Are you doing beekeeping? It doesn’t matter whether you have been in it for a long time or you’re just starting out – the best honey extractor is an absolute necessity.
Why? Because bees consume lots of honey to secrete the wax they use in making honeycombs. The sense behind using a honey spinner is that the honeycombs will be left intact. That is something you cannot achieve if you have to go the traditional way of crushing the comb to extract the honey.
When you don’t crush the honeycomb, you allow the bees to reuse it. Hence, the bees will not consume much honey and again, they’ll deposit honey faster. So, you see how important it is to have a honey extractor?
Honey extractors work by spinning out the honey from the combs. The centrifugal force generated causes the honey to trickle to the bottom of the combs, from where the machine then pumps it out.
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Although getting this handy tool might seem like a straightforward task, there are plenty of factors to think about. There are different types, capacities, gear, and qualities.
Our Top 10 Best Honey Extractor Reviews
Go through our guide to find the most suitable spinner and see if one or more of the products in our review below fit what you’re looking for.
1. VIVO BEE-V003D Honey Extractor (Manual – 3 Frame)
If you’re just getting started in the honey harvesting business, or you’re doing it on a small scale, three’s no need to get an expensive unit or one with complicated features.
What you need is an inexpensive, no-fuss, manual model like the VIVO BEE-V003D Honey Extractor. This unit features an excellent design and with an average rating of over 4 stars out of 5 on Amazon, you can be sure it’s got lots of benefits to offer.
The first feature we found extremely useful was the construction.
Both the drum and the legs are made of stainless steel, making them robust and able to withstand harsh conditions and serve for over 10 years.
The drum has a height of 24 inches and a diameter of 15 inches.
That is a perfect size for a small scale farmer who wants to harvest lots of honey at a time.
The supports are set in a way that there’s lots of space between the tank and the ground. Yup! There’s a good 15.25 inches between the spout and the ground, providing enough room for a 5-gallon bucket. Collecting honey is therefore not a problem.
At the bottom, the legs have screw holes cut into the them. By screwing the legs onto a base, you’re able to keep the unit stable and crank it without the inconvenient issues of shaking.
Using the machine is relatively easy as the crank moves without needing much effort.
There’s one shortcoming. The ball bearing at the bottom of the tank is not well secured and it’s easy to lose especially when cleaning. Again, it will rust as it’s not stainless.
But you don’t want to miss such a great honey extractor because of such a small issue; just get a replacement stainless steel ball bearing from a hardware store and you have the perfect spinner.
2. VINGLI Upgraded Honey Extractor (Manual – 2 Frame)
Ever worked with an extractor that forced you to lean over or stay in an uncomfortable position while using it? You don’t have to deal with that anymore. This unit comes with 3 adjustable legs and all you have to do is screw them on at the right level.
At the uppermost screw-hole level, the space under the tank is large enough for you to fit a 5-gallon bucket and collect your honey without a hitch.
The legs have screw holes, allowing you to secure the unit to the floor and keep it stable during operation.
Another wonderful thing about this extractor is that it is sturdy and will serve you for over 10 years, thanks to its stainless steel construction.
The handle is designed superbly for ease of use. It’s an upgraded design which uses a crank to prevent the component from spinning on its own. The handle is also rubberized to ensure you’re comfortable when using it for lengthy durations.
For those looking for an easy to clean model, this one is absolutely suitable. First, it is made of stainless steel and again, it has a continuous welding to make cleaning even easier.
Safety is also guaranteed here, as the stainless steel material won’t release little metal bits or impurities into the honey.
Moreover, the honeycomb basket’s mesh is slightly rounded, ensuring the honeycombs don’t break.
There are two issues, however.
Firstly, the instructions are junk but fortunately, using the unit is straightforward. Besides, there are plenty of instructional videos on YouTube.
And secondly, the ball bearing is loose so you have to be careful during cleaning so you don’t lose it.
Other than that, it’s a great unit. Go on a view its current price on Amazon.
3. VIVO BEE-V004E Honey Extractor (Electric – 4 Frame)
If you’re in the beekeeping business and you’re looking to invest in the best honey extractor, a manual model might not be adequate. You need the finest electric model for efficiency.
