(Last Updated On: March 6, 2017)

Coffee with cream and sugar sounds pretty simple, right?

Some people can’t drink coffee without it.

Same goes for Vapes and Grinders.  

Yes, you read that right…

For those who love to vape, they must have the right herb grinder along side it.

It is next to impossible to get a good taste of your vapor if you use your hands to cut it.

Not only is this messy, it just doesn’t match up to the vaping experience when you have a good herb grinder.

No matter what kind of vaporizer you use, the absence of herb grinders can only make vaping half as fun.

Don’t even try to deny it.

It is just as important to have the best herb grinder that can turn the herbs in its finer form. It helps vaporizers to easily and quickly turn your material into vapor when grounded in small pieces.

If you are careful about your choice of a vaporizer, the same should be applied whenever you are going to invest in a herb grinder.

It should be safe, non-toxic, and not to mention, efficient.

It should also be durable and fits your attitude towards vaping.

Question:

Are you the type who vapes a good amount of herbs in one sitting with friends? Or maybe, you keep a small stash with you when vaping outside the house?

So, yes these are things that can affect your choice of herb grinder.

All of this can get quite intimidating fast.

So we have simplified everything for you, and put together all you need to know when investing in a new herb grinder.

All you need to do, is lay back, get comfy and keep scrolling!

If you have no time, and you are simply looking for the best weed grinder, check our complete guide for the best weed grinders on the market. 

So let’s get down to business. 

What is a weed grinder?

A herb grinder is a device used to churn and chop tobacco, marijuana, herbs and other small materials used for vaping.

Depending on the manufacturer, it can be anywhere from 1 to 3 compartments. Usual materials used on herb grinders include metal, acrylic, or wood.

Just imagine. 

Before the commercially available herb grinders, people used to rely on scissors or their hands to manually grind the herbs into small pieces.

With the help of herb grinders, preparing the material for vaping or smoking has become more efficient and less messy.

If you are somewhat new to the world of vaping with no idea which herb grinder to choose or what exactly should you be looking for It can get confusing at times, simply because there are so many grinders available on the market today.

Different Grinder Materials

There are different grinder materials that you’ll commonly see from different manufacturers.

But what you have to know is that material plays a major role in your vaping experience.

Think about it. 

Could you imagine using a toxic material on your herb grinder?

Let me take a wild guess. You won’t. 

Here are some of the most common options that you can go for in terms of grinder material.

Wood Grinder

Wood Grinder - Buying weed grinder guide

Wood is the type of material that is probably hardest to construct.

Typically hand-made, there are not a lot of wood herb grinders in the market due to the fact that it is harder to carve wood than make grinders from metal or acrylic. From a business standpoint, it is hard to mass produce this type of herb grinder.
A lot of people prefer wood over other materials because of the feel that it gives.

It has a more natural appeal which makes it a great choice for those who love organic materials.

Unfortunately, One disadvantage of wood is that it is typically a one compartment grinder. Thus you may not enjoy kief when you choose a wooden herb grinder. In addition to this, it has varnish that can potentially mix in your herbs.

Metal Grinder

Metal Grinder - Buying weed grinder guide

Let’s face it:

Metallic grinders are becoming popular today.

There are two types of metals typically used for herb grinders.

It can either be aluminum or titanium.

In most cases, a lot of products are made of aluminum but are titanium coated.

Most products that have this kind of construction have been advertised as ”titanium” grinders. The most common reason is to justify the higher price tag on the item.

Is aluminum a safe material?

It is possible that manufacturers are looking to get away from the negative connotation and the wrong impression that aluminum received over the years.

If you find some aluminum material flaking left, it is suggested that you simply brush it off.

So why is aluminum safe?

For starters, the melting point of aluminum is at 660°C, and the boiling point is at 2519°C. No amount of lighter or vaporizer can ever melt or boil this material and go to your lungs. Though it is true that you could be seeing metal shavings in your grinder, this can be rare, and you can just shake it off.

Acrylic

Acrylic Grinder - Buying weed grinder guide

Another material commonly used on grinders is acrylic.

It is another material, just like aluminum, that is frequently misunderstood.

A lot of vaping enthusiasts fear that acrylic is dangerous for our health. In reality, acrylic is a safe material since its melting point is at 1000°C and its boiling point is at 1,977°C.

Acrylic material is also known for its durability. However, if you’ll rate acrylic in comparison to other materials used on herb grinders, this is the least durable of them all.

Acrylic grinders are the ones that usually break about wood and metal. And this is the reason why it is also usually the cheapest.

