If you have not packed a bowl, loaded up an herbal vaporizer or even rolled your own cigarette then you probably never had the opportunity to use a grinder. An herb grinder usually has a cylindrical shape that consists of a top half and a bottom half. Some of them also have multiple middle sections. Inside the grinder are multiple sharp blades teeth or sharp pricks that are presented on both halves. When combined together, they twist around in a circle and grind up any chunks or nugs of herbs.
What Are Herb Grinders?
A grinder is the perfect device that breaks down your herbs into smaller bits. They are best used when you want to roll it up or pack it in a bowl. You usually put your herbs in your grinder, grind it up, and dump it on your rolling tray before rolling it up!
People who have just been introduced to smoking dry herbs may still be using their fingers to break up the herbs so that they can then smoke or vape them. As you may already know, there exists a device that can do that more efficiently and quickly so that you do not have to spend minutes breaking down herbs with manually. This device is known as a grinder and there are a ton of them to choose from. That doesn’t mean that every grinder is great, however. If you’re trying to make hand ground herbs a thing of the past and you want to make sure that you get an amazing grind each time, here is a comprehensive guide that will teach you about grinders and how to choose the best one for your needs.
Grinders can come in many different shapes and sizes though. Even though 90% of them are cylindrical, there are oval shaped ones too. Most are manual but there are also electric grinders too. While the majority are aluminum or stainless steel, acrylic and wood are popular too.
Why Do You Need a Grinder?
As we discussed in the previous section, one of the reasons that you may want to purchase a grinder is to avoid having to break down herbs by hand. However, there are a lot more benefits that come with using a grinder besides ease-of-use. Here are a few notable points.
Improve Efficiency of Your Vapor Quality
The issue that comes about when you use your hands to break down your herbs for vaping is that you will experience uneven breakage in the majority of your herbs. When you pack these different sized herbs into your chamber, it makes it harder for your vape to heat your herbs properly. This means that you will have to be constantly moving your herbs around in order to heat them up and you may also experience draw resistance if you haven’t broken down your herbs properly. This is absolutely no good if you want a positive vaping experience.
Using a grinder, you can sure that your herbs are broken down properly so that your vape can heat them up efficiently and so that you don’t experience as much draw resistance when you pack the herbs into the chamber. With an even grind, you will also be able to pack more dry herbs into your device.
As stated above, the biggest issue with using your fingers to break down herbs is that the herbs are not usually broken down evenly. This can create major issues with your vaping sessions if you are not careful enough to break down your herbs evenly. Using a grinder, you will be able to ensure that you get a consistent grind each time.
Faster to Break Down
If you’ve ever broken down herbs with your fingers, you know how long the process can be, especially if you are trying to pack a small chamber and you have a lot of herbs to break down. A grinder does the exact same thing but it takes a lot less time and is much simpler for you to use. If anything, this is definitely one of the biggest reasons why you should purchase a grinder for your dry herb vape sessions.
Your Fingers Don’t Stink Up and Get Sticky
If you’re using herbs that have a reputation for having an unpleasant smell, such as marijuana, it is guaranteed that you are going to get that same unpleasant smell on your fingers when you begin breaking up the marijuana. In addition to these unpleasant smells, these herbs will also secrete oils when you begin breaking them up. These oils will make your hands sticky and is typically an unpleasant sensation. With a grinder for weed, you don’t have to worry about any of this since the grinder device will handle all the hard work for you!
Better Stash Spot
Let’s face it: finding a stash spot can be a difficult task. Most of the time, we just end up putting our herbs into small bags, only to have to pull them out later and break them apart by hand. The solution? Just use your weed crusher as your new stash spot. Not only is it very unlikely that anyone is going to think that device is going to hold any herbs but you will also have easier to access to herbs that have already been ground up during previous vaping sessions. It’s the best of both worlds!
Benefits of a Grinder
There can be many reasons to use a grinder but the two main reasons are for smoking or cooking your herbs. When you want to smoke out of a pipe or a vaporizer, you want to make sure your herbs are getting an even heat distribution. You do not want it to vaporize one area and leave the other parts untouched. This will result in wasted herbs. When it comes to cooking, most people use different herbs for medicinal reasons or for taste. You do not want to throw big clumps in your food.
