9 Best Grain Mills (Electric & Hand Crank) For Wise Preparedness

By Just In Case Jack | Last Updated: June 16, 2022

Grain MillAnyone who stockpiles food for a future emergency owes it to themselves to invest in a quality grain mill grinder.

Why? Because it’s the only efficient way to turn whole grains into meals and flours for baking.

Basically, grain mills are an excellent tool if you’re into preparedness OR ANYONE who likes to control the quality of their bread and baked goods.

So today, I’m going to share everything I know, and I’ve learned about grain mills, specifically:

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handful wheat flour closeup

9 Best Grain Mills On The Market Today

There are hundreds of grain mills on the market today. And many of them make the same claims about efficiency, self-preparedness, and frugality.

In the end, the best grain mill is the one that meets your needs best.

We cover lots of options;

  • From an inexpensive hand-cranked mill that will turn out plenty of coarse meal
  • To complex electric mills capable of keeping a large family in bread and pancakes all week long

Note: We held back from adding any small commercial models. They’re out there as well if you have access to large amounts of grain. Or if you wish to purchase one as part of a community preparedness effort.

1 Our Top Choice
KoMo Classic Electric Grain Mill

Most grain mills on our list look like they'd be at home in a commercial kitchen (or a workshop). Yet, the KoMo Mills Classic is designed to be both efficient and beautiful.

The beechwood housing is held together with tight finger joints. This craftmanship makes for a durable framework for the internal corundum-ceramic "stone" burr grinder.

It's easy to adjust the grind texture from extra fine to barely cracked. And the results are consistent each time.

The large turned bowl hopper holds over 2lbs of grain, and a matching lid keeps down the noise and dust.

The drawback?

As a piece of kitchen art, the KoMo Mills Classic is expensive!

PROS
  • Quiet
  • Beautiful and solid construction
  • Fast processing
  • Wide range of grind textures
CONS
  • Expensive
  • Cannot process wet or oily foods (nuts, etc.)


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2
KitchenAid KGM All Metal Grain Mill Attachment

If you own the popular KitchenAid stand mixer, the Kitchenaid Grain Mill attachment makes a lot of sense.

It fits ANY KitchenAid stand mixer model. Just pop off the front power take-off (PTO) cover and attach the mill directly to the mixer.

It's got a solid aluminum body, auger, and front plate, with a stainless-steel burr grinder inside.

Selecting flour texture is easy with a large adjustment knob on the front, from "cracked" to extra fine.

However, despite the steel burr grinder, the KitchenAid Grain Mill isn't best for wet/oily foods like nuts. So, if you're planning your own peanut butter, you'll want to look at another model.

Some users have noted that the Artisan line of KitchenAid mixers may be a bit underpowered. As a result, they claim they're prone to overheating when processing harder grains.

PROS
  • Uses KitchenAid mixer for power
  • Solid build quality
  • Easy to use and clean
CONS
  • Will not process nuts and other wet/oily foods
  • May struggle with "Artisan" model mixers


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3 Our Budget Pick
CHARD GM-150 Grain Mill

If you're looking for a very simple manually operated mill, the CHARD GM-150 is an inexpensive option.

The casting quality is better than some of the even less expensive models. But it's still a little rough around the edges.

While it's possible to mill from coarse to fine flour, the GM-150 seems to excel at the middle of the range. But, of course, we're talking medium-grit flour, where it mills roughly 1lb per minute with a hand-crank.

If you want more refined flours, plan on multiple passes at successively finer settings. This multistep process works far better than trying to mill to the final texture initially.

Please give it a good cleaning when it arrives, though. The factory seems to coat things liberally in protective oil to prevent corrosion.

PROS
  • Inexpensive
  • Fast processing (for a hand crank)
  • Large capacity
CONS
  • The finish could use work
  • Needs thorough cleaning before use


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4
CGOLDENWALL 300g Electric Grain Mill

Most impact mills rely on concentric rings of stainless-steel fins. Yet the CGoldenwall 300g has a mechanism more like a spinning blade coffee grinder.

This setup makes for a swift processing electric mill. One that's also capable of grinding wet or oily materials like nuts.

It has some good safety features which prevent the motor from starting without the lid. This feature is a crucial feature with a 28,000rpm spinning blade.

