Weed Grinders: Which One’s Best for Me?

By NuggMD Team Updated October 22nd, 2022
weed grinders

Whether you’re smoking, vaping or baking, preparing your weed ahead of time is important to enjoy the full medicinal and recreational benefits of marijuana.

The process of grinding your ganja can be fast and easy, but finding the right grinder can be time consuming and overwhelming with so many options to choose from. Some are cheaper and more basic, while others are more expensive and somewhat complex.

So, how do you choose the grinder that’s right for you?

Throughout this article we’ll examine everything you need to know when it comes to grinding your cannabis: how grinders work, the benefits of using them, how to use them, and some of the best ones on the market so you can make an informed decision and buy the one that best meets your needs!

Grinder Basics

cannabis kief
Grinders with kief collectors collect trichomes in a separate chamber.

A finer and more powderized cannabis delivers a more potent high. Stems and seeds are a useless filler that contain far less THC and could even be harmful to your health, so trash them if you find them (unless you want to grow or make weed stem tea).

Grinding marijuana creates a more workable and efficient form, resulting in smoother, tastier, and more satisfying smoking experience (and an easier time making your own extracts or cooking with cannabis).

Most popular grinders are built with chambers to separate the potent, tiny trichomes from the flowers. When collected the residue is called kief, a condensed and stronger version of the plants’ beneficial compounds (namely THC). Kief can be added to pre-rolls, blunts, bongs, vapes, smoked by itself or used to make cannabutter, cannabis oil, and tinctures.

A similar principle applies to edibles, as treats made with finely ground cannabis taste better, and the cannabinoids and psychoactive ingredients are more readily absorbed by the body.

Origins of the Cannabis Grinder

cannabis grinder

In 1905 an industrial device known as the centerless grinder was introduced, creating a more efficient way of pulverizing material. Essentially, it uses wheels with abrasive teeth-like edges to grind plant-based substances.

Since then, the technology has been adapted and improved by the grinder to include special screens and multiple collection chambers, though it still utilizes the same basic principle.

You can also break up your bud manually using a variety of household utensils (knives, coffee grinders, cheese graters) to more finely powderize your pot, but a lot of the beneficial resin can get lost with these methods. Just handling marijuana will leave a lot of the precious THC resin on your fingers, while weed grinders preserve the maximum amount of resin in a powerful, powdery concentrate.

Grinder Benefits

Ground Weed Burns Better

ground cannabis in rolling paper

Finely-ground cannabis burns better than non-pulverized pot because more surface area is exposed to the flame, allowing your pipe, joint or bong hit to burn more quickly and evenly. As a result, there’s less chance of your pipe or bong clogging.

Powderized Pot Makes Tastier Edibles

cannabis edibles

Cannabis is the key ingredient in a majority of edible recipes, but the herb isn’t known for its flavor-enhancing qualities as much as its health and mind-altering benefits.

Adding ground flowers and/or kief to edible recipes minimizes the distinct marijuana taste, which most people would rather not have. Also, finely ground weed allows the cannabinoids and terpenes (like myrcene and limonene) to be more easily absorbed by whatever, butter, oil, or extract medium you are cooking with.

More Potent Cannabis

Breaking down your resin-rich bud extracts and conserves all of its psychoactive compounds into different chambers, meaning each grounded gram will deliver the most pot purity.

Greater Bang for Your Bong Hit

Each joint, bowl or bong hit packed with broken down flowers and/or kief is loaded with essential marijuana compounds that could otherwise be wasted if trying to burn the whole bud at once. So you’re getting the maximum medicinal and mind-altering benefits in every puff!

Healthier Ingesting Method

Because ground pot is “purified” in a sense, you don’t need to ingest as much of it to reap the benefits. Actually, you can smoke less and achieve better effects.

READ ALSO: Healthy Ways to Enhance the Effects of Cannabis

How to Use a Cannabis Grinder

Weed grinders are relatively simple devices and, and with a little practice, can be easy to use. Of course, different brands and models can differ greatly in quality and can offer a variety of features. Regardless of their complexity, this step-by-step guide will teach you the basic principles of how to use your grinder.

