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Pressing your own rosin has never been easier.
More and more rosin presses are hitting the market. There are even a couple of quality presses under $500. Not only that, with technology continuing to advance, we now have an automatic extraction system as an option.
But with so many options, choosing the right one becomes much harder.
First you need to weed out all the low quality models. Then you need to determine which of the remaining presses is the right one for you.
It can seem overwhelming and that's why I'm writing this guide.
I've narrowed all the options down to the best rosin presses in each major category and added a few alternatives to ensure there is an option for every need.
Before we get started, a summary of our recommendations and a brief note on pressure.
The NugSmasher Original — ideal for personal use or for a small commercial operation run from home
The Sasquash V2 — extremely flexible press that can grow with your needs and take you from small-scale production to full commercial operation
The PurePressure Pike's Peak — the Rolls Royce of presses maximizes efficiency and output quality, making it ideal for a full-sized commercial operation
The RosinBomb M-60 — compact, powerful and incredibly easy to operate, making it great for home use or smaller commercial operations
The NugSmasher Mini — small, lightweight and easy to use, making it the perfect starter press for personal production
The maximum pressure a press can generate has become one of those "buzzy" features that promises better results, but doesn't actually make much of a difference beyond a certain point. Another well-known example of this phenomenon is megapixels in a camera.
The truth is: extremely high pressure does not result in significantly higher yields. In fact, too much pressure will actually push undesirable material (like as lipids and inert organic particles) into your rosin. The result is a lower quality output.
The following graphic shows the pressure "sweet spot" (in terms of psi at the bag) for various material types. It is the section between the dotted lines.
As you can see, you do still get an increase in yield with in increase in pressure, but it is a slight increase. And the possibility of pushing fats, lipids and chlorophyll into your rosin also increases with the increase in pressure, which could lead to a decrease in quality.
For more on this, see the further reading section at the end of this article.
Let's move on and get to the top rosin presses on the market this year.
Simply listing one model as the best is impossible, given the large variety of types, each of which is designed to fulfill a different role. For that reason, we have broken this article down into the main types of rosin presses and given our top recommendation for each one.
That recommendation represents the best value for money. We also add a few alternatives for those who need something more powerful or those who are on more of a budget.
Manual Rosin presses generate pressure using a hand crank or a twist mechanism. They are best suited for personal home use, since manual operation is slower and not efficient for bulk processing. They are also smaller and less powerful than other types.
The NugSmasher brand dominates the manual segment of the market, so it is no surprise that our top choice is one of theirs. All of our alternative choices are made by Nugsmasher as well.
The Original NugSmasher has our recommendation as the best manual rosin press, because it presents the best value for your money. There are definitely more powerful models available (see the alternatives below), but they all cost a lot more. No other model combines high performance with low cost like this one.
The NugSmasher Original Rosin Extraction System stands only 17.75 inches tall and is 9 inches wide. It is quite heavy for a manual press at 74 pounds, but that is due to the extremely robust solid steel construction and the large smash plates.
Despite the compact size, the OG delivers up to 12 tons of pressure through dual heated extraction plates and can process up to 14 grams of material at a time. The plates use 160 watts each to heat rapidly. Accurate temperature control ensures the plates stay at the exact temperature you need.
All NugSmasher presses are made in the USA and incredibly well built. The manufacturer backs that up with a lifetime warranty.
Hydraulic rosin presses are the next step up. They still use hand pumps to generate pressure, but actual hydraulic cylinders are doing most of the work. With most hydraulic presses, you need to purchase the hand pump separately, but you do not need an air compressor.
Hydraulic presses generally come in the 5 to 20 ton range and are smaller and lighter than pneumatic presses. Since they don't require an air compressor, they are much quieter, but they do require manual pumping. For that reason, they are more suited for home use than for a commercial operation.
That said, all the Sasquash presses can be upgraded with a foot pump and air compressor and the largest can even be attached to an electric pump for complete hands-off operation (more below in the section on hybrid models).
Sasquash is the industry leader when it comes to hydraulic (and hybrid) rosin presses and their V2 model is our top choice. It delivers 15 tons of pressing power and is not cheap, but we feel it offers the best price to performance ratio. It can process a whopping 1 ounce of material at a time.
This was the hardest category in which to pick our top press. It was very close (check out the runner-ups in the section on alternatives below). The main reasons we chose the V2 in the end were the above-mentioned performance and its flexibility.
The V2 can be operated by hand pump, by foot pump with an air compressor or completely hands-free via electric pump. This means you can start out with hydraulic operation via hand pump and upgrade to pneumatic or electric operation in the future when you are looking to boost output and/or automate the process.
The big drawback is that none of the pumps are included and will need to be purchased separately. The Sasquash-provided pumps range from $500 for the foot pump to $1800 for the electric pump. That's a large additional expense. Plus, with the foot pump, you'll need to additionally purchase an air compressor.
The Sasquash V2.0 has large 8.5 by 5 inch solid aluminum plates that are heated quickly to a precise temperature by 4 heaters of 250 watts each. It is a heavy press at 135 pounds, but has a compact design, measuring only 14 inches tall by 18 inches wide by 8 inches deep.
All Sasquash presses include a limited lifetime manufacturer's warranty. It covers the hydraulic and fabricated parts for life and electrical components for 90 days.
