What Is The Difference Between A Coffee Grinder And A Spice Grinder?

  • By: Kuu
  • Date: August 19, 2022
  • Time to read: 6 min.
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When you come across a cooking show, you might have noticed the contestants using a coffee grinder or a spice grinder.

The question here is how different are these two appliances and should you get one? Or which one of these should you go for?

When purchasing a product, it is always wise to know its pros and cons, usefulness, etc. In terms of the working mechanism, both coffee grinder and spice grinder serve the same purpose, i.e., to grind. But there is more to it. 

Dive right in to get to know all about the difference between a coffee grinder and a spice grinder.

What Is A Coffee Grinder?

Every coffee lover craves to have a great cup of freshly ground and brewed coffee to kickstart the day. If you are one of them, a coffee grinder is a must for your kitchen. 

coffee grinder

In simple terms, the basic purpose of a coffee grinder is to grind fresh coffee beans. It comes with two different grinding materials – burrs and blades

Burr Coffee Grinder

The burr coffee grinder consists of burrs that are conical or flat-shaped structures.

These burrs act as a small-sized mill that uniformly grinds the coffee beans between two plates. 

Conical burr coffee grinders won’t give you finely ground coffee, are less noisy and are energy efficient.

On the other hand, burr coffee grinders offer your finely ground coffee, are loud, and consume more power. The burr coffee grinder is available in manual form and electric form. 

Blade Coffee Grinder

Blade coffee grinder grinds the coffee beans with blades that work like a propeller. This type is again available in two forms: low-end blade coffee grinder and high-end coffee grinder. However, since blade coffee grinders are electric, these are pretty noisy, energy-consuming, but cost-effective.

What Is A Spice Grinder?

Spice grinders, electric ones, use blades to chop and grind whole spices, herbs, and nuts.

Spice Grinder

Manual spice grinders are also available in the market, which is less expensive.  

You can use a spice grinder for coffee beans as well, but the consistency of the ground coffee will not be as smooth as a coffee grinder. 

Are you someone who only consumes coffee once in a blue moon, or are you not very particular about how coffee tastes?

If so, then a spice grinder belongs in your kitchen.

A Quick Comparison: Coffee Grinder Vs. Spice Grinder

AspectCoffee GrinderSpice Grinder
Grind consistencyIt gives a fine ground productIt gives an uneven textured product
Grinding apparatusBurr or BladeBlade only
Holding capacityMore (About 100 gms coffee beans)Less (<100 gms coffee beans)
SizeBigger in sizeSmaller in size
Flavour (for coffee lovers only)It gives a better flavor to your coffeeInconsistent flavor
VersatilityNo. Mostly for coffee and spices(blade coffee grinders give best results)All spices, coffee beans, herbs, dried mushrooms, tea blends, bread crumb, seeds, dried fruits, dried flowers, coconut, orange, or lemon peel

Coffee Grinder Vs Spice Grinder: What’s The Difference?

Grind Consistency

Are you more of a coffee person and less likely to cook meals that require herbs or spices? Yes? Then you have got to pay attention to the grind consistency. Coffee grinders, in general, provide a smoother grinding experience but only for coffee beans.

Spice grinders give an uneven texture when you grind coffee beans or spices. When it comes to spices or herbs, the texture of the ground spices doesn’t impact the flavor.

Grinding Apparatus

Coffee grinders with burrs are made of ceramic material and are sometimes available in stainless steel. The coffee grinders that come with blades are made of stainless steel only.

In the case of spice grinders, the blades are made of stainless steel blades. 

Burr coffee grinders have an adjustable screw that allows you to adjust the gap between the burrs. This helps you to grind coffee beans as per your requirements. Spice grinders also come with this option but only in the manual ones.

Holding Capacity 

Coffee grinders have a larger holding capacity in comparison to spice grinders. In terms of coffee, you can ground coffee beans to make at least 30 cups of coffee. Whereas spice grinders can ground coffee beans to make only about 12 cups of coffee.


If you’re on a tight budget but wish to bring in a grinding appliance, then you should go for a spice grinder. A coffee grinder, especially the burr coffee grinder, is more costly than spice grinders.


Do you have a small to medium cooking space? Or are you striving for a minimalist kitchen space? Then spice grinders are what you can include in your kitchen.  

Coffee grinders are larger in size than spice grinders. Spice grinders are more compact and are perfect for small kitchens. 


Perfecting a cup of coffee is all about getting the right flavors. Coffee grinders get you the perfectly brewed coffee in texture and taste. In comparison, spice grinders will give a moderate quality coffee. 



A coffee grinder is a single-purpose appliance that is to make ground coffee.

But you can also utilize it to turn coffee beans into fine coffee powder. For that, blade coffee grinders will be a perfect choice. 

The spice grinder is a more versatile kitchen appliance.

Be it spices like cardamom, peppercorn, cinnamon sticks, cloves, cloves, coffee beans, or herbs like parsley, rosemary, coriander, dried mushrooms – you can grind them all.

You can also grind tea leaves, bread crumbs, flax seeds, chia seeds, dried fruits, dried flowers, coconut, orange, or lemon peel.

What’s The Verdict? 

A grinder is one of those appliances that really come to your rescue from time to time. To answer the winner between coffee grinder and spice grinder, you have to take into account your cooking needs and preferences. 

Generally speaking, a spice grinder is the right choice if you want something versatile. But, in case you just require a grinder for coffee beans only, you can opt for a coffee grinder.


Can I Use A Coffee Grinder As A Spice Grinder?

Yes, you can. The overall working mechanism of coffee grinders and spice grinders is almost similar. Although they don’t recommend it, you can definitely use a coffee grinder as a spice grinder. 

What Can I Use In Case I Don’t Have A Spice Grinder?

In case you don’t own a spice grinder, then you can go old school to make ground spices. You can try a mortar & pestle or a zip lock bag and a blunt object such as a rolling pin. If you one who has a coffee grinder, then you can use that as well to grind spices but with care. 

Do You Need A Spice Grinder?

If you’re passionate about cooking, then a spice grinder should be a part of your kitchen. You can indeed use a mortar and pestle or the other traditional modes of grinding whole spices. But, a spice grinder is simply a time saver and more efficient. 

Can You Grind Nutmeg In a Spice Grinder?


Yes, you can grind nutmeg in a spice grinder. A spice grinder is a universal kitchen must-have product.

To get the best results, try to grind the same sized nutmegs together. 

How Do You Turn Spices Into Powder?

In order to turn spices into powder, here are four steps you need to follow.

Wash them thoroughly—sundry the spices without getting contaminated. Break the larger-sized spices, if any, and grind them in a spice grinder. 

Put the powdered spices in ziplock bags. If you store them well, homemade ground spices retain their freshness for at least three months. 


Most people think that choosing kitchen appliances isn’t easy, and there is so much to think about. However, it all depends on whether you need it or you don’t. 

It is obvious that both coffee and spice grinders come with their own set of pros and cons. Although spice grinders seem the popularly chosen appliance because of their versatility, the coffee grinder has its perks too for coffee enthusiasts.