Each time you grind up your weed, you hopefully collect the dust at the bottom with a screen. That kief or trichomes are like gold!
Collect enough of that precious “pollen” and you can actually smoke it as is, but you can also process it further into hash. Pressing trichomes into hash pellets gives you an amazing, whole-plant experience like no other, and it makes the most of your cannabis.
(Is there any other way to make hash, other than slowly collecting kief? Sure—if you know a grower or grow yourself.)
We’ll give you all the details you’ll need about how to use a pollen press to press hash below, but first, here are the best pollen presses on the market right now, the pros and cons of each one, and why we like them.
The Different Kinds of Pollen Presses Available
|Grindhouse T-Press Stainless Steel Pollen Press||6 in.|
|Stainless Steel Pollen Push Press by Interplanetary Development||4 in.|
|DabPress Rectangular Press Maker Made of 6061 Aluminum||4 in.|
|Grindhouse Steel Hammer Style Pollen Press||4.7 in.|
|The Brick Press||9 in.|
Grindhouse T-Press Stainless Steel Pollen Press
The Grindhouse Pollen Press is a large, t-grip style, easy to use, heavy duty pollen press. Built to last with a stainless steel construction, the tolerance is close enough to capture an air cushion in the cylinder, a solid build.
The Grindhouse T-Press comes in several sizes, with the medium press around as wide as a C battery, measuring 6″ long, making a 1” diameter pellet. This is an excellent steel option for those hoping to avoid an aluminum pollen press without breaking the bank.
- Easy to use, T handle even without much hand strength
- Trusted in the field
- Solid, durable construction
- Tough to clean
- May need to use oil and/or parchment paper to avoid waste
Stainless Steel Pollen Push Press by Interplanetary Development
Slightly smaller in diameter than the popular Grindhouse T-Press Stainless Steel Pollen Press, the Interplanetary Development Stainless Steel Pollen Push Press is rock solid nonetheless. Although you might think it’s even tougher to clean being narrower inside, it’s not, and that’s down to great design and build quality.
The biggest advantage to this model is that there is no threading to get stripped—and that’s among the biggest weaknesses of any pollen press. Force plus threading leads to stripping, but not with this pollen press.
- No threading to get stripped
- Easy to use with a mallet, not much force needed
- Machined from steel
- Great customer service
- Not made in the United States, may take longer to get
DabPress Rectangular Press Maker Made of 6061 Aluminum
Designed in another style, the DabPress Rectangular Press Maker eliminates the cleaning issue for someone who presses a lot of hash by taking oil and paper out of the equation. Instead, use this press with its plastic liners, and produce automatically wrapped 2 by 4 rectangles of hash.
Although this is an aluminum pollen press rather than steel, and therefore slightly less sturdy, it is absolutely up to its given task and requires far less cranking to work. It’s a great option for anyone who will need to be neatly packing up their product.
- Easy to use
- Neat, less messy
- Convenient packaging
- Aluminum rather than steel
Grindhouse Steel Hammer Style Pollen Press
The Grindhouse version of the hammer style pollen press offers the convenience of the hammer—no twisting, just banging—and the quality build of the Grindhouse brand. It is machined from steel and produces a thick pellet about half an inch thick that would fit inside a “doob tube,” for scale.
Like any sticky hash pellets these can be tough to remove, and some users find it annoying that they didn’t make the piston long enough to push out the pellets. However, especially for the low price, this is a great option.
- 4 to 5 hammer strikes is all you need
- Low price for a steel unit
- The piston is snug in the sleeve but not long enough to push out the pellets
- You can’t use it without the mallet
The Brick Press
So, you are a professional grower and you want the Cadillac of pollen presses? We have it for you: The Brick Press. This is a legitimate piece of machinery that can apply up to 8,000 pounds of force!
If hash coins seem like kiddie stuff to you and bricks are more your speed, this monster is your pollen press. At over $400, it better be!
