The Best Weed and Herb Grinders
You’ve been wanting to smoke at Mark’s house for a while – just haven’t had the chance yet. Finally, you make it over there. You pull your stash out (an eighth of a Girl Scout Cookie hybrid) and you lay it out on the table. Ready to pick it apart with your hands, you start to dive in. That’s when he stops you and pulls out the most beautiful thing you’ve seen since Sunday – his new weed grinder.
You notice a chorus of angels starting to sing somewhere above as a bright, heavenly light shines down upon his most glorious grinder, making it shimmer like Los Angeles at sunset. He turns it slightly and a glint of light slides around the outer edge, enforcing its perfection.
It takes him less than 30 seconds to grind your stash up – a record time for sure – and while he packs your bowl there’s a single thought running through your soon-to-be-super-fucked-up head: you need to get yourself a weed grinder.“The difference between grinding weed with a well-built grinder and picking apart with your hands is incredible.”The difference between grinding weed with a well-built grinder and picking apart with your hands is incredible.
The first time I used one I knew there’d be no going back. Since then I’ve done a fair bit of research and figured it was high time for me to impart my wisdom upon the community of cannabis enthusiasts. Seriously, if you’ve never had your own herb crusher you’re really missing out.
In this guide I’ll take you through everything (and I mean everything) you need to know about getting the best weed grinder you can for what you’re willing to spend. Don’t feel intimidated though. If you’re not interested in becoming a grinder aficionado just jump to my suggestions and pick one you like.
Otherwise, let’s dive in!
Alright, Hold on, What Exactly Is A Weed Grinder?
For those of you new to the cannabis industry (welcome, by the way!) you might not have a clue what I’m talking about. That’s cool, I got you. Let’s lay out some basic info first.“A weed grinder is a device that’s designed to grind your weed into smaller pieces.”A weed grinder (also known as a weed buster, herb grinder, tobacco grinder, pot crusher, etc.) is a device that’s designed to grind your weed (or any one of a number of other plant-like substances) into smaller pieces.
You can then use these smaller chunks to do any one of a number of things, although the three most common are to pack a bowl, roll a joint or put it in a bong. Also, some recipes will require ground weed for making weed butter or edibles.
While there are several different varieties on the market, the most common is the circular or ‘wheel’ grinder. It’s a small device that’s somewhere between 1.5 and 4 inches in diameter that uses a circular rotation to grind up whatever is inside.
Wheel grinders have several major benefits over using scissors or your hands. We’ll take a look at those below.
Do I Really Need to Grind My Weed Though?
Technically, no you don’t. It is possible to pull weed apart with your hands and then pack it into a bowl, blunt or bong. Realistically though, if you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck then you’ll want to be grinding it.
The biggest issue with pulling weed apart by hand (aside from it taking forever and being a bit painful after a while) is the fact that you’re degrading the quality. I could write a lot more about this but since this guide is going to be a long one, I’ll try to keep this short.
Basically, the powerhouse of cannabis are the little hairy things that come off of it. These are called trichomes and they’re where the cannabinoids (the chemicals that actually get you high) are products.
Simply put, if you’re pulling your bud apart with your hands, a lot of these trichomes are going to end up on your fingers and not in your bowl. That means your weed won’t be as powerful and won’t get you as high.
So, if you’re looking to make sure your weed is as good as it can be, get yourself a grinder.
The Major Benefits of Using a Weed Grinder
If you’ve never used a weed crusher before you may not know why these things are so awesome. Below I’ll take a look at the major benefits.
As I mentioned above, a grinder will keep the integrity of your weed intact and give you the best high for your money.
If you’re looking to get the best high you can, this little device will help you do that.
There really isn’t a quicker way to grind weed outside of using a grinder. They’re incredibly fast. You’ll be able to mince up an eight in about 20-30 seconds if you know what you’re doing. It’s as simple as inserting your bud into the top compartment, turning it back and forth a few times and then taking it out. Super simple, super fast.
Comfort (i.e. Less Pain)
For those of you who’ve spent 10-20 minutes picking apart your bud by hand, you know what a pain that can be. Literally – your fingers will hurt afterwards.
Weed grinders let you grind up your weed with no pain at all. Even those who have pain in their hands, wrists or arms (which might be why you’re medicating in the first place) can take use an electric grinder to get the job done (more on those later).
Depending on the teeth distribution of your buster, you might have to separate your bud into smaller chunks in order to get it to fit. Other than that though, everything is hands off and pain free.
Ability to Catch Kief
hhh, sweet sweet kief. The crème de le crème of cannabis. If you’re not sure what kief is, I suggest you check out this article here. The short version is that it’s basically super concentrated, super powerful weed. Most people will either sprinkle it over their standard bud or collect it for a while and then smoke it all at once. It’ll definitely get you super fucked up.
If you’re picking your bud apart by hand or using scissors, you really don’t have a great way to catch kief. Grinders, on the other hand, can be fantastic at it. Three chamber set (a.k.a. four piece grinders) will have a specific area in the bottom of them with a filter designed specifically for catching kief.
