While you very well could pull your herb apart by hand, a good herb grinder is essential if you’re toking on the regular. Interestingly, when you touch the nugs by hand, your herb loses potency because the finest particles that stick to your fingers, also turn out to be the most potent. This cannabis dust is called kief and is the concentrated resin glands made up of trichome crystals that produce a stronger effect than regular flower.
So instead of getting sticky fingers, that sticky icky goodness goes directly into your joint, pipe or bong when you have a good grinder on hand. This also makes it much more hygienic than grinding on a coffee table, collecting the dust and germs that collected on its surface.
Weed grinders further maximize the potential of your herb also by shredding it evenly for the best consistency and smoke. They also speed up the amount of herb you can shred so you can get toking faster.
Weed Grinder Materials
Traditional marijuana grinders commonly come in plastic, acrylic, wood and metal, each with varying quality and durability.
Generally, titanium is the gold standard for grinders but is also the most expensive material. Titanium steel grinders have the sharpest teeth, are surprisingly lightweight and aren’t prone to dull even after heavy use.
Aluminum is a more affordable option but quality and durability really depends on the grade. You could end up getting shavings in your weed with cheap aluminum which is pretty scary. You’ve probably heard some horror stories but don’t let that put you off aluminum entirely. Anodized aluminum, for instance, is corrosion resistant meaning it cannot chip or peel.
Often, stainless steel teeth are embedded into quality aluminum grinders to improve their longevity. If titanium is out of your price range but you still want to get the best bang for your buck, consider an anodized aluminum grinder with stainless steel teeth.
Stainless steel grinder
Much like titanium, stainless steel is extremely durable but less common. The blades are more resilient than aluminum but again at a much higher cost. Also, even though both materials are priced similarly high, titanium is nearly 3-4 times stronger than stainless steel yet is surprisingly lightweight.
Wooden grinders have a nice rustic aesthetic, are lightweight and can be beautifully carved but don’t perform nearly as well as other materials. Their teeth aren’t very sharp to begin with and for this reason, lose their effectiveness more quickly over time.
Wood grinders aren’t as versatile. They are pretty much exclusively in the 2-piece style and therefore don’t have a kief catcher. Also, wood grinders are trickier to clean. This is because wood expands and contracts with temperature and the herb tends to stick, making the lid more difficult to twist over time.
Plastic is the cheapest option but you get what you pay for. A plastic grinder will just never have the precision sharpness, resilience or longevity that a quality metal grinder will.
Acrylic is another lightweight and affordable option made from a reinforced type of plastic. These style marijuana grinders normally have strong magnetic closures. Their semi transparent design makes it easy to see the consistency of your herb before opening but then again they aren’t as effective as metal.
Weed Grinder Sizes
These are the simplest style since there’s only one chamber and two pieces to grind.
This 3-piece grinder style has an additional layer which serves as the kief screen to sift dusty trichomes.
The 4-piece grinder has another chamber called the kief catcher for resinous trichomes to collect. This style grinder almost always come with a kief scraper tool.
A 5-piece is much like a 4-piece except it has an additional kief collector screen.
More Weed Grinder Styles
The original 2-piece grinder has come a long way. Now there are electric grinders, grinder pens, cards and even watches so you can grind as efficiently as possible and be as discreet as you want too.
Weed grinder pen
Herb grinder pens like the Pensimple is a great smell proof option that lets you easily dispense your ground herb into your joints and blunts. Electric grinder pens work with a touch button technology and many have enough capacity to store a few grams so you can use it as storage too.
Weed grinder watch
While you may not get the best grind, a weed grinder watch is a cool stealth piece for on-the-go toking. Just remove the face of the watch to reveal the grinder which is normally held together with a magnet. However, most of the watches currently available are pretty low quality, made of zinc and poorly made so it may not stand the test of time.
Electric herb grinder
There are so many different styles of electric herb grinders. Most are shaped like pens or like mini food processors. Most include a funnel shaped accessory so that you can easily insert into your cone or dispense evenly over your rolling papers. Some even are 2-in-1 devices that fill and roll your joint like the OTTO grinder.
About the size of a credit card, a grinder card is an extremely stealth way to grind if you are trying to be discreet. Just slide it into your wallet (preferably with a sleeve so it doesn’t cause any damage) and you’re good to go. The flat design makes it a cinch to clean too. The only catch is that because it’s similar to using a cheese grater it can get messy so make sure you have a rolling tray on hand.
Rotary or Hand Crank Grinder
If you have arthritis or are looking for an option that doesn’t aggravate your wrist, a rotary grinder could be the perfect option.
Best Weed Grinders
Here are some of the most popular herb grinders in 2022.
Made of anodized aluminum, the 4-piece Sharpstone grinder is probably the best value for your money. Relatively inexpensive for the quality of the materials and design, the herb aluminum herb grinder features neodymium magnets
Space case grinder
This style grinder features bidirectional diamond teeth, nylon ring for gliding rotation and neodymium rare earth magnets for enhanced closure.
This all-in-one grinder, grinds and rolls your joints for you. The precision blade technology adjusts for an effortless, even grind every time.
The Cookies grinder, made from anodized aluminum features a unique threading pattern closed with strong rare earth magnets.
Made from aircraft grade aluminum and featuring diamond shaped teeth, the Aerospaced grinder is a quality choice that won’t break the bank.
How to use a grinder
After removing the seeds and stems, place nugs on top of the grinder teeth away from the center and close the lid. Grind around 10 rotations. You’ll notice there will be less resistance and begin to twist smoothly. Untwist and collect the ground herb.
How to get kief out of grinder
The best way to save kief is to invest in a grinder with a kief catcher, otherwise your precious herb may be getting stuck to the teeth of your 2-piece grinder. The kief scraper tool has a sharp pointed edge which you can use to gently scrape the sides of your grinder, then use it to shovel into your next joint or bowl.
How to grind weed without a grinder
You forgot or lost your grinder but that’s no reason not to roll one. That’s why we’ve created this list of 5 ways for how to grind weed without a grinder. You can pick flower apart by hand, use a container and coins, scissors, coffee grinder or mortar and pestle.
How to clean a grinder
Pull apart your grinder and put the separated pieces in the freezer. Use a brush like a toothbrush or makeup brush to remove the debris. Be more delicate with the mesh kief screen. Let the pieces soak in 99% isopropyl alcohol for a few hours or overnight. Lastly, rinse under hot water. You can follow our step-by-step guide for how to clean a weed grinder here.
What’s the difference between a two piece and a four piece grinder?
A 2-piece grinder is the old school grinder with two parts that gets the job done. These tend to be made of plastic or wood while the 4-piece grinder is normally made from higher quality materials like anodized aluminum, stainless steel or titanium. The 4-piece grinder, on the other hand, includes a chamber at the bottom with a fine mesh that’s made for collecting kief which normally gets stuck and lost on the teeth of 2-piece grinders.
How much is a grinder
Depending on the materials, a cheap grinder made from plastic, acrylic or wood can cost you $10-20. The highest quality branded grinders tend to be made from titanium or anodized aluminum and can cost you upwards of $100.
Where to buy a grinder
You can buy a grinder in your local smoke shop or at an online headshop like Stoners Rotation.