Best Honey Extractor 2019-06-22T05:21:32+00:00

In this review I’ll tell you about honey extractors. Some people called them honey centrifuge or honey spinners – but the essence is the same.

If you are fortunate enough to have a honey surplus, you will need extracting equipment and suitable premises. The first you can buy, but new it will be quite expensive.

Many beekeeping associations loan out equipment and this will suffice until you decide whether to buy your own. Another solution is to find the best honey extractor for the money. A rule of thumb for deciding how many containers you will need is the knowledge that a ‘full’ super holds around 20lb (9kg) of honey.

In today’s best honey extractor reviews:

Best cheap honey extractor

vivo manual honey extractor

2 Frame Honey Extractor VIVO BEE-V002

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Best electric honey extractor

Happybuy Electric Honey Extractor

3 Frame Honey Extractor Happybuy

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Best honey extractor for the money

hardin honey extractor review

3 Frame Honey Extractor Hardin

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Best quality honey extractor

BEAMNOVA Electric Honey Extractor

4 Frame Honey Extractor Beamnova

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Best professional honey extractor

vivo bee-v004e 4 frame electric honey extractor

4 Frame Honey Extractor VIVO BEE-V004E

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Honey extractors comparison

Although I’ve picked only five honey extractor for detailed review, there are many more worth honey spinners. You can take a look at this short review and compare the main honey extractor features: brand, number of frames, type of honey extractor and its operation, and of course price. But please pay attention, that price is accurate as of the date indicated and is subject to change.

Best honey extractor for your needs – features to look for

As what its name implies, honey extractors are used to remove honey out from the combs while at the same time preserving the combs’ physical state for future use. These mechanical devices mainly feature large drums that serve as the extraction chamber where the honeycombs are placed. Once the honeycombs are harvested, they are placed inside the drums which are then set to spin at high speeds, forcing all the honey out. Simply put, the honey extractor was designed to employ centrifugal force in order to extract the honey out of the comb while keeping it intact.

However, while honey extractors are important, you’ll also need to secure a few other things in order to properly go through the process of honey extraction. For instance, you’ll need to get a hold of various tools for uncapping the cells. If you’ve already done this process before then you’d know how it’s necessary to uncap honey combs first before placing them inside the extraction chambers. You can easily purchase these uncapping tools at any beekeeping equipment retailers. If you’re resourceful enough you can actually use manual uncapping forks or knives but if you want to do things faster, then it’s best for you to choose electrical knives.

Going back to honey extractors, the market actually offers you a wide range to choose from.

The manual or electric honey extractor is an investment, there are different design elements that can make that investment a profitable one, or a chore. The best honey extractors are worth the initial investment because they can deliver what you need efficiently and quickly. Finding one that will boost your honey yield without breaking the bank means doing some research. Luckily that research has already been done, this list of the best honey extractors has been researched and it covers everything you need to know before making a decision.

If you belong to a club and use the extractors they can provide, you already know what you are looking for if you have decided to purchase your own. Many beginners are unsure about what features they should look for. There is nothing worse than laying down a good chunk of cash then realizing your new wonder extractor is less than wonderful.

With some patience, you can single out the extractor that is right for you. If you are not keen on cranking the unit yourself, opt for an electric model. If you want more control over the spin, go for a hand crank unit. You can use these reviews and information to find the best fit for your apiary needs.

Here is a list of the most important features of honey extractor:

  1. Size and frame capacity
  2. Extractor type – radial or tangential
  3. Operation type, or power source – manual or electric
  4. Materials used

Size and frame capacity

It is important to know how much honey an extractor can extract and choose the best honey extractors possible according to the number of combs you are planning to extract honey from. They range from 1-2 frames all the way up to 10 or more. Selecting the right size depends on the number of hives you have. Additionally, honey extractors also come in a variety of sizes. Larger extractors are basically intended for commercial uses while the smaller ones are ideal for small scale businesses. Usually, the larger types of honey extractors can hold over a hundred frames at once. This allows you to extract gallons of honey in no time. However, the smaller types of honey extractors can hold up to three or four times at once.