It’ll usually take a few grinds to have enough to do a whole lot with, but it’s totally worth it. Kief rocks.
The Best Weed Grinders
If you want to dive deeper into the type of herb shredder you should buy, I encourage you to check out the info farther down in the article. I go into the different types of materials, the number of chambers and other variations/advancements grinder manufacturers have come up with.
If you’re just here to look through my top picks though, take a look right below. I’ve tried to include options that will appeal to all sorts of users, including those focused on their budget, catching kief, portability and the absolute best you can buy regardless of price. Let’s start off with my #1 pick.
My #1 Pick: Interplanetary Development Super Weapon II
As I started looking through the dozens of grinders on the market I started to get worried – each of them had a lot that I like, but nothing had everything. It seems like each one got 90%. That was until I found the Interplanetary Development grinder. It literally has everything that I think a good herb shredder should have – I was super stoked to find it. There’s a lot to talk about with this little guy, so let’s get started.
As I mentioned above, this has every major feature I was looking for. I’ve listed them down below for easy viewing.
- Staging Area: The ID Grinder has a small area in the grinding chamber that’s free of teeth on both the top and the bottom section. This allows you to insert the bud in its entirety without having to pick it apart ahead of time.
- Side Grips: The textured surfaces make it a lot easier to get a good grip and give your weed a good grind.
- Reconfigurable: The different sections of the Super Weapon II can be reconfigured, so you can downsize to a much smaller three piece setup if necessary. This decreases the size significantly.
- Removable/Replaceable Screen: Not only does it come with a removable screen, it’s replaceable as well. ID sells replacement parts via their website so you don’t need to spend money on a whole new set if the screen breaks.
- Warranty: Depending on which model you get you’ll either get a 10 year warranty or a lifetime warranty.
- Rounded Kief Tray: The rounded tray (with a custom guitar pick that matches the curve perfectly) makes it insanely easy to empty your kief when you’re done collecting
- Large Collection Chamber: You may have noticed that the mid-section of the Super Weapon II is extremely tall. That means that you’ll have plenty of room to store weed after its ground up. And if you don’t want that much space you can always downsize be taking that section out.
- Transport Bag: The black felt bag with the logo on it looks nice and makes it convenient to transport
This piece really includes every bit of advancement that’s been made in the industry over the last five years. I can’t find a single feature that another set comes with that this one doesn’t include. It really does have everything.
Take a step away from functionality, let’s talk about how this thing looks. It. Is. Beautiful.
Seriously. I tend to not be a huge fan of how a lot of metal busters look but this one is seriously gorgeous. The Super Weapon II comes in five color options: gloss black, matte black, gold, pink and rasta themed. While my personal favorite is the gold, all of them really look great.
One of my favorite parts about how this set looks is the fact that it doesn’t have the name plastered on the top. It’s got a simple, elegant logo that enhances the design and doesn’t feel like it’s overtly advertising. I totally get why most grinders have their name on the top – I just like that this one doesn’t.
Of course, none of this matters if the grind quality sucks. Don’t worry though, it doesn’t. It actually grinds bud up extremely well. The diamond shaped teeth give it a nice, strong cutting edge but not overtly so. You won’t have to worry about your weed getting minced to shreds – it’ll still maintain a fair bit of fluffiness after it’s processed.
In fact, I think this piece does a fantastic job of producing a grind that most people will like. While some grinders will veer off to the extreme of pulling or slicing, the ID Super Weapon II falls right in the middle. With 21 teeth on the top and 16 teeth on the bottom it floats a nice middle ground. I don’t personally believe that more teeth equal a better grind. It’s definitely possible to grind your bud up too much.
It’s also possible to pull it to shreds too, so grinders that only have 20 teeth aren’t necessarily any better or worse. You don’t have that issue here though. The Super Weapon II sports 37 teeth – that gives it enough to cut through even the stickiest of buds but still allow the weed to maintain its quality and not be absolutely obliterated.
There really isn’t anything I don’t like about this weed crusher, and that’s saying a lot. I try really hard to find flaws in this shit. It looks fantastic, it’s got all the latest gear and it grinds extremely well. And it’s honestly extremely well priced. There are plenty of setss that’ll charge $20-40 more than the Super Weapon II and give you half the features.
And if you aren’t a fan of paying a bit more, no problem. Just go with the Super Weapon I and it’ll cut the price in half. You won’t get access to as many features and the warranty will go from lifetime down to 10 years, but you’re still getting a super high quality product.
I honestly, wholeheartedly believe that this is the best grinder on the market right now. It’s got absolutely everything at a price that makes a lot of sense. As such, it easily makes the number 1 spot on my list.
My #2 Pick: Ohuhu Spice Grinder
Those of you on a budget will find #2 quite appealing. At its price, the Ohuhu Grinder an absolute steal, seriously. Getting a set of this quality at this price is pretty insane – in my opinion, it’s the best budget weed grinder out there right now.
Below is the shortlist of the primary features on this product.
- Four Piece Set: I’m strongly of the opinion that if you’re going to get a new buster, it should be a four piece. This gets you exactly that, which is a big deal consider its price bracket.
