The Top 6 Plant & Leaf Trimming Machines Reviewed: Which Trimmer Is Best For Your Operation?

Grower's Buyers Guide to Automated & Commercial Plant Trimmers

By Kalin Denton 

When business is booming and humans can no longer keep up with production, it might be time to automate.  It's an unavoidable fact of our modern world that machines can work faster than people and the same is true for flower trimming. Although hand trimmers can produce a high quality product with artisan appeal, the result can be inefficient in time and money when it comes to larger harvests and ever increasing higher flower and bud production rates.  At Growers House we try to provide the information you really need to make decisions about equipment, so we have assembled a list of the top automated trimmers and trimming machines on the market. We've done the leg work and asked each company not only how they approached designing their trim machines for ease of use, but also how to maximize product quality, time efficiency, and reliability.

Let's take a look at six names currently leading the pack in trimming technology:

 

Twister Trimmers

Twister trimmers are designed with production in mind. The through-put, "one piece flow," design allows for continuous trimming, while the rail and conveyor systems make gravity work for you while streamlining the entire process, maximizing efficiency. The stationary bed-knife coupled with the rotating blades mimic the sheering action of scissors, assuring the cleanest cut and a final product comparable to a hand-trimmer. One of the most unique aspects of Twister trimmers is their ability to link together back-to-back, allowing the product to spend less time in the machine while also covering more trimming surface area. This reduces machine handling and trim time, increasing quality and speed. All of these features are available on both Twister models, the T2 Trimmer and T4 Trimmer, the former of which is the companies' industrial flag-ship, hearty and ready for anything, the latter being the lighter and more compact sibling best for tight spots and mobility. Although Twister designed these machines for wet-trimming, they do provide a dry-trim option in the form of the dry-trim barrel/tumbler.Twister-T2-Trimmer-Complete

Ideal Conditions:  Before each use of these machines it is recommended that Clear Cut, a refined hemp oil, be used to lubricate the blades and shrouds to reduce friction without compromising the product. Spray ice water on the nylon brush located by the tumbler every 5-7 minutes to lubricate during trimming. By doing this you can run the Twister T2 and T4 for hours on end. Two T2's can be used in tandem, while it is recommended that a maximum of three to four T4's be used at one time, limited only by the height of the adjustable legs. With all prep work complete the system requires 1-3 people to run based on the set-up and quality control.

Cleaning & Maintenance:  Both the T2 and T4 have completely tool-less disassembly which takes less than a minute to complete. All parts, except the T4's control box (see manual), can be cleaned with a pressure-washer. Any detailed cleaning can be done using Simple Green or any cleaning alcohol. Twister T2 trimmers use Stay Sharp blades which don't require sharpening. The Twister T4 blades do not have Stay Sharp blades, and need to be replaced every 400 to 1000 hrs.

 

Centurion Pro Solutions

Like the name implies, Centurion machines are commanders of trimming technology. With four models increasing in size and power, from the Mini to the Gladiator, CenturionPro Solutions caters to farmers producing anywhere from 5-250 pounds of material a day. With all components manufactured in North America, and D2 hardened steel blades, CenturionPro trimming machines are durable and long lasting. A unique feature of the stationary blade is held in place magnetically, which can easily be removed and cleaned in 5 minutes or adjusted to preference. All CenturionPro trimmers come with high horse power blowers which suction the product to the tumbler and ensure the tightest trim. Along with the single motor to synchronize the turning motion of the blades and tumbler and extra-large hoppers, these trimmers are designed to maximize time and energy efficiency with top quality final product.

Ideal Conditions:  It is recommended for farmers in warmer climates to use lubrication on the tumbler, whether it is water, organic hemp oil, or just vegetable oil. The easiest way to increase the production rate of these machines is to purchase an extra tumbler and bed blade to reduce the down time of occasional cleaning. Centurions can handle the largest of fan leaves and thus do not require pre-trimming work, and with bucking complete can all be maintained and operated by one person.

Centurion Pro Trimmers

Cleaning & Maintenance:  Cleaning of the bed blade, reel blade, and tumbler should take place every 3 hours. Complete disassembly can be done with only two Allen wrenches, and all components except the motor and bearings can be hot water pressure washed. The total cleaning process takes roughly 10 minutes.

 

GreenBroz Dry Trimmer

To GreenBroz, the primary concern of automated trimming is quality. It is a known fact that automation (across multiple industries) produce more, lower quality material compared to hand craft trimming. That is why these machines are designed to be extremely gentle with your flowers, slowing rolling buds across the trimming surface for the closest trim. GreenBroz standard trimmer model is roughly the size of an old desktop computer. It is a top load machine with circular rotating blades on which the buds sit. The slow rotation and gentle rolling action ensures a delicate and consistent overall trim. Both the standard and the commercial GreenBroz trimming machines can be operated while open allowing for occasional detail work. The GreenBroz commercial model is larger than the standard, and comes on a roller stand to compensate.

GreenBroz Blade Unique blade design

Ideal Conditions:  GreenBroz produces dry trimmers only, and suggest the room be kept at around 55% humidity. By using a moisture tester you can get a direct measurement from the plant material to ensure it is dry enough, ideally flowers should be around 8% percent humidity and leaves around 5%. The standard model can hold up to ¾ of a pound, while the commercial can hold up to 3 or 4 pounds of plant material. Both GreenBroz machines finish a load in between 10-15 minutes depending on the plant, and again the lid can be lifted to check the progress during trimming. With all prep-work complete, these can be operated all day by a single operator.

