Choosing the Right Cannabis Trimmer: 5 Things You Need to Know
Choosing a Cannabis trimming machine that matches your unique growing scenario doesn’t have to be intimidating. Yet, without doing a bit of upfront research or working with a qualified product expert, it becomes all too common for you – the grower – to end up with the wrong match for your scenario.
Selecting the wrong trimmer can either leave you dissatisfied and frustrated with your trim quality, having to purchase another machine too soon, or reverting back to costly hand trimming.
To assess your needs and get to know you, a reputable hydroponics store or manufacturer should ask a series of questions much like the ones outlined below. It will allow them to determine the best Cannabis trimmer to match your needs and ensure you’re getting top shelf service.
If you’re a do-it-yourself kind of buyer, you can use these questions to guide your product selection. Consider them essential to choosing the right Cannabis trimming machine for your harvest.
1. EXPERIENCE LEVEL
ARE YOU NEW TO AUTOMATED TRIMMING?
The trimming machine you choose should be easy to use, set up, clean and maintain. You want to spend as little time as possible getting acquainted with operating instructions and get back to the aspects of your business (and life) that you enjoy most.
If you’re new to automated or machine trimming, you may be hesitant about how it will affect the quality of your flower and if it will damage the end product. It’s important to know that Cannabis machine trimmers can be gentle and effective. A large part of maintaining the integrity of your end product comes down to not only selecting the right machine but using it properly.
Choose a machine that keeps the average time your flower spends in the tumbler to a minimum. This can be gauged by the diameter of the tumbler, as a smaller diameter leaves less room for the flower to bounce around (known as wall crawl).
Compared to batch style trimmers, continuous runtime machines, (using single piece flow manufacturing principles) ensure the flower spends as little time as possible in the machine. This also allows you to inspect the quality of your trim and make adjustments as you go.
A powerful vacuum will also keep the flower tight against the wall of the tumbler and as close to the blade as possible. This will give you a cleaner, more precise trim.
IS TECHNICAL SUPPORT WIDELY AVAILABLE?
Check that the manufacturer you are buying from has an excellent reputation for customer service support. If you need help during a crucial harvest, or for troubleshooting year round, you want to know they’ve got your back.
Twister Trimmer has been in business for over 10 years and provides tech support 7 days a week. Our machines include tool-less disassembly and can be cleaned in less than 5 minutes.
2. SIZE & TIMING
WHAT IS YOUR APPROXIMATE HARVEST SIZE, AND HOW FAST DO YOU PLAN TO HARVEST?
The machine’s capacity should meet your needs now, AND allow you to scale up your business in the future. Depending on your harvest size, you may need to run multiple machines.
Some marijuana trimmers are engineered to be linked end to end to increase capacity, like the Twister Trimming Systems. Compared to adding additional machines side by side, which requires additional trimming machine operators for loading and quality control. Using machine trimmers that have the ability to run in tandem (end to end) will help you scale up more efficiently without having to add more labour.
View the capacity and speed comparisons for Twister Trimmer.
WILL YOU BE TRIMMING INDOORS OR OUTDOORS?
Based on the materials used in constructing the machines, some Cannabis trimmers are better suited for indoor (i.e., temperature controlled environments) compared to outdoors (hot sun exposure).
For example, the Twister T2 frame is made from polished stainless steel which performs well when trimming outdoors or indoors. The T4 frame contains both anodized aluminum and stainless steel, performing better indoors.
If you grow outdoors and are planning to trim wet, you will likely trim outdoors as well, so you can process your plants while fully hydrated and immediately after bucking. Firm, spry leaves are easier to trim with an automated trimmer. Wilted leaves can often wrap around the flower, contributing to a decline in overall performance of the machine. If you plan to trim dry, you will most likely be trimming indoors near your drying rooms.
If you don’t have a dedicated trimming space (either indoor or outdoor), consider portability of the machines as you’ll be transporting them frequently.
ARE YOU TRIMMING WET, DRY, OR A COMBINATION?
There are many variations in flower, from strains, to growing conditions, moisture levels, trichome density, etc. Some strains may respond better to trimming wet versus dry.
Regardless of how you’ve hand trimmed in the past (or your initial preference), choose a Cannabis trimming machine that easily allows you to swap between wet and dry trimming modes so you can customize your trimming process to best match the conditions of your flower.
For example, a Twister T4 – DRY ships with a 3/16” stainless steel tumbler designed to work with most dry flower types and conditions. However, under some conditions, user testing has shown the larger 1/4” slot size (typically shipped with wet machines) works better on some larger flower types even when trimming dry. Being able to swap out tumblers to match the conditions of your flower can result in improved appearance and yield.
DO YOU PLAN TO SAVE YOUR TRIM FOR ADDITIONAL REVENUE?
Maximize the profitability of your harvest by collecting your high potency trim to be used for other marijuana-infused products. Choose a trimming machine that can be customized with add-ons, such as the Twister Trim Saver, to boost your bottom line.
5. SCALING UP
DO YOU PLAN TO INCREASE THE SIZE OF YOUR GROW OR HARVESTING FREQUENCY IN THE FUTURE?
Whether you are growing for personal consumption at home, or a commercial scale producer, you may intend to scale up and either increase your number of plants, or how many growing cycles you complete in a year (especially if growing indoors).
Growing certain strains may also impact how many harvests you complete in a year, with indica strains generally having a quicker growing period, often allowing for an additional annual harvest compared to sativa strains.
If you are even considering scaling up your grow, ensure your machines will handle the increased volume, or that you can link machines together to increase your output, such as Twister Trimmers.
Preparation is key!
Being informed and educated before choosing the right Cannabis trimming machine for your grow can mean the difference between a smooth harvest and a frustrating one. Equipped with the right knowledge and the right tools, there’s no limit to your growth.