- Reconfigurable: Same as above, you can take the mid-section out of this set, making it much smaller and much easier to carry around.
- Rotary Grind Option: For those of you who are particularly lazy you can opt to pay an extra $2 for a handle. This means instead of rotating the top and bottom of the grinding chamber together, you simply hold the grinder and turn the wheel.
- Magnets: The magnetized lid is a nice feature in this price bracket. It makes grinding quite a lot easier and reduces spilling considerably.
- 38 Inch Diameter: While there are plenty of options in the lower price bracket, almost all of them are quite a bit smaller. The Ohuhu has a diameter of 2.38 inches which makes it much larger than most of its counterparts.
- Side Grips: The top and bottom sections both have textured edges which make handling this set very easy.
While you won’t get some of the higher end features on this grinder, you’re also paying a fraction of the price. And considering that price, the features listed above are fantastic. You get a 4 piece grinder that’s reconfigurable (with a kief catcher mind you) and will last you for a very long time.
I’ll be honest, this grinder is… meh. It looks okay, not amazing. No cool logos, no massive color selection. That’s okay though – you’re not buying this one for its looks. If you want something that looks nicer you’ll probably want to up your budget by another $10 or so.
That said, it does come in both gun metal grey and black. I actually think the gun metal grey looks alright, although it does leave a bit to be desired.
It should be noted that some users have reported seeing minor scratches and/or small marks upon receiving this grinder. To be honest, there’s a good chance that’s part of the reason this is so cheap. Often times manufactures will rebrand a slightly scuffed product and sell it at a lower price. Just be aware that you might not be getting something that’s 100% scratch free. As much as that sucks, it helps bring the price down.
Again, given the price the grind quality is pretty good. Even with 54 teeth, it tends to fall on the coarser end of the spectrum. If you’re a fan of a rougher grind you’ll probably be in love with this product.
Those who want something a bit more fine can rotate this around and grind it upside down for a bit longer. No, it’s not ideal but it works. Just make sure you empty the kief tray so shit doesn’t go flying everywhere.
I’ll be honest, this isn’t the perfect pot grinder out there. There are definitely some that are better than this, but all of them are quite a bit more expensive. If you’re not looking to drop some serious cash, the Ohuhu Grinder will give an excellent value for the price.
You can always upgrade in the future if you have to but you might not need to. Even though this set lacks some of the higher-end features, it’s still an great product that does exactly what it says it’ll do. And there’s a lot to be said for that.
My #3 Pick: Black Tie Grinder
Coming in at #3 is the Black Tie Grinder. This is a wonderful little shredder that fall at a nice price point. It’s not super expensive like other options out there but still maintains some serious quality.
Below my quick list of my favorite features for this set.
- 50 Sharp Teeth: Those of you who are looking for a finer grind will appreciate the number of teeth on this set. Even with the higher number, it doesn’t mince things up too much. This will work particularly well for those looking for a finer grind for vaporizers.
- Side Grips: Like our previous two grinders, this one’s got some grips on the side to ensure your grinding experience is hassle free.
- Magnets: Like the previous two, this uses magnets to ensure a smooth grinding experience.
- Large: At 2.5 inches in diameter this will be big enough for all but the most extreme consumers.
- Quality Construction: This might seem a bit obvious, but I was particularly impressed with the quality of construction on this piece. Not that the others aren’t great, this one is just exceptional.
- Rounded Kief Tray: This has a rounded tray on the bottom to make grabbing that load of kief all the easier. Also comes with a pollen scraper to make the process even simpler.
The big draw here is the number of teeth. I choose this grinder in particular for those who prefer a finer, sharper grinding process. If you’re not as big of a fan of larger fluffier chunks when you’re rolling up you’ll absolutely love the grind that this gives you.
Also, I felt like this was extremely well made. As much as nice features can make a big difference, the purpose of this thing is to grind at the end of the day.
I won’t be awarding too many style points here. The gloss black is nice, but the logo on top isn’t exactly the prettiest. Same as my #2 pick though, you’re not buying this for looks. You’re buying this for the grind it gives you and the quality of the construction.
That said, it doesn’t look bad. It just doesn’t excel above the crowd. As far as I’m aware, it also only comes in one color. Unfortunately, no neon orange.
As we mentioned above, this tends towards the ‘finer’ end of the grind spectrum. If you’re into that, this works extremely well. It’s easy to use and the 50 diamond shaped teeth will mince that bud up into tiny little pieces. Not too much though. The hole patter on the floor of the grinding chamber has a lot of holes, meaning there’s plenty of opportunity for the processed bud to fall through.
I really like this one. It’s not #1 out there and definitely doesn’t have all the features, but it’s at a nice crossroads of quality and price. This will be fantastic for someone who’s looking to pay a bit more for a quality device that doesn’t doesn’t include features they don’t care about.
I like to rant and rave about removable screens and staging areas and such, but if you’re just looking for a set that’s a fantastic quality and does its job, the Black Tie Grinder is great.