The most popular cannabis grinders consist of 4 pieces and 3 chambers:

  1. Cap (with magnetized center, which helps lock it in place when closed)
  2. Grinding chamber (where you place your weed)
  3. Top chamber (collects the ground cannabis)
  4. Bottom kief catcher (a screen that collects the fine, concentrated trichomes)

Step One

Remove the top cap. Break up your bud into smaller pieces and distribute them evenly in the grinding chamber (but avoid the magnetized center so your herb grinder will close properly). Be careful not to overfill the chamber. You’ll get better results by adding small batches at a time.

Step Two

Place the cap on the grinder then turn it side to side several times, breaking up the bud. Initially you should feel some resistance, but after several twists and turns the resistance should gradually lessen as the weed is broken up and pulverized. You’ll know you’re done when you can turn the cap without any difficulty.

Step Three

Remove the cap and the grinding chamber. If your grinder has a kief catcher, add a coin on top of any part in the upper chamber and gently shake the grinder from side to side. The weight of the coin and the gentle shaking motion will help push the kief powder down through the screen and into the lowest chamber, while still leaving your ground up buds in the top chamber.

Step Four

Remove the grinding chamber so you can access your weed that’s now been collected in the lower chamber. After extracting your ground-up bud, remove that top chamber to get access to your kief-catching chamber and save it or combine it with your ground weed.

Types of Cannabis Grinders

Dry herb grinders come in a variety of types and are made from different materials. As a general rule, most cannabis connoisseurs believe that you get what you pay for when it comes to herb grinders. Typically, inexpensive grinders range from $5 to about $20, while higher-end grinders tend to go for $30 to $90.

What are grinders made from?

Grinders can be produced from a number of materials including plastic, wood, aluminum, steel and titanium.

Generally speaking, plastic grinders are the cheapest, but can easily break, and who wants to inhale fumes from a broken grinding tooth in their stash? They’re also much more prone to leaving resin in the chamber, and typically don’t grind your buds as fine as you’d like for optimal consumption.

In contrast, titanium grinders are the most expensive but also the most durable. Aluminum grinders offer a good balance between cost and durability.

Two piece grinders offer simplicity, affordability, and maximum portability. But four-piece grinders deliver the best results. There are also electric and hand crank grinders for those who want a more interactive and entertaining experience. Whichever works best for you depends on your budget and your expectations.

Best Cannabis Grinders

Finding the ultimate weed grinder, to a large extent, depends on the particular features you’re looking for. Some people prefer no fuss models while others opt for devices that deliver the most purified powder possible. Your choice depends on the goals that matter to you.

Here’s some detailed info on a few of the most popular grinder brands that’ll help you choose one. While every product has its flaws, their reviews remained overwhelmingly positive.

Alpaca Grinder

alpaca grinder

Offers nice balance between portability, durability, and performance. It’s manufactured from aircraft-grade aluminum and treated with a protective coating that prevents resin from building up. With razor sharp teeth it grinds weed in seconds. Its rotating dispensing design makes filling a joint or bowl directly from the unit a breeze. It also sports a cap that seals in odors for maximum discretion. List Price: $69.

“This grinder will help people like me, medical patients with limited use of their hands; makes it easier to fill a pipe or vape without having to spoon product back and forth….Good design Alpaca!” —Bob B.

Chromium Crusher‍

chromium crusher grinder

A choice for users who demand reliability, toughness, and affordability. Their models are manufactured from premium material like heavy-duty zinc and CNC aluminum, yet still among the most economical grinders on the market. Their four-piece and three-chamber design makes grinding fast and easy every time. They also include a pollen scraper as a bonus so you can enjoy every last bit of your kief. List Price: $12

“I love this grinder so much, I had to purchase it again…I’ve owned this new Chromium Crusher for 4 months now and I can’t imagine life without it. Unlike other grinders that I’ve used, this one grinds my herb down to the perfect consistency…” —Josiah H.

