Best Bud Trimmers for the Home Grower

Does doing the laundry have anything to teach us about growing cannabis? Yes, it does!  Laundry has distinct steps, like washing, rinsing, drying, folding, and sometimes ironing. Growing cannabis has distinct stages as well, such as vegging, blooming, harvesting, drying, and trimming. In both cases, you can’t skip any of the steps. The analogy doesn’t end here, since there is a wide variety of ways each one of these steps can be performed. For example, washing the laundry can be done by hand, by machine, by a service, etc. The same applies to each phase of cannabis production.

CenturionPro Tabletop

4.75/5

Trimpro Unplugged

4.75/5

Fiskars 9921 Softouch Micro-Tip Pruning Snip

4.75/5

Cannabrush

4.5/5

Trimbag Dry Trimmer

4.5/5

EZTRIM Wander Trimmer

4.5/5

Vivosun Gardening Hand Pruner

4.5/5

Fiskars Steel Bypass Pruning Shears

4.5/5

Trimpro Rotor

4.5/5

iPower Leaf Bowl Trimmer

4.25/5

What is a Bud Trimmer and Why do I Need One?

Trimming refers to the removal of undesirable vegetation from the cannabis flower (bud), both before and after the drying phase. This is done because most of the cannabis leaves contain very small amounts of THC, plus their high-water content means they will be harsh and skunky when smoked. Smoking poorly-trimmed cannabis is a sure-fire way to get kicked out of the house!

In general, most growers wish to remove all of the plant’s fan leaves, leaving only nice dank nugs. The question is, what is the best way to do it?

Going back to the laundry analogy, we mentioned various options for doing the washing cycle. In the same way, there are also options for trimming buds, such as by hand, hand-operated device, or machine. Sometimes, you can even get someone else to do it for you!

Types of Bud Trimmers

Once you have determined your bud trimming requirements, it is time to choose the trimmer that will best suit your needs. Here are some of the choices available for the home grower:

Trimming shears: These are specialized scissors that are customized for the delicate task of removing leaves from your buds. They come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. There are also hand-held electric trimming shears available, which will speed things up a bit, but their primary advantage is less strain on the hand, at the cost of more noise!

Bowl trimmers: These bud trimmers work either manually or with electricity. You load them with your buds, turn the crank (or flip the switch), and the leaves are removed. Think of it as a food processor for buds.

Bag trimmers: These are specialized bags, specifically intended for bud trimming. You load the bag with bud, give it a good shake, and your buds are trimmed.

Trimming machines: These are large-scale machines, generally only used in commercial operations. Most are able to do both wet and dry trimming. Since the cost of these devices runs to the thousands of dollars, they’re considered out of range for most home growers.

Choosing a Bud Trimmer

Since there is no such thing as the ‘perfect’ bud trimmer for all needs, there are a couple of questions we can ask ourselves to point us in the right direction.

1. How much bud do I need to trim? For quantities up to around one pound, bud trimming is probably best done by hand. For quantities above one pound, consider using a mechanical or electric trimmer.

2. How often will I need to trim? This depends on how often you harvest. Some people only do a single grow per year, while others can do three to four grows in the same amount of time. Others use a ‘Sea of Green’ approach to growing, which involves trimming on a weekly basis. Properly trimming a pound of cannabis can easily take 8-10 hours.

3. Wet or dry trimming? Wet trimming refers to doing the trimming directly after harvest, but before drying. Dry bud trimming happens after the dry cycle is completed. Dry trimming is easier to do, since the leaves detach much more easily, but leaving too much vegetation on the plant after harvesting might slow the drying time. A good compromise is to remove the larger fan leaves using a wet trim, but leave the smaller ones – especially those extending from the flowers – until they are dry. Wet trimming is very often done by hand, since it is reasonably fast, and minimizes damage to the plant at this stage.

4. What’s my budget? A nice pair of trimming shears shouldn’t cost more than $30. A mechanical trimmer (such as the Trimbag) will cost between $200-400. Electric trimmers start at around $200 and can easily go as high as $5000+, depending on your needs.

