Nov 20 , 2018
If you know anything about how to smoke weed with a pipe, then you ought to know that first you gotta grind your pot leaf before you can pack your pipe and blaze away! Inquiring aspiring cannasseurs and novice pot smokers are going to want to know how to grind weed by hand, how to use a 4-piece grinder, where to buy a weed grinder and how much is a grinder – this is the place where we are gonna attempt to answer all your weed grinding questions! We’ll also give you a rundown on the best of the best weed grinders, the best weed grinders for kief, where to find cheap herb grinders, how to make a weed grinder, and all about cleaning weed grinders. The marijuana grinder is as essential a tool to a pot smoker as the lighter! So, you’re probably going to want to know how to grind weed by hand, unless you buy yourself an electric herb grinder – but even an electric herb grinder has parts that you’ll want to understand when you assemble, use and clean your own pot grinder.
(Marijuana nugs in a weed grinder, image from Stoned Alone 4 Days on Instagram)
Why Grind Your Weed
Marijuana has to be shredded or ground so that it burns better; finely ground ganja exposes more of the THC crystals or trichomes to the heat source during combustion and thus gets you higher, giving you more potent effects from whatever cannabis strain you are smoking or vaping – the finer the cut, the more THC is released. Also, ground weed fits in your weed bowl or dry weed vape chamber better. Yes, you can grind weed without a grinder simply by tearing nugs of cannabis flower apart with your fingers. But that is a pretty inefficient way, because you end up burning big chunks in your weed bowl, ashing the outside while the inside is unburned, and when you tear up your buds of marijuana all the cannabinoid-laden resin and kief get all over your oily fingers – that’s THC you aren’t smoking (however, you can rub your fingers together until the resin balls up and grows as it collects more resin, making hash!
How Weed Grinders Work
Whether it's an extra-large herb grinder or a small herb grinder, all 420 grinders work basically the same: All pot grinders tend to have 4 main parts - a grinding chamber, jagged teeth or sharp pegs to do the actual grinding, a screen to separate kief from leaf, and ofttimes , a magnetic cover to keep it all contained! Marijuana grinders generally fall under the categories of two-piece (or single chamber), three-piece (or double-chambered), or four-piece (triple-chambered) herb grinders – there are even deluxe 6 piece grinder sets that are basically a 2-piece and 4-piece grinder sold together (presumably you use the smaller pot grinder when you are in a hurry, and the big weed grinder when you want a more finer cut, maybe with higher-end cannabis strains).
Whatever kind of weed grinder you have, using it is fairly easy - although twisting some grinders by hand, when you have a lot of weed to grind (say a quarter ounce or more for decarboxylation) or if you have to hand-grind stemmy plant material can be a lot of physical exertion!
1) Taking the top off your marijuana grinder, the first thing you want to do is tear up the weed some as you place the pieces in the grinding chamber between the teeth.
2) Replace the cover; at this point you either twist the top and bottom of the weed grinder in different directions, turn a handle on the top of the grinder, or press the start/power button for an electric herb grinder to chop your weed into smokable shreds.
3) Grind until the fine ganja pieces fall through the holes between the blades and into the catch chamber below – unless it’s a two-piece pot grinder, in which case you just pluck the weed from between the teeth - and you then just put the fresh ground and fluffed weed into your pipe to smoke.
4) One component that many herb grinders have is a bottom compartment for collecting THC-rich kief that falls off the cannabis buds as they are being ground. It takes a while, days or weeks depending upon the rate of your grinding for cannabis consumption, to accumulate any sizable amount of kief; but when you do, most pot grinders come with a handy little whisk broom to sweep out the powdery kief from the grinder kief catcher. The kief can then be sprinkled over your pipe weed to increase its potency, or pressed into hash.
(Grinder kief catcher in a Space Case herb grinder, image from Big News Farms on Instagram)
5) Smoke some of your weed, then store the rest in an airtight container, in a dark, cool place. By the way, if you want to know how to fluff weed (actually refluff the weed that was ground and fluffed previously before you stored it), that is rehydrate dried-out weed for a better, smoother burn when you blaze, here are a couple of things to try: put a damp paper towel, wrapped in aluminum foil that has holes poked into it, in with your nugs – they should fluff or rehydrate in a couple of hours; placing orange peels in with your weed for an hour or two also works! Try not to leave weed in your herb grinder, because it will dry out.
Here's a vid reviewing the same info about how to use a weed grinder, detailing the parts of the grinder:
That is about it when it comes to how to grind weed by hand, but if you use your marijuana grinder a lot then after a while it will eventually get gummed up with kief and resin and so you are going to need tips on cleaning weed grinder pieces.
