Bud Trimming Techniques: 55 Experts Share Their Best Advice


Here at The Trimmer Store we know that getting your trim right is certainly the core focus on the mind of each and every grower out there. The starting point and the most crucial aspect of the entire process are adopting the most appropriate techniques for you and your crop, in order to yield the highest quality end product.

So it all comes down to a very straightforward choice between wet trimming and dry trimming. Obviously, either of them has its own advantages and disadvantages, so embracing the right path to follow might prove to be a little tricky.

Even if you are just starting off your trimming journey or if you are a veteran leaf trimmer, there are definitely new things to learn and discover about the peculiarities of these two major trimming techniques.

In the pursuit of savvy arguments to support the different techniques, we set out to ask 55 experts with proven track records in the trimming industry. We wanted to get their best advice and insight on wet versus dry trimming

The question that we put in front of them was “What’s your favorite bud trimming technique and which do you prefer, wet or dry?” – the diversity and in-depth coverage of their answers were worth every second spent!

All 55 replies that we got are of top-notch quality and show us a glimpse of their core beliefs and motivation when it comes to choosing between dry and wet trim.

Take a deep breath and get ready to assimilate their valuable wisdom…

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“Hand trim is always preferable. If using a machine the Greenbroz and Triminator dry trimmers produce a very nice finished product in both bud and trim. Regardless of brand dry trim is always preferable to wet. The plant is allowed to dry properly and as a result terpene content is preserved.The wet agitation of the plant matter also seems to drastically decrease the quality of extracts.”
“Cannasseur prefers dry trimming because we have an extraction facility and it is very important to us that the material going to our extraction department is top notch and doesn’t have chlorophyll agitation that would occur during wet trimming. Also, the dispensary market is very competitive and the quality of the flower is better overall after a dry trim.“
“We prefer hand trimming wet and hanging to dry but have also used the twister T4 with very good results. The T4 is the only machine we will use. We also put wet buds in this machine. We were never impressed with dry trimming.”
Green Grass
“We at Altitude Organic prefer and mandate a hand-trim on all product at this point. So we have no preference towards a trimmer or machine as everything is done with ultra sharpened horticultural scissors and LOTS of hands. This preserves the glandular trichome much better than if the product is dry as the glands tend to fall off during trimming/transportation/storage/packaging/ etc. (This is why when you shake a dry bud/branch it drops powdery looking “Keef”; whereas a wet bud/stem will not drop any as they are still fresh & can adhere) Further, we trim wet as we feel this maintains a better end product as well as we do fresh frozen solvent/solventless extractions and the trim must be wet; can’t be dry.”
Altitude Organic
“I used to be the Trim Manager at Megatron and would like to help you out. We use a “Cali style” of dry trimming. We would hang up the whole plant dry if we had more space, but we would hang cut off branches on the lines without taking off any leaves. After a few days when it starts to get crisp we would then throw them in paper bags for another few days until it was ready to be trimmed. Dry trim is definitely the best way to go. Those old school Cali trimmers were always the fastest but didn’t always pay attention to quality. I prefer taking time and making sure the trim quality is top notch. “
Pink House Peoria Crossing
“Here at Green Mountain Care we hand trim, dry flower.”
Green Mountain Care
“We hand trim wet and remove all fan leaves and sugar leaves. Then hang dry for a week, buds all upside down on large stems. Then we cut the buds off the stems, place in buckets for another 2 weeks.”
Caregivers for Life
“Fiskars are classic and I like the Hydrofarm HGMC400 Mini Clipper as well. I trim the best and fastest with freshly cut buds and a straight blade. My buds are always trimmed wet immediately after the cut and they’re fully finished and manicured right then and there.”
“We prefer wet hand trim.”
Northern Lights Cannabis
