In theory, I know they are used for grinding spices and I’ve seen them used to make tableside guacamole, but I can’t imagine ever having a need for one in my rarely used kitchen. My friend Susann has an extensive mortar and pestle collection, so I have seen more than a non-chef would ever expect to see…I’ve never seen one like this though and really like the minimalist design. At the very affordable price of $20, I may need to buy it from A + R and pretend that I use it all the time!