First there was medical marijuana, then there was recreational marijuana, igniting a massive wave of new and exciting flower strains.
Then came even stronger strains, then came concentrates and edibles, and now we find ourselves in a dazzling world of shatter, waxes and boutique live resins.
But before we get into the best presses, from hand-powered manual options to pneumatic to electric, let’s dig a little bit more into just what this sticky magic actually is..
What IS Rosin Anyways?
Rosin is a concentrate made by exposing cannabis to heat and pressure to force out the terpenes and cannabinoids found in the plant’s trichome glands.
Rosin is also uniquely versatile in the fact that it can be manipulated into almost any type or texture of concentrate. From shatter and sugar to budder and wax, rosin has many adaptability options, making it an awesome product for extraction artists to experiment with.
The Rosin Extraction Process Explained
The concept of extracting rosin is quite simple. Two heated plates are pressed on both sides of the desired starting material (which is enclosed in parchment paper or rosin pouches) at high pressure.
The heat from the plates loosens the resinous glands, or trichomes, that contains all of the plant’s cannabinoids while the pressure effectively squeezes it from the flower. This basic process is the foundation for rosin presses and the technology that makes them run.
Since rosin is produced without the use of solvents, which can change the flavor and finished product, it’s preferred by users who don’t want any chance of having lingering, man-made chemicals in their concentrates.
The very best rosin, referred to as “live rosin” is pressed from plants that are freshly harvested, thereby maximizing the integrity of the cannabinoids and terpene compounds which collectively as an “entourage effect” help create a superior high when compared to more harsh extraction processes.
This extraction technique has been used by other industries for thousands of years. Imagine squeezing the oil out of olive or the juice from a grape. The rosin process presses the starting material until it produces a potent, solventless concentrate.
Understanding How Rosin Presses Work.
Temperature plays a big role in determining the quality and yield and the ideal temperature is heavily dependent on the chemical makeup of the cannabis used.
If your flowers, dry sift, or hash is terpene-rich, a lower temperature is needed. This is because the terpenes squeezed out of the trichome glands during the initial press act as a natural solvent to facilitate the rosin process.
With fewer terpenes to play that role, you’ll need more pressure and heat to coax the cannabinoids out of the glands.
You may think that more heat will result in larger yields. This is not true! Using too much heat will burn off terpenes and other compounds that make rosin so sought after. You should stick to lower heat.
For flower: 220°F – 240°F for about 30 – 45 seconds
For dry sift/kief/hash: 180°F – 210°F for 45 – 90 seconds
As soon as you finish your press, remove rosin from the plates as fast as possible. This will minimize any degradation of compounds like CBD and terpenes.
How Much Pressure Do You Need to Press Rosin?
The pressure needed will depend on the temps you use, but, also on what you’re pressing. Flower needs more pressure, somewhere between 600-1000 PSI. Dry sift/kief or hash will require less pressure because it is more concentrated. You should shoot for between 300-800 PSI.
Too much pressure can lead to a lower quality yield. You can actually end up squeezing plant matter into the rosin, resulting in impurities, poor taste, and overall lower quality.
Press manufacturer Pure Pressure has a fantastic in-depth guide to the math and science between determining heat and pressure depending on the bag being used and the yield objectives.
*Because pressure requirements will change depending on the temperatures you use, the specific flower being pressed, and the volume, it is useful to look for rosin presses that have fine-tunability when it comes to exact pressures.
Comparison Shopping: Which Rosin Press Should You Buy?
The main types of press are manual, hydraulic, pneumatic, electric, and hybrid. Each uses a different mechanism to apply the pressure.
When looking for the best rosin press, there are a few things we considered.
1. The Shape of the Plates – For Ease of Use & Efficiency
Rectangular plates work best. The ideal plate structure of a rosin press is longer and narrower. This is because this shape maximizes the perimeter of your press. A rectangular plate will normally outperform a square one.
2. Even Heat Distribution – For a Quality Product
Your rosin press should have uniform heat distribution. The way heat works to extract rosin is by melting the trichomes and other essential compounds into a lower viscous form.
Many cheap rosin presses don’t have even heat distribution across their plates, and this leads to lower quality rosin.
3. Reliability – Consistent Mechanical Operation
Rosin presses can get pretty pricey. So, it makes sense to only invest in a press that will last you years to come.
So with all that said we’ll get into the best products in each category for manual presses, hydraulic, pneumatic, electric, and diesel-powered.
Okay, we’re just kidding about the diesel option, but who knows, maybe one day!
4. Locally Manufactured – Pay Karma Forward By Supporting Local Business!
The cannabis industry is a tight knit one, not just because the law forces it to be, but because fundamentally cannabis is a communal herb and therefore it makes sense to also support local/domestic equipment manufacturers whenever possible.
With quality indicators out of the way you should start thinking about the volume of plant material you plan on processing in the next 1-5 years because there is no harm in buying a press that you can “grow into”.
