The cannabis industry is constantly evolving and developing new products and ways to consume them. Extracts have been popular for some time, but have traditionally required the use of chemical solvents to produce. Relatively new on the scene is a solventless extract called rosin. Produced by pressing material between two heated plates, rosin can then be consumed as dabs, coated over a joint, or cooked into food.
Rosin can be produced at home using a hair straightener, but if it is your preferred product, a cannabis press machine is a great investment. The best rosin press will allow you to make more rosin at once, with less effort and more precise control over pressure and heat. It also helps to avoid burning yourself!
If you are intrigued by the idea of a cannabis extract that completely free of chemical solvent residue, dig in to our comprehensive rosin guide. We’ve got in depth info about the product itself, instructions on making rosin, and a complete shopper’s guide featuring five popular models of rosin press. Learn what features are available, and ultimately, what kind is best for you.
- Facts About Rosin - You’ll Want To Know Right Now
- Various Types of Rosin Press
- Key Takeaways
- Guidelines for Good Rosin (Proven
- Top 5 Rosin Press Comparison Chart 2018
- Best Strains for Making Rosin
- How to Make Rosin at Home
Facts About Rosin - You’ll Want To Know Right Now
- Rosin is a cannabis concentrate that is taking the market by storm. It is considered superior to traditional extracts because the extraction process uses only heat and pressure, thereby circumventing the use of dangerous chemicals such as butane. With no chemical residue, rosin dabs are a much healthier choice.
- Rosin is easy to make, too, both at home and on a commercial scale. Many patients are already producing rosin at home with a hair straightener and some parchment paper, but marijuana dispensaries have learned that a commercial rosin press makes short work of producing rosin on a larger scale. Use of a rosin press is also hugely more affordable than traditional chemical extraction, and much safer, too. There is no risk of explosion here!
- The commercial demand for extracts has skyrocketed in recent years, evidenced in numbers out of Colorado, USA, the most mature recreational marijuana market in the country. Colorado saw over 125% percent growth in concentrate sales between the first quarters of 2015 and 2016. One reason is probably the intense THC concentration – it doesn’t take much.
- Extracts can also be less harmful on the lungs. Smoking cannabis flowers generates burned plant matter, resin, and hot smoke; extracts eliminate most of these unwanted side materials but still deliver essential cannabinoids.
- Patients and recreational users appreciate that concentrates are typically very potent medicines with both strong pain relief and intriguing flavors. As the cheapest, easiest, and above all, safest way to make full melt cannabis concentrates, the popularity of rosin is only going to rise.
Rosin’s Biggest Selling Points
Rosin is likely to become the concentrate of choice for many users, and as such, will be offered increasingly by dispensaries along with other extracted products. There are several reasons for the rise of rosin:
Rosin Presses are Safe
Typically, extracts are generated using butane, propane, alcohol, CO2, and other solvents. The process has led to many explosions for at-home operations, as this type of work is best done in a real laboratory. Ventilation and storage of these dangerous chemicals is very important, as is a closed-loop extraction process.
Various Types of Rosin Press
As rosin grows in popularity, more styles of press are hitting the market. The most common types are pneumatic, manual, hydraulic, electric, and hybrid. Which type is best for you depends on how often you’ll use it and how much rosin you want to produce. Before buying, consider the following questions.
With your answers in mind, let’s look at the various types of press.
Manual Rosin Press
Manual rosin presses usually work via a hand crank or twisting mechanism in order to apply the pressure to your material. They are an affordable choice for home users to produce rosin for personal consumption. Manual presses are fairly small and can be portable, unlike pneumatic presses that require an air compressor.
Hydraulic Rosin Press
Hydraulic rosin presses utilise hydraulic pressure, generated by a hand pump. The most common pressure capacity is 10-ton (20,000 lb), but you can also find 20-ton and 30-ton models. Like manual presses, hydraulic ones don’t require an air compressor and can be easily moved from place to place. Just be prepared to use some serious arm strength while operating this type of press.
Pneumatic Rosin Press
For greater control and less physical labor, a pneumatic rosin press is a great option. With most of the same features as a hydraulic model, the pneumatic press uses an air compressor to generate force. This is an option that helps if you need to extract multiple batches in one sitting. It also allows the user to easily adjust the applied pressure in precise increments with the touch of a button.
