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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Choosing a Hand Grain Mill

Original Article

How do I choose which hand grain mill to buy?
There is quite a range of prices for various hand grain mills, and it may seem difficult to decide which one to choose, but you can narrow your choice by deciding two basic things first.
One, do you intend to grind/mill into flour for breads (versus only for courser grinds)
Two, do you intend to use it frequently.
If you will be milling wheat to make flour for bread, you will want to be sure that the mill will grind the wheat berries into fine enough flour. Many cheaper models apparently do not, although many claim that they do. Just read the reviews of the product in consideration and you will usually get to the truth.
If you will be using the mill frequently, then it will be important to choose quality construction that will hold up to the test of usage and time. Many of the cheap mills have reviews that indicate that the unit falls apart or fails in one way or another after a relatively short time.
The phrase, ‘you get what you pay for’, is usually true enough. Unfortunately it often requires a higher than expected amount of money to purchase a product that is at least ‘good’, and even more money for a product considered to be ‘excellent’.

Regarding the notion of spending a bit of money… seeing how the dollar (and other currencies) will likely continue to devalue as national debts continues to soar, it may be smart to use some of one’s extra money to purchase tangible and practical products (and food items) today, before prices go higher tomorrow. This may included items to add to your preparedness supplies, one of which may be a hand grain mill.

We have been using an electric NutriMill Grain Mill for some time now, and make all of our bread with it (using Hard Red Wheat or Hard White Wheat) and we are very happy with it. Since we supplement a portion of our home electrical power with an off-grid solar system, we’ve not felt the immediate need to purchase a hand mill for a power-grid-down situation. However we’ve recently decided to go ahead and get one anyway, just in case…
This is when we discovered the quality versus price factor of these hand mills. It was surprising.

As of this post, we’ve not yet pulled the trigger and made a final decision on a particular model, so I thought it might be helpful to some of you to relate our experience.
It seems that every grain mill priced under $50 has generally poor reviews. There is this hand mill however, Victorio Hand Grain Mill, originally the ‘Back to Basics 555′, that has fairly good reviews for it’s price range ($69 as of this post). This might be a ‘good enough’ mill for the occasional user who isn’t too concerned that the flour may not grind as fine as more expensive mills.
Then we found this hand mill, Wonder Junior Deluxe Hand Grain / Flour Mill, which may end up being the best quality versus price – if you’re favoring the quality side of things. This mill comes with stone heads and stainless steel burr heads to accommodate different conditions, and will apparently grind fine flour (and everything else) without issue. It’s pricey though ($219 as of this post).
And then of course there is the top-of-the-line and seemingly best hand grain mill on the market, Country Living Hand Grain Mill, which will last generations and is built with the highest quality. It is very pricey ($395 as of this post), and may clearly be ut of the price range for some. But, it’s the best.
Feel free to comment on your own experiences, so to help future readers trying to decide which hand grain mill to buy…

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