How To Use A Grinder: A Step-By-Step Guide - Honest Marijuana (2022)

How To Use A Grinder: A Step-By-Step Guide - Honest Marijuana (1)

Want to get the most out of that ounceof Cherry OGyou just bought?Want to look like a “professional” stoner (oh, if only there was such a thing)? Want to impress your friends and be the envy of all those around you? If you answered yes to any of these questions, the answer is simple: learn how to use a grinder.

Grinders don’t get a lot of press, but they’re an essential piece of equipment that no committed cannaseur should be without. In this article, the experts at Honest Marijuanashow you how to use a grinder and tell you everything you need to know about this helpful tool.

What Is A Grinder?

The original ganja gurus from way-back-when came up with some pretty interesting cannabis slang. Some of that jargon is not very self-explanatory (like sploofand chronic).

Thankfully, there’s no wacky etymology behind the word “grinder.” In fact, it’s probably one of the most obvious terms you’ll find in the marijuana lexicon.

So what exactly is a grinder? It’s a small container with “teeth” used for dispensing smoothies. Just kidding! It’s a small container with “teeth” used for grinding nugs of weed into smaller pieces.

It’s also one of the easiest ways to get ahold of kief (which we’ll get to later on in this article). But before that, let’s talk about the different types of grinders and their parts.

What Are The Parts Of A Grinder?

How To Use A Grinder: A Step-By-Step Guide - Honest Marijuana (2)

All grinders must have at least three components:

  1. A grinding chamber
  2. Teeth or pegs to do the actual grinding
  3. A lid to keep it all contained

As simple as that may sound, grinders come in a variety of different sizes, so it’s essential to understand what you’re looking for before you buy.

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Here are the three most common types of grinders:

  • Two-piece (single chamber)
  • Three-piece (two-chamber)
  • Four-piece (three-chamber)

The naming conventions here may seem a little strange, so allow us to explain.

Two-Piece (Single Chamber)

Two-piece, single chamber grinders are made up of a small bowl about the size and shape of a hockey puck (maybe a little bit smaller). That’s the single chamber.

This kind of grinder is called a two-piece because it also has a lid. Bowl + lid = two pieces. Put the lid on the bowl and you’ve created the single chamber. Get it? Good. Let’s move on.

Three-Piece (Two-Chamber)

Picture a two-piece grinder with the lid and the bowl. Now add another piece underneath. That’s the three-piece, two-chamber grinder. Let’s start from the top.

First comes the lid. It may have teeth or pegs to help with the grinding. Next comes the grinding chamber. It may have teeth or pegs as well. In a three-piece grinder, the bottom of the grinding chamber will have holes for the ground-up bud to fall through (a two-piece grinder won’t have those holes).

When your weed is chopped small enough in the grinding chamber, it will fall through the holes into the collection chamber. You can then unscrew this bottom chamber and collect the pot for use.

So to review:

Lid + Grinding Bowl + Collection Chamber = 3 pieces and 2 chambers.

Four-Piece (Three-Chamber)

In a four-piece, three-chamber grinder, the collection chamber has a small mesh screen instead of a solid bottom. Underneath the collection chamber is the final piece of the puzzle: the kief chamber.

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As you grind, the larger (but still ground-up) pieces of marijuana fall into the collection chamber. As you continue to grind and agitate the whole thing, tiny, pollen-like material falls through the screen into the bottom chamber. This pollen-like material is kief, which we’ll talk about in the next section.

Building on our little marijuana math problem, here are the components of the four-piece grinder:

Lid + Grinding Bowl + Collection Chamber/Screen + Kief Chamber = 4 pieces and 3 chambers

Now that you’re familiar with the different types of grinders and their associated pieces, we’ll tell you why you want to use one.

What Are The Benefits Of Using A Grinder?

How To Use A Grinder: A Step-By-Step Guide - Honest Marijuana (3)

Grinders are great as ganja goes. There are too many advantages to be ignored. Here are just a few of the benefits of using a grinder.


