Harvesting honey is a complex and long task that involves many steps that must be taken to refine for consumption. The initial stages involve the work of honey bees and then transfers over to the beekeepers. This is where extraction begins. There are lots of different extraction devices, some of them involving simple hand tools while others utilizing stainless steel appliances that resemble stock pots. Below are product descriptions on the best honey extractor products retailed on the internet. A detailed look on their key features will help you choose which device is best for you.
The Ten Best Honey Extractor Reviews
The Little Giant Extractor is manual, coming equipped with a hand-operated crank and stainless steel build. The lid is made of Plexiglass, a good way to keep watch of the frames while the honey is being fed out of the combs. As for the frames themselves, you can easily fit medium or deep frames. The interior can fit two mediums at one time.
The legs are pretty sturdy yet may wobble slightly, although not enough to the point where any of the extractor’s functions will be compromised. Just be sure to screw in the nut tightly to minimize the likelihood of operating the tool with uneven legs.
Straight out of the box, there is some assembly needed before you can use the device. Although no instruction manual is included, you should have no problems getting the extractor up and running, even for a novice beekeeper. In general, the Little Giant is a useful way to get your honey bottled for storage, so long as you don’t mind spinning everything by hand.
The Hardin Extractor, weighing about 22 pounds, can hold up to three frames and is operated with a red hand crank. The lid at the top is made of Plexiglass; thin but better than the opaque nature of solid covers. Since it is tangential, you must turn your frames over to complete every session. It is a great product but you should keep in mind several factors before purchase.
At the bottom of the extractor, the white valve could be difficult to close, especially when the tub is filled with honey. Furthermore, you may find it easier to refrain from attaching the legs. If so, have someone hold the body when you are spinning the crank. The legs also have sharp edges at the bottom. If you do wish to suspend the extractor with them, it is highly recommended that you file the edges down, so that potential injuries will be avoided.
Be that as it may, the Hardin Extractor succeeds in working as advertised. Before you first use, give it a rinse in soap and water (to avoid metal shavings) and it will be ready to go.
The Mann Lake Extractor is also manually cranked and has the ability to hold up to six shallow frames. Other compatible frames include medium (holds three) and deep (three frames). To get started with the extraction you must remove the frame body and turn it over to get honey out of both ends. This is required since the tool is tangential. If inexperienced, this could slow your work down until you become accustomed to cutting the exteriors.
The height is measured at approximately 26 inches, with the width totalling 18 inches at the widest point. Since the extractor is legless, you won’t have to worry about the bottom wobbling or tipping over. Unlike some of its competitors, having a second person holding the machine during spinning won’t be necessary. It is an easy and simple way to get your honey processed quickly.
The Ridgeyard is obviously well made. From the bolts fastened throughout the body to the ball bearings on the extracting mechanism, its clear that you will use this tool for many years. The best quality of hand operated extractors is their ease of storage and washing. This makes it even simpler by featuring two handles located on the opposite ends of the body. Something you will definitely need, as the product weighs 28.7 pounds without frames.
The gears are completely covered so cleaning will be easier, as no honey will seep into the insides. The lower portion of the drum has the shape of a funnel, which allows the contents to drain quicker during performance. As with many extractors featuring legs, you will probably notice slight movement when the drum is filled with frames. Yet since it is quite heavy, nothing should tip over.
You must also assemble the hand crank and legs when it arrives but the process is straightforward and won’t take up too much of your time. Recommended for part-time beekeepers that wish to avoid searching for extra parts with the extractor that are not cheaply made.
While the XtremepowerUS operates like any other above-average honey extractor, the selling point for this is the additional stainless steel knife included in the box. It is used for uncapping the frames from their board and cutting the combs into smaller portions. To use, just plug it into the wall and wait for it to heat up. Extraction is much faster with this nice addition.
As for the drum, be sure to tighten all the screws before you begin your work. This way, the swaying will be lowered when you’re speeding up. Frame compatibility is for most common sizes, no matter if they are small, medium, or large. The maximum frame clearance is 9 5/8 inches.
The holding capacity tops at close to 110 pounds, with legs measuring 15 inches in height. While the extractor is adequate for anyone that needs a drum to get the honey out of their frames, the most handy attribute is obviously the supplemental knife you will get alongside the drum itself.
In recent trends, honey extractors have become smaller, with a focus on having parts made of strong materials that don’t pose tipping hazards. The Tek Motion 4 Extractor takes many of the minor complaints raised with other drums and improves them. At first glance you will notice that the legs are slightly lower than what other brands sell. This improves stability and shakiness when the tub is filled. Spinning the crank is a lot easier when there are no such annoyances.
It is specified to hold four medium or deep frames. As you crank, grab the top portion of the lid and use a bucket or pale to collect the honey. You may need to find an alternative bucket to collect due to the lowered legs. In this case, find a pail that is short enough to go under. While it would be better if there were holes in the foot of the legs (to screw into a surface), the Tek Extractor is great for people who dislike using tubs with legs but would like to try something new.
The Hardin Professional Extractor is definitely a great product for serious beekeepers. The frame consists of tough stainless steel and ships with few shavings, so cleaning will be easier before the first extraction begins. It works fast, quickly taking out all of the honey at a rate that is quick enough to do multiple frames in less than an hour’s worth of time.
