Hand Trimming VS Trimming Machines

Machine Trimmers vs. Hand Trimmers; which tool will rise to the top? Whether you are pro-hand or machine, we can all agree, your trim is only as good as your tools.

Hand Trimming VS Trimming Machines

Trimming machines vs. hand trimming; which tool will rise to the top?

Harvest is here, and it’s time to get to work and trim your flowers. Trimming allows you to control their appearance, harshness, and the features you wish to emphasize. Many growers have their minds made up about how they like to trim, but maybe you don't.

Trimming varies by personal preference, with the most common methods being machine or traditional hand trimming. It's important to invest in high quality tools that allow you to achieve the results you want.

Let’s take a look at how trimming machines stack up against hand trimming from an unbiased viewpoint.

Cleaning & maintenance of trimming machines and hand trimming supplies

It doesn't matter if you are hand trimming or using a machine. You need to keep your equipment clean and maintained. This not only improves the end quality of the product but saves wear and tear on your trimming machine or hand tools.

It also prevents contamination from grow cycle to grow cycle, and even across strains while you trim.

Cleaning and maintaining trimming machines

Machine trimming vs hand trimming

All trimming machines should be cleaned before being stored and, in some cases, should be cleaned and adjusted periodically throughout the harvest. Consult your owners manual for specifics.

Trimming machines, such as the Twister T4 and Twister T2 require very precise alignment in order to achieve optimal performance.

It is critical that blades are properly cleaned and sharpened and that the tumbler is carefully cleaned and stored.

If a tumbler is dropped, it can severely damage the machine if allowed back in operation. This is also true for other automatic and manual trimming machines.

Cleaning and maintaining hand trimming supplies

Scissors, pruners, and other hand tools also need to be properly cleaned between growing cycles and before being stored.

Plant material that is left on these tools will decay and introduce contamination the next time these tools are used to prune or harvest your crop.

Just like with your trimming machine, you'll want to completely clean and disinfect your scissors when switching strains, to prevent any cross contamination. Using scissor cleaner will keep you trimming efficiently throughout the day, with minimal downtime.

Trimming Machines

Trimming machines are becoming more and more popular as larger scale growers realize how invaluable of an investment they are.

With these, you can often see a return on your investment within one or two harvests, depending on the size fo your grow.

Trimmers can broadly be categorized as manual, machine, air tumble, and gravity fed.

They can also be further divided by those that can trim "wet" and those that trim "dry". Trimming wet vs dry is often times a matter of preference, and depends on time constraints, amount of product, and what you will be using the product for in the end.

Machine trimming has gained in popularity and it’s not hard to see why.


  • State of the art equipment
  • Speed
  • Precision
  • Quality
  • Ease of use
  • Reduced labor costs
  • Less risk than hiring a crew


  • Large initial investment
  • Size of machine
  • Machine storage
  • Noise
  • Lower quality than hand trimming

Top Trimming Machine Brands


Smart design and quality manufacturing make a Twister machine trimmer a favorite among harvesters. Every element of the harvesting process is taken into account, making your trim seamless.

The T2 and T4 series machine trimmers are a popular choice amongst harvesters looking to trim large and commercial size gardens.

If you’re looking to invest in a machine trimmer that will assist you with increased productivity, you’ll want to take a closer look at the T2 and T4 Trimming Machine series manufactured by Twister:

Twister Trimming Machines

All Twister trimmers allow you to trim wet or dry and can be coupled with conveyors for quality control and ease of automation. Twister trimmers come with a full 3-year warranty and 12/7 technical support.

Twister also offers an extended 2-year warranty on all trimming machines and conveyors.

FDA-approved feed conveyors improve speed and consistency by 20% while 22 StaySharp blades deliver almost 40,000 cuts a minute.


Intuitive design make CenturionPro trimming machines easy to use. Like Twister, no detail has been spared. Machine trimming has never been easier.

CenturionPro Trimming Machines

CenturionPro offers a trimming machine for every type of grower, whether you are just triming a few plants at home or a commercial grow in a field.


Triminator is another brand that continually produces high quality trimming machines.

They have earned a reputation as one of the best in the industry, with a range of (mostly) dry trimming machines for every grower.

To see our full list of the best trimming machines, check out our review of the top trimming machines of 2019.

Shop All Our Trimming Machines Here!

Hand Trimming Your Buds

Hand trimming methods will always yield the best results. You can get the trim exactly like you want it and preserve cuttings easily.

This method also has the advantages of preserving the most amount of flower quality, pollen, and resins on the plant.

Hand trimming, a method preferred by many traditionalists, is a true art form. Allowing for signature style, it requires skill and patience.

If you are a hobby grower with the time to harvest by hand, we highly recommend it. At a certain point, however, it becomes impossible.

Once your grow reaches a certain size, hand trimming will start to take days or weeks. At this point, you'll either need to hire a crew, which can be risky and expensive, or invest in a trimming machine.


  • Inexpensive initial investment in tools, in comparison to trimming machine
  • Easy tool storage (small tools)
  • More precise trimming abilities leads to a more finely manicured flower


  • Inefficient for larger grows; a crew of trimmers has to be employed.
  • Room for human error—steep learning curve on your first several harvests may result in lost flowers or buds.
  • Back breaking, hand cramping work

Hand trimming essentials

If you are trimming by hand, you know you'll obviously need scissors. But what kind? There are tons of garden snips, pruning schears, and scissors to choose from, which makes it confusing.

Also, what else do you need for a hand trimming process?

A complete hand trimming kit will make this process incredibly easy - just one purchase and you are set for many harvests to come. At Hydrobuilder, we offer hand trimming kits for one or two people, and they include:

  • Trim Bins
  • Trimming scissors
  • Scissor cleaner
  • Drying rack
  • Ball jars for storing buds

At the very least, you will need a few good pairs of trimming scissors, trimming trays, scissor cleaner, and gloves.

Top Hand Trimming Brands


When you’re looking for the ultimate in hand trimming tools, look no further than Hydrobuilder. We provide consumers with the following quality hand trimming and drying supplies:

Hand trimming vs trimming machines - the final verdict

We encourage you to trim by hand as long as you can. Trimming machines have evolved and can now produce incredibly aesthetic buds, this is true. But, there is no machine currently on the market that can outperform hand trimming.

Keep in mind, as the size of your garden goals grow, hand trimming becomes a less feasible option. This makes trimming machines the only choice for growers of a certain scale.

An investment in a trimming machine will allow you to get through your trimming process and back to doing the things you love, while yielding a positive return on investment.

If you are new to harvesting, check out our beginners guide to harvesting, drying, and curing!

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Questions? Call 888-815-9763 or email support@hydrobuilder.com.

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