable yet quality spice grinder.
The best coffee grinder ends up being the SHARDOR Conical Burr Coffee Grinder for its efficiency and promise of a consistent grind for your coffee beans.
Using a Spice Grinder for Coffee
Spice grinders are versatile and great to have in your home since some models can grind a variety of foods, including coffee beans, spices, seeds, and even nuts, with the sturdier models. However, purchasing a spice grinder to make coffee grounds is not always the best route to take.
First of all, you do not want to grind your coffee where you grind your curry spices as these are bound to leave residual oils in the grinding mechanism. You do not want to inadvertently infuse masala flavors into your Arabica grounds.
Secondly, to brew a great-tasting cup of joe, one of the most essential aspects when grinding your coffee beans is to ensure that you get a consistent grind.
This means that the ground coffee beans should all be fairly even in size. The blade grinders tend to miss a few beans that escape the spinning blades, and this causes an inconsistent grind. Burr grinders, on the other hand, create an even powder with a uniform texture.
Bottom line, we do not recommend using a spice grinder as a coffee grinder as this could put a damper on what could be a great coffee experience. Get a spice grinder for your spices, and a coffee grinder for your coffee.
Spice vs Coffee Grinder Choices
This handheld spice grinder is an excellent solution for easy grinding. The new design eliminates the crank grinding mechanism and offers an easier grinding method: a lever on top. This prevents sore wrists and offers an easier grind.
- Ceramic grinding stone
- Suitable for a wide variety of spices
- Small and portable
The size of this spice grinder is great for easy storing due to its compact size, so you can grind your favorite spices anywhere.
The downfall is that it is not suitable for grinding coffee beans and will only be suitable for grinding various spices.
- Easy on the wrists
- Window to see ground spices
- 2-year warranty
- Not big enough for grinding in bulk
In conclusion, this handheld spice grinder is a good budget-friendly option that will have you easily grinding up your spices, but it cannot be used as a solution to grind your coffee beans.
The overall rating for this is 4.7 stars due to its durability and easy-to-use hand lever that protects your wrists from unnecessary pressure.
This model is convenient and simple to use with its one-button functionality that produces finely ground spices in a few seconds. The high-powered motor gives you an efficient way to grind up your spices.
- Stainless steel blades
- Heavy-duty 200-watt motor
- Push top operation
I love that this model is electric since it means I don’t need to manually grind up my spices, as it will quickly grind them up for me. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a wet bowl for grinding up things like garlic and ginger. However, not many spice grinders have this functionality.
- Dishwasher safe
- Non-slip rubber feet
- Bowl can hold 90g of spices
- Extra storage space in the lid
- The lid must be aligned correctly in order to twist on
- Not suitable for grinding wet ingredients
Customers gave this an overall score of 4.5 because of its elegant design and simple cleaning since it has dishwasher-safe parts.
This burr mill coffee grinder is a top-quality grinder that produces ground coffee with its electric motor and various grind settings for you to have full control over your grind size.
- Electric motor
- 14 adjustable grind settings
- Removable conical burr
This model is a great option to me because of its durability and high-powered functioning. The one-button functionality is convenient, too, because it doesn’t complicate the grinding process. I don’t like that it may be noisier than other models.
- Grinds enough for up to 12 cups of coffee
- One-touch start button
- Pricier than blade grinders
This model was given an overall rating of 4.5 stars, which proves its efficiency to grind your coffee beans consistently and give you a flavorful cup of coffee. The noise and higher price may be why customers deducted 0.5 stars.
This high-powered electrical burr grinder gives you all you need in a coffee grinder. With multiple grind settings and silent functionality, you will have efficiently ground coffee for your cup of joe.
- Quiet functioning
- 40 grind settings
- Conical burr mechanism
I like that this model contains a burr mechanism, as it will provide consistent ground coffee. However, since it is not manual, I will be using power every time I grind my coffee beans.
- Easy to clean with a built-in electrical brush
- Grinds enough for 14 cups of coffee
- Portable filter that holds the ground coffee
- More expensive than other models
Customers awarded this model with 4.4 stars as it provides users with consistently ground coffee in less than a minute. The price may be a deterrent to some.
Buying Guide for Spice and Coffee Grinders
Versatility can be a big factor when considering these products because you may be on a budget or short of kitchen space, so you want an appliance that does more than one task.
The blade mechanism used in spice grinders is also found in budget coffee grinders, and so these can be used for grinding both spices and coffee beans.
The burr coffee grinders are suitable for coffee more than spices, but some models do allow for grinding both. The coffee grinders also have a multitude of grind sizes to choose from.
This one is a tie since you can grind both coffee and spices in some spice grinders, but coffee grinders offer more versatility in the grind size, which is important for the taste of your brew.
When you are primarily grinding coffee beans, then consistency is crucial. Althought you can consider this feature with spice grinders, the evenness of your spice isn’t usually a major factor, so grind consistency of spice grinders is not guaranteed.
Spice Grinders Consistency
Spice grinders generally produce an uneven grind due to the blades’ inability to cut up everything in the bowl evenly.
Coffee Grinders Consistency
Burr grinders offer a consistent grind for your coffee beans, giving you a better-tasting cup of coffee.
The coffee grinder wins here since one of the important features when grinding coffee beans is producing a highly consistent grind.
Spice Grinder vs Coffee Grinder FAQs
Are spice grinders the same as coffee grinders?
In terms of mechanisms, they work pretty much the same way. They both can have blades or burrs. But both have specialized features that make them ideal for what they are meant to grind. You can also learn to grind coffee with out a grinder.
Can you use a coffee grinder for grinding spices?
It depends on the model. Some coffee grinders can be used to grind spices and vice versa. However, you should clean the grinder properly before swapping between the two to ensure the taste is not affected.
Is a burr coffee grinder better than a blade grinder?
When it comes to grinding coffee, a burr grinder is your best choice because it produces a consistent grind for your beans. With spices, the consistency doesn’t matter as much, so you can get a quality spice grind by using a blade grinder. Learn more about burr vs blade grinders here.
The Last Grind
The choice you make between a spice grinder and a coffee grinder will depend on your primary use for the grinder, as well as your budget. If you are looking for an affordable option, you should consider a spice grinder that can grind your coffee beans as well.
However, if you are looking to improve your coffee-brewing skills, you should invest in a good-quality burr coffee grinder that will help bring out the flavors in your coffee beans.
On that note, you should take a look at the top-quality beans that you can try out to make great-tasting coffee.