All About Grinders

If you’re a veteran cannabis smoker you’ve likely used many grinders in your day, but the novice cannabis smokers may be wondering why you even need a grinder in the first place. Grinders are relatively common cannabis paraphernalia, they can be bought at pretty much any smoke shop. Alternatively, they can be purchased online if there are no smoke shops in your area. While some grinders have the dual purpose of catching kief as well, the majority of grinders serve a single function: to break your cannabis up into the perfect smokeable material.

We’ve all been there, trying to break up dense buds by hand to roll a joint and by the time you’ve got it rolled and lit you realize it’s just not going to smoke. Using ground cannabis as opposed to cannabis broken up by hand will improve your chances of getting a quality, smokeable joint. In general, ground bud simply hits better, smoother and harder, than its traditional counterpart. There are many different styles of grinders, from grinding cards and single stage grinders all the way up to multi-stage grinders. In this article, I’ll cover all of the most commonly used grinder types.

Grinder cards are approximately the size of a credit card and will typically go for $5 to $20 depending on the brand, quality, and design. They are essentially cheese graters for weed, or in other words, a weed grater. They are used in the exact same fashion, simply press your cannabis into the metal grate and apply friction. In my experience they work decently well, if done properly you should be left with a more or less semi-consistent pile of ground cannabis.

Single stage cannabis grinders (also called two piece grinders) are my personal favorite when it comes to grinding paraphernalia. Essentially, there is only one compartment wherein cannabis is placed, ground and retrieved. To do so, simply take the top off, insert what cannabis you want ground up, put the top back on, and then twist until there is very little resistence. When you first start grinding your cannabis, it will be relatively hard to turn the top, but as the cannabis particles become smaller, the top becomes easier and easier to turn. Once it feels like it’s done, take the top off and empty the cannabis onto a table. Pretty simple and easy to use, single stage grinders typically cost anywhere between $10-$40 depending on the quality.

Two stage grinders, also known as three piece grinders, work in essentially the same way as a single stage grinder. The only difference being the cannabis falls through holes in the first stage and is then instead retrieved from a secondary bottom compartment. Because the cannabis has to fall through certain sized holes to reach the bottom compartment, two stage grinders are often thought to have more consistency in the ground material overall.

Three stage grinders (often called four piece grinders) have a unique function that the other grinders seem to lack, they have a kief catcher. In three stage grinders, the bottom of the second stage is typically a screen, this allows tiny cannabis particles to be slowly collected. After grinding weed in a single grinder for a couple of weeks, when you look at the third stage there should be a layer of these miniature cannabis particles. This is often referred to as kief. Kief is typically considered stronger than average cannabis, some hash is essentially just pressed kief.

There are some benefits to using a multi stage grinder that allows you to collect kief and ensure the consistency of your ground herb. But, sometimes you just want to quickly grind up some bud and get on your way. Ultimately it’s up to you to decide which type of grinder you will prefer.


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