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Dry Herb (Weed) Grinders - Everything You Need to Know

In a pinch, nug grinding by hand does the job, but getting the full effect of flower requires a dry herb grinder. Nothing quite compares to the way a weed grinder transforms lush nugs into a cloud-like fluff. 


Although the mechanics work the same, some grinders are better than others. With a little know-how, a reliable grinder can make your cannabis last longer and allow you to experience the wonderful flavors of cannabis flower. 


What is an herb grinder (crusher) for cannabis?


An herb grinder shreds cannabis nugs into a fine powder. Some people treat the act of grinding weed as a ritual, a pleasurable and intention-setting start to a smoke sesh. 


Evidence of the ritualistic use of cannabis grinders goes back centuries in prehistoric China. Scholars know that tools (such as birch bowls) served as mortars for grinding cannabis during religious offerings to deceased high-ranking leaders. 


Modern cannabis rituals have since evolved to include mini machines, what we know as weed grinders. People who enjoy smoking from bowls, bongs, bubblers, or hemp papers cherish the way a grinder uses fine-toothed blades to crush weed down to a smokable consistency. 


Dry herb grinders come in different materials. Metal and wood grinders tend to be more popular than plastic models. There are versions with 2-pieces (compartments), 3-tiers, and 4-pieces. 


The main parts consist of a lid and grinding chamber, where you twist the angled blades back and forth into the flower. 3-tiered grinders have holes in the grinder chamber, allowing the herb to fall through to another compartment that makes scooping more convenient. If you want to take it one step further, 4-piece versions filter and collect kief at the very bottom of the grinder. 


Whether you benefit from cannabis for medical or recreational reasons, having this tool can be the difference between an oh-so high and a unique smoke sesh curated to your health needs. 


How to use a weed grinder


To prep your buds for smoking, follow these steps:


  1. Hold your nug up close and inspect for stems. Pull the herb from the stem and break it down into small, half-inch pieces. Remove the lid from your grinder, mash the herb in-between the blades. Be careful not to block the circular magnet in the center of the grinding chamber (this makes it hard to retrieve later on since the magnet compresses the herb). 
  2. Place the lid back on, push it down into the buds, and turn the lid in a back and forth twisting motion. If you have a 2-piece grinder, your work stops here. Collect the ground cannabis and enjoy!
  3. Those with 3-piece grinders can now retrieve their goods in the third compartment. As you twist it open, hold it upright to avoid herb spillage. Sometimes the flower collects to one side of the lip if the buds are unevenly ground. 
  4. The last step for people with a 4-piece grinder is optional. The kief catcher is a small compartment where potent THC/CBD gathers. It’s the finest and most cherished part of the cannabis plant, but kief collection requires multiple grinds and patience. If you have enough, use a flat scraper (usually sold with the grinder) to scoop and sprinkle a little over bowls and joints. 

Best weed grinders


Now that you know how they work, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty about what makes a grinder better than the rest. 


The first choice is to decide which material you prefer. Wood grinders usually feature handcrafted accents, making them eye-pleasing works of art. On the other hand, going for an all-natural material like wood isn’t as strong as metal, especially without the magnet to secure the lid and grinding chamber together. A metal grinder tends to be a popular choice. Especially one with sharp teeth that can grind the cannabis to perfection.


As for plastic, don’t waste your time with these cheap time bombs because they’ll more than likely crack during the grinding process. Your best bet is to go with a high quality metal option. A titanium, zinc alloy, stainless steel, or anodized aluminum grinder to be exact. 


Cannabis newbies may be concerned about metal shavings flaking off into their flower, but rest assured, American-designed grinders keep the safety of the consumer in mind. 


The next choice when shopping around for the best weed grinder is to consider the compartments. 4-piece grinders are considered the gold standard because of the kief-catching, or pollen catcher function. 


Vessel’s Gunmetal grinder filters this precious material through a removable screen which can be replaced later during maintenance. From there, you wait until you have enough kief in the bottom chamber storage compartment and use the provided scraper to spike bowls or joints. This can enhance the effects of cannabis because of how concentrated the kief residue is. 


A feature you won’t find in other grinders is the magnetic lid lock-on ability, making the Gunmetal grinder ideal for sore, arthritis-like hands. Rather than having to twist the lid back on after use, you just line it up with the grinding chamber and let the magnet do its magic. It’s a top grinder on the market and can make your smoking experience ideal. 


Where to find a weed grinder for sale


Grinders are stocked in dispensaries, headshops, and most places that sell smoking accessories, but they can easily be purchased online. Retailers offer versions in funky, colorful designs, so there’s no limit to how creative or simple you want yours to be.


People looking for a discreet, minimalist feel may find that a chrome black grinder (here at Vessel) blends into the environment better than loud, in-your-face designs. If you live with family or roommates, keeping your stash under wraps is a welcome safety measure. 


To sum it up


A quality grinder ends up saving you in the long term because it helps you conserve weed. If you’re mashing large pieces of bud into a bowl, you not only run out of herb quicker but miss out on kief. Consider the pros and cons when buying inexpensive grinders from big-name, commercial websites compared to investing in a durable, more expensive grinder from specialty designers. 


FAQs


How much is a grinder for weed?


Cheap grinders go anywhere from $10-$20, but proceed at your own risk as they’re usually made with below-average materials. The most expensive models, which run from $35-$50, are designed to last and come with the kief-catching feature. 


What is the best grinder for blunts or rolling papers?


Since blunts require a lot of herb, sometimes more than a gram or two at a time, grinders with spacious grinding chambers work best. The Gunmetal grinder has a 2″ wide chamber for holding lots of herb at once. Make sure to use a rolling tray to help you keep all of your herb in one place. 


What is a herb grinder used for?


An herb grinder condenses smokable botanicals into a fine, powdery texture, or ground herb. The ridged teeth/blades on a metal herb grinder cut through dense buds that otherwise wouldn’t burn as easily on their own.

What are the benefits of getting a grinder for weed?

 

A weed grinder will help you break down your bud so you can easily smoke it. Whether you want to put it in a blunt, bong, or rolling paper, you’ll need to grind it down. Plus, a quality grinder will help you keep your cannabis and kief in one place so it doesn’t get wasted. If you are using a handheld vape or other vaporizers, you may not need a grinder for weed. 

How can you tell if a grinder is good for weed?

 

Make sure to buy a two piece herb grinder (a 4-piece-grinder may be better though). If a company offers a warranty on their grinder, that may be a sign that it’s high-quality. Purchase a grinder that is made of high grade aluminium or other quality metals. It should have sharp grinding teeth and a pollen screen to collect the kief.