Retsel Uni-Ark Special Grain Mill - Hand Mill Review
- Average Cost: $170
- Recommended Package: (coming soon)
- Warranty: Limited Lifetime
- Hopper Capacity: 2 cups
- Weight: 9 pounds
- Can Be Motorized: Yes
- Metal Burrs: Yes, Stainless Steel
- Stone Burrs: Yes
- Coarseness Settings: Very Fine to Cracked Cereal
- Mounting: Double Clamp, or Bolt to Table
- Handle Length: 10 inches
- Where Made: USA
- Manufactures Website: www.retsel.com
- Availability: I have only found these mills available straight from Retsel.
The Uni-Ark Special hand grain mill has a 3 inch wide mounting base with a double clamp that holds very securely and easily to the end of a counter or table (2 inches thick or less). The double clamp can also be removed so that you can bolt it to a surface, if desired.
We recommend using the double clamp system because it holds tight enough that the grain mill will not wobble very much (unlike most single clamp systems used on Sunshine Nugget and Lehman's grain mills), and so you do not have to drill permanent holes in your counter. The stability and security from the double clamp system is a definite plus you get with this hand grain mill.
I am not a fan of the clamp knob design on this grain mill. I like the fact that it has a double clamp but the mount base is not wide enough for my liking. When tightening the knob my knuckles rub on the knob next to it, nicking up my knuckles. The knobs also have small jagged grip teeth that hurt my hands when tightening, it leaves a nice imprinted design on my palm. The clamp screws are kind of loose fitting on the clamp, which can possibly strip out with lots of use (this is common with many of the hand mills in this price range). These are not big issues but just some pet peeves I have about this mount.
The Retsel Uni-Ark Special grain mill comes with both stone milling heads and stainless steel burr heads (which do not rust) so you can interchange them depending on your needs and preference.
The stone burrs can produce super fine pastry like flour to cracked cereal out of most any dry, non-oily grains. Stone burrs are not for oily grains, seeds, or nuts as they will glaze them over. Stone burrs are more efficient and easier to use than the stainless steal burrs when milling dry grains.
The stainless steal burrs, though slower, are more versatile than stone burrs are. The stainless steel burrs will produce fine flour to cracked cereal like texture. The major advantage of stainless steal burrs is that you can mill more than just dry grains. The stainless steal burrs allow you to also mill oily grains, nuts, seeds, coffee beans, soybeans, and more...
For grinding peanuts into peanut butter, this grain mill actually does it slightly better than other grain mills. Having said that, it is still some what poor performance for making peanut butter (as most grain mills are).
I have not heard of many people wearing out their stone burrs, unless they were over motorizing it, but I would recommend getting a second set if you plan on using this mill on a regular basis. The Stainless steel burrs should last forever plus some.
One thing I do not like about the stone burrs is that one side does not have any support backing to protect it. Because of this, if you dropped that burr a short drop it could crack.
I do like the knob design for tightening and loosening the burrs. It is easy to get a hold of with your whole hand making it easy to turn and adjust, much better than the Lehman's grain mill.
The Uni-Ark grain mill has a 2 cup capacity hopper that is about 4 1/2 inches wide. This is about half the Capacity size of the Country living, Wonder Junior, and Lehman grain mills but it is twice as big as the Back-To-Basics mill. Being a smaller size means that you will have to fill it more often when milling larger quantities of grain. The hopper is wide enough that filling it is not easy to do with out making a mess. The Hopper is solid and part of the mill mold so you don't have to worry about it falling off when full of grain (unlike the Lehman, Family Grain Mill, and Back-To-Basics grain mills).
This is a fairly attractive mill, in my opinion. Having said that, this mill does have some several dimples in the mold and the hopper hole above the auger is really rough (see photo in Additional Photos section below). This mill does come in several different colors to match your kitchen but, as far as I can tell, you have order by phone to get a different color.
The mold of this mill is made of Cast Aluminum making it very tough and secure. It also has a food grade powder coat to make easy to clean, more sanitary, and gives it a nice look.
(Stem design info coming soon)
What Can It Mill?:
With the 2 interchangable milling heads, stone heads and stainless steal burr heads, you can mill a large variety of things with the Retsel Uni-Ark Special grain mill. You can mill all small dry grains and dry beans. You can also mill nuts for nut butters, flax seeds or any other oily or wet grains or seeds, herbs and spices, soy beans, coffee beans and more...
For grinding peanuts into peanut butter, this mill actually does it slightly better than other mills. Having said that, it is still some what poor performance for making peanut butter (as most grain mills are). Many people use a pusher to move the nuts though better.
See list below for a more complete list (not all millable items are listed below, but it is a fairly good list of what the Retsel Uni-Ark Grain Mill can mill).
Grains & Rice
- Wheat (Hard and Soft)
- Popcorn Kernels
- Dried Field Corn
- Sorghum (Milo)
- Dried Pinto Beans
- Dried Mung Beans
- Dried Green Beans
- Coffee Beans
- Split Peas
- Chick Peas
- Sesame Seeds
- Flax Seed
- Sunflower Seeds
- Nuts (all types)
(More Resources will be coming soon)
Manufactured in our factory since 1992, the Uni-Ark grain and seed mill has a long life bearing design, with stainless steel wheels and stone interchange ability. The body is a powdercoated, one piece, die cast, ultra light, 356 USDA approved aluminum. The Uni-Ark is a top of the line hand mill. The Uni-Ark contains no cheap plastic parts, loose springs and key ways prone to get lost or broken during use or disassembly. The ceramic stones or the steel wheels have a lifetime warranty and will be replaced free of charge for the lifetime of the mill. With the permanent grain funnel (approximately 1.5 qt.size) attached to the main mill body, the single foot supports the weight of the unit. The mechanical design is nearly identical to the Little Ark, the main difference being that the uni-ark's body extends outward to allow ample room for a container to catch the flour. The body of the mill can be either permanently attached to a solid surface or temporarily clamped on to the table using our non-abrasive table clamp (Part Number RP-95), sold separately. A motorizing kit is available. Shipped with ceramic grinding stones unless otherwise specified. Lifetime warranty to the origional purchaser.Dimensions: 14" high, 6" wide, 7 1/2" deep. Grinding wheel diameter is 4". Complete manual is included. Shipping weight of 9 pounds.
The main differences between the Little Ark and the Uni-ark:
The Little Ark was designed about 50 Years ago with the intention of being motorized. It's unique two foot wide stance makes it a very sturdy machine when powered by a motor and a pulley. It can also accept several sizes of funnels needed for motorization purposes in mind. We make funnels up to 6 quarts in size, which allows you to operate the machine for a very long time before refilling. This makes it the largest capacity hopper for any hand mill on the market.You do not have to spend several hundred dollars on comparable machine to accomplish this anymore. This mill comes with a standard one quart size hopper.
The Uni-ark is a one piece die cast construction body. It is made in a high capacity, multi cavity, three-man operation hydraulic mold. That allows us to mass-produce hundreds of them in one day at a very competitive price. Because the grain hopper is incorporated as part of the body, this millhas it's obvious limitations but nevertheless it is the ideal model for hand operation. It is also slightly smaller or compact then the Little Ark. All the parts utilized in this mill (i.e. feed auger, grinding wheels, manual handle or the optional flywheel) are the same parts used on the Little Ark. It’s performance is also identical to that of the Little Ark.