Let’s see why getting the VIVO BEE-V004E Honey Extractor (Electric – 4 Frame) would be a good move.
This unit uses a 120V motor to extract honey from the combs, meaning you can connect it to your regular wall outlet at home.
The drum is made of stainless steel, and that presents a couple of benefits. First, it makes the machine robust, so you can expect it to serve you for many years (more than a decade).
Secondly, it makes cleaning easy, and thirdly, it makes the honey extraction safe as there are no worries about material or impurities getting into your honey.
Something else about the drum is that it contains lots of space to extract lots of honey at once. The diameter is 18.5 inches while the height is 23.75 inches. That’s ample space for someone in the business of harvesting honey.
At its cone-shaped bottom, the tank has a two-inch honey gate, which lets the honey drain easily and efficiently.
The lid at the top is made of plastic, and this minimizes the chances of breaking. Another beautiful aspect about it is that it’s clear, which enables you to see the process of extraction as it happens.
You might have used electric units that wobble and vibrate during use. This is NOT one of them. The motor runs quietly, thanks to its innovative design.
The legs have screw holes at different heights, so you can use the most comfortable height level.
At the time of writing this review, the extractor’s price was around 380 bucks, which is not bad for the excellent quality offered. Go on and see the current price on Amazon.
4. BestEquip Honey Extractor (Electric – 4 Frame)
Going for just above 300 dollars, this a good option for someone looking to purchase a great electric extractor without spending too much cash on it.
The BestEquip Honey Extractor comes with a nice 120V motor which rotates at a decent speed, ensuring that all the honey is extracted.
One thing about this unit is that it’s built to make everything easy for you. Firstly, the controls are positioned at the top part where you can access them conveniently without struggling too much.
There’s an on/off switch and there’s a dial, which you can use to select the speed from low to high according to your needs.
Secondly, the unit is built such that it is at the right height for most people. We didn’t like that it’s not adjustable as we’ve seen with some units, but that height level is not bad.
Thirdly, you can view the spinning action as it happens, thanks to the clear plastic lids at the top. With these clear lids, you’ll easily see if all the honey has drained.
The bottom of the tank is conical shaped. This optimizes the honey drainage and the two-inch outlet makes it even easier for the honey to drain.
The tank and the legs are made of stainless steel. This obviously translates to sturdiness and a long service life. It’s also good for safety and cleaning.
What about the capacity? You ask! The diameter is 20 inches while the height is 24 inches. That’s a perfect size if you’re in business and are looking to save time.
We have one major issue with this unit. Some of the edges are sharp and they’ll cut you if you’re not careful while using the unit. You better exercise caution while using this extractor.
5. Hardin Honey Extractor (Manual – 3 Frame)
Many of our readers have been asking about the Hardin Honey Extractor, so we decided to talk about it as well. Is it worth it? Let’s see.
You might be asking yourself – why is a manual honey extractor priced that highly? Well, the answer lies in the construction.
Perhaps you don’t know it, but there is magnetic and non-magnetic stainless steel. Non-magnetic stainless steel is stainless steel that’s enhanced with chromium and nickel. It’s the nickel that gives it the non-magnetic properties.
Well, the chromium and nickel that are added to the material boost the sturdiness even further, making the unit resistance to rusting and other forms of degradation.
So, the added sturdiness is one of the factors that contribute to the high price.
Another special aspect of this unit is the thickness of the walls. As such, the machine is resistant to vibration during operation and again, it doesn’t wear as easily as other units.
The hand crank is well-built and it works well. You don’t need too much energy to work it.
Another nice feature we found was the design of the frames baskets. They’re look sturdy and well-balanced, and perhaps that’s what makes it possible to have a smooth spinning.
And now for the shortcomings. Be warned; they’re plenty. First off, the legs are too short. You’ll have to bend over to reach and operate the unit if you’re a regular-sized adult.
Secondly, the plexiglass top looks weak and it emits a horrible plastic smell – not cool.
And thirdly, when you first get the unit, you have to wash it because it’s likely to have metal shavings inside. Many folks have complained about this.
