I am always excited to try new gadgets, especially “herbal” gadgets and the Chewy is no exception! I’ve tried many grinders over the years and they are basically the same old thing with the same old “teeth.” I have always been partial to the classic metal grinders and some of my favorites have been; Cali Crusher Homegrown, Sanat Cruz Shredders, SLX 2.0 (non-stick), SpaceCase Titanium, the classic Storz and Bickel acrylic grinder and my daily driver the GR8TR VAPE by Kannastor because of it’s ability to grind specifically for vapes, meaning super fine and even, always. My new favorite is the LinCig grinder, similar to the Lift Innovations grinder that has a completely new blade system, instead of teeth, which I HIGHLY recommend checking them out.
There are a few electric grinders out like the little Atmos Pen Grinder, the Atman Hummer, The Element Mini Grinder and “Herbie” by the company now under Vapium, which may or may not be still in the works. All of those electric grinders mentioned above, basically were the classic teeth grinders with a motor built in, with the Atmos Pen as an exception, so it was really nothing new, as far as the grinding or cutting process goes, that is until Chewy came along. Chewy completely re-designed the grinder inside and out and made a device that’s unlike anything on the market today.
Features and Specifications:
- Pocket sized
- Advanced blade design (Stainless Steel)
- Holds up to 3 grams of material
- Built in poker
- Removable sleeve and blade for cleaning (Stainless Steel)
- Plastic or Metal body (variety of colors)
- Powered by a single 9V battery
- Forward and reverse blade rotation
- Silicone cap and see thru door
- Spring loaded Herb “feeder”
Design and Overview
For this review, I will be testing the Black Chewy with a plastic body ($49.99) but they also come with metal bodies ($89.99). The Chewy uses a 9V battery to power it and features a sharp rotating blade, not teeth, like traditional grinders and forward / reverse buttons that control the blade. The design is thoughtful, effective and compact. I especially like that the internals come out for cleaning because it will get sticky with use, so it’s very important to clean your Chewy occasionally to keep it running smooth. The Chewy’s flat design makes it possible to carry in your pocket, unlike other grinders that are too bulky and Chewy allows you to store your herb inside, so whenever your ready you just have to hit the buttons and out comes your ground herb.
I was somewhat disappointed with the plastic body of my Chewy and I plan to eventually spring for the metal body, which I hope will be a little more ridged and provide better durability. The Chewy is fairly solid and with a battery, it has good balance and fits the hand nicely. I would have liked to see the edges of the Chewy to be more rounded for more comfortably but it’s not bad or awkward. On the top are the controls, the back opens up for the battery and the bottom is the business end where you load your material and the chopping takes place.
The door on the bottom of the Chewy is clear plastic, which is really nice, so you can see what’s happening and it’s spring loaded. There is a small funnel at the end of the door, directly below the blade where your ground material falls into and can be loaded without making a mess. The funnel has a Silicone plug with a removable metal poker built in that acts as a stopper to keep your material sealed inside and the poker can be used to loosen material in the blades as well as be used as a tool to remove the blade and can be completely pulled out and act as a good bowl or chamber packer with this flat end opposite of the poker. As you open the Chewy door, it pulls a strap that is attached to the “pusher block” and cocks it into a locked position when the door is fully opened, allowing you to load your material in the “sleeve.” When your done loading, close the door fully and hit a button on the Chewy to release the pusher which presses your material tightly against the blade and feeds your material as your grind away. The pusher block has a couple of groves in it’s side that follow a track in the sleeve, so it stays on track and moves smoothly. The spring is powerful enough and does a good job feeding the material into the blade and I typically only have problems if I am using a small amount of herb or the insides are dirty and sticky. Luckily, the sleeve and blade comes out easily, so your can clean it again and again. Sometime I have noticed that the pusher block doesn’t always reach the end of the track when I hit the release button, so I will open the door slightly and that usually does the trick.
Chewy’s blades are very unique and there is nothing like them in any grinder. They feature 5 sharp blades that combine to make a cylindrical shape of slicing, cutting fury. The blade has a hole in the end that magnetically attaches to the motor that has a small end that pokes up and fits into the blade for rotation. The blade goes in easily and comes out easily as well and they have also added a small hole on the end of the blade that you can use the built in poker to remove the blade which will keep you from loosing a finger…..I think there is room for improvement with the blade and I have noticed that it works great with some herbs and not so well with other herbs, depending on moisture content, density and stickiness. There are small gaps between the 5 blades that make up the “cylinder” and if these gaps were smaller and maybe had more of these blades, I think that would allow for finer grinder and prevent large pieces from passing through the gaps. Another idea would be a cylinder that features a series of sharp holes like the Grinder Cards or a cheese grater that would spin and slice away at the herbs and with the removable blade design, I hope Chewy will some out with new blades for different materials and grind consistencies. Another area for improvement is the blade chamber which is plastic on this model but must be metal on the metal bodied Chewys. The blade is able to slightly rock a little on the motor end and sometimes the blade can get pretty close to these plastic walls and could possibly shave off a piece of plastic, so I wish they had added another removable metal sleeve for around the blade that would help prevent any unwanted plastic shavings.
