Herb mills are often used as a practical tool in the household because they can be used to grind herbs and spices finely. However, the application extends beyond kitchen use: other grinders are often used to grind tobacco or marijuana. In this context, in particular, one usually speaks of grinders. These are also known as crushers, choppers, or shredders.

The term “grinder” comes from the English “to grind.” With the help of a grinder, stems and petals are gently crushed, and coarser plant residue is removed; as a result, one can preserve essential ingredients.

Deployment and application

As already explained, grinders crush herbs, spices, or tobacco mixtures. Usually, these are very simple. The conventional grinder has two round discs with pins on the sides. Roughly, this type of mill consists of the following parts. Depending on the type of grinder, there are additional functions or materials:

  • Top with pins
  • Lower part with pins
  • Fiction area
  • Possibly sieve
  • Possibly crank
  • Possibly pollen collection container

Types of grinders

Grinders come in various shapes, colors, and price ranges. There are also differences in how one operates them: hand-operated grinders are probably the more common ones; however, there are also card, crank, and electric versions.

Grinder by function

  • Hand-operated grinders
  • Card grinders
  • Crank grinders
  • Electric grinders

Hand-operated grinders

Conventional grinders consist of two round discs that have blades or pins on the side. When the two disks are put together, a cavity is created in which the desired herb is placed. If you turn the two discs in opposite directions to each other, the herb is ground up; you get a crushed plant. Some grinders also have a storage compartment for the herbs. Now you can place the finely ground herb or tobacco in a vaporizer or cigarette.

Card grinders

A card grinder is usually made of metal and is the shape and size of a credit card. The back-and-forth movement on the rasp edges chops up the herbs.

Crank grinders

As the name suggests, this version has a crank at the top of the grinder. As with a coffee grinder, the material is ground with a crank until the desired comminution appears appealing. This is available with or without a sieve. The wrist is less stressed compared to hand-operated grinders.

Electric grinders

Electric grinders, also known as electric crushers, are battery-powered. These are particularly suitable for herbs or solid clumps. You place the herbs or tobacco in the tank; press the button; after a few seconds, you get the crushed material.

Grinder by material

Usually, grinders are made of wood, plastic, or acrylic and, therefore, inexpensive. But there are also high-quality metal, ceramic, and sieve grinders on the market; you can see the higher quality in the price. One differentiates the following mills in terms of their materials:

  • Plastic grinder
  • Acrylic grinder
  • Wood grinder
  • Stone grinder
  • Metal grinder

Plastic and acrylic grinder

Because they are made of plastic, these grinders are both stable and inexpensive. They come in a wide range of colors and shapes. Users often use grinders with this material on the go, less frequently as the primary grinder.

Wood and stone grinder

One made the first tools for chopping herbs and spices from these two natural materials. And even today, you can still find many wood and stone grinders in this scene.

Metal grinder

These are a bit more expensive than models made of wood or plastic, but they are also more durable. Many metal crushers have a magnetic closure to keep the herb from falling out.

Plastic, acryliclow weight, inexpensive
Woodrobust, long-lasting, sometimes requires a lot of care
Metalvery robust, long service life, easy to clean

Sieve grinder

A unique form among these devices is the so-called sieve grinder:

Sieve grinders are special mills because they are pollinators and grinders in one. Compared to conventional herb grinders, these have a sieve device (= pollinator) and a collecting container for coarse sieving material. This way, the shredded material can obtain the maximum yield. In recent years, the trend has been toward sieve grinders.


One recommends regular cleaning to ensure that the grinder retains its full functions.

First, empty the contents of the grinder. Tap lightly to release as much content as possible.
Now you can use a dry toothbrush or a tool provided for cleaning to remove smaller particles or residues.
Finally, dip a cotton swab in isopropyl alcohol to loosen the stubborn deposits. Then you can let the grinder air-dry before you use it again.