Whether you're looking to blend up your favorite whole spices, or wish to create a custom marinade, spice grinders are a fun and easy tool that will take your dishes to the next level. A cousin to the trusty food processor, choose any spice of your choosing, from whole spice leaves to coffee beans, and watch it transform into a ground spice blend before your eyes.
The options for this handy tool are endless, so we researched and tested electric and manual models side-by-side at home and evaluated each on design, size, performance, ease of cleaning, and overall value. Dozens of spices were ground, from delicate dried mint to fennel to peppercorn, to test the grinders' capabilities and figure out which ones are truly the best.
Here are the best spice grinders for your kitchen, according to our at-home testing.
Secura Electric Coffee and Spice Grinder
Can process both wet or dry ingredients
Strong 200-watt motor
Bowls are dishwasher safe
Can get noisy
Doesn't handle lightweight herbs well
There are several great spice grinders out there, but the Secura Electric Coffee and Spice Grinder earned the best overall spot for a few reasons. One of the biggest is that it has two separate milling bowls: One for grinding dry ingredients and the other for chopping wet ingredients. The bowls also have measurement markings on the inside, so you can easily add what you need without using separate measuring spoons. This grinder includes a clear plastic cover that sits on top of the stainless steel bowl to keep ground ingredients from flying out as the blades spin.
The two-blade grinding bowl is meant for handling dried ingredients from herbs, like rosemary and thyme, to spices, like peppercorns and cardamom. Our tester noted that it created a fairly consistent, fine grind on most spices and worked beautifully to create enough freshly ground pepper for cacio e pepe in about 10 seconds. She noted that lightweight herbs like mint had a hard time staying down near the blade, so the results were less even, but these types of herbs generally don't need a super consistent grind.
The Secura also brings power in a compact, counter-friendly size. The 200-watt motor can easily handle most spices as well as larger items like nuts and coffee beans, while the built-in overheat protection extends its lifespan so you can keep it around for a while.
Price at time of publish: $42
Capacity: 70 grams | Materials: Stainless steel and plastic | Motor: 200 watts | Dishwasher Safe: Removable parts only
"This model is excellent for grinding peppercorns. It offered an even, fairly fine grind after just 10 seconds of continuous action. Since peppercorns are pretty dry, they were also easy to remove from the container with just a few taps."
Best Large Capacity
Cuisinart Electric Spice and Nut Grinder
Dishwasher safe bowl and cover
Includes storage lid
Not great for lightweight herbs
Meant only for nuts and spices
If you need a spice grinder that can handle larger quantities of spices for batch cooking or meal prepping, the Cuisinart Spice and Nut Grinder is one of the largest and most powerful options out there. It has a 90-gram (or just over 3 ounces) bowl and a 200-watt motor designed to tackle bigger grinding jobs. The powerful motor also makes easy work of larger, harder items, like nuts, seeds, and even nutmeg.
While there are no bells and whistles here—the grinder has one stainless steel bowl and a push-top on and off control—we think its simplicity is one of the things that adds to its appeal. Our tester noted that like similar models with a two-blade design, lightweight herbs tended to fly away from the blade area, resulting in an uneven grind. However, on heavier spices, like cloves and peppercorns, this machine worked really well. Just be sure to follow the suggested grinding times noted in the manual for optimum results.
Price at time of publish: $40
Capacity: 90 grams | Materials: Stainless steel and plastic | Motor: 200 watts | Dishwasher Safe: Yes for removable parts (top rack only)
"It worked wonderfully on cumin and fennel, creating an even, fine grind perfect for use in spice blends or adding straight into dishes."
KitchenAid Blade Coffee and Spice Grinder
Bowls and lids are dishwasher safe
Easy to use
Spice "dust" gets into base
Probably unsurprisingly, KitchenAid, one of the leaders in kitchen gadgets, earned the spot of best multipurpose spice grinder with its dual coffee and spice grinder. Unlike other grinders, which require thorough cleaning between different spices—or when you switch from coffee grinding to spice grinding—the KitchenAid comes with three separate stainless steel grinding bowls.