-Controls / Battery
The Chewy’s back features a door that flips out on a hinge and is where your 9volt battery is inserted. The battery goes in and comes out fairly easily and it securely snaps into place. Although I haven’t had to change my battery yet, I wish they had used a rechargeable battery and allowed grinding while charging. There are rechargeable 9v batteries out there, so that’s the next thing I will be testing but I used a standard Energizer 9v for this review and it’s still going strong. I’ve had the same 9v battery since I got the Chewy in September 2016 and it’s got a lot of use. I tested the Chewy pretty heavily when I first got it and I am pleasantly surprised that the battery is still going but I have noticed some loss of power and sometimes it binds up a little, now that battery is getting weaker. It’s hard to gauge the exact battery life of the Chewy because your only using it for a minute or so at a time and it may have to work harder with some herbs and less with others but according to their website, the Chewy can last up to 9 hours of continuous use! Overall, I have been happy with the battery life and I think it’s really quite battery efficient.
The controls of the Chewy are located on the top, directly above the blades and feature forward and reverse buttons. I typically find that the Chewy works best if you “rock” the blades forward and reverse, instead of grinding forward the entire time and then reversing for awhile etc. If you place your thumb on the middle of the two buttons, you can easily switch from forward to reverse and back and forth quickly, which seems to give me a better grind. If things get jammed up and they occasionally do, just hit the opposite button you were using and that usually frees up the blades but sometimes you need to help the herbs along with the poker.
-Operation / Usage
Chewy is easy to use and I recommend opening the Door from the very end, past the Funnel because sometimes when you open the Door from the sides, where the little notches are, it will pull up the internal sleeve too, so I always just use my nail to get under the plastic end to flop it open.
Just a few simple steps for your very own, electrically ground herb:
- Open the Chewy door fully, so the Pusher Block locks into place.
- Add your herb to the Sleeve. I like to break up my herb a little, into chunks, so there aren’t any huge sticks or stems. Chewy works best with more herb but it can also do smaller amounts.
- Close the door and press the Release button on both side of the Chewy at the same time to release the Pusher Block and it will press your herb against the blade.
- Remove the Silicone plug and proceed to use the Forward and Reverse buttons.
- Experiment around with the buttons. Rock the blades forward and reverse for best results or try grinding forward for awhile then reverse it. You may need to use the pick to free herb that sticks inside the funnel and blade.
The Chewy’s motor and blade system seems to be pretty powerful and geared correctly. The blade spins very slow but it’s pretty powerful and I haven’t noticed the motor seizing up or stopping, until recently now that my battery is getting low but even now it still does pretty well.
Another thing to note is that the Chewy does better with more herb and when the Pusher Block gets to the end of it’s track, the remaining herb can have a hard time feeding into the blades because the Pusher Block doesn’t fully reach the blades. I typically like to grind just enough for a chamber and that’s it, so the Chewy has a harder time with small amounts like that but it will work, you just may have to help feed the herb into the blades more. Also, the Pusher Block sometimes sticks after hitting the release button with small amounts and doesn’t fully extend, so just open the door a little and that usually frees the Block and it then presses your herb tightly against the blade.
I had somewhat mixed results with the Chewy but overall, I was happy with the grind and it’s consistency, plus its actually fun to use, unlike most traditional grinders. I did however find that some herb grinds much easier than others and the Chewy also works better when there is a decent amount of herb in the Sleeve. I found that the Chewy works best with fully dry and dense herbs and Chewy had trouble when the herbs were moister and fluffier. The dry, dense, hard herbs work best because they can sit against the blade and it can chip away at the herb, whereas the moister, fluffier herbs sometimes get pulled around the blades instead of slicing them and they just go around and around. I think if they added less room around the blade with a removable Stainless Steel tube, that could prevent the herb that wants to get pulled around, behind the blade and would slice it better. I have also noticed that sometimes the Blade can actually touch the plastic wall that surrounds it and can actually shave pieces off if your not careful, which can end up in your material and Chewy needs to add a guard or something to prevent this.
