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Should You Hand Trim Or Machine Trim Your Cannabis?

Hand trimming cannabis typically produces higher quality buds, but takes much longer to complete than the alternative. Machine trimming weed is much more efficient and convenient, yet buds could potentially be damaged during the process. Which one you choose will depend on your resources and your expectations.

Although it often gets overshadowed by the harvest process itself, trimming is one of the most crucial steps in the growing process, especially in today’s quality-driven market. A proper trim can make the difference between an enjoyable and smooth smoking experience, and a less pleasant and harsh one. There are two ways that growers can trim their product: by machine, or by hand. Both have their advantages, disadvantages, and unique use cases. Ultimately, which one you choose will have a significant impact on the quality of the final product.

WHAT IS HAND TRIMMING?

Hand trimming is exactly what it sounds like. The leaves of each bud are individually trimmed by hand. Hand trimming is the traditional method of removing leaves and other unwanted plant material from your buds. It is a time-tested method that consistently delivers excellent results, albeit at a slow pace. However, if you have some dedicated trimmers, some time, and some patience, hand trimming will truly offer you the best result.

WHY HAND-TRIM?

The biggest advantage of using the hand trimming technique is the quality and beauty of the final product. Each unique bud gets a custom trim that allows its finest characteristics to shine. Hand trimming is more accurate than machine trimming, and can help you to really get the most out of each bud. By carefully trimming buds by hand with sharp shears, your buds will lose fewer trichomes than if processed by a machine, and will look more aesthetically pleasing to boot.

DOWNSIDES OF HAND TRIMMING

The huge downside of hand trimming is the amount of time and focus it takes to do it at a high level. If you have a large amount of bud to process, hand trimming can be incredibly tedious, time-consuming, and even costly. However, the sacrifice may be worth it in order to put the final touches on top-shelf bud. Hand trimming may work fine for a personal grow, but commercial growers often have massive amounts of product to process. In these cases, hand trimming product means dealing with the cost and hassle of having to hire and employ trimmers.

WHAT IS MACHINE TRIMMING?

As demand for marijuana has skyrocketed, processing technology has similarly advanced. Specialised machines can be used to trim your cannabis for you. These machines vary in size, speed, cost, and quality. However, newer trimming machines are capable of trimming several pounds of marijuana per hour, completely removing the need to hire hand trimmers.

WHY MACHINE-TRIM?

The main advantage of using a machine trimmer is the speed with which you can process your cannabis. Some top-of-the-line commercial trimmers can process up to 19 pounds (

8.6kg) per hour, making them much more efficient than hand trimmers. For commercial growers, this difference in processing time makes the decision between hand or machine trimming an easy one.

The need to get large amounts of cannabis to market very quickly means that machine trimming will forever be a part of the marijuana industry. Thanks to the drastic improvement of trimming technology over the past decade, superb final buds are now being produced by machines. While trichome loss is still a concern, mangled or wasted product is rare nowadays. Most machine trimmers consistently produce high-quality results that most smokers can’t recognise as being machine-trimmed.

DOWNSIDES OF MACHINE TRIMMING

Machine trimmers have an unfortunate reputation for damaging buds. Hand-trimmed bud maintains more of its trichomes and resin than machine-trimmed bud. A machine trimmer simply cannot perfectly trim cannabis without taking off too much.

Machine trimmers can sometimes also damage buds by over-trimming them. Leaving bud in a trimmer for too long can result in unnecessarily small buds. Moreover, over-trimming flower can also affect its potency and flavour.

Machine trimmers can be quite pricey. Smaller, less efficient models can be purchased for a couple hundred US dollars, but high-quality trimmers cost thousands. Depending on how much cannabis you are trimming, the up-front cost can be recouped quickly in money saved from not having to hire trimmers. However, if you are trimming a personal stash, it may be better to save your money and just do it by hand.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: DRY VS. WET TRIMMING

One other thing to consider is whether you will trim your bud while wet, or after drying. Wet trimming occurs when the bud is trimmed immediately after being cut from the stem. Dry trimming requires you to wait until your buds are dried up before trimming. Many growers prefer one or the other. However, some growers prefer to find a balance between the two, performing some trimming on the wet bud, and more after it is dried out.