(Wood weed grinders, image from Green Leef Global on Instagram)
Cleaning Your Weed Grinder:
Clean pot grinder teeth move better and are sharper so they grind your grass far better! Also, in two-part twist grinders, the halves slide better against each other when you move them back and forth if they are clean. You want the best performance out of your weed grinder, so keep it clean!
1) Disassemble your weed grinder, remove any leftover weed by scraping the parts with a nail or some sturdy wire.
2) Fill a large, airtight glass container with 91% isopropyl alcohol.
3) Submerge your herb grinder's pieces in the alcohol-filled airtight glass container and seal the lid.
4) Gently shake the glass container to loosen any remaining bits of old weed, set the jar aside and wait ten minutes, letting your weed grinder pieces soak.
5) After you remove your herb grinder from the alcohol-filled airtight glass container, scrub away any remaining resin or material with a cotton swab or washcloth dipped in the same alcohol you soaked the grinder in. For those who have an herb grinder with a kief-collecting metal mesh screen, you can gently scrub the strainer screen clean of leftover pot plant material with a tooth brush or baby bottle brush.
6) Let your weed grinder dry in your dish drainer until completely dry and then reassemble so that it is ready to grind your ganja again!
Here is a vid about cleaning your weed grinder:
(Pill bottle homemade grinder, image from Officially Baked Azzz Bro on Instagram)
How to Make a Weed Grinder (or How to Grind Your Weed Without a Grinder):
If you don’t have a weed grinder, you have two options: buy one or make one – we’ll cover the first option next, but let’s look at how to make a weed grinder or how to do without.
1) You can cobble together basically the same design as commercially-available cylindrical herb grinders; your homemade pot grinder can be made from two cutoff plastic cylinders (made from the bottoms of two plastic drink bottles, a plastic lid and container or something similar) that fit inside one another so that you have a grinding chamber. Then perforate each half with nails or woodscrews so that the sharp points poke through into the inner compartment space between the plastic cylinders – these will be the teeth that will shred your pot, so make sure the nails or woodscrews are able to pass by each other when you twist the two pieces to grind the buds. Use a hot glue gun or superglue to affix the nails or woodscrews solidly in place. Viola – a quick, easy and cheap herb grinder!
Other ways to grind your weed without a grinder:
2) The old coin in a pill bottle trick is probably the most basic homemade weed grinder. You just take an empty prescription bottle, put in a nug or two of weed and a quarter into the pill bottle, cap it and shake it all about. The careening coin mulches your marijuana as it bounces around inside the bottle. The coin and pill bottle are about as cheap and simply effective a pot grinder as you can make!
In this vid a ganja girl uses a penny and a dispensary prescription bottle to do the same thing:
3) Use something similar to an herb grinder like a coffee grinder or vegetable shredder to grind up your cannabis nugs. Just put them in the grind chamber, like you would coffee or whatever normally goes inside, cap the thing, flip the switch and let the device hum away, grinding your weed!
4) Scissors and a shot glass also work as cheap herb grinders, just shred your buds with a pair of scissors and use the shot glass or a small jar or something to catch the shreds!
5) Yes, you can just pull apart the cannabis flower with your fingers, but again, some of the cannabinoid-rich kief can stick to your fingers, so not the ideal!
(Weed grinders with turn crank handle, image from New Joy Hemp on Instagram)
Let’s go Shopping for a Weed Grinder
Two popular places where you can buy a weed grinder are at offline headshops (marijuana dispensaries sometimes also have a limited inventory of things like herb grinders and weed pipes) and online. How much is a grinder? Cheap herb grinders, the two-part twist kind, can be had for as little as $10-12 at a brick-and-mortar store and around $15 online at eBay or Amazon. Obviously, the more parts, the more screens and chambers that a pot grinder has, the more it will likely cost. Your least expensive marijuana grinders are going to be an aluminum herb grinder, simple twist-to-operate lettuce shredders, whereas electronic weed grinders will cost a lot more – simple economics, the more parts and the more it costs to make the more you will pay for it! If you want the one of the best grinders for kief, or the best herb grinder for a vaporizer, then you’re going to want something with a screen and a grinder kief catcher compartment; if you don’t care so much about kief, but want a quick and easy grinder for on-the-go, then a simple two-piece twist grinder may be ideal. Your own budget may also dictate what pot grinder you buy, simpler ones can be as cheap as $10-15 USD, a decent electric grinder will run $25-$40 USD but the most expensive weed grinder – a Phoenician Grinder solid-gold herb grinder – costs a mind-boggling $1500 USD, so you better save your allowance for that one!
