Top 12 Best Honey Extractors

By The Buzzman | Beekeeping Reviews

Best honey extractors

Harvesting honey is the moment every beekeeper looks forward to, after all those months of hard work caring for your bees, it’s a great feeling to see the end result in the form of runny, yummy honey! Various methods are used to extract the honey from the hives, manual and electric, hands-on and machinery, but by far the most convenient and safest method to use is via what is known as a honey extractor.

These simple, mechanical devices remove the honey from the honeycombs without destroying all of the hard work carried out by the bees. The emptied frames and honeycombs can be replaced in the hives, saving your little bee buddies a lot of extra work for the next honey season.

So, now you’re fully up to speed with the basics how we can quickly harvest our honey, we’ve put together a list of the top options that are available on the beekeeping market at the moment.

We’ve searched high and low across the internet and managed to pick out the top 12 options, including the one that we think is the best honey extractor overall, and we’ve also helped you out with some other budget and value for money options as well. There’s an extractor out there for everyone, no matter the price or size!

Ridgeyard Manual Honey Extractor

Pros

  • Stainless steel construction
  • 25” tall and 15” wide
  • Manual process
  • Suitable for three frames per spin
  • Conical bottom design that makes for efficient draining of honey
  • Spring clutch design for easy use
  • Clear lid for viewing
  • Well-designed honey gate for easy pouring and minimal waste

Cons

  • Expensive for a three frame manual extractor

Summary

Ridgeyard is a rather new name on the block for beekeeping supplies, however, this option is a nice looking design. The specs show that it has been made to last with durable materials and well thought-out features like the conical drum bottom and honey gate, both designed for easy honey collection and drainage.

The three frame size offers slightly more productivity than other standard manual extractors, plus, the spring clutch design for the handle allows for easy spinning.

Although this unit comes in at a slightly higher than average price, we thought that it certainly was worth a mention due to the overall design and productivity. A perfect choice for beginners and those with smaller apiaries. The bright red legs might even tempt a few people as well, it would definitely add some color to the beekeepers day that’s for sure!

Honey Keeper Pro Electric Honey Extractor

Pros

  • Constructed with durable stainless steel
  • Electric-based
  • Suitable to hold four standard deep frames, eight shallow, or eight medium frames
  • Clear plastic lids for easy observation during the extraction process
  • 12” stainless steel legs
  • Easy to use with a powerful motor

Cons

  • High-end design means that it comes with an expensive price tag

Summary

The Honey Keeper Pro is a high-end piece of equipment that will instantly increase your honey harvesting productivity. Including all of the durable materials that we should expect and the motor, that offers variable speeds, will keep your frames spinning and honey flowing throughout the day.

The 12” legs provide sufficient space underneath for collecting the honey from the conveniently placed honey gate. 

A great option for those who can stretch their budget to an electric-based extractor. The fact that you can include four standard frames, and up to eight shallow or medium-sized frames, will keep all beekeepers happy, from small time hobbyists to honey-making businesses.

The price tag is at the higher end of the scale, so you will need to factor this in before you buy, but the increased productivity that the Honey Keeper Pro offers should help to make that final decision easier for you!

VIVO BEE-V002C Manual Honey Extractor

Pros

  • Stainless steel construction
  • 29” tall and 14” wide
  • Suitable for two frames per spin and ideal for shallow, medium and deep sizes
  • Manual extractor with easy to use crank system
  • Metal gears and sturdy clamp design to keep frames in place
  • 1 yr warranty

Cons

  • Limited frame space for large-scale beekeepers

Summary

VIVO is a top beekeeper supplier so you know that this unit will tick all the right boxes. The BEE-V002C is a manual extractor that fits two frames per spin cycle, a specially designed crank system makes it easy for one person to spin the drum. The drum basket itself can hold shallow, medium and deep sized frames so there shouldn’t be any issues with frames not fitting.