Electric Rosin Press
Electric rosin presses are fairly new but quickly becoming popular. They are very convenient to place and use as they don't require any compressors or external pumps. Simply plug in your machine and get to extracting. However, they may be better suited to home use because the pressure capacity tops out at about 6500-7000 lbs. That is more than enough to handle smallish batches (no more than 15g), but professional operations may want a tool that can deliver between 10-20 tons of force and larger quantities of material at once.
Hybrid Rosin Press
Hybrid rosin presses are essentially hydraulic in construction, but are put together such that the user can switch out the type of pump attached to control them either pneumatically, electronically, or with a hand pump. This flexibility allows one machine to handle any type of extraction demand. Hybrid presses usually have bigger plates and are chosen for professional operations.
Following are some of the best models of rosin press available.
Now that you know about all the different types of rosin press, we will discuss a couple of overall points and features that will improve your rosin output.
About Heat Plates
In the production of top quality rosin, it is vital to preserve the terpenes in the starting material. Most available rosin presses use only square heat plates, but this can lead to a loss of yield and burned terpenes because the oil is forced to travel some distance across the plate and is exposed to the heat for longer. If you can find a press with long, narrow heat plates, you’ll achieve the highest possible yield and best terpene profile. The narrow design allows rosin oil to escape the heat plates faster, preserving a fully terpene-rich aroma in the resulting concentrate.
It’s also a good idea to determine if the plates are made of aluminum or stainless steel. Stainless steel has poorer heat distribution, leading to the potential for incomplete extraction, but is more durable. Aluminum plates offer superior heat distribution, but are softer and prone to scratching or warping, which can cause uneven pressure. Both ultimately serve their purpose, but it’s important to be aware of the potential limitations of your pressure plates. Stainless steel plates are more common on most consumer presses.
Guidelines for Good Rosin (Proven
One of the great things about making rosin is that most any type of starting material will work. However, each different product and strain will yield different results. Some strains are particularly known for producing good rosin, while others simply aren’t.
Using flowers will deliver the highest potency, but not necessarily the largest amount. Hash or kief also produces strong rosin and a nice yield. In fact, it is recommended that you kief whatever material you’ll press before loading the machine. That means rubbing leaves and flowers over a fine mesh screen to remove the crystals/trichomes before pressing. Make sure you have an appropriate catcher set up to retain this valuable material.
Resulting Potency - Flower vs. Hash vs. Kief
The right temperature is critical to producing good rosin. Too hot and most of the good stuff burns off. Not hot enough and the material won’t be fully extracted.
It is not recommended to ever exceed 300°F while making rosin.
Temperature x Time by Material
The following is a general guideline for how hot and how long you will want to press for the best rosin, depending on your staring material and the press you have purchased. You will likely find that you need to experiment a bit and adjust your recipe for the best results.
Level of Pressure
Again, this is something that will be subject to experimentation, but a good rule of thumb is to divide pounds of pressure by your plate surface area. For example, a 10 ton press equals 20,000 lbs. A plate that is 3” x 5” equals 15 square inches. Divide 20,000 by 15 to get 1,333 PSI. This would be a good starting place to adjust from based on results.
The temperature and material used also affects the level of pressure you’ll need.
Relative Humidity of Flowers
The more moisture in your flowers, the higher yield of rosin you will get. This is because very dry bud acts as a sponge when trichomes are liquefied. It will suck up a lot of rosin before it can even escape. A humidity level of 55% to 62% is considered optimal for rosin production.
If you would like to check the moisture content of your flower, an analog hygrometer (like the ones found in cigar boxes) will do the trick. If you extract rosin commercially or often, invest in a digital Caliber IV hygrometer for the most accurate measure. You can also buy pre-set humidity packs to increase the humidity level of drier flowers.
With Pressure, Sometimes Less is More
Many available rosin press machines offer pressure up to 20 or 30 tons, but this may not be strictly necessary. Rosin experts recommend somewhere between 550 - 1,500 PSI for flowers, and even less for kief. Greater force still produces good rosin, but with the side effect of broken down particles of the starting material making their way into the finished product. If you are spending a lot of time plucking these out of your rosin, it may have been subjected to too much pressure in the first place.
