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The Ultimate Guide to Cannabis Grinders

Added 26 March 2022

Rolling a joint isn't an easy feat. Just ask those that have mastered the art, and they will tell you that it all begins with grinding the buds to perfection. 

Or even filling a bowl, for that matter. You need to shred the buds so they are just right — neither too big nor small. 

And that's where a grinder comes in. You need something spectacular to get the best smoking experience, not just any grinder. 

But not all grinders are made the same. It would be best if you chose a good grinder with sharp teeth that slices the buds perfectly, screens to sift out the chunks, and a storage compartment to hold your stash for a long session.

But there are so many options, which one should you choose? The best ones. 

In this article, we will discuss the importance of a good grinder, how it works, and how you can choose one that suits you.

Why Use a Grinder?

You don't need a grinder if you have good bud that's dried and cured just right. You could just grind the buds with your own hands and call it a day. However, it gets your hands messy. And most importantly, the trichomes will stick to your hand. So where's the fun in smoking bland weed without dank trichomes? 

Or, you could shove a bud into your bowl and be done with it. However, you'd waste a lot of that precious stuff because there's not enough air to provide an excellent smooth burn. Therefore, to make your life easier, you need a grinder. 

A good grinder will shred the buds just right. The particles shouldn't be so big that they won't fit into your bowl or make it hard to smoke a joint. On the other hand, they shouldn't be so small that it clogs your bowl, screens, or joint. 

The grinder will shred the buds uniformly and allow optimum airflow for a smooth burn. Plus, it makes it easier to smoke, whether you prefer joints, vapes, or bowls. 

In short, the grinder should shred the buds into tiny particles that are easy to smoke. It should be an enjoyable experience rather than you struggling with the joint. The grinder enhances the surface area of the herbs and the flavor. 

How do Grinders Work?

cannabis grinders

Okay, so it's possible to crush the buds with your hands. You could do the same with scissors as well. But, remember how smashing it with your hands will break the trichomes? Scissors do the same thing. They waste all those beautiful trichomes and leave you with less-potent marijuana. 

But, wait a minute... don't grinders do the same? They crush the buds too, so won't the trichomes get wasted? Well, the answer lies in how the grinder works. Since it's designed specifically to shred cannabis buds, it will come with a kief catcher that preserves all the trichomes. 

You can use that kief any way you like — sprinkle it on your bowl or mix it with buds to roll a joint. Only, you should use well-dried and cured buds. If you use wet buds, the grinder will not work as expected and will crush the trichomes just like a pair of scissors. 

Tips to Shop for Grinders

grinder

Many people purchase the first grinder they see because they don't understand the importance of good grinders. However, you will realize that you need to pay attention to grinders with time. Today, there are so many types of grinders that it becomes exhausting to look for that perfect one tailored for you. 

So, how do you shop for a good grinder that meets your needs?

First, you need to figure out a few things. Do you need the grinder for regular use? For example, do you use cannabis regularly, or is it meant only for special occasions? Next, do you use the herbs alone, or do you enjoy it with friends? So, for instance, if you regularly head out with a grinder in your pocket, a discreet one would suit your style. Also, are you ready to invest just a bit more for exceptional grinders, or are you okay with the cheap ones that may not last a long while?

You see, there are a lot of questions. And, once you figure out the answers, you can start looking for good grinders. In addition, there's no rule that you can't buy more than one, so you can purchase several grinders to meet your various needs. 

Types of Grinders

marijuana grinder

Years ago, there were very few choices. Boy, how things have changed now! You will be spoiled for alternatives because of the sheer abundance of grinders today. You have it all, from sophisticated electric grinders that chop up your bud in minutes to grinders with glass windows offering a clear view. 

Some grinders still have plastic windows, but make no mistake — these aren't your cheap plastic sourced for pennies. Also, note that we are not referring to the cheap acrylic ones here. Instead, these strong plastics are designed to resist any damage. 

To make things even more interesting, you get grinders manufactured with alloys that come with crank handles that are durable and easy on your hands. 