Electric Herb Grinder

Electric herb grinder solves the common problem when it comes to messy dry herbs.

These devices are battery-powered and compact, and can even grind up to three grams of you material at a time.

It is usually a mix of different materials. Some electric herb grinder makes use of an acrylic container and metallic teeth.

Grinder type

There are different types of grinders based on the number of compartments and its design.

Here are the typical grinders that you’ll see in the market.

2 piece grinders

grinder 2 piece - Buying weed grinder guide

Otherwise known as 1 compartment herb grinders, this kind of herb grinder has one compartment which the herb is both retrieved and grounded.

The problem that you’ll typically encounter with a 2 piece grinder is the inconsistency of size.

Another common problem is that retrieving your herb can be quite difficult since the teeth are in the way.

You also can’t get to separate the kief if you are going to opt for the 2 piece grinders.

3 piece grinders

grinder 3 piece - Buying weed grinder guide

The three-piece grinder or a two-piece compartment grinder has the same grinding compartment as the typical 2 piece grinders.

There are holes that allow small herbs to fall down into the second compartment. And because of this design, you have consistent herbs that you can collect.

4 piece grinders

grinder 4 piece - Buying weed grinder guide

Another option is the four-piece grinders.

This type of grinder has three compartments. It works the same as the 3-piece grinder in collecting herbs.

The third compartment is then made for pollen or kief.

It also goes with a screen to allow a specific size of the residue to pass through the kief collecting chamber.

Herb grinder teeth

One of the things that dictate the ground result is the teeth of your grinder.

Let me explain. 

As rule of thumb, the more teeth that you get from your herb grinder, the better it is. More teeth give finer results, which means better vaping experience.

The best ones in the market have around 50 teeth for a 2.5” diameter grinder. Aside from the number of teeth, it is equally important to take a look at the shape of the teeth.

The shape allows the grinder to churn the herbs into small bits efficiently. Herb grinder teeth shape ranges from square to long narrow ones.

However, based on the number of products that we’ve reviewed, we recommend the diamond shaped grinder teeth if you are quite picky about the consistency of the output.

It also matters if how the teeth are positioned. If the teeth are evenly placed throughout the grinder, then you can expect consistent results from this kind of product.

Choosing the best grinder

As mentioned above, there are many factors that you need to consider if you are planning on investing in a new herb grinder.

But there’s one small catch

A quick browse online and you’ll  get quite overwhelming with all options, especially for someone who has no experience using these tools.

If you have no time, we did all the leg work for you and you can jump right to our complete guide for the best weed grinders on the market. 

So, what are the main things you need to check in order to buy the best weed grinder?

Price

Let’s admit it.   

The first thing that you’ll most likely look into is the price of the grinders.

Vaping enthusiasts, especially casual ones are budget conscious.

Do you only plan on spending $50 on a grinder? Or maybe, you are planning to go for the high-end ones at the $100 range?

It’s simple. 

As rule of thumb, the more expensive grinders get, the longer these items last.

In addition to this, you’ll get to enjoy more if you stick with the more expensive ones because it usually comes with more compartments and a includes a kief catcher.

However, don’t be frustrated if you can’t spend on the high-end ones.

You’ll be surprised to see some great herb grinders around $20 to $40 that will meet your requirements.

Keep in mind that the price shouldn’t be the only thing that you have to check.

Always ask yourself if you are getting the best value for your money. Always look at reviews in order to judge other important aspects of a grinder.

Manual or electric?

Because of the advancement in technology, there are herb grinders that operate using batteries.

It results typically to a finer output than manually operated herb grinders. It can also give you fast results since all you need to do is to press the device.

Keep in mind that electric versions can be quite expensive. Also, you have to consider the fact that it needs batteries to operate.

In addition to this, since there are more moving parts, we can hypothesize that electric versions don’t last as long as the manual herb grinders since they are difficult to clean.

If it’s a long-term investment that you are looking for, it is a good idea that you stick to the manual options.

Size and capacity

Is the grinder handy?

You want to take a closer look at the measurement of the herb grinder to determine if it is travel-friendly.

If you are the type of vaping enthusiast who loves portable vaporizers, might as well keep a handy herb grinder that you can rely on. This gives you the chance to grind your herbs on the go.

On the other hand, if you are the type who loves to enjoy long periods of vaping sessions, you’ll need a large grinder that can accommodate a good amount of herbs for every batch.

Performance

The ideal results should be consistent, smooth, and broken down into small pieces enough to be vaped.

