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How to Pick the Best Rosin Press

If you want to get started in the lucrative world of solventless extracts, the first step is knowing how to pick the best rosin press. The machine you choose will make all the difference in terms of your output capabilities, rosin quality, and total ROI. 

We’ve created this guide to break down the essential components of choosing a rosin press, including: 

  • Which features to look for in a rosin press 
  • What to expect from your rosin press 
  • How to choose between pneumatic, hydraulic, and manual models 
  • Which models give you the most bang for your buck right now  

If, after exploring this guide, you have additional questions about choosing your perfect rosin press, please feel free to reach out to us. We’ll gladly help you sort through your options and make the best decision for your business or operation. 

Important Rosin Press Qualities

The most important qualities in a rosin press are: 

  • Pressure capacity
  • Pressure delivery 
  • Temperature 
  • Plate shape, size & material
  • Processing capabilities 

The purpose of these machines is to extract the purest cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids from whole-plant cannabis and hashish. But some devices do the job better than others, and when you understand how the heat, pressure, and construction influence the product quality, it’s much easier to discern between good and bad rosin presses. 

Pressure Capacity

Some rosin press machines produce as little as half a ton of pressure; others are capable of a staggering 200 tons of pressure (400,000 pounds of pressure). The pressure capacity is commonly broken down in terms of pounds per square inch (PSI). 

The important thing to remember is that more isn’t necessarily better. While higher pressures do result in larger yields (more force equals more sap squeezed from the plant material), you may actually be sacrificing quality when you opt for the maximum PSI. Too much pressure can result in excess fats, lipids, and chlorophyll seeping into the rosin. 

What to Look For: We have found that the optimal pressure range is between 300 and 1,500 PSI. To achieve this kind of pressure, you’ll generally need a 3-ton to 8-ton press. 

Pressure Delivery 

It’s not enough to consider the amount of pressure; you also have to consider how that pressure is delivered. In other words, is it manually driven? Is it driven by a pneumatic cylinder? Hydraulic pressure? Electric? The pressure delivery will have a major impact on the speed of your output and the amount of labor required to do the job. 

The following are the most common types of rosin presses: 

  • Pneumatic rosin presses (or air press machines) use pressurized air to deliver the necessary force. You’ll need an air compressor (often sold separately) to push air into the machine, creating pressure that moves the cylinder. The cylinder returns to its normal position as the air is released through the valves. 
  • Hydraulic rosin presses rely on the same kind of physics to move the cylinder, but they use compressed fluids instead of air. But whereas pneumatic presses can be activated at the touch of a button, hydraulic presses require a hand pump, foot pump, or other manual-pumping mechanism to achieve the necessary force. 
  • Manual rosin presses are entirely user-driven. There are no compressors to assist with the force delivery; the process is entirely manual, usually guided by a hand crank or similar mechanism. 
  • Electric rosin presses are among the newer entries to hit the market. As the name suggests, they’re powered by electricity; just press a button and let the machine go to work. Unfortunately, there are few noteworthy presses of this variety, and most aren’t very powerful when compared to the alternatives. 

So the question remains: Which type of rosin press is the best? It ultimately depends on what you’re looking to achieve. 

What to Look For: If you’re looking to achieve a high output for a lab or large commercial operation, pneumatic is the only way to go. It’s the only type of machine that offers the level of power and automation necessary to achieve high volumes on a consistent basis, and that’s why it’s the go-to choice for professionals. While you do have to adjust the pressure in most cases (unless you opt for a model with automated pressure control), most of the work is completed with the press of a button. 

If you’re just looking to get started, if you’re running a home-based operation, or if you’re on a budget, a manual rosin press can be an excellent investment. These devices are actually preferred among many artisan extraction techs who want to maintain absolute control over their extractions. Just make sure to invest in a high-quality model that delivers the necessary pressure and temperature range. 

Which leads us to our next point...

Temperature Range 

There are two generally accepted temperature ranges for pressing rosin. 

  • Cold pressing typically occurs between 130°F and 170°F for about 1 to 5 minutes or longer. This will give you a budder- or batter-like consistency. Cold pressing is great for maximum terpene preservation, but you can expect lower yields. 
  • Hot pressing typically occurs between 170°F and 220°F for about 45 seconds to 3 minutes. This can give you an oily or shatter-like consistency. The terpene preservation is still high if you keep it below 220°F, and the yields are higher than with cold pressing. 

For the best balance of quality and yield, we have found the 210°F - 220°F range to be especially effective for flower rosin. But it will also depend on the type of consistency you’re trying to achieve as well as the type of starting material you’re working with. For instance, if you’re making bubble hash rosin or dry sift rosin, you might want to start on the lower end of the temperature scale, around 140°F to 200°F.

