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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!


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

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