It is important that you read the reviews for the past experiences of other users.

Do the grind herbs small enough to be vaped or smoked smoothly?

The teeth of the grinder will most likely dictate the quality of the output.

High-quality grinders have evenly distributed diamond shaped teeth that can efficiently grind down herbs of different sizes that go inside the device.

Keep in mind 

The type of grind the grinder provides it is very important.

If you are using the grinder for your vaporizer, you need one type of grinder but if you using it for your joint you need a different one.

You may wonder why?

It is very important to know what you will end up using the grinder for. If you are looking for a fine grind, then there are some great options. For me though since I prefer the medium grind I choose to go with the Mama P’s. Simply the best grinder in my opinion.

It is also a good idea that you check the extras.

Does it have a magnetic lid?

The magnetic Lid ensures that your herb stays in place when you are grinding them down. Though not every grinder has a magnet, it is always a good idea to stick to options that have them.
Apart from the output, you also want to check the compartment.

Does it have a compartment that collects the kief?

If it does, you want to check the availability of the mesh screens that goes with the herb grinder.

Typically, you get to see mesh wires labeled 40, 60, 80, and 100.

What exactly do these numbers stand for?

A 40 mesh screen means that it has 40 wire threads per inch. Typically, it allows materials that are 420 microns and smaller to pass.
If you prefer to make resins and oils, you’d most likely stick to 100 mesh screens.

Other than that, you’d want to stick to either 40 or 60 mesh screens.

Quality

Next, it is just as important to check the quality of the herb grinder’s material.

Is it made of metal, acrylic, or maybe wood?

What are the usual pros and cons that you have to understand for each material?

For instance, is it made of titanium?

Is it titanium or was just advertised as such in order to have a hefty price tag?

If you are looking to buy a grinder made of wood, you also want to consider the fact that it has varnish that can mix with your material.

Make sure that you know the durability of each device.

If you opt to choose acrylic, for instance, just be open to the possibility that it could break sooner than other types of herb grinder.

Maintenance

To get the best results for your herbs, you will need to make sure that you also clean the device after every use.

It is important that the material of the herb grinder can be cleaned using isopropyl alcohol or by common cleaners at home.

An ideal herb grinder should also be able to tolerate cleaning methods to continuously provide the best output.

Does it include a cleaning tool?

If it doesn’t have a cleaning tool that goes with it, you can make use of a toothbrush.

You also have to evaluate the wear and tear on the screen.

If you are the type who collects the kief, it is a good idea that you check the physical appearance of the screen every now and then.

This is especially true if you are picky with the strains that you use. If you’re using high-grade cannabis, expect the screen to be a bit stickier. Therefore you will need to replace it regularly.

Replacement parts

There are instances when you need to replace the screen of your herb grinder.

It is important that the manufacturer of your herb grinder has some replacement parts that you can use. You don’t want to end up buying a new herb grinder now and then, especially if you paid a lot of money it.

Warranty

A lot of times, people forget about the importance of warranty on products that they purchase.

If you plan on buying herb grinders, you also want to know if the manufacturer is confident with the product it is selling. If it doesn’t go with a warranty, maybe, you want to do more research and check the reviews.

What is Kief and how you collect it

How do you collect the kief?

If you are a serious cannabis connoisseur with a very particular taste about the things you vape, you’ll most likely be interested with the kief. Kief is the loose pollen crystal that is considered a byproduct of grinding herbs.

In order to collect kief efficiently, you’ll first need to invest in a 4-piece grinder that has a kief catcher by the bottom.

The two-piece grinders will not be able to collect the residue of the plant matter the same way as the more expensive 4 piece grinders.

How does it work?

Once the teeth of the herb grinder churn on the herbs repeatedly, it breaks up the buds and falls into the screen. The screen then filters the material. Depending on the mesh screen that you are using, you can collect different sizes of kief.

The best time to collect the kief is when you are about to clean the device.

During this time, you want to maximize the residue of the herbs that gets stuck in the different parts of the grinder. Toothpick, brush, or gift cards can be a good way to scrap the material into a piece of paper.

Make sure that you also pay close attention to areas where the material can get stuck.

The edges and the teeth are the usual places that you might miss out.

The screen may also contain some residues that haven’t reached the lowest compartment of the grinder. Using a clean toothbrush, you can start collecting the residues on a clean paper.

How to clean your grinder

So, now that you have purchased your very own weed grinder it’s time to clean it.

You should always make sure that you follow proper maintenance in order to ensure that everything is going to work well.