(Mendo Mulcher weed grinder, image from 420 Edc on Instagram)
Now, Here is a Listing of Some of the Best Weed Grinders in the World:
1) The Santa Cruz Shredder (also known as the Santa Cruz Crusher) 4-piece anodized aluminum herb grinder has unusual sharp 4-point blades, or teeth, and is a good basic grinder with an extra fine stainless steel screen that allows the powdery cannabis trichomes to fall through into the grinder kief catcher. The grinder teeth cut multiple ways; that is how to fluff weed for optimal burning! Santa Cruz uses “Medical-Grade Ultrasonic Cleansing procedures,” to remove all traces of contaminants like dust, dirt, and toxic chemicals from their product before it is shipped. The Santa Cruz Shredder herb grinder retails for $54.40 from the manufacturer.
2) The 2.5 inch Sharpstone grinder has a hand crank on top for easier pot grinding and is made of heavy duty aircraft billet aluminum with a magnetic lid and sharp, durable diamond teeth that fine grind your ganja. The stainless-steel screen allows for only the finest kief to fall to the bottom grinder kief catcher. Sharpstone grinders come in an assortment of sizes, pieces and colors. The 2.5 inch Sharpstone grinder with the hand crank has four sections and costs $39.95 on the manufacturer’s website.
3) The Zip Grinder Mega Crusher is a 2.5 diameter x 3.5 inch high herb grinder that is twice the size of most grinders, with a giant clear storage chamber that holds about 6 heaping tablespoons of weed. Just think of the extra kief in the grinder kief catcher from grinding six tablespoons of weed! Zip Grinders come in a variety of colors, designs, and number of pieces per weed grinder; Zip Grinders have easy to turn precision glide rings for ease in twisting, combined with 49 diamond-shaped sharp teeth to shred your green goodness consistently and smoothly. The Zip Grinder Mega Crusher can be bought directly from Zip Grinder itself for a mere $21.95.
4) The Black Tie Pot Grinder is fashioned from a single piece of shiny black anodized aluminum alloy, has a grinding chamber with no less than 50 diamond-shaped super-sharp teeth or blades, has extra strong neodymium magnets to hold all the pieces together, comes in a fancy velvety carrying pouch, and has a fine metal kief straining screen, plus two scrapers or brushes to sweep out the rounded bottom of its grinder kief catcher. There is also a pink weed grinder for the ladies, or anyone else who likes pink. Black Tie marijuana grinders also come with a 100% money-back guarantee if you’re not completely satisfied! The Black Tie herb grinder sells for $24.99.
5) Death Star Weed Grinder – Remember up top in the title of this blog article we said ‘No. 5 Will Blow You Away’? Well, if you saw the original Star Wars movie, then you know that there is a line that Han Solo says in the movie: ‘That’s what I'm trying to tell you, kid. [The planet Alderaan] ain't there. It's been totally blown away.’ Thus THIS novelty idea, and movie-tie in, for a weed grinder! You can even smoke Death Star cannabis strain in it! The Death Star is a sturdy small herb grinder that is a very discreet 1 ½ inches in diameter, made from aluminum, and has a small grinder kief catcher in the bottom. The Death Star pot grinder sells for $9.50 with free shipping on Amazon.
If you’re more into anime and manga than sci-fi, then there’s the Pokémon Pokéball Weed Grinder also on Amazon, for $7.99 with free shipping. Either of these would definitely fall under the category of cool weed grinder!
(Death Star herb grinder, image from Groovy Grinders on Instagram)
6) Then there’s the Mendocino Mulcher, or Mendo Mulcher grinder, which is a 2-piece or 4-piece marijuana grinder made in Mendocino, California. The manufacturer of the Mulcher grinder has been in the herb grinder biz for 20 years. The Mendo Mulcher grinder has more than 88 teeth, twice the blades of a typical weed grinder, and they’re constructed out of billet aluminum on a CNC machine for exacting design precision. The Mendocino Mulcher grinder has a metallic finish that resists fingerprints and scratches, and the grinder comes with a full lifetime warranty! The Mulcher grinder is available in 2-piece models for as low as $14.45 and in a 4-piece pot grinder that costs up to $60.35 from the manufacturer.