Also, the herb can get stuck in the funnel / blade area quite easily, especially if you have used your Chewy for a while and it’s stickier. A lot of times, I have to use the poker or something else to free up stuck herb and get it to go through the blade again or drop out the funnel. When the Chewy is fully loaded with the right herb, it is really nice and you can just aim the funnel over your chamber or bowl or paper and watch the herb fall into place. It also makes grinding on the go, much more convenient and less messy. You can also store your herb in the Sleeve or funnel ground up for immediate use but I typically don’t because it’s not sealed completely, so it smells and dries out quickly.
I think the Chewy is best for people who want a grind that doesn’t need to be super fine or super consistent. I found the grind size to typically be on the medium to larger side, depending on the herb and the consistency was not perfect with some larger pieces of herb and some fine pieces. Sometimes I’ll take the larger pieces that slipped through and I will add them to the Sleeve again, so they can be pushed through the blades again, chopping it up more. I think the grind is pretty perfect for bowls and rolling your own but I wish it was finer and more even for vaping needs but I still use the Chewy for my vapes. I will say that the Chewy seems to slice the herb better than most grinders, that typically can mash up your herb and strip it from the precious resin glands but the Chewy’s sharp blades “cut” herb up leaving a lot more goodies intact.
-Cleaning / Maintenance
The Chewy is pretty easy to maintain and clean when the time comes. I like to brush mine out after using it and before I take it apart. A lot of sticky residue can build up quickly and it’s important to keep it clean, so the Pusher Block can freely move and feed your herb. All of the important parts that get the dirtiest, the Blade and the Sleeve come out and can soak in Alcohol for easy cleaning and the rest requires a little more work. The Blade comes out first, either carefully with your fingers or you can use the Poker to pop out the Blade using the hole. Next, comes the Sleeve, which will lift up and you can slide it off of the Pusher Block. While those pieces soak, I brush out the inside and get all the big stuff and come back with a q-tip with a little Alcohol, to get all the sticky stuff and clean up the door, the funnel and the Pusher Block. Make sure the sides of the Pusher Block are clean and your basically ready to reassemble after the Sleeve and Blade are done soaking and clean. It goes together in the opposite way, so take the Sleeve and start the Pusher Block, so it fits into the track and slide freely. Next, push the Sleeve into place, so that it’s fully seated. Now you can re-place the Blade, close the door and release the Pusher Block. Now your ready for more Chewing!
- Convenient, fast and easy to operate
- Easy on hands
- Extremely good battery life – I am still using my original 9V battery from September 2016!
- Works really well with dry, dense, hard herbs / buds
- Parts come out for easy cleaning
- Automatic feed system
- Clear door allows you to see what’s happening
- Ability to dispense ground material directly onto a paper or into a pipe, chamber or bowl
- “Slices” herbs more than traditional grinders that can mush herbs up
- Really powerful motor / gearing – doesn’t get hung up usually
- Ability to store whole herbs / buds and ground herbs at the same or separate times
- Small and compact
- Built in poker / packer is handy
- Doesn’t work well with moister, fluffier herbs / buds
- Herb tends to get stuck in blades, funnel and loading area
- Grind consistency varies – sometimes its all very fine and even, while other times there may be big chunks of unground herb
- Doesn’t work well with small amounts of herb – it will do it but has a hard time feeding everything into the blades
- Some herb remains in the loading area that didn’t feed into the blades
- Pusher block tends to get sticky quickly and has a hard time feeding material into the blades
- Blades sometimes catch plastic body and can shave pieces off into your material – needs a guard to prevent this
- not odor proof / air tight
- Inability to adjust grind consistency from fine to coarse
- No pollen catcher
- Door / feeding system could be improved
Overall, I am impressed with the Chewy Grinder. It is by far the best and most innovative electric grinder I have used and its perfect for people that like to roll their own. You can dispense right onto your paper or into a pipe, which is super convenient and useful. Its easy to operate, effective and has great battery life. It works extremely well with the right material and not so well with other material. Dry, dense and hard buds work the best while moister and fluffier material gets stuck and doesn’t slice as well. The grind consistency can also vary and typically isn’t always even, where you can get chucks of unground herb that must be feed through the blades again. More suitable for pipes, bowls and rolling, where the grind isn’t as important, unlike with vaporizers which work better with an even, fine grind. The material feeding system needs work and often gums up with residue or doesn’t feed all the material into the blades for slicing. The Chewy grinder has a lot of potential and I think with some minor improvement, this could replace traditional grinders. I would also like to see different blades offered for different grinds and different material.