In this article, we will try to give you the answer to the long-standing debate between a spice grinder vs coffee grinder

Here at The World of Herbs of Spices we have long debated between using coffee grinder or a spice grinder for your spices or even herbs. But we believe we have found the solution!

Whether you want to improve your coffee game or grind fresh beans at home, you may wonder from time to time if you need a dedicated coffee grinder. However, wouldn’t it be nice if you could grind coffee and spices with the same equipment? I mean why have two appliances if you can use one…

While spice grinders and coffee grinders perform similarly, a few significant distinctions make each grinder more effective for its particular use.

For example, while a spice grinder usually employs blades, a high-quality coffee grinder uses burrs, which creates a more consistent grind and, therefore, a more delicious cup.

So, which one is better? It depends on your personal needs. Continue reading to discover more about each machine.

Spice Grinder vs Coffee Grinder

Our Pick — The Spice Grinder

Are you a cooking expert? Just started a spice garden? Or are you like me and LOVE the aroma of fresh ground herbs and spices?

If you answered yes, a grinder must be a constant buddy in your kitchen. Even if you’re new to cooking, a grinder may come in handy in a variety of ways.

Naturally, you can get pre-ground coffee and spices at food stores. However, grinding them at home preserves the quality, taste, and freshness.

Additionally, they improve the flavor and color of your food, imparting an impression of scent and vitality.

Although you can use the two interchangeably, we suggest that a spice grinder can do both jobs to a certain degree. Hence, if you are in a rush and need a grinder for your spices or your coffee beans, a spice grinder might save your day.

1. Spice Grinder

Spice grinders almost commonly use spinning blades and therefore do not grind spices as much as they cut and slice them.

The main disadvantage of blade grinders is that they do not produce particles of uniform size. Because you do not need evenly chopped spices, blade grinders work well. Unevenly sized grounds are unacceptable for coffee and will have a significant impact on how your coffee tastes.

A spice grinder is a valuable piece of culinary equipment since it can grind a range of hard and soft foods, including nuts.

Manual and electric spice grinders are available, with electric grinders being the most common overall. Manual hand grinders need considerable physical effort to use, mainly when grinding large amounts of spices.


Electrical vs Manual: Electric and manual spice grinders are available. Choosing between an electric or manual grinder is a question of convenience vs. expense.

Electric grinders perform better but are more costly. They are convenient to operate, making them ideal for regularly preparing recipes requiring ground spices.

If you only grind spices on a sporadic basis, a hand grinder may save you a lot of money. However, remember that certain hand grinders need some effort to use, and you may regret your purchase if you need to grind a large number of spices or spices that are difficult to grind like star anis.

I like to keep a manual grinder for black pepper for daily cooking. This ensures I get fresh black pepper when ever I season a dish. But I have used my electric spice grinder to grind large batches of peppercorns when I need them for marinades, rubs, and brines.

Versatility: A significant advantage of owning a spice grinder is the versatility it provides. Spice grinders are excellent for cutting small amounts of soft foods. Some are capable of chopping nuts and other more solid components. Spice grinders may also grind dry and wet ingredients at higher price points, which is never acceptable in a coffee grinder.

Preserve the Taste: What distinguishes the spice grinder is getting the most out of your spices. A spice grinder chops the spices into smaller pieces. This gives a delicious taste and aroma to the dish.

Spices are not the same as coffee; once they are ground, the oils are being released. That’s why a spice grinder is a great option to extract the best flavors out of your spices.

  • Relatively affordable compared to a coffee grinder
  • Can grind soft and hard ingredients such as nuts
  • A manual spice grinder is portable and is handy when camping
  • Inconsistent grinding
  • Can be used to grind coffee but will not produce even grounds

2. Coffee Grinder

A coffee grinder is a specialized kitchen item you should use only to grind coffee.

A good burr or “conical” coffee grinder uses burrs rather than blades to grind the coffee evenly between two plates. This consistent grind has a significant impact on the taste of your cup of coffee. I love using a french press and that needs a specific grind size to really appreciate this style of brewing.

Additionally, using a dedicated coffee grinder prevents the flavors of spices or other additives from infiltrating your coffee. Trust me on this, I’ve used a coffee grinder to grind cumin seeds. It’s been years and I still can smell the cumin.