“I am the cultivation manager at Green Man Cannabis, I received your email inquiring about our trimming method. We hang dry our plants for 5 days then have a crew of trimmers from Green Mountain Harvest come and trim in 2-3 days. Once the plants are at 5 days hanging and about 30-35% humidity we cut down in 2 phases. First the plants are striped of their fan leaves ( leaves containing no or very few THC crystals ). Then they are cut off the steam and lightly hand trimmed. We do not use any trim machines all our product is hand trimmed.”
Green Man Cannabis
“Dry trim. Good ol hand Fiskars are better than any machine.”
Green Cross
“Well i personally like hand trimmed bud, I Like a quick wet trim to knock off fan leaves ect. and then a dry trim to finish it off after cure.”
The Happy Collective
“We trim by hand when dry.”
Kind Lansing
“I like to dry Trim and hang dry all the bud Bigleaf all of the spears dry really good and then burp it on the stem in totes prior to bucking it and then trimming all of the bud by hand. Hand trim is the best.”
Grateful Meds
“When it comes to bud trimmers I’ve personally never been picky, I’ve always just hand trimmed with whatever was available. I do prefer dry trimming; the look of the finished product is better and I feel it’s easier to work with. The trim job itself I like the bud to shine with no leaf with the exception of really purple buds, I keep a couple pretty sugar leaves to show the color contrast.”
Green Lady Marijuana
“We use Fiskars Softouch Micro-Tip Pruning Snip and we trim dry.”
South Sacramento Care Center
“The quality of the bud, how it was grown and also how it was dried would determine the best method in which to trim. We typically use Fiskers trimmers and prefer to trim dry, but other variables could affect that answer.”
Alpha Alternative Solutions
“We only trim by hand. Machines are unacceptable.”
Aspen Roaring Fork Wellness
“So that depends on whether I’m doing an outdoor or indoor indoor I prefer 2 wet trim that way most of Crystal stays on the plant just do to stickiness on an outdoor I prefer to dry trim because there’s never a team big enough to knock down my whole garden at once long and the short there’s different techniques because there’s different ways of finishing I always say what works best for the person doing it if they wet trim and it looks great when they’re done then wet trim if they preferred to dry trim and it comes out looking awesome then keep dry trimming.”
Herbal Remedies
“We Use the B-500 Chika-Masa Japanese grape pruning shears, and trim wet.”
Mendos Meds
“I personally believe nothing trims better than a Human. Lol. I think trimming by hand is the only way to go for two simple reasons. One, It gives a person an appreciation for the flower. Too sit there for hours and cut a beautiful, sticky, stinky plant one learns there is more to it than just smoking to get a euphoric feeling. Secondly, people can always improve themselves with practice. One may start slow at first but after a couple harvest they can be just as fast as some of the pros. Its all up to how hard that person may want to work. ( And it is work). I believe to always DRY first then trim. After the trim is gathered FREEZE it right away and store in freezer. That is the best way to hold the terps for maximum flavor in concentrates.”
Real Kind Meds
“Hand trimmed is the only way to go. Dry trimming is crucial to a gorgeous nug.”
Medicine Man Medical Market
“When we first started up we used the “Twister” trimmer but we found it to be too rough on the medicine as it removed a lot of our precious trichomes. We tried using the Twister with both wet and dry medicine and we weren’t satisfied with either result. Since then we have transitioned to hand trimming exclusively in order to provide the most potent and best looking medicine for our members.”
Wellness Connection of Maine
“Trimming has become a mechanical or was that I am against personally. A majority of us started in this community to help people and share the love of a plant. Using the T4 trimmers and machines like that disturb the tricot a a in an unnatural way which I feel alters the plant’s medicinal characteristics which only leaves one way to trim the old fashion way by hand. Technique used is one taught from years of trimming passed down by master growers I’ve met along my journeys. You trim by hand it becomes tedious and painful but at the end you have beautiful manicure medicine that has been loved from seed to flower.”
The People’s Cure Network
“Our medicine comes pre-trimmed by the caregiver that grew it. However, we ALWAYS prefer hand-trimmed medicine over cannabis trimmed using a machine.”
OM of Medicine
