This definitive guide of the best weed grinders for 2021 explores everything you need to know before buying one, and what you should consider before picking one for yourself.
The grinder is every stoner's trusted sidekick: if you meet someone who smokes weed, they most definitely have a grinder. Yes, breaking up bud with fingers is an option, but there’s something special about the ritual of loading a grinder with a fat nug and twisting the top to reveal a lush pile of green goodness. Not all grinders are made alike, however, just like how some sidekicks can be disappointing and worthless (see: Snapper Carr, whose schtick was being a powerless, hip teen and ended up getting kicked out of the Justice League for revealing the location of their secret hideout to The Joker) or extraordinarily badass (see: Robin. He’s Robin! Look at the spinoffs!). Below, we’ve done the work of separating the Snappers from the Robins. These are the best weed grinders you can buy.
The Short List
Best Overall Weed Grinder: Higher Standards Aerospaced
The Aerospaced grinders by Higher Standards — a California-based luxury cannabis lifestyle company with a flagship store in New York City — combines quality with fun, jazzy colors: you’ll find standard shades like black and silver, but you can also choose from options like lilac, green and even gold. The sharp, diamond-shaped teeth pulverize the stickiest of weed to an even consistency, and the aircraft grade aluminum means it’s built to last. Plus, it comes in an assortment of sizes, with the largest clocking in at less than $40. Go for the smaller sizes for personal use, or get the larger sizes — which include a kief catcher — if you’re seshing with friends. But don’t take my word for it: “It’s the best,” writer and meme curator Miles Klee says. “Pleasing and practical design that never lets you down. If only rolling joints were easy as grinding pot with this thing.”
Best Splurge Weed Grinder: Santa Cruz Shredder
When consulting fellow stoners for this story, Santa Cruz Shredder was the brand that came up the most. And, with medical-grade, ultrasonically cleansed anodized aluminum, it’s worth the price. The Santa Cruz Shredder is made in and ships from the U.S., and is custom designed in Santa Cruz, California. It’s unique threading pattern, friction ring and textured grip make it easy to use (according to its website, it’s great for medical consumers who have a hard time gripping small objects), and the rare earth magnet in the lid doesn’t budge if you’re taking some stash on the go. Plus, the tooth design — which features an “inverted square” — is one of the most interesting on the market, and helps the Shredder live up to its name. There are even Santa Cruz Shredders made of hemp if you want to get meta with your grinders, or if you’re looking for a more Earth-friendly, biodegradable option. With all of these perks, I guess my stoner friends have great taste.
Best Budget Weed Grinder: iRainy Spice Herb Grinder with Pollen Catcher
I may be a little biased because this grinder graces my own weed shrine (I own the rose gold option which matches my pink rolling tray), but it has never failed me. It’s made of zinc, which is a standard, safe metal for grinders and has more chambers compared to other grinders on the market, making it easy to play around with cannabis consistencies and combinations. The “pollen catcher” (normie talk for kief, the accumulated trichomes, or resin glands, sifted from cannabis through a mesh screen that is incredibly potent) comes with a little scoop, which is equal parts cute (little shovel!) and helpful in order not to waste any “pollen.”
What to Look for in a Weed Grinder
Tip #1: More Chambers, More Options
A standard two-chamber grinder will get the job done, but your options become endless once you upgrade to one that has a kief catcher and additional chambers. A friend described adding “middle weed” — weed that’s not kief but more fine than what typically get used — to a Volcano to get a more flavorful high. Mess around with different combinations of consistencies to get different highs.
Tip #2: Look for the Teeth
The teeth shape, and the number of teeth, affect how the weed is broken up. However, more teeth doesn’t necessarily mean better (you don’t want weed that’s too fine right off the bat), and not enough teeth equals chunky weed and more time grinding.
Tip #3: Material Matters
There are three kinds of metals typically used to make grinders: zinc, aluminum and stainless steel. There are plastic grinders on the market, but you might encounter a broken tooth if you’re grinding tough weed. Additionally, cheaper grinders might be coated with paint or a finish, which could chip off and get into your weed. You definitely don’t want to inhale that!
Tip #4 Grip is Important
The better grip a grinder has, the easier it’s going to be to use. And, an easier grip means you have to use less torque (the measure of force that causes an object to rotate around an axis) to grind the weed. That’s important if you’re a user who experiences a lot of hand pain.
Tip #5 Don’t be Afraid to Splurge
Grinders get a lot of use. A cheaper grinder might not last you as long as something made of high-quality metal. Paying more gives you the peace of mind that a tooth won’t break, the product won’t flake, and that nothing funky from the grinder is getting into your weed.