Here are a few types commonly available nowadays:

1. Wooden Grinders

wooden grinder

Not many people use wooden grinders — and rightly so! They are certainly cheap but not very effective when chopping buds into smaller bits. There are way too many of these wooden grinders sourced from various countries today, and although some are expensive, they aren't as good as other types of grinders. 

You also get bamboo grinders if you're interested in eco-friendly options, but they aren't any better than their wooden counterparts. 

Wooden and bamboo grinders typically come in two pieces — a grinder featuring teeth that look like nails and a lid. Sorry, but you usually won't find kief catchers available. 

The teeth are made of metal, but they aren't sharp enough to chop dank buds. They struggle to cut through the buds, especially if they are dense. 

In addition, you may find it particularly hard to twist and turn them because of the teeth. However, as mentioned, they are super cheap. Thus, if you're looking for inexpensive options and don't mind grinding the buds a few times to get it right, you may want to check them out. 

2. Acrylic Grinders

Plastic grinders

Acrylic grinders are often mass-produced, so they are cheap. However, just like wooden grinders, they don't work well to grind the buds. Sometimes, these plastic grinders are even more affordable than wood, depending on how they are made. 

Most acrylic grinders come in two pieces, but you can also find three-piece grinders with kief catchers if you hunt for them. Regardless, they are tough to use because the buds tend to stick to the grinders, making it hard to get them to work. 

One major disadvantage of these grinders is that their teeth are made of plastic, which means they break off easily. Needless to say, they don't last long, making them worse than wooden grinders. 

3. Metal Grinders

metal grinder

Metal grinders are one of the most common and durable grinders. Almost everyone uses them. They aren't as cheap as plastic or wooden grinders, but they get the job done. 

The teeth are made of metal, and although you'll have to grind the buds a few times for a perfect session, they are easy to use. Also, since metals are sturdy, these grinders last long. 

Metal grinders are usually available as three-piece grinders, so you'll almost always find a kief catcher. If you use cannabis regularly, metal grinders are perfect; however, they lose their shine after a few years. But, if you're not looking for sophisticated grinders, these simple metal grinders will work just fine. 

4. Electric Grinders

electric grinder

If you find it hard to work the grinders due to arthritis or other issues, go for electric grinders. They work just like a stick blender where you insert the buds, and the grinder takes care of the rest. Within a few minutes, you'll have perfectly shredded bits you can use any way you want. 

You can choose between AC models that can be plugged in for charging or DC models with batteries — both types last long and are reliable. 

The only con with electric grinders is that you can sometimes over-grind the buds. Remember, the buds must be tiny but not so small that they clog the bowls or joints. A few extra seconds of pressing the power button can grind the weed too fine. 

However, you will be able to get the hang of it with experience. The good news is that the electric grinders available nowadays have different techniques to prevent over-grinding. 

5. Card shredders / Card Grinders

Card shredder

As the name implies, Card grinders look like cards, but they work like your regular cheese graters. If you're traveling and need something on the go, these babies are a great option but note that they aren't as effective as electric or metal grinders. They generally make a mess as you grate the weed with little bits flying everywhere. To use these shredders, simply place the buds against the card and scrape away. 

6. 2-piece Grinders

2 piece grinder

Whether it's plastic, wood, bamboo, or any other material, 2-piece grinders come with one compartment to grind the buds and another to catch the bits. As one of the most basic grinders, you may have trouble grinding your buds, but you can use them in a pinch. 

7. 3-piece Grinders

3 piece cannabis grinderImage credit - spacecase.com

One difference between two and three-piece grinders is that these come with one more compartment. These grinders were very common, but with the introduction of better grinders, you may find it hard to find these. They are durable, affordable, and easy to use. 

8. 4-piece Grinders

4 piece cannabis grinder

4-piece grinders come with a base, lid, a kief catcher, and another compartment with a sieve to filter plant material. The top and the center section both have teeth. The area in the center will have holes to let the shredded bits fall into another compartment below. 

