7 Easy Ways to Break Up Herb Without a Grinder

by Richard Lowe

When You Can't Track Down Your Herb Grinder, What Do You Do?

Not having a grinder is a real problem, which is easily solved if you just buy a metal grinder online. If you have lost your grinder though, well that is a different story. You still have to get your smoke sessions in!

When you can't find your metal grinder, you need to find some way to break up your stash.

What are you going to do if you can't find your grinder anywhere? Give up and not smoke? Yeah right! Here are 7 awesome alternatives to break up your stash until you find that ever elusive plastic grinder. I know I left that around here somewhere.


Too couch locked to read? Just tap a link to jump to a section!


Why is Breaking Up Your Buds Important Before a Smoke Session

There are some people that will just stuff a whole bud in their smoke pipe without ever breaking it up first. What's wrong with this, you ask. Well the buds are actually pretty dense. They're dense enough, at least, that air does not get through them easily. 

So when you light the bud and suck through your glass pipe, air does not get in to fan the flame and let smoke through the pipe. All you end up doing is charring the bud. It burns, you get a miserable hit, and your are just wasting your stash.

If you take time to break up the buds thoroughly though, then you can fit even more in your rolling papers, glass bowls for your bongs, one hitters or your hand pipe. It will burn more evenly, air will flow nicely, you will have a better session and preserve your hard earned supply.

Why would anyone not break up their buds? Well, here are a few reasons that come to mind.

You really need to buy a grinder so that braking up your smoking product is easy before every smoke session.

  • Nobody ever taught them how to properly break up their stash
  • They are new to smoking
  • They don't own a grinder (the easiest way to break up your herb)
  • They are simply impatient

Well, all of these problems are solved now. You can just buy a grinder right here, or keep reading this article to discover all the different DIY ways to ensure you have a great smoke session every time.


Here are 7 Ways to Break Up Herb Without a Grinder 

We’ve all been stuck stranded without a proper grinder during one sesh or another. (Unless you're an east coaster, then you might not even know what a metal grinder is for.) Although it’s annoying, it doesn’t mean we still can’t grind our herb up to smoke.

Us smokers have gotten creative over the years, and we’ve been able to come up with quite a few ways for you to easily break up your bud even if you don’t have a grinder on hand. Here are some of our favorites.

Use Your Hands!

You can always use your hands to break up your greens if you can't find your plastic grinder anywhere.

All of you on the east coast can skip this section. We know that you know how to break up your stash with your fingers. It’s ok that you like to make everything difficult for yourselves. That’s your prerogative.

It sounds simple, but using your handy-dandy hands can quickly and efficiently break up your herb when you’re left without a grinder. Make sure you’re gentle with your flower, careful not to ruin its structure completely.

This method will more than likely leave your fingers feeling a bit sticky, and you’ll probably want to avoid touching your eye unless you want to give them a good dose of kief. But, a little bit of messiness is more than worth it to experience the total naturality of breaking down your bud yourself.

Pill Bottle and a Coin

Grab a small coin and a plastic bottle, toss in your stash with the coin and shake hard to break it up hour herb when a grinder is not around.

This method might bring back some nostalgia for you more old-school smokers out there, as this is one of the original ways a lot of us learned to break down our herb. It is as simple as it sounds: all you need is a pill bottle (free of pills, of course) and a coin of some sort, usually a dime or penny.

Once you have your materials, toss a few buds into your bottle along with your coin, close the lid, and shake. Soon, you’ll start to see your flower come apart beautifully. After you’ve gotten it to the consistency you like, you’re ready to smoke.

We suggest cleaning out your pill bottle each time you do this to avoid residual plant material mixing with each other. This way, you always get the purest product every time.

Cheese Grater

If you've lost your metal grinder, then grab a cheese grater and start shredding.

No, you read that right. Sometimes, the only tool you can rely on during these times of desperation is a cheese grater. Luckily, this method is quick and nothing you haven’t done before (unless you’re not much of a chef).

Place something under your cheese grater to collect your plant materials, and start grating your bud just like you would a nice chunk of cheese. Be gentle with your flower, moving it in smooth motions across the grater.

After you’ve shredded your flower, make sure to thoroughly clean your cheese grater. That is, unless you want to add a bit of herb to your next recipe.


Lowe's Pro Smokers Tip

Alright people, can we please not lose our minds here! Just get a grinder already. A cheap grinder is easy to find and if you end up with 2, all the better. They preserve your stash and that bottom chamber even catches all the kief!

Buy a cheap grinder here!

A large plastic grinder is all you need to make ever smoke session an amazing experience.


Coffee Grinder

A coffee grinder will work a lot like your herb grinder when you just can't remember where you left it.

For some, utilizing a coffee grinder to break down bud is more efficient than a regular hand grinder. If you’re hoping to grind up larger quantities at a time, turning your coffee grinder into a smoker’s essential accessory can be incredibly beneficial.

Coffee grinders work in similar fashions to herb grinders, only on a much larger, automated scale. But, just like your cheese grater, cleaning it is essential, especially if you use it for your morning coffee.

Scissors and a Shot Glass

When the 3 chambered grinder is nowhere to be found, then grab some scissors to cut up you stash.

Again, sometimes the best place to turn for makeshift grinders is the kitchen. With this method, all you need is a pair of regular ol’ scissors and a typical shot glass.

All you need to do is trim your bud with your scissors directly over the shot glass, cutting it up into easily smokable pieces. You can easily avoid stems and any other trim, helping to accumulate only the best parts of the plant.

This method is a bit more meticulous than the others, but it creates a clean, uniform product that’s perfect for any glass bongs, smoke pipes, or rolling papers.

Knife and Cutting Board

In place of a quality grinder, you can always chop your greens with a knife and cutting board.

While you’re in the kitchen, you can also try pulling out a cutting board and a sharp knife of your choosing. (We recommend a sharp one for easy chopping.) Then, demonstrate those stellar knife skills and chop up your bud just like you would a veggie. Keep all of the flower contained to your cutting board for easy cleanup, and, as usual, clean off your utensils carefully.

Keep in mind, if you don’t have a sharp enough knife for this method, all you’ll do is squish the bud, rather than “grind” it. Make sure you have the proper tools, otherwise, you might as well just use your fingers.

Cards and Keys

Keys can up your stash when you have given up finding your herb grinder.

Finally, if you’re out and about and can only rely on things you have on your person to get your herb ground, you can always just pull out an old credit or rewards card, or even a (clean) house key. Either of these everyday items has enough force to cut through even the stickiest buds; it just takes a little bit of pressure.

With a key, after you clean it off, you can use it in a saw-like motion to cut up the bud in ways that you need. A card works the same way, and, let’s face it, you have a few too many in your wallet anyway.

Get Creative

The next time you’re left without a grinder, just get creative. Bud is an incredibly versatile substance that, when treated properly, will work with you as much as you need. Whether you’re digging through your kitchen cabinets or just the pockets of your pants, there’s an everyday solution out there for you and your un-ground flower.

You have to break up your buds before smoking, so do whatever you need to.