A grinder in one of the best investments a smoker can make. Grinders are going to speed up and simplify the process of separating dry herbs. Grinders are also going to make it easier for you to conserve your herbs when they are finely ground up.
When you do all of this by hand, perhaps with the classic "small scissors and shot glass technique", pollen and other plant matter is going to stick to your fingers, which in turn will reduce potency.
When herbs are ground up, they can be packed tightly into a bowl. Using herbs this way, helps you to conserve your stash.
Grinders do need a small amount of maintenance and cleaning in order to prevent them from getting clogged up. Depending on the quality, i.e. steel vs. aluminum vs. plastic, this cleaning can be quite simple.
Variety of Sizes
Grinders come in many different sizes ranging from 1.5” in diameter to 3” and above. In most cases, unless you're grinding a couple of pounds, the size of the grinder does not factor into the overall functionality.
The function of the grinder is going to depend on what amount of herbs you would like to grind up at one time. There are some grinders that are going to come equipped with features, such as vibration functions. Any features you find on grinders are there to improve your overall experience. They do, however, sometimes come with a price.
Choosing the Best Grinder
Smokers choose to buy grinders because of the many benefits they give them. Grinders are used strictly with dry herbs. Dry herbs must be separated to allow for better combustion and this is what a grinder is going to do for you.
Many times, smokers will pick herbs apart instead of fully grinding them up. This, as mentioned, is not always a good idea. When you grind up the herbs, you can sprinkle the herbs into your bowl and it will give you the full potency that you are looking for.
The grinder also helps you to pack the herbs in tighter which will give you better control over how fast your bowl will burn. Thick Ass Glass has a solid grinder here:
You are going to find a wide variety of different brands of grinders. You will also find different brands with different quality of grinders. A popular feature to look for in different brands is ones that have extra storage spaces inside the grinders.
Pieces and Pollen Catchers
Some of your grinders that come with multiple pieces are going to have a separate chamber with a thin metal net that is going to catch only the tiniest of pollen. This pollen is especially important to smokers because it is very potent. The multi-piece grinders are going to come with 2 to 5 pieces. The more pieces that the grinder has, the more flecks you are going to be able to cultivate.
Many people will put a coin in the main storage section of a grinder in order to help to push pollen down into the catch area of the grinder. It's a little trick of the trade that you may want to consider.