The 5 Best Spice Grinders We Tested and Why They're Worth It

The winner is the Cuisinart Electric Spice and Nut Grinder.

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three spice grinders on blue and green gradient background
Photo: Allrecipes Illustration

The delightful aroma and flavor that comes with grinding whole spices really take recipes to the next level. Spice grinders are designed to grind whole spices into fresh blends, but they can also be used to break down coffee beans, seeds, and nuts—making them a versatile tool to add to your collection.

After testing some of the best spice grinders on the market, we selected Cuisinart's Electric Spice and Nut Grinder as our winner based on its efficiency, capacity, durability, versatility, appearance, and ease of cleaning.

Below, you can read about our experience with each option and then use our findings to choose the best spice grinder for you.

Our Favorites

Best Overall: Cuisinart Electric Spice and Nut Grinder

Cuisinart spice grinder next to whole spices
Amazon

Why It's Great

  • Powerful motor
  • Large capacity
  • Dishwasher-safe removable parts
  • Compact size for easy storage

Grain of Salt

  • Lacks accessories

Cuisinart's Electric Spice Grinder accomplishes more with one bladed bowl than its competition does with an assortment of swappable choppers and grinders. Built with a 200-watt motor and constructed from heavy-duty stainless steel, it made quick and consistent work of just about anything we threw at it. A push of the lid allowed us to effortlessly break down black peppercorns, cardamom pods, fennel seeds, hazelnuts, and coffee beans—it even created a fine powder from dense and woody cinnamon sticks.

Since you might not use a spice grinder every day, you want to be able to store it. That's why we love the compact footprint of the Cuisinart. It tops the competition with a generous 90-gram capacity while measuring a comparatively diminutive 9 inches tall and 6 inches wide.

This spice grinder has practical design features, including rubber feet to keep the unit from slipping and a safety lock that only operates when the lid is securely in place. If you need ideas on what to make with your fresh blends, the instruction manual doubles as a handy recipe booklet.

The Details: Stainless steel and plastic; 200 watts; dishwasher-safe lid and bowl

Best Budget: Hamilton Beach Fresh Grind Electric Grinder

Hamilton grinder with coffee beans inside
Amazon

Why It's Great

  • Affordable price
  • Large capacity
  • Extremely quiet
  • Hidden cord storage

Grain of Salt

  • Made of mostly plastic

At under $30, this spice grinder by Hamilton Beach is about $15 to $20 cheaper than the other models on our list yet still works like a charm. Featuring a mostly plastic body, it's not the most attractive or durable option; however, we found that it performs well and doesn't break the bank.

For such a lightweight, unassuming grinder, we were really impressed with its ability to produce evenly processed pulses of peppercorns, coffee beans, cardamom, nuts, cinnamon sticks, and more. The device was pleasantly quiet while operating, which made it more enjoyable to use than some of the other models.

Nothing is sacrificed when it comes to capacity: The cup can be removed from the base and popped into the dishwasher for fuss-free cleanup, and the cord tucks into the base for convenient storage. Another slightly more expensive Hamilton Beach model, the Custom Grind, offers multiple grind levels (coarse, medium, and fine), as well as adjustable settings for cup sizes. While these are nice upgraded features for grinding coffee, we didn't feel they were necessary for spices.

The Details: Stainless steel and plastic; 125 watts; hand wash only

Best Multi-Purpose: Secura Electric Coffee and Spice Grinder

Secura spice grinder with removable blades
Amazon

Why It's Great

  • Suitable for wet and dry ingredients
  • Comes with two separate milling bowls
  • Has a safety lock and cord storage

Grain of Salt

  • Lacks capacity

Want all the bells and whistles? Consider Secura's Electric Coffee and Spice Grinder. It comes with a two-blade grinder bowl for dry ingredients, such as spices, seeds, coffee, and nuts, and a four-blade chopper bowl for wet ingredients, including herbs, chilies, and garlic.

