Every product is carefully selected by our editors. If you buy from a link, we may earn a commission.

Pax's New Weed Grinder Taught Me Why I Don't Need a Kief Chamber

If you, like me, spent years thinking you needed to collect kief separately, you might be wasting your time.

a weed grinder on a table
Sean Tirman

A few weeks ago, Pax, one of our favorite weed vape manufacturers, sent me their newest release, the Pax Weed Grinder. Knowing the brand's catalog of offerings, our favorite weed vape (the Pax Plus) among them, I was excited to check it out. But when I first got it out of the box, I was a bit perplexed. Not only was it oddly shaped — a rounded cube rather than a more traditional cylinder — but it had only two chambers. For my entire smoking career, I had only ever seen grinders with at least three (or more) chambers. So what, exactly, was missing?

Then it hit me: there was no screened chamber for collecting kief, the tiny resinous crystals that fall off cannabis flower during the grinding process. That sent me down a rabbit hole, helping me to understand why Pax would make such a choice and giving me a better understanding of the brand's newest grinder. Here's what I learned, and my takeaways from Pax's latest release.

The Pax Grinder: What We Think

Overall, I like the concept Pax has with this grinder. The lack of a kief chamber is actually a boon to my personal use case (I don't have a separate use for kief in my life) and simplifies the whole process. The device is also striking in its appearance and its size ensures I'll never lose it.

However, the benefits of the ergonomics of its shape are largely undone by the magnets that hold it together, and I did find myself catching my fingers on the edge. Furthermore, the grind is quite coarse and made me feel like I wasn't getting the most out of my cannabis flower.

To learn more about our testing methodology and how we evaluate products, head here.


Pax Grinder


  • Extremely sturdy
  • Ergonomic shape
  • Beautiful overall design

  • Grind is too coarse
  • Magnets on lid add extra resistance

If You're Not Using Kief Separately, You're Wasting Your Time Collecting It

As mentioned, kief is created as a byproduct of grinding cannabis flower. It looks almost like a shimmery green dust and is typically used as an additive — something you can sprinkle into joints, onto edibles and/or even added back into your vape chamber. It's this latter usage, I've come to learn, may have been a waste of my time.

In my use case, I have never had a standalone reason to be collecting kief. I grind my flower, and I smoke it in one of several ways. But I was never really getting any benefit from separate kief collection. I'd just occasionally add it back into my weed.

a weed grinder on a table
Unlike most grinders, Pax’s only has two chambers — one for grinding and one for collecting ground flower.
Sean Tirman

By eliminating a separate kief chamber, Pax has actually inadvertently streamlined my process. Rather than creating that extra step — the long, arduous collection of that fine kief powder — this grinder simply grinds up the whole flower in the first chamber and collects it all together in the second chamber. That way, when I scoop it out to pack a bowl, I'm using the whole flower from the start.

This is not to say that there's anything wrong with a separate kief chamber or that you should avoid grinders that have one. It's just that, in my particular experience (and perhaps yours), it has been an unnecessary, largely pointless step in the grinding process. I'm not sure I ever would have realized that without the help of testing out Pax's new grinder.

The Pax Grinder's Square Shape Has Several Benefits (and Some Drawbacks)

Apart from the two-chamber design, the most striking thing about Pax's latest grinder is its size and shape. It's quite large — about double the size of my Higher Standards Aerospaced grinder — and it is a rounded square instead of a circular cylinder.

I think I see what Pax was going for: the shape allows for better leverage when grinding. However, the four corners of the grinding chamber also house magnets to keep the grinder together. This adds extra resistance alongside the resistance created by the weed itself. It's not unusable, not by a wide margin, but I did experience some frustration that the benefits of the added leverage and ergonomics were essentially undone by the added friction of the magnets.

a weed grinder on a table
The magnets on the corners help keep the grinder together but make twisting it slightly more difficult.
Sean Tirman

By contrast, my Higher Standards grinder has a single central magnet under the top that allows the whole thing to spin freely. This, of course, has its own problems (you can't put flower directly in the center of the grinder and still make a seal), but I don't feel like Pax's solution is any better (nor worse — while it does have a central magnet, as well, it also has a lot more room overall).

I Wish the Grind Was Finer so I Didn't Feel Like I Was Wasting Weed

The size of the grinder is also reflected in the grind itself. The holes in the grate within the Pax's grinding chamber are perhaps the largest I've ever seen in a grinder. This means you're getting a coarser grind than you might be with a smaller grinder. This also made me feel a little like I wasn't making the most of my cannabis.

The whole point of grinding your weed is so that you get a more complete, even burn of your flower. But this grinder's larger, coarser grind felt a little like a step in the wrong direction for me. I'm sure there's an argument to be made that the difference is negligible, especially when a vaporizer is in use, but even the psychological aspect of seeing the coarser grind made me want to turn back to my old standard.

Pax Grinder Alternatives

If the Pax Grinder isn't for you, you're not out of luck. As mentioned, my go-to is the Higher Standards Aerospaced, which you can get for $21.95 and tops our list of the best weed grinders. For an upgrade to the tune of $35.50 (total), there's also the Santa Cruz Shredder, which has a slightly different tooth design. And if you really want to make things easier on yourself, you can get the Banana Bros Otto, our top electric weed grinder, for $113.

Sean Tirman has been a Gear Patrol's Growth Team member since 2021 and has been professionally writing about gear since 2016.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Weed