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Grinders have always played a vital role in the consumption of various herbs throughout history. From herbs known for their savory and aromatic properties to spices made from plant substances used primarily for cooking, grinders were used to turn plant matter into fine consumable commodities. Weed grinders are an evolved form of herb grinders. They have been redesigned and reworked to provide results specific to the needs of a consumer who use these botanical dry herb strains.   

Weed grinders are practical tools designed and engineered to make the most out of your materials. That said, it’s no surprise many consumers started using this tool to grind large nuggets of herbs into smaller particles that can easily be loaded on a vaporizer herb chamber or rolled into a spliff using a rolling paper. Whatever your preference in consuming your herbs, you can’t deny that herb grinders and weed grinders make life simple, easy, and convenient.   

Here at VapeActive, we make sure to check the market for the best weed grinders so we can provide our customers who fancy the benefits of these dry herb strains get the right tool to aid them in their rituals. There are many weed grinders out there, our select staff dedicated to the use of dry herbs carefully handpick the best weed grinders on the market and curate them so they can be included on our weed grinder collection. One of the most popular varieties of weed grinders or herb grinders are 4-piece grinders. We make sure we keep a collection of the best 4-piece grinders online so people who consume herbs – either using a dry herb vaporizer, a bong, or a water pipe – can make the most out of their sessions.   

Because we’ve been in the vaporizer industry for years now, we’ve managed to uncover the secrets of online weed grinder shopping. That's why for those looking to buy weed grinders online, they make it a habit to check it out here at VapeActive first. We're at the front page of the industry’s weed grinder section and we are the first ones to give the market the latest and the best in weed grinders. No one knows 4-piece weed grinders and herb grinders as we do. We know its history and by doing so we can understand its future.   

Let’s talk about how weed grinders started.   

History of 4-Piece Weed Grinder   

Ancient history has witnessed our struggle of breaking down nuggets of herbs into smaller and more reasonable size for consumption. Early consumers started by breaking down their herbs with their very hands. This allowed then to separate the combustible parts of the plant matter to those that are not. Fingers began to pull fan leaves and the flowers away from the stem and the nodes. However, this process proves to be somewhat harmful to the herbs themselves. By simply touching the herbs using your own hands, you expose it to whatever dirt you have on your palms. Herbs that are taken apart and will be consumed on a later date will begin to accumulate and propagate the germs and the microorganisms you might have acquired. Moreover, your sweat might damage the trichomes and the cannabinoids found on the flowers. Damaging the trichomes will eventually decrease the potency and the ability of the herbs to deliver the effects that made it a sought-after plant matter.   

That said, early weed consumers decided to use sharp tools like knives to cut the herbs down into smaller pieces. Like how one would cut vegetables for cooking, knives proved to be a simple yet effective tool. However, it still had its shortcomings as the herbs that were cut are often spilled to the sides or are blown away by the wind. The same goes for those who used scissors and blades to break down their dry herb strains. Speaking of strains, there are other varieties of our beloved plant matter that has more moisture than other breeds. That said, they can get sticky and might make cutting these herbs with a knife or with a scissor a nightmare. Small particles fly everywhere making the cut herbs almost impossible to contain.   

At the beginning of the 20th century, many consumers started experimenting with various designs of tools as it was indeed the height of the industrial age. They began playing around the idea of using a tool to grind the herbs into smaller pieces that made for easier rolling using a rolling paper. Consumers needed a tool that provided dependable and reliable results. An existing design to process cellulose and plant matter came into mind. The original design was later translated to a design language that better-suited weed consumers.   

The design that was born out of a tool intended for industrial application later was developed and was turned into a product for discreet use.   

The weed grinder we know today started out its service in apothecaries and pharmacies and had smaller versions pretty similar to what we see our herb grinders today. Pharmacists use herb grinders to process medicinal herbs for patients who require small doses of the materia medica they require.   

Another theory believes that the modern herb grinder started from kitchen items used to grind spices used in cooking food. Many consumers found that these kinds of grinders or graters make good tools to cut down their herbs into finer and more consumable pieces. This gave way to better results regardless of the method the herbs were consumed. Modern dry herb grinders offer a slew of features you never knew was possible with a tool as small and as simple as an herb grinder. It began with a design that involved a two-part design which later evolved and gave way to more compartment. The 4-piece weed grinder you see today is a product of this evolution that allowed herb consumers to use a repurposed tool to help them make the most of the herbs they use.   

For a wide collection of weed grinders and 4-piece herb grinders, make sure to check out our collection of top-notch grinders here at VapeActive.   

4-Piece Grinder Design  

From its roots, the 4-piece grinder emerged as one of the most sought-after varieties of herb grinders. That’s because there are a lot of features that make the 4-piece grinder the ideal tool for breaking down the herbs for use with a vaporizer or with other conventional means of botanical herb consumption.   

