A weed grinder's power is not to be underestimated. They have the power to preserve your herb and transform your smoking experience from decent to great. Without the best weed grinder, you're looking at dirty smoke, losing precious kief, and wasting your favorite blend. But what herb grinder works best with your Hydroponique pipe? And what the best weed grinder for your budget?
For all those smokers looking to invest in a new, great product, this list is for you. Please keep in mind that we are not affiliated with any of the products on this list. It was written from the heart, from the coolest silicone bong company in town.
What Is a Grinder
New to the world of 420 and wondering what exactly a grinder does and what kinds there are? Don't worry, we won't tell anyone. For starters, it's important to know that these unique tools, otherwise called an herb grinder, are typically cylinders with two halves. They include sharp teeth designed to break up your blend, i.e. shred it. Usually, they're metal, plastic or wooden, though we're partial to metal options as they're more durable and less wasteful.
The main objective of using one of these tools is to shred your herb in a such a way that makes it easier to roll a joint or pack a bowl. It also makes your smoking experience more pleasurable by producing evenly ground herb. This will help it burn slower, last longer, and deliver a more even high.
Different Parts of a Weed Grinder
Though these tools may accomplish the same goal, they can vary in design complexity. Your typical herb grinder will have two halves that fit together. However, they can be much more complex than that.
Another common component is a mesh screen. This helps you sift your pollen (or kief) into another part of your device, the catch tray, which ultimately collects your kief. The number and thickness of mesh screens differ between models, as does the size and design of catch trays. For instance, someone who enjoys their herb (and their kief) at home may prefer a larger catch tray and a larger sized grinder in general. Attending a music festival? You might be more interested in a model with a smaller diameter and less interested in carrying around three mesh trays.
The following elements are some of the most common that you'll see in the best weed grinder:
- Top and bottom cylindrical parts
- Teeth of varying thickness and design to break up your herb
- A mesh screen to sift kief
- A catch tray to catch sifted kief for later use
4 Weed Grinder Types
In the world of cannabis, these tools are generally divided based on their number of components. Usually, they have two, three or four parts.
- Two-piece designs are simple and only have one chamber. We think of this as a starter design: Great for beginners and for someone not ready for an investment, but far from ideal for anyone looking for a smooth grind or to collect their kief (which you absolutely should).
- Three Piece alternatives have, as their name would suggest, three parts that create two chambers: One for grinding and one for kief. They do not offer the same storage as a four-piece model, but at least you have a way to store your pollen for later use. They can also be great travel sizes.
- Four Piece models are made of four pieces and have three chambers. Those who consume their fair amount of herb typically opt for a four-piece model because it allows them extra storage and makes the process of grinding easier. Not all four-piece models are large, though they, of course, err on the of being larger than two-piece designs. They are typically slightly more expensive and more challenging to clean.
- A wood grinder, though usually made of two pieces, though they're often categorized on their own. The advantage of a wooden design is that it's eye-catching. Beyond that, a high-quality wooden model won't affect the quality of your blend (look out for varnishes and other additives you may not want).
What to Avoid: Plastic Grinders
Plastic grinder models are usually also two pieces and are typically the cheapest ones you can find. We would not list a plastic model as one of the "best weed grinder products" on the market because if you drop one, the teeth may warp. They are also typically poorly designed, meaning that a piece of material or paint could find its way into your blend. Beyond that, a cheap plastic grinder is designed as a consumable (i.e. it ultimately ends up in a landfill). Not cool.
Why Finding the Best Weed Grinder Matters
You might be thinking, all this is well and good, but what does my weed grinder matter anyway? A veteran herbal enthusiast will tell you that not only will a cheap grinder break, but you need to grind your weed to work with your preferred smoking method, read: a dry herb vape versus a bong versus a joint.
Beyond that, you can actually end up wasting a lot of your precious herb without the best weed grinder — or even with a sub-par model. There are other added issues like a bad design that may open in your bag (a magnetic lid is always good) or offer little ability to clean or functionality in general.
Here are a few reasons why it's a good idea to invest in the best weed grinder.
Grind Your Herb for Your Smoking Method
No matter your smoking method, a great shred is crucial for full enjoyment of your blend's flavor, aroma, and strength. This is because, by breaking up your herb, you're increasing its surface area. This makes it all that more potent when exposed to a flame. Not only is it more fun, but it helps you save your precious herb for later use.