Wet trimming is recommended by many growers since plant material is easier to handle when wet. Wet trimming is also more suitable for machine trimming because the buds are somewhat harder to damage. In addition, trimming wet bud is said to help reduce the chance that mould may develop during the drying process.

Dry trimming is less efficient and more time consuming than wet trimming. It is harder to trim dried buds since they are more brittle and likely to be damaged. This method is more precise than wet trimming and is considered to produce more aesthetically pleasing buds. If you are looking to produce the best quality of cannabis possible, dry trimming is probably the way to go.

Marijuana buds can be trimmed either by hand, or by machine. Which method you choose will affect the final quality of your buds and their processing time.

Best Bud Trimmer Machines for Sale at Low Prices

Best bud trimmers—2020 reviews of the best bud trimmer machines for sale at low prices. Automatically trim wet and dry buds. Buy cheap bowl trimmers, handheld electrics, tumblers and professional bud trimming machines.

Cheap Bowl Bud Trimmer Machines

iPower Leaf Bowl Trimmer Machine

Overview: One of the best selling bud trimmer machines for years now—the iPower Leaf Bowl Trimmer—is a cheap 16-inch manual hand crank model that can save you a lot of trimming time. The clear top lets you see the trim process in action. It comes with two adjustable blades: a serrated blade for trimming dry buds and a straight blade for trimming wet buds.

How it trims buds: The rubber fingers tumble buds while the blade trims any leaf that passes through the metal grate. Open up the top, place untrimmed buds on the grate, close it and rotate the handle clockwise for 15–30 seconds. Repeat as necessary. Leaf is caught in the lower section of the machine. Simple and easy to clean.

  • Operation: Manual, hand crank
  • For trimming: Wet and dry buds

Risentech Bud Leaf Trimmer Machine

Overview: The Risentek Bud Leaf Trimmer Machine Upgraded Model is a commercial grade 16-inch manual hand crank bud trimming machine built with a solid metal gearbox, clear plexiglass lid and stainless steel body and blade. Suitable for both wet and dry trimming, this low-priced bud trimmer has two metal grates: one for wet trimming and the other for dry trimming. The blades can be adjusted closer to or further from the grate for precise cuts. Includes a trim catcher.

How it trims buds: Put the buds inside the machine on top of either the wet or dry grate. Close unit and crank handle. The buds get tumbled around by silicone fingers and are trimmed by the blade underneath the grate. Trimmings fall into the bowl. The clear top lets you see how the buds are coming along. Avoid overfilling the unit for best results.

  • Operation: Manual, hand crank
  • For trimming: Wet and dry buds

Risentek Electric Bud Leaf Trimmer Machine

Overview: An automatic bud trimmer machine for sale at a very low price, the Risentek Electric Bud Leaf Trimmer Machine is a 16-inch electric bowl model with a rotor speed dial (0–70 RPM) to control spinning speed—in forward or reverse. Trims both wet and dry buds with a grate for each. Features an exit chute, clear plexiglass lid, stainless steel cylinder, solid metal crank shaft, non-stick silicon fingers, adjustable stainless cutting blade and trim catch bag.

How it trims buds: Place the buds on the grate, cover it and turn the machine on. 30–45 seconds in each direction is recommended. The buds will tumble around, get trimmed by the cutting blade below the grate, then exit the chute.

  • Operation: Automatic, electric
  • For Trimming: Wet and dry buds

Handheld Electric Bud Trimmers

Speedee Trim

Overview: Speedee Trim precision trimming tools are popular handheld electric bud trimmers for trimming weed by hand. Their micro edge blades with custom angled teeth help get into tight spots. For sale as either a corded or a cordless unit. Speedee Trim makes five different blades that you can buy as complete models or separately: the Sabretooth and Butterfly blades for wet buds, the Piranha and P2 blades for dry buds, and the Hammerhead blade for pruning.

How it trims buds: Hold your bud in one hand and the Speedee Trim in the other. Turn it on and guide the blade around the bud. Using the side of the blade works best for a fast trim while the tip is best for sculpting and manicuring. The cordless model gets about 2 hours of battery life.

  • Operation: Manual, electric
  • For Trimming: Wet or dry buds

EZ TRIM Wander Trimmer

Overview: The EZ TRIM Wander Trimmer, aka the Humboldt Harvester, provides a clean cut without nicking buds. It works by connecting to any wet/dry vacuum. The suction pulls leaf into the wand’s cutting slot, where the bearing-mounted stainless steel blade spins and trims. Adjustable speed control. Trimmings are deposited into the vacuum. For wet buds only.