GreenBroz Trimmer

Cleaning & Maintenance:  The top blade easily lifts out of the machine after removing the central hub nut. A light alcohol wash is sufficient for beginning of the day cleaning, but refined hemp oil is suggested to remove build up throughout trimming. The hub nut should be only finger tight. Before use, place a small amount of oil at the hub and the edges to reduce friction between the blades. The standard model can be cleaned in only 5 -10 minutes and the commercial in just 10 – 15, but it really depends on the amount of wear and tear and user's preference. These GreenBroz trimming machines can run all day and will provide consistent and quiet quality.

 

Mean Green Trimmer Machine

Mean Green first patented their dry trimming design over 4 years ago, and today they have a full line of 11 models for a wide variety of trimming needs. The models come in three different types; the lightweight iridescent acrylic (IR), the more industrial diamond plated (DP), or a hybrid of the two materials (HY). All of these designs come in three different sized drums (12, 16, or 20 inch diameter) and two different programs (GT or Pro). The GT program is the basic single speed/single direction, while the Pro spins in both directions with 3 speed options (low, med, high), giving the user more control over how they trim as well as doubling blade life because of the directional variability.

Ideal Conditions:   To get the best results, the Mean Green Trimming Machine suggests separating the product by size, in order to get a uniform trim for each bud. The max capacity for each size is 1, 2, and 3 lbs respectively, and each takes roughly 15-20 mins to finish a full load (GT program). These are dry trimming machines, meaning there should be as little moisture remaining in the plant matter as possible (roughly 30-45% humidity in the room, stems should "snap" instead of bend). After harvesting and bucking, one person could manage up to 3 machines at once.

Mean Green Trimmer Lineup

Cleaning & Maintenance:   The blade should be cleaned every 20 minutes or so, or after each load. It is recommended that an extra set of blades be purchased to speed up production, cleaning one blade while the other trims. Removing the blade is as easy as removing 4 screws and taking it off the horse-shoe mechanism. Lay the parts on a clean and flat surface and use denatured alcohol (found at any hardware store) to scrape and wipe off built up residue. Allow the alcohol to evaporate before use. DO NOT USE OILS. The machine is built to reduce friction and does not need oils, which will cause damage.

 

Triminator Trimmers

Like the name implies, Triminator trimming machines are futuristic bad-ass machines here to destroy those wasted hours of hand trimming your buds. Designed and built for commercial growers, these trimmers will speed up production and get your product out on the market. Triminator produces both a wet and a dry trimmer to cater to any preference. The Triminator Dry trimmer is easy to use and easy to clean due to the removable drum. The Triminator Industrial Wet Trimmer comes with a unique self-cleaning "resin repel" mist system, which sprays during production at timed intervals. This allows for non-stop trimming and maximizes efficiency.

Ideal Conditions:   Depending on the amount of product, the Triminator Dry trimmer can finish a load in anywhere between 2 and 20 minutes. It is recommended that the user purchases an extra drum to clean in between loads, to keep production going and cut down time. The wet trimmer comes pre-adjusted to a tight .0025 inch cut, but can be tuned to preference. The Triminators self-cleaning system's spray frequency can also be adjusted for strains with more or less resin. It is suggested to trim in a lower temperature room to keep the leaves "perky" to ensure that they are easier to clip off by the machines. Once you're ready to go with all pre-production work out of the way, both trimmers can be managed by a single operator for non-stop production.

Triminator Trimmers

Cleaning & Maintenance:   Triminators utilize composite materials for their cutting, so with no metal-on-metal action there is no need for oils or lubricants. Combined with the resin-repel system which keeps a constant layer of water on the tumbler, there isn't even a need for periodic cleaning. Just once at the end of the day, remove the drum of either the dry or the wet trimmer and pressure wash the parts.

 

TrimPro

With a huge catalog of 11 models and counting, TrimPro has something for growers at any stage of development. All TrimPro trimmers are based around the work-station model and include the original branch/grate design, the rotor design with elastic fingers to gently roll flowers, and lastly the industrious Automatik models which instead use whirlwind airflow to move buds across the trimming grate. These three designs come in varying sizes and work requirements from the TrimPro "unplugged" hand-crank to TrimPro XL for large scale producers. TrimPro trimmers are built for ease of use and cleaning with automatic unloading systems and non-stick components which require minimal cleaning.

TrimPro

Ideal Conditions:   TrimPro produces wet trimmers only, thus it is ideal to use the freshest buds just after harvest when they are still resinous and flexible. It is even suggested to lightly mist some water over the product just before trimming with automated machines. Many components are adjustable, including trim height, rotor speed, airflow, and roller finger pressure, to allow for fine-tuning and grower's preference when dealing with specific flowers. The amount of material that can/should be in a machine at once is also more or less up to the user, with the exception being the Automatik and Automatik XL which have a hopper or pre-loader for consistent load sizes. Despite this, one "load" generally takes only 30 seconds to a couple minutes before the release shoot can be opened and finished product can fall out of the trim chamber. One operator could run a single machine or up to 3 or 4 at once for any post-harvest plant production line.

Cleaning & Maintenance:   Cleaning is made very easy with the non-stick grates inherent in all of TrimPro's product line. Any resin build up can easily be wiped or scraped off in between loads, or every 2-3 hours with alcohol, though this depends greatly upon the specific plant and the amount of resin it produces. No lubrication or sharpening is required at all, and the grate can be removed be a couple screws shown in great detail in the instructions manual.

Tell us what you think.

What do you think about automated trimmers such as these? Do you have any of these units and would like to share your feedback and impressions? We hope this information can help you find the right trimmer for you. - Kalin @ Growers House

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