Beyond that, your herb should be ground to cater to your specific smoking method. In other words, if you smoke a joint or blunt, you want your herb to be evenly ground. If you smoke from a vape, this is even more important as its being exposed to convection and hot air, not an open flame.
The best way to smoke your water pipe is to produce evenly ground, fluffy herb. This means not completely packing it down in the bowl. Though using a grinder for a bong is the least imperative compared to other smoking methods (another reason why water pipes are great), it's still the best way to feel the effects of your herb the most -- and get the smoothest, tastiest hit.
A Bad Weed Grinder Will Waste. A Lot.
You won't realize how much of your precious stash you're waisting until you invest in the best weed grinder. Herb will get caught in a sub-par model and kief won't be stored, so you lose those precious and potent trichomes.
Even worse is when you break it up with your hands. Though we've all done it (we confess), you have no idea how many trichomes are getting on your fingers and not in your bowl. This means wasting the flavor of terpenes and the potency of THC, CBD and other cannabinoids. Additionally, you can never get that ever shred with your fingers or scissors — and would waste a lot of time trying.
If you're outdoors or hotboxing a car, as you should be, you can't be breaking up herb with your hands or scissors. Carrying a compact and versatile grinder is a great way to take your smoking session outside.
4 Best Weed Grinder Options in 2020
Okay, so I need one. Which one should I actually choose? Fear not, we got together and make the consummate list of our favorite models for this year, ranging from 2 to three-part options and stressing great craftsmanship. We also gave priority to American-made models. We know from our own experience making our bongs in America that quality and material oversight is a lot more intense in the U.S. This generally translates to better, more durable products. Here are the best weed grinder options on the market in 2020, according to us, the experts.
Santa Cruz Shredder
Price: $54 for a 4-piece model
Our favorite weed grinder on the market in 2020, the Santa Cruz Shredder is the industry gold standard. That's not without effort: This patented weed grinder design features super-strong teeth that are guaranteed to last a lifetime. They are engineered to "fluff" rather than smash and damage, your herb.
Not only does it work well, but they've chosen quality in every respect: the Santa Cruz shredder uses Medical-Grade Ultrasonic Cleansing procedures to expel contaminants, ISO certified magnets, non-fraying steel sifting, and is scratch-resistant. That's a lot of capability and quality packed into one weed grinder.
Why We Love It: Unsurpassed quality, shredding engineering, and attention to detail. Built for delivering perfectly fluffed herb during a lifetime of intense use.
Price: $89 for a 4-piece model
Made from aerospace aluminum and including a lifetime manufacturer warranty, the Cali Crusher is designed to perfection in San Diego, California. This is one of the best weed grinder models of 2020 because it combines premium quality ingredients and American engineering with user-friendliness: It's designed to make it easy to scoop your pollen with your finger.
Why We Love It: If you love your kief, this is the herb grinder for you. The Cali Crusher's bottom catch chamber is two times larger than the average model. We also love the smooth exterior design and are all about its smooth, effortless shredding technology.
Price: $75 for a small 4-piece model
Another amazing American-made tool, the Space Case takes it one step further with American milled aluminum and a kick-ass aluminum tooth design. In other words, its teeth have been engineered to continually push the herb towards this weed grinder's center. Fun fact: They also use strong and environmentally friendly magnets.
Why We Love It: Made by a machinist in San Clemente, California, the Space Case is another awesome example of American-engineering, attention to detail, and premium materials. It also offers a lifetime warranty so keep on grinding.
SLX Herb Grinder
Price: $59.99 for a three-piece model
The SLYX is all about reducing friction: That means saying goodbye to waster herb and enjoying all the flower and resin you can. Not only is this an amazing way to experience the potency and flavor of your blend, but it cuts down on cleaning time, too.
And the SLX keeps innovating: They've re-designed their sifter by getting rid of its threads. This prevents pollen from getting stuck on the backside of the screen when you empty your grinder (a problem we never thought of, but now that we know we're obsessed).
Why We Love It: The SLX makes the life of a smoker effortless thanks to their attention to detail. Another recent innovation: The SLX has changed its teeth design to produce even fluffier herb ideal for smooth burning in your glass. They also have a pocket appropriate size too, for when you want to travel with the best weed grinder.
The Best Weed Grinder Models of 2020
There has never been a better time to invest in this essential tool for your herb. By our assessment, the best ones are made from aluminum and pay special attention to the little things: This translates to well-designed teeth, upgraded sifting technology, and sleek, effortless design.