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The Smoker’s Guide to Grinders

What material are grinders made from?

Grinders are a prized tool of all smokers, blending their legal smoking herbs into the perfect fluffy, smokeable pieces. Grinders typically come in a cylindrical container with three layers: the top has teeth for grinding, the second layer catches the major chunks of herb, and the last has all of that very finely ground herb. Some of the newbies in the audience might be wondering why they need a grinder when they just pick apart their herb with their fingers- but it isn’t time efficient and winds up wasting the herb when they aren’t small enough pieces.

To help you make one of the most important choices of your smoker life, we are comparing all of the best grinders and compiling a thorough list of the cream of the crop.

  1. Aluminum: By far the most durable of the materials, aluminum is one of the favorite grinder options for smokers. Though aluminum may sound thin, this material is actually quite dense and often coated with a layer of titanium. The teeth will be strong, and when you finally sit down to clean your grinder (Yes, grinders can and should be cleaned every once in a while to avoid clogging), it’ll be easy peasy. There is a common myth that aluminum grinders will leave metal shavings in your herb, but that simply isn’t true. There’s a slim chance there are some leftover shavings at purchase, but one good rinse will wash all that anxiety-inducing metal down the drain.
  2. Hemp: A little bit more difficult to find, the hemp grinder is made exactly how it sounds, from hemp. These nifty little grinders are 100% biodegradable, and perfectly pocket sized to take on the go. Similar to plastic in weight and appearance, but far more eco-friendly. This material is a favorite of green conscious smokers (We get it. We went green too.), but don’t last as long as other materials. Despite the shorter shelf life, you won’t feel quite as bad knowing you're saving the earth one grind at a time.
  3. Plastic: Plastic is a good option for casual use. It’s generally budget friendly and can come in a variety of fun, bold colors. It’s also nice to take on the go as it is easily portable and probably not going to break your heart if it gets dropped or lost (unless it was full of herb- then it’s a tragedy.) The one notable drawback is plastic isn’t especially durable, so this isn’t a forever piece. Plastic teeth can break if not treated properly, and should you overload it with herb, you may be picking plastic chunks out of your fresh grind.

Choosing The Best Grinder For You

Finding the right grinder can be a little confusing. With all the different pieces and names, it can become an exhaustive search quickly. Luckily for you, we’ve compiled five of our best and versatile grinders to help you choose the correct one for your lifestyle.

    Shredder Card

  1. Shredder card: The best on the go grinder that fits perfectly in your wallet. This slick shredder card is fitted with three different sized blades: fine, medium, and course. The cards also come with a protective sleeve, so you don’t accidentally shred up the inside of your wallet. The drawback is, of course, there is no container to catch the freshly ground herb, so you’ll have to improvise. This card is ideal for the occasional smoker who may not need all the bells and whistles of a traditional grinder.

  2. Medtainer

  3. Medtainer: This perfect grinder is a two in one, both a storage container and a grinder. With specialized teeth that can cut through even the thickest smoking herbs, you won’t want this grinder to leave your side again. This handy Medtainer is medical grade meaning it is watertight as well as airtight, so you don’t have to worry about your stash stinking up the room. To sweeten the deal, it comes in all sorts of colors so you can stash your herbs in style. Of course, there aren’t any separating layers or catcher for the finely ground pieces, so it’s not as efficient as other grinders. However, it makes up for this flaw in its functionality. Medtainer is perfect for the traveling smoker traversing different terrains, who doesn’t want to worry about their supply or carry all the extra tools around.

  4. Elements Grinder

  5. 2 Piece Grinder: This blazing blue aluminum grinder was carefully made by Elements to be your go-to grinder. The top layer has specialized aluminum teeth to chop up your herbs thoroughly, and a magnet to assist in closing the lid tightly. In the second layer, you’ll have all of that ground goodness just waiting to be packed or rolled. Of course for the smoking aficionados, they’ll notice the absence of the third layer, where all of that super finely ground herb is caught. While this isn’t a deal breaker for many, there are quite a number of smokers who hoard every piece of their herb who won’t want to spring for a two-layer grinder. Regardless, it’s still a very durable piece at a great price point.

  6. Hammer Grinder

  7. 4 Piece Grinder: The Hammercraft 40mm four piece grinder is a heavy hitter in the smoker world. Made with heavy duty aluminum, this piece can last you a lifetime without so much as a scratch. With strong metal teeth, an effortless grip, and a strong magnet, you will be able to load this up with herb and grind away easily. This comes with two layers for catching the large pieces, as well as all that dustlike herb at the very bottom. This grinder is probably not the best for on the go grinding, so travelers beware, and is a bit pricier due to its material and multiple layers of functionality.

  8. Wakit Grinder

  9. Electric Grinder: Take your smoking game up a notch with this electric grinder. Built with a super safe and long lasting lithium-ion battery, this big dog charges with a micro USB to make recharging a piece of cake. No handheld grinder could compare to the grinding capability of the Wakit as it has precise blades and even a control option that allows you to choose the grain of your herb. This, of course, is the most difficult to transport as it’s a hardy machine, and also comes at a loftier price point. However, when you consider all the time and headache you’ll save from having a machine to grind all your herbs perfectly every time, the pros heavily outweigh the cons.


There you have it, the ultimate list of grinders, making your decision as easy as possible. While any grinder on this list is quality, make sure to think about where and when you most often smoke and what kind of features are important to you. Whether that means you just need the card for on the go smoking, or the electric grinder to do all the work for you, only you can decide what best suits your needs. Grinders will make a world of difference in how long your herbs last and how effortless they are to roll up in papers or pack tightly into a bowl to share. Happy grinding!