Magic Flight Finishing Grinder

magic flight grinder

Handcrafted from woods like cherry, maple, and walnut, this smaller grinder is renowned for turning dry and/or pre-ground herb into pure powder. Not recommended for breaking up sticky, dense nugs. Works in tandem with their Launch Box portable wooden vaporizer. List Price: $35

“This [grinder] really is a great product, and it does what it claims to do…I put the ground herb into this finishing grinder to obtain an even finer leaf–works fabulously!” —Ann M.

Santa Cruz Shredder

santa cruz shredder grinder

Features medical grade aluminum and a patented tooth design that maximizes grinding capacity. The addition of a textured grip makes twisting and turning easier. Available in matte black and four other colors. Users can also choose between 2-piece, 3-piece, and 4-piece shredders.

“Let me tell you—this thing absolutely rocks. The first time I used it, the grinder effortlessly worked, so much that I thought it wasn’t actually doing its job. Needless to say, when I opened the lid and discovered that, indeed, it had completely ground up all of the substrate, I was delighted and amazed.” —Will T.

The Sharp Shredda Grinder‍

Made with anodized aircraft grade aluminum for maximum shredding strength and the ultimate in durability. It’s also designed with the needs of medical marijuana patients (particularly arthritis sufferers) in mind, making it easy to operate. This grinder also boasts a unique and easily removable pollen filtration layer to help catch the really good stuff. List price: $26

“I’ve had this brand of grinder for over a year now. Used almost daily, it has held up and even outlasted some of the higher end grinders…The threads have held without any slippage, the screen hasn’t broken, and it still cuts through herb like butter.” —Nicole H.

Space Case Grinders

space case grinder

Titanium grade grinding chambers means you can pulverize the toughest weed without ever having to worry about broken grinder teeth. List Price (Titanium 4-piece unit): $75

“The best grinder, hands down. I bought a small Space Case back in college and paid a ton for it, but it’s lasted me nearly 20 years…this thing is perfect. It grinds and grinds and grinds, fits well in your hand, and is everything a grinder should be.” —Ed D.

SLX Herb Grinders

slx herb grinders

The SLX 2.0 grinder is made with the absolute highest grade of aircraft aluminum and a nano-ceramic coating, reducing friction and resin buildup so you get a great grind every time. List Price: $60

“This Grinder is perfect for getting a fine grind on all of your herbs. The non-stick advertisement is definitely true, I’ve been using it for more than a month and there’s no evidence in the upper grind chamber. The lift-out collection chamber works great, you don’t lose the powder in the ridges on the side anymore.” —Emily C.

Where to Buy a Cannabis Grinder

Where can I buy a grinder? Herb grinders can be used to break up cannabis, tobacco, and cooking herbs, so there aren’t any age or legal restrictions to sell or purchase them. You can find them at smoke shops, medical marijuana dispensaries, online retailers, and directly from manufacturer websites.

Popular sources for weed grinders include:

  • Amazon
  • Dank Stop
  • Grasscity
  • Etsy
  • Ebay
  • Smoke Cartel

And if you’re looking for the actual cannabis products (flower) to go in your grinder, Nugg’s online delivery marketplace is the largest in California and gives you instant access to countless cannabis strains, edibles, drinkables, vapes, and other cannabis products close to you.

Additionally, NuggMD is the cheapest place to get your medical marijuana card online, and members get $20 off their first purchase from GetNugg! All you need is an internet connection and Nugg will help you find reliable dispensaries in your area that will deliver products directly to your home in less than an hour. You can order online without ever picking up the phone, and in most cases can even track your driver all the way to your doorstep!

Or make the cannabis shopping experience even easier with Nugg Club’s members only cannabis marketplace.

The information in this article and any included images or charts are for educational purposes only. This information is neither a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional legal advice or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about laws, regulations, or your health, you should always consult with an attorney, physician or other licensed professional.

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