Yes, this unit is sturdy, and will last a long time, but the shortcomings are a deal breaker for us. We don’t know about you. Maybe you’d still want to try the spinner? Go on and click the link to see it on Amazon.
6. Goplus Honey Extractor (Manual – 2 Frame)
As one user put it, the Goplus Honey Extractor (Manual – 2 Frame) is perhaps the best unit for the price. What makes it so is that this extractor comes with all the ergonomics you need to extract honey with ease.
But the coolest part is that it tremendously minimizes the chances of breaking the combs.
This is a 2-frame tangential extractor. First, the honey gets extracted from one side to a capacity of 50%.
Then, the frames are turned to the other side to extract 100% of the honey on that side before going back to the previous side to extract the remaining 50%.
This method is innovative and extremely helpful in that it prevents blowout and breakage of the honeycomb.
But that’s not all the extractor has to offer. When it comes to longevity, this is one of the most appropriate units you’ll come across. It’s crafted from solid stainless steel, which will last a long time.
Something else you’re going to like about the honey spinner is the huge capacity. The tank has a diameter of 16 inches and a height of 30 inches. Moreover, the tank can fit two deep frames and besides, it’s compatible with shallow, medium, and deep frames.
In other words, for anyone looking to save time while extracting honey, this would be a perfect pick.
The lid at the top is clear, enabling you to view what is going on in the tank. This is helpful during the extraction and afterwards during the drainage.
There’s one main limitation with this unit. Installing the honey gate requires you to have long and skinny arms. Otherwise you’ll have to take off the top bar and remove the basket. Luckily, these are easy tasks.
Apart from that, the Goplus Honey Extractor (Manual – 2 Frame) is a great unit and any hobbyist or beginner will find it useful.
It’s going for around 120 bucks at the time.
7. Goplus Large Honey Extractor (Manual – 4/8 Frame)
Here’s another awesome unit from Goplus. Maybe you liked the previous unit but you need a bigger extracting capacity. Well, guess what, Goplus’s 4/8-frame manual extractor might just be the one.
This is a large-capacity unit with a tank measuring 14 inches by 17 inches (diameter x height). That might not seem like much but you know what? The unit fits up to 4 deep frames and 8 shallows frames.
Hence, you will certainly save energy and time when extracting your honey manually. If you’re a small-scale beekeeper who just got started, you’ll find this unit most helpful.
One of the best things about this unit is its innovative crank design. It enables you to turn the handle without much effort and when you release it, the crank doesn’t spin on its own. For ease of use and comfort, the unit’s crank design is one of the best among manual extractors.
When draining the honey, some people have to open the lid to view the tank’s interiors. That can lead to entry of contaminants, and that’s bad for obvious reasons.
But things are different with this particular unit. It comes with a clear plastic cover which allows you to see the interiors with opening it. It thus helps you keep the contaminants out.
If you’re looking for a unit that will last you a long while, this one will do. It’s made of the durable stainless steel and it’s very sturdy when you touch it.
There’s only one limitation we noted. The legs are too short. You definitely cannot fit a 5-gallon bucket under the centrifuge. But, you can improvise and raise the unit with concrete or welding.
Other than that, it’s a great unit and it’s priced pretty fairly at around 220 bucks.
8. Honey Keeper Pro (Manual – 2 Frame)
Rust is one of the worst issues you can face while using a honey spinner. Depending on the material your extractor is made of, it may or may not be a problem.
There are two main options when it comes to material – you can either have plastic or metal. The Honey Keeper Pro (Manual – 2 Frame) is made of stainless steel, making it resistant to rust.
In addition to the protection against rust, the stainless steel makes it possible for your unit to stay in a good condition for years. You can expect to use it for over a decade without dealing with broken parts as the machine is resistant to wear.
The robust nature of the unit also comes from the seamless welding at the tank’s bottom. The gearbox is made of steel and it’s also good and strong.
But what else is there apart from the strength? You ask. Well, you know how hard it is to place a bucket below the centrifuge with some units? Well, that’s not a problem you’re going to face while using this machine.
It has strong and long legs, providing space enough for you to put a 5-gallon bucket under the centrifuge.
