The most obvious use for any herb grinder is to of course, grind dry herbs. It is highly advised that the herbs you decide to grind however, are indeed dry, as grinding herbs that are wet, damp, or otherwise not entirely dry are prone to molds and mildews which can then transfer to your grinder, infecting all herbs that are put into the grinder afterwards. There are many different types of grinders out there, each with their own unique styles and benefits. All are completely designed to get the job done, so choosing one will always just come down to a matter of personal preference.
Aside from being able to grind down your herbs more quickly and efficiently, using an herb grinder can also be more practical for those suffering from hand injuries or ailments such as arthritis. Some grinders are operated manually by hand which utilizes the rotation of the grinder as a means of chopping up your material. Other grinders are operated similarly by using a hand crank to turn the chopping mechanism within the grinder. This is ideal for those with weak or small hands. Other grinders utilize batteries to grind up your material quickly, though one must be careful not to over grind the herbs this way.
In addition to just grinding up your favorite herbs, there are also some grinders out there that utilize compartment space by offering a place to store your herbs for later use. These are usually found in the 3 and 4 piece grinders on the market. Some of them offer the luxury of not only being able to effectively grind up your herbs, but also being able to store them either in the 2nd or 3rd chamber within the grinder. This can be in either whole or ground up form, depending on how soon you want to start smoking your material. The longer you leave ground up material in your grinder, the drier it will be when you finally get down to smoking it.
This is undesirable for most people, instead choosing a happy medium in well cured herbs instead of crunchy dry material that turns into dust. Whole herbs are better stored in these compartments for later use instead. Another added benefit to storing your herbs in a grinder is having to carry less when traveling. With your herbs already in the grinder ready to use, you minimize what you have to carry and are ready to go whenever you want. This is the most ideal way of utilizing storage space within your herb grinder.
Dry herb grinders remain ever so popular for either smoking or vaporizing. Whether you choose to use the herbs for extractions, smoking, or vaporizing, grinding the herbs down into smaller pieces allows for a much more efficient smoking or vaping experience. Vaping is only efficient when the dry herb material is evenly ground up to fine particles, allowing heat to be evenly distributed among the material. Smoking is also a much better experience when you can grind up your herbs without having uneven burns on your herbs from lack of grinding. Even though a high-quality torch will burn everything in your bowl regardless of how ground up it is, most people want a slower paced experience that is appreciated and includes a ritual of grinding to prepare for the session. This makes everything smoother and more enjoyable. No matter what you choose, it is advised to always have properly ground up herbs.