My father bought a spice grinder thinking it was a coffee grinder. He is very stubborn and does not want to return it (also it was the most expensive grinder from the store) Can it still be used for coffee? I feel like it will break sooner since spices are softer than coffee so the grinder is not design the same.

This model

Also, there is no mention of coffee in the manual

  • Can you post a picture? There are types of each that are actually the same thing.
    – Jolenealaska
    Commented Apr 27, 2014 at 20:20
  • @Jolenealaska There is no mention of coffee in the manual. cuisinart.com/share/images/products/full/sg-10.jpg
    – Napster
    Commented Apr 27, 2014 at 20:45
  • That sure looks like a rotary style coffee grinder! The reviews on Amazon say it works for cinnamon so I would think that it would also work for coffee, but it's hard to say how well. I'd keep the Cuisinart for spices and buy a burr grinder for coffee. But that's just me.
    – Jolenealaska
    Commented Apr 27, 2014 at 21:11
  • Show your dad this
    – Jolenealaska
    Commented Apr 27, 2014 at 21:13
  • Honestly I don't see the point of rotary grinders at all. No reason you can't use a burr grinder for spices too. Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 6:44

3 Answers 3


The Cuisinart SG-10 spice grinder it designed to grind soft and hard spices. There is no reason why it couldn't do coffee

The SG-10 manual even mentions nutmeg, which is significantly tougher than coffee

Many coffee "professionals" like the burr grind (like a pepper grinder), compared to the rotary blade grind (like a small food processor), but either will work fine

Also, many people grind spices in rotary blade coffee grinders, so it comes down to which style of grinding you like

One issue with rotary ground coffee is the inconsistency of grind size. There will be too many fine particles that will leech out of the coffee holding/filter mechanism. If you don't want solid particles in your coffee use a burr grinder


Everything that TFD mentions in his answer is correct, there's no reason you can't use your grinder for coffee.

However, there are two main issues with rotary grinders for coffee:

  1. The particle size won't be consistent. This can lead to more fines in your cup if you are brewing using a filter method. It will also cause over-extraction on the fines and under-extraction on the large pieces, leading to unwanted flavours in your final cup.

  2. With a rotary grinder, the fineness of your grind is usually relative to time, whereas with an adjustable burr grinder the fineness is relative to the gap between the two grinding burrs.

    This makes it a lot harder to get a consistent grind size for your coffee with a rotary grinder and you'll likely have to suffer through a lot of bad coffee until you can guesstimate properly what grind size you're after.

My reccomendation is that you return the grinder and buy a hand grinder (burr of course) like the hario skerton (about $30).


I've been using a spice grinder to grind coffee every day for fifteen years. Hasn't broken yet.

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