My #4 Pick: Pheonician Herbal Grinder (Large)
Rounding out the bottom of my list is the Pheonician Herbal Grinder. The only reason this is so low is because of its price. It’s definitely on your higher end. If money isn’t as much of an object for you though, this will be a great pickup. It’s hard to get something that works better than this – you’ll just be paying for the quality.
Here’s a quick look at the major features for this grinder.
- Removable/Replaceable Screen: Same as my #1 pick, you can easily remove this using a simple hex screw. Not only that, they have several different screen size on their site, so you can customize the size that falls through to your kief chamber.
- Rounded Kief Tray: One of my favorites – makes it super easy to remove the kief.
- Fast Locking System: Patent pending, this unique design replaces the traditional threading that most grinders use. It really is a lot easier to use and eliminates any issues you might have with mismatched threads that you’ll find in cheaper products.
- Side Grips: While most of the other options on this list (and on the market) simply use a textured surface to increase the gripability (if that’s even a word) this one uses actual nubs. They work quite a lot better, so if you struggle with pain from using a manual grinder, this is something you should look at.
- Wide Color Selection: There are only a few other cannabis grinders on the market that have as wide of a color selection as this one does. As of right now it comes in eight colors: black, blue, red, green yellow, silver, pink and rasta theme. Alas, no orange.
- Unique Top Design: The top of the Phoenician Grinder includes two odd looking parts. The first (in the center) is a section to hold your paper roller (which matches the size of RAW papers, which is the most commonly used). The second is a small ash tray that. While both of these may have limited usability to some, I personally think it converts it from being a simple buster to a mobile smoke station. Pretty cool.
- Unique Teeth and Holes: The diametric teeth and matching holes are pretty awesome. The teeth are designed to accurately slice through your, but they’re space far enough apart to prevent over-the-top mincing. The holes are designed to make your grind more consistent while minimizing the number of rotations necessary for a full grind.
- Bumper Ring Option: For those who struggle still with grinding, you have the option to purchase bumper rings that fit over the outside of the grinder. This will not only make it a lot easier to grind, but also reduce noise from bumping the sections together accidentally.
- Lifetime Warranty: Phoenician includes a lifetime warranty on all functional features of this set.
I daresay this is the most advanced manual weed crusher on the market today. It really has a lot of engineering that other products simply don’t have.
I’m particularly impressed with how much functionality they crammed into this thing. While most grinders are focused on making the grinding experience more pleasant and simple, the engineers at Phoenician went over-the-top to not only make this easy to use (especially for medical patients who have trouble with manual sets) but also incorporate other parts of the process.
Things such as the ash tray and paper holder on the top are unnecessary but super awesome. It’s just something most people don’t think of.
I’ll be honest, this thing is growing on me. At first it looked like some sort of weird alien mutation, but the more I look at it the more I appreciate it for the ‘space age’ feel. It’s not simple or elegant like others, but it’s unique enough to be attractive in a weird way.
It’s just like buying a corvette. You don’t buy a corvette to be unique – lots of people have them. You buy a lesser known specialized vehicle if you want to be unique. That’s what this is – unique, specialized and not something most people have seen before.
Often times engineers will talk about all their extensive engineering and in reality it’s just hocus pocus that’s focused on marketing (I would know, I’m one of them). The work that the guys at Phoenician did with this one really worked out well.
The grind on this thing is fantastic. I was worried with the sharper teeth because I was afraid it’d chop things up too much. The spiral design, the extra holes and the teeth spacing really pulls it all together though. I think just about everyone will be able to appreciate the grind they get from this set.
If the Phoenician Grinder weren’t so expensive it’d be a serious contender for the #1 spot on this list. Alas though, a lot of cannabis enthusiasts will have a hard time rationalizing a marijuana crusher purchase that’s this expensive. If you’ve got the money, I say get this one. It really is the best in my opinion.
Note: There were several major brands that I left off this list. That’s not to say they aren’t good grinders at all, but just not in my top 5. The cannabis industry is quickly changing and those that don’t keep up will fall behind. Keep that in mind as you’re looking at all cannabis related products, not just grinders.
Cool Weed Grinders
If you’re more interested in looking for a bud grinder that’s got a bit of ‘pizzaz’ then I totally understand you. I think looks are important too. That’s why I’ve put together some of my favorite looking weed crushers in this section below. Take a look through and pick out your favorite!
Types of Weed Grinders
As I mentioned above, there are several different variations of grinders out there. For the purposes of this guide we’ll mainly stick with circular or wheel grinders, although we’ll deviate just a bit in our “Manual vs. Electric Grinders” section below.
Even within the realm of wheel sets there’s plenty of variation. First, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the different number of chambers.
Single Chamber Grinders
Single chamber grinders are the most basic and simple products out there. They feature one buster that will come apart into two pieces. Usually, both the top and bottom section will have teeth on them, allowing you to rotate them against each other to grind up your weed.
The major disadvantage of single chamber grinders is that it can be a huge pain in the ass to get your weed out of one. Especially if you’ve got a stickier, more moist strain the ground up bits tend to stick to each other and to the teeth themselves. You also won’t have the ability to catch kief with a single chamber unit.“Single chamber grinders are the most basic and simple products out there.”From what I’ve read, most people who have a single chamber grinder got one out of convenience or because it was given to them. If you’re out to get yourself a brand new weed buster to smush up some weed, I’d recommend against getting a single chamber product (or double chamber for that matter). As you can see above, there are plenty of bud grinders in the $10-20 range that have four chambers and work extremely well.
