In our new advice column, Ask the Strategist, we take your most burning shopping questions and scour friends, call up experts, and draw from personal experience to answer them. As always, please comment with one of your own — we’re here to help.
Question: An (ahem) herb grinder that isn’t hideous. Quite a challenge.
And a tough 4/20 challenge it was. So I set a goal in attempt to simplify things: Find a grinder, any grinder that isn’t the classic metal cylinder. I don’t really think that one is full-on hideous, but it’s the only grinder I’ve ever seen, and I can’t imagine you’ve found anything much different either.
A deep dive on the internet resulted in pretty much nothing, until I landed on Etsy. And only after about five pages into my grinders search (filled with corny and kitschy grinders covered in custom laser etchings of Bob Marley) did something different and still usable appear: The Combie. It’s not quite elegant, but it is a super-nifty travel grinder. Developed in Israel, this little device is like a one-stop shop for joint rolling. There’s a built-in compartment for carrying papers and filters on its underside, and then two more storage spaces on the top. One that holds the full “herbs,” and another longer one that’ll catch the grinds once you spin them through the mini-plastic-grinder. The whole thing is so small that it fits in your pocket.
The only issue is that it’s plastic. When I reached out to Jennifer from Grey Horse Brooklyn, a curated online pot shop, she said, “Metal grinds herb the best because it stays sharp for many years. A plastic or wood grinder is simply not as functional.” So if the Combie isn’t long-lasting enough for you, she recommends a four-piece grinder that’ll store kef because, as Jennifer repeated (and we all already know), “Nothing better than a keif bank lying around!” Her favorite is the Sharpstone because she’s tested them all out, and confirms that it’s both affordable and just as effective as the Space Case, which is three times the price. And when it comes to your question of looks, the all-black Sharpstone isn’t that hideous. Even though it’s pretty standard, it’s a quality device that blends in enough. I also find that Zip Grinder’s tower is an interesting accent piece that I wouldn’t be embarrassed to keep on my coffee table, and it doesn’t have any logos or branding, which is hard to find. That one comes in gold and black.
Finally, I reached out to Ariel Stark-Benz, who also goes by Mister Green, and who directed us to an Asche Industries grinder that’s so not hideous, you’re actually meant to wear it around your neck as a pendant.
We’d love to hear from you. If you have any burning questions, please leave them for us in the comments.
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