You can use the cannabis collected in this compartment and re-grind the bigger bits on the top later. Finally, the last compartment is meant to catch fine kief and will prevent any plant material. Compared to other models, these are perhaps the best and most effective. 

You also get 5-piece grinders, but one difference is that they contain extremely fine sieves for those that love super-fine kief. 

Now that you understand how a grinder works and how you can choose one, here's a list of the best grinders available today. 

Best Overall: Vessel Grinder by Gunmetal

The best grinder that works for almost everyone is the Vessel Grinder by Gunmetal. It is a precision-engineered aluminum grinder handcrafted in California, offering four interlocking pieces that offer terrific functionality while being easy to use even for beginners. 

The build is also durable, lightweight, and portable, ensuring long-lasting performance. And the magnetic lid also keeps the top secure with the container while keeping it easy to open.

Also, unlike many other grinders, this one comes with a scraper to clean the grinder easily. 

Best Small Grinder: Phoenician 2-piece Weed Grinder

If you are looking for something small without compromising functionality, you should check out the Phoenician 2-piece Weed Grinder. It comes in 47 mm size, which is slightly larger than other small grinders. So, it is small enough to carry in your pocket but large enough to grind a good amount of buds.

Also, Phoenician is known for durability and quality in the cannabis community, so you won't have to worry about it breaking apart or not grinding the buds properly. 

Most Unique Grinder: Santa Cruz Hemp Shredder

If convention isn't your style and you want something unique, we recommend the Santa Cruz Hemp Shredder. This grinder is made from biodegradable hemp — imagine crushing cannabis with cannabis!

The hemp ensures the piece is durable for the long run as it is made with advanced engineering. It comes with four pieces: a cap, screen, weed chamber, and bottom chamber. And it's only 2 inches in height.

We were surprised at how well this grinder could turn the buds into a fluffy mound of herb, which was a breeze to roll into a joint. 

Lifetime Warranty: Phoenician Grinders Mini Grinder

If you want a grinder that matches the reliability of your Zippo lighter, look no further than Phoenician Grinders Mini Grinder. It comes with a lifetime warranty!

That's not all. It is made with medical-grade, anodized aluminum, ensuring a sturdy build. Plus, it has a threadless design — the pieces snap together using magnets. 

Also, the grinder uses arc cutter blades to slice the buds. 

Best Crank Grinder: SharpStone Hand Crank Grinder

If you're uncomfortable with regular grinders, you can use the Hand Crank Grinder by SharpStone. It comes with a lid along with a hand crank, which works like a coffee grinder, making it easy for you to crush the buds without applying too much force.

A unique feature of this grinder is its clear lid, which lets you see how much you have crushed and perfect your consistency. 

It is also made of anodized aluminum, so the build quality is top-notch. Even the blades are razor-sharp. And it uses neodymium magnets to create a tight seal between the pieces. 

Other features include a kief catcher, a carrying pouch, and a scraper.

Award-Winning Grinder: HOJ KLIP Mini Premium Grinder

Awarded the Best Grinder title by Herb Magazine, HOJ KLIP Mini Premium Grinder is perhaps the best you can find for your money. 

The grinder has a zigzag design, which looks premium, and it comes with various innovative features to accompany the form. 

It is made of anodized aluminum, ensuring sturdy build quality. It consists of three graters and kief collectors each, so you can customize it the way you want.

Also, it has a slicing chamber, where the slicers are coupled with magnets to slice the buds instead of crushing them. The result? Evenly sliced, fluffy weed while keeping the terpenes intact!

Perhaps the best feature of this grinder is that the magnets levitate the lid, ensuring a frictionless twist for grinding. That's slick.

Most Aesthetic Design: Sackville & Co. Signature Grinder

Maybe you want a special grinder that takes your style to the next level. You can choose the Sackville & Co. Signature Grinder. It comes with a clean, beautiful design with a soft golden finish — which looks stunning.

