Coffee Grinder vs Spice Grinder: Appliance Comparison Guide

Difference between coffee grinder and spice grinder

Coffee grinders and spice grinders are similar appliances as they can both grind coffee beans Both small kitchen tools have key differences that are covered in the coffee grinder vs spice grinder debate.

Understanding what appliance (spice grinder vs coffee grinder) is better at grinding coffee beans and has greater utility will help determine which tool is better for your kitchen. So let’s dive right in and discover the differences between a coffee grinder and a spice grinder.

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What Are the Main Differences between A Coffee Grinder vs A Spice Grinder?

The main difference between a coffee grinder and a spice grinder is that a coffee grinder is an appliance specifically designed for grinding roasted coffee beans. While a spice grinder is a kitchen appliance for chopping dried herbs, beans, spices, and nuts such as coffee beans, coriander, pepper, and cinnamon sticks, etc.

The second main difference is that a coffee grinder utilizes burrs to grind coffee into a consistent grind; whereas a spice grinder uses spinning blades to chop and slice spices — the lack of grinding leads to inconsistently chopped food particles. 

Reviewing each appliance individually will help to inform the buyer before making a coffee grinder or spice grinder purchase. 

What is a coffee grinder? A coffee grinder is an appliance that mostly uses burrs to grind coffee into fine consistent grounds that taste great. A coffee grinder mills your coffee beans uniformly and evenly between its two burr plates. And the resulting uniform and consistent grind makes your pot of coffee more flavorful and taste better.

There are two types of coffee grinders: electric coffee grinders and manual coffee grinders. These are further subclassified into burr coffee grinders and blade coffee grinders. 

What is a spice grinder? A spice grinder is an appliance that uses a sharp blade to chop and slice tough and dried herbs, spices, nuts, and beans into smaller particles. Despite bearing the name, “grinder,” a spice grinder doesn’t grind ingredients — it chops them.

The spice grinder is more versatile than a coffee grinder as it can process a variety of ingredients; the coffee grinder is dedicated to grinding only coffee. There are also electric and manual spice grinders.

What are the advantages of a coffee grinder when compared to a spice grinder?

The advantages of a coffee grinder compared to a spice grinder are that a coffee grinder produces more consistent grinds and has a greater capacity to process more coffee beans.

Consistent grinds

A coffee grinder grinds coffee beans into even and consistent grinds. When compared to spice grinders, coffee grinders are specifically designed to grind coffee with great precision. Whereas spice grinders use blades to chop spices and produce inconsistent results.

Larger capacity

A coffee grinder has a larger capacity to process more coffee beans in one batch. The best-selling burr coffee grinder (Cuisinart) on Amazon has a capacity of 105 grams to hold enough ground coffee for 32 cups.

While a spice grinder is a smaller tool that can only grind small volumes of recipes. The best-selling spice grinder (Shardor) on Amazon has a capacity of 70 grams to hold enough ground coffee for 12 cups of home brew.

Fresher and better tasting coffee

A burr coffee grinder achieves coffee grinds that taste better, are fresher, and are more flavorful when compared to the coffee grinds processed by a blade grinder. This is because the coffee grinder will grind coffee beans to produce more uniform and consistent coffee while spice grinders create more inconsistent results.

Secondly, a spice grinder is used in grinding other herbs and spices; so it can mix up the aroma of those other ingredients with your coffee and vice versa. However, if you decide to use a spice grinder to grind coffee, use a grinder that’s different from what you use in grinding other herbs and spices.

What are the advantages of a spice grinder when compared to a coffee grinder?

The advantages a spice grinder has when compared to a coffee grinder are its versatility, cost-effectiveness, and smaller size for extra storage space.

More Versatile

The spice grinder is a multifunctional kitchen appliance that can chop tough and dried nuts, herbs, and spices. It’s versatile enough to grind coffee beans; however, it yields inconsistent grinded bean sizes than those processed by coffee grinders.

The coffee grinder, on the other hand, is a kitchen tool for grinding only coffee. Secondly, some more expensive spice grinders can grind wet recipes, making them more flexible. Coffee grinders can never grind wet ingredients.


Spice grinders are cheaper and more cost-effective than coffee grinders. This is because they’re more versatile in processing ingredients in the kitchen. The cost of countertop spice grinders ranges between $20 and $250.

Coffee grinders are dedicated to grinding coffee consistently, evenly, and uniformly. This makes them less versatile and more expensive than spice grinders. An electric burr coffee grinder costs around $80 and $300.

Saves space

When compared to a coffee grinder, a spice grinder is a smaller kitchen appliance. This makes it easier to store the spice grinder when it’s not in use.

Which one is more Usable in the Kitchen Between A Coffee Grinder and A Spice Grinder

A spice grinder is more usable in the kitchen than a coffee grinder due to its versatility. While you can use a coffee grinder to only grind coffee, a spice grinder can be used to chop herbs, nuts, and spices. Here are the uses of a coffee grinder.

And if you’re still wondering, “Is a coffee grinder the same as a spice grinder?” These kitchen appliances are not the same. A coffee grinder is an appliance dedicated to grinding coffee into consistent, uniform grounds. While a spice grinder uses blades to perform a range of tasks including chopping coffee and spices. However, it doesn’t cut recipes into uniform pieces.

coffee and spice grinder comparison

What foods can you grind in a coffee grinder?