The 4-piece weed grinder is made up of 4 pieces. We'll break down the pieces to help you understand the 4-piece grinder better.   

The Lid  

From the top, the first layer of the grinder is called the lid. The Lid is where the textured edges of the herb grinder are. It is also referred to as the handle since the lid is the part of the weed grinder that you hold with your hands. The main operation of the herb grinder is dependent on how the lid is designed and engineered. The textured or ribbed edge can make or break one’s overall grinding experience. With that said, many manufacturers try to nail the design of the lid of their grinder. Companies like Phoenician Grinders, SLX Grinder, Santa Cruz Shredder, SharpStone Grinder, Cali Crusher Home Grown Grinder, Space Case Grinder, and Mendo Mulcher Grinders offer a lid that allows consumers to easily grip the grinder and apply a great deal of torque and initial force.   

It’s also good to know that the lid is also equipped with a part of the teeth that is responsible for breaking down the buds and other parts of your material. The teeth that are outfitted on the bottom part of the lid will often be designed in a way that it does not get into contact with the opposing teeth that can be found on the second half of the grinder.   

Overall, the lid plays an important role in how fine the grinder grinds the herbs and how well it performs based on the power and the torque the lid receives.   

The Grinding Bowl  

One layer below the lid is what you’d call the grinding bowl. The grinding bowl is the part of the 4-piece weed grinder that receives the actual herbs that are to be milled. Like the lid, the grinding bowl is also equipped with teeth that are responsible for grinding the herbs into smaller pieces. The design and overall layout of the teeth inside the grinding bowl match that of the one on the lid. The teeth on both the lid and the grinding bowl are designed not to hit or crash into each other. In doing so, the herbs placed inside the grinding bowl will make its way into the crevices and get crushed into the spaces between the teeth of both the lid and the grinding bowl. The action of pressing and tearing the herbs that are caught in the teeth of the grinder causes the herbs to be broken down into smaller pieces.   

Herbs that have more moisture might cause the grinding bowl to get stuck together. These sticky herbs release juices when pressed together that can make its way into the gaps of the grinder. Once it stays there it can make the lid and the grinding bowl to get caught together and might make turning the lid a little harder than normal.   

Another feature unique to grinding bowls is the small holes found at the floor of the actual bowl. These holes are designed to let ground herbs fall into them once they achieved a targeted size. Normally, these holes are designed to let in the ground-up particles to a lower level compartment. The design of these holes varies from grinder to grinder. The initial purpose of these holes is to make all the ground material of uniform size before they fall from the lower level compartment. They ensure that the herbs are cut down on the right size before letting them pass through the chamber below.   

These small holes allow the grinder not only to mill the herbs but also sort what pieces fall into the lower chamber. These holes will let down portions of the flowers and prevent twigs, stems, and stalks from falling into the blend you’re supposed to pack into your bowl or into your herb chamber. Compared to manually breaking the nuggets of herbs, using the modern 4-piece grinder will provide more accurate screening and filtering of the ground material.   

Speaking of sifting herbs...  

Kief Screen   

One of the reasons why many dry herb enthusiasts prefer to use the 4-piece design is because of the kief screen.   

Kief refers to the pollen or dry sift.   

They’re the resinous gland of the plant matter that serves several purposes – more than just to give your botanicals a powerful pack of punch. Kief was designed by nature to provide the plant matter a defense mechanism and a chance to survive. Because it contains the majority of the plant matter’s cannabinoid compounds, it gives whoever it ingests it a solid amount of the plant matter’s psychoactive properties. That’s meant for animals who consume plants as a part of their main diet. The resinous gland of the actual plant matter acts as a deterrent to shock the plant eaters and stop them from continuously chewing upon the herb.   

The kief screen separates the resinous gland from the ground herbs so they can be used accurately for specific and targeted purposes. Kief, or pollen, offers the same kind of results you get when consuming wax concentrates. That means you get to enjoy more potent sessions without actually breaking the bank. Moreover, collecting kief allows you to use it in a variety of applications. Many consumers sprinkle kief atop a bowl of herbs to increase its potency. Likewise, you can add it to a cup of hot joe and infuse the effects of the plant matter to your morning brew.   

There are a lot of factors that affect the efficacy of a kief screen, they have various wire diameters and screen sizes allowing you to filter the ideal amount and size of the kief to pass through and make it to the last part of this 4-piece contraption – the kief catcher. Needless to say, kief catchers allow for a personalized approach for screening your herbs. With the variety of 4-piece herb grinders on the market, you can easily select a grinder with a finer micron or that with a wider screen. While the holes on the grinding bowl do a decent job of separating the offshoots from the flowers, the kief catcher does a more accurate job of screening the herbs. Some grinders will have removable and replaceable screens that allow you to clean your grinder and maintain your shredder in its tip-top condition. Others will have a solid screen placed into the base of the actual grinder which makes the overall integrity of the grinder.  