This four-piece grinder includes a kief catcher, magnetic closure, and razor-sharp teeth, which suit most cannabis users. 

For Cinephiles: Death Star 2.5 Inch Grinder

If you are a fan of Star Wars, you cannot go wrong with the Death Star 2.5 Inch Grinder. It looks like the Death Star — do we need to say more?

This Star Wars-inspired grinder looks cool and grinds the buds well. It contains a screen, a large chamber, and is made of durable metal to ensure a quality grind. Also, the design is scratch-resistant, so you won't have to worry about damaging your grinder.

Best Natural Grinder: Marley Natural Black Walnut Wood Grinder

Marley Natural offers an offbeat natural design with its Black Walnut Wood Grinder, made from eco-friendly materials like walnut and glass. This grinder has an elegant yet simple design, which looks like a modern take on a rustic design.

The glass storage on this grinder is big, and it lets you see how many more joints you can roll. And the magnetic closure with a silicone seal ensures the lid won't fall off and waste your precious buds. It contains a removable kief screen, too.

Best Smart Grinder: Banana Bros OG Otto

Banana Bros OG Otto's smart grinder is hard to beat for its functionality and ease of use — because it does the grinding for you! 

The OG Otto is an automatic grinder pen made of aluminum that grinds the buds just fine, so it's incredible to smoke. 

The grinder uses artificial intelligence (AI) that mimics human gestures used for grinding, and it adjusts the speed, direction and pressure accordingly to get a consistent grind.

Also, the grinder can grind and autofill the cones, and with a single charge, it can crush and fill up to thirty cones. 

This sleek grinder is a bit pricey, though, at USD 149.99.

Features of a Grinder

These were the best grinders, but what if you want to explore options without compromising quality? First, you need to look for specific features, such as the following.

The Number of Chambers

The most basic way to distinguish grinders is the number of chambers it comes with. Sure, a two-chamber grinder gets the job done, but more chambers give you more options to explore. In addition, you can try different combinations of chambers to get different consistencies.

Sharp Teeth

Perhaps the most important feature of any grinder is its teeth — it is what breaks down the buds into powder. So, you must ensure that the teeth on the grinder are sharp and sturdy. 

You don't have to get the grinder with the most teeth here. Get one with the right kind of teeth and you will be sorted. Avoid grinders with plastic or colored teeth as they can degrade or chip off overuse.

Build Quality

Most grinders are made of aluminum, zinc, or stainless steel, and even the most basic grinder build of these metals is sturdy enough for everyday use. But some are made of plastic or coated with paint. Avoid such grinders as the plastic or the paint may chip off and end up in your joint.

Fewer Nooks and Crannies

Over time, grinders get clogged, and you will have to clean them. So, it's best to choose a grinder that does not have many hard-to-reach corners, where the gunk can build up and be difficult to clean. 

Grip

Lastly, look for the proper grip. You want something that suits your hands. A good grip can help significantly, although it's is subjective. Choose something that suits you.

Summary: The Ultimate Guide to Cannabis Grinders

These are some of the best grinders you can buy today, but there are many more you can check out. So try them out, and don't hesitate to experiment with other grinders. Eventually, you will find one that works for you, whether it is a basic grinder like the Phoenician 2-piece Weed Grinder or something premium like the Banana Bros OG Otto. 








Comments

Freddd
Freddd

Error in the description of the 3 piece grinder, it does not come with a kief catcher just a bowl to catch the weed as it's ground.

Disappointed to see the Herb Ripper not on the list because it's a solid heavy chunk of stainless steel and most on the list are lightweight aluminium. .

CannaScience
CannaScience

@Freddd, Have fixed that...sorry, I couldn't include Herb Ripper. WIll add it next time :)

Scratchie
Scratchie

The picture of the three piece grinder is a four piece. Can't remember ever seeing a three piece grinder.
I usually just hold it between two fingers and go at it with scissors:smile:

CannaScience
CannaScience

@Scratchie, Oops, my bad. Changed the image. Thanks, Scratchie!