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3 Piece Grinders 

Grinding herbs or cutting them into smaller pieces has always been a part of consuming dry herbs. Whether you’re smoking tobacco or you’re vaping select botanicals, it’s important that you cut your herbs into finer pieces. Grinding your herbs offers several benefits and allows you to maximize your materials. Through the years there have been many forms and many variations of different tools used in cutting or in grinding herbs like the Santa Cruz Shredder – 3 Piece. It’s a 3-piece grinder that allows you to break the herbs into more consumable pieces allowing them to react better to the heat when you smoke or when you vaporize them. This is why the practice of grinding herbs is said to have been the cornerstone of herb consumption.  

Grinding your materials allow the herbs to vaporize or even combust better than cured nuggets of botanicals. Also, they evenly heat up when they’re ground-up whereas smoking or vaping whole nuggs will give you uneven results. Because of the nature and of the shape of the herbs, you’ll end up with a chunk of herb with parts that are charred and parts that are still fresh if you choose not to grind them before consumption.  

Grinders are often rounded and circular in shape, they will have chambers that will contain the herbs and sharp teeth that will grind them into smaller pieces. Grinders have various models apart from our featured 3-piece dry herb grinders. Some are more rudimentary and straightforward like the 2-piece grinders while others are far complex and complicated like the 4-piece and 5-piece grinders.  

Essentially, the “pieces” refer to the layers or the chambers a grinder has, fewer chambers or pieces makes grinders easier to deal with. The more pieces or layers there are to a grinder will make it more complicated but will add more features to it allowing you to do more things to the botanicals ground with the grinder. Grinders with fewer pieces do not make them any less effective nor do grinders with more pieces make it more superior.  

Depending on your preference, a 2-piece grinder or a 5-piece grinder may prove to be more effective. However, for those who want the ideal balance between functionality and ease of use will find that 3-piece grinders are more suited to their liking.  

What are 3-Piece Grinders?  

A 3-piece grinder is made up of 3 parts; the two upper sections of the grinder, consisting of both the top and the bottom teeth and a separate chamber at the base where the herbs are to be collected once they are ground-up. Having said, one of the main features of a 3-piece grinder is the additional storage it offers, something you won’t find in 2-piece grinders but are common in 4-piece and 5-piece grinders.  

The compartment at the bottom of the grinder allows you to carry or store additional herbs and is better suited for people who are always on-the-go and also for those who consume herbs heavily throughout the day. Let’s look at how this feature can help those who require an on-the-go solution for their consumption methods.  

First, a 3-piece grinder is often slim and sleek and allows consumers to easily take it almost anywhere they go. Having only three layers to it means that 3-piece grinders are portable and are lightweight. The fact that 3-piece grinders bear less of the bulk than its 4-piece and 5-piece counterparts make them more portable and better suited for travel. These 3-piece grinders can fit in most bags and pouches which means that you can carry it with you without having to worry about minding unnecessary weight and bulk. You can just dump them in your bag and not worry about it taking up too much space. Carrying 3-piece grinders won’t tell every person you meet that you’re carrying an herb grinder with you, you won’t even have to bring or put it in a separate bag simply because it won’t take up space in your bag. Portable grinders allow you to maximize your yield and enjoy freshly ground-up herbs on the fly.  

Second, it provides a compartment where you can store your herbs for later use. With 3-piece grinders, you’re not required to use whatever amount of herbs you’ve put into it immediately. This helps those who consume herbs on-the-go to use the herbs even in smaller amounts or an amount they’re comfortable with. Because they have the liberty of storing their herbs, they can just consume them as they please and not worry about having to find a place to put the herbs in. It also saves you time, which is important for those always on-the-go, since the herbs fall right off the base once they’re ground up through the holes at the bottom teeth of the grinding section of the 3-piece grinder. This means that there’s no need to transfer the ground-up herbs from the grinder to different storage spaces. The less the herbs get transferred from one place to another, the less of it goes to waste.  

3-piece grinders give you the fundamental benefit of enjoying ground-up herbs without prior preparation. This means you can grind your herbs on the spot and only whenever needed. You won’t even have to worry about finishing your herbs up or minding the amount of herbs you need for a single session.  

Having said, 3-piece grinders offer a great solution for those who need a slim and sleek herb grinder they can bring with them almost anywhere they go and a grinder that gives them additional storage space for keeping ground up herbs on-the-go. However, 3-piece grinders aren’t just for those who always find themselves at their feet. Those who take the herb and botanical consumption at their home can also benefit from using 3-piece grinders. These types of grinders make for a discreet tool you can easily keep in your stash, no need to bother finding a shelf or a cabinet to store your grinder, it will fit in any drawer or cupboard and makes for an inconspicuous addition to your vaping or smoking arsenal.  

