Want to learn how to make a DIY rosin press? In this post we’ll discuss how to make a rosin press DIY that’s much cheaper than buying an assembled unit. You’ll be smoking tasty rosin in no time!
We’ll show you what to look for in a DIY rosin press kit, where to find DIY rosin press plates and suitable shop presses, and give you everything you need to know to put together your press.
How to make a rosin press DIY
The first step to learning how to make a rosin press is to understand the equipment needed. A DIY rosin press machine consists of a few parts:
- Shop press: Needs to have a strong frame durable enough to handle the jack pressure.
- Aluminum heat plates: Needs to heat accurate ly to temperature settings and have perfect alignment. Look for a caged heat plate kit that includes a digital controller.
- Pump: Can be a manual hydraulic pump such as a bottle jack (cheapest option), an automated hydraulic pump (easiest option), or a pneumatic jack powered by air pressure (powerful but noisy). Usually pump is included as with the press frame, sometimes sold separately. Pumps can be upgraded for more power.
The best way to save money on a rosin press kit is to buy the parts separately. Start with a decent press frame. Try not to get a piece of shit. Cheap DIY rosin press parts are typically made in China, so pay attention to reviews about product quality and use caution if choosing a generic brand with a low price.
You don’t want to make a rosin press with cheap parts and find that the plates don’t heat evenly or at the right temperature, or have frames that don’t line up plates evenly or break under high pressure.
DIY rosin press kit
A DIY rosin press kit contains all the parts you need to make your press. Rosin press DIY kits come in a few varieties, but they don’t make a kit that contains all of the components unassembled.
You can buy a rosin press plate kit that contains the plate, controller, and a caged frame. This is easily paired with many shop presses.
Make sure to select a DIY rosin press plate kit with decent reviews, and test with a digital temperature gun to ensure plates heat correctly to the set temperature.
Buy a press with a frame strong enough to withstand the pressure from the pump, and consider buying a higher rated frame in case you decide to trade up and get a more powerful pump. When buying a pump for your press one with a pressure gauge.
DIY rosin press plates
DIY rosin press plates are typically made of aluminum. Look for plates with dual heat sensors so that each plate temperature can be set separately. Beware of cheaper rosin press DIY plates, they can have inaccurate or fluctuating temperatures which will make it really hard to dial in your pressing technique.
Make sure that when you buy DIY rosin press plates you size them correctly to your press. A very powerful press capable of squishing a lot of material at once should have larger plates, while a smaller portable rosin press would need smaller plate sizes.
Some press plate sets are drilled out to attach to your press directly, others just sit on the press.
- Dulytek makes anodized aluminum DIY rosin press plates in a few sizes:
- Dabpress makes some good DIY rosin press plate sets in a bunch of sizes to match many DIY heat press setups:
- Made of food grade aluminum, they heat evenly and the set we use the plate temperature is very close to the set temperature.
- See Dabpress sizes and availability (they’ve been sold out a lot lately)
- DoCred makes cheap heat plates that get good reviews if you’re looking for the lowest overall cost:
- Tech-L makes rosin press plates that are a bit cheaper than the others, but with lower-rated reviews. They don’t have a bottom plate holder, they just sit on your press. Expect variance vs. set temperature.
When making a rosin press DIY the heat plates should be sized appropriately to the jack’s size and pressing power. But if you’re buying the parts separately, to be safe check out rosin press descriptions for a similar pressing power to confirm the plate size is a good match.
Be wary of rosin press plate reviews that only have a few reviews online, there’s a lot of junky rosin press plate kits available with underwhelming user reviews.
DIY rosin press frames
The main benefit of learning how to make a rosin press DIY is that you can get much more pressing power for the money compared to pre-assembled rosin presses. For long term durability and quality, select a frame that’s rated well beyond your intended pressing power. This safeguards you against issues with the structural integrity of your frame, and also lets you upgrade your jack in the future to get even more power.
Look for a jack that has a pressure gauge so you can process rosin with consistency. Watch for jack slippage which prevents the press from maintaining a full pressure squeeze. Longer handles equal more leverage. If the jack is attached to the press, is it at a comfortable height to crank it? Some floor presses have detached pumps that sit separately on the floor, so you can really crank down some leverage. If you don’t want to crank, consider a pneumatic press which is powered by air.
Dake B-10 rosin press
If you’re looking for a higher quality floor press, the Dake B-10 shop press offers 10 tons of pressure using a single-speed hydraulic hand pump. It costs more than the cheaper alternatives, but the value is in the quality you get.