Extractor type – radial or tangential

Two of the most common types of honey extractors are classified as either radial or tangential extractors. Although both kinds of devices serve the same purpose, they differ in how each of their frames is positioned in the extractor basket. Radial honey extractors have frames that are positioned inside the basket with the top side facing outwards. On the other hand, the tangential type of honey extractor, feature frames that have only one side of the frame facing outwards. Compared to the latter type of extractors, the radial honey extractors would require you a lesser amount of energy to operate. For that reason, radial extractors are more often used for commercial purposes.

  • Radial honey extractors

Radial extraction spins the frames and extracts the honey from both sides of the frame at the same time. The cage in a radial extractor holds the frames along the radii like the spokes of a wheel, with the top bars at the outside. As the cage rotates, the top bars move faster than the bottom bars and suction lifts the honey out of the cells on both sides of the frame at once. It hits the wall and runs down into the collecting well. Most small-scale beekeepers will use a radial extractor that takes 9, 15 or 20 frames. They can be hand- or motor-powered. If yours is motor-driven, build up the speed gradually so that the extractor can get ‘balanced’.
In the radial extractor, frames are placed with the top bars outermost. Honey is extracted from both sides of the comb at once.

  • Tangential honey extractors

Tangential extraction spins the frames and extracts honey from only one side of the frame at a time, you must flip the frames during the process. This has a rectangular cage rotating on a central spindle inside the barrel. Frames are placed against the flat sides of the cage and liquid honey is thrown from the outer face only. Honey on the inside face stays put so the frames have to be turned vertically to extract it in the second stage. Place the frames in the cage so that the top bar leads the direction of rotation. Don’t completely empty the outer cells to start with because then only soft wax supports the honey in the inner cells. Rotate the cage until the outer cells are An alternative to slicing off the cappings with a knife is to lift them off or scratch them open with the tines of an uncapping fork. partly emptied. Turn the frames vertically, replace them in the cage, and start to extract the honey from the other side. Repeat this as necessary until you have emptied both sides of the combs. Honey is thrown out, hits the side wall and runs down into a collecting well at the bottom. Run off the honey into jars or buckets. Tangential extractors are usually small, holding up to six frames, and hand-powered as the cage does not need to be rotated very quickly. Turning the cage too fast can break up the combs and you will have to filter the bits from the honey, and you will also have lost valuable drawn comb. Most tangential extractors are hand cranked as the cage does not have to be rotated very quickly.

Power source – manual or electric

The second important point after extractor type is the operation type.
A hand crank requires manual cranking to spin the frames and extract the honey. This is good for someone who has only a few frames to extract, it would not be very practical for a large yield. Hand-driven or manual honey extractors are convenient for a small amount of extracted honey or if there is no access to the energy source (electricity or battery).
Electric or motorized honey extractors allow saving time and effort. Automated extractors spin the frames without the need for cranking, this is good for a high yield because there is no manual work.
When working with a large number of frames with honey, it is preferable to use a honey extractor with the rotation of the cassette. For a dual-frame honey extractor, this is not a prerequisite – you just need to choose between convenience and compactness. The matter is that the honey extractors with a rotary mechanism have slightly larger dimensions, therefore, for nomadic apiaries, beekeepers often choose aggregates with non-rotatable cassettes.

Materials used

Plastic, metal, and opaque glass are the three materials used for honey extractors. The best honey extractors are metal because they can handle large yields with ease and they are more durable and easier to clean.

Now that we have gone through all of the things you need to consider, it’s time to get down to the reviews. These reviews cover hand cranked and automated/electric, both models do the job well, the preference depends on the number of hives. These 5 extractors are the best honey extractors for 2019.  Regardless of the size, number of hives, or experience, these reviews will point you in the right direction.

Each one of these extractors has already been researched and no matter which one you choose, you can be confident that you have one of the best. The best way to make a choice is to consider the number of hives you have, then decide if you can actually crank the extractor long enough to complete the extraction of all of your hives. Next, decide if you are going to expand the number of hives you have; if you plan to expand, go up in frame capacity, if you plan to stay with what you have, choose your extractor based on the frame capacity that suits your needs.

Durability is one of the criteria used to choose the best honey extractors. Although they are only utilized a few times a year, the durability really matters. The spinning parts, the crank, and the barrel itself need to stand up to vigorous spinning. These 5 extractors are durable, not just the outside, but the spinning parts on the inside will keep you extracting for years to come.

However, regardless of which type of honey extractor you choose, you’ll have to make sure it suits the purpose as well as your budget.