Don’t be surprised if you need to clean your weed grinder on a regular basis, especially if you are using high-grade herbs that can get a bit sticky.

Cleaning your grinder could be a hassle, not to mention electric parts. However, regular cleaning gets you the desired and expected consistency in the ground herbs.

It also prolongs the life of your weed grinder and makes sure that all the parts stay operational the way it is supposed to be.

If you don’t clean it frequently enough, the resin will eventually get so sticky that it wont turn smoothly.

To make it easier for you, we gather some useful tips that you can us to make sure your herb grinder is clean and in the best shape possible.

So check these out:

Use a toothbrush

First, you want to disassemble the herb grinder.

If it involves electronic parts, it is best that you take the electronic parts off.

Next, if you have a herb grinder that collects kief, it is best that you take it out first.

Get a paper towel and brush off the kief into the towel.

There will be some kief stuck in between the teeth of your herb grinder.

Brush it off until there’s no noticeable material in between the teeth of your device.

If you don’t like using a toothbrush, you can also choose to experiment with different materials including a mascara brush, or a paint brush.

Try to see which brush gets into the groove of your herb grinder well.

Scraping tool

If you are worried about damaging the herb grinder when getting rid of the gunk in your herb grinder, it is a good idea that you use scraping tools along with your brush.

Once you’ve disassembled the grinder as described above, you can use an old ATM card or gift card to get rid of the hard to remove residues on your device.

You want to collect it in a paper towel still. But of course, keep in mind that this isn’t going to give your grinder the deep cleaning it needs especially after quite some time.

Put the grinder in the freezer

Yup, it’s not a mistake.

If you think that using a brush takes a lot of effort to maximize the retrieval of your kief, try putting the grinder inside the freezer for an hour.

After an hour, you can take the grinder out and just tap the grinder to knock the frozen kief into a paper towel.

You’ll notice how easy the buildup falls off.

Clean using ordinary cleaning solutions

The most effective cleaning tools for you herb grinder can be found in your kitchen.

You can make use of the common dishwashing soap mixed with 50% water to get the job done.

All you need to do is to soak your herb grinder for a night.

The next day, you can rinse it with warm water, and then wipe it dry.

Another great solution that you can use to clean your herb grinder is to make use of isopropyl alcohol.

Isopropyl alcohol can get rid of the weed gunk that gets stuck in your device.

If you are going to use alcohol regularly, keep in mind that it can weaken the acrylic material. However, the use of alcohol occasionally can be a good thing.

Use of boiling water

Boiling water can help get rid of the stiff material that gets stuck in between the teeth of your herb grinder.

Once you’ve removed the pieces of your grinder, just soak the material in boiling water for around 10 minutes.

Remember:

You should be extra careful though since this can burn your skin.

After ten minutes, you can take out the boiling water and just place warm water to rinse out the parts of your grinder.

Next, you can proceed by scrubbing the device using a brush.

Cleaning/replacing the screen

If you are cleaning the screen, make sure that you are extra careful with it.

If you see it already worn out, it is the time to replace it with a new one.

Cleaning the screen, you simply need to make use of a brush to get rid of the entire residue that gets stuck in it.

Follow the maintenance tips of the manufacturer

If you are cleaning the herb grinder, keep in mind that different materials may have different reactions to the cleaning methods that we’ve posted.

There’s a chance that wood and acrylic may get damaged when exposed to alcohol.

And your aluminum gets scrapped off when you use harsh cleaning solutions and scraping tools. It is always a good idea that you read the manufacturer’s maintenance tips.

To Sum Up

Getting the right herb grinder shouldn’t be too hard.

The choice is yours. 

Yes, there are many types of herb grinders available in the market, but you shouldn’t be confused on which one to pick. You can read more about the best weed grinder here.

Given the number of options, you’ll find the right one that meets your preference as a vaping enthusiast.

Whether you are the type who loves to vape on the go or make oils from the kief, there’s the perfect for you.

Having the right knowledge of herb grinder’s characteristics can lead you towards the best product that is the right fit for you.

So there you have it.

Now it’s time to use all this knowledge to get your new weed grinder.

Do you still have any question about weed grinder? still feel confused? 

Comment below and let’s us know! 

Written by The Smokazon Team

Smokazon is a group of enthusiasts, advocates and connoisseurs of the digital age. We’re here to help you achieve that ultra-lifestyle with our product reviews, feature articles and anything you need to know in the vaping world. But enough about us. Let’s talk about you. We’re here to make your vaping experience a little bit better.