When choosing an herb grinder for personal use, you’d think it would be a fairly simple and straightforward process to determine the best and subsequently clear choice. There are multiple aspects to carefully consider, the most important of which we will discuss here. So let’s dig into these issues to cover the facts, and get you informed before you choose which herb grinder to buy.
What is it made of?
We’re going to start off with the composition of the grinder. Basically you’re looking at three different types here: wood, metal, and plastic.
Now the wood grinders are great for nostalgic folks like myself, if only for the aesthetic appeal. They’re lightweight, they feel very inviting in the hand, and they don’t have that typical off-putting smell of metals or plastics. However, the one aspect they suffer in is durability. You will inevitably see some of your wooden grinder’s teeth fall out with long-term continuous use, and this is to be expected going in. Obviously that’s not a positive thing. You can also see a very large build-up of the more potent residual matter build-up on your wood, and this will obviously require its due effort to be removed.
Next up is plastic. Super lightweight, the ability to see through it and into the grinding chamber, very resistant to a fall, very cheap. These are all solid reasons to go with this type of grinder. Unfortunately, there are also a list of negatives along with the benefits: Static electricity causes major and frequent build-up of extraneous debris from grinding. Again, this will require marked effort to remove, though sometimes a good slapping of the two sides together can take care of most of the problem. Another issue is that sometimes the plastic will crack if low quality. That means a replacement will be in order. Plastic is good to withstand a fall, but under more specific and targeted stresses it has a tendency to fracture and break. Something to consider before diving in.
Finally, we’re going to mention the metal grinders. Now these are typically the top of the line and for good reason. They stand the test of time, they are virtually indestructible, and their technology is light years ahead of their two above-listed counterparts. Especially if you go with the premium anodized type of alloy that basically is a coating of super hard electrically-tempered metal on the teeth and inner casing of the grinder. This will keep the finer points much sharper for much longer and keep your investment paying dividends long into the future. Of course the negatives are still to be considered, and they would be the exponentially higher price tag and the lesser portability they offer due to their larger bulk and heavier weight.
Where is it made?
Another very pertinent factor to consider is where were they manufactured? Usually it’s going to be the U.S., India or China. Make sure you found out, regardless of how well the grinder in question is marketed and presented because those grinders made in other countries usually are mass-produced and are not given the kind of attention to detail and craftsmanship that locally made grinders will afford you. That’s because grinders made in America are done so on a much smaller scale, and so more thought and effort can be put into the actually production which will significantly extend the life of the product.
Does it have a warranty?
Lastly we want to mention the warranty aspect. There are two things you need to do before making any purchase of a grinder online. First, you check out the specific site’s (reseller) policy on returns and read the fine print. Find out if they are authorized retailers and can subsequently honor the manufacturer’s warranty in full. Then you want to go to said manufacturer’s site, and take a look at what kind of coverage you get from them when purchasing their product. How long? Limited? Extended? What scenarios are covered? Is the language ambiguous? You have about a 1 in 1000 chance of needing warranty coverage when buying a quality grinder, but it should be considered just in case.
Follow the above steps, and always do your college best to research before you buy. You won’t regret it, and neither will your bank account. Now go forth fellow grindheads, and choose…wisely.
So now you know what to consider before purchasing a new herb grinder, but don’t take the plunge without finding out what NOT to do with your new grinder.