Best honey extractor reviews

All of the extractors reviewed here are constructed of stainless steel. Stainless steel construction is easier to clean, more durable, and heavier. The extra weight works to stabilize the unit as it spins. Lighter weight materials are more difficult to work with when cranking. As you crank you are exerting force on the unit, a plastic unit will move and can be difficult to control as you crank and the interior spins.

The extractor reviews listed here examine the pros and cons of the best extractors, you will well be equipped to make a decision on the model that is best for you. These reviews use research and information from those who have used these extractors, there is nothing better than information from experience. Beekeeping is an art form, choosing the best equipment with reviews from those who have experience with the equipment is the only way to make sure you have the best honey extractor for your needs.

1. VIVO Honey Extractor BEE-V002 Review

vivo manual honey extractor
VIVO Large Honey Extractor BEE-V002
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Vivo 2 Frame Honey Extractor is constructed of durable stainless steel. This unit uses tangential rotation so the frames must be flipped to extract the honey from both sides and to protect the combs from the blowout. Uses the manual hand crank to extract honey and the gear and crank box use high-quality bearings for smooth and fast operation.

Vivo honey extractor features

  • Precision ball bearings
  • Interior cone shape funnels honey to the sides
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Accommodates deep, shallow, and medium frames

Vivo honey extractor details and specs

  • Dimensions: 34’x17’x17′
  • Weight: 20 lbs
  • Stainless steel barrel, gears, and gearbox
  • Tangential extraction
  • Manual hand crank
  • Accommodates three frames at a time (deep, shallow, and medium frames)

Vivo honey extractor pros

  • Durable stainless steel construction
  • Exceptionally smooth, easy, operation
  • Easy to drain
  • Easy to assemble

Vivo honey extractor cons

  • The clear lid is not the same quality as the rest of the unit
  • Only extracts one side at a time
  • Flipping the frames can be messy

Wrap-up and closing remarks

Vivo honey extractor does exactly what it is designed to do and it does it well. The tangential extraction is not a problem for a medium number of hives. The bearings make cranking easy and smooth. The clear lid may not be as high quality as the unit but it is not an important part of the extractor. The interior funnel keeps the honey moving in the right direction and improves the flow so the yield is higher than other extractors. This is one of the best honey bee extractors for anyone looking for an extractor for a medium sized apiary.

2. Happybuy electric honey extractor

Happybuy Electric Honey Extractor
Happybuy 3 Frame Honey Extractor
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Seamless, rolled, food grade, stainless steel construction is strong and durable. This extractor accommodates 3 frames and uses tangential extraction to extract the honey from the combs. Rotates using a 1300 rpm motor that has variable speed settings. The unit sits on 3 stainless steel legs and the honey gate is made from premium plastic. The clear lids allow you to watch the process as it progresses.

Happybuy electric honey extractor features

  • Seamless stainless steel construction
  • Variable speed motor
  • Rounded honeycomb basket protects the honeycomb from breaking
  • 2 clear lids to keep debris from getting into the unit
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to assemble

Happybuy electric honey extractor details and specs

  • Dimensions: 15.7’x23.2’x46.5′
  • Weight: 37.5 lbs
  • Motor power: 120W 1.1A
  • Motor voltage: 110V 60 Hz
  • Accommodates three frames at a time (deep, shallow, and medium frames)

Vivo honey extractor pros

  • Seamless stainless steel construction
  • Quiet efficient motor
  • Rounded basket edges to protect against breakage
  • Variable speeds to protect against comb blow out

Vivo honey extractor cons

  • Gears are exposed and can be hard to clean
  • Sharp edges inside the unit

Wrap-up and closing remarks

Happybuy electric honey extractor is the best electric/automated unit for those who have a medium sized apiary. No hand cranking, just pop in the frames and watch it go through the clear plastic lid. It has a variable speed motor which is great for avoiding blow out, and the frame baskets have a design feature that protects against breakage. This is the best honey bee extractor for anyone who doesn’t want to crank or pay a huge sum of money.

3. Hardin honey extractor review

hardin honey extractor review
Hardin Professional Honey Extractor
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Hardin Professional 3 Frame Manual Honey Extractor is perfect for beekeepers with 1-10 hives. It uses a manual crankshaft to spin the honey from the combs without damaging the combs. Re-using the same combs is less stressful for the bees. Three frames, deep, shallow, or medium can be extracted at one time. This extractor uses a tangential action to extract honey one side at a time.