In addition to its enhanced versatility, both bowls are printed on the inside with minimum and maximum capacity marks (up to 80 grams). Plus, they feature lids for storing ground spices, which expedites cleanup and keeps your extras fresh. The device even features a built-in smart overheat protection that helps prolong the life of the motor and cord storage under the base to keep things tidy.

Secura has a range of other coffee and spice grinders, ​​including the similar SP7446 style; however, it has a slightly smaller capacity and doesn't come with interchangeable bowls like our pick.

The Details: Stainless steel and plastic; 200 watts; removable cups are dishwasher safe

Related: The 6 Best Coffee Grinders You Can Buy

Most Quiet: Krups Silent Vortex Electric Grinder

Krups Silent Vortex Electric Grinder
Walmart

Why It's Great

  • Whisper-quiet motor
  • Large capacity
  • Comes with a storage lid

Grain of Salt

  • Can be challenging to clean

The Krups Silent Vortex lives up to its name, featuring a whisper-quiet motor that doesn't skimp on efficiency. Thanks to its Vortex Spin Technology, it pulls ingredients into the blades for quick and consistent grinding. It makes speedy work of dry spices, coffee beans, and nuts of varying sizes and degrees of toughness, and it boasts a sizable capacity of up to 85 grams.

The spice grinder's mixing bowl is made from durable stainless steel and can be easily cleaned in the dishwasher after each use. If you have leftover spices, the removable bowl comes with a storage lid so you can keep blends fresh for future recipes.

Krups has another model, the Fast Touch Coffee and Spice Grinder, which is easy to operate and has enough space to grind whole coffee beans for 12 cups of coffee. While it's a good budget option, we recommend the Silent Vortex because it's essentially noiseless, easy to clean, and looks sleek on countertops.

The Details: Stainless steel and plastic; 200 watts; dishwasher safe grinding bowl

Best Manual: Frieling Cast Iron Spice Grinder

Frieling Cast Iron Spice Grinder
Food52

Why It's Great

  • Doesn't require an outlet
  • Can customize the consistency
  • Attractive design
  • Extremely durable

Grain of Salt

  • Requires more time and effort than electric models

This manual spice grinder is an excellent choice for those who plan on making smaller batches of grounds, prefer a completely noise-free model, and want a grinder that will last a lifetime. Not to mention, the black pre-seasoned cast iron base and beechwood lid make it arguably the most attractive option on our list.

Frieling's spice grinder has three parts: a base, an inner cup, and a lid. To break down your whole spices, simply place them in the base and crush them using the bottom of the inner cup. There are ridges on the bottom of the cup, so it's not too daunting of a task—just twist and turn until you reach your desired consistency.

This grinder is good for spices like peppercorns and chilies, as well as nuts and herbs (basically, anything you'd use to make pesto), but it's less efficient when it comes to tougher ingredients like coffee beans. While it technically has a decent capacity, the grinder performs best on small amounts of ingredients at a time. And needless to say, being manual, it can take a bit of a toll on your hands and wrists.

If you're familiar with cast iron, you know it has special requirements when it comes to its care. Wipe down with a damp cloth and air dry.

The Details: Seasoned cast iron and beech wood; twist by hand; clean with a damp cloth

Related: The 6 Essential Organizational Tools That Changed Our Kitchens For the Better

Our Takeaway

We chose Cuisinart's Electric Spice and Nut Grinder as our best overall pick because of its powerful motor, simple design, and compact size. By simply pressing down on the lid, the device effortlessly grinds whole spices, nuts, and coffee beans in seconds.

How to Pick the Right Spice Grinder

Manual vs. Electric Grinders

There are two main types of spice grinders: electric and manual. Manual grinders can be broken down even further into two subcategories: ratchet and mill-type grinders. Manual grinders work well for grinding small batches of spices, while electric grinders are the best option when making large batches.

