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How to Choose The Right Grinder

Show me your grinder and I'll tell you who you are. Find out how to choose the perfect grinder!
06 July 2022
8 min read
How to Choose The Right Grinder

  • 1. What is a grinder and what is it for?
  • 2. How to choose the right grinder?
  • 2. a. Do consider the grinder's size
  • 2. b. The number of pieces and features
  • 2. c. Weight only matters concerning grinders
  • 2. d. Choosing the right grinder material
  • 2. e. The personality of your grinder, a.k.a the design
  • 3. Grinder options ranked
  • 4. The bottom line

When we consume marijuana, almost every method of consumption will involve using a grinder. Whether it is for rolling a joint, packing a bowl, or cooking some edibles, you'll most likely need to use a grinder in the first instance to break up the buds. And while some might underestimate the importance of using the right grinder, the fact is that the grinder you choose can make or break your smoking experience, in both a metaphoric and literal way.


Weed grinders come in many different sizes, shapes, material, and colors.

Weed grinders come in many different sizes, shapes, materials, and colors.

A good grinder is one that breaks up the buds evenly, without leaving any huge pieces of bud, or the contrary, without turning your weed flowers into powder. So if you still don't have a grinder and you're looking for a guide to buy the right one you've landed in the right place. 

1. What Is A Grinder And What Is It For? 

In case you're extremely fresh out of the oven in the culture of cannabis and you're yet unaware of what a weed grinder is, don't be scared to ask, we've got the answer for you.


Weed grinders were invented in 1905 by two Australian guys.

Weed grinders were invented in 1905 by two Australian guys.

A herb grinder is a small, usually round-shaped device used for breaking up any sorts of smoking herbs, such as tobacco or marijuana. These instruments were brought to make our lives easier, back in the day before grinders were invented, people would use their hands or scissors to grind their herbs. 

Did you know?

Did you know that the first grinder to be created was in the year 1905? It was by a couple of Australian guys who lived in Victoria. They applied for the patent on April 19th of that year, one day before 4/20, coincidence? Don't think so.

And while the first grinders were created far back in 1905, not much has changed since then. Yes, some major designing and aesthetic changes have taken place but apart from that, things still run the same way, the mechanism worked from the beginning so why change it?

2. How To Choose The Right Grinder?

While buying a grinder might seem not too relevant, keep in mind that you'll be using this object on a daily basis, perhaps even more than once a day. Therefore, you'll want to make sure that the grinder you buy is a good one. But what exactly makes a grinder a good grinder?


Buy a good grinder that lasts a lifetime.

Buy a good grinder that lasts a lifetime.

A good grinder is one that grinds your herbs evenly, to a size that's small but not so small that your weed ends up clogging the joint as you try to smoke it. But when it comes to grinders, although it could seem something quite easy to purchase one, there are so many options in the market, varying in different aspects such as:

  • Size;
  • Material;
  • Weight;
  • Build;
  • The number of layers, and more.

Therefore, in order to choose the grinder that's perfect for you, you'll need to understand the differences between each of these aspects. 

Do Consider The Grinder's Size

One of the most important aspects to take into account before you purchase your grinder is the grinder's sizesize does matter. Before you even start to compare different grinder sizes you need to think of the uses you're planning to give to your grinder. Are you planning to carry your grinder around everywhere, making it a portable grinder? Or will you rather use your grinder in your living room or bedroom at home? Do you see where we're going? Big grinders and portability don't really go hand in hand right?


Weed grinders come in different sizes for every use.

Weed grinders come in different sizes for every use.

Bigger grinders normally translate into heavier weight as well, so if you're going to be carrying your grinder around on you everywhere, unless you want to add half a kilo into your bag every time you leave the house, we'd suggest getting a smaller grinder. When it comes to grinder sizes, they come in every single variety you can imagine, from micro, teeny tiny to extra large and extra-extra-large. A general rule would be, buy any grinder size of preference as long as it's a home grinder, and aim for medium to small sizes if you're going to make it a street grinder. 

The Number of Pieces and Features

When we say the number of pieces we refer to the layers your grinder has, therefore, the number of features. The more layers to your grinder, the more features it will have (and the heavier your grinder most likely will be).


Grinders can come with 2 to 5 pieces.

Grinders can come with 2 to 5 pieces.

Grinders usually come from 2 to 5 pieces, 2 being the simplest grinder and 4 coming with several add-ons. Let's explain the features of each compartment. 


Number of grinder compartmentsFeatures and utilities
Two-pieced grinderGrinding only.
Three-pieced grinderThe grinding piece, plus a compartment for gathering grinded weed or collecting kief and pollen. 
Four-pieced grinderGrinding, plus grinded weed collecting compartment, and kief and pollen accumulator layer. 
Five-piece grinderGrinding, plus grinded weed layer, pollen and kief level, and a secret compartment for storing roaches or small buds. 


In two-pieced grinders, you'll be able to quench the need for grinding only. Three-pieced grinders will provide the extra feature of gathering the ground weed in a different compartment for easier access when rolling. Four-pieced grinders are luxurious in features, combining all the ones mentioned before, plus extra space for collecting some tasty and powerful kief or pollen. Five-piece grinders, and lastly, come with a usually secret compartment for stashing small buds, remaining roaches, or any other small stuff. 

