How to find the grinder of your dreams
You've got the perfect pipe, the best hemp wick you can find, and you've picked up some of the kindest bud you've ever seen at the dispensary. Just one thing is left: You'll need a solid grinder to make sure that you break down the bud into smaller pieces, get all of those extra surfaces out and ready to burn, and get everything smelling as dank as it possibly can. Sure, you've still got that silver piece of junk that your brother's friend left you when you were a kid, and there's also that cheap one from the corner store you grabbed while out with some friends -- you didn't even realize there was a keif catcher down on the bottom there for a good year afterwards.
But let's be honest: We're all adults here, and if you're going to order the perfect bong and do the research to find exactly the strain you're looking for, you should put at least as much effort into your grinder, right? Here's a few tips to help find exactly the one that's right for you.
Figure out whether you want to go 2-piece, 4-piece or more
A two piece grinder is as simple as it gets: There's a part on the top that you turn to grind, and then a part on the bottom to catch the ground up flower for you to put in that pipe you like so much. As a result, two piece grinders can be made out of very strong materials, and can grind a lot of weed very quickly. They can be a little bit messy to use, as the catcher often has "blades" on it as well, but there's also as little separation as possible, so your flower, while ground up, isn't as broken down as it could be. What you see with a two-piece is what you get -- there's no extra compartments to grab anything else.
A four-piece grinder, on the other hand, has a kief catcher, and usually one or more screens on it, to catch falling weed and separate out larger pieces from smaller ones. This means that you can grab different parts of the flower, perhaps saving your keif (the very smallest parts and usually the most potent) to use all up at once in an epic bowl, or even pull it out for cooking or putting into an extra nice joint (perhaps with a little wax).
Whether you choose two or four is up to you. If you prefer to touch your bud as little as possible (to preserve the taste and potency), then a nice two-piece will keep things as is. For everyone else, though, a four-piece is much easier to use and clean, and helps with that keif surprise as well.
The tooth pattern is also something to look out for, but most grinders will usually do the job. There's no set standard of what makes a great set of grinder teeth, but obviously some materials will be more sturdy and reliable than others. If you can look at a grinder in person, it's important to make sure that the teeth come close together and that they move the product around the grinder in a steady way so everything gets cut up. A really cheap grinder might leave empty spaces or have trouble funneling the herb to the next chamber, but at this point, most grinders of any quality should serve their actual grinding function well.
Keep it clean
Rubbing alcohol is your friend when it comes to grinders (or your pipe, or almost anything else you want to keep cleaned up). You don't necessarily need to scrub the grinder down every time you grind, but you do want to get in there every few grinds, and clean it out so it remains as effective as possible (and so it doesn't gunk up your cannabis, of course). Grabbing a toothbrush or q-tip, dipping it in isopropyl rubbing alcohol, and swiping off all of the collected plant matter will help the grinder look cool, help your weed stay fresh and strong, and make the whole experience better.
If you have a metal grinder, you could even soak it in alcohol to clean it off, though be careful -- some cheap grinders might have parts or stickers that don't react well to sitting in a solution for a long time.
Once you're done cleaning, you can even add a little Grinder Grease to the lip of your grinder lid to keep it turning and fastening smoothly. It might be overkill for some, but keeping your grinder in good shape, again, will make using it more effective and more fun -- you'll have some pride in your grind! And speaking of being proud of your grinder...
Choose something fun and cool
As important as it is to get a practical grinder, it's also one of the main places in your rotation that you can have a fun time with. There are plenty of different colors and logos to get on grinders, and some are even clear on top, so you can see your product while you grind it.
You should think about size as well -- Magic Flight makes this nano grinder that is super tiny, but is designed to grind just enough product to fit the bowl of the Launch Box, making it both a grinder and a handy measuring cup. If you're grinding a lot of product often, you can go with something bigger, or grab a couple different grinders to use different types of bud rather than mixing them all up.
Or maybe even go electric
If you're really grinding all the time, it might even be worth considering an electric grinder -- you can look around Amazon to find "spice" or "nut" grinders that will work just fine for cannabis as well. The most swanky industrial models won't be cheap, of course, but they'll last you a long time, and some of them are even dishwasher safe, which could make cleaning a breeze. Be careful, though -- some grinders will turn your weed into a fine powder, crushing all of the crystals and hurting the potency.
If you want to try an electric grinder that's a little more affordable, this coffee grinder tends to do a fine job with a few solid nugs. Personally, we prefer the tactile sensation of picking out some nugs, putting them in a grinder and then turning it all by hand, but if you're smoking so much that it's a pain to keep up with your grinding, then by all means, give electric a shot.
Hopefully with those tips, you can look around and find exactly the grinder of your dreams. Grinding up your weed is a small part of the whole process, but an important one, and it will be worth it to give it some thought and consideration. If you buy the finest bud you can and then toss it into a garbage can of a grinder, you're missing out on a big part of the whole experience.