CenturionPro Tabletop

CenturionPro Tabletop

Cost: $4250
Trimmer Type: Trimming Machine
Best for: Trimming wet or dry bud
Weight: 35lb
Operation: Electric, Automatic
4.75/5
Expert Review

Pros & Cons

Pros:
  • High processing rate
  • Professional results
  • High quality
Cons:
  • Expensive
  • Bulky. You will need a place to store it.
  • Unsuitable for small harvests.

An Entry-Level Trimming Machine

While electric trimmers are generally out of budget for home growers, some home grows are substantial, some reaching 10-20lbs of wet weed. For these cases, an electric trimmer is a good option. The CenturionPro Tabletop is an entry-level bud trimmer machine. It’s MSRP is around $4000. The manufacturer says it can process 20lbs/hour.

Trimpro Unplugged

Trimpro Unplugged

Cost: $595
Trimmer Type: Bowl Trimmer
Best for: Trimming wet bud before drying
Weight: 7.5lb
Operation: Hand Crank, Manual
4.75/5
Expert Review

Pros & Cons

Pros:
  • High build quality, smooth operation
  • Portable, can be used anywhere
  • A wide variety of accessories are available
Cons:
  • Expensive, around $500
  • Slow with limited capacity: While faster than using manual trimmers, only a limited amount of material can be trimmed at any one time.

A Long-Lasting Solution

A high-quality bowl trimmer that will provide years of use. If you are looking for something faster than a hand-held trimmer, but don’t have the budget for an electric one, this might be a solution.

Fiskars 9921 Softouch Micro-Tip Pruning Snip

Fiskars 9921 Softouch Micro-Tip Pruning Snip

Cost: $14.99
Trimmer Type: Micro-Pruner
Weight: 0.15lb
Best for: Precision trimming and small stems
Operation: Hand-Held, Manual
4.75/5
Expert Review

Pros & Cons

Pros:
  • Soft Touch: Reduces fatigue during long bud trimming sessions
  • Build Quality: A well-made set of snips which should last for years
  • Precision: Allows you to do detailed trimming even with the tightest buds
Cons:
  • Expensive: About double the price of an inexpensive set of trimmers
  • Rough/wet trimming: For cutting larger branches you will need a larger trimmer

Durable & Foolproof

Although more expensive than others, these snips are easy on the hands, precise, and will last forever. Probably my overall favorite bud trimmer.

Cannabrush

Cannabrush

Cost: $26
Trimmer Type: Trimming Brush
Best for: Brushing leaves off dry bud
Weight: 0.17lb
Operation: Hand-Held, Manual
4.5/5
Expert Review

Pros & Cons

Pros:
  • Safer approach to trimming
  • Not too expensive (around $60)
  • A useful addition to any grow room
Cons:
  • Takes longer than trimming with shears
  • It would be best if you still had shears to remove the larger leaves
  • May end up unused on a shelf in your grow room

Perfect for Beginners

A relative newcomer, the Cannabrush is intended for those who may not be comfortable using a shears or scissors. You trim the bud by brushing it gently until you get the desired shape—less chance of making errors.

 

Trimbag Dry Trimmer

Trimbag Dry Trimmer

Cost: $279
Trimmer Type: Trimming Bag
Best for: Trimming dry bud
Weight: 3.5lb
Operation: Manual
4.5/5
Expert Review

Pros & Cons

Pros:
  • Can handle a reasonable amount of cannabis (about 2 pounds at a time).
  • Reasonably priced bud trimmer compared to other alternatives
  • Portable and easy to store.
Cons:
  • Requires a fair amount of manual shaking to work when using large volumes
  • Not suitable for quantities under a pound.

Shake Your Way to Trimmed Bud

If you are planning to harvest between 5-10 pounds of bud, don’t have a great deal of time to trim, and don’t have the budget for a large commercial machine, then these bags might be the solution.

EZTRIM Wander Trimmer

EZTRIM Wander Trimmer

Cost: $2000
Trimmer Type: Wand Trimmer
Best for: Trimming wet bud on stem before drying
Weight: 20lbs
Operation: Hand-Held, Electric
4.5/5
Expert Review

Pros & Cons

What We Liked:
  • Can process a pound of cannabis in an hour
  • Provides same quality of trimming as manual hand-held
What We Didn't Like:
  • Expensive, will be out of budget for most home growers
  • Noisy: Between the motor and vacuum this is not for those wanting a meditative bud trimming experience

Trim Large Quantities Quickly

If you have pounds of cannabis to trim, but want to avoid using a large commercial trimmer, consider the wander trimmer. While expensive, this bud trimmer can trim a pound of bud in an hour. The vacuum is handy as well.