Weight Only Matters Concerning Grinders

The only time weight should actually matter is concerning weed grinders. As we've stated before, do keep in mind the use you'll give to your future grinder to avoid yourself some pain in the [email protected]!. Most likely, you'll need to get a portable grinder to carry on you wherever you're heading, therefore your piece should definitely not be too heavy that it becomes a weight on your back. 


Get a smaller weed grinder to carry everywhere.

Get a smaller weed grinder to carry everywhere.

However, if you're looking to buy a grinder to use at home, undermind this point. Usually, the grinder's weight is strongly tied to its size, the number of layers, and most specifically, the build's material

Choosing The Right Grinder Material

At this stage, you've probably gotten the idea of how important it is to keep in mind the weight and size of your grinder. Concerning the weight, one major influencing aspect is what material your grinder is made of. The material of your grinder isn't only important regarding the weight but for the quality of the gadget too. And keep in mind that the better the material, most likely the more expensive the grinder will cost, but since it is a long-term investment we're talking about, it's completely worth it.


Plastic grinders are light but not too good quality-wise.

Plastic grinders are light but not too good quality-wise.

An ideal, quality grinder is one that is resistant to anything, crushes, falling, etc, etc. Our favorite grinder material is high-grade aluminum, which is as strong as a stone and will last forever, or until you lose it being too high. 

However, aluminum grinders are the heaviest option, so aim for a medium to a small-sized one to avoid the grinder from being too heavy. Another great grinder material alternative is ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) plastic. These are quite resistant to the detriment of time and use and are extremely light in weight. Cheaper grinder materials include plastic, acrylic, or wood. And just like most things cheap, they can be good in the beginning but in the long run, they won't be as durable as a good grinder and by buying several cheap grinders you'll end up spending even more money.

The Personality of Your Grinder, a.k.a The Design

One last but not least important aspect to consider before buying a grinder is its design. No, the design isn't irrelevant, you'll be using this object every day for a long time, if not the rest of your life, dramatic. Therefore, might as well get something that isn't only useful but resembles your personal taste as well. 


Weed grinders come in crazy designs for every person's own taste.

Weed grinders come in crazy designs for every person's own taste.

If we were still stuck back in 1905 where the design was indeed the least important aspect of a grinder, we'd get it. But now we're living in a world surrounded by designs suitable for every single person's likings. Go wild and choose a vibrant colored grinder, perhaps a metallic or holographic one even. Crazy shapes and patterns? They're well welcome! Don't narrow your search when it comes to personal taste, after all, the type of grinder you pull out when you roll a joint with someone can tell a lot about you. Show me your grinder and I'll tell you who you are.

3. Grinder Options Ranked

Ok, so we have laid out the basics things to keep in mind when looking at all the different grinder options. But how about the overall products? Let’s rundown the worst to best grinder options. We took a quick pool throughout the Fast Buds office to see how everyone feels about the various grinder styles and here is what we came up with…

Wooden Grinders

Among the cheapest options out there, and for good reason. Let’s just say it, wooden grinders suck in a couple of key ways. First up, the grinding teeth are usually just blunt metal pins. These do a horrible job of grinding anything that is not perfectly dried and cured, and even then they can struggle to bust through properly dense buds. They can also be notoriously hard to twist once they have seen a little use. They are almost exclusively 2 piece jobs with no kief catcher in sight. 4/10 is being generous.

Acrylic Grinders

Acrylic, or plastic, grinders are a very close second worst. They suffer from the same twisting issues as their wooden counterparts and are easily broken. The reason they are not ranked as the absolute worse is the fact that they are easier to clean than wood grinders, and the pyramid-shaped teeth do a much better job of evenly chopping your weed. They can usually handle a decent amount of bud, and you can find options that include a kief catcher. We may be being slightly harsh here. Acrylic grinders are not that bad, and for the price (which is usually super cheap), they are actually just OK. 6/10

Metal Grinders

Every single serious stoner should have a metal grinder in their smoking kit, no doubt about it. They come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, but most utilize sharp diamond-shaped teeth that can handle even the dankest nugs with ease. Most will offer at least a dedicated kief compartment, if not a stash spot for weed also. And sure, while these are definitely the most expensive option, they are worth every cent. Thanks to the super effective grinding teeth alignment they can be a little tricky to clean, but a quick spray of isopropyl will help loosen everything up nicely. 10/10

Other Options

The two other main options (apart from a pair of scissors) are card grinders and electric grinders. They both actually do a pretty good job, but they cant hold their own against a trust old metal grinder. Card grinders work in the same way as a cheese grater, and will handily slip into a card slot in any wallet. They can cause the ground weed to spray about, so be sure to use them over a large bowl. Easy to clean, very accessible, and almost impossible to break. 8/10

Electric grinders usually resemble a tiny stick blender. They usually take a single AA battery and can grind up a small amount of weed (0.5 gram) pretty successfully. Unfortunately, in our experience anyway, they are prone to breaking and the battery life leaves something to be desired. 

4. The Bottom Line

The world of weed grinders can be complex and paradoxically simple at the same time. All you'll need to take into account is that the grinder you grind will take part in many future anecdotes, therefore it's important that you choose one that you think of fondly and enjoy using. Don't forget to comment on what your favorite grinder types are below! 

06 July 2022