Best Spice Grinder for 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

If you’re a serious cook, then spices, herbs and flavourings are going to be some of the most essential components of your kitchen.

And if you want maximum taste, you’re going to want to grind them as late as possible before adding to your food, as opposed to buying them dry and ready-ground from the supermarket and leaving them in your cupboard for months.

It is important to remember that spice grinders can be so much more if you wish. They may also be able to grind coffee beans, nuts, fresh herbs and even finer particles such as sugar. If you think this would come in handy, look for a model which can do it all.

All of the below spice grinders are electric, which means less work for you compared to a pestle and mortar or manual grinder. And they just happen to be the best spice grinders we found which are available to buy online right now.

The Best Spice Grinders – Our Top Picks

Best Spice Grinders and Mills

Waring Commercial WSG60K

If you batch cook, grind huge amounts at once or need something for a commercial setting, then the majority of ordinary grinders out there aren’t going to be up to scratch.

You either can only make small amounts at once, or it is a bit of a judging game when it comes to getting the correct consistency. This Waring model takes all of that hassle away.

With a 650ml capacity and pulse activation, large batches of flavourings can be prepared at once and will come out just as they’re needed. Whether you want fine curry powders or peppercorns with a bit of a bite, it is easy to get them bang-on.

A high-performance commercial grade motor which spins at 20,000RPM will tackle even the most difficult of spices, such as coriander seeds. It is worth bearing in mind that because of the high capacity, you aren’t going to be able to grind one or two teaspoonfuls of spices at any one time, so you’re going to have to use it all or have a suitable storage method in place.

If you think that this one will be too large, then Waring does a smaller size, the Waring Commercial WSG30K with a 70ml capacity. But the motor is not as powerful, so think about what it is you’ll be grinding.

We like

  • Powerful
  • High capacity
  • Tough blades
  • Two containers so you can remove/wash them and do more in a shorter time

We dislike

  • Price

Final Verdict

Pricey, but could be worth the investment if you’re a serious cook-from-scratch chef

+ Specifications

  • Power: 750W
  • Capacity: 650ml
  • Dimensions: 29.2 x 21.6 x 16.5cm

James Martin by Wahl Grind & Chop

A lovely versatile grinder which can both handle various herbs, seeds and spices as well as chop items with a switch of attachments.

The grinder will get spices and coffee into a fine powder, and the chopper attachment can give you a larger consistency for nuts or vegetables such as garlic, chillies and ginger. It has wet and dry capabilities, so you can even turn these into pastes, salsas and oils all within this machine.

You start the grinding mechanism by pressing down the lid, so you can get it to grind as long as you want for the perfect consistency. It is easier than many of the other James Martin by Wahl grinders to clean, as the attachments can be removed for a thorough clean. They are also dishwasher safe if you’re picky about every single little bit getting cleaned.

We like

  • Reasonable price
  • Grinds to a good fine level
  • Easy to clean

We dislike

  • Does overheat

Final Verdict

Nice and simple to use, and perfect if you like to keep on top of making small fresh batches of herbs and spices

+ Specifications

  • Power: 200W
  • Capacity: 70g
  • Dimensions: 11 x 11 x 9cm

James Martin by Wahl ZX595 Mini Grinder

Push button gives you control over the grinding method, and the clear domed lid lets you view the process so you can keep an eye on the ground level and stop it when it is done. The blade cuts through everything well, and the longer you grind, the more ground the produce will end up. That is literally all you have to do.

It is a nice compact size, so you’ll be able to keep it in your cupboards after use, and built-in cord storage will keep everything clutter-free. You can grind herbs, coffee and spices in it.

In terms of downsides, you can’t remove the grinder bowl for washing. This essentially means that cross-contamination could be possible, which isn’t great if you’re bothered about taste mixtures and are going to be cooking a spicy curry one night and an aromatic Thai dish the next. It is hard to wipe clean too due to the proximity to the blades, and you have to be careful to not get any water near the workings or blade.