The Best Weed Grinders
Phoenician Grinders Medium Grinder
This herb grinder features medical grade, anodized aluminum and a threadless design, which means no more fumbling when screwing your grinder back together. The threadless design also means no more gummed up threads. Arc cutter blades on the lid and top tier of the grinder gives herbs a “scissored” texture instead of pulverizing it. It comes with a kief catcher and scraper, and the screens are removable, making clean-up a breeze. Plus, it comes with a lifetime warranty — perfect for those who are clumsy and have lost many grinders because of an ill-fated drop onto concrete.
Cali Crusher Cali O.G. 2.5" Grinder
Another California favorite, the Cali Crusher is made out of aerospace aluminum, with blade plates that will never loosen and spin in place. The Cali Crusher features diamond shaped teeth and a stainless steel micron screen. Even better, there’s a kief catcher and pollen scraper included. And, with eight colors to choose from, there’s one to match every stoner vibe you’re going for. If you tire of shiny grinders, the company also sells grinders in a matte finish — if I didn’t love my rose gold grinder, I’d buy the gorgeous forest green option.
SharpStone Clear Top 4 Piece Hand Crank Grinder
Perfect for someone who is prone to hand pain, the SharpStone Grinder features a lid with a hand crank that works like a hand crank coffee grinder. And, with a clear top, this grinder allows you to see your progress for the perfect consistency. It is made out of anodized aircraft grade aluminum, features “razor-sharp” cutting blades, neodynium magnets for a tight seal, a kief catcher with a pollen scraper and a carrying pouch for discreet transportation. CNC (computer numerical control) machined components allow for precision-made products for consistency in quality.
Sackville & Co. Signature Grinder
“Remember that grimy-ass grinder your ex had in college? Well, this is not that,” reads the product description of this grinder. And grimy-ass it is not! If you’re looking for a beautiful grinder that supports a women-owned business, look no further than Sackville & Co.’s Signature Grinder. It’s a four-piece grinder — with the ever-important kief catcher — with diamond-sharp teeth for fluffy bud. A magnetic enclosure ensures it’s ready for on-the-go consumption. And, with a soft brushed gold finish, this grinder is the revenge dress of grinders. Your college ex will probably ditch their grimy-ass grinder after seeing this one.
Edie Parker Flower Grinder Case
In an interview with MedMen, one of the largest dispensary chains in the U.S., Brett Heyman, Edie Parker founder and Gucci alum, said her California upbringing inspired her to enter the cannabis lifestyle market with Edie Parker Flower. The line features rolling trays and lighters made out of their signature acrylic, and this grinder is their take on this stoner staple. Made of plastic and resembling a prescription pill bottle — potentially a play on cannabis’ medicinal properties — this neon grinder is great for bringing a bit of bud on the road in a kitschy, but not cringey or cheugy, way.
Banana Bros OG Otto
Otto is engineered with aerospace engineered aluminum plates and AI to mill, not grind, cannabis. This grinder also features technology to automatically adjust speed, pressure and direction based on the consistency and texture of the cannabis. The big bonus: This electric grinder fills a cone for you, meaning there’s no mess to clean up and no weed wasted, and you get a perfect cone every time. For $50 more, you can purchase an Otto in red, blue or gold. The designated joint rollers need to unionize ASAP before too many people get their hands on an Otto.
The Ripper Classic Herb Grinder
The Ripper is made out of medical grade stainless steel, and gives you peak customization when purchasing: you can choose from a three-piece or a four-piece grinder, and you can choose between a coarse grind or a hybrid grind. The deep cutting area allows you to pack the grinder with a larger amount of product, and a stainless steel ball agitator gets all of the kief off of the grinder. Speaking of kief, the grinder has a kief catcher and additional scraper. Plus, it’s dishwasher safe. Can’t say that with many other grinders.
Tokyo Smoke Dot Infinity Grinder Card
Grinder cards are kind of a flex: they say, “yeah I smoke weed” without saying it. It’s like that one scene in “American Psycho” where Patrick Bateman is flipping out over business cards. If Bateman had this Grinder Card from Tokyo Smoke, he’d be infinitely more chill. It works like a cheese grater: All you have to do is shave the bud over a rolling tray or board. Although it’s messier than other grinders, cleaning up this card is a breeze. Just grab some rubbing alcohol and a cloth to wipe it clean. Most importantly, leave no trace and gather all the weed you shredded, as wasting bud is a sin.