This design goes slightly against the trend because of the lack of any legs, therefore, you will need to place the extractor on top of a table when it’s time to drain the honey. Not a huge issue but something worth thinking about before you set up, will you need someone to help you lift it up? Do you have the space to store it on a table?

Overall, VIVO has given us another useful option and one that doesn’t break the bank as well! The lack of legs gives this a slightly different feel to most other designs but it still extracts the honey in a professional manner and the end result is just the same, a pool of delicious honey ready to be devoured!

XtremepowerUS 2-Frame Honey Extractor

Pros

  • Stainless steel construction
  • 24” tall and 15” wide allows room for a two frame capacity
  • Detachable legs with a height of 15” for extra space underneath
  • Includes a bonus electric uncapping knife
  • Suitable for various frame sizes – shallow, medium and deep

Cons

  • The longer legs can be unstable at high spinning speeds

Summary

The two frame extractor from XtremepowerUS is a solid option that ticks the right boxes for functionality and performance.

The durable materials and simple design will keep this unit working for a long time. Recommended for beginners and beekeepers working with a smaller number of hives, the manual process with the two-frame capacity is more than enough to keep most beekeepers moving along and extracting honey efficiently.

XtremepowerUS is not a common source for beekeeping supplies but this unit does seem to offer beekeepers enough to get the job done, plus, the free electric uncapping knife is a nice addition to the package. A solid choice that is worthy of a further look for any beginners looking for a manual honey extractor.

VIVO BEE-V002 Manual 2 Frame Honey Extractor

Pros

  • Stainless steel drum serves for a long-lasting extractor
  • 24” tall and 15” wide – fits two frames
  • Suitable for shallow, medium and deep sized frames
  • Elevated drum and low cut honey gate for easy draining
  • Metal gears included that help to keep the frames secure
  • Clear lid to watch the spinning unfold
  • 1-year warranty included

Cons

  • Legs could be firmer which would give more balance at higher speeds
  • Manual powered so it is more suited towards small-scale beekeepers

Summary

The BEE-V002 from VIVO is a superb choice for those looking at a mid-range option, a manual extractor that is available in various sizes ranging from two, three and four frames. The stainless steel finish gives the drum a professional look and also adds to the durability.

VIVO redesigned the basket inside the drum in 2014 to hold even more types of frame sizes, giving beekeepers more freedom than ever before. Using the BEE-V002 is easy, the crank has been specially designed to offer minimum effort when spinning the drum. Two handles on the side allow for easy carrying and the 1-year warranty is a nice little bonus just in case anything goes wrong.

Overall, this is a useful option for those beekeepers who are looking for easy and quick honey extraction methods. The unit has been designed and produced with beekeepers in mind, all of the features help to make your life easier when extracting your honey. We don’t think that you will be disappointed with this offering from VIVO, it’s a great option from an excellent company!

Mann Lake HH160 Manual Honey Extractor

Pros

  • Stainless steel construction
  • 26” tall and 18” wide
  • Suitable for six shallow, three medium or three deep frames
  • Simple yet effective barrel design
  • Large honey gate for easy draining

Cons

  • No legs so it needs to be placed off the ground to drain the honey effectively

Summary

Mann Lake is one of the top beekeeping suppliers around at the moment, they continue to deliver top products that have been designed with beekeepers in mind. This is something that we love to see and offers much reassurance for when you are paying out considerable amounts of money on equipment.

The HH160 is a simple design that extracts honey efficiently and even though it’s a manual extractor, minimal labor power is required from the user to get the unit up and running. The only limitations to this unit is that there are no legs included, so you will need to place this somewhere high in order to drain the honey successfully.

This is might not be an issue for some beekeepers and could even come as an advantage!

The Mann Lake HH160 is a useful option for those looking for something with a high-spec design. Supplied by a well-established company, the higher price could well be justified for those who are familiar with the popular Mann Lake product range.