We like

  • Nice capacity for size
  • Price

We dislike

  • Pretty much impossible to fully clean so you may not want to grind various products

Final Verdict

Good for the price, and even though it comes with a little hassle, it is still worth it for the flexibility if you don’t mind the difficulties in cleaning

+ Specifications

  • Power: 150W
  • Capacity: 70g
  • Dimensions: 11 x 11 x 24 cm

Krups Everyday Coffee and Spice Mill F2034240

Able to get the job done quickly with a powerful motor, this Krups spice mill is perfect if you also want one which can tackle coffee beans.

Many grinders can do both tasks, but few can do both just as good as each other. Stainless steel blades will cut through the ingredients for your curry, the fresh herbs which you’re going to freeze dry and store, and enough coffee beans for the week ahead.

There is a safety locking lid to prevent any accidents, and also keep all of the ingredients safely in the grinder without them flying out everywhere. A simple push-button control lets you grind as much as you need to and also means the product can’t be left running unsupervised.

Again, you have to wipe it clean as it can’t be taken apart. Brushing the blades with a small pastry brush or a dry bit of kitchen paper could be the best idea.

If you are into Indian cooking, then the blades get the required spices and seeds right down to the perfect size, so they still make an impact on flavour. Just be aware of the lack of cleaning possible in case you are wary of the tastes transferring.

We like

  • Looks nice
  • Good level of power and cutting efficiency
  • Comfortable level of control over grind level

We dislike

  • Difficult to clean out

Final Verdict

Nice cost and adaptable. It can be a pain to look after, but the twin blade works effectively on the food

+ Specifications

  • Power: 200W
  • Capacity: 75g
  • Dimensions: 8.9 x 7.6 x 17.1 cm

Swan SP15020N

With a small capacity and button mechanism, this is a grinder which is perfect for anyone who likes to do smaller batches more often.

Products like this usually only work with larger batches, so it is nice that this one still works even with small amounts of food. If you want to be able to decide what you’re having for dinner, and freshly grind spices as opposed to reaching for freeze-dried supermarket options, then it is perfect for bringing out and using in just a few minutes.

It will also grind seeds such as flax, sunflower, pumpkin and poppy, in case you want the powdered for inclusion in baking or a smoothie.

It is a little awkward to clean (most are), as it can’t be disassembled. We’d say to stick to dry ingredients because of this. But all you need to do is wipe with a damp cloth and allow to air dry.

We like

  • Stainless steel blade deals with seeds well
  • Power on indicator
  • Clear lid to check on grinding quality

We dislike

  • Fiddly to clean

Final Verdict

Not massively strong or the prettiest, but for under £20 and something small it is a reliable product from Swan

+ Specifications

  • Power: 150W
  • Capacity: 40g
  • Dimensions: 10 x 10.5 x 18.5 cm

Cuisinart SG21U Spice and Nut Grinder

A simple one-touch control takes away the hassle of using this Cuisinart and also gives you the control you need to get your spices just right.

The sharp blades get through tough seeds and nuts with no effort. We loved how you get two stainless steel containers with the purchase, which are removable for easier cleaning, dishwasher safe and also can be used for storing your spices if you’ve made a bit too much but can use them later in the week. They come with an airtight lid, so will remain completely fresh.

It feels nice and robust, and a high quality build. We would maybe suggest keeping one container for certain herbs or spices which transfer smells as they do seem to linger even after washing, and one for other foods which can’t really be mixed.

If you push it a bit too far, it will stop working and you’ll have to leave it for about five minutes until it cools again and is ready to go. This isn’t an issue as such, because at the end of the day it keeps you safe, but just be aware that it isn’t going to do huge batches of very fine dry spices in minutes.

We like

  • Can clean easily
  • Extra herbs can be stored in containers

We dislike

  • Cuts out quickly if you push it a bit too far

Final Verdict

Handy that there are two containers and you can wash them, and while it may not be the best when it comes to getting the job done, this and the design could well make it worth the cost for you

+ Specifications

  • Power: 200W
  • Capacity: 75g
  • Dimensions: 9.8 x 9.8 x 20 cm

Quest 34170 Compact Electric One Touch

Up to eighty grams of wet or dry ingredients can be ground with this model, making it great in terms of capacity and versatility and the best wet and dry spice grinder we found.

