How to Grind Climbing Chalk

ziplock bags

The cheapest chalk often comes in block or in chunky form. Yet a lot of people prefer a finer texture while climbing. So let’s explore a couple of ways to grind your chalk into something a little less chunky.

First thing you want to do is make sure you have some ziplock bags on hand to store your final product in. For our first method, we’ll simply use those ziplock bags to also grind the chalk. Put a bunch of chalk blocks in the bag until it is about 1/4 full. Now use something heavy to press down on the ziplock bag & crunch up the chalk. Anything heavy will do: a brick, a weightlifting weight, a flower pot, whatever you have handy. No need to smash down on the chalk, you will just tear the bag. Just gently press down on it.

Our second method is convenient if you like to have a nice mix of chunky and finer chalk in your bag. All you need for this method is a spoon. Take your block of chalk & scrape off finer bits of chalk. Then crunch up the leftovers and put it all either in a ziplock bag or straight into your chalk bag.

The third method works best if you want to have very finely-ground chalk or if you want to move on to making your own liquid chalk. We’re going to use an electrical coffee grinder or blender for this. Key here is to have a grinder with a lid that can be closed tightly, failing that, make sure you wrap a towel around the contraption. Extra-fine chalk is very very very dusty. Make sure you grind your chalk in short burst of just a few seconds each. Grinding something as dry as chalk isn’t exactly good for your tool. It’s easy to over-heat it.

Finely-ground chalk is a lot more dusty and has a very different texture to it. Some climbers like it, some don’t. One thing that is sure is that finely-ground chalk makes a whole lot more dust & is a royal pain in the ass to clean up when accidentally spilled. That’s why we encourage to use the methods outlined in this article sparingly. We encourage everyone to switch to liquid chalk instead. If you use finely-ground chalk as a base for your own DIY liquid chalk you can have the best of both worlds: the feeling of a thin layer of chalk on your fingers, minus the dust.

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