Q&A- Grain Mills

6a 00e 54f 14494b 883400e 553cef 7d 68834 200wi
Anyway, on to my question. As I’ve stated I am striving to be a better steward of the blessings that God has given my family. As, I know you are aware, rising grocery costs are making it difficult to maintain our budgets. My family cannot spring for an electric grain mill, it is just really not in our budget. So, I was wondering if you think it would be practical to purchase a manual one. I’m a little concerned that it would be so difficult and time consuming to use that I would give up. I have 5 kids ages 6 and under, including a set of 2 year old twins, so my time is very precious!
— Hannah

I received this question a little while back (ok, maybe a long while back- my emails are a bit backed up at the moment!), and I don’t have a really great answer for her.

My initial thought is that a manual one may be quite consuming to use and perhaps not worth it (maybe better to hold out and find a good used electric one on ebay or craigslist). My second thought upon rereading it is that perhaps the older children could help and make the process a little bit easier, though I’ve never used a manual one myself and am not sure of the strength, time, or effort it takes to use it to make enough flour to feed a family.

Thoughts? Opinions? Have you used a manual one and would you suggest it?

If not, where did you get your electric one, what brand do you have, and where have you seen the best deals?

Similar Posts


  1. I have a manual one that was given to me as a gift. I tried to use it once and couldn’t get a fine enough grain to bake bread with. It was rather coarse. I eventually would like an electric one but find myself in the same situation as your commenter- debating the cost/value of the investment. Maybe Santa will bring it to me one year!

    Best wishes!

  2. I have several friends who obtained their grain mills for an inexpensive price on ebay. Our mill has been one of the best investments ever made! A manual mill would definitely take a considerable amount of time. I think I’d shop around for a while first.

  3. A grain mill is at the top of my “Most Wanted Kitchen Item” list. I have heard from others that the manual ones aren’t worth the hassle, so I’m saving up for an electric one. And to help out that savings, I’ve started getting rid of and selling things I don’t need on Craigslist and/or E-bay. I’ve done a lot of reading on the issue of whole grains, specifically fresh whole grains, and know that this really needs to be my next purchase.
    As for reviews, I always check out amazon for those. Most peoples reviews are quite helpful. Otherwise, I’ve read on many other blogs that people have the NutriMill from Pleasant Hill Grain Company.

  4. I have not used a manual mill, but wanted to comment that deals are out there. I found mine on Craigslist, a NutriMill, for $40. I actually offered the person more for it in the event she had many responders. She did. I love the mill and credit the providence of God alone for this bargain find.

  5. I used a manual and as a mom of four under age 7 (with twins turning two on Sunday!)I have to say it wasn’t easy. If I didn’t homeschool, I could have done better, perhaps, but with homeschooling and cooking, cleaning, etc. it was not working. I did keep at it, though, until we saved up for our Whisper Mill (Amazon.com had best price we could find) and I have to say I do not miss the manual one.

    They are best when you have a surface you can permanantly attach them to. If your grinding for bread, to get a fine enough grind you’ll probably not be able to have the older children do it. Our seven year old would try and try, but about 3 times around was all she could get. It does take time and elbow grease. I would say for about 8-10 cups of flour we would grind for about an hour (this is a ROUGH guestimate as it’s been at least 6mo ago and I never actually timed it.)

    All that said, I have to think the benefits of fresh grains are better than white flour. However, if you don’t have the time, I would think that buying whole grain flours is next best, especially if you can find a sprouted flour.

    The Whisper Mill has been nice for us. I find it hilarious that it is called “whisper” as the thing is loud, but apparently quieter than other mills? You can’t turn it on or off with grains in the hopper. So you turn it on, pour in your grains and then wait until they are all ground before turning off. This is the hardest part about the mill. Also, it has three settings and I use the coarse for bread and it’s still finer than I could get double milling manually. The fine setting is so powdery that I am sure you could make a whole wheat angel food cake that was as light and fluffy as any other white flour one you’ve seen. So far, I’ve been pleased and I still have my manual in case I’m just wanting to crack some grains or some coarse flour.

  6. I started with a manual but I only keep it for an emergency. Like the end of the world as we know it. (That thing takes the strength of two men to make it work!)

    I bought my electric mill many years ago and I love it. I’d highly suggest The Urban Homemaker to order one from. They have been around for a long time and I know they are good people.

    Marilyn’s hubby suddenly passed away recently (he was the one both my daughter and I dealt with when we ordered) but the family is keeping the business going.

  7. With the price of flour these days, and being wheat sensitive, we figured we could buy giant bags of the berries at our co-op and get natural, fresh, organic flour for cheaper than the other stuff at the store. We figured with the price of our mill, plus how much we use flour (we make our own bread, too) that we would pay it off within a year or two. My DH did the research and although I honestly don’t know what he found out, he got the Nutrimill. It was between that and the Whisper mill (now called wonder mill, same thing). My friend has the whisper mill and likes hers. Mine works great. SO easy!!! We got ours online from a distribuor for kitchen resource…wish I could remember where. If I do I will post that later. Since it was in BC. Since my DH did the research and deal searching, I will try to ask him later if he has more advice.

    I have heard a lot of bad things about manual ones. I know someone who adapted a manual one to make it electric, somehow. (Although I wouldn’t recommened tinkering that way, I thought it showed how she didn’t like the manual one).

  8. We have a Country Living Grain mill WITHOUT the motor, and without a bike (this one can be hooked up to a stationary exercise bike, but we don’t have one). We grind A LOT of flour, and it takes A LOT of time & sweat! I make 10-16 loaves of bread a week plus muffins, coffee cakes, cookies (occasionally), biscuits, etc. My children HATE helping with the grinding. it was “fun” for about the first two days then it got old. My hubby and I still hope that we can train them to have a right attitude and be willing to help. I still require them to grind for me or…. they don’t get to eat the baked goods. 🙂

    I have 6 children ages ranging from 3 – 11. They want to save up money to buy mommy and electric mill. 🙂

    It does not grind my flour fine. I do send it through twice for my Hard Red Wheat & Prairie Gold. I get beautiful bread but I think that is because the grains are soaked. If I’m in a pinch and I don’t soak then the breads are much more crumbly. When I soak the grains even with them being coarser, the breads turn out wonderful.

    If I had to do it over again…… I’d buy an electric. BUT with the cost of electricity and our need to cut back in every area right now, we will continue to sweat it out and grind with our hand mill.

  9. I’m currently saving up to purchase a grain mill and should have enough money to purchase in about 4 months or so. I’ve heard that the manual mills are extremely difficult to use so I’m saving for an electric one.

  10. We have a Whisper Mill that we bought about 7 years ago but while I was waiting for my tax rebate to come so that I could order it, I seem to remember one of Sue Greggs Cookbooks recommending using a blender for muffins and pancake batter and anything with a high liquid content and that’s what I did. With the liquid the blender will actually grind the wheat. It’s not yeast bread but if you want to incorporate whole wheat into your diet it works great.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *