Best Honey Uncapping Knife

By The Buzzman | Beekeeping Reviews

Best Honey Uncapping Knife

New methods and better practices are introduced from time to time, helping us to improve our beekeeping duties maintain a strong relationship with our bees. One huge improvement that has been introduced since the olden days of beekeeping is how we handle and extract honey from the honeycombs. There is no denying that the honeycomb is at the center of our beekeeping hobby, without it there would be no honey, and no honey means no hobby! 

Back in the day when our current technology was just a distant dream, beekeepers extracted honey by literally destroying the honeycomb. All of that hard work carried out by the bees just broken up each and every time the honey was harvested.

It was the only way back then so the bees had to work extra hard to rebuild the honeycombs to store the next batch of honey. Fast forward a few years and technology gave us a simple but extremely effective tool, welcome to the honey uncapping knife!

A tool loved by beekeepers and bees, this knife not only makes the process of extracting honey a lot easier, but it also keeps the honeycomb safe and intact. Your bees will be happy and you will not have to keep destroying one of the most important parts of your hive. What a great feeling to have!

It must have been quite annoying for those beekeepers back in the past but thanks to technology and a little bit of loving care, honey extraction is a painless process for you and your bees.

The Art of Uncapping

The idea of uncapping is to remove the wax capping from the honeycombs so the honey can be extracted easily. There are various types of uncapping knives on the beekeeping market and some are more appropriate for beginners, such as the electric hand-held uncapper and the standard knife.

The automatic uncappers are a lot more expensive and will only be worthwhile if you are working with hundreds or thousands of honey frames. We think that it’s best to stay within your budget and only buy the more expensive options once you get more experienced, and you only really need to upgrade if you want the extra productivity from the automatic or electric options.

Harvesting honey is one of the most enjoyable parts of your beekeeping hobby, the moment where you get to reap the rewards from all of the hard work that you put in nurturing your bee colonies.

The uncapping knife makes your life so much easier and it’s a great experience when you finally get to see the honey in all of its glory when the wax is removed, ask any beekeeper and they’ll tell you that it’s a wonderful moment!

The different types of uncapping tools range in efficiency, the automatic uncappers and electric knives will do the job a lot quicker and take less work on your part, but of course, these come with a higher price tag.

The standard knives do a great job as well and although they can be used cold, the trick is to the heat them up in hot water so they glide through the wax much quicker and with minimum effort. Using two knives with some hot water will increase your productivity, just swap them over when one starts to get cold, simple but very effective!

The process of uncapping not only enables you to extract your honey but it also saves the honeycombs for the next honey extraction, all of that hard work the bees put in to make their honeycombs will now be used on refilling rather than rebuilding! You might accidentally disrupt some small sections of the honeycomb when you are scraping the wax but don’t worry, the bees will happily fix and patch up any holes.

So now we are all clued up about what uncapping knives are and how they are used, it’s time to run through a list of some of the best options available at the moment.

Goodland Bee Uncapping Knife

Pros

  • Serrated blade
  • 16” length
  • Large oak handle
  • Cold-based knife
  • Good price

Cons

  • Manual uncapping process

Summary

The uncapping knife from Goodland Bee is the perfect choice for a beginner or any beekeeper on a short budget, the 16” knife comes with a serrated edge to make the removal of wax an absolute breeze. The handle itself is made of oak and it’s plenty big enough to use comfortably and safely when carrying out your uncapping duties.

Classed as a cold knife due to the fact that it is not electric-based, you can use this knife anywhere and anytime. You don’t need to worry about having any power supply nearby, you can just start scraping that wax off as soon as you are ready.

Beginners are going to find this option very productive due to the simplicity of the design and it will even act as a useful backup for the more advanced beekeepers who are using electric versions.