- Super tough, industrial grade
- Can press huge amounts of kief into bricks
Dulytek Hammer Style Pollen/Herb Press – Cylinder Food-Grade Stainless Steel
Food grade and dishwasher safe, the Dulytek Hammer Style Pollen/Herb Press is sort of like the modern kitchen version of the pollen press. This is the same kind of design as the Grindhouse Hammer style, so you do need a rubber mallet to make it work right.
The durable, robust design of this pollen press crams 7 to 14 grams of raw material into small, round pellets about 7/8 inch diameter.
- Food-grade steel
- Super tough build
- Need a mallet to make it work
- Piston doesn’t push out the pellets
TitanOwl T Press Tool
The TitanOwl T Press Tool is an unusual option due to its brass body and ability to maintain a high level of stiff pressure. No matter how much you tighten this thing, it takes it (although we do not recommend overdoing it!).
The stiff resistance of this tool helps it to resist galling, and it wears long thanks to its tension since the user can tighten the valves at will without wearing on the bearings. The TitanOwl T presses ¾ inch hash pucks from kief.
Durable even under high pressure
Comes with tincture cap
Pucks are difficult to remove
Must clean multiple times before using
SMART CRUSHER 5 piece Herb Pollen Grinder + 5 piece Pollen Press with Pollen Scraper
When it comes to a budget option, at under $20, it doesn’t get much cheaper than this pollen press tool. But it still works; you get the grinder, the screen, the scraper, even a little portable ashtray, and of course the press.
This is nothing fancy, and you’re not going into mass hash production with this little tool. But if you just want to preserve the precious kief you’ve got and turn it into little hash tablets for yourself, this is a great way to go while saving money.
- Cheap and easy
- Also other basic tools
- Not a proper press
- Limited capabilities
Honeypuff Pollen Press Presser Tool
This pollen presser has been popular on the scene for a while, reportedly in part because of its hand feel. It is also simple to use—a very basic T model that is well-engineered for the price out of stainless steel.
You can keep tightening to ensure you get tight, well-packed hash coins without worrying about galling or wear. Like everything else, you’ll need to clean and prep in advance to avoid a mess, but the Honeypuff is a nice option.
- Large and heavy in the hand
- Satisfying to crank and use
- Can be messy
- Beware of stripping under pressure
Pollen Press FAQs
Why Make Hash?
Hash is essentially compressed, concentrated, heated kief. Kief is “pollen,” the tiny resin glands or trichomes on cannabis buds that generate most terpenes and cannabinoids that make the plant psychoactive. Kief is excellent all on its own, but it is tough to handle in large amounts, not to mention store, kief without wasting or losing a lot of it.
This is where hash comes in. Compressing and heating kief alters its physical consistency and chemical makeup. It is very similar in effects to kief and can be used similarly, but burns more slowly.
In fact, people have been making and using hash for millennia. The word hash comes from the Arabic word “hashish” or grass.
The original hash users actually worked in cannabis fields thousands of years ago. After a long day of labor, a worker would have sticky resin all over their hands. They could collect that resin into a ball of hash just by rubbing their hands together—the birth of the hand-rolled method that some people still use today.
Even if you’re not in a cannabis field, it makes sense to make hash. It’s a great way to create a concentrate right at home safely, and it allows you to preserve resin long after harvest.
How Do You Make Hash?
You can separate trichomes from cannabis plants mechanically with water and ice and then concentrate the results into loose hash. Later you can press it by hand, if you like.
You can also use machinery and control conditions to produce stronger hash. For example, you can use a press to compress unrefined hash into solid coins, pucks, pellets, cakes, balls, bricks, or slabs with force and sometimes mild heat. The advantage of using a press over hand pressing is the faster, neater result.
A pollen press is ideal for small amounts, and you can use it together with a handheld grinder for collecting kief. Just add the kief to the metal tube or chamber, place the piston, tension pin, or plate in, and hammer or screw shut the press. After the right amount of time (or hits, in the case of the hammer press), the kief has is compressed into a clean, solid shape.
What Is a Pollen Press?