But like inexpensive coffee grinders, this mill can produce some uneven grind textures. You can go from fine to coarse in one batch.

Also, the motor is prone to overheating if used for long durations, so working in smaller batches is best.

PROS
  • High-speed processing
  • Can process wet/oily materials
CONS
  • Inconsistent grind texture
  • Overheats if used for long periods


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5
WonderMill Grain Mill Wheat Grinder

The Wondermill electric grain mill comes highly rated, both by customers and critics.

It has an impressive milling rate due to a high-speed motor. And well-tuned impact milling mechanism can turn 2 cups of grain into fine flour in under a minute.

They even claim to be able to process over 100lbs per hour! Though that's a chore likely best left to a small commercial mill.

With a lifetime warranty, you could give it a try, though! Unfortunately, like most impact mills, the Wondermill is on the louder end of the spectrum.

One issue noted, there are only three distinct texture settings (pastry, bread, coarse). So, dialing in the exact texture you need (and anything outside that range) isn't possible.

Still, the self-contained, easy-clean system is excellent for most users—the combination of these features contributes to its overwhelming popularity.

PROS
  • Fast
  • Large processing capacity
  • Easy cleanup | good dust filtering
CONS
  • Loud
  • Limited range of texture settings


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6
Victoria Manual High Hopper Grain Grinder

The Victoria hand-cranked grain mill is a capable device. It's ready for milling anything from raw grains to nuts to spices to even cooked meats!

The adjustments to the milling texture are simple. But does take a bit of learning as there are no set points on the screw mechanism.

But this does mean that the texture is infinitely variable and can be fine-tuned to your exact needs.

One thing to note - the manufacturer states:

The milling mechanism needs 1-2 loads of dried hard beans run through it to remove any burrs left over from the machining process. And the whole assembly should be cleaned and oiled between uses to prevent corrosion.

PROS
  • Inexpensive
  • Quiet
  • Fast, especially for coarse grinds
CONS
  • More maintenance is needed than other models
  • Not capable of extra refined flours for pastry use


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7
The Kitchen Mill Electric Grain Mill

Many of us know Blendtec from their infamous "Will it Blend!?" video series.

The video series where they transform many objects into a fine powder in a Blendtec countertop blender.

Their Kitchen Mill doesn't have the same flashy ad campaign. But it does quickly and efficiently turn dried grains into flour!

It features a simple design, with an:

  • integrated hopper
  • micronetic milling mechanism (say that 5 times fast)
  • flour container

The fast-processing rate (up to 24 cups of flour in under 6 minutes) does quick work and saves time in the kitchen.

It's on the expensive side, but Blendtec has a reputation for quality and service that's worth a bit extra.

PROS
  • High feed rates
  • The all-in-one design includes a clear flour bin
CONS
  • Expensive
  • Plastic parts


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8
Roots and Branches Hand Crank Grain Mill

An efficient and versatile hand-cranked mill is the Roots & Branches Hand Wheat Grinder. AND it can process more than just wheat.

The clean design and well-fit parts, and ergonomics make it efficient to use and easy to store.

The stainless-steel cone-shaped burr mills are precision machined. And ensure a consistent grind texture, which is easily adjustable on the front dial.

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9
Country Living Grain Mill Hand Crank

If you're looking for a larger capacity, the Delux model has a larger capacity. And an optional electric motor attachment for a slight price difference.

But milling your own grains is a great way to control the cost and composition of the flours and meals.

PROS
  • Compact design stores easily
  • Efficient flywheel design
  • Fast processing rates
  • USA Made body from solid cast aluminum
CONS
  • Large footprint
  • Heavy for transport
  • Expensive


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What Is A Grain Mill?

If you’ve ever been to one of those “living history museums,” you’ve likely seen an old-fashioned stone grain mill. These ancient mills are all similar but turned by different methods:

  • a water wheel
  • draft animals
  • or even human effort

These stone grain mills spin two close-fitting wheels of coarse stone against each other. This process crushes dried grains into some flour.

The coarseness of the stones and the gap between them controls the result, from a coarse meal to a fine powder flour.

These stone mills worked and served communities for hundreds (if not thousands) of years. But they had their drawbacks.

Building a mill was a very costly process and involved sourcing a lot of power to keep the big wheels spinning. Even a single homestead mill relied on stone wheels weighing a couple of hundred pounds.

