How to Use a Kief Catcher - Herb Grinder Instructional

The Kief Catcher at the bottom of an herb grinder is designed to catch and collect the finest herb particles. We offer best use practices and tips to use the catcher properly and even increase the amount of kief collected!

by: Nathaniel C. | 04/12/18 1:30PM


What and Where is the Kief Catcher

So you read that your grinder has a kief catcher but aren’t sure what that really means. First off, there are many designs of herb grinders, such as the two piece and four piece grinders. A two piece grinder only has a single compartment where the dry herbs are ground up. On the other hand, a four piece grinder has three compartments: grinder, herb storage and kief catcher.

The top is often magnetic and just pops on and off. The herb compartment and kief catcher are closed with threading so you’ll need to unscrew them to open. There are holes below the grinder to let ground herbs fall into the herb storage compartment. You’ll notice the bottom of this compartment is made of a fine screen. This screen allows small crystals or trichomes to pass through into the bottom section, or ‘kief catcher’. With each grind, a bit of these fine particles will fall into the kief catcher and this will build up into a nice pile of kief over time.

Compare this to a two piece grinder and all this would-be kief will be left at the bottom of your grinder or lost. The next time you grind some herb, the leftover small particles from the last grind will get pressed down onto the metal surface of the grinder. This will cause your grinder to get sticky over time, making your life more difficult and wasting all that would be kief.


A kief catcher builds a nice, light pile of kief since it’s not being compressed. Just more light kief falls into the catcher on top of it. Kief isn’t overly sticky so while it will lightly stick to itself, you won’t have to worry about it sticking to the bottom of the kief catcher.


A Guide to Using a Kief Catcher

Thankfully a kief catcher is pretty easy to use. Just keep grinding away and you might even forget about it. Depending on how much dry herb you grind, and the amount of crystals present on your herbs, the time it takes to get a nice pile will vary. Using high-quality herbs, you should have a nice little pile of kief after grinding a half ounce of dry herbs.

To use the kief, just open up the kief catcher and use a small tool like a scraper or even a dabber to pick up a bit of kief. You can sprinkle it on a bowl like dust or mix it into some dry herbs in your vape. Kief has a distinct flavor and aroma that will enhance any smoking pipe or vaping experience.


Tips for Using a Kief Catcher

A kief catcher does most of the work on its own but here are a few tips to get the most out of your kief catcher.

  • Tap your grinder softly at a slight angle before opening your kief catcher to move the kief to one side. You can do this when it’s open but be very careful not to spill any kief.
  • When the kief screen starts getting build up around the edges, take a scraper and go lightly around the edges to collect all this extra kief that didn’t make it into the kief catcher.
  • Right after this, take out just the section of the herb grinder with the screen and tap it onto a piece of white paper (as bright white as you can get). Tap it until all the stuck kief falls off the screen and onto the paper. You can then funnel this extra kief onto a bowl or into your kief catcher for later use.
  • Always unscrew the kief catcher carefully. Remember kief is super light and will turn into dust on the way to the carpet if you drop it.
  • Also never leave your kief catcher open for this same reason.
  • If you have a fan or are getting a strong breeze, make sure to turn off the fan or close the door before opening your kief catcher. Kief can easily get blown out and it will be lost forever.
  • Use a small scraper or dabber tool to sprinkle kief onto a bowl or into a vape chamber with dry herbs. A teaspoon or even a bobby pin will function in a pinch.
  • If your screen gets really gunky, first follow tips 1 and 2. Then, you can soak the screen section of your grinder in isopropyl alcohol for a few minutes to loosen up all the sticky particles. Then just rinse and let dry thoroughly before putting the grinder back together.


When to Empty the Kief Catcher

This is really up to your personal preference. You never want to overflow the kief catcher but that’s probably not going to happen unless you completely forget that your grinder has a kief catcher. We suggest waiting until your herb supply is running low and using the kief to add a little bonus to every bowl. If you’re a purist, you might want to use the kief in your catcher before switching strains. Or if you’re feeling experimental, you might want to gather kief from a variety of strains.



Using a Grinder with a Kief Catcher

If you vape, a grinder is a must. Ground herbs vape much better than herb broken up by hand. There’s more surface area and plenty of small air pockets for the hot air to pass through the chamber and your herbs without getting clogged. Even if you don’t vape, grinding dry herbs with a grinder is so much easier and faster than breaking them up by hand. And you aren’t left with sticky hands!

If you plan on using a grinder often, it’s a good bet to get one with a kief catcher. You’ll end up saving lots of delicious kief that would otherwise gum up your grinder. Use this kief to top a bowl or load it into your vape for an extra tasty treat.

How to Roll Kief

For those who like to roll their own herbs, kief is a great addition. There are two ways for adding kief when rolling. First, you can grind up your herbs, pile them up and put a scoop of kief on top. Then, use your fingers to mix it all up before rolling the mixture into a paper. This method has the benefit of an even mixture, however you end up losing some kief to your fingers and, consequently, end up with stickier fingers - however, you can use a dab tool, paperclip or similar tool.

The other method is placing your ground herbs in the paper first, then sprinkling kief on top of your herbs down the length of the paper while holding the paper fairly open. When you start rolling, the light kief will naturally spread throughout the herbs, making a decent mixture. This method works quite well and is very popular. However you choose to add and smoke the kief, now you’ve got a better idea of how kief catchers work and how to utilize them.

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