Note that you’ll start to lose terpenes above 220°F. By the time you hit 235°F, the loss in flavor in terpenes becomes especially noticeable. However, that’s not to say that higher temperatures don’t have their uses. For example, if you’re working on late-stage THCA separations, you might go as high as 300°F. 

What to Look For: Ultimately, you’re going to want a rosin press that can handle temperatures ranging roughly between 140°F and 300°F. Beyond that, you want to ensure that the machine is capable of precise temperature control. 

Plate Size & Shape

The heated plates are what separate the rosin from the plant, and their size and shape is extremely important. Some cheap rosin presses use square plates, and this can greatly inhibit the quality of your end product. If the extraction has to travel too far to escape between the plates, you can burn valuable terpenes and end up with inconsistent quality. 

The secret is to find rosin press plates that maximize the perimeter-to-area ratio. In other words, you want a larger escape route (perimeter) per square inch of surface area. Every drop of rosin is forced to travel roughly the same distance, thereby ensuring a more equitable heat distribution for your entire extraction with no terpene degradation. 

Longs Peak Pneumatic Rosin Press Plates

What to Look For: It’s essential that you shop for a rosin press with rectangular plates. Not only do rectangular plates contain the optimal perimeter-to-area ratio, but they also help to minimize the distance traveled between the center of the rosin bag and the edge of the rosin bag. This too is essential for preserving your terpenes and ensuring a consistent, high-quality product.  

Even Heat Distribution 

Even heat distribution is essential for achieving a smooth, consistent texture. Unfortunately, a lot of cheap rosin presses have terrible heat distribution. There are a couple of reasons for this. 

  • First, cheap presses are often made with stainless-steel plates, which distribute heat poorly. In the rosin press market, aluminum heat plates are the gold standard for maintaining uniform heat distribution. That’s because solid aluminum plates have much better thermal conductivity. Thermal conductivity represents the rate at which heat passes through the material, or more simply, the ability of a material to conduct heat. Most grades of stainless steel only offer 6% to 18% of the thermal conductivity of aluminum, and that’s why stainless steel is a poor solution for rosin pressing. 
  • Second, a lot of cheap rosin presses are just poorly designed. Even if they’re made with aluminum plates, they may contain cheap or poorly spaced heating elements. This too will result in uneven heat distribution and an inferior extraction process. 

What to Look For: Always go with aluminum heat plates. They have better heat distribution when compared to stainless steel, and they’re extremely durable. Also, browse product reviews to learn more about the quality of heat distribution in any given machine. 

Processing Capabilities 

Maximum processing capacity might not be an essential factor for hobbyists and smaller operations, but it’s absolutely critical for commercial users. You want to ensure that your device is capable of producing enough rosin to meet your aggressive daily volume demands and maximize your ROI. Not only that, but the machine should have enough automated functionality to get the job done without the need for multiple operators.

To estimate how much rosin you can produce per pound of weed, consider the following approximations: 

  • Shake: 8% - 15% 
  • Flower: 10% - 25%
  • Dry Sift: 30% - 60%+
  • Bubble Hash: 30% - 90% 

So if you’re working with an ounce of dry flower, you might expect between 3 and 7 grams of rosin as your output. If you’re working with an ounce of extremely pure bubble hash, you might get as much as 25 grams of material. 

Note that your yields will vary based on factors like the moisture content and cannabis strain (some are more resinous than others), so you’ll need to be mindful of your starting material as well.  

What to Look For: Pneumatic machines tend to have higher processing capabilities by virtue of their low-maintenance, semi-automated design. If high volume is a priority for your business, you’ll want to go with a top-of-the-line producer like the Longs Peak. 

Other Factors

When shopping for a rosin press, you might also consider other important factors, such as: 

  • Price. If you’re looking to produce rosin on a budget, price may be an important factor. However, if the price seems too good to be true, proceed with caution. A lot of cheap rosin presses are cheap for a reason. While you might save money up front, you could be sacrificing yield, quality, and consistency. 
  • Features. Some newer rosin presses are equipped with state-of-the-art features like the ability to program and save recipes and the ability to automate pressure settings. Depending on your goals, these features may be worth the added investment. 
  • Manufacturer. You always want to go with a trusted name when shopping for a rosin press. Does the manufacturer design and construct their own presses? Are their rosin presses built in the USA? What is their warranty policy? Read reviews, and go with the best. 
  • Purpose. Is the rosin press being purchased for a home? Lab? Commercial facility? How much do you need to press? As noted before, pneumatics are best for commercial operations, but some manual models can be excellent for home use. 
  • Noise. Is noise a concern? If so, manual models tend to be silent. Hydraulics tend to be quieter than pneumatics in many cases, but you can invest in a quiet air compressor that will minimize the noise produced by your pneumatic machine. 

When you know the features that are most important to you, it becomes much easier to choose the best rosin press for your needs. 

List of the Best Rosin Presses 

The following rosin presses are steps above the competition. They meet all of the above criteria while offering an array of industry-leading features. 

