An herb grinder is an essential tool for cannabis users who prefer smoking flower. Whether it’s rolled up in a blunt or joint, or loaded up in the bowl of a waterpipe or hand pipe, an even and balanced grind is an absolute must for the optimal smoking experience.
Benefits of using a grinder
Ground herb from a grinder allow for smoother combustion and burn, which means you’ll get a smoother smoke. Many grinders can double up as a flower storage compartment with an odor-proof seal, ideal for people who smoke with discretion. Also, an herb grinder can enhance the potency of the product by preserving the trichomes that would otherwise get stuck to your fingers if you were to break up your nugs entirely by hand. All in all, if you smoke flower, you will certainly benefit from using a grinder.
Metal grinders are perhaps the most popular option for herb grinders, renowned for their superior durability, effectiveness, and ease of cleaning. The strong metal teeth can tear through the thickest bud time after time.
Acrylic grinders are the most affordable material. Coming in a variety of colors and patterns, they will surely catch your eye. Although they are relatively easy to clean, the teeth of plastic grinder can dull over time.
Grinder styles and components
The basic components of a grinder include a lid and a grinding chamber where you place your nugs so you can break them up. An herb grinder that only has these two components is known as a 2-piece grinder.
A 3-piece grinder has the two components of the 2-piece in addition to a storage/collection chamber that holds your ground flower.
But wait… there’s more! A 4-piece grinder has the same elements of the 3-piece grinder and it also includes a kief catcher at the bottom of the grinder that collects the kief that gets separated from your flower when you grind it.
Kief is the pollen-like accumulation of trichomes separated from the cannabis flower during the grinding process. Kief is more potent than cannabis flower because of its high concentration of THC. You can add it to a packed bowl, joint, or blunt; use it as an ingredient to infuse food; or press it into hash.
And last but not least, you have the 5-piece grinder that has a lid, a grinding chamber, a storage chamber, and not one – but two – kief chambers so you can get the most from your grind.
Apart from the conventional herb grinders, there is the flat grinder. Built with portability in mind, this super-thin, space saving metal grinder looks like a miniature kitchen grater at first glance. With a flat grinder, you sacrifice kief catching and bud storing features of the typical grinder for ease of use.
There is also the electric grinder that eliminate the manual labor and elevates herb grinding capabilities to peak efficiency. Electric grinders are excellent tools for smokers who deal with hand issues such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tremors, fibromyalgia, or arthritis.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does a grinder work?
Herb grinders have a twisting mechanism with two sets of interlocking teeth to grind the flower. Grinders with three or more pieces have a storage chamber where the ground herb collects during the grinding process. Grinders with four or more pieces have a kief catcher that collects the kief that falls off from the ground herb.
When should I not use a grinder?
There are two general instances where you probably shouldn’t use a grinder. Avoid putting sticky flower into your grinder, otherwise it will quickly build up resin which impacts the effectiveness of your grinder. Never put moon rocks or any concentrate-infused flower through a grinder or you will lose a lot of kief.
How do you clean a grinder?
If you’re dealing with a metal grinder, then give it a wash and scrub with rubbing alcohol. Grinders made of other materials such as plastic or wood should be washed with dish soap and warm water.
How often should you get a new grinder?
There really is no telling how long your grinder will last or when you should get a replacement, since it depends on the material of the grinder, how often you clean it, and how frequently you use it. The telltale sign that you should replace your current grinder is its dull teeth.
How much should a grinder cost?
The price is dependent on the type of grinder (two pieces to five pieces, manual or electric, etc.) and the grinder’s material (metal is typically the priciest). Biohazard Inc. has an extensive selection of herb grinders with prices starting at $2.