Hardin honey extractor features

  • Clear Plexi-glass lid allows you to see into the extractor
  • The 16-gauge stainless steel barrel is durable and easy to clean
  • The gears and the gearbox are stainless steel
  • Easy to assemble
  • Stainless steel legs make the unit easy to crank

Hardin honey extractor details and specs

  • Dimensions: 15’x45’x24′
  • Weight: 26 lbs
  • Stainless steel barrel, gears, and gearbox
  • Tangential extraction
  • Manual hand crank
  • Accommodates three frames at a time (deep, shallow, and medium frames)

Hardin honey extractor pros

  • Durable 16-gauge stainless steel construction
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Fits different types of frames
  • Lifetime warranty

Hardin honey extractor cons

  • Plexi-glass top and bottom plug are not the same quality as the rest of the product
  • Extracts honey one side at a time
  • May need two people to use the unit, one to crank, one to hold the unit still

Wrap-up and closing remarks

This extractor is top of the line and will perform perfectly for the right beekeeping situation. This unit is best for those who have a medium number of hives, it is using a hand crank which works fine but can be tiring to use on a large number of frames. It can be a bit messy to flip the frames during extraction, but this is not a problem when compared to other units using tangential extraction. In my opinion, this is one of the best honey extractor for hobbyist available for the money.

4. Beamnova Electric Honey Extractor

BEAMNOVA Electric Honey Extractor
Beamnova Electric Honey Extractor
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Beamnova honey extractor can accommodate 3 frames, shallow, medium, and deep. The strong 1300 rpm motor spins the baskets to extract the honey and the baskets are slightly rounded on the corners to protect the combs from breakage. This unit is made from durable 304 stainless steel, making it easy to clean. It comes with a clear lid so you can view the extraction process. The raised bottom bearing works to keep the honey from getting in, and the metal gearbox is enclosed to keep honey from getting all over the gears. This unit is easy to use and it is small enough for beekeepers who are just starting out or experienced keepers who want to diversify their honey extraction.

Beamnova honey extractor features

  • Unique raised bottom bearings
  • 304 stainless steel
  • Powerful and quiet 120w motor
  • Accommodates shallow, medium, and deep frames
  • Tangential extraction action
  • Easy to drain and easy to clean
  • Enclosed gearbox to keep gear honey free

Beamnova honey extractor details and specs

  • Dimensions: 19’x22’x33′
  • Weight: 61.7 lbs
  • Motor power: 120W 1.1A
  • Motor voltage: 110V 60 Hz
  • Food grade stainless steel
  • Clear plastic lid

Beamnova honey extractor pros

  • Food grade stainless steel construction
  • Quiet motor
  • Fits different sized frames
  • Conical interior funnels honey to the honey gate
  • Easy to use and clean

Beamnova honey extractor cons

  • Tangential extraction requires flipping of the frames to avoid blow out
  • Frames should be equal in weight to avoid excessive wobble

Wrap-up and closing remarks

Beamnova honey extractor is one of the best honey extractors available for the price and the features. All units will wobble if they are off balance, as long as the frames are pretty close in weight, the wobble is kept to a minimum. The conical interior is a great feature that keeps the flow of honey moving toward the honey gate. This extractor has an enclosed gearbox that makes clean up easier and quicker. Finding the right sized extractor with a fair number of desirable features can be difficult, but this extractor fits the bill. Perfect for a few hives or a growing apiary, because the electric motor keeps the honey flowing without manual cranking.

5. VIVO BEE-V004E 4 frame electric honey extractor

vivo bee-v004e 4 frame electric honey extractor
VIVO Honey Extractor BEE-V004E
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Electric radial honey extractor VIVO BEE-V004E accommodates up to 8 frames at one time. The four baskets can accommodate 8 shallow or medium frames if they are compatible if not, it will accommodate 4 frames. The BEE-V004 uses radial extraction to extract the honey from the combs. A bi-directional clutch crank falls loose when you let go of the handle. Four holes in the feet of the legs allow you to bolt the unit down, making it more stable and easier to use than others that do not have holes for bolts.

