By: Matthew Lopez


‘Rosins’ have become increasingly popular as the cannabis industry continues to demand quality cannabis extracts that are produced without the need for organic solvents, expensive equipment, or an extensive learning curve. For those who are still unaware- rosin is a type of cannabis extract produced through a combination of heat and pressure as opposed to more common solvent-based extraction methods. Since it has gained popularity, there have been many producers who have created extremely effective/potent extracts using nothing more than simple hair straighteners. Others, however, have implemented the use of mechanical presses to further potentiate their rosin extraction processes.

One issue that has arisen from the creation of these various mechanical presses is the use of pneumatic and hydraulic systems that exponentially increase the pressure. These systems can produce extremely pristine extracts due to their sheer mechanical force; however this raises concerns over the obvious safety hazard of caught fingers. To alleviate this, many manufacturers have incorporated various safety systems that reduce the chances of any potential injury/mishaps . Currently, there are many different companies producing rosin presses in different shapes, sizes, and boasting different mechanical/technical features. Many are developed by amazing companies who are happy to help/inform their patrons, so for those who are interested in investing in a rosin press system, do not be afraid to explore a few options in affordability, mechanical strength, and important safety features.

In this article, we had the opportunity of speaking with the people at Smashlab, a rosin press company who has been developing systems since March 2016. Their product line consists of a variety of options to accommodate everything from novice and home producers, to more advanced and streamlined production groups. The starting lineup consists of DIY setups that can be used to convert common presses into effective rosin producers (available in four different sizes to accommodate additional raw extraction material. Helpful tip: Smashlab designs can easily fit with all Harbor Freight Shop Press Models).

For those who wish to work with a more developed system, Smashlab has a few selective models to choose from. First on the list is the Arber Type Single Ton Manual rosin press which can easily deliver over 2000lbs of downward force onto two heated 5” X 3” X 1” inch hot rolled steel milled plates. Attached to the setup is an easily adjustable PID system to provide prolonged and consistent heat (available in either left or right-hand configurations to accommodate user preferences).

Pneumatic systems are also available for those in need. Named for its compact design, Smashlabs ‘CurRig’ system can produce over 1.4 tons of pressure onto two 3” X  3” X 1” machined steel plates. To improve efficiency and reduce the overall weight, control plate temperatures and press times are adjusted via Android app and Bluetooth connectivity (the tablet can be moved anywhere within 30 feet of the unit- if communication is lost- the unit will still function at its last known settings). A dual-button control system requiring two-hand operation has also been added for safety, ensuring that the user’s hands are away from the pressure plates when they are engaging. (Smashlab ‘CurRig’ systems utilize compressed air, which will require the use of either an air compressor or charged bottle.)

For those in need of an even more sophisticated press system, SmashLab has developed a special automated system which utilizes a clever series of attachments to effectively / efficiently streamline the extraction process. Functions such as plate temperature, press time, and distance between presses are also operated via Android app.     

We had the opportunity of speaking with the developers in order to learn a little more the company:

What first inspired the creation of SmashLab?

“Originally, a cultivator friend of mine purchased a press system that had a six week waiting period. Because of the long wait issue, he asked if I could develop a system as I’d been involved with industrial automation engineering for over 20 years. I kicked a few ideas around, but it wasn’t until I went to a particular engineering job when I would notice a massive arbor press within the client’s shop………… bingo! An arbor press was acceptably inexpensive, simple, and relatively safe. I’ve always been a fan of the ol’ fashioned KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) method and so it became an ideal choice. After developing a makeshift press and getting amazing results, I decided to refine my designs until they eventually became what they are today.”

What sets SmashLab apart from other / more conventional rosin press systems?

“We’re certainly not the type to bash other companies products. However, the unit originally purchased by my friend (despite being from a reputable company) felt a bit “rickety” and underbuilt (we won’t mention the name). That is to say; there was a lot of room for improvement and efficiency (noticeable problems included a lot of play where there shouldn’t be, and the amount of pressure at the plates was significantly less than ours.) We found that many units available on the market (at the time) were cheaply converted t-shirt presses or poorly constructed systems. We definitely wanted our system to be more industrial and heavy duty. We also wanted to offer it at a competitive price.”

Any project you are currently working on?

“We’re currently working on a 20 ton “Air Over Hydraulic” shop press design that will be available shortly. This model has 7″ x 3″ x 1″ plates and connects to a compressed air service for a more automated process. We’ve received a lot of requests for a model that can be used to press a large quantity of material at once. We also have the ability to do more custom designs if requested, this industry is quickly moving into more production size runs, and so we’d like the opportunity to also design / build whole packaging machines for this purpose.”

Is there anything you would like to say to the readers?

“We would like to say thanks to all who’ve taken the time to learn a little about us. We’d also like to say thanks to all those who’ve continued to support us and our products. We have received nothing but love since we stepped into this industry, we’ve received orders from every place on the map, and it has been extremely fun/exciting to be a part of this growing industry.”

We’d like to say thank you to Smashlab for taking the time to chat with us about their company. For more information on Smashlab or any of their products, you can visit their website at