Solid grinders will make a better investment since they will tend to last longer than others with flimsy and poor-quality fitting. That said, 4-piece grinders like the Space Case 4-Piece Grinder is outfitted with screens using a 360-degree tapered locking press that will keep the screen firmly planted in place.   

Kief Catcher  

The last part of the 4-piece make-up of the modern-day grinder is the kief catcher.   

The kief catcher collects the pollen sifted through the kief screen. Kief catchers, or pollen catchers, come in many different shapes and sizes. The most common being a flat surface where the pollen falls flat on the base of the grinder. A flat kief catcher will collect more pollen overtime but poses several other disadvantages like making it hard to collect the pollen inside it. Flat surfaces will make the pollen stick to the crevices of the kief catcher. That’s why many other 4-piece herb grinders will come with a pollen scraper. Pollen scrapers will let you scrape off collected kief and prevent the pollen from actually touching your fingers. That said, one of the reasons why you use a 4-piece grinder, aside from breaking down the herbs, is to collect the pollen without having it touching your fingers. Your sweat glands will destroy the pollen, eventually causing it to go to waste. That said, a pollen scraper will give you the advantage of picking up the pollen from the catcher and allow you to maximize the amount of pollen you’ve collected. You can use it to either sprinkle on your next bowl or create a new edible concoction.   

Another version of kief catchers is those with domed surfaces. Domed surfaces will allow you to easily collect the herbs either by simply tapping the pollen catcher to relieve it of the specks of dust without the use of a kief catcher.   

Collected kief offers many other purposes. 4-piece herb grinders allow you to maximize your yield and use the otherwise wasted pollen that either falls to the ground or either get mixed with the herbs you consume.   

Using a 4-piece grinder will allow you to flex the boundaries of consuming your favorite herbs.   

Premium 4-Piece Grinders  

VapeActive is a great place to shop 4-piece grinders online. We carry a great deal of premium dry herb grinders that allow you to collect kief from your herbs. We're home to some of the best dry herb grinders and weed grinders.   

One of the premium brands we carry is SLX Grinders. SLX Grinders are made using ceramic-coated components. The use of ceramic-coated material allows grinders made by SLX Grinders to rid consumers of the pain of using a sticky grinder. Herb grinders or weed grinders tend to get sticky the more often you use them. As you grind the herbs, they will excrete juices, especially the moist ones, that might make its way into the cracks and the fissures of the grinder. This will not damage the integrity of the actual weed grinder but will affect the overall performance of your 4-piece herb grinder. When the juices dry out, they create a sticky, resinous product that will make the grinding process difficult. Moreover, a sticky grinder may facilitate a breeding ground for bacteria and other microorganisms that will negatively affect and impact the herbs you grind in it.   

To put it simply, a non-stick herb grinder is a healthy grinder. Here at VapeActive, we’re all about giving our customers a healthier option when consuming their favorite herbs and wax concentrates. That's why we’re glad to offer SLX Grinders in our collection of weed grinders. It’s a premium herb grinder that uses a proprietary ceramic coating that prevents even the stickiest of herbs from sticking to the walls of the grinder. Moreover, the proprietary ceramic coating prevents the grinder from chipping or breaking, thus improving the overall integrity of the herb grinder.   

Furthermore, those who are keen on using food-safe and medical-grade components will be happy to know that SLX Grinders contains zero Teflon or PTFE. All the herb grinders we use are curated by a group of individuals that share the same passion and obsession for safety. Trust in VapeActive to deliver you the best herb grinders on the market.   

Another one of these premium weed grinders is the Phoenician Grinders. Phoenician Grinders are known for their innovative weed grinders. One of these innovative designs includes the ashtray and the rolling paper holder in the actual weed grinder. This makes Phoenician Grinders a more convenient and portable option since they allow you to carry a multi-purpose tool in your grinder. Pretty much like the Swiss army knife of dry herb grinders, Phoenician Grinders allow you to ensure that you have a space-saving tool you can use to break down your herbs into smaller pieces while having the convenience of bringing a portable ashtray and a portable rolling paper holder all wrapped into one.   

Phoenician Grinders are also known for their precision-machined finish which means that no parts of these 4-piece grinders will ever bump into each other because of their accurately calculated dimensions. Phoenician Grinders is the kind of company that won’t skimp on quality. So, the next time you need premium quality weed grinders, think of Phoenician Grinders. And the next time you shop for online grinders, think of VapeActive.   