Single chamber sets tend to be at least $5, which is just too expensive for the limited use in my opinion.
Double Chamber Grinders
Double chamber grinders (three piece grinders) are a bit more advanced, but not by much. The top chamber includes the two sections with teeth, just like you’d find in a single chamber piece. The second section will simply be a storing area for your ground up weed. Once ground up in the top section, your processed bud will fall through the holes in the floor of the top chamber into the weed collection chamber.“Having a section that’s specifically designed to hold your ground up bud is a huge step up.”Having a section that’s specifically designed to hold your ground up bud is a huge step up – it makes getting your weed out of the herb shredder and into/on whatever you’re using it for about 100 times easier. It’s definitely worth the increase in price in my opinion.
The huge downside with a two chambered piece is that it doesn’t have the ability to catch kief. As I mentioned above, there are plenty of products available that allow you to catch kief for a minor increase in price. In fact, there are plenty of three piece options that are more expensive than four piece grinders. I can’t for the life of me figure out why.
All in all, if you’re looking to pick up something new, I’d say don’t go with a three piece. The only big advantage you’ll get using a three piece instead of 4 is more portability. Some of these will fit in your pocket pretty easily, but there are plenty of ways around that. Many grinders give you the option of taking out sections and downsizing if you need to. Get one of those for a bit more instead of a three piece.
You’re most likely just limiting yourself and saving a few dollars. Like, literally three dollars. You can get four piece sets for $10 – wait an extra few days and get yourself something that does everything.
Three Chamber Grinders
I’d suggest getting a three chamber grinder for 90%+ of the people out there. Many of them are reasonable price, they’re not too big, they work really well and they’ve got the maximum amount of functionality. In addition, most manufacturers know that four piece grinders are the most popular, so you’ll see the most advancement in this part of the market.
These work the same as three piece sets except the bottom of the collection chamber will have a fine mesh screen. This screen will filter out all but the tiniest of particles. That’ll make sure that the majority of what falls through are the trichomes, meaning you’ll have a nice pile of kief at the bottom of your grinder after a few users. This, in my opinion, is the single biggest reason to get a grinder in the first place. Everything else is mostly convenience, but the ability to gather kief can have a major impact in your smoking/consuming experience. It’s very much worth the price.“I’d suggest getting a three chamber grinder for 90%+ of the people out there.”Aside from that, four piece grinders will definitely see an increase in size – not only in height but diameter as well. While you can buy small and medium sized grinders that have three chambers you’ll also see the largest diameters in this category. Some of them can get up to 3+ inches, which makes them pretty massive. With that increase in size is the ability to grind more weed at once – more on that later though.
While four piece sets are likely to be more expensive than two and three piece kits, that’s not true a lot of the time. Since three chamber grinders are the most popular the pricing between them is extremely competitive. There are plenty of options out there that cost less than two trips to Starbucks.
And with that, there’s really no reason to get any other option. You’re almost certainly going to see the best value out of three chambers.
Quad Chamber Grinders
And finally we’ve got quadruple chamber grinders (aka five piece grinder). When I first heard about these I thought they were going to be awesome. I’d read about people who really thought they were great, but after looking a bit more into I’ll admit that I’m pretty disappointed. Unless you go with some of the super expensive specialty options, most of these are pretty cheap. They use the idea of an extra kief chamber to draw people in, but my opinion is it’s more of a novelty than anything else.
If you’re really into gathering kief then you can get some use out of these. Basically, at the bottom of the first kief chamber is second, even finer mesh filter. This will allow only the tiniest of particles through meaning that when it’s filled up you’ll have a juicy pile of super fine, super high quality kief.
The thing is, it takes absolutely forever for that bottom chamber to fill up. We’re talking weeks to months depending on how often you smoke. That alongside the fact that many of these are pretty cheap/low quality really turned me off.
There are some out there that could be worth the price so don’t let me turn you off. I just don’t really see the point. Feel free to correct me though!
Another big factor in choosing a grinder is the type of material you can get it made out of. There are three major areas here: plastic/acrylic, wood and metal. We’ll take a look at the pros and cons below.
Plastic and Acrylic Grinders
I’ve lumped these into the same category because they basically are the same thing. Acrylic is a type of plastic that’s a big higher quality and a bit harder. Other than that they’re pretty well the same.
You’ll find plastic sets make up most of your low end/low quality options. Plastic is a lot cheaper to make but it’ll also wear the fastest, grind poorly and break more easily. In addition, most plastic grinders are either two or three pieces which means you’re also losing functionality.“My suggestion is to stay away from both of these and go for wood or metal.”We also have the potential health concerns. I’ll admit, I haven’t found any evidence that strictly shows this to be a danger and honestly, I don’t think there’s much to be concerned about it. But, under the right circumstances plastic and acrylic can melt from the heat of even a simple lighter. When heated, both can give off toxic fumes which aren’t healthy to consume.