“We at MVN always choose to hand trim our flowers. We start on harvest night taking off all of the water leaf (fan leafs) after we let them slowly dry. Once ready we begin our full trimming process of breaking the plants down into branch sizes so we can sit at our trim stations and trim everything by hand. That way we can get a nice close fine trim that we are assured to be spot on time after time.”
Mountain View Naturals
“All of our medicine is hand trimmed.”
Evergreen Alternative Medicine
“We here at Sacred Garden use a few different techniques when it comes to trimming. It all depends on the characteristics of the bud. For example; the density of the bud and the leaf to bud ratio are a few factors that play into how to trim that particular batch. Sometimes we will trim as much leaf off as possible when it is still wet and then go in for a final clean up once dry. Other times we leave the fan leaves on for the drying process to increase the drying time and protect the trichomes when the buds are being handled. There are many different philosophies that have many different applications and processes vary all the time, the only thing that we consistently believe is to never use a trimming machine. They destroy the trichomes and mangle the buds. Although it takes longer, hand trimming will always provide the highest quality, most medicinal product.”
Sacred Garden
“My favorite bud trimmer would be anyone who excels at the task; trimming is hard work – tough on the body. When it comes to wet or dry trims, I believe it to be dependent on the strain we’re working with; we’ll use both techniques depending on situation.”
“Trim dry, it’s better.”
Legal Trap House
“As far as trimming goes, while we do not have an “in-house” grow. I grow personally and have always preferred a hand trim. I think an army of trimmers beats a machine any day on the basis of quality and any such loss in quality when using machines does not justify the additional speed or reduced cost after all so much hard work and time is put into growing the product. As for wet vs dry it comes down to two things: concentrate vs. flower. Fresh frozen trim makes the best concentrate as far as most are concerned, some like it “cured”, but most prefer it made from fresh. But for flower, dry trim is usually better and more fragrant. I believe this is because leaving the additional leaf material slows down the cure and creates an area of reduced air-movement around the buds that prevent some of the terpenes from leaving. In the end it’s a preference issue, but the grower’s consensus as I have observed it is that dry trim produces a better flower product, but the extractor’s consensus is that fresh trim produces better concentrate.”
Pacific Green
“Hand trimmed.”
Margie’s Pot Shop
“We use both methods actually and use our hands, no machines.”
Preferred Organic Therapy
“I have several favorite trimmers. It would be inappropriate to divulge their names but I can say, for what it’s worth, that they are all women. The technique I personally think provides the best results is old-fashioned dry trim by hand. I have wet trimmed to fine effect but, to me, dry trim is the way to go. ”
Green Valley Wellness
“This is Peter’s business partner Michael.
I agree with Peter that dry is the way to go without a doubt. It provides far better flavor and nose to the finished “cured” product than any wet timing can do. As to efficiencies, I feel that the dry trimming machine by the company GreenBroz is fantastic and does a comparable job to nice hand trimming with about 20% touch up required by human hands and eyes to get an A grade, trimmed bud.”
Green Valley Wellness
“We prefer to hand trim and do it wet.”
Pure Intentions Wellness
“I have surveyed two of the bud tenders and here is what they had to say.
Kristofer said ” as far as trimmers go, hand trimming is ALWAYS best. Sharp Shears and tightly groomed is my preference.”
Tom said ” It is best to pull the fan leaves when wet and trim the bud dry.”
Royal’s Cannabis
“Hand Trimming is the only way to go in our opinion and doing a dry trim really increases the smell and flavors.”
Tru Cannabis
“We prefer to hand trim with fiskar scissors. However we have grown very fond of the wander trimmer hand held trimmer. ”
Natural Wellness
