How to prepare your family to survive and thrive in todays uncertain world

Grain Mills

One thing you need to consider for your food storage efforts is the ability to process raw ingredients. One of the biggest culprits here is wheat. It’s not enough to just store wheat, but you need to have a good grain mill as well to convert it into something that’s usable.

Grain Mill Types

There are three main types of grain mills: Stone grinders, burr grinders, and impact grinders.

Stone grinders are pretty straight forward. Two rocks that use friction to grind the grain into flour. Nuff said.

Well, it’s a little more complicated than that. You have a stationary stone and another one that rotates and grinds against the stationary stone. There are grooves in the stones that help transport the ground grain to the output chute.

Burr grinders are similar to stone grinders but they use steel wheels with burrs or teeth that do the actual grinding. One nice thing about burr grinders is that they can be used to grind seeds or nuts that have oil. Stone grinders clog up if you do that!

Impact grinders also have two grinding heads, but the teeth actually never touch. The grains get stuck in the gaps and as the heads rotate the grains impact against the teeth (hence the name) and essentially break apart.  They operate very quickly and create very finely ground flour.  Unfortunately they have a hard time with larger grinds, so you’re not going to make steel cut oats or anything like that with an impact grinder.

Drive Methods

Reasonably straight forward here. Mills use hand power or an electrical motor. I think it’s important that you get either two different mills, one with each drive type, or one mill that can handle both drive types. The chances of you needing your mill in an electricity-free time is pretty high, but grinding for your daily use is probably going to get tedious FAST.

Wrapping Up

I’m avoiding any specific recommendations here for now, but I’d love to hear what you think. Share your favorite grinders in the comments here!

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10 Responses to Grain Mills

  1. I have the Victorio VKP1012 Hand Operated Grain Mill, which is very affordable and not too tough to use. I was able to grind 4 cups of fresh red hard wheat in, probably, under 10 mins (I wasn’t exactly watching the clock). It’s definitely work, but for the $50ish cost, it’s well worth the price, and far more affordable than other models. Well made, and solidly built for emergency use. Unless you’re into a workout each time, this manual grinder is probably not for daily use. Hope this helps!

    • Thanks for the review, Richie.

      I ordered this one just yesterday from Amazon and am glad to hear it works well.

  2. I have an electric burr mill, and I’m looking for a hand powered mill.I can’t quite accept that the only reliable one is the $395 Country Living Mill. Does anyone have experience qwith something that does the job for less?
    Granny

  3. I only use an electric grain mill right now- it isn’t even a grain mill – I have a Vita Mix, and purchased the dry container – it works beautifully. I am also interested in the Country Living Mill, but have been thinking of getting the Lehman’s “Our Best Grain Mill”. It is about $100 less than the Country Living Mill. I would also like to hear if anyone has any other suggestions. Thank you.

  4. Have an electric Vital Mill and I love it. Can’t swallow the cost of the hand grinder right now. Haven’t heard anything about Lehman’s mill one way or another. Good post!

  5. About 6 months ago I ordered the Wondermill Junior Deluxe off of Amazon for a little over $200. The mill qualified for free shipping also. I have been happy with it so far. It is very heavy and seems to be durable. I liked the fact that it had a double clamp. In researching hand mills a common complaint was that the mills with a single clamp became loose and was not sturdy while grinding. The “deluxe” model comes with stone and stainless steel burr heads that can be swapped out depending on what you are grinding. You can adjust it do grind a coarse meal or fine flour. (If grinding a fine flour for bread, I would suggest that you run the wheat through on a coarser setting and run it through again on a finer setting…I need to workout but not that much!) The mill was also easy to clean. One thing I would definately recommend is to order the flour guide. The flour guide directs the flour into your bowl and not all over your counter top. Definately worth the $9. I found this part at Kodiak Health’s website under “wonder junior parts”.

  6. I have the wondermill electric, love it but am looking for a non electric one. I just don’t have the cash to buy the country one 400.00-500.00 or spend 200.00 on the wondermill jr delux. I mean it cost me 50.00 more for the electric why spend that much on an emergency non electric one. I know we need a good one for that emergency so if anyone has a cheaper one they use occasionally and love it let u’s all know!

  7. I have a manual grain mill but one that’s smaller than what is pictured. That’s the one I should have. Time to save up the pennies I guess.

  8. I have two mills, one manual and one electric. The manual mill is a Universal 500 (http://www.mainstsupply.com/product.cfm/3/7/26682), which is cast iron and very rough. It’s works for cracking corn or wheat, and is a great coffee grinder, but no matter anyone says this thing will NOT make real flour. It’s hard to beat the price at $32, but good luck making bread with the output of it. If I have to resort to using this mill to crack my grains, we are all in a world of hurt.

    My second mill is a Nutrimill (http://www.amazon.com/LEquip-760200-NutriMill-Grain-Mill/dp/B001UI37N8), which I suppose would be considered an impact grinder but I prefer to call it “The Whirling Blades of Death.” I paid about $260 for mine, and I use this mill several times per week and it always performs flawlessly. For off-grid situations, I have tested the Nutrimill using a large inverter running off a deep-cycle marine battery. Oh, and just for grins and giggles I used two 15W solar panels to recharge the battery afterwards.

    I, too, would love to have a Country Living Mill, but right now I’m using that $400 for other preps. And actually it would (for me) be much more than $400, because I always buy spare parts right up front and I’d also need the large grain auger. And of course, I’d have to figure out how to mount it to my table saw so I could use the electric motor while we still have grid power. So much to do! :-) So the CL Mill will just have to wait.