Grinders have their uses in making sure that you are not having to manually (i.e. with your fingers) grind your herb and can make it easier to use. Grinders find their use if you happen to be more than the most causal of smokers. There is not much to the science of a grinder that should be complicated to use – this is the inherent benefit. Beyond being simple, grinders allow you the opportunity to ensure that none of your herb ends up elsewhere once placed in the grinder.
Specifically, with a hand crank grinder, you are receiving the wonderful benefits of a thousand year old technology. With a hand crank, you aren’t limited to your own physical limitations and (for those of us that do not happen to clean our grinders regularly) the normal turning motion is not an impediment due to overuse or buildup. You can feel entirely comfortable knowing that your grinder will continue to be able to operate at optimal efficiency. This may seem like a gimmick disguised as a useful feature but it is not – the hand crank allows a level of leverage that is all but unheard of with other grinders. If you feel as if you are not chopping your herb with optimal efficiency do not look past this wonderful feature. Most important – you will feel as if you have the most control opposed to other versions of grinders.
A hand crank grinder will generally operate like any other grinder. The most important thing to remember with this grinder is that you cannot, and should not, overstuff the grinder with herb in large, obtrusive chunks. This is critical not just to ensure that your grinder does not become too sticky or slow to use but that you do not break the hand crank. This is less a comment on the quality of the crank as it is the tendency to become too excited and over-encumbering the grinder itself – even with the crank there is but so much material resistance you can place inside the grinder. By obstructing the grinder too much you risk destroying the most defining feature. Beyond that, a hand crank grinder will function much like other products. For example, you will load the initial, top chamber with the herb itself. Below, you will be able to find your processed herb that is ready for smoking. Below that you will find the pollen catcher that will store an exceptional amount of pollen. Given the potency and treasure that pollen from your herb can represent, make sure to take care when removing the various chambers to access either the pollen or the herb.
Thankfully there is not much to the maintenance of a grinder. Most importantly, just make sure to remove pieces of herb and excess pollen that may serve to clog the mechanisms that allow you to process your herb. For example, you never want to allow the amount of pollen in the bottom chamber to accumulate to a difficultly high degree – this will impede on the ability for your grinder to process the herb from the pollen. That being said, this relates back to not placing too much herb in the first place – you will risk far too much in terms of general use as well as the possibility of damaging the hand crank. This should not be taken lightly – no one likes to have to replace a wonderful purchase through misuse or abuse.
There are generally two questions to ask regarding purchasing the Sharpstone Hand Crank Grinder: 1) do you enjoy hand cranking your own herb and 2) do you ever have any trouble using a conventional grinder? Essentially, the first question relates directly to the choice to purchase a grinder in general. This is not to say that you necessarily have to ask this question but it may be a good one to ask. The second question points to the most basic, functional advantage of this grinder – if you find yourself struggling or facing resistance grinding your herb then you should consider this particular grinder. Beyond these questions, it never hurts to have a novelty attachment that can help you stand out amongst your peers.
The greatest advantage over hand-processing your dry herb is the fact that you do not have to worry about a loss of herb, you can have access to processed pollen, and you can keep everything in a single package. This is hands-down the most important part of a 4 piece herb grinder.