Capacity

Spice grinders' capacity ranges from 40 to 90 grams, with an average capacity of about 70 grams. Manual grinders tend to have smaller chambers than electric grinders. You'll want to consider the volume of spices you'll be grinding as well as the amount of free counter space or storage you have before choosing the best model for you.

Noise

Most electric grinders have loud motors, which gives manual grinders the upper hand when it comes to noise volume. However, some electric models feature advanced technology to minimize noise levels while still retaining grinding power.

Versatility

Although this review focuses on grinding whole spices, you'll find that most models have the ability to grind coffee, nuts, and even vegetables as well. If you want to cut down on the number of kitchen gadgets used for chopping, grinding, and crunching, consider choosing a model that can do it all.

About Our Tests

Seasoned Product Tester Sarah Zorn started out by researching spice grinders from familiar brands like Cuisinart, KitchenAid, and Hamilton Beach and then selected eight models to test. Each grinder was used to test a variety of whole spices, including large grain salt, whole peppercorns, fennel seeds, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, and coffee beans and nuts when applicable.

When testing the spice grinders, we considered the following factors:

  • Efficiency and Ease of Use: Are the mechanisms and operations straightforward? Does it require setting up and taking apart? Can it grind spices of all sorts quickly and consistently?
  • Capacity: How much can it grind at a time? Can it handle larger spices?
  • Durability and Feel: Do the parts feel flimsy, or well-constructed? What materials is it made out of? Does it come with a warranty?
  • Versatility: Can it be used for more than pepper, salt, and fine spices? How about coffee? Nuts?
  • Look: Does it look nice sitting on a counter? Does it take up too much space?
  • Cleanup: Are any parts dishwasher safe? Is it a pain to wash by hand?

The Leftovers: Other Spice Grinders We Tested

Shardor Coffee and Spice Grinder

Shador spice grinder with additional blades and spice scoop/cleaning brush
Amazon

Apologies to our tester, Sarah's husband—we tried to test this grinder first thing in the morning, and the screaming of gears, snapping of spices and seeds, and crunching of coffee beans reverberated around the house. And we didn't even have much to show for it; the Shardor made an uneven mess of everything we tried. When we removed the lid, runaway spice detritus fell into the base and all over the counter, creating a cleanup job that simply wasn't worth the price.

KitchenAid Blade Coffee and Spice Grinder

KithcenAid Spice grinder with additional blade and storage jar
Walmart

The KitchenAid wins points for having the most fun extras, including a duo of grinding bowls with lids for storage, and perforated caps that allow you to sprinkle spice over your food. However, it took up a fair amount of counter space, and just like the Shardor model above, it simply didn't process ingredients consistently and efficiently and was way too noisy.

Bazaar Anatolia Spice Grinder

Rose gold, ornate spice grinder
Amazon

This is the beauty queen of spice grinders. It's made of cast embossed metal, available in silver, antique gold, and copper, and completely free of plastic parts. Petite in size, the Turkish-style manual grinder can fit snugly in your palm.

The downside to this tiny grinder is that it has limited capacity. It's great for a sprinkle of pepper on top of your pasta, but not really built for larger jobs. And since the crank is so small, some could find it a literal pain to operate.

Common Questions

Why grind your own spices?

Though convenient, pre-ground spices only offer you a fraction of the flavor and aroma compared to freshly ground spices. The reason for this is that spices rapidly lose their flavor once ground, so it's best to keep them whole up until you're ready to use them in a recipe. For even more of an aromatic punch, you can toast whole spices prior to grinding them. All in all, you get more flavor for your money.

Why Take Our Word For It?

Allrecipes is a community-driven brand providing trusted resources to our large network of home cooks. Ecommerce Writer Melanie Fincher and Product Tester Sarah Zorn spent hours researching, testing, and comparing each product to determine the best spice grinders on the market. We are confident one of the models on our list will be a good fit for you.

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