Bowl Trimmers vs Trimming Bags: What’s the Difference?

By Kent Gruetzmacher
Published: June 20, 2022
Presented by AC Infinity Inc.
Key Takeaways

No matter the size and scope of your cannabis garden, trimming a whole harvest is a lot of work. In the years since cannabis was legalized, several companies have stepped up with technological solutions for the ever-laborious task of trimming cannabis flowers.

Today, growers have a variety of different technologies to choose from which lessen the human labor required to harvest and process cannabis. From bucking machines to trim robots, the modern cannabis is not short on harvest-related technology. Yet, while many manufacturers developed technology for commercial producers, a few companies have also created trim equipment for hobbyist growers.


Two of the more popular harvest technologies used by home growers are bowl trimmers and trimming bags. While both systems will likely save you time on your next harvest, there are slight differences in the ways they work, as well as the types of flowers they produce.

Why Use a Trim Machine in the First Place?

The topic of trim machines is hotly contested in the cannabis industry. In fact, certain boutique growers made the concept of “hand-trimmed flowers” a part of their very brand identity. On the flip side of the coin, certain commercial operations likely can’t even turn a profit in today’s market without the help of trim machines.


The main motivation for hobbyist growers to use trim machines is simply a lack of time. While all cultivators love growing and consuming cannabis, the process of trimming simply takes more time than many people have in the day. This notion is particularly true if you are dealing with a harvest while also working a full-time job.

While neither bowl trimmers or trimming bags do a perfect trim job, they do cut a good deal of time it takes to process a harvest. After flowers go through either machine, it's up to you if you want to clean up excess leaves and stems for a better appearance.

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a bowl trimmerphoto credit: AC Infinity

What is a Bowl Trimmer?

Bowl trimmers are small machines designed specifically for home growers. There are many different bowl trimmer designs on the market today that work with either dry or wet flowers. Because they are affordable and easy to use, bowl trimmers are the perfect choice for small cannabis gardens such as grow tent operations.

Bowl trimmers are designed with hand cranks that turn sweeper curtains in a circular motion. As the sweeper curtains make their way around the bowl, they gently push flowers across blades at the bottom of the machine. Importantly, the blades cut excess leaves and stems from flowers while still leaving buds intact. Certain models like the AC Infinity Bud Leaf Bowl Trimmer Machine have interchangeable blades so they can be used for both wet trimming and dry trimming.


Well-designed trim bowls have separate compartments that collect trim throughout processing. After you are done using the machine, simply empty the trim from the machine, and it's ready to be made into bubble hash or rosin. People also enjoy the fact that trim bowls are easy to disassemble and clean between harvests.

The Biggest Perk of Bowl Trimmers

One of the biggest selling points of bowl trimmers is the transparent top. With these windows, growers can watch the trim process in detail, so they can time everything perfectly. Even more, you can make adjustments to such factors as flower dryness and spinning speed as you go along.

cannabis trim bagWhat is a Trimming Bag?

Trimming bags are soft-sided containers that are used to trim dry flowers by way of a shaking motion. Because of their affordability and ease of use, trimming bags are a great choice for hobbyist growers looking to cut down on harvest labor.

Trimming bags are cylindrical in shape and contain two different compartments that are separated by a screen. After dry flowers are placed in the main compartment, you shake and tumble the bag to gently brush buds against the screen. As these motions occur, leaves, stems, and trim fall through the screen, while larger buds stay separated in the main compartment.

People enjoy trimming bags because they don’t contain any blades and are extremely easy to use. A point to consider with trimming bags is that it takes serious energy to shake and roll them. While they do reduce total labor compared to hand trimming, it can be tough to shake and roll the bags for extended amounts of time.

The Biggest Perk of Trimming Bags

For most growers, the main selling point of trimming bags is the number of flowers they can process. In fact, people have been able to process over a pound at a time with certain trim bag technologies.

Bowl Trimmer vs Trimming Bags: What’s Best for Me?

No matter how much you love growing cannabis, most people don’t like trimming. Due to the immense labor involved with harvesting, cultivation technology companies have gone to great lengths to develop new tools for trimming flowers.

Both bowl trimmers and trimming bags allow hobbyist growers to process more flowers in less time. Yet, if you are considering investing in either of these technologies, there are some key perks and benefits to each.

Bowl trimmers are a better option for precision trimming. Not only do they have windows for viewing, but you can use different blades for wet and dry trimming. However, if you are interested in processing as much cannabis as possible in a short time, trimming bags are the better choice. In fact, people report being able to trim over a pound an hour with trim bags.

While there will likely remain serious debate on the topic of trimming long into the future, it can’t be denied that machines are helpful in certain situations.

Especially for hobbyist growers with busy schedules, a little machine help can go a long ways in helping keep your sanity.

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AC Infinity is the foremost name in air delivery systems, designing and developing the latest innovations in cooling and ventilation technology. They offer a suite of quiet inline fans that automate the growing progress and track key metrics. Visit or contact [email protected] to learn more.


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Written by Kent Gruetzmacher | Writer, Owner of KCG Content

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Kent Gruetzmacher MFA is a Colorado-based writer and owner of the writing and marketing firm KCG Content. Kent has been working in the cannabis and hydroponics space for over a decade. Beginning in California in 2009, he has held positions in cultivation, operations, marketing, and business development. Looking specifically to writing, Kent has worked with many of the leading publications and marketing agencies in the cannabis space. His writing has been recognized by such icons as Steve D’Angelo and Rick Simpson.

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