Coffee Grinder vs Spice Grinder: What’s the Difference?

crazy by Editorial Staff | Updated on April 1st, 2023

Do you consider yourself a culinary expert? Then a grinder must be your go-to culinary tool. Even if you’re new to the kitchen, a grinder may help you save money in various ways. We’re talking about coffee and spice grinders.

Pre-ground spices and coffee may be found at supermarkets. However, grinding them in-house ensures greater quality, flavor, and freshness. They also enhance the meal’s flavor and color, the odor’s roundness, and liveliness.

coffee grinder and a spice grinder?

What is a spice grinder?

spice grinder

A spice grinder is a culinary tool to ground dry and hard spices such as cinnamon sticks, peppercorns, and nutmeg.

With this grinder, you may either coarsely grind the spices or receive a very finely powdered spice powder.

Spice grinders of various types

There are two types of spice grinders on the market today: manual and electric. To make a final selection, let’s look at how they grind a wide range of spices and their variations.

Hand spice grinder

A manual spice grinder is often equipped with either metal or ceramic gear. It has a knob that you may crank to crush different spices and change the amount of the grind.

Furthermore, this superb grinder is both portable and reasonably priced. This grinder does not require an electrical outlet to operate.

On the other hand, manual grinders need more time and effort to operate. This equipment might cause pain in your hand muscles, especially if you already have arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or other muscular disorders.

Electric spice grinder

An electric spice grinder employs blades to grind various spices, coffee beans, and other grains. This piece of equipment can eliminate all hand grinders’ drawbacks.

The nice aspect is that these grinders are less time-consuming and labor-intensive. However, electrically powered, they are not as portable as manual grinders. Another disadvantage is that you will be unable to use this machine if you do not have access to electricity.

Furthermore, they are rather noisy, and as a result, they frequently cause noise pollution. Some versions are especially difficult to clean since they may quickly become blocked.

Herb grinder

There is a third type of spice grinder known as a herb grinder. They are far bigger than standard spice grinders. They are mostly used for grinding herbs such as oregano, rosemary, basil, and thyme.

This can also be used to grind larger seeds, tobacco, and teas. However, as far as I know, it is not necessary for a standard kitchen.

The Benefits of Spice Grinders

The following are some of the benefits of utilizing this grinder:


The biggest benefit that this grinder provides is flexibility. It can ground both wet and dry substances, which coffee grinders cannot do.

There are two alternatives.

There are two types of spice grinders: manual and electric. Both solutions work differently, so consider the benefits and drawbacks of each before making a decision.


Spice grinders are far less expensive than coffee grinders.

Disadvantages of Spice Grinders

The disadvantage of this grinder is;

Unreliable grind

Because of its unreliability, the spice grinder is not recommended for grinding coffee beans.

What is a coffee grinder?

A coffee grinder is a must-have kitchen item for grinding roasted coffee beans.

It lets you acquire a variety of coffee grinds, ranging from coarse to fine.

Making coffee with freshly ground beans yields a delicious, fragrant cup of coffee.

The different types of coffee grinders

Coffee grinders, like spice grinders, are available in both manual and electric versions today.

Manual hand grinder

A manual coffee grinder, as the name implies, is completely manual. It begins to work when you feed it with energy by rotating the gear knob.

All you have to do is put coffee beans in it and grind them properly. As a result, you can produce a large quantity of freshly ground coffee powder in minutes.

A manual coffee grinder, like a manual spice grinder, may be adjusted to produce coarse or fine powder coffee. You must grind them for as long as possible if you want finer grinds.

This grinder is simpler to use than an electric grinder because it does not require a power source. However, it is more laborious and time-consuming than an electronic coffee grinder. It might be an issue if you’re grinding many coffee beans.

Blade grinder

Blade grinders are often less costly than burr grinders due to the simplicity of the technology employed in these grinders. This is a great option if you’re searching for a low-cost grinder.