Eco-Keeper Uncapping Knife

Pros

  • Double-sided blade
  • 11” length
  • Sharp-pointed end proves to be useful in and around the hives
  • Cold-based knife

Cons

  • Manual uncapping process
  • Slightly higher than average price for a cold-based knife

Summary

The Eco-Keeper knife is an option for cold-based uncapping, the double-sided blade is sharp and will easily cut through the wax covering your treasured honey! The knife itself is 11” long so it’s capable of scraping larger sized frames as well. The sharp point on the knife is especially helpful when working on your hive, use it to pick away at any stubborn bits of dirt or wax.

Priced at just above average for a cold-based knife, the larger size might just justify this pricing and could well be useful for more experienced beekeepers with larger hives and frames.

Like the other cold-based knives, to really make the most of them it would be wise to double up and use two of them with some hot water, being able to quickly swap the cooling knife with the hot one with help with your workflow. As we mentioned, it’s a little more expensive than others but the large size might just sway the decision for some beekeepers! 

HLPB Uncapping Knife

Pros

  • Double-sided, serrated blade
  • 11” length
  • Comfortable wooden handle
  • Cold-based knife
  • Good price

Cons

  • Manual uncapping process

Summary

HLPB’s uncapping product is a cold-based knife that comes with a double-sided and serrated blade, perfect for scraping off wax cappings and any other stubborn pieces of wax of dirt on your frame. The knife itself is 11” long and is more than big enough to handle standard sized frames. Like all quality uncapping knives, the handle is wooden and feels comfortable in your hand.

This knife from HLPB is well made and feels sturdy in your hand which makes life a lot easier when you’re scraping off the wax from multiple frames. A useful tool for those who are just starting out in the beekeeping world, the price point is spot on as well so we think this option is a definitely worth a further look for any beginner beekeepers!

Primeonly27 Uncapping Knife

Pros

  • Double-sided blade
  • 11” length
  • Comfortable wooden handle
  • Cold-based knife
  • Cheap price

Cons

  • Manual uncapping process

Summary

The cold-based knife from Primeonly27 is a useful tool for beginners, this knife will let those with little experience scrape off that wax with ease. The 11” blade is long enough to work on larger frames as well as the smaller sizes that beginners tend to start with. The handle is comfortable and will give you a good grip to scrape off the wax in one fluid motion, or it might take a couple of attempts if you are new, practice makes perfect!

Using the hot water trick will make this knife work even better, making it nearly as effective as the electric style knives, you’ll just need to remember to keep some hot water nearby as they will cool down fairly quickly. Even better, as mentioned earlier, using two and swapping them in and out of the hot water is a very nifty trick!

We think that the Primeonly27 knife would also be a very handy backup for those working with electrical uncapping knives, you never know when another knife will come in handy or even if you lose power, this knife will be your savior!

The price is very reasonable so if your budget allows then this should be a great addition to any beekeepers toolkit.

Bee Apiarist Electric Uncapping Knife

Pros

  • Double-sided blade
  • Durable, stainless steel material
  • 17” length
  • Comfortable wooden handle
  • Electric-based knife
  • Reasonable price

Cons

  • Requires power to run

Summary

Bee Apiarist is a great company who are passionate about beekeeping, so you know that their products are going to be quality and effective. The knife is made out of stainless steel, as we should expect, and will scrape off that wax with no problems whatsoever.

The durable steel will last you a long time as well, so no rusting and falling apart, it’s a good feeling to be able to trust your tools to perform as they should time and time again!

The wooden handle is comfortable and big enough to minimize the chance of burning yourself on the hot steel, but care should always be taken when using this style of knife, unplugging it when not in use is usually the best course of action. The price of this knife from Bee Apiarist is reasonable and what you would expect to pay for an electric knife.

This would be a solid choice for both beginners who want to try out the electric style and for those who are experienced in the uncapping process, another well-built piece of equipment from Bee Apiarist.

