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Jack Nichol

A Triminator XL Review: Worth the money?

Hi fellow Trimmers! Jack here, and I’m back with another blog post about cannabis trimming---everyone’s favorite activity.

Yes, trimming cannabis really sucks. That is why we have engineers and technology to create more efficient ways to help us do things that we hate. One of the contraptions that the mechanical cannabis trimming industry has created is called a Dry Tumbler. There are a couple different variations designed for this method of volume cannabis trimming, but the most popular and effective way I’ve used and seen it deployed are from Triminator and Twister. The XL Dry and the BatchOne from each manufacturer respectively, are the most widely used volume mechanical dry trimmers on the market. I have used the Triminator a lot. Like, a lot a lot. I have not used Twister’s version as much (hit me up with a demo machine Twister!) The BatchOne uses the same physics to trim as the XL so I think that they do a comparable job. Triminator also makes smaller, more craft and home-sized dry trimmers, that perform at a high level.

Specifically, this review is based on the XL Dry from Triminator. I’ve used this machine for hundreds of hours, have put all sorts of flower through it, and feel like I have a good idea of what it is capable of and how best to use it.

When properly prepared flower is put into this trimmer, the XL Dry does a great job giving your flower a high-quality machine-trim and doing it quickly. I have seen a lot of strains of all major cannabinoid types go through the unit. It gives a consistent quality level in output and does it in a reliable and easy to maintain package. **Friendly reminder that a lot of the time when troubleshooting why output isn’t up to expectations when using mechanical trimmers, it’s usually the parameters of the input not matching the machine’s operational strength.

I use the XL in a couple different ways, short bursts of time of low chamber volume runs, around 2 pounds of input, or longer 2/3 full chamber runs of about 5-6 pounds per run. You’re going to have to find which works best for you and your process. I typically find that processors that have products destined for the shelf as pure flower prefer the shorter smaller runs. If your goal is high quality extraction, and you have a lot of flower to process, then conversely, high volume longer runs can be achieved as well with good results using the XL Dry.

It’s a very simple machine and I mean that as a compliment to the engineers that made it. I know from personal experience owning a mobile trimming business that it can take a banging and continue to perform. The XL is easy to clean and maintain because the design is simple. It breaks down in 5 minutes and with the proper equipment to clean the parts, like a hot water pressure washer, can be turned around in less than 45 minutes. Cleaning this unit regularly, as with every other type of cannabis plant processing equipment on the market is important.

It uses a low amount of energy to operate-- powered from a 115VAC power source and is quiet when it runs when compared to their wet-biased cousins and their vacuums. The only real complaint I have about it is that the wheels (or at least the ones on the unit I have) don’t swivel. I move mine around a lot and they’d help.

So to answer the question in the title of this blog: is it worth it the money? Yes, absolutely. I have used it for many hours by this point in so many different capacities and it has always performed well. If you’d like to know more about the Triminator XL after reading this, or just have trimming questions in general, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me! Thanks for reading and Happy Trimming!

Dealer Day in the Desert II

Jack was lucky enough to be invited out by Eteros for a Dealer Training and Demo Day in Las Vegas last week May 13th and 14th. For those that don't know, Eteros is the parent company of the Mobius and Triminator brands. Both are very strong cannabis processing OEMs in their own right, but now that they are both under the Eteros umbrella both can benefit from advantages the other provides both in the manufacturing and distributing arenas.

The first day was solely devoted to Eteros dealers at their new Las Vegas facility. This facility will be used as a final assembly destination for both brands as well as a stock holding area for US consumer base. About 15 dealers from around the country flew in to meet each other and learn about Mobius/Triminator products. Eteros were fantastic hosts and provided food, drink, and a live demo station for everyone to learn from and enjoy.
The second day of Dealer Day in the Desert II was devoted to the customers. Anyone and everyone interested in trimming and processing cannabis on a macro level was welcome to show up and did they ever. The interest in trimming and processing cannabis is already very high and will only continue to grow as legalization across the US increases.

