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Man Vs. Machine

A quantitative comparison of cannabis trimming solutions

Many people would say that the most labor-intensive step in the production of cannabis is the harvest and all would agree that its the most tedious. With the rise in popularity of trimming machines in the market there has been a large interest from consumers to see quantitative numbers on marijuana trimming times and weights. Unfortunately, this interest is often answered by misinformed and misspelled forum posts by individuals with little experience with trimming machines. This article aims to provide clear information for your comparison purposes and to show how using a trimming machine to harvest marijuana can save you valuable time and money.

Get More for Your Dollar

The Way Trimming Machines Save Time

According to a 2016 Marijuana Venture article about professional trimming crews, an experienced trimmer can do around 2 lbs of dry material in an 8 hour day.  The CenturionPro 3.0 trimming machine can process up to 40 lbs of dry product in an hour, assuming you have your material prepped and ready to feed into the machine.  Based on 2 lbs dry per person every 8 hours, which equals 0.25 lbs per hour per person.  This means it would take 160 human trimmers to equal the hourly throughput of one of our trimming machines.

According to the same article, the estimated cost to the grower is between $150 and $225 per lb for the trimming services.  This means that our trimmers can pay for themselves in less than a day worth of professional trimming services.

ready at the push of a button

No Motivation Required

Cannabis trimming machines are ready at the push of a button. This means no more motivating crews of people to get started in the morning with coffee and donuts. Along those same lines machines don’t need food or long lunch breaks, as long as you can buck the stalks fast enough the machine will continue to process at a steady rate for up to 4 hours. After 4 hours of unit run time it is best to disconnect the trimming machine from power for a light clean before restarting operation.

Using a cannabis trimming machine allows you to free up resources in your operation and allows you to do more with less. Only one individual is required to run the trimming machine while others can focus on bucking the stalks and moving product to drying racks or storage. Any other employees who would have normally been dedicated to bud trimming during this time can now focus on other tasks.

Lower Overhead and Add Profits

Trimming Machines Save Money and Add Convenience

As the cannabis industry evolves producers will have to become more competitive. Lowering the overhead associated with trimming marijuana is an easy way to add profit to your pocket. The cost of a one-day rental is a fraction of what you would spend hiring a crew to trim your product. Rounding up a crew to process your bumper crop will no longer be an issue. No more no-shows and flaky people to deal with. In addition, trimming machines are easily portable and disassemble for cleaning in just a few seconds. Lastly, the machine is pressure washable for easy cleanup (minus the tumbler).

Mitigate Risk

Trimming Machines Maintain Security

In an industry where security is pertinent to reputation and mitigating risk, trimming machines run by a small crew are a smart alternative to large weed trimming parties. Unfortunately, “loose lips sink ships”; each new crew member added for a harvest, increases the opportunity for risk. As the cannabis industry matures regulations on producers will call for higher security which increases costs with each new employee hired.

Remember, trimming machines don’t talk or have ulterior motives.

Improve Consistency

Quality of Product is Consistent and Marketable

Hand-trimming marijuana can have varied results from person to person, but a machine produces a consistent product every time. Machine trimmed product is very uniform. In addition, quality trimming machines are adjustable to deliver a desired level of trim. Trimming machines also excel at trimming smaller flowers clusters often ignored by hand trimmers. With a well-maintained trimming machine the quality of your final trimmed product will look the same batch after batch. Consequently, the same can’t be said about human trimmers who get tired and sloppy after a day of trimming, resulting in inconsistent results. Instead of relying on other people to share the same level of pride in your product, use a trimming machine to deliver beautiful results time and time again.

Scale Up Your Operation

Continuous Improvement and Scalability

As your seed to shelf life-cycle continuously improves your harvest methods should too; don’t let epic strains and huge colas be your only focus. Supplementing your harvest with a trimming machine yields instant ROI in time savings. Trimming machines are easily scalable, unlike trimming crews. Adding another trimming machine to your fleet is as simple as renting or buying another unit. Hiring new members for your trimming takes time and energy you could be spending elsewhere. For comparison adding another machine is the equivalent of adding 25 people to the operation.

Trimming machines are compatible with other accessories to make trimming even more efficient.

How Similar is Machine Trimmed to Hand Trimmed

Concerns about quality

People often ask about the final quality of machine trimmed product and how it compares to hand trimmed product. The current generation of trimming machines provides close to hand-trimmed quality at a much faster pace than hand trimming.

Trimming machines do not damage trichomes anymore than a hand trimmer would. The CenturionPro Gladiator trimmer uses a specially designed Quantanium Non-Stick tumbler drum that moves and cuts product with minimal human handling. The compact non-stick barrel gently tumbles the product. Therefore, keeping those valuable trichomes right where you want them on your flowers. Completely cured machine-trimmed marijuana is almost indistinguishable from hand-trimmed product.

We’ve seen no difference between machine trimmed sugar leaves and hand trimmed sugar leaves. In addition, trimmed leaves are useful for post-production of concentrates and oils using whatever method you choose.


We hope this article serves as a useful tool for growers in the market for a better harvest solution.

If you are interested in learning more or renting a trimmer, contact us today!

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