Why Use 3-Piece Grinders?  

3-piece grinders offer several advantages like grinding your herbs evenly and providing storage for your greens. However, there’s more to grinding and 3-piece grinders than meets the eye.  

Whether you harvest your own herbs or buy your botanicals from a dispensary, they would often come in large forms of flowers, buds, nuggets, or just plain raw greens. They are then either dried, cured or consumed fresh. As you would notice, these herbs, in its original form isn’t exactly suitable for smoking or vaping. That’s why for ages, the common practice is either to cut them down into smaller pieces so they would fit a tobacco pipe, can be rolled into a spliff or into a joint, can be packed into a bowl, or can be loaded into a vaporizer chamber. Even when making edibles or just plainly activating the compounds in the herbs via decarboxylation, the herbs themselves have to be broken down into smaller pieces.  

This can be done by chopping them down using a knife on a chopping board, cutting them with scissors, using a coffee grinder, or a traditional herb grinder made for herbs and botanicals used for vaping and for smoking. Grinding your herbs allow them to cover more surface area and react better to heat. Ground-up herbs are vaporized faster and they quickly combust compared to using larger pieces of herbs. They are also burned and they vaporize completely when they are cut into smaller pieces. You would also notice that they vaporize and they burn cleaner when they’ve been ground-up compared to using larger slabs and wedges of herbs.  

Now that you know why grinding is important, it’s time we talk about why herb grinders are better than the aforementioned methods.  

First and foremost is that herb grinders allow you to thoroughly shred your herbs, let’s compare.  

You can use your fingers to break the nuggets, take the leaves off the stem, or to just separate the flowers from the stalks. However, your fingers will just rip the herbs and not really cut or shred them. Moreover, the end result of using your hands isn’t as fine as what you’d get with an herb grinder.  

You can also use scissors for a more precise cut. However, scissors can only do so much. They are better at cutting down herbs compared to doing it by hand and the result is often coarse and uneven. Botanicals that are cut using scissors are often used in smoking tobacco or in applications where a coarse finish is preferred. Likewise, chopping them up using a knife and a cutting board can also produce a coarse finish and is often done when using the herbs as a garnish to edibles.  

Herb grinders, on the other hand, allow you to maximize your botanicals in a way the previous methods can’t. Because grinders are made to grind your herbs in a closed and an encapsulated compartment, it preserves the integrity of the herbs and keeps all the components of the herbs kept inside the grinder. Herbs are known to be rich in trichomes, flavonoids, and terpenes. Also known as pollen or kief, these resinous substances pack the strongest punch, give the herbs its unique flavor and provides it with a distinct aroma.  

These pollens are lost when cutting down herbs using your hands, scissors, and when you chop your greens up with a knife. In a sense, the above methods actually decrease the potency and the efficacy of the herbs and will make you consume more in the process. Because your herbs are robbed of a portion of its natural ingredients, you’d have to use more of it to get the results you want to achieve making the whole practice counterproductive.  

When you use grinders to grind your herbs, you get to lock in all of the freshness, aroma, and taste inside. What’s more, is you get to keep all of the pollens and prevent them from getting stuck into your hands, accumulating in your scissors, or just falling off the table when you mince the herbs. Furthermore, 3-piece herb grinders keep the pollen mixed up with the herbs. This makes for an easier approach to consuming your herbs because the herbs are already incorporated with the herbs. All you need to do is to load the herbs into your vaporizer, roll it up into a joint, pack your bowl or bong. They make for a great grinder especially for those who are always on-the-go and will have no time to separate the ground herbs from the pollen. It's an easy and straightforward means of grinding your botanicals or simply just storing them for the time being.  

Grinding is a fundamental part of your consumption process and using grinders play a vital role in improving your overall experience.  

What Makes A Good 3-Piece Grinder?  

3-piece grinders come in different shapes and sizes; different manufacturers use a wide variety of raw materials giving these grinders different features allowing consumers to take advantage of its benefits. But what makes a 3-piece grinder a good grinder?  

Let’s find out. 

First is the body, a good 3-piece grinder uses a durable shell. As you would observe, a 3-piece grinder is what you’d call dab smack in the middle in terms of size. They’re not as small nor as thin as 2-piece grinders and they’re not as big and bulky as 4-piece and 5-piece herb grinders either. Having said, many dry herb consumers take advantage of its portable size which means that 3-piece grinders are often subject to bumps and accidental falls. A 3-piece grinder made out of cheap and poor materials will easily break or bend after hitting the corner of your table. It can also get dented from falls or from hitting sharp or hard objects inside your bag or your pockets.  

