Smoother, Better – Santa Cruz Shredder

April 04, 2016

Smoother, Better – Santa Cruz Shredder

Smoother, Better – Santa Cruz Shredder 10/10 

I recently concluded that I’ve wasted far too much keif on my pants and fingertips, and by now I could have saved up enough to make a decent slab of hash. I decided I need a new grinder. Not just any grinder, I thought, but a SpaceCase grinder. Top of the line, slick; the undisputed champion of grinders like Sharpstone. I walked into my local headshop with just that in mind, but something totally unexpected happened: the Santa Cruz Shredder stole my heart.

Put simply for those in a headshop right now:

  • It grinds as smooth as twisting open a bottle of water;
  • it screws open fast and screws shut pretty much on its own momentum from two or three quick twists;
  • it has a deeper pockets than other grinders which means its a lot bigger than the SpaceCase or Sharpstone for less the price;
  • it also has a square tooth design, as shown in the pictures, and I will explain why it's simply amazing in a minute;
  • it came in two colors, a  blue and black (though I’m sure it comes in more colors than that). I chose the black because black is simply better and I will explain that in a minute, too. Do not choose any other color than BLACK.
Top grinder compartment showing teeth

Inside the Shredder

For those of you who wish to read on about this grinder, let us begin.

The first thing I noticed when I picked up the grinder and tested the rotation action was the incredibly smooth sensation. But I knew,  like most new grinders, that the smooth grind might not last; after all, they tend to get gummed-up by resin and crystals, making the rotation feel grainy and unpleasant. To my satisfaction, after having used it for almost a month, I can say that by design the grinder always has a smooth rotation; there is a ring that sits in between the two grinding layers that facilitates the motion. (EDIT: Since bashing many a nug with the Shredder after about a year’s usage it’s still is as smooth as ever).

The next thing that stood out about the Shredder was the size. For one, they come in slightly larger sizes than the SpaceCases. I picked up the smallest size because I like to grind my weed at the start of the day, fresh; I don’t need a big sifter compartment because I simply don’t use it to store my weed. However, I must say that the deeper pockets of the Shredder were great. The tall compartment allowed me to fit a pretty decent sized nug for travelling, without squishing it badly as I closed the grinder. In the smaller SpaceCase, this would have been impossible as the compartments are not as deep and are not meant to fit large nugs. The Shredder seems to have been designed with utility in mind: sometimes you don’t want to grind your nug or break it up into smaller pieces, you just need a place to put it to travel to your buddy’s house. Or, sometimes you just want to grind up and store a shit ton of weed in it. It’s also worth mentioning that the keif-catcher is deeper which means you can store almost twice the amount (yes, some – shall we say, connoisseurs? – do fill their crystal-catchers).

Let’s talk about something that most of you may not actually care about: opening up to the sifter compartment to access your ground up-weed. I’m talking about unscrewing the grinder to open it up. I’m only talking about it because I noticed it with this grinder and I’ve never experienced it before with any other. Basically, it opens up smooth and fast, and it feels nice to spin closed or open. This is hard to describe in words, but if you’ve ever felt like it takes forever to open up your current grinder, the Santa Cruz Shredder may surprise you. It’s like twisting the cap of a water bottle on or off. The momentum of a few spins is enough to send it well on its way to a nice close (EDIT: After a year’s use, this still works so well. I’ve taken it for granted lately but the twist on/off of this grinder is extremely well designed.

The square tooth design is another interesting thing about this product. You may be used to the diamond shape of your typical SpaceCase or other Sharpstone-wannabe grinders. Frankly, I’ve never heard of anybody having a problem with their diamond-shaped cutters, and I doubt that they are ever found to be ineffective. However, it is certainly clear to me that the square teeth perform extremely well: the grind is consistent, and the it demolishes weed really quite easily. If I had to explain why the square teeth may be more effective, I’d say it’s due to the squares being slightly pointed at their corners. This results in 4 pointy edges on every tooth, taking advantage of the angles of a square compared to the diamond shape which only has 2 sharp angles.

Finally, if you are planning on buying any grinder, be sure to choose the black models. Yes, black is better, and I say this due to my experience with my Shredder.  I only chose black at the store because I liked it over the blue they had, but to my delight it has turned out to be a great decision. I noticed it immediately after grinding my first nug: you can see the keif all over the inside of the grinder. Just look at the close ups I took of the Shredder: it’s quite easy to see a dusty layer of keif on almost everything. How satisfying it was to witness all that crystal being caught in the grinder that I had been losing on my fingertips and jeans for years. It looked like green dust all on the inside, it was quite beautiful. I’ve used many silver grinders and other colours, but black is definitely the only one that lets you actually see the crystals, because the yellowy/green on black is very noticeable.

My final verdict comes down to this: I’m super-pleased with my purchase, and although it took a hefty amount of cash out of my pocket I don’t regret my decision to buy this high quality grinder that I can see myself using for many, many years to come. I hope this review will help you make a decision the next time you’re on the hunt for a grinder.


Kief Catcher

After using this grinder for well over 4 months and observing the kief collection, I must say that I felt slightly disappointed in the amount there actually was in the bottom compartment! So I did my research for you guys:

  1. The Santa Cruz Shredder boasts the finest crystal net of any grinder. If it is true what they say, that may explain the small amount of kief getting through.
  2. I noticed that powder builds up quite a bit on top of the net. This could be because of the fineness of the net, or due to the fact that the grinder does not come with (as to my knowledge) any angular scraper (like your standard SpaceCase would); whatever powder my fingers cannot reach in the corner is stuck there until I grab a knife to scrape it out.
  3. Perhaps the net is getting gummed up and I did not scrape it often enough.

It would be unwise for me to assume any one of these circumstances, although it is for sure that one of these cases certainly applies. To me, it is nothing but a minor complaint, but I leave that up to your discretion. (EDIT: Santa Cruz Shredder did an amazing collaboration with RAW Rolling papers and they came out with a grinder with a triangle scoop so you can push your crystals through the mesh with no problems at all!) 



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