To grind, or not to grind?
The modern grinder is a fairly sophisticated tool that has evolved over a short period of time from a basic engineering concept first introduced in the early parts of the 20th century. The centerless grinder offered a unique perspective that got rid of excessive handling and feeding of herbs into a grinder. What really helped was the minimal amount of parts involved that offered more precise control over the process, less binding, and the ability to easily clean and maintain the teeth of the grinding tool.
This provided an extremely effective way to process plants with a seriously reduced amount of effort involved. Although the original centerless grinder was intended for industrial use in pulping and processing cellulose and plant matter, it has been adopted and refined for herb grinding on an individual level and was originally miniaturized for use in apothecaries and pharmacies since it offered a much quicker and efficient way to prepare plant materials. Throughout the 1960s and beyond it was adopted for cannabis and has been evolving ever since.
Modern grinders come in many shapes and sizes, ranging from as small as 1.5” in diameter to 3” and beyond. The size doesn’t really factor into the function of the grinder too much, it just plays a role in how much herb you are able to grind up in one sitting. Grinders help to speed up the process of breaking down dried cannabis to be more easily packed into a bowl or rolled up in a joint. When breaking down dried cannabis by hand, resins and other plant matter will stick to your hands and this can sometimes reduce the potency. When your bud is ground it can be more tightly packed into a bowl or rolled up into a joint, which also allows for more surface area to be exposed which, in turn, means that you are given more power over how quickly, slowly, and smoothly your material burns. An added bonus is that your grinder can even double as a temporary storage spot in a pinch.
Nowadays, the most common style of grinder is a multi-chambered grinder that utilizes several connected chambers to create an area for both grinding and storing the ground material. These multi-chambered grinders have a top grinding space with semi-interlocking teeth that are twisted together to grind your material and feature small machined holes that are just large enough to allow the perfectly ground up material into the chamber below. The number and shape of teeth in the grinding chambers vary from brand to brand and most of all grinders manufactured today are either metal (aluminum alloy mostly), plastic, or wood and have at least two interlocking chambers.
There is a huge selection of grinders that have more than just the traditional two chambers, such as a four piece grinder which is generally more popular, and has a bottom chamber fitted with a mesh screen that is purposed to separate a portion of the resin heads (also commonly referred to as ‘kief’) from the ground material that falls from the grinding chamber. You can then use your kief to load on top of a bowl or sprinkled on your joint before you roll it up for an extra little kick.
When selecting a good grinder, you are going to want to determine if you are going to mainly use it for smoking or are going to use it with a vaporizer. In some cases, especially if you have the funds to do so, it’s totally worth it to have two grinders that have their own specific functions. Grinders that produce a coarser grind are usually perfect for use with pipes, bowls, and joints because they allow for a nicely broken down final product will not be too powdery. When your bud is a fine, powdery consistency, it can make it a bit more difficult to roll up into a joint or pack into a bowl. Great choices for bowls and joints that are worth taking a look at would have to be either the Cali Crusher HomeGrown (which also comes in a Pocket version and is perfect for someone who finds themselves blazing on the go) or the Santa Cruz Shredder. Both are absolutely fantastic grinders that produce some nicely ground herb.
When it comes to choosing a grinder for use with vaping, it really depends on the specific brand and type of vape, but you are really going to want to expose the most surface area on your cannabis to get the most out of the experience. A great go-to grinder for use with vaping is anything from the Kannastor line, but more specifically the GR8TR Vape version which features a vape grinding plate for a super fine grind. This grinder pairs perfectly with a vaporizer like peanut butter and grape jelly. Another great feature that the entire line of Kannastor grinders come with is the Easy Change screen that allows the user to take the sifting screen out and either replace with a new screen or just give it a quick cleaning before putting it back in your grinder. Check out some of the other grinders offered by Kannastor right here!
The needs of the individual vary from person to person, but no matter what you might be looking for, we have definitely got you covered. Give our collection of grinders a look and make a decision for yourself. And as always, if you have any questions about a specific product then feel free to reach out to our support team. They are always more than happy to help you out.
Downstems are that fragile part of your bong that reaches into the pipe and creates the all-too-important airflow into water needed for a water pipe to do its thing. Unfortunately, downstems can break. No need to fear though. When your daily driver takes a spill and needs a new part, we're here to help you find the size and length of the downstem with a few simple steps.
Here is how downstems work. First, you need to understand the ground joint sizing. Ground joints are used in a set, consisting of the male inner piece (with a conical end, ground on the outside) and the female outer piece (ground on the inside to the corresponding dimensions). Their measurements are in millimeters.
Ideally, you will want to find a ruler. If you don't have one, then a new pencil is about 7 inches or 200mm. A dime is about 19mm wide. You'll need a pencil and a dime. Look in your couch cushions for either. Take the old downstem of your water pipe and set is aside for now.
If you can place a dime over the female ground joint of your bong and it doesn't slide inside, then it is a 14mm ground joint. If it can slide inside the hole, then it is an 18mm or 19mm joint. Also if you can't slide a pencil into the hole, then it is a 10mm joint.
Once you have the downstem size you need the length. Slide a pencil into the female ground joint of your pipe and make a mark on the pencil the depth of the downstem. This is the entire length of the downstem, but downstems lengths are given without the length of the joint. The ground joint is usually about one inch long, so subtract that from the pencil mark length. What remains is your downstem length. It may sound complicated, but we promise it's not!