Comparing the different kinds of weed grinders

Published Jul 29, 2019 11:12 a.m. ET
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Though popular marijuana products like bud flowers and concentrates are often the most talked about, you can start out with the highest quality options, but without the right tools on hand, the experience is going to be lacking something. A weed grinder is often one of the cheapest and longest lasting accessories that every cannabis enthusiast should own. Whether smoking out of bongs, pipes, joints, blunts, or prefer to dapple in marijuana edibles, the ability to achieve a perfect, even grind quickly and efficiently is necessary. This is especially true for those who prefer cannabis rolls, that just won’t burn or canoe (burn up one side), if the bud inside of them is burning at different rates.

Once you are aware of the critical role of a good marijuana grinder, the next question is usually where to begin. If you have never used one or have never thoroughly inspected one in the past, then you might not realize how many different options there are to choose from. Every cannabis grinder will complete the essential task of busting apart your bud flowers, but some also offer extra features that are well worth investing in. These handy tools can be made of many different kinds of materials and include a variety of moving parts. So, it is important to learn a little bit about what each one is capable of. Here we will touch on all the most basic marijuana grinder designs to help you better understand the results that can be achieved with using each one.

Grinder materials

Marijuana grinders can be made of one of these three materials, and each one will affect how well they perform, how long they last, and how much they are likely to cost you.

1. Steel/aluminum
The majority of weed grinders are made with heavy metals like steel or aluminum. Both of which will hold up quite well through years of use and abuse and will clean up with the help of your standard bong cleaner. The downside to this material is that it is more expensive, but they are the least likely to break and will last the longest of any other.

2. Plastic
We use plastic to make everything these days, including marijuana grinders. Unfortunately, these are the lowest quality grinders, and they do not last long term. It usually doesn’t take long to notice small pieces of plastic chipping from the “blades” and the outer casing after minor drops, but it is by far the cheapest option. So, if you find yourself in a pinch, they will work temporarily.

3. Wood
Many cannabis enthusiasts enjoy using wood weed grinders, as they absorb the natural oils of the herb that runs through it. This can influence the flavor of marijuana products that are bust apart once it is coated. The trouble is, these marijuana grinders do not clean easily; they are rare and difficult to find and are often one of the more expensive materials, despite their short-expected life span.

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Types of weed grinders

Now that you know about the various materials and how they can affect the quality of a weed grinder. It is time to move onto the most popular designs that are on the market today. Below you will find five different options, and everything that they can (and can’t) do for you.

1. Two-piece grinders
Two-piece marijuana grinders are most often used by beginner consumers for their low cost. They consist of two parts. Each one is equipped with teeth, where the bud is packed and stays once ground, which can make it difficult to retrieve all your grinds. There is also no kief catcher, but the small size of the two-piece design does offer a more compact travel size. Hence the reason why they are still the most popular option even today.

2. Three-piece grinders
Though the extra compartment most definitely adds an additional feature, this type is still considered to be a lower quality marijuana grinder. The best part about this upgrade is that you will no longer struggle with accessing your bud grind, which is collected as it gets fine enough to fall through the screen. The three-piece design includes a lid, a storage compartment, and a grinding chamber. Unfortunately, the chamber adds quite a lot for size and weight, and the only real benefit is it’s more comfortable to access herb grind, but if you can’t afford, or are intimidated by the idea of using a high-quality marijuana grinder. This is an excellent place to start.

3. Four-piece grinders
Four chamber marijuana grinders are bulkier than the designs with fewer compartments but come equipped for an authentic professional quality experience. They consist of a grinder chamber with lid and a bottom kief catcher that separates the bud grind from the pollen without reducing the quality of your marijuana products. This is perfect for keeping on hand to top up a bowl or joint for a more potent effect or making hash. While this type of weed grinder isn’t ideal for travel, as it is too large to fit inside of most pockets, it is perfect for consumers of any experience level, that want a consistent grind every single time.

4. Five-piece grinders
These marijuana grinders are more geared towards professionals, as it’s large, and its complicated design may be challenging to get used to. However, the supreme quality that comes with using one is far beyond anything most novice consumers could ever imagine. Not only are they made of supreme quality, but they also offer a perfect bud grind and all the same options that the four-piece does, with one new addition. The four-piece only has one kief catching compartment, where the five offers a secondary chamber that allows multiple sifting screens. This provides consumers with the ability to collect two different sizes of kief while keeping everything contained in one massive-sized marijuana grinder.

5. More than five pieces
If you do manage to come across a weed grinder that has more than five pieces, then chances are it will offer all of the same perks of a typical five-bit, only with extra storage.

Grinder tips

Now you have picked out a preferred material and perhaps even a favorite design, but what about the ever-important tips? The grinder blades are the portion of these tools that do the most work, so it is vital to recognize how the different shapes and coatings can help or hinder the process.

Pointed blades
These are the sharpest, longest lasting and best quality. They will slice the buds apart gently and smoothly, which will result in a nice fine weed grind.

Square blades
Square, triangle or any other non-pointed tips are much less efficient, as they tear apart the marijuana products rather than cutting them. This creates more drag, making it much more challenging to turn the device and ultimately rarely produces an even grind.

Coated blades
Many manufacturers will use some sort of coating to add a rough sandpaper-like feature that helps to do the work of busting apart hard condensed nugs with ease. Diamond coating is the most popular, but any raw edge on the teeth of your weed grinder will benefit you by making turning the pieces more comfortable.

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