Again, I personally don’t think this is a big deal, but there are those who are worried about it. But that along with the other issues that come along with plastic make it a much less attractive option.
If you want to get a grinder but you absolutely cannot spend a lot of money, you’ll want to look towards a plastic set. Otherwise, my suggestion is to stay away from both of these and go for wood or metal.
Ahhh, wood. These things have a special place in the grinder industry that I personally appreciate quite a bit. They aren’t the most advanced, or the biggest, or work the best. But there’s something about having a nice wood grinder as a part of your smoke set that makes it feel… comforting.
Concerning the viability, most wood grinders these days come with metal teeth, so they’ll work pretty well. That said, a lot of them are also single chamber, which isn’t as nice. But that’s fine, you don’t get a wood set because you’re looking for the best possible grinder. You get one because it adds to the ambiance.“There’s something about having a nice wood grinder as a part of your smoke set that makes it feel… comforting.”I might get a bit wistful here, but there’s something to be said about having a grinder made from an organic material. It makes the experience feel different in some way.
Think of it this way – let’s say you want to buy a new car. You could get yourself something that goes really fast, has the latest technology and is the most advanced. Or you could get something that still works really well but also looks fantastic.
Will you really use all of those major perks that come from the more technologically advanced option? Maybe, but maybe not. Maybe you just want something that does its job and looks good while it’s doing it. That’s the difference between a wood grinder and a metal grinder.
It’s totally up to you what you want – just keep in mind that both these materials fill a certain niche.
Moving back to reality we’ll take a look at our last materials – metal grinders. The two most common materials here are aluminum and titanium, however there are others such as zinc that make an occasional appearance.
Metal grinders will generally give you the best grind and have the most advancements. The ability to use CNC machines to create a device with precision along with the strength of metal has a lot of advantages. Aluminum and titanium grinders will see significantly less wear and will often times have much sharper and much more effective teeth for grinding.
Metal also allows you to add complexity such as magnets that hold grinder sections together, rounded kief trays and removable mesh screens.
Between the two, aluminum and titanium have a lot of similarities and a few differences. The biggest of which is erosion/rust. Titanium will be free from any sort of degradation for its entire life. That along with the fact that it’s an incredibly light material and an incredibly strong material make it the superior of the two.“Aluminum and titanium grinders will see significantly less wear and will often times have much sharper and much more effective teeth for grinding.”There’s also the issue of aluminum flaking. This isn’t as big of an issue now but a few years ago there were a lot of problems with aluminum grinders leaving tiny flakes of metal in people’s bud after grinding. This was due to manufacturers using cheaper aluminum that wasn’t as strong. Now-a-days most aluminum used in grinders is aerospace grade which means you won’t have any issues with flaking. Just make sure to check the type of aluminum the grinder is made of before you buy.
Overall, my personal favorite is titanium, but it’s a bit harder to find and also a bit pricier. You’re definitely going to get a higher quality product if you choose titanium, but it might not be worth the extra price. That’s for you to decide though – there are plenty of fantastic aluminum grinders out there too.
Major Features to Look Out For
Beyond the materials and the number of chambers, there are plenty of other features to be on the lookout for when choosing the best weed grinder for your purposes. This section contains what I think are the most important ones to be aware of.
Size (Diameter and Height)
While most grinders only vary in size by a few inches, that ends up making a big difference. Want to stick your buster in your pocket? Good luck trying to do that with a three inch grinder. Need to grind up an eight of pot real quick? Have fun doing that with a mini grinder.
So the size really depends on your purpose, the number of people/quantity you need to grind for and if you’re looking to take it from place to place. Below we’ll take a look at the major sizes and what they’re good for.
Mini (< 1.5 inches)
Mini grinders are seriously tiny. They’re fantastic if you need to stick on in your pocket or a small carrying bag. They’re awful if you’re regularly grinding up lots of weed. You’ll end up only being able to grind about one bud at a time, sometimes less than that depending on the type of weed you get. If you’re regularly consuming with friends or a larger group this probably won’t be what you want to get.
Great For: The Traveller, The Occasional Consumer, The Budget Enthusiast
Not Great For: The Mass Producer, The Entertainer, The Regular User
Small (1.5-2.0 inches)
Once you up the size by half an inch your usability goes up dramatically. While small grinders are still pretty tiny you get a pretty reasonable amount of space to grind with. If you usually entertain larger groups you’ll probably want to get something bigger, but this size works well for the single enthusiast who consumes occasionally. And they’re still small enough to travel around.
Great For: The Traveller, The Occasional Consumer
Not Great For: The Mass Producer, The Entertainer
Medium (2.0-2.5 inches)
Again, another half an inch makes a big difference. Something of this size will be able to easily grind up a few grams at once, no problem. Once you get into the medium range you really start to get a bit of bulkiness, especially if you’ve got three or more pieces. A three chambered grinder that’s got a diameter of 2.5 inches is pretty damn big. You’ll be able to fit it in your backpack but definitely not in your pocket.
