After all, what does a grinder do? The simple variety does just that-- grinds up your weed into more manageable shreds. This is convenient, sure, but not particularly necessary. Grinders with more than one layer also do you the courtesy of filtering out stems. Nice, but still nothing you can't do by hand.
|Never buy a one-stage grinder. They are just a waste of money.|
However, I love my grinder. I use it every time I smoke, plus to store my weed (which I generally buy in small quantities at a time). That's because in addition to the grinding convenience, it has a third layer, divided by a screen, that acts as a kief catcher-- all the pollen off the weed in the upper chambers falls down through the screen, becoming a powder you can smoke on its own.
I love kief. It's like a delicacy. While it can sometimes be harsh and hard to smoke out of bowls (you have to sandwich it in between two layers of bud), it is so tasty and the high feels so clean. And a grinder is the only way to separate the figurative wheat from the chaff. It improves my mood to look in my grinder and see a sand-castle of kief piling up, which I save to smoke with my closest friends.
|Only buy a multi-stage grinder, and only if you're as into kief as I am.|
If you're an elitist like me, by all means buy a grinder (the multi-stage kind advertised as having a "pollen catcher"). If not, don't waste your money because you don't need it.
- If you do decide to buy a grinder of whatever variety, don't buy one made of wood or plastic. They erode quickly and all the bits that come off your grinder go into your weed. Always go with a sturdy metal one.
- To encourage kief to fall into the bottom section, put a nickel in the middle stage (in the above picture, the empty section at the top left). This will knock the particles down so they don't mix back in with your bud.
- I find my (really really blunt) pocket knife to be a great tool to use in tandem with a grinder, as a scoop. Some grinders come with a scoop for the kief, but I bought mine second-hand and I'm not sure if it came with one in the first place. Therefore, my pocket knife serves me just as well.