SODIAL Electric Uncapping Knife

Pros

  • Double-sided blade
  • Durable, stainless steel material
  • 17.3” length
  • Comfortable wooden handle
  • Electric-based knife
  • Well-priced for an electric style uncapping knife

Cons

  • Requires power to run

Summary

The electric uncapping knife from Sodial is a fairly new product on the market but we think that it’s definitely worth checking out, the blade is two-sided and made from stainless steel which gives it added strength and durability.

The wooden handle looks smart and allows for a sturdy grip, essential for safety when the knife is heated. The blade itself is 9.8” with the overall knife being 17.3” long, plenty big enough for both beginners and professionals.

The blade heats up quickly after you power up using the 1.5m power cord, making light work of the wax as you scrape off your frames ready for honey extraction.

Although this product from Sodial is fairly new, we think it has the potential to be popular with those beekeepers who fancy a change from the cold-based knives and want to test the electric style out. The very reasonable price tag will be hard to ignore as well, a quality product that will not break the bank!

ExGzimo Electric Uncapping Knife

Pros

  • Double-sided blade
  • Durable, stainless steel material
  • 17.3” length
  • Comfortable wooden handle
  • Electric-based knife
  • Well-priced for an electric style uncapping knife

Cons

  • Requires power to run

Summary

The uncapping knife from ExGizmo is another electric offering, it’s made from stainless steel which shows that it has been built to last and will heat up quickly to make scraping wax a fast and easy process.

The blade itself is 9.85” long and 2” wide so it’s capable of scraping off larger frames as well, the handle is wooden and 6” long which gives you more than enough room for a safe grip when you are working.

It’s recommended to unplug the knife when you are not using it as they do get very hot, the cable is 1.4m long so you’ve got some room to work with when finding a power supply.

We think that this offering from ExGizmo is worth a mention because it ticks off all of the right boxes in terms of being an effective uncapping tool, plus the price is very reasonable when you look at other electric-based knives on offer.

Little Giant Farm Electric Uncapping Knife

Pros

  • Double-sided blade
  • Durable, stainless steel material
  • 17.3” length
  • Comfortable wooden handle
  • Electric-based knife

Cons

  • Requires power to run
  • Priced slightly higher than the average electric-based knife

Summary

This option from Little Giant Farm is electric-based and capable of scraping off multiple frames of wax per hour. The blade is made up of stainless steel and heats up quickly after plugging it in. The handle is well designed and allows for a safe grip, especially important when the blade is hot!

This electric knife is priced towards the higher end of the scale, so make sure that an electric based knife is something that you specifically need before you shell out for one. It will do the job well but if you are only working with a handful of frames and time is not really important, then a cold-based knife is going to be more suited to your needs.

Neutral Electric Uncapping Knife

Pros

  • Double-sided blade
  • Durable, stainless steel material
  • 17.3” length
  • Comfortable beech handle
  • Electric-based knife

Cons

  • Requires power to run
  • A higher price tag than most electric-based knives

Summary

The offering from the Neutral brand is another electric-based knife, a well-designed tool that makes for efficient wax scraping with its two-sided, stainless steel blade. The blade is 9.8” long and heats up as soon as you power it up using the 220V power supply. The heated blade makes easy work of the wax and you’ll be expertly scraping off multiple frames in no time at all.

The handle is made out of beech and fits comfortably into your hand, the knife itself is larger than most at 17.3” and will work best for those beekeepers who use larger hives and frames, although this knife will make light work of smaller frames as well.

We recommend this option for the professionals and more advanced beekeepers, the larger size and higher price tag points towards those who are working with multiple hives and would benefit from the quicker uncapping process. 

Our Top Pick – BeeCastle Electric Uncapping Knife

Pros

  • Double-sided blade
  • Durable, stainless steel material
  • 17.3” length
  • Comfortable wooden handle
  • Electric-based knife
  • Affordable price tag for a proven and well-designed electric uncapping knife

Cons

  • Requires power to run

Summary

The electric uncapping knife from BeeCastle is a great all-rounder and makes easy work of scraping off the wax with the heated blade. The honey harvesting process is a lot quicker with an electric knife and the great thing about this option is that it won’t break the bank. It is well priced within the range of cheaper and expensive options.

