The popularity of bladeless trimming has exploded since the initial discovery of this technique as an alternative to both hand-trimming and using a bud trimming machine with blades. If you are looking for the best bud trimming machines for your cannabis grow operation, understanding the advantages of bladeless designs will help you consider the merits of this up-and-coming option.
Advantages of Bladeless Trimming Machines over Conventional Bud Trimmers
Bladeless trimmers have several advantages over conventional trimming machines:
1. Bladeless Trimming Doesn’t Damage the Flowers or Trichomes
Conventional trimming machines are often associated with a cheap, higher-volume, low-quality result—smaller buds, damage to the structure of the flower, lost trichomes, and a harsher, less flavorful smoke. While conventional machines have improved significantly since the early days, bladeless trimmers are still far gentler than blades and never damage the buds.
2. Bladeless Trimming Results in Less Wastage
The aggressive nature of conventional trimming machines means that valuable components of the cannabis flower are often removed. Kief, trim, stems, and leaves can tend to get collected together, wasting high-quality trim that could have been sold to an extraction company.
While the best conventional bud trimmer design on the market includes separate blades for different styles of trim and different bud sizes, bladeless trimmers are still much more conservative and allow the processor to stop the cycle as soon as they start noticing kief.
3. Many Bladeless Trimmers Combine Wet and Dry Trimmers in One
Cannabis buds can be trimmed when they’re freshly harvested (wet trimming) or when they have already been dried and cured (dry trimming). Today, commercial cannabis trimmers like The Original Resinator function as both a wet trimming machine and dry trimming machine. In the case of wet trimming, cryo trimming with CO2 allows you to process the whole plant straight after harvest and have it ready for sale in as little as 24 hours.
Advantages of Bladeless Trimming Over Hand Trimming
Before the invention of conventional (and bladeless) trimming machines, cannabis buds were trimmed by hand, and some small-scale cultivators still use this technique. However, anyone who’s trimmed bud by hand before will know how messy, time-consuming, and costly this method is. For small businesses and commercial cannabis operations, bladeless cannabis trimming technology offers several important advantages over hand trimming:
4. Less Mess
Whereas hand trimming leads to an abundance of sticky trichomes all over the trimmers’ hands and work area that can be hard to clean up, bladeless trimmers keep around 85% of the process inside the machines—saving on mess and effectively eliminating the need to clean up at the end.
5. Helps to Protect Cannabis Buds From Contamination
When wet or dry cannabis buds are placed directly in a bladeless trimmer, the amount of contact the buds have with the workers’ hands is reduced. This, in turn, reduces opportunities for bacteria and pathogens to compromise the microbiological integrity of the buds.
6. Saves Time
A bladeless trimming machine can process 12-72 pounds of bud per hour compared to 2-3 pounds per day, per person for hand trimming (though 40 pounds is about average). After tumbling, the buds only need a few small touch-ups (such as removing crow’s feet) and they’re ready to go to market. With the exception of very small home growers, bladeless tumbling is the most time- and cost-efficient method of trimming hemp and marijuana buds without compromising on quality.
7. Lowers Labor Costs
Employing hand trimmers is a major expense for small and large cannabis businesses. While a bladeless trimmer—especially a commercial size trimmer—can be a significant investment up front, the money spent on the machine is quickly recuperated in the savings on wages for hand trimmers.
8. Prevents Problems Like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
An unfortunate consequence of hand trimming is the development of repetitive strain injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. From a workplace health and safety perspective, letting a machine do the work rather than risking injuries to workers makes a lot of sense.
How Bladeless Cannabis Trimming Works
Bladeless trimming was inspired by the simple idea of using a fishing net to tumble cannabis buds and gently break off the sugar leaves. The friction between the buds themselves caused the dry sugar leaves to break off without causing any structural damage to the flower.
The initial bladeless trimming machine was Tom’s Tumbler—a tumble trimmer using two mesh nets, food-grade aluminum drums, and a dust cover with a removable tub underneath for the trim. A few years later, even industrial-grade machines started to be manufactured using the bladeless idea. The original Tom’s Tumble Trimmers had evolved!
Wet Trim vs. Dry Trim
Because bladeless trimming relies on a certain amount of brittleness in the stem and leaves, the initial design was exclusively a dry trimming machine. However, later designs introduced the injection of liquid nitrogen (dry ice) into the machine to make the leaves and stems just cold and hard enough to fall off (between 10 and 30 degrees F) without removing the trichomes, which typically occurs at sub-zero temperatures.
With cryo trimming, you can literally harvest the buds and trim them right away, finishing the process with lyophilization (freeze-drying) to reduce the humidity of the buds to between 10% and 12% and place them in jars for sale. You can get even better results from your bladeless trimmer by removing the larger leaves by hand before placing the buds in the machine. After a few minutes of tumbling and a freeze-drying cycle, your trimmed buds will be ready to go!
Save Time Without Sacrificing on Quality
Since its invention, bladeless cannabis trimming really has revolutionized the industry thanks to its intuitive, plant-structure-based approach and developments that enabled wet as well as dry trimming.
Whether you opt for a dedicated wet or dry trimmer or an all-in-one trimmer with the option of introducing CO2, a bladeless trimmer can help you save time and keep your buds clean without losing the cannabinoid-rich trichomes you worked so hard to produce.