by Michelle Stevens August 15, 2018 6 min read

What is an Herb Grinder?

An herb grinder is a smoking and vaping accessory made out of plastic, silicone, wood, or metal material with sharp teeth that are used to grind up dry herbs and other small plant material. Grinders are designed to grind herbs quickly and easily for better function in a pipe, bong, vaporizer, or when rolling a joint. Some even have compartments to store the herb and pollen catchers. An herb grinder will keep the fingertips clean and break up the larger buds into smaller, evenly ground pieces. Although the styles and sizes are endless, they all have one purpose. That purpose is to shred the material inside to an even consistency. Using a grinder is beneficial because it makes all your pieces even and smooth for better a smoking or vaping experience and you don’t lose the precious kief particles.

Dry Herb Grinder

How to Load Grinders with Herbs? 

To load the grinder, unscrew the lid and place your herb into the top chamber. Make sure you don’t overstuff the chamber because then you won’t be able to twist it properly. If you have a larger grinder, you can put in larger amounts of herb. For smaller grinders, you will have to manually break down the herb a bit with your hands before placing it into the grinder for better functionality. If the grinder has very sharp blades, you might not have to break down the herb as much beforehand. 

Some grinders need more help than others. Plastic grinders are more affordable, but the blades aren’t as sharp meaning you have to do more manual work when twisting the device and more breakdown for the herb before putting it into the device. Metal grinders are the most popular kind and tend to have the sharpest blades.

 

Hand Crank Grinder and 2 Piece Grinder

How to Grind Dry Herbs? 

When the herb is properly loaded in the top compartment, just press down and turn the top of the grinder to break down the herb or flower material. Hand cranks make it easier, but be especially careful with them so you don’t break the handle on large dense nugs. Twist and the grinder dumps all the herb before it all goes through holes into the storage compartment. Some grinder options like a 2 piece one, has nowhere for the herb to move to. With a 2 piece grinder, the herb just stays in that compartment until you take off the lid and take out your broken down pieces. Grinders with the compartment for herbs will typically give a finer grind, so it all comes down to personal preference or needs at the time.

 

There are also electric grinders and vibrating ones, we also carry these on the shop. The vibration helps optimize and increase the accumulation of herb particles during each use. An electric grinder is good because you can break down the herb with a touch of a button. You should de-stem the herb and not throw in too large of pieces for an easy breakdown. 

Kief Catch in Grinder

What is a Kief Catcher?

Kief catchers are important to not don’t lose the kief through the grinding process. Kief is also called crystal or pollen. If you were to break the herb with your hand, the kief would just stick to your fingers and be wasted. The kief catcher will catch these fine herb particles (crystal/pollen) so you can store it for later. These particles will come in handy if you are out of herb and need to roll up a little something. Just remember kief usually burns faster. Another option is to sprinkle some kief on top of a bowl or joint before rolling. 


Storing Dry Herbs in Your Grinder

If you don’t have a specific container or jar where you keep your herb, storing it in the grinder is most convenient. You will need a 4 piece grinder with the storage area. This will make it easy to store and pack when you are ready to use. 

 

Loading Dry Herb Vapes

Loading a Dry Herb Vaporizer

Glass pipes or joints may not need such a fine grind, but dry herb vapes work best with a very fine grinding of the herb. You need to finely grind down the herb so there are no little nugs. Dry herb vaporizers are the closest devices to traditional smoking that you are going to come across in the industry. Using a dry herb vaporizer is a healthier alternative to smoking and arguably saves money in the long run.

Make sure your herbs are completely dried out before placing into a dry herb vaporizer to avoid wasting material due to stickiness and moisture. A quick tip is to place your herb in the freezer for about 10 minutes and it will come out brittle and ready to grind.


