What is a grinder?

For the uninitiated, a grinder is a tool used to grind buds into a finer consistency for a more even and efficient burn. Usually, herbs are ground down for rolling joints, spliffs, and blunts, but can also be done for packing bowls in bongs and pipes. 

In this article, you'll learn about the benefits of using a weed grinder and how to choose the best grinder. We'll also offer some pro tips for getting the most out of your herb grinder.

What are the benefits of using an herb grinder?

For one, using a grinder can save you some time by making it quicker and easier to break down your herbs. This is especially true for medicinal patients who have arthritic issues since grinders make the task of grinding so much easier.

Also, using an herb grinder can also help preserve the potency of your material, since the natural oils of your fingers can knock off those precious trichomes if you handle them too much.

Finally, although you may not necessarily need a grinder to break your herbs, using one decreases the likelihood of clogging your pipe, and allows you to use the flower more efficiently since the material will burn more evenly.

Types of grinders

As the cannabis industry evolves over time, so do the tools we use to make our experience easier and more enjoyable. Today, grinders come in many different shapes and sizes.

They are usually circular, resembling a puck, and can be made out of a variety of materials:

  • Metal — expensive, but durable 
  • Acrylic — cheap grinder, but fragile
  • Wood — organic, but hard to clean

Furthermore, grinders can also come in two, three, and four piece variations.

Two Piece Grinders

2 piece herb grinder

If you are looking for simplicity in a grinder, the two piece grinder is likely your best bet. With a two piece grinder, both the top and bottom pieces have teeth, but neither side has holes for the ground herbs to exit from. This means that you have to tap your herbs out from between the teeth.

Three Piece Grinders

3 piece herb grinder

Three Piece Grinders are made up of a lid, grinding section, and a collection section. The middle section has holes for the ground herb to exit out into the third compartment, which is a chamber that collects the herb once it has been ground up. 


Four Piece Grinders4 piece herb grinder

Four piece grinders have a lid, grinding section, collection section, and a final compartment with a filtration screen for collecting kief. Kief refers to the potent, tiny trichomes covering the cannabis plant’s surface.

Aside from how many pieces they can have, grinders can also be either manual or automatic.

Manual Grinders

Manual grinders require a little bit of elbow grease to use. They can be an excellent way to achieve amazing grind quality while saving a bit of money compared to an equivalent electric model.

Automatic Grinders

An electric weed grinder can provide a less physical experience. However, convenience points are reduced by the fact that it needs to remain plugged in or charged. Either way, these auto grinders make the grinder process very easy.

Also read our - How to choose a herb grinder?

How to buy the best herb grinder

Grinders are readily available both online and at pretty much any smoke shop or head shop. Although a lot of the time, they are sold as “herb” or “spice” grinders, making them fully legal and available from everyday retailers. 

Before you purchase a new grinder, it is important to understand what separates the best from the rest. Here are a few important factors to consider when looking for a new grinder:

  • Tooth Count
  • Customer Reviews
  • Trusted Brand
  • Durability
  • Number of Chambers
  • Material
  • Seal

One of the most popular types of grinder is the four piece metal grinder, since metal is durable and many smokers enjoy reaping the benefits of their collected kief.

Tips for using a grinder

  • Avoid placing your buds in the center of the grinder, as this is where the magnet is situated.
  • Be sure not to overfill your grinder. 
  • Grind your material up for about 10 rotations, or until all of your bud has fallen through the holes into the grinder bottom. 
  • Once you have some kief collected, add some to the top of your next bowl for some added potency.
  • To clean your grinder, soak it in a small container of isopropyl alcohol for a few hours. Follow that up with a thorough rinse with soap and water. 
  • To get a finer grind, remove the kief chamber, turn the grinder upside down, and then reattach the kief chamber after grinding.


An herb grinder is one of the most useful accessories any cannabis enthusiast can have.

They enable smokers to get the most out of their dry herbs. Whether you are rolling up, packing a bowl into your bong or pipe, a consistent grind is essential for the best smoke.

Herb grinders come in many shapes and sizes and are a worthwhile investment for anyone who wants potent, consistent sessions. Not to mention getting the opportunity to collect kief for an extra boost of trichomes.

People also ask (FAQ)

Are aluminum herb grinders safe?

If they are made from anodized aluminum, yes, they are safe. This is the same material used in cooking materials like pans, pots, plates, and more. Overall, it is considered by the FDA to be safe for use in storing and cooking of food, meaning it is also safe for things like grinding and storing herbs.

How fine should I grind my herb?

This question really comes down to personal preference. If you are grinding up your herbs for a joint, blunt, pipe, or bong, then you just want to make sure that you don't grind your materials to a powdery consistency, since herbs that are too fine can inhibit airflow. For vaping or edibles, however, many users usually prefer it to be finely ground.