Because a blade grinder splits coffee beans into smaller bits, it cannot deliver an equal grind to coffee beans. You must grind coffee beans for as long as possible if you want them to be fine.

However, there are a few disadvantages to using a blade grinder. These grinders produce more noise than burr grinders. When turning the blade to grind coffee beans, heat is generated, which might impact the flavor of your coffee.

Burr grinder

A burr grinder, as opposed to a blade grinder, often grinds a larger number of coffee beans uniformly with wheels against a static surface. This grinder does not burn the beans and does not affect the taste of the coffee if used excessively.

Burr grinders are virtually in every way better to blade grinders.

In terms of size, larger grinders give you more power than their smaller equivalents, allowing you to control the coffee beans consistently.

You may also adjust the beans’ coarseness or fineness, depending on the burr position.

Again, these grinders seldom make more noise than blade grinders. Burr grinders are superior in nearly every way. Hence they may be a little more expensive.

Most critically, burr grinders are divided into two types: disc burr grinders and conical burr grinders. The main difference between the two is that disc burr grinders have flat wheels, whereas conical burr grinders have conical wheels.

The Benefits of Coffee Grinders

The primary benefit of having this grinder in your kitchen is;

Consistent pounding

It is well-known for providing a consistent grind that enhances the flavor of your cup of coffee.

Disadvantages of a Coffee Grinder

The disadvantages of utilizing this grinder are as follows:

One application

You can do nothing else with this machine than grind coffee, which may be bothersome for certain people. It is not worth the investment, especially if you do not use it daily.

Quite costly.

You will have to delve further into your pocket compared to spice grinders.

Is a Spice Grinder the Same as a Coffee Grinder?

At first look, coffee and spice grinders appear identical, yet they differ on several levels.

Blade coffee grinders are nearly identical to spice grinders, except that they only have a single pulsating button, as opposed to the three or four buttons on spice grinders.

What Is the Difference Between a Spice Grinder and a Coffee Grinder?

A spice grinder powered by electricity may also be used in brewed coffee. The breadth of this grinder’s canals is what distinguishes it. The canal width for grinding black newsprint is much more than that of those java beans. As a result, you can’t grind coffee beans in a black newspaper grinder since the beans won’t fit in that canal.

Spice grinders do not ground the substance. They just cut the spices unevenly, which is fine for using them in nearly any recipe.

On the other hand, the quality of java is greatly determined by how finely it is ground. Coffee that is unevenly floored has a disagreeable feel and consistency. You might not like the taste.

Coffee grinders shred them into little pieces. They work more accurately than spice grinders. As a result, coffee grinders are rather expensive.

However, whether it is likely to use the same grinder for each of these, it is best not to. You don’t have to destroy the flavor of a cup of coffee by changing the aroma with different herbs or spices.

However, if the flavor does not affect you, you do not need to spend money on a new coffee grinder. Again, if the incursion of spice odors is not an issue, you may use the same grinder for spices and coffee.

The Canals’ Width

The canal widths in both grinders are not the same. Spice grinders have substantially larger canals than coffee grinders.

If you ground coffee beans in a black paper grinder, the beans will not match the canals, resulting in uneven coffee granules.

Grinding Efficiency

A spice grinder does not always ground the spices properly, but they are still suitable for any recipe. Using it to crush coffee beans, you will most likely receive unevenly ground coffee granules.

On the other hand, coffee grinders grind coffee beans finely and uniformly, allowing you to enjoy the flavor of evenly ground coffee. According to the needs of coffee lovers, a burr coffee grinder does a superior job.


As previously stated, spice and coffee grinders are interchangeable. For example, in one spice grinder, you may ground coffee beans, and in another, other herbs or spices. However, be certain that both grinders are electric.

The spice flavor will most likely offend you if you don’t use the proper grinder. You are not permitted to consume a cup of coffee that has been tampered with to enhance the flavor of various spices. That is why they should not be used interchangeably.