7) The 2.5" Kannastör 4-piece Herb Grinder Jar in jet black features a 60 monofilament, stainless steel easy change screen on the bottom of its transparent middle section, over the grinder kief catcher. That makes the Kannastör shredder among the best kief grinders out there! The Kannastör 4-piece herb grinder comes in a matte black finish made from 61/60 anodized food grade aluminum and is available from the Kannastör brand web site for $54; Kannastör also makes smaller, less expensive marijuana grinders.
8) Space Case makes a 3 ½ inch wide by 1 ¼ inch tall 2-piece grinder that, while it lacks a grinder kief catcher, it is as simple and easy a way to grind weed as you could have. The Space grinder is made with top of the line aerospace aluminum and is renowned for being strong and durable; Space Case herb grinders are the kind you’ll have around forever because they never wear out! The 2-piece Space Case marijuana grinder is sold for $30.74.
9) The Golden Gate grinder is a 4-part herb grinder with a grinder kief catcher and is purported to be the best weed grinder on Amazon, with over 2,000 customers’ favorable Golden Gate grinder reviews. Made from heavy duty materials and no plastic parts, the Golden Gate grinder is available in small herb grinder, medium and extra-large herb grinder sizes and in a variety of colored finishes. The Golden Gate grinder 4-part herb grinder with grinder kief catcher retails for $19.95 and is eligible for Amazon Prime FREE 2-Day Shipping!
10) Platinum Grinders herb grinder with grinder kief catcher is a precision milled, aircraft quality aluminum herb grinder with scratch-resistant matte black anodized finish and has a reputation for extra toughness, durability and quality. It has 49 blades or grinder teeth for optimum shredding, a thin poly o-ring for smoother grinding with less friction, the stainless steel mesh screen filters fine kief dust down into the grinder kief catcher – and there is the usual kief brush included. The Platinum Grinders herb grinder is held together by powerful neodymium magnets for outstanding closure, odor control and freshness. A Platinum Grinders herb grinder will run you $16.99 with free shipping on Amazon.
(Portable pot grinder pens, image from 4M Smoke Shop on Instagram)
11) An excellent powered pot grinder is the Herbagrind GX electric herb grinder pen dispenser which is compact, portable and rechargeable; at the touch of a single button, your marijuana leaf will be mulched by stainless steel blades whirring around at 24,000 revolutions per minute! The Herbagrind GX electric herb grinder pen not only grinds your weed, but you can store it and dispense it directly into a joint, weed bowl, or into a dry leaf vape chamber. The electric herb grinder pen comes with an AC adapter and can be used 600 times when its rechargeable lithium ion battery is fully charged. The pocket-sized Herbagrind GX electric herb grinder is covered by Amazon's 100% money-back guarantee, and costs $45 with free shipping.
So, you can’t say we weren’t thorough when it comes to explaining how to grind weed by hand, how to use a four-piece grinder, how to go about cleaning weed grinder parts, how to make a weed grinder yourself or how to grind weed without a grinder, and where to buy a weed grinder. You can go with cheap weed grinders that will certainly get the job done well-enough, or you can spend a bit more money on a 6-piece grinder set or maybe an electric herb grinder. You can get a pink weed grinder or a matte black one, you can get an aluminum herb grinder or overspend on a Phoenician Grinder solid-gold herb grinder; you can pick up a basic small herb grinder for under $10 or splurge on an extra-large herb grinder. Most pot grinders have a grinder kief catcher at the bottom that collects the pollen from the shredded cannabis, and most of them have mesh screens that sift the cannabinoid-laden trichomes from the plant leaf. We have given you a list of the best weed grinders in the world to pick out your own cool weed grinder! Now it is time to go forth, patient reader and seeker of weedformation, into the weed wide world and find yourself the pot grinder that is right for you and your budget (none of us are likely to be buying the $1500 Phoenician Grinder anytime, soon); once you have grinder in hand, mulch some marijuana in your herb grinder, pack your fluffy weed in a weed pipe and smoke down like a boss!
Lastly, here is a video review of the Santa Cruz Shredder weed grinder:
Researched and written by David and Leah Kaye Weathers.
|David and Leah Kaye Weathers are a freelance cannabis writing and graphic designing husband and wife team from Lansing, Michigan. They are passionate advocates for medical and recreational cannabis legalization in the United States. They enjoy not only smoking and vaping, or dabbing, marijuana but also cooking with weed infused veggie oil. They like to spend their free time wandering along nature trails in search of the perfectly chillaxing spot for a smoke sesh.|
(Cover image: Marijuana herb grinders, image courtesy of Zocostore Antofa Chile on Instagram)