It comes with two blade types and two cups, so you can adapt it depending on the type of herb you are grinding and the flavours. The cross blade blends wet ingredients, and flat blade blends dry ingredients. This makes it incredibly versatile.

So if you want to make dried paprika one day, and an avocado dip the next, you don’t need to clutter up your cupboards with a range of appliances. It can tackle small amounts as well, so if you just want to grind two cloves of garlic for your Spag Bol, you don’t have to make enough to last you five meals.

There are no buttons to press or dials to turn to get it going; just press down on the lid and the motor will start. Perfect if you struggle with holding down buttons for prolonged periods. You also get two stainless steel cups, so it is easy to clean and you can even store any extra leftovers in one.

We like

  • One-Touch operation
  • Price
  • Choice of blades

We dislike

  • Can notably struggle with tougher items

Final Verdict

Practical and user-friendly with the choice of blades and an extra cup. Great for the price

+ Specifications

  • Power: 200W
  • Capacity: 80g
  • Dimensions: 20 x 12 x 12cm

Bosch IXO Spice Adapter (Spice Mill)

This isn’t a standalone grinder, but rather an attachment for the Bosch IXO Screwdriver. And as seeing you could buy both for less than the price of a standalone grinder, it could be worth a pop for anyone who loves products which can be adapted for use throughout the home.

It is perfect for grinding spices or salt and pepper. Just squeeze the trigger, and the grinding action will begin. Quite a large capacity can be dealt with, which is surprising for the size and idea behind it.

Whether it is the most practical approach is to be considered. By the time you get the drill out from under the stairs and fit is all together and ensure it has been charged up, it would probably be easier to have a dedicated grinder to hand actually stored in your kitchen. But if you love novelty ideas and already have an IXO, the range of attachments on offer could swing it. You can also grab a corkscrew and a BBQ blower for cleaning up.

We like

  • Great idea for a multi-use product
  • Surprisingly powerful at even the toughest spices

We dislike

  • More novelty than practicality for some

Final Verdict

For something a little more out there, and which will win you some cool points when you have guests round for dinner

+ Specifications

  • Power: N/A
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Dimensions: 4.3 x 4.3 x 10 cm

Andrew James Electric Coffee Grinder

Andrew James has a whole range of effective small kitchen appliances, from the fun to the life-saving. If you want a grinder which can help powder down your spices as well as your coffee beans, then this one is a good choice, especially if you want something cheap.

Select your perfect level of grinding using the button on the lid, so the longer you hold it, the finer the powder goes. This can’t be operated unless the lid is firmly in place, which is great for safety.

It needs a 3-minute rest after around 30 seconds of work, but just how little time it needs to grind could well surprise you. After around 12 seconds, it can grind coffee beans fine enough to make a machine coffee and seeds fine enough for use in curries and other dishes.

Softer nuts can also be tackled, although it is recommended that these are given a head-start in a pestle and mortar and chopped small before the blades attempt to cut. In fact, we would say that for best results, everything starts off at a similar size to help with consistency. Otherwise, you get some bigger chunks and some fine powder.

The transparent lid lets you see how things are going so you can stop it at just the right time. If you have got everything down to a fine powder, you may need to buy a brush to get all of the excess out from under the blades.

We like

  • Quiet when working
  • Nice compact size

We dislike

  • Difficult to get all the bits out of chamber
  • Uneven grind unless all pieces are the same size when you pop them in

Final Verdict

For the price, you can’t really grumble too much, but this is maybe not the best option if you are very serious about the grinding results

+ Specifications

  • Power: 150W
  • Capacity: 70g
  • Dimensions: 11 x 18 x 11 cm

Moulinex AR1100 ‘The Original’ Coffee & Spice Mill

Moulinex grinders have long been favourites amongst keen kitchen users. They do a range of items, whether you’re a part-time cook at home or need something a bit more professional. This model is best for those in the former camp.

It holds 50g, which makes it one of the smallest on the list. Just press the lid to grind, and the stainless steel blade will get to work.

