Manual trimming vs automated trimming. What should you opt for?

As the season of harvest approaches, many growers experience the same feeling as every year, as they have to take the most important decision of the entire cannabis growing cycle: choosing the ideal trimming process. Therefore, what should one opt for, processing the cannabis manually or, on the other hand, using trimming machinery?

Whether grown for commercial purposes or private use, the final step in cannabis cultivation, which involves trimming, plays a crucial role in shaping the overall experience for the end user. This part is extremely essential provided that many consumers are quite specific about how they like their product.

So, if you are clouded by the same confusion, do not worry at all… You are at the right place! We have the best cannabis trimming solutions for you to discover. Below is a detailed guide that discusses the many pros and cons of manual trimming vs. automated trimming and considers some of the best cannabis trimmers we offer to you to achieve your best trimming experience.

What is manual trimming?

Manual trimming refers to the method in which the leaves and the other undesirable parts of a plant are cut or removed manually. That is, by hand. As one might expect by the name, this process requires nothing but a pair of scissors and a lot of focus, dedication and time.

If done right, it can generate really good results, as this method is considered to be really precise. However, there is an artisan element that has to be taken into account.

If you want to hand-trim your cannabis, here is a short step-by-step guide for you. However, before you begin the process, make sure you are well-prepared. The cannabis is coated with a sticky layer of resin and may have other sticky parts that you might be allergic to, therefore, ensure that you wear proper gloves.

  1. Make sure you use clean scissors and tools. Although, at one point, the trichomes are likely to gather on the scissors, keeping wet wipes nearby will come in handy. These steps may seem minor, but they can improve the efficiency of the process as a whole.
  2. First and foremost, trim the fan leaves. Then, trim the leaves that emerge from the buds – referred to as the sugar leaves. Holding the flower, a little below its bud, rotate it as you work along for easier access.
  3. Carefully, cut out the branches and the parts you need to trim, and use your hand to put these pieces away. Keeping some trays or containers nearby will come in handy as some of these trimmings can be of many uses.

While hand trimming remains a traditional method, an automated approach is rapidly gaining popularity at exponential rates. It has been proven that automated trimming offers numerous advantages and profitable benefits, becoming the current preference for many growers.

Nevertheless, and still in terms of manual trimming, the points discussed below summarize the advantages and disadvantages of this process, and may be good inputs to help you make the final choice.

Pros and cons of cannabis manual trimming


  • More accurate trims (based on personal preferences)
  • Less loss of flower properties because you have manual control over each trim.
  • More attractive appearance – this may signify a better quality than other options.


  • Slow process: It may take days, or perhaps, weeks to complete the trimming of cannabis grown commercially.
  • Requires intensive labor and good skills; for commercial growers, this may significantly raise the cost of the cultivation.
  • Imperfect process: notable variations and non-standardized outputs.
  • High handling.
  • Risk of contamination.

What is automated trimming?

Automated trimming is the same as talking about “machine trimming”, which refers to exactly what it literally means. With the use of specific machinery, trimming and cutting of leaves or other parts of the cannabis plan, becomes totally automated. In comparison to the hand trimming discussed above, this method is much more convenient and faster. Automated trimming cannabis helps to improve overall efficiency and reduces the time allocated for the task.

When the machine turns on, the tumbler which holds the flowers starts rotating. This tumbler faces some slots on one end. Above these slots are located sharp blades that trim the leaves as the tumbler is rotated around. This way, all of the extra leaves are removed from the flower.

This method is obviously faster than the manual trimming, saving labour costs and gaining both efficiency and profitability. By automating the process, you can achieve authentic productions lines, which will help you to increase your final output and reduce your overall time. Therefore, the final yieald gets maximised.

If you want to check which cannabis trimmers suits better to your needs, a wide variety of cannabis postharvest machinery is available on our website. As one of the leading companies that manufactures and market cannabis postharvest machinery worldwide, we understand exactly what you might need. A wide range of products have been specifically engineered to meet your final requirements, considering the quantity of product to be processed as main variable.

At Master Products we offer some of the best cannabis trimmers on the market. If you are looking for dry cannabis trimmers, for instance, the MT DRY 200 or MT DRY 500 might be the best option for you. On the other side, if you desire wet cannabis trimmers, MT Tumbler series is the perfect solution, such as the compact and functional MT Tumbler 200 PRO or the MT Tumbler 500 when it comes to higher productions.

Pros and cons of cannabis automated trimming


  • A much faster process; thus, a faster output.
  • Little to no variations and standardized results.
  • Less handling.
  • One-time investment (Therefore, you save a lot of money)
  • Intensive quality controls.


  • Requires high initial investment
  • Requires user training for operation, maintenance, etc., as improper training may lead to undesired precision or low accuracy in the output.
  • Requires proper care to avoid loss of essential flower material and properties.

Contrary to the popular belief, automated machinery can give results very close to the manual trimming. However, this requires the user to learn the proper techniques and be trained perfectly. Thus, one must invest time to become proficient in operation and master the maintenance of their equipment.


For small productions, hand trimming can be a choice, offering a personalized touch and the ability to preserve specific parts of the harvest. However, when it comes to larger-scale operations, automated trimming emerges as the superior option, for sure. Automation significantly reduces labor demands and substantially increases efficiency, saving both time and resources. Therefore, if you’re looking to enhance productivity and optimize your results, automated trimming is the ideal choice, especially for larger growers focused on maximizing their return on investment.

As discussed above, both methods of trimming have their own pros and cons. At the end of the day, what matters is your personal preference for what the final output should look like. With this guide and having a look at some of the best cannabis trimming solutions we offer, making the decision would be much easier!

Remember we want to be your partner and assit you to solve any doubts and queries you need or want to considerer! As more than a technical service… We are your team!

Thanks #mastercommunity for reading us!

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Growers have to take the most important decision of the entire cannabis growing cycle: choosing the ideal trimming process.