These bowls allow you to quickly grind different spices without the transfer of flavor that inevitably happens when you’re using the same bowl for the entire job. There are also two storage lids, so if you grind more than you need, you can pop a lid on two of the bowls and save it in your pantry for later.
Our tester found the KitchenAid grinder easy to use, as switching out the bowls only requires a simple twist to remove. The stainless bowls are simple to clean, too, because they're dishwasher-safe (top rack only). The only caveat to having multiple grinding bowls and lids is having to store them all, but if you have the space, you'll appreciate the assortment.
Although there aren’t any programmed settings that allow you to control grind size, the grinder comes with a clear lid that allows you to see what you’re doing so you can stop grinding when your spices reach the desired fineness.
Price at time of publish: $60
Capacity: 113 grams | Materials: Stainless steel and polycarbonate | Motor: 160 watts | Dishwasher Safe: Yes for removable parts (top rack only)
"Thanks to the smaller containers for herbs/spice grinding, you don't have to fill it up as much, but it does help to have a larger quantity. On the other hand, using the cover on the bowl is imperative—it keeps the herbs contained towards the blade."
Krups Silent Vortex Electric Grinder
Comes with storage lid
Removable parts are dishwasher safe
Lid is very difficult to clean
Unlike other grinders, which can be obnoxiously loud, the Krups Silent Vortex Electric Grinder was designed with quiet in mind. If you’re an early morning cook or need something that gets the job done during a child’s afternoon nap, this model from Krups is probably the best choice for you. It comes equipped with patent-pending Vortex Spin Technology that helps pull ingredients into its blades for grinding that’s as quiet as it is efficient. It has a one-touch button that you can hold down for continuous grinding or tap to pulse.
Our tester noted that, unlike similar models, the Krups gave a wonderfully even grind to lightweight dry herbs, like mint and rosemary, and kept them down close to the blade. When it came to grinding peppercorns, it took a little more time than other models, but the resulting grind was excellent. The design of the lid made it a little difficult to brush away any powder or residue between uses, but the grinding bowl, grinding lid, and storage lid are all dishwasher safe (top rack only) for when you want to thoroughly clean.
The stainless steel grinding bowl is removable and comes with a storage lid, so if you need to store spices, you can pop the lid on and put it right into your pantry. However, unlike the KitchenAid, the Krups only comes with one grinding bowl, so you won’t be able to grind new spices while you’re storing any.
Price at time of publish: $44
Capacity: 2880 grams | Materials: Stainless steel and plastic | Motor: 200 watts | Dishwasher Safe: Yes, for removable parts (top rack only)
"The grinding lid is very difficult to clean due to its construction. Spice dust tends to get trapped, and even when you wash it, water also tends to get trapped."
Best for Wet and Dry Grinding
Shardor Coffee and Spice Grinder
Comes with dry and wet blade bowls
Won't strain hands to use
Not dishwasher safe
The Shardor Coffee and Spice Grinder was expertly designed to be the perfect multitasking tool. It comes with two stainless steel bowls. The first is a two-blade grinder bowl that handles dry items, like spices and coffee beans. The other is a four-blade chopper bowl that can wet-grind garlic and herbs, like basil, eliminating the need for manual mincing as you cook.
The design of this grinder makes it an excellent choice for anyone with manual dexterity problems, especially since, instead of pressing down on an on/off button, you can activate the motor by pushing down on the entire lid instead.
Our tester found this model to work best with spices (vs. dried herbs) and required at least a tablespoon of each ingredient to get a proper grind. Since the bowl is removable, it's easy to get every last granule of ground spice out with a few taps. It comes with a coffee spoon that has a brush on its handle to help whisk away any residual dust or powder. The manufacturer recommends hand washing the lid and bowls and advises against placing them in the dishwasher.