KLR Farms was nice enough to provide real plant material for the machines to process in front of the crowd. People were excited to see the Mobius M108S in action as well as the Triminator XL. Eteros set up the M108S in tandem with another one as well as an inlet/outlet conveyor system to show what a fully functional system in a facility can look like as well as how efficient and fast this equipment is when implemented correctly. It was a great time had by all!

How do I know when to use my trimmer for dry trimming?

Hi Everyone, my blog post for today will be focused on knowing when your flower is ready to use a trimming machine. There is trying to trim too early and too late. Knowing the perfect time to use that specialized trimmer you have is important. It can save you a of time on quality control afterwards as well as literally saving your product from annihilation if it is too dry when you try and trim it. Also, depending on the type of machine you have access to will determine when you should start trimming those precious flowers you worked so hard to grow.

First, it is imperative you buy a moisture meter. There are some out there now calibrated for cannabis that are rather expensive. I have found my cheap pin-type hardware store model calibrated for pine works just as well. Simply check multiple samples in your bin or sack by pushing the pins into the flower and getting a percentage moisture reading. Remember, that is not a relative humidity reading you are taking. If you’ve got nicely dried and cured flower around 10% ready to be trimmed that you are seeing on the meter, it doesn’t mean they humidity in your bin or sack is that as well. That is different kind of moisture and measurement.

Next, let’s talk about what kind of machine you will be using. If you are using a hybrid machine like Gladiator from CenturionPro or a T4 from Twister, you don’t want your flower going below 10% as by then the small sugar leaves have already curled tightly around the flower and no amount of tumbling around or vacuum from the trimmer will be able to pull them back out to get trimmed. The idea when using hybrid trimmers to trim dry is to “catch” the flower right after it dries enough so that it won’t be so sticky and resinous the trimmer is ineffective, yet the leaves have not fully turned in and are accessible to the vacuum and blades. The timing of this varies depending on things like your drying/curing parameters and strain. Beware that if you try to trim using a hybrid trimmer sub-9%, you run the risk of turning your flower into kief. But typically, when your flower is reading 11-13%, hybrid trimmers tend to be the most effective for trimming dry.

If you have a mechanical dry tumbler to help you trim, 9-10% on your meter is when you should start to use the machine. Anything dryer will tumble over itself and run the risk of crushing the flower in trim essentially because there is no moisture left to hold the bud together. Running anything moister than that and the tumbler itself will not work. Dry tumblers use the action of the flower rolling over itself and their leaves through the tumbler slots to make clean cuts or breaks during the session. Dry tumblers like the Triminator Dry are great because they are quiet and keeping all of your trim and kief is usually easier. But again, as I have said in past blogs, your process and situation should dictate what machine you pick and when you trim. Thanks for reading and I hope this helped. Happy Trimming!

What is a Bucker Machine, and Do I Need One?

Simply put, a bucker strips fan leaf and flower from stem on a cannabis plant. This must be done because the valuable flower needs to be separated from stem at some point post-harvest in order to be trimmed or used in the next step of whatever process its in. Most, if not all, extractors require that the stem be removed before they will accept flower for processing. Also, if you plan on trimming your flower then it will have to be removed from the stem at some point so it can be done correctly and packaged or stored.

Does that mean that because all cannabis grown for flower needs to be bucked at some point mean that necessarily need to buy an expensive machine to do it? Depends on your situation. If you only grow or ever plan on growing 25 plants, then maybe spending thousands of dollars on a bucker isn’t the best use of your money. You could easily just harvest and hang them. When it comes time to buck and trim, simply using your scissors or some other manual instrument to separate flower from stem off 25 plants is not fun but also much less expensive and can be done at your own pace since the plants have dried and/or cured already. Even manually bucking 25 cannabis plants wet is possible to do if you dedicate time to it.

The job of bucking cannabis plants wet or dry becomes much more unwieldy when the number of plants you intend to harvest is something more like 100 plants plus. Again, if you have the luxury of time and processing to order, bucking dry and manually is possible. But if you want to buck your plants right after chop or have to process your dry plants under time and personnel constraints, using a mechanical bucker is the way to go.  The manufacturers that make them, and there are a lot of choices, are not lying when they say that it increases speed and throughput. Not only that, but the machine also does not get tired of pulling like humans do so there is always a constant and torque applied to the stem that is getting stripped.