And the stones, which ground against each other constantly, slowly wore away. So, they left tiny bits of stone in the flour.

Today’s modern mills are FAR easier to use. They take advantage of advances in materials and design to make them:

  • More efficient
  • Safer
  • And affordable

Electric power (or a finely machined hand-crank) turns the sharp, metal burr grinders. This process controls the texture of the grind at the twist of a knob.

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Flour and kitchen utensils

6 Reasons Why You Should Invest In A Small Grain Mill

1. Quality & Health Benefits

One of my first jobs was working as a baker’s assistant in a local bakery specializing in bread. I learned two things very quickly:

First, there’s a difference between being a “morning person” and a “baker”:

Being a baker means being at work 3 hours before the morning person wanders in for their fresh baked bread.

Second, and far more importantly:

When working with so few ingredients, they must be top-quality if you want your products to come out well.

Nowhere is that more evident than when the bakery owner mills his own grains. We went through hundreds of pounds of flour each day.

But we never used processed flour. Instead, we ran 50lb bags of whole grains through an industrial flour mill.

At first, I thought it was a cost-saving technique. A way to make a little more profit on each baguette we sold.

But I did the math one day on my break. I quickly realized he was paying as much in labor as he was saving on bulk flour! So, why did we do this long, dusty chore every day?

Quality

Quite simply, the grains we milled to make flour each day made a difference in the:

  • Texture
  • Freshness
  • And nutritional content

And we milled the exact mix we needed for each type of bread instead of buying large quantities of the more exotic grains.

Trust me; you won’t find a couple of cups of amaranth or einkorn flour on the shelf at the supermarket.

And we had total control over the quality of grains that went into our flour. So it never had any fillers, preservatives, or additives.

So, if you don’t have a healthy foods bakery, why would you want to take the time to grind your own grains?

Well, we know eating whole grains can lead to the following:

  • better cardiovascular health
  • fewer issues with diabetes
  • less weight gain
  • and reduce stomach and intestinal inflammation

We hear about these health benefits on the news, in food commercials, and any time we talk with our doctor. But if those aren’t good enough reasons to consider milling your own grains, here are a few more:

2. Price – Savings

The price of whole grains can be drastically less than flour produced from the same grain.

You can save some serious cash if you’re not paying someone to mill hundreds of pounds of it for you.

3. Ingredient Control

Milling your own flour gives you complete control over the contents of your flour.

From customizing mixes for flavor or nutrition to ensuring you don’t get wheat gluten cross-contaminating your rice flour.

DIY milling allows you to know exactly what went into each bag of home-milled flour.

4. Flavor Enhancement

Speaking of flavor, fresh-ground grains have a more complex flavor profile, way more than the mass-processed flour shipped throughout the world.

Many of these bland flavors and scents are due to organic compounds in the grain that degrade over time.

This fast degradation contributes to most store-bought flour’s flat, bland taste.

And if you really want to change the nutrition and flavor profile of the grains, try sprouting or malting grains.

This process involves soaking them in water and allowing them to germinate. At this point, drying them out again stops the process.

Drying helps the seeds convert starches to sugars, which releases a different, richer flavor in the resulting flour.

5. Long-Term Food Storage

Whole grain kernels last far longer in storage than whole grain or processed flour.

If stored properly, they can last months or years. This longevity was due to the deep rock tombs’ cold, dry, and dark conditions.

6. Homebrewing

For many people, the homebrew store is their first introduction to a grain mill.

To make your own beer, you use ground malted barley and other grains for brewing.

If you’re far from a good homebrew store, milling your own grains at home makes sense.

It’s one of the best ways to ensure you have the ingredients needed for your next batch of beer!

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3 Main Types of Grain Mill Grinders (Pros & Cons Of Each)

There are three major categories of milling mechanisms found in most modern home grain mills:

  • Stone burrs
  • Steel burrs
  • And impact micronires

The type used is directly related to your grain mill grinder’s performance, cost, and longevity, so choose wisely.

1. Stone Burr Mills

Stone burr mills come in a wide range of sizes and milling rates.

Unlike the old natural stone milling discs, modern “stone” burr mills use an engineered material. As a result, they provide a high level of durability, precision, and uniform milling texture.

The tight tolerances and fine texture allow stone burr mills to produce a wide range of products. They can make everything from “cracked” grains to ultrafine flours.

