A Deep Dive into the Pros and Cons of your Next Cannabis Trimmer
Are you in the market for a cannabis trimmer? Here are some things you need to consider before pulling the trigger.
Sooner or later, medium to large growers will want to upgrade from hand-trimming to a cannabis trimming machine to save on labor and improve operational efficiency, or simply upgrade from an existing cannabis trimmer to the latest greatest model.
Machine trimming can save thousands of dollars that you would pay workers to do the same job manually. However, can you get the same quality? The answer is yes, that is, if you can afford a top-end bud trimming machine.
If you’re in the market for a new cannabis trimmer, there are more options to choose from than strains of cannabis. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of different categories of machine bud trimmers and what you should look for in your next purchase.
SMALL SCALE OPERATIONS
For small-scale hobbyists or craft producers, a tabletop machine bud trimmer may be your best bet. These cannabis trimmers are one step up from manually trimming cannabis and hemp bud and can do the work of 4-5 people. Tabletop trimmers can process up to 30 pounds of wet bud or 2-5 pounds of dry bud per hour. The newer models should come with tumblers you can swap out for cleaning while still maintaining production. If you’re interested in kief extraction, ask the manufacturer if it comes with a special tumbler and collection drum designed for this process.
Tabletop cannabis trimming machines will only take up a couple of feet of space in your facility, and with a price range of around $1,800-4000, they won’t break the bank.
Compared to manual trimming, the downside to these units is that they don’t do as good a job at preserving the quality of the bud, can reduce the appearance, and can’t process as much material as the larger, more expensive models of machine bud trimmers.
MEDIUM SCALE OPERATIONS
Larger growers have the tough choice between upgrading to a more expensive unit that can improve efficiency and reduce labor or slog along with manual or tabletop trimmers. It comes down to the ratio of investment and returns.
Medium-sized units range in price from about $8000 to $20,000. They can trim up to 15 pounds of dry bud or 50 pounds of wet bud in an hour and save the work of up to 25 people. These units should come with timers for greater control when processing different strains. They will do a fairly good job of producing a quality bud with a good appearance.
The cons to these units are they’re more expensive than the tabletops, heavier, and they can be noisy to run. They also do more damage to the bud than hand trimming and the top-of-the-line machine trimmers.
LARGE SCALE BUD TRIMMERS
The Cadillacs of cannabis trimmers (our Mobius Trimmer M108S is at the top) are efficient and can produce an outstanding bud quality. Like a Cadillac, they’re also expensive. They’re pricey because they have more advanced technology, much larger capacity, and can save tons of money on labor costs (imagine paying up to 75 workers). The M108S can process both wet and dry material. For larger operators, the cost of high-capacity automated trimmers can be recouped in labor savings in just a few harvests.
Some, but not all of these high-end units can maintain the terpenes and resins like you get from manually trimming. Ask the manufacturer to be specific about what the unit, particularly the tumbler, can do to preserve the bud quality during the trimming process.
The best high-end cannabis trimmers come loaded with technology that makes the job easier, including user-controlled tumbler and blade speed, vacuum power, and tilt.
Of course, the barrier to entry with these units is the cost, which can reach into the tens of thousands of dollars. It is important to look at what you would save in labor costs and efficiency of operations vs. the unit’s purchase price. Another potential downside is the space they require in your facility. But if you have the capital, space, and demand for your product, they’re certainly a good investment.
The decision to upgrade your machine bud trimmer for the latest model is not to be taken lightly. Take a good look at the features and benefits of the latest cannabis bud trimmers, ask lots of questions of manufacturers and retailers and seek input from other growers who have recently upgraded their cannabis bud trimmer machines.
Is it time to take your cultivation processes to the next level? We can help. Get in touch to learn more.