DIY Rosin Press Harbor Freight
If you’re looking for a cheaper option, consider getting a DIY rosin press from Harbor Freight. But consider it well. They sell some of the cheapest shop presses around. The biggest complaint from people who purchase a hydraulic press from Harbor Freight is the overall lack of quality. You get what you pay for.
Harbor Freight rosin press options come as cheap as a small 6 ton A-frame press for under $100. Sound too good to be true?
I can’t recall a tool I’ve purchased from Harbor Freight over the years that didn’t need to be replaced. Don’t expect much except the cheapest overall price.
Big Red 12 ton press
The Big Red 12 ton press by Torin is a better alternative to a Harbor Freight rosin press. It is a 12 ton hydraulic shop press made of steel, yet it’s still relatively inexpensive in the low $200 range.
Big Red 20 ton press
The Big Red 20 ton press is a good balance of quality and price. It can take a lot more pressure than their 12 ton model, and pairs well with the Dulytek or Dabpress plates described above. Priced in the mid-$300 range this model is a good choice if you want to build a DIY 20 ton rosin press.
Black Widow 20 ton press
The Black Widow 20 ton pneumatic press can be operated using an air compressor or with the manual pump handle. Made of durable powder-coated steel, it’s sturdy and can withstand a lot of force. You’ll need to supply your own air compressor.
A DIY pneumatic press can squish flower and kief with great force but little effort on your part. Way better than cranking your arm off. It’s a pretty big investment for a casual dabber, but it’s a great fit for serious smokers or growers who like to process kief and larfy lower buds into rosin.
Best rosin press DIY under $1000
They don’t sell a DIY rosin press kit, you’ll need to select a press and pair it with a caged rosin press heat plate kit. That’s the key for learning how to make a rosin press work correctly. Here are a few setups to consider:
Dake B-10 press and Dulytek 3×8 heat plates
If you’re looking to build the best DIY rosin press under 1000 dollars, try the Dake B-10 shop press with Dulytek 3×8 inch heat plates. This combo will give you a solid 10 ton floor press, along with highly-rated DIY heat press plates.
The detached pump on the Dake press is a lot easier to crank than smaller bench-top presses with shorter bars. You can really crank the detached jack without causing the metal frame and heat plates to move.
The Dake B-10 is a good choice if you want a strong pressure on plates big enough to squish a lot of material at once.
For about the same money as the Dake/Dulytek combo you can get a push-button automatic rosin press such as the NugSmasher OG bundle. It isn’t as good for pressing a lot of material, but if you’re a daily dabber and don’t want to crank your arm off these electric rosin presses are a good alternative to a DIY heat press for about the same price.
You can also buy the pre-built Dulytek DHP20 which is a 20 ton heat press using the 3″ x 8″ heat plates mentioned above. There aren’t many 20 ton DIY rosin press kits out there, so if maximum pressure is your goal then this prebuilt press is a good one to consider.
Rosin press and plates without pump
The Dabpress 10 ton press and plates kit comes without the pump, you’ll need to get that separately. This is a good option if you want to build a rosin press DIY where the plates are perfectly matched to the pump.
High Tech Press kief presses
High Tech Press makes a few sizes of DIY heat press frames made of a single piece of machined aircraft aluminum. They’re top quality and are capable of being heated evenly. But these models are meant to press kief into bricks, they’re heated with boiling water and set up on the fly. It’s a bit chaotic. Models include:
- The Big Daddy Press is a DIY 2 ton kief press. It costs nearly as much as the 4 ton Brick Press, so you’re better off sizing up to get 2x the power.
- The Brick Press is a DIY 4 ton press. It is your best choice if you’re looking to build a small rosin press. It’s highly rated and is the best selling 4 ton press in the world.
- The Monster Press is a DIY 8 ton press frame. It’s pretty expensive due to the size and aluminum construction, but the high quality makes it a good value nonetheless.
- The Big Bastard Press is a DIY 10 ton press frame meant for serious pressing needs. It’s not cheap but it’s as sturdy as they come.
These presses aren’t built to accommodate a caged heat plate set. But if you’re looking to press material into bricks and not use for rosin extraction, these would do the trick.
Summary: How to make a DIY heat press
DIY rosin press kits let you make a powerful press at a lower price point than pre-assembled presses. The first step to learning how to make a rosin press at home is to pair a set of DIY rosin press plates with a shop press. The Dulytek press plates are a good option in multiple sizes.
For presses, if you want a small aluminum press go with the 4 ton Brick Press or the 8 ton Monster Press. If you want a larger stand up shop press, go with the Dake B-10 shop press. An alternative is the Torin Big Red 12 ton press or the Big Red 20 ton press if you want a DIY 20 ton press.
Remember to size up your press frame to allow you to swap in a stronger jack if you may want to upgrade in the future.