Premium 4-piece herb grinders come in many shapes and sizes, one of them is hand-crank grinders. And one to deliver high-quality hand-crank grinders is SharpStone Grinders. SharpStone Grinders are known for their affordability but are also for their high quality. Hand crank grinders offer what other grinders couldn’t - the ability to force the grinder to work harder even when your hands couldn’t. Manual herb grinders and weed grinders rely on the force and the pressure applied to it using your hands. In many cases, grinders with poor grip offer relatively poor performance. When using hand crank herb grinders, you are essentially putting your force into the crank instead of the exterior circumference of the weed grinder. That said, using the crank allows you to use less force and still get better results. It helps even consumers with medical conditions like those who consume herbs to help them deal with muscular and joint pain like arthritis and rheumatism. They can easily grind the herbs into smaller pieces even if they are experiencing pain because of their medical condition.   

SharpStone Grinders are made from high-quality anodized aircraft-grade aluminum that gives the 4-piece grinder a lighter weight and a more durable build. This variety of aluminum allows SharpStone Grinders to provide a better grinding experience while still offering a more affordable price point. What’s more, is that SharpStone Grinders are made with some of the strongest magnets available commercially. Rare-earth Neodymium magnets provide SharpStone Grinders with a stronger connection in between joints.   

What to Look for in a Weed Grinder?   

Premium weed grinders or herb grinders share a few things in common. That said, when looking for a premium dry herb grinder, here are a few things you should look out for.   

  1. Aircraft-Grade Aluminum. 

Aircraft-grade aluminum, like the ones used on SharpStone Grinders, makes for a safer grinder. Whilst aluminum is known for its lighter weight and more durable properties, it’s also known in the grinder industry as a safer option since it won’t leave metal shavings into your herb mixture. Moreover, aluminum does have a high melting point so any sliver that might have made its way into the mixture won’t actually melt and be vaporized or when burned in a bowl.   

So, the next time you go shopping for a dry herb grinder online, make sure to check the product description and look for a feature saying that your grinder is made with aircraft-grade aluminum. As often as possible, do away from acrylic grinders made with sketch materials or steel grinders that look like they’re just made from someone else’s backyard.   

  1. Diamond Shaped Teeth.

Different grinders will sport different grinding teeth. Some grinders will have poles or grinding teeth that are made to resemble nails, then there are those that have pyramid-shaped teeth, and then there are those that use diamond-shaped grinding teeth.   

Grinders that use poles, nails, and even pyramid-shaped teeth may sometimes just roll the herbs instead of actually grinding them. They crush the herbs and roll them into small balls as opposed to cutting the herbs into smaller pieces. On the other hand, 4-piece grinders with diamond-shaped teeth will precisely cut the herbs without compromising the quality of the end product.   

Diamond-shaped teeth are designed to give the herbs very little room to play in and actually have them get pressed by the sharp blades of the diamond-shaped poles.   

  1. Kief Catcher / Kief Screen.

One of the qualities of a good-quality dry herb grinder is a likewise, high-quality kief screen and kief catcher.   

While it’s common to almost all 4-piece grinders, premium weed grinders will offer good quality screens and pollen catchers. A good screen is a screen that won’t leave you with a bunch of pollen sticking to it. It will actually sift and screen the pollen instead of letting them stick into the actual screen. A good screen will also stay firm and will not have loose parts on it.   

One of the main features of using a 4-part grinder is its ability to separate kief from the actual ground material. A good quality 4-piece grinder will do its job well. Moreover, a good herb grinder will have a good kief catcher that allows you to save your collected pollen for later or for future use.   

  1. Storage.

One reason you’d want to get a good quality herb grinder is that it doubles as a storage container. When speaking of storage, you’d want a weed grinder that is outfitted with Neodymium magnets like that of the SharpStone Grinders. Strong magnets will ensure that the herbs inside your grinder won’t easily spill when you carry it with you in your bag or in any kind of compartment.   

Having a good weed grinder means that you won’t have to purchase a separate storage container to handle and transport your ground material. You can just leave it in your herb grinder for a while saving it for later use. Likewise, you’re to preserve the overall quality of the pollen you’ve collected when you use a good quality 4-piece weed grinder.   

Grinders have come a long way, from the basic and rudimentary component used in pharmacies, the modern-day herb grinder now offers several other updated features like a hand crank, an ashtray, a rolling paper holder, and a slew of other features you never thought a simple and a humble dry herb grinder would have like rare earth magnets and ceramic coated finishes. Nevertheless, here at VapeActive, we’re happy to see where 4-piece herb grinders are going to. Moreover, we’re happy to offer the industry some of the best 4-piece weed grinders consumers would be hard-pressed to find. So, when wanting to invest in a good-quality 4-piece herb grinder, make sure to keep it here in VapeActive, home of high-quality vaping accessories.