The blade itself is 10” by 2” and made from stainless steel, a strong and durable material that will ensure your knife stays rust-free and effective for a long time. The handle is made of wood and allows for a solid grip while you scrape off the wax from the honeycomb frames.

Overall, the BeeCastle electric knife is a quality piece of beekeeping equipment and deserves to be our Top Pick. The price tag is slightly higher than some of the other electric knives, but like most things in life, you pay a little bit more for better quality, which in the long run should last you a lot longer and prevent you from buying multiple knives throughout your beekeeping career.

Our Budget Friendly Pick – Weichuan Uncapping Knife

Pros

  • Double-sided, serrated blade
  • Durable, stainless steel material
  • 16” knife
  • Comfortable wooden handle
  • Cold-based knife
  • Excellent price

Cons

  • Manual uncapping process

Summary

The uncapping knife from Weichuan definitely stands out from the crowd, with its 11” stainless steel blade and serrated edge, it not only looks the part but more importantly it cuts through the wax with no effort at all. The design of the blade has been specifically manufactured to scrape the wax cappings from off your hive frames.

The wooden handle is just the right size and allows for a strong grip. A nice little extra is the sharp tip of the knife as this comes in handy for picking off stubborn pieces of wax. The build quality is very high and the use of stainless steel will keep the rust and general wear and tear to a minimum.

Overall, this product from Weichuan is a quality piece of beekeeping equipment and we think that beginners are going to find this option very productive. Looking at the price and overall design, we are making this option from Wuichuan our Budget Friendly pick.

Uncapping Knives and features to look out for

A lot of the uncapping knives on the market look similar, the cold-based and electric knives have the same build qualities with the electric types having the built-in power cord to heat the blades. However, like with most things, there are some products that don’t really make the grade.

All of the products that have been reviewed in this article meet the required standards and we fully recommend that you take a further look at them when the time comes to make your next purchase. Be sure that you can tick off the features below when you are searching for your next uncapping tool.

  • Stainless steel
  • Double-sided blade (preferably serrated)
  • Wooden handle (especially for electric-based knives!)
  • At least a 9” long blade so you can work with both small and large frames
  • Long enough power cable to work safely (electric-based knives)

Why Use Uncapping Knives

Uncapping the wax is one of the most important and exciting stages of beekeeping, it’s the stage just before you see all of the glorious honey waiting to be extracted.

So, with that in mind, you really should be making sure that you have the best tools and equipment to hand when uncapping the wax, doing the best job possible at this stage will allow for the maximum amount of honey to be removed from the frame.

In the old days, before modern technology took over our lives, it was a case of smash and grab and we can only assume that some of this honey was wasted, what a terrible thought! We can all agree that wasting honey is something we don’t want to be doing, so using the correct tool for the job is essential for minimizing honey loss.

Cold-based, electric-based, automatic uncapping tools, there are many options to choose from and it all depends on your experience and more importantly how many hives you are working with. For those who are starting out with just one or two hives, one or two cold-based knives and the hot water trick will be perfect.

Beekeepers with multiple hives are going to be glad of using a knife that is more productive on a larger scale, that’s where the electric-based knives come into play. The blades heat up quick and away you go, the wax will be flying off those frames in no time! The automatic uncapping equipment is used only for the honey-making companies who are dealing with thousands of hives and frames and need to meet strict deadlines.

In summary, the success of your beekeeping hobby or business really comes down to how you can optimize your workflow. Technology has given us many great products that make our lives easier, safer and gives our bee colonies a healthier environment to thrive in.

Choosing the correct style of knife will make your life easier for this part of the honey harvesting process, plus you are giving your bees some time out from having to rebuild the honeycombs again and again, as they say, every little bit helps!