How to Pick the Best Bud Trimming Machine

Most of the “best bud trimming machine” lists that you’ll find out there are wrong—dead wrong—because the featured machines might solve one of the limitations of hand trimming but make a mess of others.

Let us explain: Say you come across a list of the “best bud trimming machines” that features a bowl trimmer, an electric handheld bud trimmer, a wet trimmer, and a dry trimmer with a rotary cutting blade system. Now, those bud trimmers will definitely save you time compared to hand trimming, but they’ll all leave you with trim that’s streaked with chlorophyll and plant particulates.

In addition, those trimming machines will most likely either cut your buds too small (taking off valuable trichomes) or leave too much plant matter on the buds, which requires significant hand-trimming time to clean them up, defeating the purpose of using a machine in the first place.

Naturally, we are very biased toward our own equipment, but there are several reasons why we think The Original Resinator is better than other bud trimmer machines. This semi-automatic bud trimmer is extremely versatile and easy to use and maintain, and it provides everything a grower or processor could ever need in a bud trimmer machine, plus additional features that can help your products stand out from the crowd.

Follows the Natural Lines of Each Bud

Automatic bud-trimming machines that use blades for trimming buds invariably turn out nugs that are fairly uniform in shape (and size). The problem with this is that cannabis buds don’t grow in a uniform shape—each one is a unique work of art with its own individual shape, lines, and pattern of trichomes, pistils, and flowers.

When you trim buds to a standard shape, you’ll either be removing too many trichomes (hence losing valuable revenue potential) or not removing the sugar leaves completely, which looks very amateur to consumers and reduces the shelf value of the bud. You’ll also tend to end up with buds that have a lower total weight, reducing your aggregate margins on your flower.

Because The Original Resinator is a bladeless trimmer that uses cold temperatures and gentle rotation to encourage the sugar leaves to snap off wherever they happen to be on the bud, the trimmed buds come out exactly the same shape as they went in—only with a hand-trimmed appearance.

In fact, if you hold a hand-trimmed bud and a Resinator-trimmed bud side by side, it’s difficult to tell which is which. When you’re growing cannabis commercially, this is the kind of quality that attracts discerning customers.

Minimizes Cannabinoid Loss

This point is related to the last. Bladed bud-trimming machines take off too many cannabinoid-rich trichome heads because the blades don’t discriminate between the bud and the sugar leaves. This can alter the delicate balance between trichomes and plant matter in your buds.

Because The Original Resinator doesn’t alter the bud itself, there are minimal reductions in yield. As seen on our Cryo-Trim® certificate of analysis, we only lost 0.6% to 1.5% of THC pre to post-Resinator, which is comparable to—or less than—what you’d expect to lose in an experienced, professional-grade hand trim.

Maintains the Cold Chain

Unless you run your trimming machine in a walk-in freezer, your cannabis buds will invariably be exposed to higher-than-ideal temperatures at some point during the trimming process—if not before. Air and heat cause the cannabinoids and terpenes to degrade, compromising the flavor and potency of your buds.

The Original Resinator, in contrast, allows you to maintain the cold chain throughout the trimming process because the CO2 keeps the buds at temperatures between 10 °F and 30 °F. If you use our Crop-to-Cure® method, you can preserve the original “on the plant” cannabinoid and terpene profile for live-dried buds and live extracts.

Crop-to-Cure® works! The results of using the Crop-to-Cure® method are so stunning that the live-dried Perzimmon #2 processed with this method was awarded a prize in the 2023 Emerald Cup. With excellent starting material, the same equipment, and by following our SOPs (these come with every bundle purchased), you can produce quality live-dried cannabis, too.

Works as a Wet and Dry Trimmer

Commercial growers and processors don’t typically do both wet trimming and dry trimming—they’ll usually choose one or the other. However, a machine that works as both a wet bud trimmer and a dry bud trimmer enables you to make live dried buds, which can fetch a premium price in dispensaries.

As an all-in-one trimming machine, The Original Resinator can be used to trim wet buds, dry buds, and even frozen buds because it uses injections of liquid CO2 and ice cream temperatures to make the buds brittle so that the sugar leaves snap off naturally as the drum rotates. At the end, you’re left with frozen dry or wet trim and buds that you can keep frozen (protecting the terpenes and cannabinoids) until you’re ready to freeze dry them and/or process them into extracts, pre-rolls, edibles, or even live-dried buds, using our proprietary Crop-to-Cure® method.

