Grow, Trimmer Reviews

Pros And Cons Of Hand Trimming Buds vs. Automated Trimmers

Who is excited about harvest season!

About 20 years ago, the only way to trim your flowers was to hand trim each bud. This was a thorough but slow process. Hired laborers working for days trimming until their wee little fingers turn black and blue. It’s a process many in the industry still swear by. Bud trimming machines are beginning to transform the industry while also becoming more versatile than ever. Now, commercial bud trimmers can turn what took a week into just 1 or 2 days’ processing time. As the demand for bud increases, there is a vast need to process harvests quicker – and hand trimming just isn’t efficient and fast enough. Lets quickly discuss the benefits and downfalls of each trimming type which include a few you might not have thought of.

Hand Trim versus Automated Trimmer

Hand Trimming

Piranha Pruner Trimming Scissors

Pros Of Hand Trimming Buds

  • 100% Accuracy. Hand trimming bud is all about precision. Nothing is more accurate than the human eye and hand. There is no machine out on the market that will beat an experienced hand trimmer. Hand trimmers are easy to find. Every September/October in northern California there is an influx of workers that are specifically there to help with trimming. Day laborers who will work for cold hard cash or a small parts of your stash.
  • Increase job opportunities in the bud industry. Starting a job in a new industry usually means working your way from the ground up. There are a ton of growers looking for extra hands making this a great way for someone to get their foot in the door and start learning about the industry. As Drake says “I started from the bottom, now I’m here”. Well nothing is more bottom of the barrel work than trimming buds. It’s backbreaking. It takes many hours and many days. And maybe I’m being a baby but I personally would rather drink a bottle of glue than to sit for +5 hours and trim buds. Oh yeah, this is the ‘pros’ section….
  • Minimal Trichome loss. Hand trimming is the gentlest way to process your buds during harvest. You will have minimal to no resin loss off your plants. This of course allows for the highest quality final product possible.
  • Cleanest Trim For After Processing. Saving your trim for after processing and extraction is an old but growing trend. Turn trash into cash by saving your trim and extracting it into pure oils. Hand trimming gives you the highest quality buds and therefore leaves you with the highest quality trim. Some automated machines use food grade oils to keep the machine from over heating but this ruins your trim.
  • Cons Of Hand Trimming Bud

  • It’s time-consuming. Hand trimming takes time and patience hands. Sometimes the task can seem never ending. I have no spin to add to this. I personally hate hand trimming buds because I don’t have time and I don’t have patience.
  • Like I said It’s backbreaking. Yup, its not that fun but someone’s got to do it. The best solution for helping your back is to use an ergonomically friendly lap trim tray to process flowers on. The Trim-Bin by Harvest More is a solid and affordable option that uses a mesh screen to help separate essential resins from your trim.
  • It requires many laborers. Large growers needing to process pounds of bud will never have the time to hand trim alone. You’ll need to hire helpers and compensate them with an hourly wage or by trading product.
  • Risk of theft becomes much greater. The more people you bring in to your operation the more people know about your operation. Trust nobody, ever. I mean it’s totally worked for me. You can’t have trust issues if you don’t trust anyone right? Wait, you think that’s why I don’t have a girlfriend? What were talking about again?

    Twister T4

    When it comes to harvesting and processing your bud, there are many benefits of using a trimming machine. Trimming and curing your bud is just as important as having a successful grow. The trim and the cure truly determine the quality of the final product. A 5 star grower who doesn’t trim and cure his crop properly will absolutely end up with completely ruined or below average bud. Nobody likes leafy or bad smelling bud and poorly processed final product will certainly end in just that. No one loves a tedious job, and as a result, many people are opting for the easiest and fastest way by using trimming machines.

    Pros Of Automated Bud Trimmers

  • Reduces Processing Time. Trimming machines don’t take lunch breaks. You can run your automated trimmer for an entire year without ever feed it. All jokes aside the machines today need minimal upkeep meaning they can be run for days at a time without stopping. Machines are easy to breakdown and clean making for very little overall downtime.
  • Machines pay for themselves quickly. The time saved is tremendous, and time is money people! The less people you hire and the less time it takes to complete your harvest the more money you make! It’s pretty simple. Most come with come with 3-5 year full warranties making buyers very comfortable with their investment.
  • Produces uniform, quality Bud. A high quality trimming machine will produce fantastic results. Many growers swear by hand trimming but almost all smokers are happy with automated trimmed bud.
  • Trimmers available for any size operation. Weather you have 6 plants or 600 plants there is a trimmer out there for you. For the smaller grows a Twister T6 works perfectly. About the same size of a printer the Twister T6 was specifically designed for the small home grows. The T6 will process roughly 4 pounds of flower an hour. For larger grows we suggest checking out the Triminator Dry Trimmer. This versatile trimmer can trim 8 pounds of bud an hour! This high capacity trimmer was intelligently designed to transform into an after processing kief extraction machine. How does this work? Well, the Triminator saves the trim in a bin on the bottom of the machine. Growers then switch out the main cutting drum with the Mesh Kief drum, add dry ice and run the machine like normal. Quickly be able to turn your trash into cash!
  • Cons Of Automated Bud Trimmers

  • Machine-Trimmed Flowers Can Affect Yield, Potency, and Flavor. If you run your bud in your automated trimmer for too long it’s very easy to over-trim your product. This results in smaller buds and tons of money lost for the grower.
  • Initial Investment Is Costly. Both the Twister T6 and the Triminator run between $4,000 and $5,000. Many growers are afraid to spend that money upfront but I can assure you that nobody has buyer remorse after using.
  • Trichome Loss. Agitating your bud in an automated trimmer can result in a small decrease in overall quality. Resin is incredibly sticky and wont just fall off your bud easily but running bud through a trimmer will inevitably remove a small amount of resin in the process. Growers see this a minimal cost of trimming buds in a timely manner.
  • In Conclusion

    Regardless of the method used, a flower expert can look and tell whether trimming was done by a machine or by hand but most end users cannot. Shops pay a premium for hand-trimmed bud but the amount of money made vs. the time lost to hand trimming just isn’t worth it. Invest in a trimmer now and save your time, money and most importantly your sanity. I hope this article of Pros and Cons of hand trimming vs. automated trimming was helpful and enjoy your harvest season! View all of our bud trimmers here.For more information about Green Envy Supply, go to our Green Envy homepage

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