Hand vs Electric Wheat Grinder- Which one is best for you?

Looking to invest in a wheat grinder? READ the pros and cons of a hand vs electric wheat grinder, ESPECIALLY if you are looking to use it for food storage!

In the food storage community, a wheat grinder is an important appliance to have.  Especially if you are storing tons and tons of wheat.  Here is a comparison between a hand vs electric wheat grinder to help you with your decision.

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Different Wheat Grinders

The biggest difference between wheat grinders are if they are manual labor or not.  In other words, hand vs electric.  Here are the two hand and electric wheat grinders I currently own.

As you can see, a price is a major point in comparing the two.  When looking into getting a wheat grinder you want to ask yourself a few questions which will help you decide what you need.


Hand wheat grinders run on the low side of the price range.  They vary from $30-$75.  Electric wheat grinders range from a KitchenAid attachment $100 to a stand still grinder of $250-400.

Download your FREE Food Storage Plan with recipes and shopping lists included. 


Most hand grinders are small.  They attach to the edge of the counter and are not made to be on the counter for periods of time.  They usually fit right back into the box they came in for easy storage.

Electric grinders are large, bulky and can be heavy.  They like to stay put nice and neat on top of your counter.  I keep mine in a small (dusty) corner on my counter where it’s difficult to get to but stores nicely.  Then I just slide it out when I use it (about once a month), and slide it back.  It’s great and I LOVE it!  Mine is white which matched perfect with our cabinets.

Different Uses

When I think of wheat grinders, I think of food storage.  I know what’s not what EVERYONE things about it.

A hand grinder is great for smaller portions.  I use my hand wheat grinder to “crack” my wheat and make my favorite Cracked Wheat Cereal.  Or I use it to grind some corn kernels for corn bread.  Then I PLAN on using it for when an emergency strikes and I need to grind other items so I can cook with it.

An electric grinder is GREAT for large portions.  I typically ground 4-8 cups of wheat at a time.  Use most of it for homemade bread, then freeze the rest to use for pancakes or other items.

If you are ONLY buying a grinder to use in an emergency, but NEVER use wheat flour or corn meal, then you don’t really need a grinder.  How will you know how to use it or cook with the grains when the time comes during an emergency?

If you are interested in starting your food storage and cooking more with wheat then read 5 Steps to Start Your Food Storage.  Once you know more about what you would be cooking you can know if you need a hand vs electric wheat grinder.

Speed and Power

Obviously, the hand grinder is powered by “man”.  In turn, this takes time and is typically more messy.  This is great for when you have no power.  It’s bad when you need to grind 4 cups of wheat and it’s going to take you 30-45 min when you could be doing something else with that time… like eating ice cream.

Electric grinder takes electricity.  In a case without electricity, it will take up power from your generator which may or may not be a bad thing depending on what else you are using it for at the time.  This grinder is A LOT faster!  It takes about 10 min tops to grind 4-5 cups of wheat and is less messy (at least in my house since the kids can’t help with it).

Weight and Size

If you are planning on tucking your grinder a way for “occasional/emergency” use (I don’t recommend this), then the weight and size could be a factor.  You would want to look for something smaller that stores easily.

Hand grinders are typically 2.5-8 pounds (vary with brands) and are about 5-10 inches wide by 13-16 inches tall.

Electric grinders weigh around 12-20 pounds (vary with brands) and are about 13-15 inches wide by 10-15 inches tall.  The Blendtec is lighter and smaller (8 pounds and 9×11 inches), but will KILL you in price.

Amount hopper holds

Each brand varies, but a hand grinder typically holds 2-4 cups of grain where as an electric grinder holds 3-12  cups of grain.

Texture and “course-ness”

With hand wheat grinders you have to play around with a knob to adjust the grinding blades.  Using the knob, then hand grinding your wheat, is a process that takes patience and time to find the desired consistency.

Using an electric grinder, you typically have 2 knob- speed and texture.  You aren’t able to see what’s coming out at times which is frustrating.  BUT if you read their instruction manual, it tells you how to turn the knob for desired consistency such as corn meal vs fine flour.

Questions to ask yourself BEFORE purchasing a wheat grinder

A wheat grinder can be a big investment, and you want to be sure you are going to USE it and be grateful for it after you buy it.

How often do I use wheat and other grains that need to be crushed?  If you use grains often then you may want to look into an electric grinder since they grind quick and hands free.  If you rarely are using wheat and other items then you may want to purchase a hand one for your “occasional” use.

How much space do I have?  A hand wheat grinder is great in small kitchens.  It packs up nicely and out-of-the-way.  A large electric grinder is bulky and difficult to take in and out of cabinets; it does best sitting on the counter.  Think about what layout works best for you.

Why do I want a wheat grinder?  If the answer is “Because everyone says I should”… then you probably don’t need one.  If you need  it because you make homemade bread and are SICK of having to go back to the store to get wheat flour, then it’s a good idea to purchase one.  Having a wheat grinder on hand opens up a large possibility of OTHER grains you can grind and use in your cooking.  This helps you prepare meals for a cheaper price.

Download your FREE Food Storage Plan with recipes and shopping lists included. 

If you want a wheat grinder in your storage for when an emergency hits and you need to use your food storage, then you’ll most likely want a hand grinder.  Unless you have a HUGE generator you can use to plug-in the electric one… but then again, you might have extra time to sit down and hand grind your wheat.

In conclusion

I want to jump on my soap box.  I know of so many people who have wheat stored but never use it OR know how to use it.  A  grinder is an investment and will be handy in case of an emergency.

If you plan to buy a grinder, please learn how to use it AND cook meals using the grains!

Read my reviews about the grinders I have HERE for my hand and HERE for my electric.

What type of wheat grinder do YOU have?  Comment below.

Further Reading:

How to Build your Food Storage: 4 Part Video Series

Red vs White Wheat, Which should you Store?

How to USE Food Storage- Yes you NEED to Use It.

As always, if you love what you read or have found it helpful, please PIN, share or comment below.  You can also like my Facebook page to get updates or subscribe to my email list.

Thanks for reading! 

This post may contain affiliate links.  Read my affiliate link disclosure here

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