At the bottom of the legs, there are screw holes. Hence, you can bolt down the unit and support it so it doesn’t shake during use.
The only significant issue you’re likely to face with this extractor is the gate. It’s made of hard plastic which appears to be cheap quality, and which you might have a hard time tightening. Well, not everyone has complained about the issue, but many have.
Fortunately, the seller is quite responsive and there’s a good chance they’ll send you a better gate as a replacement.
This unit sells at the affordable price of around 130 dollars. Check it out.
9. Happybuy Honey Extractor (Electric – 2 Frame)
The Happybuy Honey Extractor (Electric – 2 Frame) is ideal for the small-scale honey harvesting beginner who doesn’t want to deal with the hassle of turning a crank manually. It’s for maximum ease of use.
This unit comes with a powerful 120V motor that gives out a torque of 1300 RPM. That’s a lot of power and it’s going to be useful in getting the honey out efficiently.
To make matters even better, the motor has variable speeds. You select the speed that is most suitable for you.
Everything except the gate is made of stainless steel. The legs, frames baskets, and tank are all made of stainless steel, and you know what that means? There are three benefits to enjoy.
First off, the cleaning task becomes very easy. Smooth stainless steel doesn’t accumulate dirt very readily.
Secondly, it makes the machine long-lasting. With correct use, you’ll be enjoying it for over 10 years.
At the top, there is a clear plastic lid. This makes it easy to view what is going on inside the tank and keeps the debris out.
The unit has a tripod support.
There’s a complaint however – the legs aren’t tall enough for you fit a 5-gallon bucket down there. You might have to improvise to elevate it but that’s a bit of a hassle.
The honey gate is two inches long; an ideal size for draining the honey.
Another complaint with this unit is that if the frames are not carrying a uniform weight, there might be violent shaking, which can get, well, a little bit uncomfortable.
But overall, the Happybuy Honey Extractor (Electric – 2 Frame) is a really great extractor for any hobbyist or beginner. It’s also inexpensive, going for around 230 dollars.
10. SUPER DEAL Pro (Manual – 2 Frame)
For the budget-minded buyer, the SUPER DEAL Pro (Manual – 2 Frame) is the most appropriate option. Can you believe it goes for just over 60 bucks? That’s a pretty good price level if you want to save some cash.
Apart from the price, there are a couple good features that increase the value of this unit.
Firstly, almost everything, including the tank and the legs, is made of stainless steel. That’s a solid construction that makes it possible for the unit to be used for a long time without wear or issues with rust.
Secondly, there’s the frames baskets and the capacity. The tank’s diameter is 15.7 inches while its height is 23.6 inches. That’s pretty much all the space you need to get started if you’re only harvesting honey on a small scale.
You can fit up to two frames in there. The best part is that the unit works with any sorts of frames – small, medium, and deep.
The legs are long but not long enough for you to fit a 5-gallon honey bucket under the honey gate. On the brighter side, they have screw holes at the bottom, and these allow you to stabilize the machine during use.
As it is to be expected, you get what you pay for. But for a unit that costs just over 60 bucks, these are acceptable issues.
The first issue is that of the legs. They’re not long enough for you to fit a 5-gallon bucket down there.
The second issue is that the handle isn’t cranked. Hence, it keeps spinning when released.
11. Thaoya Honey Extractor (Manual – 3 Frame)
The Thaoya Honey Extractor (Manual – 3 Frame) goes for about 330 dollars, and you just have to wonder, why on earth would it cost that much. That seems too much for a manual unit!
Several of our readers asked us about this unit and we just had to review it in this post. Well guess what? It has several good features that you might want to hear about.
First of all, the construction is superior. The tank and the frames baskets are all made of stainless steel. Even the bearings are made of stainless steel and apart from that, the beam is thick and wide.
Moreover, the gear is made of cast iron, which is super strong.
So in short, you can count on the unit to last a long time.
At the top, the tank has a clear Plexiglas lid. This keeps dust and debris from getting into the tank when you’re draining the honey. Being able to see the drum’s interiors without having to open the lid is a very convenient thing.