A pollen press is any small device that uses pressure to compress plant matter into small, solid units for storage or use. Pollen presses are usually small and hand-cranked or powered by mallets, but they can also be hydraulic or hydronic. Whatever powers the pollen press, it typically produces the same sort of thing: a coin, pellet, puck, or disk of hash or other plant material.
Why is it called a pollen press? Really, just as much for legal reasons as anything else! You won’t see bees buzzing around those trichomes, only hash makers. The sometimes light yellow color of the keif does in fact resemble pollen.
Could you press actual bee pollen in a pollen press? You can press any kind of solid with enough moisture to self-adhere.
Here’s a quick demonstration of how a handheld pollen press can be used to make keif.
What is a Pollen Press Used For?
Use a pollen press or kief press to compress the dusty trichomes at the bottom of an herb grinder into hash coins—or use it to compress shake or loose-leaf cannabis into pellets or cakes. Either way your product is far easier to handle, store, and use without waste. No one wants to lose all of their kief or weed to the wind.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Pollen Press
Size and weight
Remember, unless you’re a professional grower or producer, your ideal pollen press should probably stay portable, compact, and lightweight. A smaller pollen press can be sturdily built for less money, and can still produce pucks the size of solid coins.
This is most important. You don’t want your pollen press to lose pressure, fail to work, or get stripped. Check for customer reviews, star ratings, specs and materials. These pollen pressers should only be machined from high-grade materials, and heavy duty metals such as steel or aluminum.
Ease of use
The best pollen presses are easy to use, not as nightmarish to clean, and easy to put back together again after you do. Again, watch the star ratings and customer feedback here–especially on Amazon.
Cleaning and maintenance
Speaking of cleaning and maintenance, look for parts you can handle and ability to get to them with ISO alcohol and other tools. See if the pollen press maker recommends related products for cleaning or maintenance, and if so, how much they cost.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Pollen Press?
The advantages of using a pollen press depend mostly on what you need to press, and how much you’ve got. Assuming you’re like 99 percent of the world and hash is what you’re pressing, there are numerous benefits to using a pollen press:
- Less waste to the wind or otherwise
- Less storage space needed for the same amount of product
- Ability to store hash pucks in an airtight, cool, dry location out of the sun means longer storage times of up to several months
- Compressed kief is denser and stronger, producing a more potent high
- You can emboss pucks with a brand for marketing reasons
- It is easier to portion, pack, and ship pressed pellets
And many of those benefits also apply to pressing loose-leaf marijuana.
Tips On How To Use a Pollen Press
Press only dry kief. It should be stored under low humidity and have a relative humidity of less than 40 percent before you use it in the pollen press.
Use a funnel to put the kief in the pollen press.
Use oil or a liner if you need to for your press.
After you apply pressure to the hash by screwing the caps back as tightly as possible, leave it for at least 8 hours to get the best press. If it’s a T bar press or flat cap press, you can continue to tighten it over that time period.
Always avoid using tools to apply as more pressure to your press. Most pollen presses are meant to be tightened by hand. A grip bar, pliers, or wrench can cause the pollen press to seize up or crack. If you need that much pressure, get a bigger press.
The disk will solidify and harden into shape as it cures, so do not leave it under pressure for more than two days, or it may be too tough to remove.
If your pollen press is a flat cap design, you must apply pressure from both sides. It can become difficult to attach the second cap if one cap is screwed on all the way first, so tighten both end caps gradually together.
Many users with pollen presses that have shorter pistons keep wooden dowels or plastic tools handy so they can gently push stuck pellets from the press.
A pollen press is a great way to boost the quality or shelf life of your stash. Once you’ve rescued your kief and used it as hash, you’ll never want to waste it again.
With some time and practice, you will find yourself creating better hash pucks, and you’ll get the hang of the ideal volume to pressure ratio for your press. You can even graduate up to a hydraulic model eventually as needed.
Just start with a high quality hand held pollen press and some patience. Remember, pressure takes time! Without enough you end up with powdery, flakey cakes that fall apart. But follow our pollen press tips and tricks with the right tool and you’ll have rock solid pucks before long.
What’s your favorite pollen press?