rosin heat plates

Rosin press heat plates, also known as heat platens, are an integral part of a rosin press machine. Rosin press plates are typically designed to fit in a top-and-bottom format, where the material being squished sits in between the top and bottom plates. The rosin plates are heated with heat cartridges located inside the plates, typically in a predrilled hole meant to house the electronically controlled heating device. 


Considerations for rosin press plates surround three purchasing scenarios:

  • All-in-one units: consumers looking to buy an all-in-one press assess the rosin press plates already manufactured into the end product.
  • DIY Plates: these are people that want to save a few bucks or simply like building things. This route is the most involved since the platens are made from scratch.  This requires choosing the type of metal that would require machining (usually steel or aluminum), choosing the type of heat elements that heat the metal, and also the electronics that control the temperature of the heat plates. This is the most involved process of the DIY build component and also requires extra parts, like wiring, PID module, control box, heater cartridges, etc. 
  • Rosin Heat Press Plate Kits: Some companies offer rosin plate kits, where all you need to do is attach the kit to a press of your choice, usually an H- Frame shop press.  Rosin plate kits include plates, heating elements, and electronics. If you’d rather not fiddle with or have the time or interest in making your plates, then this is the path you should go. Companies like Dabpress, Dulytek, and Lowtemp offer great, well-designed rosin plate kits that are reliable and plug-and-play.

Things to consider in rosin press plates

Whether you’re looking to buy an all-in-one unit, rosin heat plate kit, or make your own rosin plates, there are four important things to pay attention to when assessing rosin heat plates.

Material – rosin plates are typically made from either steel or aluminum. There are pros and cons to both materials but aluminum stands out as superior to steel in terms of heat transfer or thermal conductivity. Steel has higher tensile strength and is less resistant to scratches. Most people prefer aluminum because of its thermal conductive quality. Some companies like Dabpress or Dulytek make anodized aluminum plates which increases their durability.

Size – rosin plates come in many sizes. Typically the size of the platens is proportional to the pressure that can be generated. That is to say, the bigger the plates the more pressure capacity you’d need.  Also, plate size can give you an idea of how much product you can process.  Bigger plates are designed to output more compared to smaller-sized rosin plates.

Shape – rosin plates either come square, rectangular or circular. Rectangle-shaped plates tend to be the most sought after and favored since the narrow width allows for faster collection of the material being pressed. This helps preserve the terpenes and flavor of your rosin, without burning it! The less time the rosin sits on the platens the better.

Type of Heating Element – the heating element in a rosin heat press plate can either be a flat coil or linear rod cartridge.  Flat coil heating cartridges are usually seen in all-in-one presses with circular plates. Flat coil, press plates transmit heat from the center of the plate to the edge, which may not be ideal for a consistent and even transfer of heat.  Rosin plates with linear rod cartridges usually have two rods inserted, and evenly spaced into both top and bottom plates. Rod heat cartridges are better since they transfer heat evenly and quickly throughout the entire surface of the platens.  Most platens on the market use cartridge rod heaters.

Quantity of Heating Elements – the number of heating rod cartridges should also be considered.  Most personal use presses use one rod for each plate, typically placed in the center of the heat plate.  Plate sizes between 2” and 3” deep are perfectly suited for a single-rod cartridge heater.

As the size of your rosin heat plates increases, over 3″ in-depth, look for plates that have two heat cartridges for each plate.  This helps ensure that heat is properly distributed throughout the rosin plates, without having cold spots. 

Caged vs. Non-Caged Rosin Press Plate Kits

Rosin plate kits come in either caged or uncaged versions. The only difference is that caged rosin plate kits come with self-suspended, heavy-duty steel springs that help keep the plates aligned. Keeping the plates aligned helps ensure that your parchment paper keeps from tearing, minimizes rosin bag blowouts, and most importantly, maximizes your end product by eliminating uneven presses. Go with caged rosin plate kits compared to non-caged ones!