Dense nugs will be less efficient and will not vaporize evenly, hence it is essential to using a dry herb vaporizer. Once the grinding is complete, insert your material into the loading chamber. You load vapes similar to how you would load a glass pipe. Do a pinch at a time or use containers and paper to funnel the herbs in. Lightly pat down the herb as you pack it and keep loading as you go, but make sure to not overfill. Next place the mouthpiece or chamber cover back on and start vaping.

Activate the vape and select the desired temperature. Depending on the vape, you may be able to select individual degrees or simply a high, medium, or low option. A temperature of around 380 °F – 410 °F is going to be ideal for most dry herb vaporizers. For those that need a light vapor, go under 380 °F. 

Tips for Using an Herb Grinder 

  1. Make sure you tap the grinder after each use to increase kief build up
  2. Always keep the top on after filling your pipe or vape to not meet the fate of knocking it over
  3. Break up big dense nugs before placing in the grinder to make it easier and quicker to grind up
  4. Do not overfill the top chamber
  5. Grind the herb thoroughly - you will know when it’s finely ground when you turn the top and it feels like it does when nothing is in the grinder 

Should I use an Herb Grinder or my Fingers?

If you are debating to buy an herb grinder to begin with, remember that using your fingers to break up buds will result in small, dense, uneven pieces. That is not at all recommended for vaping since the heat needs to travel throughout the herbs. Using your fingers to grind up your herb will also lead to the loss of fine crystals sticking to your fingers that can irritate the eyes. Grinders are easy to use and will break up buds in seconds versus minutes. 4 piece and 3 piece grinders have compartments to store herb and kief for later use. Grinders break up the herb faster, without the mess, and store the pollen. 

4 Chambers vs 2 Chambers in a Grinder

2 Piece Grinder vs 4 Piece Grinder

2 piece grinders are good for easy transportation and if you’re using it on the go often. There is only one compartment where the herb is place, ground, and retrieved. This type of grinder is usually best for those who roll herb in a blunt or paper because it gives a more medium, not too fine of a grind.

4 piece grinders are the most common and popular grinder you will find on the market. These come with a grinding compartment, storage compartment, and a pollen catcher. Of differing sizes, blade sizes, and colors - the options are endless. A 4 piece grinder will give you a more finely ground herb making it preferable for people who use a vaporizer. 

What is the Best Herb Grinder to Buy?

There isn’t one “best” grinder out there. It really depends on your preference, budget, and what you want to achieve with the grinder. Using a grinder is always better than just using your fingers. If you use your fingers you will miss out on the sticky pollen and get small, dense pieces of herb versus fine pieces.

 

3 recommendations from Vape Vet Store

 

1. Razor Sharp Silicone Herb Grinder
    • This grinder comes in four different color options (pink, yellow, green, and blue)
    • Made from silicone for easy grip when twisting the top compartment
    • Grinder blades are super-sharp metal aligned in a new optimized cutting design
    • 4 piece grinder with pollen catcher
    • A bit more pricey at $35.99, however it will last a long time
    2. Small Herb Grinder with Razor Teeth
      • This is a great 2 piece grinder for on the go
      • Anodized for a smooth finish and the outside metal won’t scratch
      • Made from aircraft grade aluminum rod using the newest in cnc machining technology
      • Razor teeth for easy breakdown of herb
      • Decently priced at $24.99 for a great 2 piece grinder
      3. Diamond Cut Razor Teeth Herb Grinder
        • This grinder is for those who love great quality
        • This 4 piece grinder is made of aerospace grade aluminum using the best in CNC machining technology
        • Strong magnets help keep the lid on and a thin poly ring will ensure smooth grinding without friction
        • The grinder utilizes razor sharp diamond-cut blades to mince dice your dry herbs with extreme efficiency
        • Contains a stainless steel pollen screen
        • Comes in black and anodized for a smooth finish

         

        Let us know which type of grinder you prefer using and if you have any other questions, let us know in the comments section or reach out to the Vape Vet Support Staff.

        Michelle Stevens
        Michelle Stevens


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