One way to avoid particulates in your rosin is to press it in a 90 or 115 micron bag. We recommend that you use 100% polyester monofilament filter mesh, known to support high yields. It is also one of the FDA’s top recommended food grade fabrics. Other tools are available for this purpose, but none as reliable. Stainless steel screens may scratch your pressure plates and limit yields, and silk screens are very stretchy, which compromises accurate tracking of pressure data.
Top 5 Rosin Press Comparison Chart 2018
⚡ ⚡ ⚡ #1 Editor Choice
3” x 3”
15 x 13 x 13 inches; 12.9 lbs
4” x 4”
6 x 9 x 18 inches; 66 lbs
3.5” x 3.5”
1000 lbs max
11 x 14 x 20 inches; 28 lbs
6” x 8”
25 x 21 x 14 inches; 80 lbs
6” x 8”
21.3 x 20.1 x 15.8 inches; 95 lbs
Our customers often prefer the following products when searching for rosin press
1 My Rosin Press from MyPress Solventless
My Rosin Press is a compact machine no bigger than a coffee maker, so it can fit naturally into a home environment. The 3” x 3” plates are clamped with a hand lever, but once they are engaged, the machine does all the hard work for you. With no noisy air compressor, the press works silently.
My Rosin Press features an easy to read and use LCD interface with an intuitive button layout. With a temperature range of 100°F - 250°F (37°C -121°C), you won’t be at risk of burning off all the valuable terpenes in your material, unless of course you leave it for too long. Luckily this unit’s digital timer makes it easy not to overshoot your mark.
Though the plates are stainless steel, they are advertised as delivering even heat. Most reviewers are quite happy with their results, calling the machine convenient and easy to use. Even one who received his machine with a defect was very happy with the response of customer service, which paid postage both ways in order to repair the unit. Some people felt like the machine needed a bit of calibration to work its best, but that it is simple enough to achieve.
As the lightest model with the smallest plates, this is the best rosin press on our list for personal use by those for whom space is an issue. My Rosin Press comes with a 90 day limited warranty.
2 LilSmasher - Rosin Press by NugSmasher
Looking like a cross between a slot machine and a wall safe, the LilSmasher is a compact but heavy hydraulic rosin press. It tops out at 6500 PSI and has 4” x 4” steel plates. You will need some muscle power and stamina to operate this press, but the results are quite good with bubble, dry sift, flowers, and more.
Several reviewers said that customer service is helpful in the case of product failure, but note that shipping fees are excluded. Due to the unit’s 66 lb weight, it can be costly to ship it back to the manufacturer. The unit also arrived somewhat scuffed, but still fully functional, to other users.
This rosin press does not ship with an operations manual, but one is available online. It will be helpful to download as initial setup can be a bit tricky. This product is made in the USA. A larger 20 ton pneumatic pro-version of the NugSmasher is also available, featuring interchangeable plates of different sizes.
The LilSmasher comes with a one year warranty.
3 Best Value Vacs- Easy Swing V2 Rosin Press Machine - Dual Heat
This model comes with some nice features designed to make pressing and collecting rosin simpler and more effective. With polished aluminum dual heat plates, the heat distribution is guaranteed to be even. And with a clever tilt feature, users can tip the Easy Swing onto its side to allow fresh rosin to drip away from the heating plates. This preserves turpenes and preserves delicate aromas.
This is an electrical press with a manual locking lever design. It has 3.5” x 3.5” plates and weighs in at 28 lbs. It is best suited for the home user.
Easy Swing rosin press reviews report that it is easy to use and very effective. One potential improvement would be if indicator markings were added to the pressure adjustment pole so that users could tell what pressure they are at. This would help in recording results of various experiments with pressure for different materials.
This unit comes with a satisfaction guarantee and a 90 day warranty.
4 8" x 6" Pneumatic Rosin Heat Press Dual Element Heating by CA Rosin Press
This pneumatic rosin press should last a long time for you. Its 6” x 8” rectangular plates are shaped well for preserving turpenes, and your order comes with a free pair of heat resistant gloves! Not only is there an effective air compressor included, but you can easily upgrade to a stronger one if desired.
With 5000 PSI and dual temperature control, you will have the ability to fine tune recipes using different heat settings on top and bottom, if desired. The digital temperature readout allows for precision control.
This product comes with a one-year warranty and reliable service and support. Reviewers have had nothing but good things to say about it, even when they have preferred a stronger air compressor. Its flexibility and form make it the best rosin press on our list for experimentation.
It comes with a one year warranty.
