Mankind has enjoyed a symbiotic relationship with the cannabis plant dating back at least 5,000 years, but the leaps in weed technology that we have seen just over the course of the past decade have completely transformed the way that many people enjoy the plant.
Hash making - or the extraction and concentration of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids found in varying ratios in every strain of cannabis – is not a new practice, but it has been fascinating to watch that sector of the culture evolve in recent years.
Recognizing the mature head of the cannabis trichome as the purest source of the plant’s benefits, hash makers spent decades perfecting the extraction process to preserve those heads, creating “full melt” hash that would burn cleanly and evenly, leaving little or no residue behind.
Then, the real hash connoisseurs began placing their pricey full melt hash into folded sheets of parchment paper which they would then apply heat and pressure to using specially made glass rods, essentially fusing those trich heads together into a form of hash that was able to be vaporized or “dabbed”.
It wasn’t long before that heat and pressure tech led to far too many wooks swiping their mom, girlfriend, or wife’s L’Oreal Hair Straightener, squeezing their hash or even entire cannabis buds as hard as their grip would allow.
The golden goo that would emerge from the squished nugs or hash became known as rosin – more specifically, flower rosin or hash rosin.
To be fair, some folks were way ahead of their time on this tech, but it didn't hit the mainstream marijuana community until much later, and clearly there was still much room for improvement.
With many consumers expressing a desire/demand for a solventless hash that they could easily handle and dab, rosin became a potent, flavorful solution.
Seeking the ability to ramp up production to meet that demand, more homemade MacGyver-style contraptions emerged, but so did some industrial-grade solutions that are not only affordable but are infinitely safer than solvent-based extractions for professionals and home hash makers alike.
The rosin press had arrived, and it changed the game yet again.
Here we will take a closer look at what we feel are the Top 5 Rosin Presses on the market, as well as some pros and cons about each. This list is presented in no particular order.
ACCESS ROSIN PRESS
Truly an industrial-grade rosin press, The Rosin Machine v3.2 from Access Rosin comes with a steep price tag, but with the capability and customization options to keep up with your high-flow operation.
With a massive 135” heat plate surface and the power to apply anywhere from 100 tons to 200,000 tons of pressure, you’re sure to see better yields, faster, once you get this incredible, automated machine dialed in to your ideal specs.
If you are looking to buy one of these beasts, make sure you have around $12k on hand. You’ll also be looking at anywhere from 1-8 weeks from the time you pay for it and the time it arrives to you.
Rosin Technologies (not to be confused with Rosin Tech) proudly offers American-made, high-quality, rosin presses for the true professional extractor. Let's take a closer look at their entry-level model, the Rosin Technologies Pneumatic Rosin Press ($3400).
Also known as the "Thin & Skinny Rosin Press", this industrial-grade tool was built to operate all day long with minimal labor or interaction needed from the operator.
The open bay design is optimized for small-batch, craft-quality extractions. This model yields best when packed with 3.5-5 grams of flower, or 2-8 grams of dried hash.
With fully adjustable pressure and downstroke speed, as well as temperature setting for the plates, this unit can provide up to 3,000 pounds of pressure and will definitely keep the terps flowing.
LOW TEMP PLATES
The 3” x 5” v2 press from Low Temp Plates is a more affordable option for those that still want the automation and pump-powered pressure found in the Access Rosin press, but do not need the immense size, output, or price tag.
Clocking in at just under $1200 for the base model, it is important to remember that you’ll still need a high capacity hydraulic pump which, when added to your order from Low Temp, nearly triples the price to $3300. Alternatively, you can order a hand-activated pump for an additional $800ish from Low Temp or they say on their website, a “simple $40 bottle jack can be used”.
Weighing in at just 40lbs and featuring a compact design, this model from Low Temp Plates is comparable to the Rosin Tech “Smash”, described above, in portability and space-saving.
Built to last in Denver, Colorado, using genuine American alloys, Low Temp offers a LIFETIME warranty on the press itself, and a full one year warranty on the electronics. After that year is up, repairs can be made by the manufacturer for the cost of parts and shipping, no labor added.
This all-in-one kit offers a crushing 20 tons of pressure on the namesake 3” x 5” anodized and insulated plates and Low Temp will even ship this bad boy to you for free.
SASQUASH ROSIN PRESS
Sasquash Rosin Presses have quickly risen to the top of the list since the company squished onto the scene back around 2016. With options ranging from plug n’ play models to the $130k behemoth they call the “Heavy Yeti”, you can safely bet that a significant amount of the hash rosin that you have consumed came off of one of these machines.
Taking a closer look at their base model, the Sasquash v2 Rosin Press, one is immediately struck by the sleek, aesthetically pleasing design but don’t be fooled, this 135lb piece of machinery is heavy duty in every sense of the word.
Able to squash up to a full ounce of dried buds at once, or up to two full ounces of dry sift hash, with up to 15 tons of pressure, the Sasquash v2 is built to keep up with your demand, whether it be personal or professional.
The price tag ($3750) may frighten some hobbyists, especially once they factor in the added costs of a pump, pressure gauge, and control valve, but this is a perfect example of YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.
Sasquash will ship this hunk of tech to you for free anywhere in the lower 48 states and they offer a limited lifetime warranty.
MEAN GREEN MACHINE (MGM87)
With a cool and compact design, the MGM87 is the flagship press for UK-based Mean Green Machine and continues to gain in popularity with hashmakers here in the U.S. due to the quality of its construction and, more importantly, the quality of the hash rosin that it produces.
Four independent, PID-controlled, 250watt heating elements on the pressure plate ensure an even and optimal flow of rosin from your starting material and into your Black Label Paper brand parchment.
With 7.4 tons of downward pressure being delivered, Mean Green Machine is confident that the MGM87 will also deliver unrivaled flavor and effects by preserving and transferring strain-specific terpenes into the final rosin product.
With a base model cost of over $2800, much like the other brands listed here, you can find cheaper, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find better (pun absolutely intended) than the MGM87.
RETURN ON INVESTMENT
We all know how much good hash rosin can cost these days, so whether you are making it to dab or to sell, you should be able to recoup your costs quickly with any of the above models.
You have probably noticed that almost all of them are modular, allowing you the option of upgrading certain features, or not, depending on your goals, your needs, and your budget.
One rosin/hashmaking piece of equipment that should absolutely be in your arsenal is a freeze dryer. As of right now, there is really only one option on the market that caters to the needs of high-end hashmakers and that is lineup of freeze dryers from Harvest Right.
They have a sale going on right now for Father's Day 2020. If you are in the market, you can save several hundred dollars by taking advantage.
Of course, no rosin extraction is complete until it touches Black Label Paper – your American-made, top-shelf source for premium quality collection, extraction, storage, and packaging needs.