If you’re on the smoking of vaping scene then you have probably come across dry herb grinders. Grinding herbs to vape is a must. Regardless of the vaporizer you use, a good grinder will vastly improve your vaping or smoking experience. Grinders make your dry herbs nice and fine, which will always work better than coarser herbs. Essentially, grinders cause you to have minimal wastage and more consistent textures too! Even if your herbs are high quality, you will not get optimum results if it’s not ground properly.
Grinders simplify and speed up the separating of dry herbs. When pulling herbs apart with your fingers, pollen and other plant components can stick to your fingers and therefore reduce the potency of your hit. When the herbs are ground, they can be packed in more tightly which means that there’s less oxygen mixed in. This, in turn, means it burns much less before you start to inhale. The larger surface area means there’s even more vaporization. You can therefore control the speed in which it burns much more easily. The even heating will improve the flavour with every draw. If you’re using a bubbler or water pipe, your herbs are also conserved much more too. Furthermore, a grinder can be a way of transporting a small amount of your stash!
The majority of dry herb grinders are made from plastic or metal and have a minimum of two pieces that interlock: a lower chamber and an upper chamber. The upper chamber contains an assortment of sharp teeth that move opposite each other when the grinder is twisted to slice and grind up any herb that’s been placed inside. Most grinders are a circular shape as this makes for easy grinding.
The finely ground herb is then small enough to fall through the small holes between the chambers and comes to rest in the lower chamber. In a two part grinder, the bottom chamber can be used as a storage compartment too. Each brand is different in terms of the shape and number of the teeth and it really depends on your preference in terms of grinding as to which suits you best.
Most are two piece grinders but some have more chambers, with two separated by a metal mesh. The mesh screen is there to catch the pollen that comes off the herb during the grinding process. This is stored separately so that you can use it differently should you wish.
There are many different sizes of grinders. The size doesn’t change the functionality of the grinders. The larger grinders are necessarily better, it just means you can grind more herbs at once.
As you would probably expect, there are lots of different types of grinders. Most are made from metal, wood, or acrylic and they come in many different shapes and types: the basic type, electric grinders, herb presses, sifter grinders, novelty grinders and flat grinders. Let’s have a look at each in detail.
Metal dry herb grinders often have the sharpest teeth which means they are efficient grinders, maximizing the fineness of the herbs. These grinders are easy to clean and you can wash them as you would the dishes. They’re also easy to carry about in your pocket. Many people prefer metal grinders and most are made from aluminium with a few stainless steel ones. Metal herb grinders are easy to come by and therefore come in a variety of sizes and colours, with or without a Kief net (more on those later!).
Wooden dry herb grinders look beautiful and they’re renowned for their classy exteriors. The downside is that they’re not always as pocket-friendly and usually don’t come with a Kief net.
Acrylic herb grinders are a popular choice as they’re one of the most affordable designs. Acrylic is easy to mould and is still robust enough to reduce herbs to a fine powder crumb. With proper care, they can last for many years. Most don’t come with a Kief catcher, which is problematic, as Kief can get stuck to the teeth.
If you’re wanting a more relaxing approach to grinding or are feeling a bit lazy then an electric grinder is a great choice. These grinders do all the hard work! All that you have to do in put in the herbs, close the grinder and switch it on. They can grind herbs to a really fine powder in a few seconds flat! You can get metal and acrylic electric grinders or even an attachment for a vaporizer! Rather like a food processor does, the metal teeth of the electric herb grinder will pulverize the herbs to shreds. Electric grinders do the very same job as other grinders but just a hell of a lot easier and a lot faster!
A herb press, or pollen press, is a very useful tool for when you have ground your herbs and you want to compress them into an amount you can manage more easily. All you do is put the herb into the body of the press and then screw the pins tightly. The herbs are then compressed and the herbs are left in a solid shape.
Sifter grinders give a little bit more than your usual grinder. They work to filter and sift your herbs as they are ground so you only extract the most potent flavours. There is a fine screen to catch the residues as it passes through, only letting the top quality powder through to be collected. Again, these grinders are available in many materials (wood, metal and acrylic alike) and you can get them as electric grinders too.
Dry herb grinders are a practical tool but that doesn’t mean that they have to be boring. There are many novelty grinders out there that are still just as practical but a little bit of fun too. There are models in the shape of hand grenades and iconic musical or political figures too as well as ones adorned with sparkle. May your grinding never be dull again. These ones make great gifts!
Flat grinders are extremely portable and practical. These are roughly the same size as your credit card meaning that they can be kept unnoticeably in your wallet. These are mostly made from stainless steel (surgical grade) and are therefore extremely hard wearing.
You’ll have seen we’ve mentioned kief and kief nets up above. Kief is the tiny sticky crystals that are found on some plants and flowers, also known as pollen or dry sift. Kief is often found on plants to dissuade animals from eating them. This resin often has many sought-after properties for us humans and, as such, many look for a way of separating it from the herb or plant. Some grinders have an added layer or chamber to collect kief. Without one, the kief just sticks to the grinder itself and is wasted. The three chamber grinders have this added screen which will allow the kief crystals to gather in a small compartment. With some grinders you can buy a pollen scraper as an added attachment to collect kief.
Many online stores also sell grinder cleaner. As with anything, if you want a long life out of your grinder then you will need to take good care of it. Yes it’s boring, but it is essential! There are products to make it really easy for you, including cleaning greases and sprays. Remember that to get the best out of your grinder you should remove any left over herbs and residues and clean it on a regular basis. If these simple steps aren’t taken then you run the risk of compromising your herbs! Happy grinding!