If you regularly consume with a group this size will be great. You’ll be able to grind up enough bud for several people in one or two uses. Those who consume by themselves regularly will also appreciate the added space for more grinding.
Great For: The Regular User, The Entertainer
Not Great For: The Budget Enthusiast, The Traveller,
Large (2.5+ inches)
Once you get beyond two and a half inches you’re looking at some big fucking grinders. These are best left sitting on your shelf or in a drawer. They’re made for grinding larger amounts of weed (more than a few grams) at a time, will be the most expensive and are obviously the largest.
I’d really only advise someone who consumes a lot of weed on a regular bases to get one of these. If you’re regularly throwing parties or smoke in groups frequently you’ll get a lot of value out of this. Even if you’re a regular consumer you’re probably going to be just fine with a smaller size than large.
Great For: The Entertainer, The Mass Producer
Not Great For: The Occasional User, The Traveller, The Budget Enthusiast
The other component to size is the height of your set. The major contributor to the height of your grinder is the number of chambers. Obviously, the more chambers it has the taller it will be. If you absolutely need to be travelling around with your grinder you might need to sacrifice usability for a smaller size.
Once you get past two chambers it’ll be pretty hard to fit this in your pocket or a small carrying bag. Another thing to keep in mind is as your height increases the amount of storage space you have increases.
This might not be a big deal when you’re grinding regular bud, but if you’ve got a kief chamber on the bottom you might get some use out of a greater storage capacity. That’ll help you build up a huge stash of kief that you can save for a Master Smoke at some point.
Even amongst wheel grinders there are a few different shapes you’ll find. The big thing to look out for here are grinders that have indentations that’ll make it easier to rotate. Some of these things are smooth as a baby’s bum which makes it super frustrating to get a grip sometimes.
If you’ve got a hard time getting a good grip on your grinder, try to find one that’s got a gear like setup (like the Cali Crusher) to make it easier to use.
Number of Teeth
The number of teeth in your grinder plays a big part in two ways: the usability of the set and the type of grind you get.
First is the usability. While having a set with a crazy number of teeth (like the Space Case) may seem like a good thing, it can end up being a huge pain in the ass to actually get your bud in there. That means you’ll have to pre-chop your bud. This adds time and effort, two things the grinder is supposed to reduce.
The other big thing is the type of grind you get. While the shape and sharpness of your teeth also play a big part here, more teeth usually means a finer grind with more slicing/dicing and less fluff. If that’s your thing, cool. Otherwise it might be smart to opt for a buster that uses fewer teeth. If it doesn’t matter you’ll generally find that sets with fewer teeth are less expensive.
In addition to the number of teeth is the shape and distribution of them. While a lot of manufactuers like to use smaller, peg like teeth there has been a lot of experimentation lately. Some teeth will be longer, taller, shorter or wider or any combination.“While it’s hard to make any hard-and-fast rules about the type of grind you’ll get based on the shape of the teeth, in general you’ll that more teeth equals a finer grinder.”While it’s hard to make any hard-and-fast rules about the type of grind you’ll get based on the shape of the teeth, in general you’ll that more teeth equals a finer grinder. Smaller teeth will also result in a finer grind while larger teeth will tend to pull your weed apart leaving you with larger, fluffier chunks.
You also have to account for the shape of the blades on the teeth. There’s been an escalation of sorts on how sharp teeth are and it’s been getting pretty extremely lately.
The sharpest teeth I know of are probably the one you’ll find on Masterdam’s set – the lions teeth shape. These will literally slice right through your weed. On the contrary, a buster that’s got larger, wider teeth like the Cali Crusher will pull your weed apart as opposed to slice it.
A quick note regarding kief: those who want an increased kief output should look towards less sharp teeth. The pulling motion of larger more dull teeth will give the trichomes more opportunity to disconnect from your bud and fall through into the kief chamber. The difference isn’t huge, but it’s definitely there.
Number of Holes and Pattern
I feel obligated to mention the filter holes and their patterns, however I don’t personally find this to be a major factor in the quality of the marijuana grinder. Take note, this only applies to units that have two or more chambers.
The top chamber of your set is where you’ll be grinding your weed. Once the bud has been processed to a point where it’s small enough it’ll fall through the holes in the floor of the grinding chamber. The size of these holes will determine how finely ground your bud must be before it falls through and doesn’t get ground up any more.“Generally speaking, the more holes and the larger the holes, the less ground your bud will get”Generally speaking, the more holes and the larger the holes, the less ground your bud will get. If you prefer larger chunks you’ll want to opt for a design like that. Otherwise, smaller holes and fewer holes will result in a more finely ground product.
Overall most grinders have similar sized holes, although you will see some that have way more than others. Like I said, I don’t find this to be a huge factor but it’s something you should be aware of.
One of the big things that’ll add to the lifespan of your grinder is how well you take care of it. A big part of that is keeping your mesh screen free from clogs and jams. Have no mistake, as you use this your buster the tiny slots in the mesh will get filled up with crap – you’ll want to make sure you’re regularly cleaning it.
