A comparison of the most popular cartridge filling machines and devices on the market. There are many popular cartridge fillers out there and these six tend to be the most preferred from companies small to large.
The Fifty Shot
The Fifty-Shot is an entry-level and affordable cartridge filler device for cannabis businesses that wish to dip their feet into vapes and concentrates. At $399.99 for the full Fifty-Shot Kit and a 2-day lead-time, this cartridge filler is not only easy to procure, but also easy to use. Fifty-Shot gives full disclosure on their site as to the price and it is available to purchase.
The Fifty-Shot is going to be the slowest of these machines by a large margin. Each shot must be dispensed in a fashion similar to a caulk gun so it will require an operator with a steady hand. The capacity of the Fifty Shot only carries 25mL so you will be refilling the gun somewhat often. This device also struggles with higher viscosity concentrates and requires alternative heating elements if you decide to purchase additional oil cylinders.
The CoolJarz HotShot 1500
HotShot 1500 Positives
Highest value cartridge filler at half the price. The HotShot Cartridge filler is a semi-automatic filler machine capable of filling about 1500 cartridges per hour. At about $16,000, this filler does everything from low to high viscosity concentrates, distillates, and Delta 8 varieties. The HotShot is well made from 7075 Aluminum and comes with everything you need on day one to fill cartridges. It is simple enough to use without vendor training, however, we found support through both videos on their website and phone/video conferencing support during the workweek. This machine is manufactured in the United States and comes with a US-based service warranty. CoolJarz gives full disclosure on their site as to the price and it is available to purchase.
HotShot 1500 Negatives
The HotShot 1500 is a semi-automatic cartridge filler. Meaning, you will need someone to continually operate it. This also means the production you get out of the machine will be highly dependent on the one operating the system.
Convectium Shark 710
Shark 710 Positives
The Shark 710 is an automatic cartridge filler with a direct draw oil travel path and an 800mL oil capacity. At 1,000 plus cartridges per hour on an automatic machine, you’ll be able to fill a lot of cartridges with minimal effort. The Version 8 gives you a fully enclosed unit that keeps contaminants out of your product
Shark 710 Negatives
The Shark 710 will require vendor training to get you started. With the setup and programming being a little more complicated, you won’t be able to just hand this The Shark 710 is a large free-standing machine filling up 12 square feet and weighing 115lbs and will take a good amount of room in your shop. The screen, dials, and tray adjustments appear to be complicated and will require vendor training to get you started. With the setup and programming being a little more complicated, you won’t be able to just hand this machine off to anyone. The Shark 710 uses 100 needles at one time with a direct draw injection, so being precise is crucial with the programming and requires additional trays to meet the 1,000 filled per hour. One slight miscalculation and you’ll have both machine damage and product loss. Convectium does not give full disclosure on their site as to the price and it is not available to buy now.
The Thompson Duke ACF-1
The Thompson Duke ACF-1 is an automatic cartridge filler made in the USA. It is widely distributed to different retailers and is one of the more popular fillers on the market due to its distribution. This filler ranks 3rd in the least amount of space needed to operate at 6 square feet and is capable of filling anywhere of 500 to 1000 cartridges per hour with the push of a button.
The Thompson Duke ACF-1 is the third most expensive of these machines at an initial price of about $25,000. However, there is an additional 4% fee for credit card transactions and a paid training session is required at a price of $500.00 to $3500.00 depending on whether you’d like something in person or online. You will also need to purchase an air compressor separately.
The training is also an indicator of how complex the setup for the machine is as well. Depending on where purchased, lead times seem to be anywhere from 6-8 weeks upon order.
The travel path of your product is also middle of the road at 12”+ which can sometimes cause blockages and heat loss within the system and end up with a loss of product. Thompson Duke does not give full disclosure on their site as to the price and it is not available to buy now.
The Vape-Jet is an automatic cartridge filler capable of filling up to 1,000 cartridges per hour. This filler comes enclosed within its box-like structure to prevent any outside contaminants from getting to your product. This filler also has one of the largest of the equipped oil tanks on this list at 1200mL.
The Vape Jet is the second most expensive on this list at a starting price of $30,000.00. You will also need to purchase separately nitrogen tanks, a regulator valve, and compatible hoses capable of withstanding 20-60psi.
There is also vendor training required to operate at an unbeknownst price. Also, although the Vape-Jet sports the second-largest oil tank of the fillers, an additional tank runs about $1250. Lead time for this machine is also about 8 weeks so it will take a while to obtain.
This machine also has a +12″ product travel path similar to the Thompson Duke ACF-1 which also runs the same risk of lost product and clogs. Vape Jet does not give full disclosure on their site as to the price and it is not available to buy now.
ATG Pharma RoboCAP RL-30X
ATG Pharma RoboCAP RL-30X Positives
One of the fastest fillers on this list, the ATG Pharma RoboCAP RL-30X listed at being able to fill at least 1200 cartridges a day at minimum. This machine is made in Canada so your ship time could be a little more forgiving than other fillers in this list.
The RoboCAP has the largest oil tank options by far with capacities from 1 liter to 10 gallons if needed. This machine also features custom-built fill trays to your specific cartridge needs so no need to worry about compatibility.
ATG Pharma RoboCAP RL-30X Positives Negatives
The RoboCAP RL-30X is the most expensive on this list at a starting price of $33,692.00 which includes a $400 crate fee. This also doesn’t seem to include the custom-built filling trays. Despite being made in Canada, you are still looking at about 6-8 weeks lead time to get one excluding shipping.
Like the other automatic cartridge fillers, vendor training is needed to operate this machine as well. This automatic filler has multiple modular pieces and requires a large work surface to operate.
This machine sports the largest travel path of +30″ so heat loss can happen quick so thicker oils like Delta 8 may have trouble with this filler. ATG Pharma does not give full disclosure on their site as to the price and it is not available to buy now.
Cartridge filler machines can vary quite a bit and some may work better depending on your own needs. Things like price, lead-time, production, service/warranty and the machine’s overall capabilities can all be important factors of what may work best for you.