Regardless of your rolling abilities, crafting a perfect joint will be nearly impossible without a grinder.
What is a grinder? A grinder is a device designed to break the bud into fine, evenly ground bits. Because cannabis buds are typically large, dense, and sticky, they must be properly prepared prior to being rolled. While it is possible to break up bud with your hands, most prefer the help of a grinder.
Should you buy a grinder? YES, you cannot roll great joints or smoke slow burning bowls without one and they don’t have to break the bank! There’s a range of different grinder options available; however, we will cover the four basic categories you should be aware of when considering a quality weed grinder.
The secret to a slow-burning joint with a smooth draw is a fine, uniform grind.
As the name would suggest, these grinders are comprised of two pieces that combine to form one grinder unit. The inside of each piece is laden with sharp teeth designed to shred the dense buds. This style grinder is manufactured in plastic, wood, and metal varieties. We prefer metal grinders to their cheaper plastic and wood counterparts. In our experience, metal grinders are more durable (less chance of teeth breaking off and into your bud!) and provide a smoother, more consistent grinding action. Two-part grinders come in a variety of sizes and price points ranging from under $5 for plastic to $40+ for titanium. You get what you pay for in terms of grinder quality.
Best for: The entry-level smoker who is tired of using their hands.
The four-piece grinder includes some additional features that connoisseurs may have missed with a traditional two-part grinder. Most notably, the four-part grinder includes additional chambers – one for ground bud and one for kief. A combination of gravity and drilled holes (in the bottom of the grinding chamber) allow the bits of bud to fall down into the collection chamber. The floor of the chamber is typically made of a stiff, relatively fine screen – also referred to as a pollen screen. The very bottom piece is known as a kief catcher, as the screen only allows the trichomes to pass through. Thus, a four-piece grinder allows you to grind bud, store it, and collect the trichomes that fall off in the process. Four-part grinders are typically made of metal and also come in a variety of sizes and price points from $10 to over $100. Note: Three-part grinders exist; however, they are the least common variety because they lack a kief chamber.
Best for: The frequent smoker’s daily driver.
Electric grinders are by far the least popular type of grinder among cannabis users. While they can grind bud effortlessly, they tend to pulverize it into powder in the process – not the ideal consistency for optimizing airflow. We don’t recommend using an electric grinder for cannabis consumption unless absolutely necessary as they are cheaply manufactured, grind unevenly and jam frequently despite having a kief catcher.
Best for: The lazy or arthritic smoker.
How to Grind Pot Without a Grinder
The metal grinder functions similarly to a cheese grater – just rub the bud over the shredding surface. We recommend arranging the metal grinder card over a Pebble and rubbing the bud back and forth for a perfect grind with no mess. Grinder cards are manufactured with different grinding surfaces from fine to coarse for a range of uses.
Best for: The mobile smoker who always wants to be prepared.
What Grinder Should I Get?
As you can see, the grinders are vastly more efficient at creating ready-to-roll buds. Even when on the go, there is no reason to try and pick apart a large, sticky bud by hand. If you find yourself rolling on the go and you’re sick of sloppy, hand-ground joints, the grinder card is the answer. These incredibly low-profile grinders save on size and weight by taking the shape of a standard credit card and sliding right into The Safety Case.
Add some papers, rolling tips, a pipe and a lighter and you’ll have the ultimate smell proof all-in-one smoking kit. Alternatively, add a hitter, tool, and some Pebbles and you will have a pipe kit that fully replaces your old dugout.
BONUS: Sick Grinders
Check out some of our favorite sick grinders from around the world.
Grinders with Handles
A handle crank on top of a grinder allows for better traction when grinding your bud. Sometimes, the dank or sticky flower can refuse to budge because of overfill. Don’t worry, we have science! Grinders with handles allow you to fill them to the brim.
See through Grinders
Clear centers allow you to know exactly how much herb you have left every time. Grinders typically double as stash jars a lot of the time, why not combine the two? These grinders have their place for the right flower smoker.