While kief, the beloved version of cannabis in a fine powder form, is amazing and highly sought after, it can be tough to catch without the right gear. It's full of the good stuff; kief is made up of trichomes, after all – the sticky flakes of green that give flower its flavor, smell, and potency, including THC, CBD, and all the rest of the plant's cannabinoids.
The main objective for anyone collecting kief is to consume it, not get it stuck to their fingers or grinders. Otherwise, it's wasting trichomes with potent THC content. That's why having the right equipment is essential.
Check out what constitutes the best grinder for kief.
Table of Contents
Collecting the Kief
To collect kief, consumers have to first start with flower. From there, it's ground into a fine powder. The trick for catching the kief, though, lies within the grinder: namely, the chamber within.
The best kinds of grinders for collecting kief will have not one, but typically up to four chambers. Here's how it works: the first chamber does the nitty gritty work – grinding up the bud. This compartment has two different sections, a top and bottom, each with teeth. The floor of the bottom will have tons of holes. Once the weed is fed into the grinder and shredded, it will fall through these little holes and start collecting.
While regular grinders can stop here, kief grinders will have an additional chamber below, separated with a screen made of fine mesh. This part is known as the kief catcher. Only the specs of trichomes will be able to pass through. The end result is a final chamber full of fine specks of cannabis matter – the kief.
What to Look For
When seeking out the best kief grinder, be sure to look first at the number of chambers. There should be at least two, at the bare minimum, but the extra filtering and storage for kief catching comes in at the three and four chambered grinders, in products that market a kief catcher. Fun fact, a three chambered grinder is also known as a four piece, and a four chamber is also called a five piece.
Four pieces are slim, cost-effective, and get the job done, and five pieces add on another, even finer, mesh screen. The result is even more potent kief, though the grinder itself is on the bulky side and it takes a while to fill an entire bottom kief catcher chamber.
Another big thing to look for and consider for kief grinders is hole size. At the base of the first chamber are the first layer of holes. The size of these ultimately determines how much of the marijuana can be ground up before falling through.
Thus, large holes will lead to less grinding, while small holes will result in a finer grind before they are able to fall through to the next layer. In general, the size of your grinder hole depends completely on preference. If you'd like larger, fluffier chunks of weed, go for the larger-sized holes. If you prefer more of a fine grind, opt for the smaller.
When it comes to kief, though, it's good to know that smaller holes will work best. The weed will be ground up more, which will later result in more trichomes detaching and falling in the the next chamber. It's easier to catch and collect more kief with smaller grinder holes.
Next, consider mesh size. The best grinders for kief use one of two units of measurement for their mesh screens: LPI or microns. Here's the main gist: most grinders for kief will have a mesh screen that is somewhere between 100 and 250 microns; the smaller the number, the finer the kief will be. This is what most consumers want but will take longer to collect.
Here's the more in depth look into the units of measurement: LIP, or lines per inch, measures the amount of strands that contribute to one inch of material; for example, a 150 LIP has 150 strands over an inch of material. The higher the LPI, the finer the weed will be. Microns are a more popular unit of measurement because they also account for different hole sizes; each one equals a millionth of a millimeter.
These screens can either be removed or be a permanent part of the grinder. Serious kief consumers prefer to have a grinder that's easy to maintain; sometimes, that involves replacing the mesh screen. When it can be removed easily, the life of the grinder increases significantly.
Last, look at grinder size, both in regards to height and diameter. The diameter will determine the quantity of cannabis that can be ground up at one time. All sizes have benefits and uses. For example, minis are nice for their portability, small grinders are perfect for small, single-use doses, mediums can handle both individual and small group use, and large is optimal for hosting parties. The more weed you are able to grind, the more kief you'll have in the end. So, when it comes to size, it all depends on how much kief you really want to produce.
The Best Kief Grinders
Cali Crusher Homegrown
The Cali Crusher Homegrown is an excellent grinder that checks all the boxes for collecting kief as well. In addition to being stylish, the Homegrown has a removeable mesh screen, is easy to use, has a rounded kief tray (makes the scraping and kief removal process easy and simplified), and is made with a strong and high-quality aluminum, with a scratch-resistant coat. It is a worthy investment for anyone who is wanting to jump into the kief grinding game and stay awhile.
Widely considered to be the godfather of all kief grinders, the Space Case is a tenured accessory with a rich history of collecting kief like a pro. This grinder has a lot of things going for it, starting with 54 total teeth, sharp and ready to shred and grind like crazy, with a design made for a tight grind. Its aluminum material makes it super industrial, but keep in mind that the mesh filter is permanent and can't be removed. Above all else, this bad boy has a reputation for collecting kief and doing it extremely well.
Masterdam Large Grinder
For a budget-friendly option, the Masterdam Grinders Premium Large 2.5 Inch grinder with a kief catcher won't lead you astray. In addition to affordability, the Masterdam grinder has a Lion's Tooth curved design, which works to mince the cannabis with a sharp set of aluminum teeth. Other perks include a tiny scraper tool and a rounded kief tray, for added ease and convenience.
Santa Cruz Shredder
Everyone has a favorite weed product; several consumers consider the Medium Santa Cruz Shredder to be their go-to — the very best grinder for kief. It has several unique parts that set it apart from others on the market (a pollen press, rounded kief tray), including its teeth, which, as the name indicates, shred the marijuana apart, resulting in larger and fluffier chunks of flower. The teeth aren't sharp, so there's no worries on making them last over the years. The Santa Cruz Shredder does exactly what it promises, and that's what consumers tend to love about this grinder.
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