Longs Peak Rosin Press

Longs Peak 

The Longs Peak is quite simply the best rosin press on the planet, and it’s one of the top choices among commercial operators for good reason. Its processing capabilities are off the charts, and the pneumatic design is oil-less and maintenance free. If you upgrade to the fully automated option, you can set it and forget it—essentially putting this powerful rosin press on autopilot. 

Pressure Capacity: 8 tons of force (15,300 lbf @ 140 PSI)

Pressure Delivery: Pneumatic 

Temperature Range: 0°F - 300°F

Plate Shape & Size: 10” x 3” rectangular 

Plate Construction: 6061 aluminum heat plate assemblies. Evenly distributed heat and precise temperature control to within 1 degree. 

Processing Capabilities: Up to 7 lb of flower or 12+ lb of sift or hash per day. Press 80 or more grams of dry sift or hash at one time, or 40+ grams of flower.

Other Features: The Longs Peak is equipped with PurePressure’s Pressware™ technology, which features intuitive software coupled with a full-color LCD touch screen for the ultimate in consistency and control. Save up to 29 pre-set recipes, and get perfect rosin every time. 

Pikes Peak V2 Rosin Press

Pikes Peak V2

The Pikes Peak is the rosin press that put PurePressure on the map, and the Pikes Peak V2 is the latest and greatest iteration of this legendary machine. Designed for reliability, precision, and quality, it’s the perfect press for anyone seeking a professional-grade machine but for whom the Longs Peak may be bigger and more powerful than necessary. 

Pressure Capacity: 5 tons of force (9,876 lbf @ 120 PSI)

Pressure Delivery: Pneumatic 

Temperature Range: 0°F - 300°F

Plate Shape & Size: 10" x 2.5" rectangular 

Plate Construction: 6061 aluminum heat plate assemblies. Evenly distributed heat and precise temperature control to within 1 degree. 

Processing Capabilities: Up to 3.75 lb of flower or 7+ lb of sift or hash per day. Press 40 or more grams of dry sift or hash at one time, or 20+ grams of flower.

Other Features: The Pikes Peak is equipped with PurePressure’s Pressware™ technology and can also be upgraded with the intuitive Automated Pressure Control system. 

Helix Pro Rosin Press

Helix Pro 

The patent-pending Helix Pro 5 Ton Manual Rosin Press is the ultimate manual press. Made with our 100% custom engineered lead screw twist press technology, it’s easy to use and perfect for anyone seeking total control of their extractions—no air compressor required. 

Pressure Capacity: 5 tons of force (10,000 lbf)

Pressure Delivery: Manual 

Temperature Range: 0°F - 300°F

Plate Shape & Size: 2.5" x 7" rectangular 

Plate Construction: 6061 aluminum heat plate assemblies. Evenly distributed heat and precise temperature control to within 1 degree. 

Processing Capabilities: Press up to 12 grams of flower or 20+ grams of sift or hash per cycle

Other Features: Like all PurePressure rosin presses, the Helix Pro is equipped with the intuitive Pressware™ technology. It’s also equipped with a precise force measuring load cell that displays bag pressure in real time with as little as 10 lb. increments. And at just 70 pounds, it’s one of the lightest rosin presses available in its class. 

Helix Rosin Press

Helix 

The smaller cousin of the Helix Pro, the Helix 3 Ton Manual Rosin Press offers serious power and precision in a small package. It’s designed with our easy to twist press operation and is the ultimate solution for home-based operations and small grows. 

Pressure Capacity: 3 tons of force (6,000 lbf)

Pressure Delivery: Manual

Temperature Range: 0°F - 300°F

Plate Shape & Size: 2.5" x 4.5" rectangular 

Plate Construction: 6061 aluminum heat plate assemblies. Evenly distributed heat and precise temperature control to within 1 degree. 

Processing Capabilities: Press up to 6 grams of flower or 10 grams of sift or hash per cycle.

Other Features: The Helix features PurePressure’s state-of-the-art Pressware™ technology and our ultra-accurate force measuring load cell. And at just 65 pounds, it’s even lighter than the compact Helix Pro.

How to Pick the Best Rosin Press

There are two factors involved in choosing the best rosin press: 

  • Knowing the qualities that make a good rosin press 
  • Knowing the features that you need for your own business or operation 

To recap the first point, you’ll want to remember the essentials. Pneumatic presses are ideal for commercial operations, but manual presses have value for smaller operations and anyone seeking maximum control over their rosin extraction. In general, you’ll want at least 3 to 8 tons of pressure and the ability to control temperatures between 140°F - 300°F. Always go with rectangular plates, and stick with aluminum for the best heat distribution. 

As to the second factor, it’s all about assessing your budget and goals. There are a lot of variables for choosing the right rosin press, but when you find the perfect machine for your needs, it will make all the difference in the world. So choose wisely.