How to Choose Between A Manual or Electric Grinder


Meat grinders are an essential appliance in most commercial kitchens. The ability to create high quality ground meat from choice cuts is crucial to having the freshest ingredients on hand. Finding the right meat grinder for your restaurant kitchen can seem like a difficult task,but it doesn’t have to be. All you need is a little information about how you plan to use it in your kitchen and which one will benefit your business the most. Here are some of the pros and cons of manual versus electric meat grinders, and some tips for how to choose what’s best for your kitchen.

Pros And Cons Of Manual Meat Grinders

Manual meat grinders are operated by turning a crank to drive the internal grinding mechanism. While electric grinders require less manual labor, there are distinct advantages and disadvantages to using a manual meat grinder rather than an electric one.


  • The simple design of manual meat grinders means they are less likely to break down since they have fewer moving parts.
  • Repairing a manual meat grinder is significantly easier thanks to its simple design and wide availability of parts.
  • Thanks to their clamp-on mounting mechanism, manual meat grinders can be moved nearly anywhere in the kitchen and then removed for cleaning as needed.
  • Manual meat grinders are significantly more affordable than electric meat grinders thanks to their simplified design and minimal upkeep costs.
  • It’s much cheaper to operate a manual meat grinder since the only energy cost is the manual strength necessary to turn the handle.


  • If you are working with large batches of meat, turning the handle can be exhausting after even a short period of time.
  • To mount a manual meat grinder, you have to have a countertop edge to secure the clamp.
  • There are some safety concerns with manual meat grinders because the internal mechanism has to be cleaned and sterilized thoroughly after each use. Additionally, top loading grinders have the added risk of trapping fingers or clothing if the user isn’t careful.
  • It is difficult to maintain uniformity in the grind of the meat when using a manual meat grinder. Turning the handle at exactly the same rate requires tremendous skill, and as the user’s arm tires, it becomes even more difficult.

Pros And Cons Of Electric Meat Grinders

Electric meat grinders are powered by an electric motor to drive the internal grinding mechanism. The advantages may seem obvious, but the drawbacks significantly less so. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of electric meat grinders.


  • The added weight of the electric motor grants an electric meat grinder greater stability while it is in operation.
  • An electric motor means more power, so you can grind larger and thicker cuts of meat.
  • Thanks to its increased power, the grinding capacity of meat per minute is significantly higher.
  • Electric meat grinders are much easier to use since there is no hand crank to turn.
  • Perfect for mass quantities of meat, electric meat grinders can churn out beautifully consistent ground meat in minutes.



  • Electric meat grinders are pricier than their manually powered counterparts. That includes parts and upkeep the longer you own it.
  • Being dependent on electricity means an electric meat grinder can’t be placed anywhere in the kitchen.
  • Since they are much heavier, moving an electric meat grinder around the kitchen can be a two-person job.

Choosing The Right Meat Grinder For Your Kitchen

Now that you understand the pros and cons of both types of meat grinders, it’s time to consider how each will meet the needs of your restaurant and kitchen.


The first consideration you need to make is how much you can afford to spend on a meat grinder. Electric models are significantly more expensive than manual models.


A high quality manual meat grinder can often be a better fit for your kitchen than a lower quality electric model. Consider the brand you are buying and its reputation for quality.

The Needs Of Your Kitchen

How much meat you need to grind daily will be what determines whether you buy a manual and an electric meat grinder. Manual meat grinders are fine for small batches, but grinding large batches of meat is extremely labor intensive. By the same token, if you are only grinding a few choice cuts a day, an electric meat grinder doesn’t make sense.


All in all, choosing a manual or an electric meat grinder comes down to the volume of meat you need to grind daily. Both have their pros and cons, but the needs of your restaurant kitchen are the true deciding factor. If you’re in the market for a meat grinder, consider Texas Restaurant Supply in Fort Worth. We have the inventory and selection you need to find the perfect meat grinder for your restaurant kitchen. Contact us today for more information.