Exploring the Trim: A Comprehensive Guide to Cannabis Trimming Methods and Machines

by | Jan 22, 2018

Written by Kristina Etter

Kristina is a digital content creator and designer. She has a talent for creating engaging and informative content that resonates with our professional audience. Kristina’s passion for the cannabis industry stems from her belief that it has the potential to revolutionize the world in many ways, and has a personal testimony of cannabis success.

Trimming is a vital part of the cannabis cultivation process that removes undesirable leaves from the bud, making a smoother smoking experience for consumers. Hand-trimmed has been the standard practice due to the quality professional trimmers provide. However, quality trimming doesn’t necessarily have to mean “hand-trimmed” anymore.

In the ever-evolving landscape of the cannabis industry, cultivators face a crucial decision: hand trimming or relying on the efficiency of machines. Quality, cost, and time are the trinity of considerations that define this choice, shaping the fate of the final product and the success of the operation.

Trimming Dilemma: Hand vs. Machine

The quality of trim stands as the linchpin of this decision-making process. Poor trimming not only translates to product loss but can also jeopardize the integrity of the bud, impacting both its weight and overall quality. The trim itself is not to be dismissed; it contains cannabinoids vital for various derivative products. The question arises: hand trimming, the artisanal approach that yields approximately one pound per day with a labor cost of $16 an hour, or the automatic trimmer, a time-saving powerhouse capable of handling several pounds per hour?

In the realm where time is synonymous with money, automatic trimmers emerge as potential game-changers. They promise to replace entire trimming teams, significantly reducing labor costs without necessarily compromising quality. But does this mean sacrificing the meticulous touch that hand trimming provides?

cannabis trimming methods

Cannabis Trimming Methods: Wet vs. Dry

Two primary methods, wet trim and dry trim, add another layer of complexity to the decision-making process. Wet trimming post-harvest but pre-drying, or dry trimming post-drying but pre-curing—each method has its merits and implications. The choice between them is pivotal, influencing the available options and shaping the overall efficiency of the trimming process.

Among the titans in the trimming machine arena are Twister Trimmers, CenturionPro Trimmers, EZTRIM, and Triminator Trimmers. Each comes with its unique set of pros and cons, catering to a diverse range of cultivator needs and preferences.

Twister Trimmers: The Streamlined Solution

Twister Trimmers, designed with streamlining and scalability in mind, boast the ability to connect multiple units to maximize efficiency. While the T2, their flagship product, can trim 15-19lbs dry and 77-85lbs wet per hour, it’s not without its drawbacks, notably its loud operation and the need for frequent calibration and cleaning.

Pros:

  • Easy to use.
  • Can trim wet or dry flower by changing tumbler.
  • Easy disassemble for cleaning and maintenance.
  • Can be linked up to double or triple production volume.

Cons:

  • Very Loud.
  • Requires lubricating the blades which could affect flower quality.
  • Needs to be calibrated and cleaned often.
  • No airflow control, suction too strong.

CenturionPro Trimmers: The Gladiator’s Might

CenturionPro presents the Gladiator, a commercial-sized powerhouse capable of trimming 28-32lbs dry and 140-160lbs wet per hour. However, it comes with its share of challenges, including noise levels and the tendency to be less gentle on delicate products.

Pros:

  • Does not require lubrication
  • Can trim wet or dry flower by changing tumblers
  • Diverter to control airflow
  • Double the volume per hour

Cons:

  • Very loud
  • Can blow product out from diverter
  • Eats up delicate product
  • Difficult to align blades

EZTRIM: Functionality Meets Versatility

Functionality defines EZTRIM Satellite as an all-in-one solution for commercial harvest needs. As the only large automatic trimmer which allows the operator to control every moving part, the EZTRIM is exceptionally versatile. Operators have full control of the blade and fan speeds, as well as, silicon fingers which gently move the product around for an even trim. Key features with the EZTRIM Satellite include the micron filtration system which separates trim as it’s collected, work tables on each end, and even speakers for music or broadcasting. The EZTRIM Satellite produces 25-30lbs. dry and 25-30lbs. wet per hour.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Triple filter collection system
  • Gentle on the product
  • Full control motor and airflow

Cons:

  • Product can stick to blades
  • Requires further touch up of product
  • Less volume per hour than similarly priced trimmers
  • Tedious to clean

Triminator Trimmers: Pivoting Towards Efficiency

Triminator XL Dry takes pride in being the highest volume dry trimmer on the market, prioritizing operator comfort and minimizing product loss. However, its exclusive focus on dry trimming and the need for frequent calibration pose challenges for some cultivators.

Triminator XL Dry produces the highest volume of dry trim on the market. Keeping the operator in mind, the Triminator XL is designed with a pivoting tumbler to reduce bending and back straining. Triminator uses a food-grade tumbler which eliminates any steel-on-steel friction or need for lubricants. No fan is used, minimizing product loss due to a strong suction. The Triminator XL Dry can trim up to 60 lbs dry per hour.

Pros:

  • Pivoting drum for fast, easy loading
  • The industry’s largest dry bin
  • Processes high volumes of product compared to others in the same price range
  • Zero fan closed-loop system capturing 100% of trim

Cons:

  • Only dry trim
  • The product can stick to tumbler
  • Not a close-cut
  • Calibration needed often

Choosing the Right Trim: A Cultivator’s Dilemma

In a market flooded with options, cultivators must discern their priorities and approach when selecting a trimming machine. Whether wet or dry trimming, the notion that quality trimming is synonymous with hand trimming is challenged by the efficiency and advancements of these machines.

As the industry marches forward, the decision between the artisanal touch of hand trimming and the mechanical precision of trimming machines reflects the delicate balance between tradition and progress, quality and efficiency. Cultivators, armed with this guide, are better equipped to navigate this intricate web and make decisions that will shape the future of their cannabis operations.