If you are a beekeeper or an apiarist looking to boost your production and shift to automatic extraction from manual, you need a reliable honey extractor that will be work for many years with the same “first-day quality”.
A honey extractor is a large cylindrical machine that works by using centrifugal force. You put the frame containing the honeycombs in the slots inside the extractor. All slots then revolve fastly which forces the honey to fly out and trip towards the bottom. A gate then funnels the extracted honey to a container.
- Recommended Honey Extractors in 2019
- Things to Consider When Buying a Honey Extractor
Recommended Honey Extractors in 2019
We have compiled the top 5 best honey extractors currently available in the market. We put each product side by side so you can compare the essential points immediately.
|Product Name||Types of Extractors||Capacity|
|Honey Keeper™ Pro 2||Tangential and manual||Up to 2 standard deep, medium, or shallow frames|
|Goplus Large 4/8 Frame™ Pro 2||Radial and manual||Up to either 8 medium frames, or 4 deep frames|
|Happybuy Honey Extractor||Tangential and automatic||Up to 2 frames|
|Gooland Bee Supply Hardin Professional||Tangential and manual||Up to 2 deep, medium, or shallow frames|
|VIVO Electric||Radial and automatic||Up to either 8 small or medium frames, or 4 large frames
1. Honey Keeper™ Pro 2
We start with this list with an entry-level honey extractor. The Honey Keeper™ Pro 2 is a large two-frame stainless steel material that is manually-operated. It is marketed towards beekeepers with up to 10 hives or the little houses where the combs are stored.
Inside are vertical trays which have generous space, each for a single standard, deep, medium, or shallow frames.
Since you do not need electricity to use this, you will save on cost, and you can use this during a blackout or in off-grid locations. It is also more low-maintenance and repairable than electric ones since there are no wirings inside.
The machine is made of heavy-duty stainless steel so you can expect a long lifespan out of this. It has a dimension of 29.4 x 17.4 x 17.1 inches. Its gate to drain the honey is covered by a plastic gasket which can be locked by screwing it down.
The gate is 15 inches away from the floor so a standard 5-gallon bucket would fit underneath it easily. Its cover is a thick plastic material for clear and transparent viewing while its bottom is welded seamlessly to increase durability. Metal bearings are also sealed to provide smooth steel bee manual crank movement given by the metal gears.
This is an affordable honey extractor if you are still new to beekeeping and does not have plans to automate your production in the near future.
2. Goplus Large Stainless Steel Extractor
Another manual operator honey extractor but with more capacity is the Goplus Large 4/8 Frame Honey Extractor Honey. If you are a novice beekeeper looking to upgrade your 2-frame machine or need a bigger manual extractor to pair with your automatic one, this is it.
Constructed with 201 stainless steel, this extractor is a robust and long-lasting machine made with metal gears and bearings. Years of daily use will be fine for this extractor.
The cover is also a clear plastic lid which protects the honey from external debris and provides a clear view of the operation.
It stands 31.5-inches tall, has a diameter of 20 inches and weighs 26 pounds. It has three fixed legs which are non-adjustable and screwed directly to the tank. Inside are four triangular slots which are made from steel. You can fit either four frames in tangential style or 8 frames in radial style.
Its gate is also made from plastic and can be locked by screwing it down. A standard 5-gallon bucket will fit underneath it. This is not electrically-powered, so you need to spin the crank manually. Just like any manually-operated machines, its lifespan is considerably longer since there are no wirings inside and it is more repairable.
3. Happybuy Honeycomb Honey Centrifuge
Looking to make your extraction process faster? The Happybuy Honey Extractor Honeycomb is an electric honey extractor which means you can leave the frames inside and wait for the honey to come out.
This one is a tangential extractor that can hold up to two frames which are held by metal drum baskets inside. It might be smaller in capacity, but it will require less manpower to operate: load the frames then let it run.
It has stainless legs and food-grade body so that this high-quality honey extractor can withstand daily use. High-precision bearings are also used for faster spinning and have a longer lifespan. For a durable and clear cover, the machine has two Plexiglass covers.
For faster draining, it has a conical-shaped bottom which leads the extracted honey faster to the gate. The baskets’ mesh has a slightly bent inner side for a snug fit and to avoid breakage of the frames. To monitor the operation inside and protect it from external debris, the machine is covered with two perspex lids. Perspex is a durable plastic made from the same material as Plexiglass.
It has a height and diameter of 24 inches and 15 inches, respectively. Due to the 130V motor and additional wires, it weighs 37.5 pounds. The power can be controlled by the variable speed knob above the machine where the plastic-covered power button is located.
Despite being electric, this is the best choice of extractor for beginners and not for professional beekeepers.
4. Goodland Bee Supply Hardin Professional
Most beekeepers take pride in their rugged and simple mechanical extractors due to the fact both human and machine are working together to get the best bee honey possible.
The GOODLAND BEE SUPPLY Hardin Professional is a manual two-frame tangential extractor with a 16-gauge stainless steel tank that is ideal for amateur beekeepers. Mechanical extractors age well despite periods of not being used.
