Last updated: April 21, 2020
While a product tended to by hand can add romanticism to an experience, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a practical method. One useful tool that you can find as a grower will eliminate hours upon hours of hard work: the bud trimmer. Instead of carefully cutting by hand to get each individual bud, the bud trimmer does it for you, giving you more time to attend to other things during harvest. The market for bud trimmers isn’t small, and it can be a bit overwhelming to dive into, but that’s where we step in. In these reviews, we’ll go over our favorite bud trimmers and tell you why we like them so much.
|iPower Leaf Bowl|
|Centurion Pro Mini|
|VIVOSUN Bud Bowl||2 Years||4.25/5|
|EZ TRIM Wander||1 Year||3.90/5|
For the most part, bud trimmers can be a bit of an expensive affair. iPower is all about helping the small-scale grower, though, and this bud trimmer is a wonderful example of that.
When we think of bud trimmers, we normally think of bigger machines running on electricity, but this bud trimmer is only 16” in diameter and runs on a hand crank. Depending on how much product you are cutting, this instrument can have your crop trimmed up in as little as 10 hand cranks. The top is clear so you can see the work being done.
This machine serves mainly as a pinching mechanism. The “grill” will catch the stems and leaves that are on your buds, while the blade below them cuts them off. This product comes with two blades: a straight blade for wet trims and a serrated blade for dry trims. The blades come pre-sharpened and are definitely very sharp! This will minimize any damage that could be done to your buds in the cutting process.
This is an easy-to-clean bud trimmer, and we do recommend cleaning in between cuts.
It may take a bit of time to get into the groove with the iPower bud trimmer. While it is not intuitive to use, the customer service staff is great and are super helpful. Most of the time, they’ll call you just to make sure that things are running smoothly or to see if you need any help. You definitely want to make sure you are using the right blade for the right kind of job, because you can ruin good plants otherwise.
Hand trimming is preferred by many growers because you can completely minimize the damage that might be done to your harvest if you were to use an electric one. For those of you who prefer to trim your bud the old-school way, we present these trimmers from Fiskars.
The grip is quite comfortable and fits most hand types. When you find yourself trimming for hours on end, you’ll want something that will help you avoid cramps at all costs. The width of the handle doesn’t feel like the trimmers are digging into your hand, either. In fact, this product is so well ergonomically designed that it was awarded with the Arthritis Foundation Ease of Use Commendation. The blades are made with a non-stick material, and this product is spring-loaded, so after every cut, it opens right back up.
The blades are also nice and skinny, so you will be able to get the smallest stems and leaves. Because of the non-stick design, cleaning shouldn’t be too much of a hassle. A good soak in hot water or isopropyl alcohol will do the trick. This trimmer comes with a carrying case and an easy-lock button for when not in use.
Fiskars is widely regarded as one of the best companies when it comes to garden trimmers, so it makes sense that these would be popular as bud trimmers. While most folks who use them really like them, we have found that the blades are not necessarily non-stick, and when cleaned, the non-stick coating goes away. But at the end of the day, this instrument offers a precise trim, which is why we think it is the best bud trimmer for the money.
This trimmer is meant for larger operations, professionals, or the most avid of growers. There are still people who prefer to hand cut, but when it comes to saving time and labor, this instrument can’t be topped.
This is advertised as the smallest tumble trimmer in the world. The size, of course, does not take away from what it is capable of. If you want a machine that preserves everything you need to make concentrates while perfectly trimming your buds, this is what you want. While there is still a risk of your buds being damaged, with this machine, the odds are quite low.
The first thing that is striking about this machine is how much bud you can trim at a time. Depending on what tumbler you’ve decided to buy, you can cut 6-8 pounds of wet bud per hour, or 12-14 pounds of dry bud per hour. Considering that amount could take literal days to do by hand, this is already saving you a whole bunch of time. The way this works is that the buds are placed in the chamber, and once activated, they are sucked to the bottom. A spinning blade will cut off everything that comes through the grated tumbler.
The great news is that you won’t have to clean this machine yourself. You’ll want to set up maintenance checkups, as otherwise, the quality of the cut starts dipping. Some people have reported that they go years in between maintenance calls. The construction of this device is sturdy — and considering the price point, it should be.
There are a few negatives to consider with the Centurion Pro Mini. When cutting wet buds, it is still susceptible to damaging plants. It’s also a complicated design, so if there is an issue, you’ll need to talk to a professional. The mesh netting underneath leaves something to be desired, as microbial growth can easily get stuck in it. You might want to find a way to fashion a plastic plate underneath if you plan on keeping all the kief that comes out.
There are different warranty options for this machine, and considering the price, you probably ought to get one of them.
VIVOSUN is a well-known name in the world of growing. This bud trimmer is great for people who don’t have the patience to trim by hand, but we certainly would not recommend it to those with a large-scale operation.