We’ve mentioned kief a number of times throughout this article, but what is it exactly? Kief is the term cannaseurs use to refer to the terpenesand cannabinoidsthat separate from the trichomes during the grinding process.

Kief is a more pure and potent part of the marijuana plant, which is why it’s prized as an additive in everything from bongsto blunts, vaporizersto vape pens, and hookah to honey oil.

If you’re considering buying your first grinder, we highly recommend getting one with a kief chamber. You may have to pay a bit more, but the rewards are well worth the expense.


When you grind your herb, you actually make it more potent. It’s not magic—it’s science.

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  • Grinding creates more consistently sized pieces. This maximizes surface area and makes your marijuana easier to burn.
  • Grinding prevents canoeing (when the bud in a joint begins burning only down the middle) and provides a more even burn.
  • Grinding limits the amount of contact your bud has with your hands. This prevents the trichomes from being absorbed by your skin.

Taste & Smell

Grinding unlocks all the wonderful tastes and aromas that your favorite strain of Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookieshas to offer. This may not seem like a big deal when all you care about is getting high, but improving the flavor can only add to the amazing experience.

Time Savings

Grinding your marijuana into usable pieces can be done in half the time it would take you to do it by hand. That means you can get to smokingmuch sooner. ‘Nuff said.

Cost Savings

As we mentioned, ground marijuana is more potent than whole buds. That means you don’t have to use as much of the ground stuff to feel the same effects and you can stretch that ounce of Yoda OGeven farther.

Less Harsh Smoke

How To Use A Grinder: A Step-By-Step Guide - Honest Marijuana (4)

This may not sound like a good thing, but it is. Small grounds burn more evenly and more completely. That cuts down on the unburned plant matter that can harsh your experience and cause you to hack up a lung.

Easy Transportation

Sure, you can still carry your bud in a baggie, but c’mon man. This is the 21st century! It looks much cooler if you transport your weed in a grinder. Plus, your stash will be protected by the top, bottom, and sides of the grinder. That just makes good sense.

So what are you waiting for? Run (seriously, run!) out and get yourself a grinder. Then come back and we’ll show you how to use it.

How To Use A Grinder

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use a grinder. Enjoy!

1) Load Your Grinder

Remove the lid. With your fingers, break your bud into smaller pieces. Don’t put anything in the middle of the grinder. This is where everything pivots. Anything placed in the center won’t get ground.

2) Grind Your Ganja

Replace the lid. Hold the bottom of the grinder with one hand and rotate the lid with the other hand. At first, there will be some resistance, so give it a little muscle. Rotate the grinder until you feel the resistance disappear.

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3) Tap That Grinder

Before removing the lid on either collection chamber, give your grinder a tap against the table or the palm of your hand. This helps dislodge the cannabis into the collection chamber and pushes more kief through the screen.

4) Collect Your Cannabis

Separate the grinding chamber from the collection chamber and scoop out your newly ground weed. Be careful not to damage the screen if you’re using a four-piece grinder.

If this is your first grind, you may not have much kief, but you can separate the kief chamber from the collection chamber to see for yourself. Eventually, it’ll be full of powdery goodness!

5) Enjoy The Fruits Of Your Labor

How To Use A Grinder: A Step-By-Step Guide - Honest Marijuana (5)

At this point, the sky’s the limit on what you can do with your ganja grounds. Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Roll a joint(it’s super easy with ground-up bud)
  • Roll a cross joint
  • Pack a bowl
  • Steep some weed tea
  • Whip up a batch of your favorite edibles

If you have more patience than we do, you could use this cannabis to make a tincture, isolate, extract, or oil.

Tips For How To Use A Grinder

After a few uses, you’ll get the hang of your grinder and figure out what produces the best finished product. Here are just a few tips to get you started:

  • Opt for an aluminum or zinc grinder (if you can afford it)
  • Get one with plenty of teeth and holes
  • Don’t overfill the grinding chamber (the finished product won’t be as fine)
  • Turn the grinder upside down for a few turns
  • Put a clean coin in the collection chamber to help knock the kief through the screen

There really are very few downsides to using a grinder, so we encourage you to give one a try today. If you’re still unsure whether a grinder is for you, talk the budtendersat your local dispensary.