Another great feature that we loved about this unit is the capacity of the tank. It has a diameter of 13.8 inches and a height of 29.5 inches. That’s a perfect capacity for a hobbyist or a beginner.
The handle is cranked, meaning that when you release it, it doesn’t continue spinning.
These are great features, right? Well, we hate to break it to you, but we wouldn’t pick the Thaoya Honey Extractor (Manual – 3 Frame). It’s good but the price is not reasonable.
Why would anyone buy this when there are units like the VINGLI Upgraded Honey Extractor (Manual – 2 Frame) and the Goplus Honey Extractor (Manual – 2 Frame) which offer you all these features at the affordable price of less than 130?
Well, follow the link to check it out if you still want it.
Things to Consider Before Buying Honey Extractor
Here are the things you need to think about when shopping for a honey spinner:
Type: There are 2 main types of honey extractors:
1. Manual extractors
These come with a hand crank, normally positioned at the top. You have to use your hand to move the crank and extract the honey.
Typically, these extractors fit 2 to 4 frames, meaning they’re suitable only for small scale honey harvesting being done as a hobby. A manual extractor is not ideal for business use.
The coolest thing about this type of extractor is that it does minimal damage to the delicate combs. Another factor that might make you go for a manual extractor is that it’s affordable. It’s a lot less expensive than the electrical extractors.
2. Electric extractors
These extractors have a motor that spins the frames, extracting the honey without needing you to use your energy.
If you’re doing beekeeping not as a hobby but as a business, then you want to get an electric model.
Electric extractors come with a larger number of frames baskets, going from 4 to around 60 in most cases.
For a small-scale bee farmer without colonies ranging from 10 to 50, the best honey extractor is an electric model that can accommodate 8 shallow frames or 4 deep ones.
On the other hand, a large-scale farmer with colonies ranging around 200 or more is better off with a self-turning electric model with 12 to 16 frames baskets or a radial electric extractor with 30 to 60 frames baskets.
The more the colonies, the more sophisticated the machine should be. Some farmers even invest in an automatic extractor with over 60 frames baskets.
Size of the tank
The two sizes you need to think about are the diameter and the height. You’ll see something like 15 inches diameter and 25 inches height – that’s a standard size.
Keep in mind that the bigger the tank size, the more the amount of honey the machine can extract. If you’re a hobbyist, then you can purchase a unit with a smaller tank capacity but if you’re in business, you’re better off with a larger capacity.
For obvious reasons, the material that the extractor is made from matters a lot. You can get a model that’s made from either metal or plastic.
Plastic models are very cheap and they’re good for someone who’s on a budget, but they don’t hold up and they can’t take a beating. These are recommended only for hobbyists.
Metallic models, in contrast, are more expensive but they hold up and they can certainly take a beating. If you’re serious about the honey harvesting business, then you definitely want to get a metallic extractor.
The best option is stainless steel as it resists rust and holds up perfectly. Again, it’s easy to wash and it’s safe as it doesn’t release impurities or little metal bits into the honey.
Shape of the bottom
The shape of the bottom matters because it determines how easily the honey drains from the tank.
The two most common bottom shapes are spherical and conical, with the latter being the better option. A conical bottom optimizes the honey drainage.
How to Use Honey Extractor?
The whole essence of using a honeybee extractor is to remove the honey from the combs quickly without damaging them. So, the apparatus serves two purposes – preserving the combs and efficiency.
This device is composed of a huge cylinder containing frame baskets. The combs are place in the baskets and when the frames are spun, the honey is extracted using centrifugal force.
Here are the steps to follow when extracting honey with your spinner.
Preparation means getting all the tools and supplies needed for the task. These include:
Collect the combs
A day before the actual process, remove the capped honeycombs from the beehives. Store them indoors, and away from the hives because bees can track it using the scent.
It’s best to store them in the same place whence you’ll do the extraction. Many folks choose to do it in their garage.
Set up the materials
Position the bee extractor such that it’s well stabilized. Under the spout, place your honey collection container.
Some people like to place a strainer over the collection container to filter the honey as it gets into the bucket.
