Whether using cannabis for medicinal or recreational purposes, there are a few things that every consumer needs – and a good grinder can be worth its weight in gold. For many people, it has become easy to take their grinder for granted. It’s even easier to become so familiar with the same grinder you’ve been using for years only to realise you might have been missing out on a whole array of alternatives that could offer a much more enjoyable experience. And then, there are those who are still opting for the most primitive method of cannabis preparation, ripping apart buds with their fingers and dealing with the mess and stickiness that goes with it.
So, we decided to put together a guide to all things grinders. We’ll be breaking down the pros and cons of your options – from the traditional to the more innovative – and listing a few of our all-time favourite grinders. Before we dive into the details and specifications of different types of grinders, let’s take a broader look at this invaluable stoner accessory.
What are grinders?
From joints and blunts to pipes and bongs, achieving the right consistency in your bud can elevate your session to a whole other level – and a good grinder is essential for doing exactly that. As you can probably guess by its name, a grinder is designed to grind down your buds into an even consistency. While this can be achieved with your hands, a grinder makes the whole process quicker, easier, and tidier – and that’s without considering the additional perks offered by some designs.
Traditional tooth grinders
There are a number of different grinder styles available, with new innovations beginning to flip tradition on its head. Yet, by far the most common style of grinder is the tooth grinder. These have become a staple in many a stoner’s kit and feature two sections, each with a number of interlocking sharp teeth that, when rotated together, break down the bud. This is the simplest style of grinder, performing one simple task: grinding your cannabis.
Of course, some designs feature more pieces, enabling you to get more varied results from your bud. For example, three-piece grinders feature not only two grinding plates but also a chamber to catch your ground bud and four-piece grinders even include a second storage chamber complete with a mesh sieve to further filter out kief. This fine trichome powder contains a high cannabinoid concentration and can be enjoyed separately or added to your joint or bowl.
If dexterity is an issue for you – don’t worry! There are lots of less labour-intensive options available, including electric grinders. These tech-driven pieces of kits make achieving an even-textured bud a walk in the park. Unlike manual grinders, electric grinders require minimal action by yourself. All you have to do is pack the device and press a button, and the motor does the rest. Then, it’s simply a case of sitting back and waiting to uncover your freshly ground buds, ready for consuming in whatever way you see fit. These grinders are particularly helpful for those with joint issues such as arthritis.
As we mentioned earlier, the vast majority of grinders feature sharp teeth designed to rip apart your whole buds into a mound of smaller particles. But in recent years, a new design has flipped this long-accepted feature on its head, doing away with teeth altogether. Instead, these grinders feature two surfaces covered in ridges that mill your bud as opposed to ripping it. This offers more control over the final consistency of your weed as fewer rotations result in a coarser texture and more rotations gives you a finer grind.
Does material matter?
In addition to the various designs available, grinders can also be made from a number of materials, from plastic to stainless steel. But does material make a difference to the final product?
By far the cheapest and easiest to replace variety of grinders are those made from plastic. They are widely available and can be bought online or in brick-and-mortar shops on your local high street. However, there are also a number of downsides that make it best to avoid plastic grinders altogether. In many cases, the manufacture of these grinders is unregulated. This can mean that non-food-grade plastics are used, making the final product potentially toxic. If not bought from a trusted manufacturer, this could mean that potentially harmful chemicals are leaking into your bud with every use as the plastic fibres shed when in use. Not something you want to be smoking.
Metal grinders are probably the most popular option when it comes to grinding buds. They are more durable, cleaner, and more attractive than their plastic counterparts which explains why they are also more expensive. From aluminium to stainless steel, these grinders also come in a wide variety of colours and shapes, so you’re sure to find one that suits you. Of course, there are other, less conventional options available, too, including glass grinders (more on this later).
So, now that we’ve covered the basics about the different kinds of grinder available, let’s take a look at some of our favourite products.
VIBES x Aerospaced 4-Part Grinder
Let’s kick off with a crowd-pleasing traditional four-piece grinder. This VIBES x Aerospaced collaboration is made from 6061 aircraft-grade aluminium and features a simple and easy-to-use design. It has been precision-engineered with razor-sharp, diamond-shaped teeth and a magnetic lid to make for a smooth and enjoyable grinding experience.
Groove RIPSTER Electric Grinder
Next up we have a budget-friendly electric grinder that makes light work of your bud and caters to all your grinding needs. This powerful grinder has a huge loading capacity (it can hold up to 10 times more than a standard grinder!) which makes it perfect for larger yields. The simplicity of the Groove RIPSTER makes grinding easier than ever for consumers with mobility or dexterity complications.
Høj KLIP [kli-p] Grinder
This award-winning grinder throws conventionality out of the window by opting for a ‘slice, don’t grind’ approach. Unlike traditional grinders, the KLIP doesn’t grind your weed at all – it slices it. Featuring dual blades, this sleek and innovative device finely slices your buds to result in a fluffier, more consistent texture. The design also helps to protect the integrity of the trichomes, the cannabis ‘crystals’ that contain most of the good stuff, making for a more potent experience.
HOUSEPLANT Glass Grinder
Perhaps the most unusual and least traditional of the grinders on this list, Seth Rogen’s HOUSEPLANT brand brings us yet another cool and stylish take on common smoking paraphernalia. This glass grinder features a toothless mechanism with smooth divots that have been carefully designed to deliver a smooth and enjoyable grinding experience. This one is not only functional, it’s pretty enough to be left out as an ornament on your coffee table.