Flakers are also called flake crushers or grain crushers. They are used only to crush the grains. The crushed grains are called flakes. Grains that have been crushed with a flaker are softer than coarse meal from a grain mill, depending on the type of grain. Oats are particularly good for crushing and easier to eat than other grains. The husk of the flakes is compressed, pre-chewed, so to speak. The husk of the cereal meal is only broken and therefore still very hard and unsuitable for immediate consumption.
Grain Mills grind the grain between two grindstones to produce wholemeal flour or meal. The grain breaks down into its components, the hull and the endosperm. The term "meal" refers to the milled (ground) grain with all its components. Flour", on the other hand, contains only the endosperm, i.e. without the husk of the grain. The flour without germ and husk is also called "white flour" in contrast to "wholemeal flour" (= meal), which contains all grain components.
Cereal flakes are good for quick muesli with yoghurt, milk or liquid of your choice. The flakes swell quickly because they can absorb the liquid well and produce a porridge.
For the so-called fresh grain porridge, also called fresh grain muesli, you take coarse grain meal that is soaked overnight in water, which, according to Dr. Kollath, is what allows the enzymes and vital substances to unfold. The coarsely ground grains are then somewhat rubbery and have an interesting bite.
For baking you need fine meal (=wholemeal flour). For a hearty bread you can add coarser meal and cereal flakes. If necessary, wholemeal cooking can do without a flaker, but never without a mill. If you only need oat flakes for a quick muesli, a flaker is of course enough.
Standard question about grain and flour mills:
"Can nuts, poppy seeds and sunflower seeds also be ground?" Basically no (exception Widu-Mills), there are special mills for this. Such oily seeds smear during grinding and clog the mill. Even with soft grains such as oats and barley, the mill can get stuck if the grinding is too fine. Seeds with a high oil content can only be ground mixed with wheat or spelt.
With a flaker you can crush almost anything you need for quick muesli, baking or cooking, e.g. also sunflower seeds, poppy seeds (to a limited extent), linseed, millet, etc., but not whole nuts, as they are too large and are not drawn in by the rollers.
Basic facts about home-made flakes
Most people only know cereal flakes from industrially produced bag flakes. Therefore, the expectation exists that one can also produce such beautiful, cohesive flakes oneself with a flaker at home. But the industry has its own special manufacturing processes and techniques that are not comparable to a cereal crusher for the private household. In household flakers, the grains are simply pressed through two small rollers and squeezed. Depending on the consistency, the result is crushed grain that more or less disintegrates into husk and flour. The most beautiful oat flakes are those that correspond most closely to the idea of flakes.
Spelt wholemeal flour freshly ground with a grain mill for home use
Oat flakes themselves crushed with a hand flaker hold together well.
Home-made spelt flakes easily disintegrate into flour and husk.
Even crushed rye flakes hold together slightly better than spelt flakes.