How it trims buds: Rotate the buds by hand while following leaves with the wand. You can rest the base of the wand on a table as you trim. For larger buds, increase the speed control for maximum efficiency. For smaller buds, a lower speed is recommended to prevent them from being pulled off the stem. Clean up excess material with a wet sponge.

  • Operation: Manual, electric
  • For trimming: Wet buds

Mid-Range Bud Trimmer Machines

Tom’s Tumble Trimmer

Overview: Tom’s Tumble Trimmers gently trim the small leaves off your dried buds, preserving structure and aroma. For sale in a range of sizes from small hand crank units to large automated machines. The mid-sized model shown above is made with an adjustable speed electric motor. Buds are trimmed by the ½ inch and ⅝ inch heavy-duty mesh nets. Includes a clear funnel flow bag and retractable dust cover to function as a separator and pollinator. Processes 2–4 lbs per 7 minute cycle.

How it trims buds: Load dry buds into the drum. Turn the switch clockwise to start the variable speed motor. The buds will tumble trim on the net while excess leaf falls down into the catch bag. There are two interchangeable nets that come with this trimmer machine: one for the big stuff and the other for catching kief. The nets are machine washable.

  • Operation: Automatic, electric
  • For trimming: Dry buds

Trimpro Rotor Trimmer

Overview: The TRIMPRO Rotor is an easy to use bud trimming machine for wet buds. This durably built model features leather fingers for tumbling buds and tempered steel adjustable blades that slice leaf. The machine works in the same way as manual bowl type trimming machines, but fully automated with an exit chute for finished buds.

How it trims buds: Turn it on, load wet buds into the top and let the Rotor do the rest. You may want to soak the leather fingers in water for a day before use to soften them up for a gentler trim. Run each batch of buds for 1–3 minutes. It’s built at an angle, so emptying the load is done simply by opening the exit door. Easy to clean.

  • Operation: Automatic, electric
  • For trimming: Wet buds

Cheap Professional Bud Trimmers

Centurion Pro Tabletop Trimmer

Overview: The Centurion Pro Tabletop trimmer is the smallest, most efficient professional grade bud trimming machine for sale at an affordable price. It comes with all you need to get started: leaf collector vacuum, hopper and dual purpose wet/dry Quantanium-coated non-stick tumblers, designed to keep trichomes intact. 5-bladed Toro-hardened cutting reel. 10 year warranty.

How it trims buds: Processes 20 lbs of wet buds or 4 lbs of dry buds per hour. Turn on the vacuum, turn on the machine then simply load buds into the tumbler. The buds roll around in the tumbler and are trimmed by the cutting reel. Leaf gets sucked up though the vacuum. Trimmed buds fall out the tumbler and into a catch placed by the end of the machine.

  • Operation: Automatic, electric
  • For trimming: Wet and dry buds

Twister T6 Trimming Machine

Overview: The Twister T6 is the brand’s cheapest entry level professional bud trimming machine. Featuring a new design with a hardened stainless steel rotary blade adjustable up to 0.0005 of an inch for maximum control. Comes with the leaf collector vacuum, hopper and your choice of wet or dry non-stick tumbler. 3 year warranty.

How it trims buds: Trims up to 20 lbs per hour wet, 4 lbs per hour dry. Turn on the vacuum, turn on the machine and place buds into the hopper. The buds will feed into the tumbler and get trimmed by the blade reel. Leaf gets sucked out through the vacuum. After trimming the buds exit the machine and into a catch. Easy to assemble, lightweight and portable.

  • Operation: Automatic, electric
  • For trimming: Wet or dry buds

Centurion Pro Mini Trimmer

Overview: The Centurion Pro Mini trimmer is a complete package for professional grade bud trimming. Its Toro-hardened steel cutting wheel has eleven sharp, magnetic blades that make over 25,000 cuts per minute. Includes everything you need: dual purpose Quantanium coated wet and dry tumblers, 1.5 hp leaf collector, triple bag kief filtration and trim collection system. Large hopper for easy filling. 10 year warranty.

