We have before us a generic, handheld, electronic grinder from China. It features a single speed, 6 tip blade with all internal components housed in a flashlight shaped aluminum casing. The cover is a thick plastic that screws on and contains herb. Oh and it runs off 3 AAA batteries. We picked ours up on eBay for about $3 (free shipping). There are all sorts of sellers out there so if this is up your alley, the shelves are stocked for you. We’ve had this grinder for maybe two weeks, and although little time has passed, we’re pretty confident we have all the information we need to make a call on this.
Since this is a grinder we went straight for the throat on this one and decided to test grinding skills first. We ran a plethora of herb through to get a feel for its chopping capability. We started with some lighter materials, lavender and damiana, and the grinder had no problem mincing down the already small pieces. Next we went for some denser herbs, like marijuana and more marijuana. Not so successful. Although it did eventually grind the weed into a favorable size, the blade kept getting jammed on the slightly larger nugs. This is dangerous considering there is no “auto-off” mechanism on the blade, meaning when you take the cover off, that blade will continue to spin until powered down. So be careful and make sure the grinder is off before removing the cover for any reason, but definitely if there’s a jammed nug. Ok, so this concern brought us to our next test.
We were curious how bad an accident might be, assuming we forgot our safety protocols, so we got the closest thing to a finger we could find (a hotdog) for our experiment. Yes, cover off style, we took the blade to a clammy hotdog. The assumption was that the hotdog / finger would be too dense and jam the blade. That assumption was very wrong and a good example of why assumption are bad etiquette. Basically the grinder pureed whatever part of the hotdog it touched. See picture for test results. Let this be a warning.
Next we tested the grinder’s durability by dropping it from table height (about three feet) onto a hard surface floor exactly 50 times, checking functionality after each drop. After 8 drops the blade fell off, but was easily pushed back on (this happened a couple more times). After 29 drops the grinder began to malfunction, but a few good taps set it right again, testing resumed. At 42 drops the performance, more specifically the blade RPMs, significantly increased. At 43 drops the grinder’s performance fell back to below average and continued in this state for the remainder of the test.
The final test we ran was on battery duration. For this we simply inserted 3 new batteries, from a reputable manufacturer, and left the grinder to run until it died. Total runtime: approx. 1 hour and 50 minutes. The power output is impressively consistent and remains strong until the last three minutes before notice power failure. Assuming its gets used one minute per session, at least 100 solid uses can be expected each battery cycle.
- Fairly durable. Most of the moving parts can be readjusted, replaced, or repaired as needed.
- Inexpensive. Well, save up for batteries.
- It looks kind of sweet… Has all the industrial look without the industrial attitude.
- Simple to use. Not many parts or special features to trip up on.
- Size. At roughly 6” in length, with a 1/3” cup herb reservoir, this grinder is large enough to accommodate a quantity needed for most activities.
- Blade power is weak. Maybe stronger batteries could be used, but we used good ones in our tests.
- Lack of safety features. My biggest concern with this grinder is its ability for the blades to operate while the lid is off. Obviously use with discretion, but it’s basically a weapon.
- Short battery life. 100 uses on avg. per battery cycle seems like high number, but when you’re someone smoking / grinding three times a day, that would mean changing the batteries almost once a month.
Alright time to step back and take a look at this thing. Aside from the obvious safety issues, or home security upgrades, however you see it, this grinder does a mediocre job at being a grinder. There’s a preceding expectation to get work done with this thing, given that its electric, has a gnarly blade, and feels like a survival flashlight. But the performance might disappoint. It will grind your herb and steal your trichrome, but at a pace hardly on par with a manual grinder.
All in all, this product is not recommended if you’re in the market for a primary grinder. For that we suggest saving a few more bucks for a manual grinder with keef chamber. If you’re looking to get a lot of herb ground up in a short amount of time, look to higher end electronic grinders. However for $3 you can’t go wrong with this as a backup option, or even just for the parts!
Have you used one of these? Curious? Pick one up here!
Let us know in the comments what you think of this grinder!
Other than that we just get pretty high.
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