Vivosun Gardening Hand Pruner

Vivosun Gardening Hand Pruner

Cost: $6.99
Trimmer Type: Micro-Pruner
Best for: Precision trimming and small stems
Weight: 0.15lb
Operation: Hand-Held, Manual
4.5/5
Expert Review

Pros & Cons

Pros:
  • Can be used for a variety of trimming tasks
  • Very economical - buy two!
  • Excellent choice for someone new to trimming
Cons:
  • Quality not up to the Fiskars standard
  • Will still require a pair of shears for harvesting
  • Screw holding blades together needs to be frequently tightened

Everything You Need in a Hand-Held Manual

This popular bud trimmer provides a one-stop solution at a very reasonable price. It can handle most of the trimming tasks of Fiskars MicroTip and cut through many larger branches and stems. And the price is right too!

Fiskars Steel Bypass Pruning Shears

Fiskars Steel Bypass Pruning Shears

Cost: $12.69
Trimmer Type: Pruning Shear
Best for: Cutting stems and branches up to 5/8”
Weight: 0.64lb
Operation: : Hand-Held, Manual
4.5/5
Expert Review

Pros & Cons

Pros:
  • High Quality
  • Affordable
  • Blades stay sharp for a long time
Cons:
  • More expensive than other shears
  • Not needed very often, if you have a small hacksaw this may not be required
  • Not the best ergonomic design

For Those Who Need Accuracy

Having a delicate pair of snips or scissors for close range trimming is important, but home growers will also need to cut through the fibrous stem core and branches when harvesting their plants. For this task, a pair of good quality pruning shears is required.

Trimpro Rotor

Trimpro Rotor

Cost: $1300
Trimmer Type: Trimming Machine
Best for: Trimming wet or dry bud
Weight: 30lb
Operation: Electric, Automatic
4.5/5
Expert Review

Pros & Cons

Pros:
  • No need to hand turn. Suitable for harvests in the 5-10 lbs range
  • High-quality metal components
  • A full trimming station when coupled with the workstation
Cons:
  • Still expensive, around $2k
  • Basically a TrimPro Unplugged with a motor
  • Trimming will take longer than with the CenturionPro

A Cost-Effective Bowl Bud Trimmer

A lower-cost alternative to the Trimpro Unplugged. Less metal, more plastic. Comes in two different sizes, 16” & 19”. If you don’t want to hand trim, but don’t have the money for a Trimpro, this might be your trim bowl.

iPower Leaf Bowl Trimmer

iPower Leaf Bowl Trimmer

Cost: $139.99
Trimmer Type: Bowl Trimmer
Best for: Trimming wet or dry bud
Weight: 5.3lb
Operation: Hand Crank, Manual
4.25/5
Expert Review

Pros & Cons

Pros:
  • Fairly inexpensive for bowl trimmer
  • Avoids having to hand trim smaller harvests
  • Generally favorable ratings
Cons:
  • Plastic parts may break more easily
  • Plastic parts will require more frequent cleaning
  • Lower overall quality

Conclusion

If you are a home grower who’s just starting out, you probably won’t need anything except a good pair of hand-held trimming shears. Once you are growing more than 20 plants, you may want to consider some other options to handle the volume. While purchasing an industrial capacity trimmer might be an (expensive) option, we would suggest considering a ‘trim party.’

Hosting a trim party is a great way to get your bud trimmed quickly and have some fun. Invite a few friends over, make sure there are enough trimming shears available, set up a trimming table, and enjoy. Think of it as a quilting bee or sewing circle, but for buds! The work will get done in a fraction of the time, and everyone will enjoy the experience. One word of advice: make sure there are enough nitrile gloves to go around. Trimming is a sticky business.

Regardless of your approach, make sure to take the time to trim your buds well. A well-trimmed bud will look better, smoke better, smell better, and taste better. Remember the laundry analogy – as the laundry is not done until it’s folded, the bud is not done until it’s trimmed.

Toke it easy!

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