You can fit two frames in the baskets inside. Since this is a tangential extractor, only one side can be extracted at a time. You need to flip both frames to extract the other side. The 3 legs are screwed directly to the tank which provides maximum stability and avoid wobbling that might lead to accidents. It has a common plastic gate which is safe to food.
It is also easy to assemble and clean. Since it has no electrical parts, it is also easy to repair. Use it everyday or store it in the tool shed during busy weeks, you have a peace of mind that this machine will not break down easily.
The machine stands tall at 24 inches and has a diameter of 15 inches. Its legs are not adjustable so you have to make do with its height. Taller buckets or buckets with a large filter attached above may not fit underneath.
If you are a casual honey keeper and looking for a reliable and low-maintenance machine, this is for you.
5. VIVO Electric 4 Frame – Electric Honeycomb Drum Spinner
To extract large amounts of honey, the VIVO Electric Four 4 Frame Stainless Steel Honey Extractor Drum Spinner combines radial-style loading, large capacity, powerful motor, and robust build.
It is powered by a 120V AC quiet motor that ensures your bee honey harvest is always optimal. You can load Up to either 8 small or medium frames, or 4 large frames. Since this is a radial extractor, you do not need to flip the frames.
While this is more expensive than the other extractors in the list, the machine is a long-term investment due to its robust 201 stainless steel construction and metal gears. The gears are contained in a metal enclosure to avoid exposure to the honey.
It also has safety features like the extractor automatically turning off when the clear lid is opened while in use. It also automatically resumes power when the lid is then shut.
The cone-shaped bottom provides fast funneling towards the two-inch honey gate. The legs are also adjustable and can fit a 5-gallon bucket underneath at all heights. It has a height of 41.5 inches and a diameter of 18.5.
This machine is meant for professional, commercial, and industrial use that is why they come with a one year limited warranty.
Things to Consider When Buying a Honey Extractor
To pick a perfect honey extractor for you, you should first consider your status as a beekeeper (are you a casual or a professional?) and the intended usage (will it be for a hobby or commercial use?).
Let us discuss the factors you should consider before buying your next honey extractor.
Tangential vs Radial Spinner
Honey extractors come in 3 types in terms of loading style: tangential, radial, or both.
Tangential extractors have the frames facing flat outwards. This means only one side of the frame gets extracted per spinning, so you need to flip it to get pull out the honey from the other side of the frame.
Radial extractors have the frames facing each side and loaded perpendicularly to the tank’s wall. This means both sides of the grame gets extracted per spinning, so there is no need to flip.
Meanwhile, there are also extractors that do both.
Manual vs Electric Extractor
Honey extractors come in two types in terms of power source: manual or electric.
Manual extractors have a metal crank connected to metal gears which power the spinning of the frames. Usually, this type is more reliable since there are no wirings that can be defunct in the future.
Electric extractors have a motor connected to a power source which powers the spinning of the frames. Usually, this type is more comfortable to use since there it automatically operates.
The obvious choice for hobbyists is to get a manual extractor since the initial and running costs will be cheaper. This will also provide a good learning experience since you are controlling the speed (too slow and you may tire out, too fast the combs may get damaged).
For professionals in a commercial setting, electric extractors do all your work, so the initial and running costs are compensated by the time and labor saved.
If you have 1-10 hives, two to 4-framed extractors are acceptable which covers all the five extractors listed here. It is better to always opt for a high capacity extractor if the budget permits.
However, let us say you expand to more than 20 hives, you would now need extractors that can hold at least eight frames. It will be time-consuming and laborious to go through all your frames with a low-capacity extractor.
Do note that an extractor with a higher capacity will require more power, physical or electric, to spin.
Cleaning and Maintenance
It is inevitable for your tank to be coated in honey (even outside). That is why you need regular cleaning to avoid stains, smells, and failure.
The first thing you need to do in cleaning your extractor is to make sure all the honey gets out first. Then, fill the tank with water with the gate closed overnight. Rinse and wipe all surfaces.
Make sure that the bearings are covered with plastic to avoid rust. Corrosion will not only damage your machine but also contaminate the honey. A general rule in maintaining honey extractors is to leave it be. This means you do not grease the bearings or unscrew anything. The machine is always in contact with food so you should not add anything that would affect it.
For manual extractors, make sure the gears and all moving parts are clean of honey. While for electric extractors, do not tinker with the motor and wires unless you are an expert. If there is anything unusual, contact first the manufacturer to get instructions.
We have now listed five honey extractors, each of its different type and intended for different people. Check all the specifications and features before you decide to spend your cash to a high-quality honey extractor.
Remember, you will be choosing from extractors with different combinations in terms of loading style and a power source.
If you a new beekeeper transitioning from honey extraction via the uncapping knife, you can start with a manual and tangential extractor which is usually cheaper.
If you want to boost your production but still restricted by your budget, you can buy a manual and radial extractor which will have more yield per spinning.
If you are moving to become a professional and automate your production, an electric and radial extractor will extract more honey in lesser time.
You must also learn basic beekeeping hygiene so you can deliver the highest quality honey you can and prolong your extraction equipment.