The Tectonic9 is available now for $59.99 on Amazon and the Cloudious9 website

It’s easy to think that all grinders are of the same stock, but they can vary nearly as much as pipes or papers. Some grind super fine–which I believe works well with vaporizers–while others shred your meds to a more coarse product that works better with papers and pipes. Depending on your preference, a good grinder will take your experience from just getting the job done to a lush one. This is why when I first heard about Cloudious9’s new Tectonic9 grinder, I was curious to see how the company would add their touch of stylish nerdiness to the grind game.

The Tectonic9 aims to do two things: grind material and automatically dispense it. Novel idea right? Cloudious9 decided to also add a light to keep track of how much you’re going through. As a bonus, it works great for parties or other spots where a lack of light can lead to a lap full of wasted money.

The anatomy of the Tectonic9 is simple. In fact, so simple you’d wonder why no one has attempted to do it before. You have a three piece grinder, a vibrating chamber, flippable spout and a sliding cover for the dispersing gate. While the concept seems simple enough, it’s the execution that makes the device more special than a typical grinder.

The Tectonic is made with space grade anodized aluminum alloy, the same stuff used to build aircraft and satellites. Not to say that the grinder can be dropped from the top of a skyscraper and still be in one piece but it’s extremely tough for everyday use. In hand, the durability never warrants a second guess. It’s a solid piece with some weight to it. The grinder’s teeth perform an excellent job of balancing the cuts, leaving you with even product. Nope, no rouge chunks of missed bud clogging up the holes to the chamber.

Operation can be tricky at first, at least it was for me. Getting it to dispense properly caused a brief hiccup. I discovered that too little medicine gives the vibration feature nothing to work with. With vaping being my primary method, I’m used to grinding small amounts at a time. But from my experience so far, the Tectonic9 works best when using larger amounts of herb. Without a fan or the like to blow the contents out, it’s vibration and gravity running the show. Think of it like a gumball machine where the balls at the top push down the rest. For smaller amounts, sweeping the already ground herb into the hole leading down to the dispersing hole. With a full chamber, everything pours out flawlessly. Just remember to slide the gate cover back into the closed position before flipping down the metal spout. Otherwise, things could get messy.

As great as the Tectonic9 is, there are a couple of minor trade-offs for the convenience. The device holds a lot which is great if you’re going to be using one strain at a time. Strain hoppers will have to dump the leftover grinds into another container unless mixing different strains isn’t an issue. There’s no kief catcher which would’ve been awesome given the amount of medicine the Tectonic can grind at a time. Lastly, keep in mind that the vibrating motor is loud. The experience overall is great, just not a stealthy one. Again, all of these are minor notes which have no effect on the end result at all.

Cloudious9’s Tectonic9 grinder looks good and feels like an armored tank. It took the simple concept of an herb grinder and turned it into a cannabis flask. This folks is what technology is about.