However, if the difference in flavor does not concern you, you should not waste money buying both grinders. Instead, invest in a high-quality unit that meets your needs. However, I do not advocate that anyone purchase a device that can ground spices and coffee beans.


There aren’t many distinctions between these two grinders in terms of functioning. They both primarily grind, slice, and chop a wide range of coffee beans and seasonings.

However, various models offer varying features and benefits. So, keep an eye on them while selecting one that meets your needs.


Coffee grinders smash coffee beans more accurately than spice grinders. As a result, these grinders are more costly than their competitors.

However, no one can tell you how much these grinders cost. This is largely dependent on the model and brand of the grinder in question.

Can I grind spices in a coffee burr grinder?

Burr grinders don’t produce as finely ground spices as blade grinders, and they struggle with bigger spices and those with husks, such as cardamom pods. Some versions are also difficult to clean, with concealed pieces of coffee or crushed spices in their crevices.

What can a coffee grinder grind?

Rice, flax seeds, chia seeds, spices, sugar, breadcrumbs, dry herbs, and almonds are easy to grind with a blade coffee grinder.

It may also make powdered coconut, orange peel, and lemon peel.

Remember that because coffee grinders have smaller basins, you must ground your food in tiny quantities.

You should also properly clean the grinder after each use, preferably by pulsing a tablespoon of baking soda for a few seconds to remove the odor.

Can a spice grinder be used to grind coffee?

Spice grinders are flexible and useful in the house since the most robust machines can grind a range of items, including coffee beans, spices, seeds, and even nuts. On the other hand, buying a spice grinder to create coffee grounds is not always the greatest option.

To begin with, you don’t want to grind your coffee where you ground your curry spices since the leftover oils in the grinding mechanism will escape. You don’t want to include masala tastes into your Arabica grinds accidentally.

Second, one of the most important parts of grinding your coffee beans to maintain a uniform grind is to create a great-tasting cup of joe.

This implies that the ground coffee beans should be around the same size. Blade grinders miss a few beans that escape the rotating blades, resulting in uneven ground. Burr grinders, on the other hand, produce a fine powder with a consistent texture.

Bottom line, we do not advocate using a spice grinder as a coffee grinder since it may ruin an otherwise excellent coffee experience. Purchase a spice grinder for spices and a coffee grinder for coffee.

how to use a spice grinder to grind coffee beans

You must acquire a good spice grinder and ensure it’s properly coupled, clean, and ready to ground your coffee beans. The following step is to:

  • Small batches of coffee beans should be measured
  • Cover the spice grinder with the lid after pouring in the measured coffee.
  • Turn on the spice grinder and continue to grind.
  • As you grind, pulse on the procedure until you have finished your grinding operation.
  • Repeat for each batch.

How do you clean a spice grinder after using it to ground coffee?

Obviously, after using your spice grinder to ground coffee beans, some stains or dust will remain in the grinder; nevertheless, to clean it correctly next time, you must understand some techniques. I’m going to walk you through the hacks right now.

  1. Please empty the powder from your grinder after using it to grind coffee beans.
  2. Get some white rice and place it in the grinder as though you want to grind it.
  3. Please turn on the grinder and cover it with the lid to ground the uncooked white rice.
  4. Shake while you grind and leave the machine to grind till fine, then shake and turn it off.
  5. Check the grinder to ensure it is clean, then wipe away the rice residue with a clean handkerchief.


To summarize, except for the terminology, blade grinders and spice grinders are nearly identical. Burr grinders, on the other hand, are not the same as these grinders. If you have a blade grinder and need to ground spices, utilize it and cook any dish you like.

You may do the same thing when you don’t have a coffee grinder and need to ground coffee beans. In all cases, you must thoroughly clean the grinder before reusing it. Otherwise, there will be an issue with the flavor of your coffee.

However, I hope you understand the dispute between a coffee grinder and a spice grinder. And you won’t be perplexed when selecting the best one for your needs.

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Disclosure: No compensation or free products were received in exchange for writing this review.


Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.