Uncap the combs
Use your hot knife to remove the caps from the combs. Don’t forget to heat up the knife before using it. and when using the knife, be careful not to burn yourself.
Also, when cutting, be careful not to damage the combs. You should cut to a depth of not more than 1 cm. If you go any further, you risk damaging the combs.
So, cut the combs on both sides so the honey is well revealed.
Put the combs in the frames baskets
Once the combs are all uncapped, place them in the frames baskets and put these in the baskets inside the honey spinner.
Close the lid at the top and open the gate at the bottom.
If you have a manual extractor, use the handle to spin the frames.
If you have an electric extractor, connect the electrical cable and switch on the machine. Set the speed if your machine allows you to do that.
Now, you have to understand that there are several factors that determine how long you’re going to need to spin the extractor to get the honey out.
Typically, it takes around two minutes for a radial honey extractor to get the honey out of one side. But if the air is cold or the honey has granulated inside the combs, you’ll spend a while longer, perhaps up to 6 minutes.
Again, it depends on the kind of extractor you’re using. A tangential extractor will take up to 15 minutes to get the honey out, so it’s a bit of a hassle.
So, once you’re done extracting from one side, flip the frames extract from the other side.
As the honey comes out of the combs, it will pool the bottom and come out through the spout, pouring into the honey bucket.
How to Clean Honey Extractor
A honey extractor might cost you a hundred or a couple hundred dollars. Sometimes, you might even have to pay over a thousand dollars. As such, it’s only natural that you want to maintain it. One of the ways to maintain an extractor is to keep it clean.
So, after using your honey extractor, there will be residual honey left in there, stuck to the floor and sidewalls.
Rather than scrapping it off with a spatula, which can create a mess, use the following steps to clean it:
In the morning, you’ll find that most of the residue honey will have accumulated at the gate. You only have to place a container adjacent to the gate and open the gate to drain the honey into it.
The next stage involves cleaning out any remaining wax, honey, or grit from the tank. Here are the steps:
Well, that’s it for cleaning a honey spinner. Cleaning the legs and the tank’s exteriors is fairly easy. You can use a wet towel to wipe off the dirt and if there’s any rust, sandpaper will come in helpful.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Honey Extractor
What is a honey extractor?
It is a mechanical apparatus that beekeepers use to extract honey from the combs efficiently and without damaging the combs. A honey spinner/extractor uses centrifugal force to get the honey out of the combs.
Why do I need a honey extractor?
So that you can extract the honey quickly and without destroying your honeycombs.
How often does one harvest honey?
Most people harvest the honey once in a year, mostly in the late summer or in fall. Honey should be harvested once the bees have filled the honeycombs with honey and capped them.
What types of extractor are there?
There are two main types of extractors – manual and electric. The manual one is meant for beginners in small-scale beekeeping and hobbyists while the electric honey spinner is meant for someone who’s doing beekeeping as a business.
Does the frame capacity matter?
Yes, it does. The greater the number of frames an extractor can hold, the more the suited it is for large-scale honey harvesting. A 2 to 4-frame extractor works just fine for a beginner or a hobbyist, but someone in business should opt for an electric unit that can hold at least 4 deep frames.
What’s the best extractor?
That depends on your needs. If you’re in small-scale beekeeping or if you’re a beginner, you might find a manual tangential unit that can hold only a small number of frames to work just fine.
But if you’re a large-scale beekeeper looking for a professional extractor, you’re better off with the best radial honey extractor, an electric unit that’s capable of holding many frames.
What’s the difference between a radial extractor and a tangential extractor?
With a tangential extractor, each frame is spun, then removed and flipped so the other side can be spun as well. That means lots of effort is needed especially when you have many frames to spin.
A radial extractor, on the other hand, is able to spin both sides of the frames at once.
A radial honey extractor is much better than a tangential extractor in terms of efficiency.
Before purchasing any product, even a honey extractor, it’s always good to evaluate the features and review different brands to settle on the finest.
If you’re looking for the best honey extractor, you can never go wrong with our Honey Extractor reviews above, but again, be sure to check the features. Read our review and follow the product’s link to see more features on Amazon while seeing other users’ opinions.