Different Types of Grinders: Is There a Superior Model?
Choosing your grinder is almost important as choosing your bud and having the right type can make a huge difference. So many smokers ruin perfectly good bud by ignoring how important a good quality shredder can be. Without one, you resort to breaking buds with your hands, using scissors and knives, and even committing the mortal sin of just dropping a whole bud in and burning away.
A lot of serious smokers kick themselves after discovering how easy it is to use weed shredders to crush their herb and how much it improves their experience and the quality of their smoke.
Bottom line, If you’re not using a crusher, then you’re simply not getting the best experience or the best value from the herb you’re buying.
Just like there are certain ways of drinking fine wines, or whiskeys to fully appreciate them and studies show that using a grinder is the only way you should be preparing your marijuana if you care about the quality of your smoke. There are so many different types of grinders in the market and it quickly becomes confusing.
So, let’s cut through the hype and help you to get the right tool for the job and in the process, avoid the mistakes, so many smokers make when crushing their ganja.
How Do I Choose Between The Different Types?
There are many different types of grinders to choose from. Before we go into the details, let’s get the semantics right. You may also see them advertised as herb grinders, crushers or shredders. No matter the name, they all serve the same basic function.
However, you will find that specific materials and designs are better for certain uses than others. Before you make a purchasing decision, it is important that you understand, which type of shredder is going to suit your needs best. If you make the effort to educate yourself at this stage, you will avoid wasting time and money on a shredder that doesn’t give you the smoking experience you’re looking for.
Common Weed Grinder Materials
Let’s take a look at the different types of materials an herb crusher can be made from, as each is chosen for different reasons. For example, metal grinders are long lasting and tough, but tend to be more expensive, while wooden grinders are also on the expensive side, but far more aesthetically pleasing. There are also a range of plastic grinders, which can be a functional and cheap solution if you choose the right one. Now, let’s take a closer look at each of these materials so you can choose the best pot crusher for your bud.
1. Metal HERB GRINDERS
In my experience, metal grinders offer the best types of results and are certainly the most popular. Metal weed crushers may be more expensive than other models, but they are definitely more durable and longer lasting.
The teeth on metal pieces tend to stay sharp for longer and are less likely to come loose. Most metal pieces are made from aluminum, so although they are heavier than plastic pieces, they are still light enough and easy to carry around.
The all metal construction of these shredders makes cleaning and sterilization a breeze, so you can avoid any staining or odors. This makes metal pieces ideal for those who need to do a lot of grinding.
I would say that metal pieces are best for those smokers looking for a top quality crusher that will last. If you are the kind of person who misplaces small things like this, though, you may want to consider a cheaper option.
2. Wood WEED GRINDERS
Weed crushers made from wood are becoming increasingly popular and it is not hard to see why. The heft and feel of a wooden piece is truly unmatched. There is just something about the feel and appearance of wood that appeals to many smokers. I for one enjoy the fact that wood is a natural material. Wooden pieces are of variable quality, though, so it is important to read reviews before making a purchasing decision.
Some common problems that wood grinders face is that they can be hard to clean, as that resin and other residue can build up on wooden surfaces, impacting the efficiency of the shred. Because of this, wooden shredders are more for casual users and light use, or for smokers who don’t mind investing some time to take care of a wooden piece. In my opinion, a wooden piece is the perfect choice for casual users, or for those who really value aesthetics.
3. Plastic HERB GRINDER
One of the most popular options because they’re so affordable, shredders made of acrylic or plastic are functional and cheap. Plastic grinders are readily available, with even some gas stations stocking them.
What this means is that there is a massive variance of quality with plastic weed shredders, so it’s important to read reviews about the different types of brands. Often, the cheap grinders with subpar blades give all plastic pieces a bad name. Not all plastic pieces are cheap and nasty, though and some of the more premium brand plastic pieces can compete with the best wooden and metal pieces on the market today.
Plastic crushers can build up residue just like wooden ones. The frictional movement, in particular, the cutting blades, can become loose or dull over time because of the fragile material. Of course, there is also the risk of breakage.
Although you would have to try pretty hard to break any grinder, a plastic piece is more susceptible to damage than metal or wooden varieties. If you just want to try out using a marijuana grinder before shelling out for a more expensive model, or you are the kind of person that will lose a small device like this regularly, then this may be the best option for you.
What are the Different Sizes of Weed Grinders?
While there is a lot to know about the different types of materials shredders can be made from, there are still other factors to consider before deciding. The first thing you need to know is that there are a variety of sizes for herb crushers and they are separated by the number of parts the device has: 2 piece, 3 pieces, 4 pieces and even 5 pieces.
Two piece shredders are the entry level, as they are the cheapest and easiest to operate. Both three and four piece crushers offer extra features that enhance your smoking experience, but the trade off is a larger and more complex device. Finally, you have the five piece shredders which are really for the most serious connoisseurs.
Below, I will talk you through each of these options in detail, so that you can choose the weed shredder that best suits you. Take a look below or click here to see the best selling shredders of 2018.
2 piece chamber
The 2 piece grinder is the most common type of herb crusher for newbies, probably because they are the cheapest option and are very compact. They consist of a lid piece and a grinding chamber. The ground herb is stored in the same chamber as the blades, rather than being filtered through to a separate chamber.
