How to Pick a Weed Grinder

How to pick a weed grinder

A guide by DankStop

It’s the single most important purchase in your smoker’s tool kit, the ubiquitous weed grinder. Whether your flower is for a bong, bubbler, Sherlock, chillum, joint, blunt, spliff or vaporizer, an herb grinder meets the need for perfect weed smoking. 

A grinder is a deceptively simple machine that shreds bud to the perfect consistency. And while that’s the main goal for all styles of herb grinders, there are many things to consider to find the best herb grinder for you.

How to Shop for an Herb Grinder

There are so many styles of weed grinders that can meet different needs that making an informed choice takes a best-of guide. There are different materials to consider, sizes, brands, styles and extra features too.

Before jumping into what makes the best weed grinder, you have to consider yourself first. Are you a frequent smoker who grinds a lot of herb? Where will you do your grinding, at home or out and about? What’s your budget? How strong are your hands?

While it all comes down to personal preference, there’s no sense buying more grinder than you need. There’s also lots of good reasons to have more than one option. So stick with this Dankstop guide to find the best weed grinder for your next smoke sesh.

Best Weed Grinders 101 - 5-piece Weed Grinders -
Best Weed Grinders 101 - Why Use Weed Grinders -

Why use an herb grinder

You can cram a whole bud into a bowl and hit it hard until it’s gone, but chances are you’ll be burning more than you’re smoking. That’s because you don’t have the right air-to-fire-to-bud ratio for the perfect burn.

Grinding weed is optimum for all kinds of flower power because of a uniform grind. This allows air to flow through the weed for an even burn. Grinding herb makes for easy hits whether it’s rolled in a joint, packed in a bowl or, especially, when vaped.

Using fingers or scissors to break bud down takes a lot away from weed. A good herb grinder avoids wasting weed in the burn, but also before the flame too. That once-sticky and powerfully potent kief (the dried trichomes & terpenes covering the bud), end up elsewhere.

Parts of a weed grinder

All weed grinders have parts in common, although some have more features than others. But in its simplest form, a weed grinder has a lid and grinding chamber, both with “teeth” that shred the bud to an even consistency.

Weed grinder teeth come in as variety of shapes including diamond, spikes, spearheads, shark, straight and more. All are designed to work top to bottom, shredding weed to a consistent size without jamming.

Other special features of weed grinders are covered in Weed Grinder Special Features. which we will look at include kief chambers, removable screens, quick-lock systems, ergonomic design, magnetic lids, crank handles and more.

Best Weed Grinders 101 - How to Use a Weed Grinder -
Best Weed Grinders 101 - How to Use a Weed Grinders -

How to use a weed grinder

For the absolute beginner- let’s break this down to show how to use an herb grinder. First, take the lid off. Then, wedge the desired amount of nugs into the teeth, breaking down bud, as needed.

GOOD ADVICE: Do not overload the grinder as it makes it difficult to twist. Too much bud also gums the works up faster, requiring additional cleanings.

Place the lid onto the base, squeeze pieces together with a twisting motion. The teeth of the weed grinder tear organic material immediately and as you continue to twist, the lid and base will come together completely.

With a few twists back and forth, weed is cut to a uniform size. The best herb grinders are computer designed and precision manufactured for optimal distance between teeth. Combined with the precisely-sized holes in the grinding chamber, buds are chopped to perfect size.

Weed grinder special features

For the best weed grinder special features, you can truly get a spectacular grind. Modern technology and manufacturing now gives new strength and clearer view to the best herb grinders.

Windows are now common with the advent of super clear, dense plastics. Some models can even feature real scientific glass windows which are easier to clean that plastic and resist damage more.

The strength of modern alloys also allows for cool features like durable crank handles. This can be beneficial for those with arthritis who have a hard tome with hand-crank weed grinders.

Best Weed Grinders 101 - High End Weed Grinders -
Best Weed Grinders 101 - Electric Weed Grinders -

Styles of weed grinders

The sheer number of styles in weed grinder design make finding the perfect model more complex. In essence, the styles of weed grinders can be boiled down to a few specific types.

There are compact grinders as well as hand grinders in two or more pieces. There are cool combo grinder/bottles for all-in-one action, and even fancy power grinders with electric motivation. They all grind weed, but there are differences beyond that base line.

Card herb shredders

Standard round herb grinders can be bulky to carry and have lids that may not lock, making portability less than lacking. So, for a grind on the go, keep this cool card in your wallet.

Made to tuck away inside a billfold’s credit card slot, card shredders go anywhere you go. They can be made of plastic or metal and have various configurations to shred a bud like butter on a box grater. It’s an excellent emergency setup when stashed with rolling papers.

Best Weed Grinders 101 - G-Card Weed Shredder -
Best Weed Grinders 101 - Mendo Mulcher Weed Grinder -

2-piece herb grinder

Everyday herb grinders, adorning every smoke shop like colorful gems in countless window cases, start at the easiest 2-piece model. Plain and simple, there’s a lid and a base. Both have grinding teeth of some sort.

This model simply grinds weed to the coarse texture determined by the spacing and number of teeth. It’s the easiest to use and understand, but there’s a lot of waste going on with a 2-piece herb grinder if you are into saving kief for later use.

3-piece herb grinders

A 3-piece herb grinder comes with an additional chamber to collect perfectly-sizes shreds of herb. These grinders have the top (with teeth), a center chamber (also with teeth) that has precise diameter holes in its floor, and a base that collects the ground material once shred.

