diy rosin press

DIY Rosin Press

Making your own rosin falls under two categories: people who want to build a rosin press as cheaply as possible, and people who love to DIY, either to save money or simply indulge in the DIY spirit.

Hair Straightener for DIY Rosin

If you’re on a budget or not overly concerned about the precision of your rosin squishes then making a press from a hair straightener could be your method of choice. Hair straighteners for rosin pressing are cheap, very mobile, and make very basic rosin.

All you need to make a press from a hair straightener is:

  • A good hair straightener, preferably with temperature control
  • A clamp to provide the pressure to extrude the rosin from the hair straightener
  • Parchment paper to collect the rosin between the plate of the hair straightener 

Many people starting with solventless extraction tend to begin pressing with a hair straightener and then graduate to something better.

Cons of using a hair straightener for DIY rosin include:

  • Lack of temperature control – Although many hair straighteners have digital temperature gauges, the temperature control is never 100% accurate and could burn your rosin.
  • Uneven distribution of heat on the hair straightener plates could cause heat spots and also burn your rosin.
  • Requires a clamp to produce the necessary force to extrude rosin from the hair straightener – this means you have to buy a clamp in addition to the hair straightener for rosin.
  • Hair Straighteners for Rosin do not last long since they are constantly being abused from either using clamps to exact pressure, stepping on it, etc. Hair straighteners are not intended to be used that way so it is easy to see how fragile they may become if used primarily for extracting rosin.
  • You may need or want to buy a temperature gun since the temperature gauges on hair straighteners aren’t always accurate.  This is another expense on top of the actual hair straightener for rosin.  If you do purchase a temp gun that means you’ve already purchased the hair straightener and a clamp, totalling three different components that require a separate purchase.
  • The capacity of the material for squishing is limited. Using a hair straightener for pressing rosin is meant for personal use, and even then, it may not produce enough rosin yields depending on your consumption requirements.
  • Manual work is required for exerting pressure on the heat plates of the hair straightener, either with your hands and body weight (stepping on it to apply the pressure needed) or with your wrists and hands using a clamp. Either way, you’ll be using extra elbow grease to extract the rosin from the hair straightener. 

Pros of using a hair straightener for DIY rosin include:

  • Affordability – Hair straighteners are cheaper compared to
  • Portability – You can take it anywhere
  • Clandestine – easy to conceal
  • Cheap – above all, hair straighteners for rosin extraction are the least expensive option

Best Hair Straighteners for DIY Rosin Extraction

If you decide to get a hair straightener for rosin and looking for the best hair straightener for the job, keep the following in mind:

Material of Heat Plates: Like in any good press, evenly distributed heat throughout your heat plates makes for a more uniform squish. Make sure to get a hair straighter with ceramic or titanium heating plates for better heat conductivity and heat distribution.

Size of Heat Plates: Finding a hair straightener for rosin, ideally needs decent-sized heat plates. Try and find a hair straightener with heat plates that are on the larger side, roughly between 1.5 to 2 inches. 

Fixed Heat Plates vs Floating Heat Plates: Stick with fixed heating plates as they will not move around on you while pressing your rosin. Floating plates are not as stable as fixed plates.

Temperature: Although temp gauges from a hair straightener are hardly ever accurate, choose one with the ability to heat in lower temperatures.   Look for a rosin hair straightener that temperature adjusts to under 300 degrees F.

DIY Hydraulic H-Frame home-made Press

If you want to make a cheap and very effective press, then you may want to build your own from an H-frame, hydraulic press.

H-frame hydraulic presses are the most popular DIY rosin press. This is because H frame shop presses are relatively cheap, easy to put together and do a terrific job at rosin extraction.  All you need is a harbor freight h frame shop press (or comparable brand), a rosin plate kit, and a pressure gauge and you’re off to the races. Many hobbyists are DIYers and champion the DIY approach as the cheapest way of getting a press.

H-frame shop presses are larger and take up more space than any other type of press. If you have space, don’t mind the way they look, or simply have an existing h-frame hydraulic press at home, you may want to go this route.

Parts needed for a DIY H-Frame Press

Parts needed for an H-frame Press include:

H-Frame Shop Press – These come in various sizes and pressure capacities. A press that can generate 6 to 12 tons of pressure should be good enough. Shop for H-Frame presses on Amazon

PID Controller – if you decide to DIY the heating plates instead of buying a heat plate kit, the PID controller is used for controlling the temperature of the DIY heating plates. Shop for PID Controllers on Amazon

Thermal Coupler – Again, if you decide to DIY an H-Frame press you will need something to mount on the heating plate so they can move up and down. If you are buying a rosin heat plate kit then a thermal coupler may come already designed into the plates. Shop for Thermal Couplers

Rosin Heat Plates – As we discussed above, the rosin heat plates could be purchased as a kit, or you can make your own out of bar-stock aluminum. If you’re making your own rosin plates you will need cartridge heaters, wires, and additional parts to make it work.  Shop for Rosin Heat Plates

Electrical Relay – An electrical relay controls the heating plates of the press. Acts like a potentiometer switch that can handle AC and DC current. Shop for Electrical Relays

Cartridge Heaters – If going the DIY route on the rosin heat plates then you will need something to heat the aluminum plates. Cartridge heaters need to be inserted into the aluminum plate after the aluminum has been drilled out.  Shop for Cartridge Heaters

Junction Box – A junction box is a simple enclosure meant to protect the electrical connectors and components with a safety barrier. It also cleans up your DIY build. Shop for Junction Box

Connectors – p611 cable gland connectors. Shop for Gland Connectors

Electrical Wire — 16-gawg wire for the connection to the electrical outlet and from the junction box to the heating plate is required. Again, if you are buying a heat plate kit you will not need this as it’s already built into the equipment.  Get Electrical Wire from Amazon

Pressure Gauge – Although not essential a pressure gauge is strongly recommended. It’s a no-brainer that knowing the pressure of your extractions is far better than just guessing. Get Pressure Gage from Amazon