Why you need a grinder
Gone are the days of smashing your herb between your fingers and hoping for the best – macerating your valuable product is a great way to waste your herb and your money. A consistent, not too big, not too fine grind is imperative to unlocking the full flavour profiles, potency, and aroma of your herb. It is important to know what you, as an enthusiast, need in a grinder before you make a purchase. Grinders vary in size, style, functionality, and cost – as well as quality of design and build. We found cheaply manufactured, all-plastic units, and we were able to find aircraft-grade aluminum electric units, designed by engineers. We tried a variety of electric dry herb grinders and manual grinders so you do not have to: check out our findings below!
Different types of grinders
Manual grinders make use of two interlocking plates that the user twists to grind the herb against the grinding pegs. Typically, the user cannot see the product being ground, which often results in over or under grinding. When herb is over ground, it can reduce airflow and increase torching. Pieces that are too big do not release their oils and potency as readily. Manual grinders come in a wide variety of sizes, from tiny pocket-sized units to larger table-top varieties. We searched high and low for our favourite manual grinder, and most came up short. We found them to be inconsistent, and several somehow managed to produce both a too-fine and too-bulky grind at the same time.
Electric grinders can be anywhere from handheld electric grinder units that fit easily into a large pocket or small purse, larger units that attach to the end of a drill, or industrial grinders for manufacturers/producers who grind enormous quantities for packaging and distribution. Most electric grinders are preferred by users for their ease of use, consistent grind (with the right brands), and speed. Some even have cone-shaped dispensing tips that allow you to dispense your herb directly where you want it, with no spillage or contamination. In our testing of electric grinders, we preferred electric grinders that allowed users to toggle between turn directions to break up the herb in a more efficient way. We also liked electric grinders with a capacity of an ounce or larger – most of the manual grinders we found were unable to grind smoothly with that much herb.
But which is best?
After testing a multitude of grinders, both manual and electric, we found electric beat the manual competition in every functionality category we used. Electric grinders, especially this handheld electric grinder, were able to grind consistently, quickly, and smoothly for a surprisingly small price tag. The manual grinders left much to be desired – they were not accessible for our testers with hand injuries or hand pain, they were inconsistent, and they were slow. We highly recommend that anyone struggling with getting the most value from their herb to try an electric grinder before they switch herb producers. It is likely that your herb is fine, it is your grind that is lacking.