BestEquip Electric Honey Extractor

Pros

  • Stainless steel construction with seamless design
  • 24” tall and 20” wide – provides plenty of room
  • Electric-based
  • A 120W 1300RPM motor that runs quietly
  • High-precision bearings for great rotation and durability
  • Conically shaped bottom drum section for easy honey collection
  • Two clear top lids for easy viewing when the extractor is spinning

Cons

  • The unit is prone to a slight wobble but this is to be expected due to the nature of the spinning drum. The balance can be strengthened by screwing the feet to a piece of wood – a common trick used by many beekeepers!

Summary

The BestEquip extractor is a top-level choice for both beginners and experienced beekeepers. Being electric-based you’ll be gathering up plenty of honey in no time at all, the stainless steel construction and seamless welding also help to guarantee that the unit will last you a long time.

The base is sturdy but as mentioned, attaching the feet to a piece of plywood or something similar will make it a lot stronger for the days when you are harvesting large amounts of honey.

Overall, the ability to extract honey in a quick and convenient manner puts this unit into our top list. The BestEquip extractor is built to a high, professional quality and although the price tag points towards the higher end of the scale, we think that if your budget allows then this will be a worthwhile purchase for any beekeeper.

Happybuy Electric Honey Extractor

Pros

  • Built with stainless steel for durability
  • 24” tall and 15” wide – fits two frames
  • Electric-based with a quiet, powerful motor
  • Suitable for shallow, medium and deep frames
  • Clear lid for easy viewing
  • A raised bottom bearing to keep the frames out of the pool of honey

Cons

  • Sits at the higher-end of the pricing scale for an electric-based extractor

Summary

Happybuy’s offering ticks all of our checkpoints for a top rate extractor, including the use of durable materials and a suitable overall size that fits at least two large frames. For an electric-based unit, the motor runs quietly and still produces enough power to effectively fling your honey from the frames!

A nice addition is the raised bottom bearing, this allows the basket that holds the frames to lift clear the of the honey in the bottom, keeping the frames clean and your honey pure!

The price tag sits slightly higher than most extractors due it being electric-based, this would make a great option for those beekeepers running larger scale apiaries. You will appreciate the speed and efficiency that this unit will bring to your set up, your honey will be flowing from the frames all day and that’s a thought that puts a smile on our faces, and hopefully yours!

GoodLand Bee Supply HE2MOT Honey Extractor

Pros

  • Built with stainless steel for durability
  • 17” tall and 11” wide
  • Electric-based
  • Two frame capacity
  • Variable speed motor for quick and easy honey extraction
  • Clear lid for easy viewing when the unit it spinning
  • Strong legs and a well-balanced unit

Cons

  • Legs are slightly smaller than average, reducing the size of the container that will fit underneath when collecting the honey

Summary

The Goodland Bee Supply HE2MOT extractor is an excellent example of high quality and top performance, the large price tag is justified when you realize just how well the unit works. It ticks all of the boxes for durability and strength with the stainless steel drum and sturdy legs.

The unit holds only two frames, we have seen units that hold more but the electric motor makes quick work of the extraction process so you’ll be working through all of your frames in no time at all. The slight downfall comes with the slightly smaller than average legs, limiting what you can place underneath to catch the honey as it pours out of the low-level honey gate.

Goodland Bee Supply has a strong track record of designing and producing high-quality beekeeping supplies. The HE2MOT is another strong contender for the best honey extractor and if your budget can stretch to the price tag, then we say go for it – you won’t be disappointed!

Our Budget Pick – Happybuy Manual Honey Extractor

Pros

  • Stainless steel construction
  • 24” tall and 15” wide, easily fits two frames within the drum
  • Hand crank design allows for easy manual honey extraction
  • Two clear lids for easy viewing
  • Conical shaped bottom allows for easy honey drainage
  • Unique basket design provides safer storage of the honeycomb frames
  • Available in a three frame design as well (for a higher price tag, of course!)