All cannabis buckers are based on the same concept even if they may look different. The all have a face that the stems are fed into with a die plate of varying size drilled holes. They are to accommodate the diameter of the stem that you are feeding it. As a rule when bucking, use the smallest hole that the stem will easily fit through so none of the flower gets pulled in with it. The all also have two rollers that are stacked on top of one another and roll against each other when in operation. Those are what grab the stems as the machine is fed. Most buckers are single motor driven, meaning that only one of the rollers is attached to a motor, the other is simply tightened up against the other that does to move. All buckers also have forward and reverse switch. Forward is used in normal operation and revers for when the plant gets stuck mid-pull and does not get pulled all the way through. This happens sometimes and usually when bucking wet. Some plants are tough to strip and need to be broken down more step being fed in the bucker. Reverse also keeps hand and fingers away from pinch points like the rollers. If a bucker says it can process both wet and dry material, then it has as variable seed knob or adjustment of some type. Typically, when bucking wet it is necessary to turn the roller speed to 100% to get the stem through cleanly and the first time. Conversely, when using a machine to buck wet, you want to turn the speed down to 30% or 40% as to not damage the flower as the stem is pulled through. Finally, all buckers have an emergency e-stop button—very important!

Mechanical Buckers are necessary part of a process that grows to scale and on a timeline. They are personnel multipliers at that stage in the process and worth their weight for most, if not all, operations. I hope that this answered what a cannabis Bucking Machine was and please let me know if you have any more questions. Happy Trimming!  

Wet Vs Dry Machine Trimming: What is Better?

This is a question that I get all the time. And it is usually the first question someone asks me when looking at piece of trimming equipment. I won’t even make you scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answer: It is neither. Or Both. What really matters is what type of variables you have in your own personal process or grow that determines the type of machine to use for cannabis trimming. Factors like how much help you have during harvest, your intended market/product types you wish to focus on and drying/curing space size all get taken into account when answering what type of mechanical trimming (wet vs dry) is best for your grow.

Do you have a large temperature and humidity controlled environment to hang dry whole plants in? No? Then you may want to look at trimming your plants wet since the footprint of trimmed flower spread out to cure and dry is much less than that up hanging them up whole first. Not to mention, once that has happened—you are done! You can then bag, label, go to market or process from there. Most wet trimmers either have constructed large stackable screens in a humidity and temperature controlled area or have an industrial dryer after the trimming process to accelerate the drying stage.

Do you have a reliable 5+ person crew for harvest to help support the machines or is it just you and someone else? Small crew? Then trimming dry is really your best option. During harvest, your biggest task will be getting the plants harvested and hung. You will get the benefit of being able to trim at your own pace, maybe even just to order. The machines in this category are typically less expensive as they have less parts to them. They are also much quieter to operate, making the working environment easier on the ears of the operators. Trimming machines that are wet biased, have large blowers that are generally very loud when turned on.  

On the other hand, if you have a team that can focus on harvest and supporting the bucker and trimmer, I’ll usually recommend that growers then trim wet. Buckers go hand in hand with machine trimmers during harvest. Trimming wet can be much faster and being able to reduce the time and footprint of the curing/drying process gives you an advantage getting to market earlier than those who choose to trim dry without sacrificing quality. Yes, I know that there are those that swear by only trimming dry because they feel trimming wet sacrifices flavor quality. I do believe my friends that say that they can tell the difference, but I cannot.

Some of the leaders in the wet trimming sector are CenturionPro and Twister. Both have been in the business since the beginning of the mechanical cannabis trimming era and both make fantastic machines.

If you choose to look into dry trimmers for your process, Triminator makes a great volume dry trimmer for the money. Hope this helped answer some questions and thanks for reading!

Beautiful plant shots provided by the folks over at Purple Lark Farm.

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