Firstly, for the pros. It is quiet when in operation. There is a nice retro 70s look. It is easy to use. The body is relatively small, so it is great to store. And in terms of cons, it is hard to clean, doesn’t cope well if the added ingredients are all varying sizes, and overheats rather easily.

Others have commented that their parents owned this same model, and it has been with them for around 20 years, which suggests it is a fab quality product. We have no doubts about this, as it felt sturdy and Moulinex knows what they’re doing. The difficulty in looking after it may just be a bit too much of a faff for some.

We like

  • Price
  • Easy to use
  • Compact size
  • From a trusted name

We dislike

  • Very difficult to clean and get all food out

Final Verdict

Harder than others to care for, but if price and brand are a concern, it wins pretty much top marks here

+ Specifications

  • Power: 180W
  • Capacity: 50g
  • Dimensions: 12.6 x 12.6 x 22.8 cm

Help and Resources

Spice Grinder Buying Guide

Power

This essentially tells you how tough the grinder is going to be at cutting through the food. Most sit around the 150-200W level, but commercial grinders can reach over 500W, which is great for big batches of spice.

Speed

As odd as this sounds, a grinder which gets the job done quicker isn’t necessarily a grinder you want to buy. Rapid movement often results in more heat release from the motor and mechanisms, which can affect the flavour of the spices due to heating the oils. The only point in the process you want to expose them to heat is when they’re being cooked.

Some get so hot that they can only work for around 30 seconds before needing to pause for a couple of minutes. We have included a couple of these as they may be fine for some of you out there who only need an item which can give the occasional whizz. But in general, look for a model which is powerful enough to get through things, but doesn’t fire through the process.

Capacity

A small capacity of around 50g will likely do plenty for one dish, but if you like to bulk cook or mass grind and store the powders, you may be best opting for one which is larger.

Think about the most common recipes you cook, and how much spice you use, and whether you’ll want to be freshly grinding before every meal. Also remember that if you get a large capacity grinder, you often have to pretty much fill it up with spices to grind, even if you only need a teaspoon-full of spice.

Other Things To Look For

  • Replacement Containers/Removable Cup – Not only is this a sign that the container is removable (for easy washing), but if you have more than one, it could help if you like to keep your spices separate for fear of cross-contamination, such as a lingering curry powder taste when grinding cinnamon
  • Cable Length – You want to be able to use the grinder comfortably, so look for one which doesn’t have to be tethered to a certain place
  • Storage – If you are short on space, look for a compact model. You may also want to consider whether you get any extra bits and bobs such as spare blades, and whether there is any way to keep the power cord tidy

FAQ’s

Why Should I Buy An Electric Spice Grinder?

Are you used to a pestle and mortar, aching wrists and frustration over it not going right? You should go electric because it takes the effort out of the grinding mechanism. Just a press of a button for a few seconds gets the job done.

As for why you should freshly grind your herbs and spices rather than buy them pre-ground – simply put, the taste is so much better. Whole spices will keep for much longer than their ground counterparts, as they have less surface area so lose less oil to the atmosphere. So, the later you leave it to grind them, the more oils they contain, which boosts the taste as it is the oils which give the spices their flavour.

Grinding spices fresh will give you a much better flavour than buying them pre-ground from the shop, where they may have been sitting for months already. You can still store any excess in a tin, though.

Which Spices Can I Grind?

Any variety which can be used as a powder can be ground (as long as your grinder can handle the whole spice). Some examples are:

  • Paprika
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Cumin
  • Nutmeg

You may also be able to grind dried herbs, such as:

  • Basil
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Lavender

If your grinder is a Wet & Dry option, you may be able to add oils and butters to the process to create these flavoured items.

Can I Use My Spice Mill To Grind Coffee Beans?

Some of those which we reviewed are also suitable for grinding coffee beans. A couple are even primarily for this function.

Not every spice mill is good for beans too, though. Coffee beans are larger, and often tougher, so blades may not be able to cope with this and it could lead to damage.

It is also worth mentioning that spice mills are usually bladed, and these often cut in a bit of an uneven pattern which results in different sized particles at the end result. If you’re picky about your coffee and need a uniform fine powder for espresso etc, you may be best with a dedicated burr grinder.