This product is similar to our top pick, in that the mechanism is the same: Place your roughly manicured cannabis in the top compartment where the rubber fingers will gently move your buds along the grate, which will eventually pinch themselves between the grill and the blade below. This trimmer comes with two blades. A serrated blade is used for dry trimming, while the serrated blade is used for wet trimming. VIVOSUN says that the serrated blade will not cause damage to your wet buds, but we still think that the risk is there.
The bottom bowl is great for collecting leaves and collecting kief so you can turn them into concentrates or other alternative cannabis products after you have finished the cutting process. The silicon seal makes sure that your bud trimmer isn’t going to pop open while you are trimming, making sure that you keep your product nice and safe.
This comes with an option to be used with wet buds or dry buds, but we recommend that you trim dry. This will mitigate some of the damage done, and this specific trimmer seems to get clogged up with wet buds quite easily. When you choose to use this as a bud trimmer, wet or dry, you are making a trade off in quality as opposed to trimming by hand. You will also lose a decent amount of the crystals in the grate. Much like the iPower trimmer, this is not the most intuitive machine to work with. But if you are tired of spending hours or even days at a time trimming, this product is quite handy.
The VIVOSUN bud trimmer comes with a two-year warranty.
With this machine, you are still technically trimming by hand. You are just doing it at an expedited pace! This is a vacuum-powered trimmer that is cool in theory, and while we wouldn’t say it falls short of expectations, it’s not as user friendly as it could be.
You will use the EZ TRIM Wander Trimmer by attaching the wand to a vacuum. After lubricating the device, you will gently brush the wand over your plant where the blade opening is. EZ TRIM claims that this machine mitigates any and all damage to your plants, and we can’t find any reason to dispute that claim.
The motor for this instrument is strong and durable. It should last you for quite some time. The blades for this machine are nice and sharp. When working properly, EZ TRIM’s Wander Trimmer does indeed give you a scissor-quality trim.
But while this trimmer won’t damage your buds, if you use too much lube, it could get lube and oil all over your plant. Also, this machine requires some patience as it clogs up quickly. It is not difficult to clean, but you will find that you have to clean it often. We recommend this for those with arthritis who have the time to trim but can no longer bear the pain of doing so by hand. This product sometimes does not come with a user manual, so it can annoying to set up.
Depending on the size and scale of your operation, there are many things you should consider when buying a bud trimmer. Whether you have all the time in the world and like to use trimming as fun, relaxing activity with friends, or you are a professional who wants a hand-trimmed job at a fraction of the time, here are a few things to consider when you are buying your bud trimmer.
The decision between a pair of trimmers and a professional quality tumbler is quite literally the price of a car. Of course, your decision about these price points depends on the amount of cannabis that you need to trim.
If you are growing just for yourself and your friends, the highest level of trimmer you’ll probably need is something like a bowl trimmer. If you are growing on a large scale, you’ll want to invest in something like a tumbler or the EZ TRIM Wander. It is well known that the final stage of growing is the most tedious, so your level of patience will go a long way in determining what you think you need.
The size of trimmers can vary greatly, and the amount of space that you have will go a long way in determining what type of trimmer you buy. Even a “mini” electric trimmer is quite big, so if you don’t have a large area dedicated to your trimmer, it is probably best to go with a manual trimmer.
There’s no two ways around it: If you want to make sure that your buds are perfectly damage-free, you’ll need to trim them by hand. Many growers use trimmers with the full understanding that they are making a trade-off: They are risking damage to their plant, and in return, they get much more time. To minimize damage while trimming (if using a mechanical trimmer), we recommend trimming dry.
One of the things we love about cannabis is also one of the things that makes a mechanical trimmer hard to use. When folks refer to the “sticky icky,” they’re talking about resin, which can clog up your trimmer in a heartbeat. Some trimmers are easier to clean than others, but unless you have a huge industrial trimmer, you’re probably going to be cleaning quite often to keep your trimmer working properly.
Some trimmers have neat ways of saving leaves and kief for use in other products, but it is impossible to save all of it. One of the other things that happen when using automatic trimmers is that you could lose quite a bit of the crystal on your bud, which is what makes it shine.
While there are many options when it comes to purchasing bud trimmers, we think that it is pretty easy to narrow down the type that you would like to have. We appreciate the Zen-like process of hand trimming, but we also understand that health issues can put a damper on that and that other people have grow operations that are too big to sustain that kind of time commitment. Bowl trimmers seem to be the best for everyday growing at home, though there are options for tumblers that are in an affordable price range.
Hopefully, after reading these reviews, you were able to determine what kind of trimmer you are looking for. Maybe you fell in love with the bowl trimmer from iPower or decided to go with the simple option of a pair of Fiskars. Maybe you saw the tumbler from Centurion, and now you just can’t resist it. Whatever your choice, we are glad to be a part of the process. Happy trimming!
Featured Image Credit: iPower Leaf Bowl, Amazon
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