Below are some of the best rosin press machines we could find, including models that come in under $300, under $500, and under $1000 respectively.
Best Manual Rosin Presses for Small Scale Extraction
What’s not to love about a simple, hand-crank, hand-powered rosin press that requires nothing but elbow grease to produce rosin?
Typically entry-level presses are manual presses and pressure is generated by a pull-down lever or through a twist-operation. Manual presses are going to be the best bang-for-buck options in the $300 price range.
Ju1ceBox Manual Roxin Press: Cheapest Possible Route
Don’t let our emphasis on price scare you away from the Ju1ceBox manual press. This little guy is popular with small-time extractors and DIY enthusiasts alike because of it’s simplicity, versatility, and well, affordability.
The Ju1ceBox allows you to easily “test the rosin waters” to see if it’s for you before dropping $3k in a pneumatic press.
The size means you can easily store it away in shelving when not used, vs other bigger models of assisted-presses that take up a whole lot of benchtop space.
- Efficient plate size perfect for home/personal use
- DIY friendly, simple yet effective operation
- Sloped heating plates that direct rosin ooze direct to a cold surface for extraction
- Gradual heating mechanism to hit 250 degrees without the risk of burning your material
- Highly portable polymer construction means light weight, less fatigue
- Extracts up to 2 grams per press
- One year warranty
Dulytek DM1005 Manual Heat Press: Best Value
Built like a beast, the DM1005 is easy to use with no additional equipment or parts required to start pressing. Right out of the box this thing is ready to go.
The press features a locking lever mechanism and an innovation adjustable pressure knob that allows you to apply continuous pressure without constant use of manual force.
- Adjustable Pressure Pressing Force Up To 1550 lbs. / 750 kg
- 3″ x 5″ Dual Heating Plates with Touch-Screen Temp Controls & Press Timer
- Lightweight, Easy to Operate, No Other Equipment Required to Run
- Innovative Lever Mechanism To Lock the Maximum Pressure
- Fahrenheit and Celsius Temperature Scale Options
Taidda Heat Press: Cheapest Startup Option
The lightweight heat press machine by Taidda is compact, weighing less than 10 pounds, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in any way. The double heat plate is easy to operate – chances are you’ll figure it out without even needing to read the manual.
In terms of features, there really aren’t too many outside of the rubber grip handle and timer. This press isn’t designed for commercial applications and is more of a hobbyist/DIY extraction tool for home growers and enthusiasts to experiment with.
If you end up getting into the extract business you can easily re-sell used presses like this to upgrade to something with a few more features.
The cannabis industry is expanding so rapidly offloading quality press/extraction equipment is super easy, similar to how professional commercial kitchen equipment holds its value over time.
Best Hydraulic Rosin Presses for High Processing Volume
Hydraulic rosin presses are probably the most common type of rosin press on the market. As opposed to manual pressing, these use hydraulic pressure, generated either by a hand pump, foot pump, or even an electric pump. These can be used by both home growers and commercial extractors.
If you are trying to run a business and extract large volumes with manual presses you will either A) get insanely strong or B) fail because you’ll just get exhausted.
Hydraulic presses take the elbow grease out of the process and do all the heavy lifting for you, which is critical if you are processing higher plant yields.
Triminator Rosin TRP: The Startup Option
This press features 6″x10″ food-safe aluminum plates and PID temperature controls that maintain a high thermal mass for consistent temperature. It’s equipped with a power frame capable of withstanding the whopping 25 tons of force this thing delivers.
All of that pressure and the precision heating allow you to press at the lowest temperatures and preserve rich, valuable terpenes. This is a hybrid press and can be operated via hydraulic hand pump, pneumatic foot pump or with an electric pump. All of which are, unfortunately, sold separately.
- Drip tech with easy pivot
- Multiple platen stack
- Hydraulic cylinder
- Power frame
- Food safe aluminum plates
- 25 tons of force
The Sasquash M2.5 Rosin Press: Small Business Scalable Solution
On top of having one of the best names, the Sasquash V2.0 can press up to two ounces of flower at once! It features huge 10” x 5” dual heated plates, and provides over 25 tons (10,000 psi) of pressure.
This is a hydraulic press, but can be used with a hand pump, electronically, or pneumatically with an air compressor.
- 25ton (10,000psi)
- 50,000lbs of downward force
- 110Vac at 10amps
- 4 x 250 watts Heaters (1000 watts)
- 10″ x 5″ 6061 Aluminum blocks
- Able to squish up to 2 ounces
- Limited Lifetime Warranty
Nugsmasher Plug ‘n Play Presses: For the Extract Connoisseurs
Nugsmasher presses are most popular for home DIY types and those looking to extract from their own personal grow operations. The hobbyist-friendly price points and the “all-in-one” solution design is what makes these popular with home growers.