If you plan to do a lot of baking, a stone burr mill might be your best bet for the delicate textures of cakes.

But, due to the porous nature of the grinding surfaces, they’re not great for oily, wet, or fibrous materials.

2. Steel Burr Mills

Steel burr mills are like stone burr mills in capability and longevity.

The major difference is that very few of them can match a stone burr mill in producing the most refined flours.

On the plus side, due to their non-porous steel surfaces, they can grind oily, wet, and fibrous materials.

A steel burr mill is a far better choice if you want to make homemade peanut butter.

In addition, they’re far less expensive than a premium stone burr mill. And they come with a wide range of options, including different power methods (more on that in a second).

3. Impact Mironizers

Finally, the newest milling mechanism is the impact “micronizer.” It’s essentially a pair of stainless-steel discs with concentric rings of raised “fins.”

While one disc is held fixed, the other spins at extremely high speeds; this breaks the grains into smaller and smaller pieces as they pass through the gaps between rings.

They’re fast and loud and only come in electric versions.

They produce a range of flour textures. But are not capable of either the coarsest or finest grinds that burr mills can achieve.

Additionally, an impact mill is not suited for oily, wet, or fibrous materials.

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How To Power A Grain Mill (Electric Vs. Hand Crank)

One of the major decision points comes from choosing between an electric mill and a hand crank model.

Each type has some benefits, so you’ll have to evaluate how they work in your plans.

Electric Grain Mill

An electric grain mill features a powerful electric motor to drive the grinder. This setup provides you with a low-effort means to grind a LOT of grain into flour.

Most electric grain mills have a large hopper to feed in raw whole grains. And can be fitted with a similarly large container to collect your newly milled flour.

This scalability means your only real job is to keep the hopper full.

PROS

  • Simple to use
  • Fast
  • Can process large volumes of grain

CONS

  • It doesn’t work when the power goes out
  • It can be quite loud
  • Electrical parts can fail
  • Expensive

Hand Crank Grain Mills

Hand-cranked grain mills take a bit more effort. But they work even when the power goes out. So this setup is something to consider if a grain mill is part of your emergency preparedness plan.

In addition to keeping the hopper full, you have the added chore of spinning a hand crank.

Some models also feature alternative attachments if you’re not up for that kind of arm workout. Ones that allow you to drive the grinder wheels via a bicycle or other power source.

PROS

  • Durable
  • Works off the grid
  • Inexpensive
  • Quieter operation

CONS

  • Lots of effort
  • Slow to mill large volumes

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Best Grain Mill Grinder Features

Milling Rate

If you’re looking at manual grain mills, the milling rate is directly tied to your own efforts.

A slower milling rate will take longer to produce the required amount for your recipe. It will also tie you up in the milling process for longer, keeping you from working on other tasks.

If you’re considering electric mills, the milling rate is far less of a factor. That’s because you can walk away and get other things done while the mill works through the grain.

Noise Rating

Hand-cranked burr mills are relatively low noise.

Faster electric burr mills and impact mills can create a lot of extra sound due to their high speeds. Consider this when selecting your work area if you’re processing a lot of grains.

Many times, a covered outdoor space or garage is best for louder mills.

Capacity

Most mills have a capacity rating based on how much grain you can load into the hopper for processing.

For most manual mills, the capacity is small. But you’ll appreciate the break from cranking to refill the hopper frequently.

A larger hopper is an excellent addition for electric mills as it allows you to go hands-free for longer.

The batch sizes get much more extensive in larger consumer and light commercial mills. And the hopper can hold far more raw whole grain.

Materials & Build Quality

As with any product, higher-quality materials are a plus with grain mill grinders.

These are hard-working pieces of equipment and need to be durable.

Flimsy plastic or thin metal construction in high-stress pieces is likely to fail. And likely when you least expect it.

Investing in solid cast metal or a high-quality hardwood body is best. And engineered stone or stainless-steel grinding mechanisms are preferable.

Final Thoughts

The taste, nutrition, and sense of satisfaction that comes with milling your own grain fresh can’t be beat, especially if a run to the store for a cup of flour isn’t possible.

You can experiment with wild or exotic grains. Or purchase more common whole grains in bulk with extended storage shelf lives.

Enjoy!

Article By Jason K.

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