What are the Different Types of Hand Grinders?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 09 October 2019
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Manual, or hand, grinders have been used in kitchens for generations. While there are automatic grinders available today, many people prefer the simplicity of using a hand grinder. Grinders of this type can still be purchased with relative ease, and can serve a number of useful purposes. Here are a few examples.

Perhaps the most popular of all hand grinders today is the coffee grinder. Hand coffee grinders are usually equipped with a compartment where the coffee beans are placed. A crank makes it possible to grind the beans just before brewing the coffee. As the beans are ground, they are deposited in a small drawer located near the base of the grinder. The contents of the drawer are then placed into a coffeemaker or percolator. Many hand grinders come with more than one blade, making it possible to adjust the size of the grounds.

Along with coffee grinders, the grain grinder is also popular. Hand grinders of this type can be used to create flour from wheat and other grains. The grain grinder can also be utilized to grind kernels of corn to produce cornmeal that can be used to make various types of cornbreads.


While not seen as often as in the past, many kitchens still employ the use of a meat grinder. Often, these grinders are equipped with a clamp that makes it possible to securely position the device on the edge of a table or countertop. Pieces of meat are placed into the reservoir at the top of the grinder. The meat is slowly worked into the device with the use of a hand crank, eventually passing through blades that grind the meat into a texture that can be easily molded into patties. As the meat is processed, the finished product emerges from an opening in the side of the grinder and deposits into a bowl or other receptacle. Hand grinders of this type can be used with beef, pork, chicken or any type of venison with equal ease.

Perhaps the most simple of all hand grinders is the old-fashioned mortar and pestle. This type of grinder is especially helpful when attempting to grind foods into a fine powder. The mortar and pestle works very well when crushing dried herbs for use in soup, stews and casseroles. Some people also like to employ this type of grinder along with a coffee or grain grinder to achieve a finer texture than is possible with the other devices.

Kitchen grinders of all types can usually be purchased in kitchen boutiques, the home and kitchen sections of department stores, and in restaurant supply houses. Depending on the type of hand grinder you desire, the price may be very little. However, keep in mind that with fewer moving parts and no reliance on electricity, the grinder is likely to last for many years.


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Post 3

I've never seen a hand coffee grinder like the one in the picture. I think that's very cool. I have an electric coffee grinder and it works well. But there is no area to store the coffee. So I have to get the coffee out of the basin with the blade. Sometimes I'm scared that I might cut myself while doing that. Cleaning is a bit of a hassle too.

If I had a hand coffee grinder like that though, I could grind my coffee every morning without having to put my hand in near the blade. And I would have to clean it either. If I find something like this I will definitely buy it.

Post 2

We have a meat grinder that's operated by hand. It works well, but it does get tiring when there is a lot of meat. My husband likes homemade sausages and he's quite good at making them too. So we usually grind a lot of meat at once to prepare the sausages.

Post 1

Whole black pepper is now sold in plastic hand grinders that can be used right away. Many people prefer using this rather than already ground black pepper. Grinding the pepper right before it goes into food means very fresh ground pepper and more flavorful food.

The only downside to this product is that the grinder can't be refilled. They've made it so that it's thrown away and a new one is purchased. I think that's bad. It's a waste of money and resources. That's why when my whole pepper runs out, I'm going to get a refillable hand grinder and fill it with whole pepper myself.

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