When first getting into cannabis, there are a lot of questions about everything from slang to weed technology. One of the oldest tools in the weed smokers belt is the weed grinder. Grinders are super easy to get a hold of and make rolling joints or blunts (and even smoking bowls!) way more enjoyable.
There’s a pretty big variety of styles and functionality when it comes to cannabis grinders, so let’s cover the basics and then get to the details.
What is a Weed Grinder?
If it seems pretty simple, that is because it is. A weed grinder is a device that pulverizes flower cannabis down into little bits so it’s aerated easily and smokes more evenly. When first starting out, and with the lack of a grinder, most people just break up weed with their fingers. But, if you are rolling a lot of blunts or doobs, this can get annoying. The grinder speeds up the process, gets a more even grind, and sometimes allows you to collect kief.
Varieties of Marijuana Grinders
It’s sort of surprising how many styles of weed grinders there are, from the very simple to the big overkill beasts. But realistically, there are only a couple type of styles.
First of all, grinders are almost always made out of plastic, wood, or metal. Unless you have some really exotic grinder. Most of the following styles can be made in a combination of those materials:
The card grinder is a relatively new style. It looks similar to a credit card and works similarly to a cheese grater. You run the weed over the perforated surface and it breaks the weed up. One of the nice things about a card grinder is portability. You can slip these card weed grinders into your wallet and have one on you at any time.
Whole card grinders are great for portability, they are not our preference if you are at home and have access to any grinder. Another note is to be careful with card grinders, as they can be very sharp.
Single Chamber Weed Grinder
The single chamber weed grinder is the old school staple of pulverizing cannabis. These grinders are the least desirable, simply because you are not generating any kief! One of the best things about using a grinder regularly is generating those delicious piles of kief.
3 Piece Weed Grinder
A 3 piece grinder is where you really start to get into the quality cannabis grinders. The same grinding piece as a single chamber, but has holes for weed to drop through onto a screen. The screen allows for trichomes to fall into the 3rd piece, collecting kief.
4 Piece Weed Grinder
A 4 piece grinder is basically the same thing as a 3 pieces, although the screen gets its own chamber. The first chamber grinds the weed, which then falls through to the second chamber once grinded. Once in the second chamber, there is a fine mesh screen that allows for kief to fall through. The third chamber collects the kief so you can use it later to sprinkle on your joints and bowls like delicious magic fairy dust.
5 Piece Weed Grinder
A 5 piece grinder is nearly identical to a 4 piece, except there is another mesh screen chamber. Usually a 4 piece grinder will let through a little bit of plant material in your kief. With a finer screen in another chamber, this allows for a kief catcher that is more like pure hash and only trichomes.
How to Use a Marijuana Grinder
Step 1: Take off the top lid. Use your fingers to break bigger buds up and place them in between the grinder’s teeth. Don’t bother putting any bud in the direct center–this is where the magnet pivots, so nothing in the center will get shredded.
Step 2: Replace the top of the grinder and give it about 10 rotations, until all the bud has fallen through the holes. You can remove the top and tap it against the grinder’s side to help loosen up any sticky pieces stuck in the teeth.
Step 3: Unscrew the chamber with the teeth to find the basket layer holding all your freshly ground cannabis. Load it into your pipe, joint, or blunt and enjoy!
Step 4: Once you’ve collected some kief in the bottom chamber, scrape some out with a piece of paper or the scraping tool provided (not all grinder purchases will include one, but they’re definitely handy). Again, you can sprinkle kief onto a bowl to make it more potent, or save it for something else. Be careful with metal scrapers, as they can scrape aluminum particulates along with your kief!
Some people like to put a weight in the kief chamber to help knock resin from the screen into the bottom dish. A cleaned penny or nickel works perfectly for this.
Grinding your weed will greatly enhance your weed smoking. Your joints will burn beautifully, your bowls will hit smoothly, and you will start smoking delicious kief. Make sure to pick up a weed grinder if it’s not already in your tool belt. If you already have a grinder, make sure to tag us on social or show us yours in the comments!