These little crushers certainly don’t give the best results, but they are usually cheap and are small in size, so they’re easy to carry. You will realize as you look at other shredders, the number of pieces or chambers will increase the overall height and size. This makes two piece crushers the perfect pocket size if you need to grind up the odd bud while you are on the go. However, if you do most of your smoking at home, you will soon want a shredder that has a more complex action and that can grind larger quantities.
3 piece chamber
3 piece grinders are certainly a step up from two piece models, but still, lack the full functionality of a four piece. They consist of a lid, grinding chamber and a storage chamber. The bud is processed in the top chamber, with the ground herb falling into the bottom chamber for storage and easy access. With this setup, accessing and using your herb is far easier, as you do not have to worry about working around the blades, like you do with a two piece shredder.
The main issue smokers have with this type of crusher is that they occupy an awkward middle ground. The extra chamber increases their size and impacts portability, without offering any real improvement in quality like the four and five piece grinders do. However, if your budget is too tight for a more complex shredder, you will certainly not be disappointed with a good quality three piece crusher.
This is definitely one of the more popular types of grinders right now. Give it a shot!
4 piece chamber
Many people consider four piece shredders to be the only way to properly prepare weed. They have a lid, grinding chamber, a top chamber for catching ground bud and leaf, which is separated from the bottom chamber by a thin screen. The screen is designed to allow fine pollen, which is rich in THC, to fall through to the bottom chamber. By separating out the different parts of the bud, you can fully control your smoking experience and an exact dosage every single time.
The clear downside to these types of crushers is, of course, their size. You cannot slip a four piece into your pocket covertly, so it is not suitable for people on the move unless you tend to carry a bag with you.
Most people love this grinder, but some people like to keep it simple with a smaller crusher, however, if you are looking for a grinder to use at home, it is hard to look past a good 4 piece grinder.
5 piece chamber
Finally, we get to the real grand daddy of weed shredders, the 5 piece grinder. These types of grinders are large and feature packed, designs for the most advanced users.
Much like the four piece, there is a top chamber, followed by the chamber that catches ground plant matter. The difference is that underneath this first chamber are not one, but two chambers for catching pollen and other fine materials. Smokers who are serious about their bud love the ability to change out these mesh screens and customize the size of pollen that will be captured at each level.
As you may have guessed, these grinders are not small and are not recommended for mobile use. Furthermore, because of the large size and very complex nature of five piece grinders, they are more suited to larger quantities, rather than casual use. If you are looking for the very best and are willing to invest in your smoking experience, you can’t do better than a top quality five piece weed grinder.
Should I Go Manual Or Electric?
Now that you have an idea of what material and size you want your new weed grinder to be, you now need to consider whether to go for a manual or an electric model. Manual models work by utilizing a twisting motion, or a hand crank, while electric models do all of the work for you at the push of a button.
Electric grinders also have the benefit of being fast and you will have perfectly ground buds in just a few seconds. However, even the smallest electric grinders are not as compact as small manual crushers and you do need batteries or a power source to operate them. Fortunately, these are easily accessible. Some people who have medical conditions, especially those that affect the hands, wrist and joints find electric grinders the perfect solution.
Manual crushers on the other hand definitely take longer to get the right consistency, taking generally five to ten turns. This does, however, allow you to find the grind level that you personally prefer.
While each caters to different needs, most smokers prefer electric grinders because they’re fast, convenient and easy. Electric grinders are far better suited to stationary uses, when time is an issue and when large quantities must be ground regularly.
Custom Made Grinders
Cannabis enthusiasts can be extremely particular and when it comes it weed grinders, there are so many options to choose from, it only makes sense for this type of shopper to go for a custom made shredder.
Yes, this is a thing and it's actually really popular to do in the weed world. Some guys like to customize the size of their marijuana grinders, like having a smaller one, but having the kief mesh catcher, so that's its still portable but you get the added bonus of the kief catcher, which you usually don't see in most retail crushers.
Or you could completely customize the design of your grinder, to make it look cool AF. This is usually a popular option that stoners like to do, because what can I say...stoners like the finer things.
DIY Custom Homemade Weed Grinder
Although most smokers prefer to use commercial-grade crushers, sometimes you don’t have one at your disposal. The good news is that you can create a makeshift crusher at home in a pinch. Some classic stoner methods include:
- Coffee Grinder
- Medicine bottle and coin
- Knife and chopping board
Of course, you will not necessarily get the same results as a purpose-made crusher, but it will do in an emergency, or if you just don't have the spare cash to go out and buy a brand new one (we know this can happen).
You can check out this page that talks about how to create a makeshift DIY crusher at home in more detail.
Choosing The Right Option For You
While each of the above methods are surely workable in a pinch, they will never give the same consistent results you can expect from even the cheapest weed grinders. If you are serious about your herb, you need to look at investing in a purpose made weed grinder from a reputable online store, but in order to do that, you need to know what types of grinders are out there in the market, so you can make the right decision for you. When buying online, you get the full choice of the best weed grinders on the market and can also read in depth customer reviews that can help you to decide on the best shredder for you.
If you still want to learn more about different weed grinders, or would like to learn about where you can find the best weed grinders on the internet, have a look at our other in-depth reviews.