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7 Not-So-Obvious Signs You Need to Replace Your Grinder

7 Not-So-Obvious Signs You Need to Replace Your Grinder

They say the wheel of time never stops turning.

Unfortunately, your grinder is not like the wheel of time. One day, it will stop grinding.

Some grinders last years; others don’t make it past the first few weeks, especially if you’re a daily toker. Metal grinders last the longest, but the sticky herb will eventually wear everything down.

Plus, we humans tend to be clumsy at times, and this is particularly true when you’re toking up. Dropping your grinder will only hasten its eventual demise.

Since it can last an indefinite amount of time, you have to look out for signs that your grinder needs replacing.

When rolling a joint, there is nothing more annoying than choppy weed and a grinder that keeps getting stuck. It's helpful to know exactly when you should swap it out for something new and improved.

So, what are the signs you need to replace your grinder?


Have You Tried Cleaning Your Grinder First?

Before you go and drop your hard-earned cash on a new grinder, have you considered giving yours a good cleaning?

It’s possible that whatever issue you are experiencing is due to excess marijuana clogging the system up.

Cleaning your grinder will make it feel like new again. If it doesn’t, you definitely need to start shopping for a new one.

It’s a simple process that takes away the annoyance of a sticky, hard-to-use grinder. Take a look here if you want an in-depth guide on how to clean your grinder.

On top of having a clean grinder, you’ll also gather a lot of kief residue for a potent smoking session.


Signs You Need a New Grinder

Like a car that starts to backfire and leak oil, your grinder will give you a few signs that it's time to get a new one.

Sure, it’s not so obvious that you will start to see smoke rising from the engine, but you want to get it changed when you notice. Smoking weed is supposed to be a relaxing experience, so grinding it shouldn’t be annoying!

Take a look at the signs below to find out when to replace your grinder.

1. Grinder Residue Is Showing Up in Your Herb

From a health perspective, it's a good idea to look out for grinder residue in your herb. Grinders are normally made from materials that are not harmful to your health.

However, inhaling residue from any metal can negatively affect your lungs and lead to flu-like symptoms.

If you see any residue in your ground weed, it's time for something new.

2. Your Grinder Keeps Getting Jammed

A grinder that jams will make you buy a new one out of sheer frustration. This is the most common symptom of a grinder that needs a clean, so give it a good scrub before you buy a new grinder.

Your grinder may also get stuck more often if you smoke really sticky dank. I keep a pair of small scissors around so I can scrape away any residue that starts to build up.

3. Broken or Dull Teeth

You can’t take your grinder to the dentist, so if one of the teeth breaks, it’s better to just get a new one. Missing teeth in your grinder will lead to a pretty uneven grind. It’s not serious unless you want to make the perfect joint.

Personally, I’ve never experienced this with a metal grinder. If you have, you should definitely look into getting a higher-quality grinder.

4. Starting to Rust 

Rust on anything is never a good sign. If you see rust on your grinder, it's time to throw it away and get a new one. Not only will it change the taste of your herb, but it can also cause some serious health issues.

Rust is caused by excess moisture, so when you get a new grinder, please keep this one dry!

5. Grinder Doesn’t Seal Shut

I once had a grinder I loved. It worked perfectly until the magnet that seals it shut went missing. I kept using it until it dropped open with a full gram of indoor Strawberry Cheese. Needless to say, I never used it again.

Some grinders are easily fixed with some strong (non-toxic) glue. but if it’s not sealing shut, it’s best to cut your losses; otherwise, you’ll end up losing your freshly cut weed like me.

6. Uneven Grind

Over time, the blades on the grinder can wear down, making it difficult to get an even grind. Dealing with blunt blades is no fun when you’re just trying to roll a blunt.

If your weed is taking longer to grind and coming out rough, your blades probably aren’t as sharp as they once were

Cheaper grinders give an uneven grind early on in their lifetime. A decent quality grinder will stay sharp for longer. A good indicator of a grinder that does its job are blades that are tightly packed together.

7. It Simply Doesn’t Grind How It Used To

If you find yourself looking back to the good old days when your grinder would make beautiful, fine weed, then it's time to let go.

Like everything else, grinders will eventually stop working to the point that a clean just won’t cut it. If you answered yes to more than one of the problems on this list, then it's time to get a new grinder!


How Often Should You Replace Your Grinder?

There is no short answer for when you should replace your grinder. It depends on the quality, how often you use it, and the material it is made from. Higher-quality grinders can last years, whereas lower-quality grinders might last a few months.

I have also experienced low-quality grinders that last a long time, so you never know if you have something that was just made right.

It’s better not to give your grinder an expiration date. You might just fall in love with it and keep it in perfect condition forever (hopefully).

Just follow the signs that you need to replace your grinder, and you will be good to go.


Making Your Grinder Last Longer

A car that is driven will last longer than one that is standing in someone's garage. Your grinder is sort of like this. If you consider cleaning and servicing part of the whole process,

The idea is that if you are using it, you should also be cleaning it. Maintenance goes a long way, so it’s a good idea to take care of your grinder from the first grind.

Follow these simple steps to make your grinder last years instead of months.

Buy Better Quality Grinders

I’ve used many grinders over the years, so trust me when I say you will spend more money on cheap grinders than you will on one high-quality grinder.

All you have to do is follow the old saying, "Buy cheap and you buy twice."

Only Use Your Grinder for Weed

There are much more efficient ways to grind coffee beans.

You shouldn’t really put anything else besides weed in your grinder. A little bit of tobacco is not a problem, if that’s your thing. Anything denser and wetter than Mary Jane is going to put up a fight for your grinder.

Store It Carefully

Storing your grinder well will help keep it in mint condition. You don’t have to put it in an airtight case with cushioned sides or anything extreme like that (although it won’t hurt). I leave mine in a dedicated drawer, away from any moisture or sharp pointy objects that go scratchy scratchy.

On a side note, don’t drop a grinder, especially when it’s open. Bending the steel threading out of place makes it a pain to screw back together again.

Clean Your Grinder Often

I’ve mentioned this countless times in this article. Some might say it's because I have a word count to reach. I believe it’s because it’s the most important part of making your grinder last longer.

You don’t have to clean it every time you use it. When it starts to jam up on you and create clumpy weed, give it the old deep clean.


If you still don’t know whether you should buy a new grinder after reading this, you should probably just buy a new one. Two are always better than one!

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