A 3-piece weed grinder creates a more uniform size shred of weed than does a two piece. It’s the exact size holes on the center chamber that make this happen. Once organic matter has been ground small enough, it falls through to the collection chamber.

While a precise grind is great, there’s still a lot more to weed that is going astray with a 3-piece herb grinder.

Best Weed Grinders 101 - Sweet Tooth Weed Grinders -
Best Weed Grinders 101 - Santa Cruz Shredder -

4-piece herb grinders

When you add a fourth chamber to a weed grinder, it’s used to collect the powerful kief that comes with kind bud. This prized powder, once the gooey trichomes on the living cannabis plant, will easily go astray like dust in the wind without this additional chamber.

With a 4-piece herb grinder, there’s a top and center section, both with teeth, and holes in the chamber floor. Those holes allow perfectly-sized pieces of weed to fall through once ground down by the teeth. The grinding process loosens the kief, which also falls to the collection area.

Also in the collection chamber is a screen that allows the kief powder to fall through to the kief chamber, but no other organic matter. So, it’s pure terpenes- the stuff hash is made of.

5-piece herb grinders

The 5-piece herb grinder is similar to the 4-piece in that it is made for kief collection. The difference between the two is an extra screen, even finer than the first, to separate that terpene-rich dust into two levels of kief, clean and dirty.

It’s the second chamber, at the lowest level, that has the finest screen, allowing only pure terpenes through for clean kief. Above that, in the first kief chamber, there’s a wider screen that allows bigger pieces of ‘dirty kief,’ or terpenes plus a fine level of organic matter.

The rest of the 5-piece herb grinder is the same as regular grinders- top and grinding chambers with teeth, and holes which allow uniformly ground weed to fall through.

Best Weed Grinders 101 - 5-Piece Grinder -
Best Weed Grinders 101 - Medtainers Grinders -

Grinder Bottles

Novelty grinders have crossed over to the world of full functionality. What had been a plastic pill container was crossed with a cap and lid and built-in grinder teeth. It’s a two-in-one storage/grinder tool that travels well, comes in multiple colors and is recyclable or disposable.

Electric herb grinders

Electric herb grinders have been around for a while. Today, the power of the motor and the battery life of DC models make this line of tools more viable than ever. There are also AC models that plug into the wall and even USB models for on the go charging.

The main issue with electric grinders today is power. Unless there’s a built-in way to let weed of a certain size leave the cutting chamber, it’s very easy to overdo the cut. Overgrinding weed is easy to do when the power comes at the press of a button.

The best electric herb grinders today account for weed waste with various ways to avoid overgrinding. This is especially helpful for large amounts of herb to grind on a regular basis.

Best Weed Grinders 101 - Electric Grinders -
Best Weed Grinders 101 - Myster Stashtray -

So What Are The Best Weed Grinders? 

An herb grinder reduces waste while keeping everything contained, right down to the smallest particle of powder. But not all grinders are created equal because of the materials used in the tool’s construction.

Weed grinders come in price ranges cheap to investment grade primarily because of the materials used. While budget does play a part in your selection, there are some materials universally ranked better than others.

Wooden herb grinders

There are countless cheap wooden or bamboo herb grinders sold and others more high end. On hte low end, these are usually imported from China or India for dirt-cheap prices. Most wooden herb grinders have bamboo, wood or metal rods as grinding teeth which can break easily.

Cheap wooden herb grinders are more of a novelty than a serious choice to an optimum grind. These grinders are a good choice for those who have an aversion to plastic and metals though. As long as the amount of herb ground is kept small, the cheap devices can do the trick.

Best Weed Grinders 101 - Wooden Weed Grinder -

Composite herb grinders

Another thing to note about materials used for weed grinders is composites. You can find a metal herb grinder with a beautiful wood body for the best of both worlds.

Best Weed Grinders 101 - Marley Natural Wooden Grinder -

Plastic herb grinders

Another entry into the cheap herb grinders section of the smoke shop are those plastic models created from acrylic. These are easily mass produced in multiple, clear and opaque colors. Teeth are usually diamond shaped and do a reasonably good job of shredding.

The main negative about plastic herb grinders is the ability to easily break teeth. It could even happen in tiny fragments, contaminating the ground weed with plastic shards. Most experienced smokers invest a little more in their grinder than plastic.

Plastic herb grinders, being inexpensive, can be a good choice for temporary-use situations. Don’t think you can travel aboard a plane with plastic because there are also usually molybdenum magnets which will set off metal detectors.

Best Weed Grinders 101 - Acrylic Herb Grinders -
Best Weed Grinders 101 - Croc Crusher -

Metal weed grinders

Metal herb grinders are among the longest lasting models available. You can find all manner of alloys including anodized aluminum for phenomenal color, stainless steel for incredible durability and even titanium for maximum financial waste.

Don’t be fooled- you can make anodized aluminum any color (even gold!), including multicolor.

Best Weed Grinders in Mind

The humble weed grinder is the single most important tool in your smoking arsenal. It creates the perfect consistency for flower to burn. This is true for all manner of smoking including cones, blunts, joints, hand pipes, one hitters, bongs and beyond.

Investing a bit more today can save the smoker money in the long run. The best weed grinder is not only a model that fits your budget today, but could benefit your bud budget tomorrow too. 

The Keeper
$ 14.99
Buddy Christ Grinder
$ 24.99$ 12.49
Wooden Grinder Jar
$ 160.00$ 149.99
KLIP Grinder
$ 179.00
4 Piece Grinder
$ 25.00$ 22.50
Stashtray Bundle
$ 249.00$ 169.00
50mm Aluminum Grinder
$ 19.99$ 11.99