Price at time of publish: $35
Capacity: 70 grams | Materials: Stainless steel and plastic | Motor: 200 watts | Dishwasher Safe: No
"Grinding herbs with this model proved to be uneven, but effective. That said, they are still usable, and I don't think it will affect the way the herbs can be used in cooking."
Brentwood Coffee and Spice Grinder
Good with most herbs and spices
Fixed bowl makes it harder to clean
Less consistent results than higher-end brands
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly way to freshly grind spices, the Brentwood Coffee and Spice Grinder gets the job done at an affordable price. While most electric spice grinders cost around $40 to $50, you can get the Brentwood grinder for less.
The 150-watt motor is slightly less powerful than some of the others on this list, but it easily can give you a medium-fine to coarse grind. As an added bonus, it comes in black or minty blue, so you can choose the option that best matches your kitchen aesthetic and leave it on display on the countertop if you want.
Our tester used this grinder on various herbs and spices and noted that it performed well, but isn't able to achieve as consistent or as fine a grind as some higher-end models. That said, it does a good job and is a great pick for its price point.
Price at time of publish: $17
Capacity: 113 grams | Materials: Stainless steel and plastic | Motor: 150 watts | Dishwasher Safe: No
"These results tend to be coarser (after 10 seconds) most likely due to the less powerful motor. To achieve a finer grind, you will have to continue to pulse or grind the peppercorns for longer."
Kuhn Rikon Ratchet Grinder
Doesn't require electricity
Achieves a pretty consistent grind
Great for travel, camping, etc
Incompatible with nutmeg, cloves, and anise
If you don’t need the power of an electric grinder, but you still want an easy and effective way to add freshly ground spices to your dishes, the Kuhn Rikon Ratchet Grinder is one of the most user-friendly manual spice grinders on the market. This Swiss-designed model has a door on the front of its body that you can open and use to easily fill the spice chamber with one dried spice or a combination to create your own spice blend.
Unlike other manual spice grinders that require you to turn the handle in a full circle, the Kuhn Rikon has an ergonomic ratchet handle that you toggle back and forth to grind. It’s made of ceramic stone, so even after frequent use, it won’t break down or corrode.
Our tester liked that it was able to grind herbs and most spices with serious consistency. The only drawback is that it doesn't work with all spices—larger pieces like nutmeg, cloves, and anise are not recommended for this grinder.
Out of all the best spice grinders on the list, the Kuhn Rikon may also be the easiest option to clean. Instead of hand washing or putting it through the dishwasher, all you have to do is add some coarse salt to the chamber and grind it to clean the blades.
Price at time of publish: $27
Capacity: 90 grams | Materials: Plastic and ceramic | Dishwasher Safe: No
"This device felt like it was made for peppercorns. It's easy to use and the grind can be adjusted just like with most pepper mills."
Best for Salt and Pepper
eparé 2-in-1 Salt & Pepper Grinder
Adjustable grind settings on both ends
Acrylic containers let you see when it needs refilling
Not recommended for "wet" salts
If you need a spice grinder mainly for salt and pepper, the Eparé Dual Manual Mill can handle both at the same time. Its dual design combines two separate chambers in a sleek space-saving device that has separate milling blades on each end. Dials on the end of each blade cap allow you to independently control the fineness and coarseness of each spice.
Even though the design is sleek, each chamber, which can handle even the toughest spices, like rock salt and whole peppercorns, is large enough to fit a full cup of spices. The chambers are also clear, so you can easily see when you’re running low and need to refill.
Our tester liked that each end has an adjustable grinder, so you can select the desired fineness or coarseness of your spice. It's attractive enough to keep on the table for mealtimes or stash next to the stove to use while cooking.
You’re not limited to just salt and pepper, though. You can fill the chambers with any dried herbs or spices that are a staple in your kitchen for easy access to fresh grinding.