A good grinder is ideally made out of a durable and lightweight material, like aluminum. Aluminum is both light and tough, that’s why it has been the choice of manufacturers in the dry herb grinder industry. It gives herb grinders made out of aluminum undeniable reliability and at the same time, unparalleled portability. However, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding aluminum dry herb grinders. Some claim that aluminum grinders are unfit to use for dry herb grinders. They say that raw aluminum is susceptible to shredding slivers due to abrasion and galling. These happen when two metal surfaces come into contact and slide or press with each other. The slivers of metal are then said to mix with the ground materials and are eventually inhaled or ingested by the consumer. Claims use a study conducted on aluminum that shows that people exposed to aluminum are at high risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease later on.  

Others reject and renounce the idea of aluminum as unsafe and state that it’s very rare for aluminum to leave metal shavings and that because aluminum has a high melting point, it’s nearly impossible to vaporize aluminum. Its high vapor point prevents it from being consumed should any sliver find its way into your ground herbs.  

Many grinder companies are aware of this heated debate, that’s why grinders like the Santa Cruz Shredder – 3 Piece is made with aluminum that’s processed through anodization. Anodization provides raw aluminum with a durable protective coating which prevents problems like galling from ever happening. The process of anodization involves bathing raw aluminum in an acid bath and passing electrical currents through the raw aluminum which creates a tough and a durable surface protecting the raw aluminum metal. The process itself can change the microscopic texture of the aluminum and even changes the crystal structure near the raw aluminum’s surface making it a holistic approach to strengthen the material. Many companies who have established their name in the industry use aerospace anodizing techniques to make even tougher aluminum components for their dry herb grinders.  

Second, are the blades or the teeth.  

A grinder’s blades or teeth are also something you should look out for when checking out a 3-piece grinder. The blades are the ones responsible for grinding and shredding the herbs into easy to burn or easy to vaporize bits and pieces.  

Different grinders use different styles of blades. Oftentimes, the blades are a result of a technological breakthrough or a manufacturer’s commitment to a tried and tested tradition. One of the most common style of teeth in grinders are diamonds. These are grinding teeth in the shape of diamonds that allow you to easily grind your herbs. They allow you to twist the grinder in both directions and still get great results. Because of how each tooth is shaped and sharpened, diamond teeth grinders can mill almost any kind of herbs, from the soft ones to even the stubborn ones. They are also relatively safe to use since the design of diamond teeth grinders make the top part of the teeth flat and the sides of ach actual tooth made sharp. Your hands won’t get cut or stabbed when using diamond teeth grinders.  

There are also some grinders that use pyramid-shaped teeth, pyramid teeth grinders are sometimes less effective than diamond teeth grinders because they leave a certain gap because the tooth of each pyramid is designed with a thick base that grows thin as it reaches the top. This makes for a section where the herbs can get crumpled instead of actually being broken down into pieces. Nevertheless, grinders with pyramid-shaped teeth still make for a decent grind. You might need to find a particular method of grinding in order to achieve a fine grind when grinding tougher and more stubborn herbs.  

Blades, on the other hand, are commonly seen on automatic grinders. They work pretty much like your food processor or your blender and can grind up your herbs into finer pieces.  

Many consumers find that manual grinders offer a great deal of control compared to automatic grinders. They claim that you can feel how coarse or how fine the herbs are in the grinder just by feeling how tough or how smooth the grinding action is. Instead of relying on automatic grinders, consumers who have developed a certain liking to a ground-up consistency tend to like manual herb grinders like these 3-piece grinders better than automatic ones.  

Lastly, design.  

We’ve all heard it when Steve Jobs said that design isn’t always about how something looks but also about how something works. Having said, the way a grinder is designed may or may not create a significant impact on the user’s overall experience. These designs and features in a 3-piece grinder include the aforementioned additional storage and size. There are also other features that highlight how much design affects how an herb grinder works. One of these is how the threads of an herb grinder are designed.  

Threads are the connecting point between the different pieces or layers of the grinder. In this case, a 3-piece grinder will have four threaded ends adjoining all three parts. Our featured herb grinder in this collection uses a 7-catch design. The design of the threaded links involves the use of the process of anodization which greatly improves the strength of the threaded links. These threaded parts are commonly subjected to extreme wear and tear because of how much tension each thread suffers as you screw them on and off when your 3-piece grinder is in use. By anodizing the threads, you can prevent galling and even minor degradation and the eventual fall of the integrity of the threaded connection.  

Another feature brought about by clever and ingenious design in the grip. Basically, a grinder that provides an easier grip means that the consumer using the manual grinder can achieve better results. Manual 3-piece grinders rely on force and torque to propel the teeth of the herb grinder. In some cases, a smooth and polished surface can cause your hands to slip especially when you're grinding tough herbs that are hard to cut. It would take you greater effort to twist and turn a grinder with a smooth and a polished surface than operating one that has ribbed edges that are dedicated to helping you apply better force and torque to your 3-piece dry herb grinder. Most grinders with textured grips make for a buttery smooth grinding experience because users can grind their herbs with only minimal force. This makes such grinders great for patients who use their herbs to combat pain and inflammation from diseases like arthritis. Because the 3-piece dry herb grinder turns with ease, you can grind your herbs with very minimal effort showing that design and engineering greatly contribute to a grinder’s overall functionality.  