These are the big boys. Pneumatic rosin presses require no hand cranking or pumping. They run with a click of the button.
The downside is that they need an air compressor to operate and that they are generally quite large and heavy. Luckily, you can just use any standard air compressor, though it still adds to the cost. Not to mention the noise.
Because they run without any manual effort, pneumatic rosin presses are great for processing large volumes efficiently. This makes them ideal for commercial applications.
Few home users have the need for a pneumatic press, though a hybrid press (can be used manually/hydraulically or pneumatically) makes sense for a home user considering upgrading in the future.
Pure Pressure leads the way when it comes to commercial rosin presses, with their Pike's Peak and Long's Peak models. We chose the Pure Pressure Pike's Peak V2 as our top model over the runner up (NugSmasher Pro), because it is made for professional use and has features that make it ideal for a commercial operation. We chose it over the Pure Pressure Long's Peak, because most people do not need the additional (double!) capacity.
The Pike's Peak is the perfect example of pressing power not being everything. It only generates 5 tons of pressure, but that is enough to give you the right psi with the right temperature and the right pressing time to maximize yields and quality, whether you are processing flower, hash, kief or trim.
All told, the Pike's Peak can process up to 20 grams of flower or 35 grams of hash or kief at one time. In one day, a single operator can process 3.75 lbs of flower or over 7 lbs of dry sift or hash.
This is possible because the Pike's Peak allows you to automate the whole process. The full-color LCD touch screen and Pure Pressure's software make operation a snap. You can save up to 30 presets. Once you have the settings where you want them, save them and reuse them without having to go through setup again.
Naturally, there are some drawbacks. The first is the price. It is very high. The second is the size and weight, though the unit is actually lighter than the much smaller Sasquash V2 Hydraulic press we reviewed above. The Pike's Peak weighs 120 pounds and measures 15.5" (D) x 19.7" (W) x 33.3" (H) when standing (29.2" x 19.7" x 13.5" when used horizontally).
The third drawback is the need for an air compressor. Not only does this add to the cost, it also makes operation quite noisy. That said, any pneumatic press requires an air compressor.
Electric rosin presses are the newest type and the easiest to use. They operate at the push of a button just like pneumatic models, but they use an electric pump, which does not require an air compressor or any other extras. You can use your electric presses straight out of the box.
The only drawback is that they can't produce as much power and are thus not as suitable for a large commercial operation as a pneumatic model. That said, our top choice below can handle any home and most commercial applications.
There aren't too many pure electric rosin presses on the market (Sasquash makes several hybrid presses—see below) and the RosinBomb M-60 is far and away the best one. Seriously, it's not even close.
At first glance, it might not look like much. Sure, it's sleek and modern, but it's small. It only stands 17 inches tall and weighs 60 pounds. You would never guess that this little beauty generates up to 6000 pounds of pressure (same as the Pike's Peak!) and can process up to 15 grams of material in one go.
But it does.
And it does so at the push of a button, right out of the box. There is no need for any additional components, like a noisy air compressor. In fact, it produces virtually no noise at all.
It is made from 22-gauge stainless steel and features RosinBomb's patent pending Flow Channel Technology™. This consists of FDA approved diamond-hard coated press plates with a flow channel to funnel out the rosin. You can now press continually without stopping to scrape and collect the yield.
If you prefer to press the traditional way (with parchment paper and having to scrape the rosin off it to collect), an aluminum conversion plate is also included. Structural components are covered by a 5-year manufacturer's warranty and electrical components are covered for 1 year.
The M-60 is also priced below competing hydraulic and pneumatic presses, even before you factor in the need to buy additional hand pumps or air compressors. The only real drawback is capacity. If you're running a larger commercial operation, 15 grams per press just won't cut it.
Hybrid rosin presses use hydraulic cylinders, but give you the option of controling them with a hand pump, a pneumatic pump or an electric pump. This gives you a large amount of flexibility to upgrade your operation without having to purchase a new press.
Most hybrid models are made for commercial application. They are fairly large and heavy and have large plates. The can generate a lot of pressure and allow you very precise control. The main producer of hybrid presses is Sasquash.
We already reviewed the V2 above under hydraulic presses. It was our favorite in that category and is also our favorite here.
When buying a rosin press, cheap is not generally the best way to go. That said, there are a few great low-cost presses on the market. None is better than the NugSmasher Mini.
The Rosin Tech Go 2 is another good option. It is quite a bit cheaper, but it also sacrifices a lot in terms of performance. You can read about both of these models in our buying guide for the best small rosin presses.
Our top choice here is the same as above for the best rosin press under $500, but it does depend on your needs. Check out that buying guide I mentioned. It covers everything you need to know.
That's it! That covers all the main categories and the top models within each one. If you are still having a hard time deciding on the right one for you, feel free to contact us via live chat, email (email@example.com) or phone (800-660-8319). We also have a detailed review and comparison of all the NugSmasher models that may help clear up some questions.
Disclaimer: Some things discussed in this guide may be illegal in your location. We do not encourage the violation of any laws. If anything above is not legal in your area, then please understand it is for entertainment purposes only (specifically, for the entertainment of those who live somewhere with better laws…).