This extractor is 18.9 pounds and will become even heavier after the frames are placed on the steel webs. You should do this after you have found a good location to crank, such as a table, wide stool, or other strong surface that can handle the load. Two small or large frames can fit on the inside. As you spin, you will notice that the mechanism will slow down on its own when you take your hand off the handle. This is fine so long as you hold to top portion down from moving.
To avoid encountering wobbling, try to even the weight of the frames as much as possible. This will also give your job less hassle from exerting too much force in an attempt to hold it down. Nevertheless, the Hardin Professional is a great tool for novice and professional harvesters.
Deviating from stainless steel extractors, the Mann Lake HH130 is made of exterior plastic parts. It also has a plastic lid and an odd resemblance of a trash can. The lid will impede your ability to see inside while cranking, so you will have to stop and open it to observe what contents you have left during extraction. However, the fact that it is plastic offers some great benefits over steel counterparts.
The first is weight. Steel extractors are notoriously heavy and bulky. The Mann Lake totals to only 10 pounds, which makes it easy to move around, even when filled with honey. Cranking is smooth and won’t tire you out so easily. The plastic also doesn’t rust, something that tends to occur near the bolts of steel extractors.
However, the tub’s size might be too small if you have lots of frames to process. As a result, the level of honey in the tub can build up and force you to wait until it goes down to start on new frames. It is suitable for smaller extracting jobs that do not demand lots of space in the inside for the honey to drain with haste.
The Goplus Extractor is short and has great parts that are built well. The handle is made of plastic while the gears are all metal. The parts that are pre-assembled look new and won’t require you to tighten them when taken out of the box. If you are using large buckets to catch the honey from the bottom, you will need to find something different to collect, as the machine is too close to the ground for tall vats.
Several medium frames can fit inside the basket. As you spin, the body should not move too much but it would still be a good idea to have assistance from another person, particularly when the frames themselves are heavy. There are also some sharp ends on the legs, so file them down before you assemble to the body. It also has no handles on the sides, therefore it is imperative that you don’t forget to have your work location settled before inserting the frames.
When taking everything into account, this Goplus Extractor is recommended for small-scale beekeepers that are just beginning the trade but built well enough to accomodate full-fledged operations as well. Just be sure to clean it and dry thoroughly to prevent unwanted rust from developing on the steel parts.
For small beekeepers, this is one of the best automatic processors available for those who are unable or unwilling to spin their frames by hand. This FoodKing product is powered by electricity and does not have a crank. All features are automatic and will get your honey out with little need for manual labor.
The drum is 24 inches in height and comes with legs; it is not tall enough for large pales to fit underneath. Inside of the drum’s bottom is a conically shaped end that allows better drainage and less settling during the machine’s operation. The motor’s power is 120 watts with a current of 110 volts. To avoid jittering when in use, have someone hold down the machine if the frames are uneven in weight. If not, simply bolt is to the surface of your working space.
Again, the FoodKing Extractor is great for simplifying the honey making process by avoiding use of cranks. Consider this before buying, as you may like the novelty of spinning the honey yourself. If anything goes, then its quality parts will surely save you from getting an additional unit for the foreseeable future.
Best Honey Extractor Buyer’s Guide
If you are new to beekeeping, many of the devices needed to commence your operation could be new to you. Here are several factors to consider before you purchase your first honey extractor:
Frames are varied yet will normally maintain a rectangular shape. Sizes run in either small, medium, or large. Most honey extractors can fit small and medium, whereas others are suited for large industrial size frames. It is suggested that you know what frame size you will work with prior to buying the extractor. That way you will have a better idea on what size device is best for you.
Legs of Legless?
Extractors are often sold with legs on them but some will not feature a suspended top. Those with legs have the advantage of being easier to crank without the need of propping on a higher surface, helping to ease the strain on your back when spinning the crank. The disadvantage is rooted in the frames themselves, as those uneven in weight are often placed in the extractor all at once.
You will quickly notice that doing so causes a “washing machine effect” during operation, making the entire body sway back and forth, particularly when your speed is increased. Legless varieties tend to move less but can be more difficult to setup since the space for a pale (for catching and straining the honey) must be improvised.
This is also relevant to the number of people working on extracting the honey. Some products perform better with a pair, meaning one person cranking with the handle and another holding down the machine. Movement will not occur under this situation. If you work alone and do not have help, choose an extractor that has either short legs or none at all. Electric brands are also a good pick for solo work.
Above all else, look for an extractor with good bearings fitted on the lower portion of the spinner. While most models come with decent bearing parts, those that don’t will quickly wear out over a short time frame. It is a good idea to acquire lubrication for your bearings to extend their life. If you would like to take apart your extractor when it arrives, do not clean the bearings with water, as it will develop rust and render the entire product unusable.
If you know what honey extractor interests you, remember to check out their features. Also, whether or not is it well suited to work for you and the other tools required to have a successful harvest. In doing so, you will end up with more hone. You will also spend less time spent fixing random problems that often accompany a poorly designed extractor. Beekeeping is a fun experience that remains so when you have the right tools that will allow it to stay that way.