Harvest time can be the single most exciting part of growing cannabis. It is important to decide whether you want to cut and hang the entire plant, or separate branches. From here you must decide whether you prefer to trim the buds wet or dry. Normally, it is best to trim the buds dry as trimming them wet can interrupt the necessary drying process. However, in some situations, the grower has no choice but the trim the buds wet. Dry bud trimming can also be more time consuming than wet trimming.
Once the buds are hung, you must then consider the method you will use to trim and manicure them. If you are doing a relatively small, home grow, hand trimming is feasible. Trimming by hand with horticultural scissors ensures better control of the loss of trichomes. The presence of particular trichomes can affect crop yield, bud flavor, and potency.
If you are growing cannabis on a larger—even industrial—scale, you may end up paying hand trimmers an unsustainable amount for money. Automatic bud trimming machines are available for a number of different harvest sizes. Because different growers benefit from either wet or dry trimming, most machine trimmers are capable of both methods. Many machine trimmers claim to do the same work as between five and forty human hand trimmers, depending on the machine size. On the other hand, some growers/buyers appreciate and pay a premium for hand trimmed nugs, as they minimize overall product waste.
For a serious grow, you need a serious quality machine. Remember, trichomes are everything. No one wants to spend weeks tending their bud only to ruin their harvest while trimming. It is important to purchase a high-quality machine to ensure minimal damage to bud trichomes. A number of high volume bud trimming machines are currently available on the market. Many of these models are fundamentally similar. Machines vary based on size, max capacity, and functionality. Because machine trimmers replace the work of several hand trimmers, they are extremely appealing to large-scale industrial growers.
The durable and cost-effective Original Centurion Pro has been a flagship for the electric bud trimmer industry. Capable of both wet and dry trimming, the Centurion Pro is an invaluable grow tool. Straightforward maintenance features make the Centurion Pro a user-friendly machine with high-quality results. Centurion Pro Solutions is known for the quantronium coating and electropolish available on its products. Both coatings are much more gentle on the buds and trichomes than traditional stainless steel, preventing damage and product loss. The OG Centurion Pro will cost you about $8995, significantly less than comparable models.
Centurion Pro also has an even more powerful trimmer—the Gladiator. This machine trims the highest volume of any commercial trimmer, capable of replacing nearly 40 skilled hand trimmers. Perhaps the best part is the Gladiator’s ability to automatically separate waste into two compartments: trim and kief. Excess trim allows for further THC extraction from leaf particulate. Kief is pure and trichome rich, and is excellent for edibles and concentrates. The Centurion Gladiator is the high-volume industrial grower’s dream. Price is about $13995, significantly more than the original Centurion Pro.
Models of comparable quality and trim capacity include the Twister T-models and the EZTrim Satellite and Satellite SL.
Twister models claim the closest cut of any available commercial trimmers. 11 StaySharp™ self-sharpening blades provide nearly 20,000 cuts per minute. Twister products are highly rated, sturdy, and exceptionally durable. Innovative design combines ballistic plastic, anodized aluminum alloy, and stainless steel. These trimmers are made with functionality in mind and are easy to take apart and maintain. Self-sharpening, “scissor-like” blade systems keep buds looking hand-trimmed every time.
Twister models include the T2, T4, and the new T6 tabletop model for home use. The T2 models start around $12,000. While the T2 rivals the original Centurion Pro in terms of production volume and speed, the Twister trimmers require lubrication. Growers should be aware of the potential for product contamination when using machine lube.
The Twister T4 has a smaller capacity but is more economical than the T2. At just under $7K, growers can expect an almost immediate return on their investment. The T2 is comparable to the T4 in terms of speed and minimal trichome damage and is an excellent choice for mid-scale grow operations.
EZTRIM Satellite model
Another worthwhile option is the EZTRIM Satellite model. This unit by far trims the most material per hour of any of these commercial trimmers. You can expect to process upwards of 20 pounds per hour when trimming dry, or roughly 10 pounds of wet bud. This practical and functional machine processes more material, is both gentle and quiet, and is easy to transport from one grow site to the next. This model will cost you upwards of $10,000—higher than the Original Centurion Pro, but lower than other similar models.
Three fan speed settings allow the user control over the machine’s suction. A cutting blade placed above a fan blade creates a vortex, drawing the material closer to the cutting blade. Blade depth can also be adjusted to accommodate the needs of various strains. This consistently ensures the closest of trims without damaging trichomes or losing product.
Waste is inevitable, even with the closest of trims. The Satellite automatically separates bud trim into three different compartments to collect:
- large leaf scraps
- leaf particulate
- loose pollen (very pure)
Both EZTrim and Centurion Pro Solutions have gone out of their way to ensure you can collect 100% of your harvest. The only difference between the original Satellite and the SL model is the lack of a travel bag, speakers, and side tables. Without these frills, you can expect to pay about $8500.
Many of these automatic trimmers claim their blade system mimics the cut of ordinary hand scissors. One stationary blade is paired with a moving blade, minimizing damage to the bud. Hand trimming your crop is the only way to guarantee the product meets your specific needs and desires. Small, homegrown bud crops can be trimmed by hand. If you are feeling lazy or crunched on time, both Centurion Pro (just released) and Twister (T6) offer small, tabletop machine trimmers for home use.
While hand trimming is ideal, it often is not an option. Machine trimmers mimic this old school method while still providing exceptional bud quality. Just make sure you’re purchasing a durable, reputable, properly coated machine and you can cut grow costs and save time.