Cons

  • Limited to the number of frames you can use per extraction spin

Summary

The HappyBuy extractor will happily do the job at hand! The manual and two-frame design is suitable for beginners and small-scale beekeepers. The hand crank makes light work of the honey extraction process and saves you energy as you collect your honey.

The smooth, stainless steel inside is perfect for the honey to drip down and the conical shaped bottom makes it easy for you to drain the honey after all of the spinning work is done.

We think that the HappyBuy extractor is perfect for our Top Budget pick, the name says it all, buying this unit will leave you happy with the low cost and high performance. A great option to get started with considering the average price for manual extractors is a lot higher.

Our Top Value For Money Pick – Goplus Manual Honey Extractor

Pros

  • Durable stainless steel construction with a smooth professional finish
  • Large capacity – 17” tall and 14” wide
  • Suitable for shallow, medium and deep frames
  • Easy to use handle with spring clutch design for labor-saving workflow
  • Clear plastic lids for easy viewing
  • Simple and well-placed honey tap for easy pouring
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Smaller than average legs leave you with a limited space underneath for catching honey out of the gate

Summary

The extractor from Goplus is a well-rounded option and is proving very popular amongst beekeepers. The build is everything you would ask for from a manual point of view, the stainless steel construction offers longevity and also makes it very easy to clean with warm soapy water. The spring clutch design makes using the Goplus extractor a breeze, saving you energy and time in the process.

The unit can take four large frames or up to eight small/medium frames, making this superb value for money! Furthermore, customer service is known to be very professional which always helps if anything was to go wrong with your extractor – some things do go wrong from time to time!

Overall, we could only see one choice for the Top Value For Money extractor and the Goplus unit was it. A combination of performance and value for money will see this unit being used in apiaries all across the beekeeping land. Goplus are a company who are getting the basics right, quality designs and helpful customer service goes a long way in today’s marketplace.

Our Top Pick – VIVO BEE-V004E Electric Honey Extractor

Pros

  • Stainless steel drum serves for a long-lasting extractor
  • 24” tall and 18” wide
  • Large 4 frame capacity
  • 120V AC motor that makes light work of the extraction process
  • Elevated drum and low cut honey gate for ease of use
  • Suitable for multiple sized frames (shallow, medium, deep)
  • Metal gears included that help to keep the frames secure
  • Clear lid to watch the spinning unfold
  • 1-year warranty included

Cons

  • A high price tag for the large frame capacity and electric motor

Summary

The BEE-V004E is another excellent choice from the people at VIVO. The electric version of the earlier reviewed BEE-V002 makes quick and light work of your honey extraction duties. The build quality is exactly the same with the stainless steel construction and strong legs, a clear lid for easy viewing and you can hold four large frames or up to eight small/medium frames at any one time.

Carrying handles make it easy to place and pull out of storage and the 1-year warranty is a nice backup just in case anything does happen to go wrong.

The BEE-V004E rightly deserves to be our Top Pick for the best honey extractor. At the end of the day, we want to recommend equipment that will make your job easier and quicker.

This unit does exactly that, for those who are serious about beekeeping and who are looking to streamline their business (or hobby!), the BEE-V004E from VIVO is the electric honey extractor for you. A top choice from a top company, need we say more!

Why Use Honey Extractors

A honey extractor is a simple yet very effective piece of equipment, essentially, it is just a big metal drum that has been fitted with some special features that help you extract the honey. All you need to do is place your honeycomb frames in special slots (known as baskets), which can be found inside the metal drum.

The drum is then spun, manually with a handle or via an electric motor, to remove the honey from the frames. The magic power of the extractor is all thanks to centrifugal force, the power of the spinning drum flings the honey out of the honeycomb, which then drips down the inside walls and collects in a pool at the bottom.

A carefully placed honey gate is then opened up and the yummy honey pours out into the waiting container!

As mentioned above, there are various different designs and options when it comes to honey extractors. You’ve got the manual honey extractor and electric honey extractor options, manual would be more suited to those working with a handful of hives but electric will always make your job that little bit easier, if your budget allows.