You can only grind coffee beans in a coffee grinder; aside from this, there are no other major uses of a coffee grinder. Here, we show you how to use a coffee grinder to produce the best grounds possible.

What foods can you grind in a spice grinder?

You can grind dried nuts, spices, beans, and herbs in a spice grinder. Your spice grinder can grind most of the dried ingredients you can grind in a mortar and pestle. The following are some of the recipes you can grind in spice grinders:

  • Spices – peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, cumin, and cloves.
  • Coffee beans
  • Herbs – coriander, parsley, and dried mushrooms.
  • Tea blends
  • Bread crumb
  • Seeds – flax seeds, peanuts, pecans, walnuts, and almonds.
  • Dried flowers
  • Coconut
  • Orange or lemon peel

Can a coffee grinder and a spice grinder pair together?

Yes, you can pair a coffee grinder and spice grinder in a kitchen. A coffee grinder is more efficient at grinding coffee to give the best brew taste and flavorful aroma. Conversely, a spice grinder is less efficient at grinding coffee but great at chopping herbs and spices.

What are the instances where a coffee grinder and a spice grinder should be used together?

A coffee grinder and a spice grinder should be used together in your kitchen if you’re a coffee enthusiast who enjoys the fresh taste and aroma of coffee.

A coffee grinder will produce consistent grounds of coffee that will improve the taste and aroma of your coffee brew. A spice grinder on the other hand processes herbs and spices like peppers and coriander as well as coffee, but it doesn’t achieve uniform grounds.

What are the instances where a coffee grinder and a spice grinder should never be used together?

A coffee grinder and spice grinder should not be used together if you are making a single brew of coffee for less than 4 people. A spice grinder should not be used when making pots of coffee for more than 2 people.

What to Consider when Buying A Coffee Grinder or A Spice Grinder

Not all spice grinders and coffee grinders have the same quality. Regardless of your budget, we’ll show the top features to look out for when buying a grinder.

What type of grinder should I buy?

There are two types of grinders; they’re manual and electric grinders, and they can be broken down into subcategories.

Electric grinders are more convenient to use because you can simply push a button to grind your ingredients and they can handle larger batches. Manual grinders on the other hand produce better results, are less noisy, and are less expensive. Their smaller size makes them easier to store.

Are burr coffee grinders better than blade grinders?

Burr coffee grinders make better coffee than blade grinders because they produce evenly-sized coffee grounds that’ll make home brew more flavorful and tasteful. Blade coffee grinders are like spice grinders such that they slice coffee beans, which doesn’t make great-tasting pots of coffee.

What’s a good capacity for a grinder?

This depends on your needs and living situation. And unless you’re regularly making coffee for many people, you won’t need a grinder with high capacity. On average, a grinder with a capacity of 70 grams is good; it can make 12 cups of coffee.

Particle size and consistency

The consistency of your grounds affects the flavor and taste of a pot of coffee. The better the consistency, the better and fresher the taste. You should opt for a burr grinder as it will grind your coffee into a uniform size and consistency.

What grind adjustments should I look out for?

If you drink a variety of coffee, you’ll want a grinder that offers you enough settings to achieve a perfect consistency (especially for espresso lovers). A stepless coffee grinder provides you with more grind sizes than a stepped coffee grinder. However, a stepped grinder also offers a good number of grind settings, but it’s recommended for beginners.

Should I get a grinder with a doser or no doser?

A doser collects the right amount of ground coffee that you can put in your portafilter. This makes models with dosers great for commercial purposes as you can make a couple of espresso shots. However, a model without a doser is great for home use as it dispenses your grounds more directly. This eliminates waste and makes your coffee taste fresher.

Is a high-speed motor grinder the best?

While you may want to get things done fast, high speed isn’t a good trait for a coffee grinder. Grinders with low speed are more efficient than high-speed grinders. High-speed motor grinders produce more heat, and this negatively affects the taste, smell, and flavor of your brew.


If you don’t have so many pieces of equipment chopping and grinding in your kitchen, you’ll want to go for a spice grinder that’s versatile enough to grind nuts, coffee, and probably vegetables.

Spice and coffee grinder comparison

What are the best brands for coffee grinders?

The 5 best coffee grinders brands include Baratza, Cuisinart, Capresso, KitchenAid, and KRUPS.


Baratza is one of the best brands making premium coffee grinders. Their coffee grinders are expensive, but they’re worth it and produce grounds with great taste according to reviews from customers.


Cuisinart is a popular name when it comes to kitchen appliances. Their coffee grinders are fairly priced but don’t compromise on quality. Currently, the best burr grinder on Amazon is a Cuisinart product.


Capresso is a brand that makes coffee grinders of good value. Their prices are affordable and their coffee grinders are quiet. While their products have mixed reviews like the other brands on this list, they come at a good price.


KitchenAid has a few coffee grinders in their portfolio but they’re all quality products, and they’ve drawn lots of positive reviews from raving fans.


KRUPS is one of the most popular brands making coffee grinders, and one of their models currently ranks as the best coffee grinder on Amazon.

What are the best brands for spice grinders?

The 7 brands making the best spice grinders are Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach, KRUPS, Kuhn Rikon, Shardor, KitchenAid, and Secura.

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