Growing your cannabis is a long process that takes diligence and focus, but it’s only one part of the process. To get great final results you’ll also need to carefully trim your grow, which is why you need a marijuana trimmer.
Choosing a marijuana trimmer is all about considering your unique cannabis needs. In this post, we’ll explain the key considerations for choosing a bud trimmer, and compare some of the top options available.
What Type of Cannabis Grow Operation Do You Fall Under?
Before you can determine which type of trimmer you need, it’s important to know what type of cannabis grow operation you fall under. The different types of cannabis grow operations will have unique processes and requirements that may require different trimmers.
The two most common types of cannabis grow operations are:
- Personal Cannabis Home Grow: Growing cannabis on your property for personal use. Typically, small scale cannabis growers focus on hand-pick, hand-cured, and hand-trimmed limited batches.
- Commercial Cannabis Grow: Commercial cannabis growth requires a cannabis cultivator’s license, agricultural expertise, and capital investment. Generally, you’ll be producing far more cannabis than a home grower, and will need trimming tools that accommodate that.
What Does it Mean to Trim Cannabis?
Trimming occurs once the marijuana plants are mature. You must harvest them within a certain time frame to ensure freshness. Trimming is the process of snipping excess leaves from the buds of the marijuana plants.
Why is trimming cannabis important? Trimming cannabis is important because it improves the bud’s smoothness when smoking. Excess sugar leaves are harsh for the lungs, and they have far less THC, so it’s best to trim them off. Proper trimming ensures that the bud cures correctly for optimal potency. Additionally, trimming buds provides a better top shelf appearance and better smell over time.
Scissor hash is a byproduct of trimming cannabis. The THC resin that collects on your trimmers is known as “scissor hash”, and it’s very potent. You can use the scissor hash for smoking or creating other cannabis products.
Trimming Indoor vs. Outdoor Grown Cannabis
Cannabis can be grown both indoors and outdoors, and trimming will differ based on the location of your cannabis. When searching for a bud trimmer, you must consider if you’re trimming indoor or outdoor-grown cannabis. Cannabis grown outdoors will require more trimming because outdoor plants tend to have more leaves. Therefore, you may need a more heavy-duty cannabis trim machine if you are growing outdoors.
What are your Trimming Options?
There are several bud trimmer options available for cannabis trimming. Each marijuana trimmer has it’s benefits and drawbacks. Here are some of the top trimming options available:
Trimming scissors, or pruning shears, are a very precise trimming tool you can use for cannabis. It’s best to look for light, titanium-coated, spring-loaded scissors as they offer control and comfort.
- Pros: Trimming scissors are excellent for manicuring small, sticky leaves. They are very precise, which means they work very well for
- Cons: Using trimming scissors can strain your muscles, causing hand cramps. The trimming process also takes quite a long time with scissors, which is why they may not be the best solution for larger operations.
- Cost: While there’s a wide range of trimming scissors available at different price points, they are quite inexpensive, generally within the $10 to $50 price range.
- Trim time: Trim time with pruning shears is quite long, taking more time if you have more plants or outdoor plants with many leaves. Average trimmers can handle about 1lb of cannabis per day.
Manual Trim Devices
Two excellent manual trim devices meant to save you time and money on trimming are the Debudder Bucket Lid and Debudder Edge. The Debudder Bucket Lid attaches to a bucket, and the Edge can screw into a large bin or around a table. With both manual trim devices, you insert the stem and pull it back and down in one smooth motion. The buds are pulled off between the teeth of the tool, falling into your container.
- Pros: Extremely fast and simple de-budding process, allowing you to dubbed many plants quickly. It’s easy to use and offers an excellent return on investment.
- Cons: You must still trim the stems into 2ft sections and this process still requires labor by-hand.
- Cost: The Debudder Edge is $37.99, and the Debudder Bucket is $32.99.
- Trim Time: Less than 30 seconds per 2 ft stem.
Another option for trimming cannabis is to hire help. Whether you use scissors or manual trim devices, you won’t be able to trim all of your cannabis yourself if you have a large operation. You can hire staff to help speed up the trimming process.
- Pros: Get the precision of hand-trimming while drastically reducing the time it takes to trim.
- Cons: Cost and coordination. You must pay each worker for their service, which can add up. Additionally, you’ll need to coordinate operations to ensure efficiency and organization, which can be stressful.
- Cost: Cost will vary depending on the size of your operation, the local rates, and the amount you have to trim. It’s typical to hire hand trimmers for around $200 per person per day.
- Trim Time: An average trimer can trim about 1lb per day.
A bud trimming machine automates the process of trimming cannabis. Instead of trimming each cannabis plant by hand, you can drastically speed up the process with a bud trimming machine. There are several different machines available.
- Pros: Incredibly fast trimming time and automated process. A bud trimming machine will save you time and money in the long run.
- Cons: High investment upfront. Additionally, the trimming machines are not as reliable or precise as hand-trimming. They have a reputation for over trimming or knocking of trichomes that impact the potency and flavor.
- Cost: Depending on the machine, anywhere from $3,000-$8,000 on top of the cost to hire a head trimmer to operate each machine if you choose to.
- Trim Time: roughly 5lbs per hour, or 40lbs for a full 8-hour workday.
There are many different cannabis trimming options available. It’s important to choose the best bud trimmer for your unique harvesting needs. Remember, you can always combine several methods as well for an optimal marijuana trimmer.