This isn’t to say a small cultivar couldn’t also use Nugsmasher presses, as they do have units of varying sizes and pressures, including a massive “Nugsmasher Pro” that would be perfect for a boutique rosin company looking for a reliable piece of equipment to help establish their new brand.
Nugsmahser sells “bundles” which is why they are popular as plug-n-play solutions. These bundles or “extraction kits” have everything you need including the press, extraction bags of varying sizes, a rosin collection plate, tools, molds, and containers for finished product.
*Read our full Nugsmasher home rosin press review here for a complete breakdown of the various sizes and capabilities of their press kits.
If you’re pressing large volumes though for commercial/retail sale then a pneumatic press might be best as these bad boys can run all day every day and are capable of immense pressures.
Best Pneumatic Rosin Presses for Commercial Applications
Pneumatic Rosin Presses are top of the line Rosin Presses that use a pneumatic cylinder that requires no oiling or maintenance and through their unique design are able to achieve 5 to 25 tons of pressure with the use of an air compressor.
These industrial machines are capable of pressing high volumes all day every day. If the hand presses are handguns and the hydraulics are rocket launchers then these are full blown tanks, capable of obliterating any flower yield with ruthless efficiency and precision.
Pure Pressure Longs Peak Rosin Press: Best High Volume Industrial Press
The ultimate rosin press, built for true commercial capabilities, and now with a fully automated upgrade option. Based on the award winning Pikes Peak, the Longs Peak offers twice the processing output and 60% more force for incredibly consistent results at high volume.
- Utilizes two 10″ x 3″ premium 6061 aluminum heat plates with independent thermocouples, 0°F – 300°F evenly distributed heat, and temperature accuracy to 1 degree Fahrenheit
- 8 tons of force (15,300 lb. @ 140 PSI compressed air) output from our custom fabricated, oil-less, maintenance-free pneumatic cylinder
- Press up to 35 grams of flower or 70 grams of kief or hash at a time with ease, or up to 230+ grams of hash per press with our stainless steel wraps
- Ultra-durable powder coated construction
- 2 year manufacturer’s warranty on the pneumatic cylinder and frame; 1 year manufacturer’s warranty on everything else
- Note: an air compressor is necessary to run the Longs Peak rosin press, and it should provide at least 150 PSI, 2.7 CFM airflow, with a tank size of 20 gallons or more
Best Electric Rosin Presses: Preferred Boutique Option
Electric rosin presses are great because they don’t require a pump that can take up extra space – just plug it into a wall. This style of rosin press is sort of new to the extraction industry, but is quickly gaining favor, especially with hobby growers and home extractors.
The reason for this is that it doesn’t require any sort of air compressor. They are plug-and-play, typically featuring built in electronic pressure control.
Because they are all electronic they also offer insane levels of heat and pressure adjustment.
Sure, you cannot process as much volume as the abovementioned hydraulic and pneumatic options but for those small boutique companies focused on providing the absolute highest quality extracts these little guys make a great option.
The small form factor also makes them PERFECT for research and development as you don’t have to dedicate a large space on your production floor to a giant extractor, these can usually fit neatly in the corner of an existing work bench.
If you’re a vertically integrated flower producer and have been thinking about getting in on the extracts game, these small little machines make a great tool for testing the waters.
Eco Farm 15000 psi Electric Rosin Press: Granular Control
The new Electric Heat Press eliminates the need for a pneumatic compressor. This plug and play, user-friendly heat press puts you in full control with its built in electronic pressure controller. The Electric Heat Press gives off a sleek and clean design that is perfect for any work space.
- Manual and automatic plunger actions
- Integrated digital controller for time, temperature & cycle counts
- Automatic full press cycle function
- Manual incremental lowering & pre-heat function
- Emergency stop button
- Cast aluminum plunger cylinder for maximum durability
- Protective heat shroud
- Temperature Range of 0–250°F
- Pressure Range of 0–2.4 Tons
This is the most industrial-grade press we were able to find that had both high numbers of positive reviews in cultivation circles and is also from a brand with a reputation for quality.
Herb CEO Summary
At the end of the day, there is a press at just about every price point, from sub-$300 manual options to sub-$1000 commercial grade electric options, to help get the job done.
Choosing the right press comes down to your business or personal goals. If you are looking to expand to dominate your state’s market, then we’d recommend sticking with hydraulic and pneumatic options as they are the most reliable and bullet-proof options.
If you are a home grower or a smaller company focused on smaller product ranges but place an emphasis on quality, then a small fine-tunable option like an electric press is probably better for you.
One thing for sure is these are all well-built machines that will last, and since the cannabis extracts market is only continuing to grow at lightning speed you’re pretty safe off buying just about any sized press because it won’t be too hard to sell it used when the time comes to upgrade.
Let us know what you think. Is there a press that you’ve been using and that we’ve been sleeping on? Let us know in the comments below and maybe we’ll add it to our best-reviewed list for next year!