5 PURE ELECTRIC Auto dual heat plates rosin heat press machine with LCD panel, No air compressor needed by Green Dream
Every inch a modern machine, this Green Dream electric model needs no noisy air compressor. Its huge temperature range can go higher than you’d ever need for a cannabis product, but may be useful for other plant material if needed. The dual heating plates are 6” x 8” rectangles and the LCD control panel is intuitive and easy to set.
The rosin press reviews on this model indicate that it handles any type of starting material effortlessly, including bud, good trim, bud + trim, finger hash, bubble hash, and kief from grinders. This is great choice for anyone looking for ease of use and precise temperature and pressure control.
With 20,000 PSI, you should be able to press a fair bit of material at once, making this unit ideal for both home and business use. The two year warranty is robust, and the company further promises reliable support for the life of the machine.
Best Strains for Making Rosin
Not all starting material is the same when it comes to the quality and amount of rosin it produces. The two most important factors to consider are trichome production and resin content. The more resinous, the more rosin. In general, indica and hybrids fit the bill best, but some sativas are worth pressing. Let’s look at a few top strains for the very best rosin.
GG4 (a/k/a Gorilla Glue #4)
A highly sought strain for all types of ingestion, this hybrid cannabis is potent with copious trichomes. Its flower looks like it’s covered in permafrost. With a high THC content, rosin from GG4 is not recommended for use before bedtime.
The White and its Crossed Strains
The White is an indica dominant hybrid, named for the color of its buds. Its plentiful trichomes are great for producing a high volume of potent rosin. It offers long lasting effects, and for this reason, is a great choice for people who use rosin to control pain. The White does not, however, have the strongest terpene profile, so if flavor and aroma is crucial, look to something different.
The Chem Lineage
The whole line of this indica-dominant family has high THC content and silvery trichomes. Look for brands like Chemdawg #4, Chem Valley Kush, Chem Willie, Chem's Sister, and Chemdawg Sour Diesel for powerful rosin – just tread lightly with the dose.
Papaya and its Crosses
Papaya is a potent indica dominant hybrid strain with strong disease resistance and early maturation. Fans appreciate its rich terpene content, which delivers a fruity, mango aroma in its rosin. Papaya rosin also delivers long last effects and a joyful feeling, without total loss of focus.
How to Make Rosin at Home
Rosin press – or a low temp hair straightener in a pinch
Starting material – cannabis flowers, bubble hash, kief, shake, trim
Parchment paper – unbleached, brand name for superior output
Collection tool – specialized dabber tools are good, but any tool with a thin, flat surface can work
Optional – heat resistant gloves for safety
STEP 1: Turn on your rosin press and program it to your desired heat setting. The first time you use the press, it is best to start with the lowest temperature setting. It can be adjusted up based on your final results.
STEP 2: Cut a piece of parchment paper large enough to cover the full surface of each pressure plate when folded in half. This is so that no rosin runs directly onto the heat plate during pressing.
STEP 3: Fold the paper in half and place your material in between the layers. Make sure that the material stays in an even layer of consistent thickness. For best results, it is best to pre-form your material into a disc.
STEP 4: Carefully place the paper between the pressure plates and engage the machine at a level that corresponds to the material you’re using. (See above.)
STEP 5: Listen carefully for a sizzling sound before removing pressure; it will indicate that the resin has separated from the plant material. This won’t be possible if your press happens to use a noisy air compressor.
STEP 6: Remove your extracted resin from the pressure plate and unfold the parchment paper. Carefully pluck out the flattened starting material with tweezers. Depending on what you used, this can be a very sticky and slow process.
That’s it! Your newly extracted rosin is ready to use immediately, but is more easily handled after it cures for half an hour. It can be smoked with a hash pipe, vape pen, or special dab kit called an “oil rig.”
We hope this information has helped you feel ready to make the leap from the hair straightener method of rosin production into use of a good rosin press machine for cannabis. While presses can be a bit costly up front, they are considerably less expensive than closed-loop extraction setups and produce a cleaner end product to boot. If rosin is your preferred product, you will also save money over the long run with a good press because the dispensary markups for rosin are considerable.
Producing rosin is a relatively simple undertaking and allows you to avoid some of the health concerns associated with burning plant material. Whether for medical or recreational use, rosin has a purity level that is guaranteed to give you what you need.