When you have an herb grinder with multiple levels, you generally have the bottom level have a screen with a scraper. The screen helps the small tiny flakes escape through and build up. Once built up, you can use the scraper to scrape the kief off and add it to your ground up herbs.
The heat distribution is very important which if done right, it can lead to optimal airflow. If not done right, half your herbs in the bowl can go to waste. You always want to make sure your grind it up nice. This does not mean you need to turn it into powder.
You can really open up your taste buds to better tastes when you grind it up more. Instead of just lighting up the surface, you actually get the whole taste.
Most people break up their buds anyway with their hands or scissors. Instead of doing it one nug at a time, you can load multiple chunks and break it down all at once.
How to Pick the Right Grinder
Although every grinder will function to a certain extent, not every grinder is going to be good at its job. In addition to the problems that may arise with a mediocre grinder, grinders will also come with a variety of different features that will be tailored to different herb grinding uses. If you’re in the market for a new dry herb grinder, here are some of the features that you should look for and considerations you will have to make before you pick a grinder for your needs.
Different Types of Grinders
2 Piece Grinder
A two piece grinder is a grinder that consists of a top portion where you will place your dry herbs and a bottom portion that helps to grind the herbs up. This is the easiest type of grinder to use and is also the cheapest.
3 Piece Grinder
This type of herb grinder has a similar design to the two piece grinder but features an additional piece that helps to separate smaller herb chunks from larger herb chunks as they undergo the grinding process.
4 Piece Grinder
A four piece grinder has a similar design to the three piece grinder but has an additional piece that functions as a kief or pollen catcher. Kief refers to the small resin crystals that are contained within the marijuana buds that contain THC. You can use this keif that is caught within a four piece grinder for future vaping sessions. These grinders are often the most popular due to their kief-catching feature.
Titanium Grinders: Titanium grinders are well-known for their ability to produce finely ground herbs and to also withstand damage that would typically ruin grinders using other materials to grind your herbs. These grinders can be more expensive than other grinders but are also high-quality and will last you a long time.
A wooden grinder is a budget-friendly option for those who aren’t looking to spend too much on a grinder but who still want to get the job done. There are only two things that need to be taken into consideration when looking into a wooden grinder. Firstly, you must make sure that there are no toxic substances on the wood that could rub off onto the herbs and cause issues for you. You also need to see what type of wood it is made out of since these devices are more likely to break during use.
If you’re not looking to pay a ton of money for a grinder but you still want something sturdier than wood, you might want to look into an aluminum grinder. Aluminum grinders provide a similar grinding experience to a titanium grinder but do not cost as much. These grinders are very light and are the most popular grinders in the vape world.
Acrylic plastic grinders are the cheapest grinders available and also the most likely to break in a short amount of time. However, these types of cheap grinders may be perfect for those who do not use dry herbs very often and who only need it for a couple of sessions. Much like wooden grinders, you need to make sure that your plastic is safe so you do not contaminate your herbs.
Manual Vs. Electric Herb Grinders
Both manual and electric herb grinders provide a much better experience than having to break apart your herbs by hand. That being said, each one does have its pros and cons. For example, a manual herb grinder is going to take more time and effort but will often offer an even grind during each use. An electric herb grinder, on the other hand, is much easier and quicker to use but may not be very consistent when it comes to breaking down your herbs. Keep both of these qualities in mind when you start looking into manual and electric herb grinders.
When it comes to grinders, portability is never really going to be an issue. Most grinders are, at most, four inches in diameter. This means that even the largest grinders currently offered are still easy to carry around and use. However, you do need to think about discretion and ease-of-use when you are looking into the different sizes of grinders. A smaller grinder will be easier to hide if need be but you will not be able to grind up as many herbs with a smaller grinder. A larger grinder will not be as concealable but will give you the ability to grind up much more herbs. These are some things you have to keep in mind when you are checking out the sizes of different grinders.