How it trims buds: Processes 50 lbs of wet buds or 10 lbs of dry buds per hour. Turn on the vacuum and the machine then just load buds into the hopper. The buds funnel into the tumbler and are trimmed by the cutting reel below. Leaf gets sucked into the vacuum filtration bags while trimmed buds drop out the end.

  • Operation: Automatic, electric
  • For trimming: Wet and dry buds

Trimming Supplies

That means bud trimming scissors, shears, gloves, trim trays and more! Sure you’ve got everything? Run though our Trim Weed Checklist to find out:

Frequently Asked Questions

Wet Trimming vs. Dry Trimming

Wet buds are the easiest to trim because their leaves are big, crisp and easy to cut. The perky leaves catch well in grates and tumblers. After exiting a bud trimming machine, wet buds are then rack dried and come out uniform in appearance. Although rack drying doesn’t make pretty round buds, so some growers would rather hang dry the buds first.

Nearly all bud trimming machines process wet buds faster than dry buds. Trimming marijuana right after harvest is a good way to catch any damaged bud or Botrytis mold infections.

Dry buds take longer to trim because their leaves are shrunk and curled inwards. If the buds are halfway dry their leaves are wilted—they don’t slice well. On the other hand, if the buds are over-dried they may be too brittle to go in the machines without breaking off a lot of trichomes in the process.

When buds are hang dried on lines before trimming they form up nice and round. This is why some growers prefer to use a bud trimmer machine after drying. The tumbler models work well for bulk trimming dry buds.

Are Bud Trimmer Machines Worth the Price?

Purchasing a bud trimmer machine is only worth it if you’ll use it. Small harvests don’t need much more than a pair of scissors and a few hours of work. Once you are harvesting more than you can deal with, buying a good bud trimming machine starts to make sense. Of course you could hire trimmers to do the entire job by hand, which generally results in better quality, but gets expensive over time. The in-between solution is to have trimmers manicure what comes out of the machine.

Many growers get sore and tired of trimming by hand, so they buy a bud trimmer machine to do the work for them. Even the small cheap bud trimmers can speed up the processing time of harvest. The professional grade tumbler machines make it so easy that all you have to do is break down buds and load them in.

Does Using a Bud Trimmer Machine Damage Buds?

If the blades of a bud trimmer machine are adjusted too close they will slice off pieces of bud.

When buds are rolling around getting trimmed, there’s going to be some trichome damage. All we can do is try to minimize loss. The models that use non-stick tumblers are less abrasive than the bowl trimmers , and process bud in less time.

As far as handheld bud trimmers go, the Wander Trimmer is called the “no damage bud trimmer” because it only cuts the leaf that gets sucked into the wand. The Speedee Trim on the other hand does not have a blade guard, so it’s up to the operator to make the right cuts.

Cleaning Bud Trimmer Machines

Bud trimmer machines need to be cleaned regularly. In most cases this simply means clearing out excess trimmings built up within. Eventually, you’ll want to clean the blades as they get coated in cannabis resin. Scrub the resin off using soap and hot water, vinegar, plant oil, alcohol or other organic cleaning agents.

Each bud trimmer machine model will have its own cleaning process specifications. Be sure to reference the owner’s manual or manufacturer’s website for maintenance instructions.

Best Bud Trimmers For Sale Shortlist

Model Type Trims Link
iPower Leaf Bowl Manual Crank Wet & Dry Buds VIEW PRICE ►
Risentech Bud Leaf Manual Crank Wet & Dry Buds VIEW PRICE ►
Risentech Electric Bud Leaf Electric Bowl Wet & Dry Buds VIEW PRICE ►
Speedee Trim Electric Handheld Wet or Dry Buds VIEW PRICE ►
Wander Trimmer Electric Handheld Wet Buds VIEW PRICE ►
Tom’s Tumbler Electric Tumbler Dry Buds VIEW PRICE ►
Trimpro Rotor Electric Bowl Wet Buds VIEW PRICE ►
Centurion Pro Tabletop Electric Tumbler Wet & Dry Buds VIEW PRICE ►
Twister T6 Electric Tumbler Wet or Dry Buds VIEW PRICE ►
Centurion Pro Mini Electric Tumbler Wet & Dry Buds VIEW PRICE ►

Disclaimer: We do not promote or undertake in illegal activities.

Best bud trimmers—2020 reviews of the best bud trimmer machines for sale at low prices. Automatically trim wet and dry buds. Buy cheap