What You Need to Know Before Purchasing a Grain Mill or Flour Mill
There are many things to consider before making your final selection when purchasing a grain mill. A list of questions I would consider are as follows:
1. Do I want a manual or electric grain mill?
- If I want a manual grain mill, do I really have time to hand grind all the time?
- If I want an electric flour mill, do I want to have the option to hand grind when needed?
2. What will I be using the flour from my flour mill for? (It is important to know this, as the grind consistency produced by many grain mills is not fine enough or coarse enough for some applications.)
3. Is a noisy flour mill going to bother me? (Some flour mills are very loud, particularly impact chamber mills such as the Wonder Mill, Nutrimill, and Blendtec Grain Mill.)
4. Will flour dust from my grain mill be an issue?
5. What is my price range?
Some of the most popular electric grain mills are the Wonder Mill (formerly the Whisper Mill Grain Mill), Nutrimill, and Blendtec Flour Mill. For manual flour mills, the Country Living and Family Grain Mill are two of the most popular. I will list each one with it's high points, and low points to help you select which flour mill will work best for your application.
Electric Grain Mills
The Blendtec Grain Mill is one of the best buys for your money. Priced at a modest 179.00, this grain mill has an adjustable grind and can grind coarse to very fine flour - plenty fine enough for bread. Grinds very quickly with a 24 cup flour pan. Drawbacks? Very loud, and will not grind very course grinds, if you are wanting to make cereals, cornmeal, and other grinds of a coarse consistency, and has no manual option. Will grind pretty much all non-oily grains. This Grain Mill has stainless steel grinding blades - a health advantage over stone grinding burrs, as stone grinding burrs usually are bound with aluminum oxide. If you want fine flour for breads, and want it for a decent price, and need to grind a lot of flour without emptying the pan, this is likely the flour mill for you.
The Wonder Mill Grain Mill was formerly the Whisper Mill. The company who made the Whisper Mill went out of business, and their design was bought out by another company who is making it under the name "Wonder Mill". The Wonder Mill has been very popular. Priced at 239.95, this wheat mill is a little more expensive than the Blendtec Wheat Grinder. However, the Wonder Mill Grain Mill has a nice advantage in noise level over the Blendtec Grain Mill - still very loud, as it is an "impact chamber type mill" but not nearly as noisy as the Blendtec. The grinding consistency is an adjustable fine to coarse flour, but will not do very coarse grinds such as corn grits and bulgar wheat. No manual option. Can grind 12 cups at a time. Will grind pretty much all non-oily grains. This grain mill has stainless steel grinding blades, and a self cleaning milling chamber. This mill has a pretty clean operation, leaving less flour dust in the air than most electric mills. If you like all the features of the Blendtec Wheat Mill, but are willing to pay a little more to save your ears, the Wonder Mill could be an excellent selection.
The Nutrimill Wheat Grinder is the premium of the electric grain mills. Priced at 269.99, this flour mill can grind very fine flour and also has a little more adjustability than the Wondermill Grain Mill or the Blendtec Wheat Grinder on the coarse side, as the Nutrimill can grind as coarse as a corn meal consistency. Quieter than the Blendtec Flour Grinder and about the same as the Wonder Mill on noise level. This flour mill will grind pretty much all non-oily grains, and has no manual option, though the manufacturer has considered making one. It is just not available yet. This Grain mill has a 22 cup capacity, stainless steel grinding blades and a self cleaning milling chamber. An excellent selection if you like all the features of the Wonder Mill, but are willing to pay a little more to get a little more versatility on the coarse grinding side of the spectrum.
See Family Grain Mill Below. The Family Grain Mill is manual or electric.
Manual Grain Mills
The Country Living Grain Mill is one of the highest quality grain mills ever made. You could drop it on the floor, and it would likely hurt the floor more than the grain mill. The Country Living Grain Mill is one of those high quality items that could be passed on to the next generation. This flour mill uses stainless steel grinding burrs and has a lot of adjustability. With this grain mill you can grind a flour fine enough for bread (though not quite as fine as the electric mills listed above) and as coarse as desired. This flour mill can be motorized, though the motor, if bought from the manufacturer, is very expensive (right around the price of the mill itself). This grain mill can be motorized using a washer or dryer motor, and comes with instructions for doing this. If you motorize this grain mill, you are able to have the ease of use of an electric mill, but still have the ability to use it if the lights go out. Excellent for the Survivalist. Drawbacks? Most people don't like to grind grain by hand. They think they will, then they try it, and they don't. It takes about 2-3 minutes per cup of flour even if you are grinding as fast as you can go. This is normal for a manual grain mill and actually fast compared to some, but is not necessarily right for everyone, unless you plan on motorizing the unit. This wheat mill is excellent for the person who wants a manual mill, and wants high quality.
The Messerschmidt is not as high quality as the Country Living Grain Mill, but has definite advantages. Don't get me wrong - the Messerschmidt is German made and of high quality, it just does not compare to the all-metal construction of the Country Living Grain Mill. This manual grain mill's advantages lie in it's ease of use. The Messerschmidt is the easiest to turn grain mill we have ever tried. Some manual grain mills are so hard to turn that you feel like you need to be a body builder to use them. The Family Grain Mill is so easy to use that even a 7 or 8 year old child could do it. The output is about the same as the Country Living Grain Mill - 1 cup per 2-3 minutes of fast grinding, but is done with a lot less effort. The Family Grain mill also has a huge advantage in price, starting at just 94.95 for the manual version. Another advantage to this grain mill is that it is modular, so VERY easy to motorize. You have the option of buying a hand crank base, a motor base, grain mill attachment, flaker mill attachment, plus an array of other food processing attachments, and they all twist on with a snap to either the manual or electric grain mill base. All the attachments will fit onto the Bosch Bread Mixer with an adaptor, which will save you a ton of money if you already have a Bosch Mixer. Very versatile, as you can see. The Messerschmidt does not grind as finely most of our electric mills or quite as finely as the Country Living Mill, but on the finest setting, the flour is still acceptable for bread making. Not recommended for pastry flour. Perfect for the person who wants to grind flour easily by hand, but wants an easy way to motorize the unit, or the flexibility to add other attachments.
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