If you’ve made the decision to start using portable vaporizers or you’re already a “vaping pro” on-the-go, you’re going to need to know how to find the best herb grinder that is going to work for you. With so many different makes, models, shapes and sizes, you want to make sure you choose one that is quality made and provides consistent results.
So, without any further ado, let’s get to the business.
What is a Grinder?
An herb grinder is just a “Yo-Yo looking” device that folks use to simply “grind” their material.
The most popular grinders comes in 2 and 4 pieces.
The main difference between these two is that the 4 piece has a the chamber where your material gets collected. Personally, I like the 4 piece models because it keeps the material inside and prevents me from having to dump the herbs out onto something like a tray, some paper, etc, but both work equally as well, so it’s totally up to your preference.
Regardless of which one you choose though, the process is the same.
The are 2 halves (a top and a bottom) that come apart by twisting. On each one of those halves, there are sharp teeth (or “pegs”) that align with each other to grind up the material you put inside.
How to Use a Grinder
- Put your your material in the top piece.
- Twist that bad boy 5-10 times until the crunching stops.
- Tap it on the side a few times while it’s still closed to loosen up any stuck material.
- Make sure the bottom part of the grinder is in your hand before you open it.
- Carefully turn it over and pour out your herbs.
- Tap it to get any excess material out. (If some is stuck in there, don’t worry – just close it up and grind a few more times and tap the pieces together to get it loose)
Benefits of Using a Grinder
- Makes your material more potent. By grinding up your herbs into smaller, more consistent pieces, you’ll be able to maximize the surface area and will give you an even burn. Another thing to consider is that when you use your fingers to grind your material up, your fingers actually soak up important enzymes that reduce the potency of whatever you are wanting to vape.
- Better aroma and taste. When you use a grinder, you open up a whole new side of the herb you have never seen before. Surprisingly, many chefs use grinders and vaporizers to accentuate the the essence of the flavors.
- You’ll save money. Since grinding your material makes it more potent, you’ll be using less of it and get the same, if better, effects.
- It’s faster. Grinding literally takes half the time it takes to grind it up by hand.
- Extra pollen. Some grinders have catchers built into them. For medical cannabis users, trichomes are the purest and most potent part of the cannabis plant. What will happen is that every time you grind your material, the pollen or trichomes will settle into the catcher and you can use this extra material to add to your already ground herbs for some extra kick.
Different Types of Grinders
When looking for the best herb grinder, you will have more than enough options to choose from, but honestly, only a few of them are worth it. Some stack up, but others are junk and can be harmful to you.
In short, here’s what I think.
- Titanium. You get what you pay for. 🙂
- Wood. Some wooden grinders have a finish inside of them that can make you sick, so watch out. They also have to be replaced more often. 🙂
- Aluminum. Probably the most common material that grinders are made out of. 🙂
- Electric. Elbow grease is better. 🙁
- Hand Crank. I found that you don’t have as much control with these types of grinders, so I’m not really a fan. 🙁
- Acrylic/Plastic. Not my cup of tea. Lots of them are cheaply made and pieces of the grinder can get caught in your herbs, which you’ll end up vaping afterwards. 🙁
- No Grinder. The equivalent of taking away your mobile phone – it’s just not the same after you’ve used a good grinder. 🙁
Top 3 Herb Grinders
After playing around with so many the past few years, I see myself going back to a handful of them time and time again for a reason – they are quality made and give me consistent grind results .
Like I said before, there are lots of imitators out there claiming to make the best herb grinder, but honestly, they don’t stack up the quality and consistent results that I get from the ones I use on a regular basis.
Unlike my other more in-depth reviews, you have to understand that these are grinders and it’s not rocket science how they work, so I am going to mostly focus on the pros and cons as well as a few tips when using them.
Here are the top 3 that I recommend you check out:
Space Case Grinder
Quick rundown. The Space Case is one of the better known grinders in the market. It is made out of aluminum and is coated in titanium.What’s neat about it is that Space Case the same piece of aluminum that makes it turn really smooth which is important because you don’t want a clunky grind. The teeth on it are really friggin’ sharp and give you an awesome even and consistent grind. You can either get this in a 2-piece or a 4-piece, however the 4-piece is what I use.
What I like. You can grind, store, and keep the pollen from your grind in the bottom of it. It also has a magnetic lid which is great because it’ll snap shut as your grinding.
What I don’t like. If there was anything I’d have to say I wasn’t a fan of, it would probably be the price. It’s definitely a higher end grinder, but it’s a good investment that you’ll have for years to come.
PV-Pro Tip. Avoid putting your material in the middle. Circle your herbs around the inside of the grinding piece.
Santa Cruz Shredder
Quick rundown. The Santa Cruz grinder is a 4-piece grinder that is also made out of anodized aluminium as well. It has a hell of magnet on it (Neodymium Diametrically Magnetized Cylindrical Rare Earth) which keeps whatever your grinding fresh-to-death.
What I like. The teeth on it cut both ways which gives you a really fluffy grind. They also use aerospace anodizing which is super sanitary. I also like that you can get a really small one (1.6mm) which makes it even more discreet. This unit also has a magnetic piece that will help seal and keep your herbs robust.
What I don’t like. Again, it would have to be price. It’s cheaper than the Space Case, but it’s still up there.
PV-Pro Tip. Use it “upside-down” so the material stays in with teeth. Take apart the two sections with teeth and fill the lid with your material. Then use the second section as the “top”. This will give you an even finder grind.
Magic-Flight Finishing Grinder
Quick rundown. This one’s a real quality wooden grinder and at almost half the price tag of the other 2. It works like a cheese grater in the sense that you drop in your material and start turning it while the grinds fall out underneath. So that you don’t make a mess, it’s a good idea to have something ready to catch your herbs.
What I like. The craftsmanship is top notch and I really like the feel of it. It’s also a very reasonable price. Here’s a cool video showing you how Magic Flight makes the Finishing Grinder:
What I don’t like. Since this is made of wood, material does collect around the edges more than the other 2 which can become “sticky” and harder to clean. Also, it’s not the best herb grinder on-the-go since you need to have something to catch the material in. In addition, it can get a little slippery at times while turning it.
PV-Pro Tip. If you already using the Magic Flight Launch Box (MFLB), it fits right in the trench which is pretty neat. Also if you want a powder-like grind, you can use your normal grinder and then pour that grind into this one afterwards.
So Who Wins?
Even though the Space Case Grinder is considered by many to be the best herb grinder, the Santa Cruz Shredder takes the prize. It makes all your grounds fluffy, is super durable, made with really high end materials, provides consistent grinding, and doesn’t hurt your wallet as much.
My experience has been that with cheaper products (regardless of what you buy), your “take-home” price will be less, but it may cost you more in the long run since you may have to buy more of the same. If you don’t want to spend a lot, you can look around and find some cheaper models starting around the $5 mark, but at the end, you’re going to get what you pay for.