Recently, we’ve had several customers ask what material the the Wonder Junior Hand Mill stone heads are made of. Hopefully this article will shed some light on it.
The stones are made of Naxos-basalt. What is this, you may ask? Basalt is a type of volcanic rock, this specific variety from the Mediterranean island of Naxos. It is a very durable rock commonly used in a variety of mills as well as for whetstones (stones for sharpening knives). Naxos is one of the many islands that make up the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea (off the coast of Greece). The region is one of the few places in the world where you can still acquire natural white basalt stones and marble.
The stones for the Wonder Junior are then made from granules of basalt combined with a magnesite cement. The cement has a similar hardness to the basalt.
Using the stones as opposed to metal does improve the grind as the stones will stay sharper and are able to provide a finer grind. For the Wonder Junior, this means approximately 20% finer flour than when using the steel heads which come with it.
We’re curious, though, to hear what our customers and others have to say about the stones. Have you used them, and what do you think?
2 thoughts on “Wonder Junior Stone Heads”
Chris, I have a few questions about the Wonder Junior. I have heard that the hand cranks are really labor intensive and then the flour comes out course. What are your thoughts? Also, I am interested in getting a mill with stone heads, the WonderMill Grain Mill doesn’t have stone heads right? I would love the ease of electric and the benefits of stone ground, but all the options I have seen on the market are $500. What do you suggest? Thanks.
Thanks for commenting. I’ll try to address each question individually.
Yes, hand mills are labor intensive, but that’s not all bad. An electric mill is great for large quantities of flour when you have electricity, but a hand mill can still get the job done, even when power is not available, or you just don’t want to use it. For ease of use, our soon-to-be six-year-old can grind coffee in it, so it definitely doable, but yes, it will take more work than flipping the switch. So, I wouldn’t but a hand mill for the ease of use, but I wouldn’t discount a hand mill because its too hard to use, either. Does that make sense?
As for the grind, I think you’ll find that with the stone heads, the grind is actually as fine (or finer) compared to electric mills. They do an excellent job. However, the labor does go up a bit more when you crank down the stones to get a very fine grind. But, like a mentioned before, still doable.
You are correct about the WonderMill electric mill…the heads are metal and not stone, so if you are specifically looking for stone ground flour, then the Wonder Junior would be the way to go. In addition, the Wonder Junior Deluxe comes with a set of steel heads that allow you to grind wet/oily grains, coffee, etc. Because the entire mill is washable, you can clean the steel heads when done, unlike the electric mill.
As for recommendations, it depends on what your priorities are. I think for most people, electricity is available, and most likely will be for a while. As long as “stone ground” isn’t a “must-have”, then the electric mill (WonderMill) is the ideal for those making breads. It is quick and easy to use, so you’ll tend to use it more often. It doesn’t do wet/oily grains, coffee, etc., but you can use a Vita-Mix to do all that. That’s what we primarily do. In fact, you can do quite a bit MORE with a Vita-Mix, but it won’t grind flour quite as fine as the WonderMill.
If you’re concerned about having power-out ability, stone-ground flour, or the ability to grind up nuts, wet herbs, etc., then the Wonder Junior Deluxe would be the way to go.
If you just want an all-around useful machine that does everything, then the Vita-Mix is the way to go.
Or, you can get all three. This lets you make great smoothies, nut butters, butter, ice cream, and more in the Vita-Mix, make great wheat in the WonderMill, and have an excellent power-out option using the Wonder Junior. The order we bought our appliances was: Vita-Mix, WonderMill (electric), Wonder Junior Deluxe. We also use them in that order of priority.
Hope that helps, and feel free to ask more questions on any of those topics if I didn’t go into enough detail.