Herb grinders are all the rage, both for traditional smoking and for dry herb vaporizers that require a specific grind level in order to properly vaporize your flower to convert into smooth and flavorful vapor. Today’s market offers a more diverse array of grinders than ever before, in different materials and sizes. But, the key factor to pay attention to is how many pieces your grinder has, as this has the biggest impact on what you end up with after each grinding session.
The Purpose of an Herb Grinder
An herb grinder’s purpose is simple: it grinds up the raw, whole buds of the plant to convert it into an even grind. This is important, as it allows the buds and their important compounds to heat evenly, which can be useful whether you are grinding up flower to put into an edibles recipe or rolling the herb in paper. Buds that are left whole burn unevenly, resulting in an inconsistent experience.
A grinder’s basic design consists of two key pieces that each have sharp teeth. The grinder is cylindrical, and the two pieces are manually rotated so that the buds within are cut repeatedly by the teeth until the desired grind consistency is achieved.
A 2-piece grinder is the original type of grinder, and it does a good job of grinding your herb. The two pieces are symmetrical, as each one looks identical to the other, but when the two pieces are put together to close the grinder, the teeth are staggered so that the device can close completely.
- The smallest option
- The cheapest option
- Easiest to clean and maintain
- Effectively grinds your herb as desired
- Doesn’t collect kief or trichomes
A 3-piece grinder takes things a bit further by also featuring a chamber that collects the ground up herb once it has been finely ground. This makes it easier for the user since opening the grinder does not automatically result in the herb falling out, as is what happens with 2-piece models. It also means that the herb doesn’t need to be picked out between the teeth of the grinder. The chamber can vary in height and is removable through the bottom of the device.
- Grinds herb effectively
- Still relatively compact
- Still fairly easy to clean and maintain
- Separate chamber that collects the herb
- Less of a mess when using
- Still doesn’t collect kief
- A bit bulkier
The 4-piece grinder is probably the most popular model at the moment, because of its ability to collect kief. They consist of the two basic pieces that exist in 2-piece grinders, as well as the catching chamber that you’ll find in a 3-piece grinder. But, on top of that, they have an additional chamber below that’s covered in fine mesh, which collects the kief that results from the grinding process, which can be quite useful thanks to its potency of cannabinoids, terpenes and other desirable compounds. The mesh allows the kief to easily consolidate at the bottom with a powdery consistency, separate from the ground up buds that you’re about to use. You can let the kief accumulate as much as you want to in order to make something with it such as an extract, or you can sprinkle it on top of your grind when applying it to your pipe, papers or vaporizer.
Note: Some people like to cook with kief due to its consistency that’s easy to blend into other ingredients.
- Effectively grinds your herb
- Separate chamber that collects your herb
- Additional chamber that collects kief
- A bit less compact
- Requires more maintenance and cleaning
Goes a step further and is best for those who really care about the kief as well as the other components that they’re grinding. While a 4-piece grinder has the advantage of collecting kief and does a decent job with the fine mesh sieve covering over the collection chamber, a 5-piece comes with a second screen with even finer mesh material. While this may seem excessive, it actually does a great job producing far more concentrated (potent) kief by eliminating any of the unwanted shake from the final product. You end up with kief that has higher concentrations of cannabinoids and terpenes, which can be even more useful to those who prioritize kief when utilizing dry herb.
- Concentrates kief for higher potency
- Effectively grinds your herb
- Extra mesh requires more cleaning and maintenance
- The bulkiest of all of the grinders
Choose Your Grinder Wisely
All of us have unique goals in mind when it comes to dry herb. Some of us want a fast and easy way to grind up those buds, while others desire potent kief that can take their experience further. Decide what your priorities are when selecting a grinder, and explore the different options available at Vaporizer Chief.