Price at time of publish: $25
Capacity: 272 grams | Materials: Stainless steel, ceramic, acrylic | Dishwasher Safe: No
"It works, but not as well as a blade grinder. My suspicion is that because it's designed for salt and pepper—aka larger, harder grains—that the smallest grind isn't that fine. I adjusted it in both directions to see if there was a difference in fineness and there wasn't a discernible difference in the finished product, so you end up with ground, but not finely ground, herbs."
If you need a spice grinder that can do it all, the Secura Electric Coffee and Spice Grinder has two grinding bowls that can manage all of your kitchen tasks. If you need a bulk-grinding option, you might want to go with the Cuisinart Spice and Nut Grinder, which has a larger capacity, instead.
How We Tested
We sent eight spice grinders to our experienced home chef and product tester, who tried out each with various spices, including dried herbs, such as mint and rosemary, as well as peppercorns, cumin, and fennel. To find out which spice grinders were truly the best, each was rated on design, size, performance, ease of cleaning, and overall value. Our tester then offered additional insights on each spice grinder's strengths and weaknesses.
Grinding whole cloves and allspice should generally not be done in any grinder with plastic parts, as the oils tend to degrade and cloud the plastic. Instead, use a traditional mortar and pestle to crush these spices into a fine powder.
What to Look For in a Spice Grinder
With many appliances, we often want to know their maximum capacity, but when it comes to spice grinders, minimum capacity is an important piece of information, too. If you're only planning to grind a teaspoon or so at a time, you'll want to make sure your grinder can manage such a small amount. It's also important to differentiate between a grinder you can use for larger spices such as nutmeg versus something finer like peppercorns or rosemary.
Manual vs. Electric
Electric spice grinders are wonderful for quickly processing spices, especially in larger amounts, but they can take up counter and storage space. Of course, they also require electricity. They are the more comfortable option if you want to exert less effort or struggle with manual dexterity. If you are short on space or don't need to grind more than a few spoonfuls of spices, consider a manual model instead. The plus of manual grinders is that they are more compact, simple to use, and come at an affordable price.
Ease of Cleaning
We took care to test how easy it was to clean these grinders—taking note of any ridges on the interior of the grinder. If any spice dust got stuck or built up inside, we factored that into the rating. Look at the blades of the grinder as well. If the parts can be disassembled, it'll make for easier access and cleaning. Manual grinders are more likely to be cleaned quicker since they can be tossed in the dishwasher. For electric grinders, we found that wiping clean or hand-washing usually did the trick.
How does a spice grinder work?
Electric spice grinders typically work by using a spinning blade to pulverize whole spices and herbs into powder. Manual grinders use a ceramic or metal (usually carbon or stainless steel) mechanism to crush spices, salt, and pepper to the desired grind.
Can a spice grinder be used for coffee or any other ingredients?
Many spice grinders are also advertised as coffee grinders, but make sure the manufacturer explicitly states that it is suitable for that use. Some grinders are specifically designed only for spices and might not deliver the ideal grind for coffee. A few models on this list come with multiple bowls that can be swapped out for coffee, spices, and/or wet ingredients, like fresh herbs, onions, and garlic.
How do you clean a spice grinder?
Always be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. Some grinders have removable components that can be put into the dishwasher (on the top rack) for cleaning. Many are safe to wash by hand with mild dish soap and warm water. If the bowl is fixed, you can typically clean it with a damp paper towel followed by a thorough wipedown with a dry paper towel.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Lindsay Boyers is a certified holistic nutritionist with extensive nutrition knowledge and cooking experience. She’s developed over 1,000 original recipes and is constantly on a mission to find the best kitchen gadgets, at the best prices, to help make life in the kitchen more streamlined and efficient.
This piece was updated by Bernadette Machard de Gramont, a Los Angeles-based writer who specializes in global food and wine content. She researches and tests a variety of cookware, bakeware, and wine tools, and interviews field experts for their insight. She personally tested all eight products in this roundup.