The four pieces of the Cali Crusher Homegrown 4 Piece Grinder

Stoner Essentials #8 – Best Weed Grinders Money Can Buy

The Santa Cruz Shredder

The Santa Cruz Shredder is a classic.

You might notice a common theme in the design of the Cali Crusher Homegrown and the Santa Cruz Shredder, and it might run contrary to what common sense would dictate about a quality grinder design.

Santa Cruz Shredder Grinder Orange opened up to show the teeth.

If you haven’t noticed, take a look at the teeth of each of these grinders. They’re not exactly razor sharp, are they? In fact, the teeth on both these grinders – at first glance, at least – look downright dull.

This design feature, however, is very deliberate, and the result of way more scientific research than you’d ever expect to go into the production of a grinder.

What manufacturers of grinders have learned over the years is that sharpness does not automatically translate to a better shred. Indeed, there are a couple of problems inherent to grinders with sharp teeth (particularly if they’re already made from low quality materials).

They dull over time…

First of all, unless the teeth are made from high quality metal, sharp teeth dull over time. If the only attribute the design has going for it is the sharpness of teeth, the grinder is effectively rendered useless once they dull out.

Additionally, sharp teeth, by their very nature, aren’t very sturdy, as they usually have a thinner base. I’ve noticed this in a couple of my grinders in the past, where the teeth will just straight up break off without much use at all.

…Which doesn’t bode well for your health

This is not to mention the other side effect of dulling grinder teeth. Obviously, as they dull, they slowly lose tiny bits of metal. Where do you think that fucking shit goes?

Hopefully into the water of your bong… but if you prefer bowls like me, you’re fucked.

While they may appear “dull” in these photos (especially on a little-ass smart phone screen), they are, in fact, sharp at all the right points. But I can’t describe the merits of the Santa Cruz Shredder’s design any better than the fine folks who make it:

Our teeth are radius at the base for strength and are able to take extreme use. They’re twice as strong, will never dull and never release burrs or flakes of aluminum.  Comparable grinders cut once – letting bb-sized chunks pass through the holes without further grinding.  Our teeth are designed to cut multiple ways, which include clearances on both sides of the teeth (not to slice or smash herb), but to cause it to consistently “FLUFF TO PERFECTION“

In other words, this grinder has some ballin’ ass teeth.

This grinder has the gall to avoid galling.

My apologies if my pun-laden wordplay appalls you. I can’t help myself.

Anyway, any veteran stoner has noticed how most grinders become very hard to operate after a few months of use. Most assume this is due to the sticky resin that builds up around the edges of a heavily used grinder over time. That certainly is part of it, but the bigger culprit is galling of the metal.

Galling is a form of damage that occurs when any two objects are rubbed together incessantly over time, so obviously it’s a major issue for grinders. Over time, grinders made of cheaper materials inevitably suffer from galling, both on the top part of the grinder, but to an even worse extent on the bottom threaded chambers which screw together.

Both the Santa Cruz Shredder AND the Homegrown solve this age old design flaw in two ways:

1. An Anodized Surface

The makers of the Santa Cruz Shredder know their shit when it comes to science, so naturally they made sure to take the extra step of anodizing its surface.

Anodizing is a super scientific method of improving the quality of metal. It’s used to improve the quality of products like carabiners and devices like iPod Nanos (if you can remember what those looked like). One of the primary benefits of anodization is it results in scratch resistant metal.

It gets it’s name from the virtue of the science; anodization of metal is achieved by passing a unidirectional electric charge through a liquid electrolytic solution in which the metal is submerged. The grinder, more specifically its metal surface, acts as the anode (hence the term “anodized”) in this magical electrical process, which in turn produces hydrogen and oxygen when in contact with liquid solution, which for whatever reason results in smooth, sturdy metal which is more resistant to corrosion and galling.

2. An Ultrasonic Cleansing Process

I know, I know. This grinder review is starting to read more and more like a goddamn science lecture. Bear with me.

