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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Product Review: CSN Grain and Nut Grinder

 Recently CSN Store contacted me to do a product review. They provide a gift certificate, I choose an item and review it here on my blog. And being the food storage nerd that I am I chose a hand-cranked  Universal Grain, Corn and Nut Mill. I am fully aware that an electric one is faster, but I want to have both in the event that there's a power outage/ shortage.
Picture from CSN Store site
 As for the shopping process, I wished there was a product description or review. I realize that they ask people to do these things so they will have those reviews, but there wasn't enough information. I had to search for the same product elsewhere on the internet to get a description. They were however, very prompt in their shipping.
Here it is, set up in my kitchen
 Another minus for this product was that there were very little instructions. Just one diagram on the side of the box on how to assemble. I could only fit it on the back side of my kitchen island because the tightening screw is too wide to tighten it on the side counter lips. As I began to use it I found that the pieces don't fit together very well.
View looking down into the mill.
 As you can see there is a small gap between the two of the pieces where you pour in your product that you are grinding. No amount of turning closes this gap. This means that as you operate the mill little bits are flying onto the counter and floor and generally making a mess.

 Now it's kind of hard to see from this picture, but when all the pieces are tightened all the way, they don't fit together. When slightly looser, the gear and grinding plates are centered, but not very effective for grinding. And as you crank the mill, the pieces tighten a little more on their own, meaning that once again the pieces are not fitting together.
 Here are the wheat kernels that I sent through the mill ten times. They changed very little between the third and the tenth time through. I don't think that this thing could ever turn my wheat into flour. The picture on the website and the box show a bowl of finely ground corn meal. I can't imagine ever getting anything so fine out of this mill. It works for making cracked wheat or perhaps for grinding coffee beans, or corn kernels into feed, something where you want a coarse product, but not for turning grain into flour.

Now I really wanted to like this product and give it a good review. I was excited to get it and I have had good experiences with CSN Stores in the past, but I was less than impressed. I can't honestly recommend it. If I hadn't gotten this product for almost free I would have returned it, but it's not really worth the hassle for the chance that I might get back what I payed for shipping.


  1. Would you say that it's even too course for cornmeal? Did you try it with nuts? It looks like it would just gum up all over. Thanks for the honest review.

  2. You're welcome. I didn't try it with cornmeal, but I don't think it would work very well. It can't grind it that fine and I guarantee it would make a big mess. I don't know about nuts.

  3. I have the same mill. I have ground corn and it did take a couple of passes to get a corse grind of corn meal. The only thing that it did grind well for me were dehydrated orange peels into orange powder for teas. I was unsucessful at grinding dehydrated sweet potatoes into a powder with it. So I too can not recommend this mill, unless it was the only thing you could get. It is really cheap to buy. But you get what you pay for. And it really does make a mess everywhere.

  4. It's true you get what you pay for, but I know that my mom got a hand crank wheat grinder for only a few dollars more than this one that has worked just fine.