General Information

What Is An Herb Grinder?

For those who love cooking or other activities where herbs are used, an herb grinder is a must-have accessory.  This product uses teeth to grind herbs easily and efficiently so that you’re not spending long hours breaking down herbs into small pieces with your fingers or with scissors.  While there are many different types of herb grinders out there (see below) they all work to break down herbs so that they are left in a ground state that is even and fluffy.

Materials used to make herb grinders range from cheap acrylic plastic to top of the line anodized aluminum.  We highly recommend that you spend the extra money to get a grinder made of anodized aluminum as it will do its job better and last longer.

You’ll also want to look for an herb grinder with strong lid magnets that will help hold the pieces in place while grinding.  Having a grinder with strong magnets means that spills are less likely to happen and the grinder lid will stay in place.

We’d also opt for a four-piece grinder, as they have the pollen micro-filtering screen and pollen compartment that allows for you to collect the finest and purest pieces of herbs giving you more bang for your buck.

Types Of Herb Grinders

The amount of herb grinder brands and types of herb grinders has exploded in recent years.  You now have more options than ever and it helps to know the pros and cons of each herb grinder type so that you can make an educated purchasing decision.

Manual Grinders

By far the most common type of herb grinder out there is a manual herb grinder. Both our Black Tie Grinder and Pink Bow Grinder are manual grinders. Manual grinders usually come in two or four pieces. The two piece version will include two sets of teeth that have a magnet.  Four piece versions include the lid, filter, micro-filtering screen, and pollen compartment, which you can learn about here.  

​To operate a manual grinder you’ll need to use both hands to twist the lid and filter in opposing directions.  This allows for the teeth to shred the herbs.  Because of this if you have arthritis or another condition that makes you weak, a manual grinder may not be the best option.  Since manual grinders are mechanically simple they tend to last a long time and don’t have many parts that are susceptible to breaking.

Crank Grinders

Crank grinders look a lot like manual grinders except for one difference, the lid features a crank (similar to a pencil sharpener) that you turn to grind your herbs.  Otherwise, these work the same as a manual grinder. These are great for those who need to easily grind their herb, but want all the benefits, such as a pollen compartment, found on manual grinders.

A downfall of crank grinders is that the crank mechanism contains a few moving parts that may break over time, making these less durable than manual grinders.

Electric Grinders

The newest type of herb grinder is the electric grinder.  These have come out over the last couple years and offer a whole new way to grinder herbs.  These are battery-powered and have a button that will turn the grinder teeth and spit out the ground herbs through a hole at the end of the grinder.  

What makes these nice is that you no longer have to grind your herbs manually.  If you have weak wrists this may be a good option.  Because they are electric they are not as durable as manual grinders and they also don’t feature a pollen compartment, which is a big issue for many herb lovers.

Herb Grinder Parts

When it comes to herb grinder parts, we’ll focus on four-piece manual grinders like the Black Tie and Pink Bow Grinder we sell.  The four pieces that make up an herb grinder work in harmony to grind, filter, and store your herbs to keep them fresh for use.  You can then use the ground herbs for cooking and any other herbal activity that you can think up.  

Part 1: The Lid

The lid of an herb grinder serves an important purpose, which is to shred whatever herbs you can find into an even and fluffy ground. Most good herb grinders will have diamond-shaped teeth that are on the inside of the lid. Generally speaking, more teeth featured on the lid results in a better grind.  You may also notice a magnet embedded in the middle of the inside of the lid, which helps to keep the lid in place while in use.

Part 2: Filter

The second part of an herb grinder attaches magnetically with the lid.  Like the lid, the filter has teeth that work in accordance with the teeth from the lid to provide a optimally efficient grinding experience.  The filter also features holes throughout that allow ground herbs to fall through that are now ready for use.  The filter along with the lid are the two pieces of an herb grinder that actually grind herbs.

Part 3: Micro-filtering Screen

Once the ground herbs fall through the filter’s holes they wind up in a compartment that features a micro-filtering screen on the bottom.  This screen holds the regular ground herbs and allows only the most pure pieces to fall through to the pollen compartment.  This section will store you typical ground herbs until you are ready to use them.  

The filtering screen is usually made out of stainless steel and has a similar pattern as what you might see on a tennis racket, though much smaller.  Top quality grinders, like our Black Tie Grinder, reinforce the micro-filtering screen using a metal o-ring that ensures that the screen will last for many years.

Part 4: Pollen Compartment

Once your purest pieces of herbs move through the filtering screen they wind up in the pollen catcher compartment.  This compartment helps store these fine pieces of herbs and allows you to use them when you choose.  Quality grinders will have a rounded edge in the pollen catcher compartment, that can be used with scrapers and keeps the small pieces of herbs from getting stuck in a crevice.  Black Tie Grinders come with two scrappers that helps you move the fine herbs from the compartment without major spilling occurring. 

How To Use An Herb Grinder

The way you use an herb grinder will depend on which type of grinder you’ve purchased.  If you have a Black Tie Grinder, or other four-piece herb grinder, you’ll place the herbs in the filter piece (bottom part of lid) and place the lid on top, then you will move the lid and the other sections of the grinder in opposite directions allowing the grinder teeth to do their job.

Once you’ve turned the grinder enough to grind the herbs to your liking, give the how herb grinder a shake so that the ground herbs will fall through the filter and smaller pieces will sift through the micro-filtering screen.  Open the second compartment but detaching the second and third grinder pieces, and use your ground herbs as you wish.

Want the pollen? You can get to it by unscrewing the bottom piece of your herb grinder.  Use the provided scrapper to scrape the pollen onto your favorite dish or other purpose.  

Be sure to clean your grinder on a regular basis to prevent residue buildup that will impact the performance of your piece.

Want to learn more about how to use your Black Tie Grinder? Check out our user manual.