A smoking accessory used for chopping up tobacco (or other substances) before putting it into rolling papers. Ground tobacco smokes smoother and goes further, so a grinder is a must have accessory for the hardcore rolly smoker. Grinders are made in three materials, depending on the price you are willing to pay. These are:

Plastic (cheapest): You can pick these grinders up for around UK£5. The grinders are cylinders about two-and-a-half inches in diameter and half an inch tall, split into two halves. The inside of each segment has pyramid-shaped teeth, which rub against each other, pulverising the tobacco. These grinders tend to crush the baccy into very small lumps, almost powder; which I find leads to the cigarette smoking too fast. Some of my friends say it gives a smoother smoke, however. As these grinders are cheap there tends to be quite a lot of friction between the two halves, which can be a bit annoying.

Wooden (affordable): Usually advertised as homemade, these grinders look like they have been made on a lathe. Slightly thinner, but much taller than plastic grinders, they have a thin lip running around the top and bottom edges to get a good grip on. As with all grinders these are split into two halves, deeply hollowed out. The actual grinding teeth are thin metal cylinders embedded into the wood, placed in concentric circles in the top and bottom of the pieces. These metal rods are blunter than the plastic pyramids, and fit together more loosely, This causes the tobacco to be ground into long, thin strands, which I find easier to roll, and slower smoking than thinner powder. The grinding action is freer than the plastic type, and the wood feels much more natural in your hands. The only disadvantage of these grinders is tobacco can get stuck in-between the teeth, and as the grinding area is very deep, it can be really hard to get the last few strands out. Tend to cost around UK£10

Aluminium (expensive): There are lots of different types of metal grinder. Most are aluminium; some are even anodised into cool colours. I’ve never used an aluminium grinder, so I don’t know how they grind, but they are shaped like wooden grinders, with slightly wedge-shaped teeth that look like they fit together quite snugly. Build quality looks bullet proof, and the aluminium surface is said to be non-stick, making removing your tobacco easy. I’d like to get some feedback from someone who has used one of these, but they look great to me. Come in all sizes from about UK£20.

When looking for a grinder I’d just suggest you buy the most expensive one you can afford. There are even some funky-looking electrical grinders now for the smoker who finds wrist movement that bit too much like hard work. Happy smoking.