The value of antique grinders

Pre-ground coffee beans offer the convenience of brewing your cup all at once. However, many coffee lovers prefer to grind their beans just before making each cup, which ensures that the beans do not lose their freshness. Although electric grinders are common today, manual coffee grinders have been around for centuries, and you could be sitting on a gold mine if you own one. We spoke with antique appraiser Dr. Lori Verderam to learn more about the history and value of antique coffee grinders and whether or not you should sell yours now.

When was the first coffee grinder made?

Dr. Verderame tells the story Women’s world that the first coffee grinder dates back to AD By the 9th century as a variant of the mortar and hammer. From there, he says, the coffee grinder was further developed in Europe and later in the United States in the 19th century.

“[The term] the coffee grinder was first patented by German inventor Friedrich Gottlob Keller in 1842,” he explains. “Later, a more innovative coffee grinder was patented by Maryland dentist Thomas Bruff, who realized that more than one type of grinding wheel was needed to grind both fine and coarse coffee beans.”

What are the different types of vintage coffee grinders?

Coffee grinders come in different types, designs and styles for specific uses. “Wall-mounted coffee grinders were convenient and used in homes and small shops,” says Dr. Verderam. “Table top single and dual wheel grinders and floor model grinders were used to grind large quantities of ground coffee in general stores.”


Here are photos of the four types of coffee grinders he described above.

Single and dual wheel cast iron models

Putthipong Wiriya-apa/Shutterstock

Wall mounted coffee grinders

A-wall mounted-coffee grinder
Christopher D. Lawrence/Shutterstock

Hand-Crank Box models with top crank and crank


Cast iron pedestal or floor models

An-antique-suffe grinder-on-a-pedestal
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What do collectors look for in antique grinders?

The rich and solid history of coffee grinders makes them attractive to collectors. Dr. Verderam shows us the main design features that affect the value of older coffee grinders:

  • Date: Coffee grinders dating from the mid-19th century to the late 20th century.
  • Material: Coffee grinder bodies made of wood, cast and patinated metals or cast iron with glass, porcelain, wood and ceramic burrs.

The original manufacturer of coffee grinders is another selling point, and Dr. Verderam provided a list of companies from the US and Europe to look out for.

Choose American manufacturers.

  • Landers Frary & Clark Coffee Mill, New Britain, CT
  • Charles Parker Company, Meriden, CT
  • Hobart Manufacturing Company, Troy, OH
  • Enterprise Mfg Company of PA, Philadelphia, PA
  • Logan and Stonebridge, New Brighton, Passive
  • Waddell Company, Greenfield, OH
  • Wrightsville Hardware Company, Wrightsville, PA
  • Arcade Manufacturing Company, Freeport, IL

Choose European manufacturers.

  • Armin Trosser, Germany
  • DeVe, Holland
  • PeDe (Peter Dienes), Holland
  • Kenrick, England
  • Spong, England
  • Elma, Spain
  • MSF Company (proprietary), Spain

How much is an antique grinder worth?

According to Dr. Verderam, antique grinders can start at around $50 and go up based on its design, age, manufacturer and other factors.

On eBay, you’ll find listings like this Hobart antique pedestal grinder now going for $4,500 and an antique Star Mill #10 grinder going for $2,5000. So there is a chance that an old coffee grinder will sell for thousands to a keen collector.

If you want to get a more accurate idea of ​​the value of your special coffee grinder, visit your local antique appraiser. A virtual evaluation consultation is another option if you can’t see them in person, and Verderame offers this service on its website (

Looking to cash in on other gems in your home? Read our stories on the value of vintage magazines, antique lamps and ceramic jugs.