Hand Mills vs. Electric Mills

You might be questioning why anyone would buy a non-electric grain mill instead of a high-powered electric one. There are however many reasons people love their hand mills. When thinking about buying a grain mill make sure you ask yourself certain questions first:

  • What will I grind with it?
  • Will it be for emergency or everyday use?
  • and Is noise and flour dust an issue?

What will I grind with it?
Hand mills are notorious for grinding ALL types of grains and nuts. For example, flax seed is a popular grain to grind because of its nutrition rich properties. Our hand mills are some of the few mills, electric and non-electric, that have the capability of grinding these "oily" grains. With the exception of the Retsel Mil-Rite Grain and Seed Mill which is a stone mill not an impact mill like most electric mills.

Hand mills are also great because they not only grind many types of grains, but they grind these grains from very coarse to very fine. The ability to "crack" the grains and make cracked cereals is very popular. Electric mills cannot "crack" grains. Most electric mills have 3-4 settings to define the coarseness.

Will it be for emergency or everyday use?
The average electric grain mill grinds at a grinding speed of about 85 lbs of grain per hour. This is a pretty fast speed. On the other hand, hand mills can grind 10 CUPS of grain anywhere from 25-75 minutes, depending on the quality of the mill. This, comparatively, is very slow. It is obvious that people are not buying hand mills for speed and efficiency.
They are buying them for:

  • Emergency Preparedness
  • The option of milling "oily" grains and nuts
  • and the option of making cracked grains

Is noise or  flour dust an issue?
Obviously a high powered electric mill is going to be significantly louder than any hand mill. Most electric mills are considered impact mills, meaning they explode the grain instead of grinding it between stones. This creates the noise ranging from 50 to 80 decibels. To compare, a normal conversation ranges from 50-60 decibels, and a telephone dial tone, when put to the ear, is about 80 decibels. Hand mills, comparatively, make little or no noise whatsoever.

Similarly, the flour dust is an issue with electric mills. While we do carry
an electric mill that releases no flour dust into the air whatsoever, most electric mills release at least a bit of flour dust into the air. Hand mills release no dust into the air at all.

Now you can decide what kind of grain mill is right for you. Return to our
grain mills page and check out the comparison tables to compare the electric and hand mills that we offer there. Or if you are still in doubt, call us at
and ask one of our experts to help you determine your needs.