This paper focuses on the optimization of ball milling as a dry mixing method and comparison with the wet method for manufacturing phenolic/multi-wall carbon nanotube (MWCNT) composites. In the ball milling, the effect of milling-time on the properties of composites containing functionalized and pristine MWCNT in two MWCNT concentrations has been investigated. At first in the wet method, polymer was dissolved in acetone and then mixed with MWCNT by sonication method. Also, the effect of functionalization by use of acid nitric refluxing was considered. The material properties were characterized by the DSC, FTIR, Raman, electrical conductivity, SEM, TEM and bending strength analyses. The results of electrical conductivity and bending tests showed that the best time for ball milling is about 2 hrs. In addition, functionalization had a positive effect on bending strength and a negative effect on electrical conductivity. The results of DSC indicated that the composite manufactured by ball milling method resulted in more thermal stability than that manufactured by the wet method. It was also shown that the functionalization increases the thermal stability; however, the increasing MWCNT concentration leads to agglomeration, thereby decreasing the thermal stability.