Features of the Best Grinders
Now that we’ve taken a look at some of the aspects that grinders have to offer, let’s take a look at the most desirable features that you should be looking for in a grinder.
The best material for your grinder is going to be metal. If you can, try to purchase a grinder that is made of titanium. If you are on a budget, a grinder made of aluminum will work as well. Metal will last you longer and will also give you a consistent grind so that you don’t have issues trying to vape your herbs.
More is better when it comes to the amount of teeth in your dry herb grinder. With more teeth, your grinder will be better able to finely grind your herbs. In addition to the amount of teeth, the shape of the teeth in the device also matter. The best shape for teeth is a diamond shape. However, you may find teeth that are come in squares or other shapes that contain sharp corners.
Strong Closure - Magnetic Connection
A strong connection is important when you have a grinder. If you are twisting your grinder to ground your herbs and it comes apart easily, all of your hard work is going to spill out of your device and onto your lap. Make sure that your grinder has a strong magnetic connection to keep your device closed while you use it.
The issue with some grinders is that they give you no way to grip your device as you twist it. This can make it more difficult to use your grinder. When you begin looking for a grinder, look for one that has an ergonomic design. You will see this type of design when there are finger grips and other helpful features that give you a better grip on your device.
If your grinder is unable to provide you with a fine grind, it is pretty much useless. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this applies to each use, however. A grinder that provides inconsistent grinds during each use is just as useless as a grinder that couldn’t grind well the first time. Look for a grinder that provides a fine grind during each use.
Tips on Using a Weed Grinder
Using a grinder is rather simple but there is still an art to getting the right grind. Here are some tips on using your grinder when you first purchase it.
Grind Very Fine
A fine grind is absolutely important if you want to be able to successfully vape your herbs. Make sure to grind your herbs finely each time that you use your grinder. However, be careful not too grind them into a powder. This type of substance will be difficult to vape and will be pretty much useless in the chamber of your vaporizer.
The More You Put in, the Better It Works
Your grinder is going to have a difficult time trying to grind down your herbs if you don’t put much in. Your teeth won’t be able to get a hold of your dry herbs if you don’t have enough to help push the rest into the teeth. The goal you should have when using a grinder is to put enough in without having trouble closing it. The more you put in, the better it is going to work.
The Longer Your Grind, the More Pollen Kief You Can Get
If your goal is to get more kief out of your grind, it is necessary to grind your dry herbs for longer. This will help to loosen the crystallized resin from the marijuana buds. You can then catch this substance in your cannabis grinder and use it for later.
A grinder is easy to clean and maintenance only needs to be done if the built up residue makes it difficult to use your device. If you start experiencing resistance when using your device, all you have to do is use a toothpick and a q-tip with some rubbing alcohol to get rid of the built up residue. You can also wash your device but you need to make sure that you do it properly to avoid causing any permanent damage or rendering your grinder useless.
How to Use a Grinder
First of all get yourself familiar with the type of grinder you have. If it’s a 2 piece set then you don’t need to do much but you still need to follow the initial steps to use. Remove the top part that exposes the teeth on both halves. This may sound counterproductive but if the herbs are too chunky, they may need to be broken down with your fingers. Take apart the stem and break the nug into smaller nugs. Then throw it onto the bottom half where the sharp teeth are. Close the other half and rotate the top part. It will continue to spin in circle non-stop. Do this for about 7 full spins to get a nice break down. When you open it, depending on your grinder it will either be on top of the level below.
On the lower level, you will find your herbs in powder form. You can use the scraper, a coin, or anything small to scoop it up. This will start to build up more and more as you use it.
Dry herb grinders are very useful devices that make breaking down herbs easy and enjoyable. Using this guide, you will be better equipped to find a dry herb grinder that will meet your needs and provide you with ground herbs for years to come. Remember, the two most important qualities in a dry herb grinder are durability and consistency. If you are purchasing a grinder that is very likely to break soon after purchase or a grinder that does not give you a fine grind on a regular basis, you are not going to have an enjoyable vaping and grinding experience.