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— Ed Casey, CA
Milling Fibrous Materials & Nuts
"Will it grind?" We're sometimes asked if our grain mills will grind things other than grains and beans. Among other things, we're asked about herbs, spices, oilseeds, nuts, and various parts of woody plants, including roots. Recently when we were asked for a mill to grind the toenails of snapping turtles (no kidding) we decided it was time for some explanation.
We sell different types of home mills...
Steel Burr Mills: The Family Grain Mill is a "steel burr" type mill. It doesn't grind quite as finely as the "impact" type mills, but most of our Family Grain Mill customers find the fineness of its grind extremely satisfactory, and it also has the ability to grind many herbs, spices and seeds.
Impact Mills: Another type of mill is the "impact mill." Impact mills (the Nutrimill and WonderMill) are made to grind only grain and dry, non-oily beans. They grind very quickly and have the ability to grind very fine, but impact mills are completely unsuitable for herbs, spices, oilseeds, flax or fibrous materials. In fact, grinding such materials will very quickly ruin an impact mill, and such damage is not covered by warranty. The warranties of all of the impact mills cover the use of dry grains and dry beans, with which it's nearly impossible to wear one out.
And for Nuts...
Grain mills won't make nut butters. But these machines work great:
Nut Butter Machine Links
And if you're really serious about grinding materials that grain mills cannot grind:
will pulverize a much wider range of materials than a burr mill can handle. For quality industrial/commercial hammer mills beginning under $3000.