“My favorite bud trimmer is the human being. Straight up machines can not give the attention to detail a person gives. I have see what the machines can do but what good is it if I have to hire people to clean up the bud after a machine does the work, I’d rather just take the extra time it takes for people to do it properly right out the gate.Also, where I am from most of the people trimming are single low income moms and taking the job from them and giving it to a machine is cruel IMO. It behooves us to remember how this industry provides many families the ability to afford many things they and their children might go with out otherwise. This industry has an opportunity to help change the face of business to something less greedy and more compassion based and community oriented. Operating only for the sake of the bottom dollar is what is killing our country and creating more and more a huge divide between the Have’s and Have not’s. Why is everyone so quick to leave behind values of a more compassionate caring way of doing things for something we’ve all complained about in the so called straight world when we were and illegal industry. Makes no sense to follow a model of business which we disliked in industry tactic prior to becoming a legitimate industry.
I prefer dry trimming to wet because when the weed is dry while trimming you are able to see what the natural shape of the bud and trim accordingly. When the bud is trimmed wet its easy to hack it because of the sponginess of the plant matter.”
Flowr of Lyfe
“Trim dry, tight trim.”
NorthWest Alternative Care
“Most of us that grow or have grown here manually trimmed our flowers, wasn’t totally sure if your looking for opinions on auto-trimmers. I think as far as wet vs dry, I’ve done both and prefer a more dry trim vs fresh cut, mostly because if you cut the plant down and then cut the stocks into hook shapes and hang them, the leafs tend to fold over the flowers and better protect the trichomes. Once that is done and dried say a solid two or three days it seems to me to make the trimming process much faster. That being said some of us here also prefer the fresh cut method and then hanging for a day or two before cutting off the stock.”
Northern Specialty Health
“Hand trim is the technique we prefer to trim our buds, with not fully dry buds.”
“The method we prefer is to grow genetics supplied by our in-house geneticist Eddie Funxta and the clones managed by Ocean Grown Cuts. We have a team of master growers that tend to the garden through harvest. At the time of harvest, we remove all water leaf aka shade leaf. Then hung on hangers in a controlled environment for 7 – 10 days. Final trim starts when stems have a snap and the flowers are dry. It is hand trimmed and all micro leaves is removed to expose the flower to its fullest potential. We finish the cure in Turkey bags instead of jars. Just a personal preference. The finished product is like a wine, the longer the cure the better the end product will be. We then send it of to a independent lab and also in house inspection before it hits the shelves for our patients.”
Northwest Collective
“Our favorite bud trimmer? Good old trimming scissors and a human being , we do not use machines. We trim wet, makes for better hash production.”
Altitude Organic Medicine
“We strictly hand trim.”
The Kine Mine
“Our Master Grower uses Garden Guru Lawn/Garden Tools, you can find them on Amazon for $10.99. He said he likes them for a few reasons. One, they’re heavier than the plastic kinds, yet still light. It has substance and makes trimming a lot easier and accurate. The blades are also build better, and he can sharpen them if needed. The other thing about the blades is they’re tough enough to remove branches also, so he doesn’t need another tool when running around the rooms. He said the lock is a great feature and has been pretty reliable. ”
Good to Grow
“Hand Trimming is the best, makes better hash from our leftover product!”
Green Cross Caregivers
“We prefer to have our flower hand trimmed by professional trimmers who have been at it for a long time. Under most circumstances we de-fan/big leaf the large fan leafs and hang to dry for about a week at about 50% humidity/70 degrees. Once the stems are snappy and the flower is ‘dry’ we will do the final hand trim. Following the second/final trim we put the flower back into a curing process for another week or so, wicking, burping and turning in shallow bins until its finished and ready for the consumer.”
Bridge City Collective
“My favorite bud trimmer is the Twister T4 because the finish product looks the closest to a hand trim on the market. I prefer to do it wet because it is less hard on the buds. Also, you can link the T4’s together to be able to work faster and get a even tighter trim job.”

This certainly cleared out some of your pending concerns, right?

We can’t thank enough all of our contributors, but with your involvement we can certainly take it one step further!

Let us know your own take on this matter in a comment below and feel free to share the knowledge!

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