They probably have a few floor-model grinders laying around that you can try before you buy. If you have them walk you through the process first, you might pick up more tips to make your marijuana-grinding experience even better.

For more information on all things cannabis and to check out our 100-percent all-natural marijuana products, visit HonestMarijuana.comtoday.

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How do you use a bud grinder? ›

How To Use an Herb Grinder - YouTube

How do you assemble a herb grinder? ›

Product Review: The Kernline Herb Grinder - YouTube

How do you use a kief catcher grinder? ›

To use the kief, just open up the kief catcher and use a small tool like a scraper or even a dabber to pick up a bit of kief. You can sprinkle it on a bowl like dust or mix it into some dry herbs in your vape. Kief has a distinct flavor and aroma that will enhance any smoking pipe or vaping experience.

How do you use a 2 piece grinder? ›

With a 2-piece grinder, just open and dump your ground herb into a container or even a piece of paper. Lightly knock the two pieces together upside-down to loosen those last few pieces stuck to the teeth.

How do you grind a NUG? ›

Just put your nugs into the grinder and turn it on. Grind it until it is finely ground into even pieces. This is also the best way to grind up bulk amounts of bud. The cleanup afterward is the biggest drawback.

How do you fill a grinder? ›

How to Fill and Adjust a Pepper Mill | ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen - YouTube

Should I put a coin in my grinder? ›

A “grinder coin” can improve the amount of kief you gather from your ground cannabis without reducing the overall potency of your cannabis-consuming experience too much.

How do you open a grinder? ›

How to open & refill disposable salt or pepper grinder - YouTube

How do you grind leaves into powder? ›

  1. Preheat oven to 150° or as low as it will go. Spread out herbs on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet and bake until dry and brittle, 1–1½ hours. Working in batches, grind herbs in a spice mill to a fine powder.
  2. DO AHEAD: Powder can be made 1 month ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
Oct 15, 2014

How do you grind spices into powder? ›

Kitchen Tips - How to Grind Spices - YouTube

Is kief stronger than buds? ›

How strong is it? Simply put, smoking kief gives a much stronger effect than regular cannabis flowers. Rather than sitting somewhere between 12% and 25% THC, kief (depending on purity) can be up to 70% THC -- this means that you get a much stronger effect from less material smoked.

What is the bottom part of the grinder for? ›

A 4-part grinder adds yet another chamber below that, called the "kief catcher" (or "pollen catcher"). The catch chamber will have a screen at the bottom that allows the super fine pollen particles to fall through to the very bottom chamber, while the larger pieces of herb stay in the catch chamber.

Where do you put the coin in the grinder? ›

When it comes to grinding weed, collecting kief is an added bonus, and a grinder coin can turn that bonus into a jackpot. By placing a sterilized kief coin into your grinder's storage chamber and giving it a hearty shake, you'll make sure all those THC and terpene rich crystals sift down into the kief catcher.

Should I put a coin in my grinder? ›

A “grinder coin” can improve the amount of kief you gather from your ground cannabis without reducing the overall potency of your cannabis-consuming experience too much.

Do grinders crush trichomes? ›

While these types of traditional grinders can be useful for getting your cannabis to a super fine consistency, all of that grinding and crushing also disturbs your flower's trichomes.

What is a grinder used for in drugs? ›

A grinder is a tool used to break down cannabis into small bits so they are a similar size and consistency. Weed is commonly ground down for rolling joints, blunts, and spliffs, but can also be done for packing bowls in pipes and bongs for a smoother, more consistent burn.

Is it better to use a grinder or hands? ›

Save Time, Smoke Sooner

The first and most obvious benefit is that grinding your bud with a grinder is much faster than grinding it by hand. Even super sticky bud (which requires serious dedication to break down by hand) can be ground down in minutes to the perfect rolling consistency.


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