VIVO BEE-V004E extractor features

  • 304 stainless steel construction is durable and strong
  • The clutched crank is easy to use and operates smoothly
  • Can accommodate up to 8 shallow or medium frames
  • Interior cone shape funnels honey to increase the flow

VIVO BEE-V004E extractor details and specs

  • Dimensions: 18.5’x23.75’x41.25′
  • Weight: 45 lbs
  • Radial extraction for 8 shallow or medium frames
  • Tangential extraction for 4 frames
  • B-directional clutched crank moves smoothly in either direction

VIVO BEE-V004E extractor pros

  • Stainless Steel construction is easy to clean
  • Durable and easy to use
  • 8 frame radial extraction for larger yields
  • Interior cone keeps the flow strong for draining
  • Clear lid allows you to see the process

VIVO BEE-V004E extractor cons

  • Large yield crank operation can be tiring
  • Radial extraction depends on the size of the frames, only works for smaller frames

Wrap-up and closing remarks

Although VIVO BEE-V004E extractor is a larger unit that can handle a higher yield and more frames, it is a crank which can be tiresome with more product to extract. The high-grade stainless steel provides great durability and the bi-directional clutched crank does make up for some of the extra capacity. To use the unit radially you must use 8 frames, but the frames must be small. This is one of the best electric radial honey extractors for a medium apiary with plans to grow; it will handle your extra capacity as you make the transition from 4 frames to 8 frames. The larger size adds stability to the extractor, reducing the normal wobble that occurs with hand crank extractors.

Summarizing: 10 facts to consider choosing best honey extractor for your apiary

The reviews explain the features of each honey extractor the only thing left is for you to choose the one that fits your needs. Some keepers prefer the crank models because they provide more speed control which can help protect against honeycomb blow out, and others want an electric unit with a variable speed motor. Each unit in this list has all the features serious keepers look for with a moderate price tag.

Choosing the right one for your hobby or business does not have to be an arduous process. If you plan to expand, go for a larger capacity unit, if you are happy where you are and have no plans to expand, choose a unit based on the number of hives you have active. You don’t need a lot of experience to find the perfect extractor, these reviews have already narrowed down your choices and provided the information you need to buy the best honey extractor.

Fact #1. Honey extractors are available in different sizes to accommodate the different number of hives a beekeeper has.

Fact #2. Using a manual or electric honey extractor for only 1 or 2 hives can be wasteful, some honey is lost in the extraction process.

Fact #3. Extractors are available with a hand crank or automated.

Fact #4. Extractors are available in radially or tangentially extraction modes.

Fact #5. Extractors are available in plastic, metal, and opaque glass.

Fact #6. Many beekeepers belong to clubs that share extractors; sharing is great, but if you have a large number of hives, you are going to want your own equipment; and in that case, you are going to look for an extractor that can handle at least 10 frames. If you are a beginner, you may not know how many hives you are going to work; this makes it difficult to decide on extractor size and method of extraction. If you stay small, a small hand crank that fits 2 frames may be all you will need.

Fact #7. If you have 1-2 hives, a large aluminum extractor may end up wasting your honey. The honey runs down the inside of the barrel and some never make it to the collection area. If you decide to go with a small plastic model with a hand crank, this type of extractor will not be of any use if you increase the number of hives you have. This all sounds pretty tricky but there is a middle ground.

Fact #8. There are issues that are common to all extractors. When the extractor is spinning, it uses centrifugal force to extract the honey from the comb. This force can also blow out the combs because the pressure is not equal on the comb. This can be fixed by spinning slower and watching the process through a clear lid. Wobble is something that can occur on both electric and hand cranked models. To lessen wobble, be sure the frames you load are similar in weight. Don’t run a three frame extractor with two frames, add an empty one to the third basket to help even out the wobble.

Fact #9. A good extractor will have a conically shaped interior. This helps direct the flow of honey to the honey gate. The honey gate is where the honey leaves the extractor through a plug. Extractors differ on the exact shape of a conical interior but as long as it has one, the flow will be easier to control and you will lose less honey to the side walls.

Fact #10. If you are new to beekeeping and plan to expand, you may want an electronic model to alleviate the need for hand cranking larger quantities of honey. The more hives the more frames, the more cranking. Cranking may be a pain, but it does give you more control over the speed of the spin; if you notice the combs showing signs of blow out you can adjust your speed. Electric models have speed control but not as delicate and exact as a hand crank model.