Aside from a big bag of the sticky-icky, the next most important item in any cannabis consumer’s inventory should be their grinder. The secret to a great sesh, whether you’re taking gangsta-sized hits from the bong or puffing discreetly on your vaporizer, is properly ground herb. There are literally THOUSANDS of herb grinders on the market, and no two are quite created equal. While a pair of scissors and a shot glass can, essentially, do the exact same job as a $100 high-end grinder, the persnickety toker knows that with cannabis, just as with coffee, the grind can make all the difference.
Enter: The GRINDER by United Machining.
The specs of The GRINDER according to United Machining’s website:
- 100% 316 Stainless Steel Construction
- Made entirely in the USA (even the material itself)
- Thread-less, 3-Piece Design with Removable Kief Screen & Stainless Steel Kief Scraper
- Neodymium Rare-Earth Magnets secure top and bottom
- Unique 6 point tooth design ensures a fine grind every time
- 2″ (51mm) Outer Diameter x 1.160 (29.5mm) Tall
- Weight: .550 lbs (.250 kg)
Now there are a few things that I personally judge a grinder’s quality on, so let’s break this down into a few categories, shall we?
The best way I can describe the look of The GRINDER is UFO-like. Sleek and silver with a design on top that almost seems futuristic in a retro way. Reminiscent of old 70’s era space alien movies involving green-painted girls in shimmery suits and go-go boots. And while I’m rambling on about retro aliens, do you remember secret decoder rings? If you do, you’ll love cracking the secret message on this grinder.
With nice, sharp, teeth and small, evenly-spaced holes The GRINDER chops up your product incredibly fine. This is PERFECT for vaporizers and alright for rolling, but the super-fine grind may result in too-tightly rolled joints or falling through larger holes on glass bowls.
To be frank, I wasn’t expecting much from the weird drop-in kief tray, especially because a good third of it is taken covered by metal and there isn’t much actual surface area of screen left exposed for the flower to rub against. However I was pleasantly surprised after only busting up two grams, I had formed a good base layer of crystal across the bottom.
The kief scrapers included were, in all honesty, just meh. They simply didn’t come to enough of a taper to do any scraping effectively and the corner of a matchbook was more effective. I, however, usually prefer a grinder without a crystal catch anyway and will probably opt to leave it removed in the future.
When it arrived in the mail I was astounded at the weight of the package! For just a little gaffer, this thing is a BEAST, weighing in at just over half a pound. The weight speaks to the quality of the materials and isn’t a huge drawback if you plan to carry it in a bag or jacket… but if you regularly put your grinder in your trouser pockets, make sure you invest in a good belt. One nice thing I did find about the weight was that it made it easy to remember which pocket it was in. No more patting yourself down with those brief moments of “did I lose it?” panic… you know EXACTLY where that grinder is.
In order to put this grinder through it’s portability paces, I took it out with me to the pub. I was skeptical at first that a threadless grinder could be effectively portable, but the neodymium magnets are incredibly strong and hold the grinder together no matter how much it gets tossed about.
At $126 CAD ($95 USD) The GRINDER costs a little more than a pretty penny. At this price point, United Machining’s primary competitors on the high-end grinder market are the full-featured and stylish Kannastör Gr8tr V2 and the rather plain, but still crowd-favourite, SpaceCase. And while The GRINDER doesn’t have the household name recognition of SpaceCase or the bells and whistles of the Kannastör, it does have one thing that it’s competitors lack.
Two words, baby: STAINLESS. FUCKING. STEEL.
Most other grinders on the market today (yes, even the $190 Lift Innovations grinder) are made from aluminum. The problem with this is that when ingested, even in small amounts and especially when heated, aluminium has been linked to several neurodegenerative diseases. “Well what’s the issue?” you might ask, “I don’t smoke my grinder, just the weed in it!”… And I would like to let you know that you might ACTUALLY be unknowingly smoking your grinder. With the friction of turning over long periods of time, aluminium grinders (especially cheaply manufactured ones) can start to break down and leave tiny metal filings in your herb. Those then get dumped into your joint or bowl and smoked along with your weed. So if protecting your brain is worth it to you, that $126 sticker might not come with so much shock.
Any Drawbacks?There’s only one thing about this grinder that particularly irks me: the sound it makes. You can hear the lid scraping against the sides when you twist it, and while that might not be a huge deal for most folks, to someone who has sensory issues (autism, misophonia, etc) that high-pitched, scrapey noise could make the difference between someone being super happy with their purchase or their purchase being a very expensive paperweight.
Would I have personally spent $126 of my hard-earned money on this had it not been given to me? Maybe not right off the hop, but with some minor improvements to the kief screen and scrapers, getting rid of that awful sound the lid makes, and a wider selection of colours… definitely! And if you believe in supporting the little guy like I do, I’d say The GRINDER is worth every penny.
I’ve been using my trusty Kannastör for about 6 years now and I’ll be retiring it as my daily driver in favour of The GRINDER. The primary reason being my preference for the stainless steel over potentially mind-numbing (and not in a good way) aluminium. I love the fact that this grinder isn’t just another factory fabricated grinder that is one of a million others that look just like it. It was made in the USA by a regular guy. His name is Dylan, and he’s not the CEO of a huge corporation, but rather just a guy who started making good quality grinders in his garage… and THAT is something I can really get on board with.
Get your United Machining GRINDER at unitedmachining.us