Here’s what you need to know. Ultrasonic cleaning is a hardcore medical-grade method of ridding metal, plastic, glass, or even rubber of contaminates. Like, seriously… it leaves behind nothing but the pure material. It’s most common application is to clean medical equipment.

Most people wouldn’t bother to know this, but products like grinders inevitably accumulate all sorts of adulterants during the manufacturing process. This is a problem because, despite not being able to perceive these adulterants with the naked eye, it nevertheless effects the quality and longevity of the material. In the case of grinders, adulterated metal is more prone to galling. Additionally, these adulterants can (and will) make their way onto the pot, and eventually your lungs. Ew. No bueno.

But fuck a science lecture, all you need to know is that these grinders are more expensive for a reason, and that reason is quality. If you’re a nerd like me and are curious about the science behind anodization or ultrasonic cleansing, consult Wikipedia.

Anyway, believe it or not, I still haven’t covered everything that rocks about the Santa Cruz Shredder.

Improved Kief Screens

I know, you’re probably thinking, “What can possibly be so special about a fucking screen? How can one screen be better at producing kief than another?”

I’ll just quote directly from the manufacturer for this one:

Santa Cruz Shredder uses T304 Micronic Precision Woven Non-Fraying Stainless Steel Screen. The most optimal micron size of any grinder on the market. Other grinders use a lower micron size (larger opening) to create the appearance they’re working by letting more “stuff” filter through, but they’re actually allowing more impurities (dirt, fertilizer, bug parts, etc.) to pass into your final pollen compartment. Additionally, our screens are secured using a “drum-skintight” screen capturing design. This pulls the screen tight in all direction before permanently locking into place. Other grinders have loose screens that stretch & warp, causing the screen to “pop” or adjust and fling your herbal blends out of the product.

TLDR: Essentially they’ve done two things to ensure an optimal kief screen:

1. Use screens with an optimal “micron size.”

mi·cron (noun): a unit of length equal to one millionth of a meter, used in many technological and scientific fields.

Essentially, they’ve determined the ideal amount of space between each strand of woven steal that’s most conducive to producing quality kief.

2. Tension of the screen.

All they’ve done here is ensure that the kief screen is properly attached to the grinder.

If you’ve gone through as many grinders as me throughout your life, you should understand the significance of this. If the screen’s connection to the grinder isn’t tout, you’ll notice how malleable the screen is, which over time reduces its ability to filter kief, and will eventually cause the screen to break completely.

Here’s a great review of the Santa Cruz Shredder by the fine folks at The VapeLife Store. I suggest you watch it, as the reviewer does a great job of demonstrating how the design is superior to less expensive grinders:

So that’s about it! I hope this review helps you make an informed decision.

I totally intend on purchasing another high quality grinder (probably a Space Case, as I’ve heard good things) so I can add one more to this review, but I literally don’t have the money to invest in a third high-end grinder. Like, literally. I have $18.72 in my checking account as we speak, and another week before my paycheck from work comes in. I’m broke as fuck.

But I digress, my point is, be sure to check back for that in the coming months.

And as always, check out our other Stoner Essentials to get the tools and know-how to become the coolest stoner on the block.

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  • David

    I’ve had the big 4pc homegrown grinder for about 5 months. Let there be no mistake. This is the WORST grinder I’ve ever had and most expensive. The quarter turn lock would be nice, if it didn’t strip and then the grinder doesn’t close at all. It grinds herbs too thick for how nice it’s supposed to be. Can’t even use the herbs in desktop vaporizers cause it’s too thick. Cheap metal that bends if you drop it then the top two pieces won’t close. If you’re looking for a quality grinder you can find one better than this for cheaper. Do not waste your money on this.

  • dickfuckmcslut

    could you do an article for finding a dealer im currently a hs student and the ones i have rn only deal for some pocket change and dont plan on dealing post graduation it seems

  • Mark

    Thanks dude!