It’s marvelous to see that a tool as simple and as humble as an herb grinder can have as much feature and as much science behind it. Design and engineering greatly contribute to how 3-piece grinders make one’s dry herb consumption more beneficial and a whole lot easier. This only shows that 3-piece grinders, while just having three parts to offer, can still create a great impact in your vaping, smoking and overall experience.  

We here at VapeActive choose to sell top-notch grinders that use the latest technology and those that still rely on tried and trusted designs.  

Our Featured 3-Piece Grinders 

VapeActive believes that grinders are more important tools and that one should be aware of the quality of the grinder they use for their herbs. We have been in the business long enough to know the best brands and the technology used in manufacturing these tools.  

One of our featured 3-piece grinders is the Santa Cruz Shredder – 3 Piece. It’s made by one of today’s most trusted brands in dry herb grinders, Santa Cruz. Here are a few things we loved about this grinder. 

It’s genuinely medical-grade. 

The Santa Cruz Shredder – 3 Piece is the only medical-grade grinder in the world. apart from anodizing their aluminum grinders, they subject their dry herb grinders to ultrasonic cleansing. Ultrasonic cleaning uses ultrasound to agitate fluid which in turn will clean a submerge material thoroughly. Ultrasonic cleansing is normally done on products like lenses, jewelries, dental and surgical equipment, and even firearms. Ultrasonic cleansing eliminates various toxins and irritants in a particular object. The things removed by ultrasonic cleaning are rust, dust, dirt, grease, fingerprints, bacteria, algae, fungus, oil, limescale, polishing compounds, soot wax and mold release agents, flux agents, pigments, and biological soil. Eliminating this much residue from the cured aluminum is important, the manufacturer believes that a strong and a durable dry herb grinder is a structural and a technological failure if the herbs and botanicals themselves will be contaminated by the very aluminum that holds it.  

Many other grinder manufacturers claim that their grinders are medical-grade grinders when in fact it did not go through the right process of clearing the aluminum from any kind of irritant or pollutant that can ruin the herbs or much worse, affect the health of the consumer.  

Because of the growing popularity of herbs and botanicals as a natural remedy, many patients have turned to the consumption of dry herbs for help. These 3-piece grinders are now used for medical purposes so exposing patients to the dangers of chemicals and bacteria can put them at risk instead of actually helping them. By looking at the bigger picture and including medicating patients and recreational users alike, manufacturers of the Santa Cruz Shredder – 3 Piece were able to provide the industry with a true medical-grade dry herb grinder.  

It’s a well-designed grinder.  

No, we’re not just talking about looks. The design of this 3-piece grinder was geared and was even centered around customer experience. Apart from the obvious design advantages like added grip and stronger threaded connections, this 3-piece dry herb grinder also has a dome-shaped bottom compartment that was designed for finger scooping. One of the common pitfalls of other 3-piece grinders is that the pollen and other finely ground materials tend to stick to the corner of the bottom compartment. You need to either use something sharp to pick the ones that stuck to the sides with something like a toothpick. With this design, consumers need not waste leftover pollen and herbs and simply just use their fingers to scoop the materials inside the bottom compartment.  

Speaking of well designed, to ensure that this 3-piece herb grinder was developed and engineered correctly, the manufacturer used a special computer program called Siemens CAD Software to check the viability and the practicality of this 3-piece dry herb grinder. From the dimensions to the actual measurement of the grinder’s teeth, this 3-piece grinder has all its parts measured accurately and precisely. This means that none of the parts of this 3-piece grinder will ever hit each other and cause the dry herb grinder itself. The design plays a part not only in improving the performance of the dry herb grinder but also increases its lifespan.  

It’s got good magnets.  

Though it may seem trivial and insignificant, magnets are important when it comes to dry herb grinders. Magnets are typically placed in the middle of both the top and the bottom grinding section where the teeth of the grinder are located. The magnets act as a bonding element that holds both parts while your herbs are being milled. This also serves as a component that holds both the parts of the grinding section when you keep your grinder in your bag or in your pocket.  

Magnets will allow the grinder to maintain a stable hold between both parts so the herbs inside won’t spill out. Should the magnets do a great job, it will also lock in the aroma and the freshness of the herbs. It's important to keep the botanicals fresh and also to give you a discreet grinding experience and to keep your sessions low-key. The odor from the grinder won’t escape and contaminants from the outside of the grinder won’t make its way in.