Produces Full-Bodied Trim

A bonus benefit of Cryo-Trimming® your cannabis buds with The Original Resinator is that you create an extremely valuable byproduct: full-bodied trim. Whereas the trim produced by bladed and room-temperature tumbling machines is typically smattered with chlorophyll and plant particulates, the trim produced by The Original Resinator is completely intact and perfect for making solventless or solvent-based extracts.

Offers Multiple Functions in a Single Machine

The previous points would be enough to show why we think The Original Resinator is superior to the other bud trimmers out there, but it has other lucrative functions as well: It can be used to make dry sift and bubble hash in addition to trimming your buds. Another key feature is the ability to do biomass reduction, so that if you’re running hydrocarbon columns, you can pack them full of kief much more easily for ultra-efficient cycles.

By simply swapping the ¼” or ½” drum screens for one of our micron-rated screens, you can produce quality dry sift with our proprietary Cryo-Sieve® process. You can then sift again with a 400µm screen to separate the kief (biomass reduction) for more efficient solvent-based extraction. To make bubble hash (or live bubble hash), fill the Resinator drum with ice water and run a slightly longer cycle. Voila!

Post-Processing Possibilities

After separation and freeze drying, post-Resinator dry sift and bubble hash are perfect for use in edibles or pressing into rosin with a rosin press, allowing you to create a diverse range of SKUs with only three pieces of processing equipment (The Original Resinator, a commercial-grade freeze dryer, and a rosin press), which we offer at a slightly more economical price in our solventless live rosin bundle. Post-Resinator kief is perfect for solvent-based extraction and allows you to double or triple your throughput compared to running whole trim/flower.

Minimizes Labor Costs and Floor Space

Now, let’s talk business. The reason you’re looking for a trimming machine is most likely that hand trimming is either becoming too expensive for your operation or you simply don’t have the space. A good hand trimmer typically trims around one to two pounds of cannabis per day, and you need a dedicated space with lights for hand trimming, which increases your real estate costs and power bill.

With The Original Resinator, you only need one person to operate and supervise the machine and a lot less space than you’d typically need if you had a couple of people at a table trimming. With the OG, you can process 60 to 80 lbs of dry buds per day and the XL can handle 250 to 300 lbs of dry buds per day. With a replacement drum kit, your throughput efficiency can go up significantly from there in the same machine! Compared to an equivalent throughput with hand trimming, you’re looking at significant savings without a noticeable reduction in quality.

Doesn’t Require Oiling, Sharpening, or Maintenance

Last but certainly not least, bladeless trimmers like The Original Resinator save you money simply due to the fact that they don’t have blades. While bladed trimmers require oiling, maintenance, and periodic blade sharpening or replacement, The Original Resinator can be used almost continuously. This saves money in two important ways:

  1. You won’t lose productivity due to downtime while the machine is being maintained.
  2. The long-term cost of ownership of your equipment will be lower because you won’t need to pay for replacement blades, oil, or professional servicing.

The Best Way to Discover the “Best” Bud Trimmer Is to Try It for Yourself

While there are lots of bud-trimming machine reviews and lists out there, the only way to be sure is to try different trimmers for yourself. If you’re not convinced, try an electric handheld trimmer or a bladed commercial trimming machine and observe the shape of the trimmed buds and the quality of the trim, and compare CoAs of the cannabinoid profiles in the buds before and after trimming.

Usually, you’ll find that the results are sub-par when compared side by side with a hand-trimmed bud. You’re also likely to see cannabinoid losses greater than 2%. While other trimmers might get the job done, The Original Resinator trims buds beautifully, produces trim that’s “clean” and intact, and offers two additional functions—sifting and washing—making it an excellent investment for serious cannabusinesses. Once you’ve tried it, we’re confident you won’t look back.

Want to learn more about how our bladeless trimming technology can save your business time and money? Call or email us today to talk to an expert.

TJ Arnovick

Cannabis extraction expert and founder.