Electrical vs Manual: Coffee grinders are available in both manual and electric versions, like spice grinders. While electric grinders provide many advantages, many coffee experts feel that a manual grinder produces a better product.

Additionally, a hand grinder is quieter in the morning if that is a problem for you. However, if you make large quantities of coffee daily, you’ll want to invest in an electric grinder.

Blade Coffee Grinder: The blade coffee grinder works similarly to blenders or even a spice grinder in that it grinds coffee using tiny blades. The issue is that they are incapable of crushing a coffee bean evenly.

Additionally, you can use a blade coffee grinder to cut or grind other items, most notably spices.

Burrs Coffee Grinders: This is a mid-range coffee grinder that is currently more popular and widely used than the blade grinder.

Apart from their size advantage over blade grinders, these kinds of coffee grinders are more efficient at grinding greater amounts of coffee, as I said previously in the last paragraph.

Disc and Conical Grinder: These are the most sophisticated of the three kinds of grinders, and they can provide the most accurate and optimal grinding experience.

They are grinders that have grooves in the crones of discs. It facilitates the coffee bean’s entry into the grinding bowl, resulting in a more enjoyable grinding experience.

The advantage of the disc and conical grinders is that they provide a more uniform and efficient coffee grind due to the sharp edges of the grooves that assist in cutting the beans more evenly and effectively.

  • Produces consistent grinding
  • Fresh grinding delivers the most savory cup of coffee
  • You can only use it to grind coffee
  • Relatively costly

Similarities: Spice Grinder Vs Coffee Grinder

To avoid misunderstandings, it is necessary to clarify how you may use a coffee grinder to grind spices. The blade coffee grinder is the one that you can use to grind spices.

It crushes and grinds spices using its blades, which are identical to those on a spice grinder. Therefore, if you do not want to use a mortar and pestle, it is the ideal substitute for a spice grinder.

In the absence of a spice or coffee grinder, a mortar and pestle is likewise an excellent substitute. This is an old item that will always be a perfect cooking tool and in any situation. Plus, it makes some kill guacamole!

Differences Between a Spice Grinder and a Coffee Grinder

You can use an electrical spice grinder to grind coffee. The difference is in the grinder’s diameter’s canals.

The canal used to mill black paper in a manual grinder is considerably larger than the canal used to process coffee beans. As a result, coffee beans cannot be ground in a black paper grinder since the beans will not fit in the canal.

Indeed, spice grinders do not grind the material. Instead, they just cut the spices, but in an irregular manner acceptable for use in any recipe calling for that herb or spice.

On the other hand, the quality of coffee highly depends on the fineness and consistency with which it is ground. Coffee that is ground unevenly will have an undesirable texture and consistency. It just won’t brew correctly.

In a specific coffee grinder the beans are chopped into tiny uniform bits. They operate with more precision than spice grinders. This is why coffee grinders are somewhat costly.

However, if the flavor is acceptable to you, you do not need to purchase a separate coffee grinder. Again, if spice scent intrusion is not an issue, you may use the same grinder for coffee and spices. It’s really up to your personal taste and how often you would use this appliance.

Final Thoughts…

There is little functional difference between a spice grinder and a coffee grinder. However, accuracy and quality may vary. Again, various manufacturers provide unique features that may give you extra conveniences. Choose one that is appropriate for your purpose and budget.

You may not have a spice grinder on hand. However, if you have a coffee grinder with blade, do not hesitate to use it grind your spices and then make whatever dish you plan.

When a coffee grinder is not accessible, you may use the same method, but only if you don’t mind how the grinder grinds coffee beans unevenly.

Compared to other kitchen options, choosing which grinder to purchase is a pretty simple task. If you are a coffee enthusiast, you must possess a burr grinder. Nothing will improve the quality of your coffee more than grinding it just before you prepare it using a high-quality burr grinder.

If we could retain just one item from our vast collection of coffee-making accouterments, it would be our burr grinder.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a general-purpose grinder for cutting nuts, spices, and other tiny, reasonably soft materials, a spice grinder is what you’re looking for.

Lastly, a spice grinder is a better purchase if you like cooking and often chop spices in addition to brewing coffee.

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