It’s about a bigillion times easier to clean the screen if you can take it out. A removable mesh screen means you can easily soak it in some cleaning fluid, use a brush to clean it out and dry it off more easily.
It’s not a necessity by any means, but it just makes life easier. There are only a few products out there that have this option so if you find one that doesn’t have a removable tray and want to grab it, go ahead. It’s just a nice thing to have if it works out.
Rounded Kief Tray
For those interested in The Great Hunt (for kief) you’ll want to be on the lookout for grinders with rounded kief trays. These make it way easier to get those tiny little particles out of the bottom compared to trays that aren’t rounded.
Same as above, it’s not a necessity but it’s something that separate the good sets from the great.
Finally we come to all the tiny shit that I don’t think makes a huge deal. Everything above will impact your use at least a little bit. The stuff down below probably won’t. But there’s more to a grinder than its functionality (which is obvious coming from the guy who has a strange fascination with less effective, wooden grinders).
If the look or the packaging of your product is a big deal for you, that’s awesome. The whole point is to get an herb shredder that works best for you. Humans are terrific at focusing on tiny details, so go ahead and revel in that. Below are some minor features that might make-or-break a grinder for you.
Simply put, a bud grinder that uses magnets is a lot nicer to use than one that doesn’t. Beyond that though, I don’t find a ton of difference in the types of magnets that grinders have. A lot of them will boast about the crazy neodymium, core-of-the-earth, less-by-druids-and-Gia magnets that they use.
As far as my opinion goes, they either work or they don’t. Those with more attention to detail might disagree though. Even still, you’ll probably want to make sure that some type of magnets are used (even if they’re not blessed by Gia).
Those on-the-go enthusiasts might enjoy having a little bag to carry their weed crusher in. This’ll make sure that any bits of weed that fall out of your set don’t get all over whatever. Plus it feels nice to have a specialized felt carrying bag to stick your shit in and if your bag is big enough you could use it to carry your weed/piece too.
Okay, this is something that is a big deal to me. If you’re gonna drop a wad of cash on a nice bud grinder it’s gotta look cool. I don’t know who decided that 90% of grinders need to be black or chrome but I’m pretty stoked that we’re finally getting out of that phase.
Bring on the neon colored grinders. My personal favorite is orange but I’m okay if you choose the ice blue instead. Those of you opting for the brown color can just get out. Right now.
This can easily be replaced by a small brush or a little bit of plastic, but having a purpose specific scraper to get your kief out of the tray can be nice. That goes double for sets that don’t have a rounded tray.
If you’re interested in experimenting with has this might be a big deal for you. There are only a few grinders that come with this though, so watch out. Those of you who have no interested in making hash will just have another thing to throw away though.
There’s something that screams ‘high quality’ about anything that comes in nice packaging. I gotta hand it to the guys at Masterdam – the packing on that shit is tight. Literally, you’ll have a tough time getting some of those pieces out of the cardboard. But it also looks nice too.
A personal side note – anyone who takes the time to spend the extra bit of money and effort to deliver their package with nice presentation (and non-discrete too) probably puts more care into other parts of the process. Just something to keep in mind.
Manual vs. Electric Grinders
If you’re having any issues with your manual grinder you might be interested in looking at getting an electric weed grinder. While you’d expect a lot of these to be more expensive, most of what you’ll find on Amazon are a lot cheaper than most manual grinders. I’ll be honest though, not a lot of them are great.
If you’re looking to pick up a higher quality grinder, I’d suggest either looking at coffee grinders (they really do work) or higher end grinders off of third party sites.
How to Use a Weed Grinder
Using one of these things is really simple, trust me. If you’re not familiar it might look a bit intimidating but don’t worry – you’ll get the hang of it in like 10 seconds.
- First, take apart the grinding section of your grinder. This will be the top chamber if you’ve got a 3 or 4 piece set.
- Take out your bud and spit it apart into smaller pieces. Usually you’ll only need to pull it apart into thirds or fourths in order to get it to fit, but you may need to do more than that if you’ve got a grinder with tons of teeth like the Space Case.
- Insert your weed into the grinding section and close it up. Most shredders now-a-days have magnets so it should be easy to reassemble the kit.
- Start rotating the top piece of your grinder back and forth. It shouldn’t take too much, so don’t go ham – you don’t want to destroy your poor little bud. If this is your first time, open the top every few turns and see how ground up everything is. Just make sure not to spill it. After a few uses you’ll know exactly how long you need to grind for.
- If you’ve got more than a one chamber grinder, as your weed gets ground up it’ll fall through the holes in the bottom of the grinding chamber. Just keep going until everything’s ground up and in the weed collection chamber.
- When you’re finished you’ll have weed in one, two, or three places. If you only have a two piece kit the weed will still be in the grinding chamber, all ground up. In a three piece kit it’ll be in the collection chamber that’s right below the grinding chamber. In a four or five piece kit you’ll have your primary bud in the collection chamber and then you’ll have kief in either the third chamber or the third and fourth chamber (depending on if you’ve got a four or five piece kit). It’ll be pretty obvious where everything goes though, so don’t worry.
- You’re done! Your weed should be ground up, good to go and ready to smoke.