We think that beekeepers working with multiple hives are going to be thankful for the electric-based option, the bigger extractors are capable of spinning hundreds of frames a day! The other option that you will come across is choosing between tangential and radial extractors, they sound quite technical but fear not, radial requires only one spin of the drum per frame and tangential requires you to flip the frames over once to get all of the honey out (spin the drum twice for each frame).

Some beekeepers find that although the tangential option takes longer, it does manage to remove more of the honey in the long run. Many extractors actually offer both options depending on the number and size of frames that are used. It’s not something that you need to be too picky about, but it’s good to know the definition of tricky phrases that you might not have ever heard of before!

Honey Extractor Buying Guide

A quick search on the internet for honey extractors will leave you scratching your head and wondering where to start. There are plenty of options out there, a lot even look the same, but hopefully, our reviews and top picks above will have given you plenty of food for thought. It all depends on your budget and the size of your beekeeping setup, the prices start at just below $100 and quickly rise up to anywhere around the $500 mark.

Like with most equipment, you get what you pay for, but that doesn’t mean that you have to go and splash out on a fancy electric-based extractor just yet! Just because it’s expensive and has all the fancy features, doesn’t mean that it’s right for you.

So hold onto your money a little bit longer and make sure you have a better understanding of what you really need.

You need to ask yourself some questions to realize what type of extractor will best suit your requirements and setup. The important questions are how many frames will you be looking to extract honey from?

Are you on a deadline to produce a certain amount of honey for someone or some other company? Where are you going to carry out the honey extraction process? Do you have access to electrical power?

Fully understanding the why’s and how’s will put you in a much better place in choosing the right extractor. Are you running a business that needs to get 500 jars of honey to Joe’s Supermarket by the end of the week?

Well, an electric-based extractor will be a wise choice, taking out all of the labor work so you can focus your energy on the packaging and logistics! Perhaps you’re someone who has one or two hives in the back garden and wants to use some home-made honey in your next recipe, with this in mind, a manual honey extractor is more than enough to get your honey from the hive to the jar.

So, as you can see, it all depends on your personal situation. However, sometimes it will come down to plain old laziness, using a electric-based unit just means that you can sit back and let technology do the hard work!

Here’s a list of some of the features that you should be looking out for when searching for your next honey extractor, whether that be electric or manual based:

  • Stainless steel drum
    • Makes for a durable and easy cleaning unit. Plus, the smooth finish allows the honey to slide down the inside of the drum a lot easier!
  • Frame capacity
    • How many frames are you looking to spin and what size are they? Small, shallow, medium, deep, there are many different sizes to work with. Make sure your frames will fit the basket within the drum of the extractor.
  • Low cut honey gate
    • A well-designed honey gate will be located close to the bottom of the drum, the lower the honey gate the easier the honey will flow from the drum and into your waiting containers or jars.
  • Long, sturdy legs
    • Make sure the legs are long enough to fit a suitably sized container underneath, this makes the collection of honey from the drum a whole lot easier. Sturdy legs also help to keep the whole drum balanced when it’s spinning. Remember our little tip, bolting the legs to a piece of plywood will make the unit a lot stronger.

 

The Step-by-Step Honey Extraction Process

An extractor unit does make the honey harvesting process a lot easier, however, there are ways to optimize the way you work and some tips to remember to make sure you get every possible drop of honey from your frames. We’ve put together a step-by-step guide to show you exactly how it should be done.

  1. A Stable And Sturdy Extractor
    1. Make sure that your extractor is sturdy and sitting on a stable surface. The last thing you want is for the unit to start wobbling as it spins, that could spell disaster for your honey!
    2. If you are using an extractor without legs then find a way to clamp it to the table of whatever surface you are using. For the units with legs, if you are unsure on the stability then bolt the legs to a piece of wood to ensure that it stays where it should during the extraction process.
  1. Collect The Honey Frames
    1. Once the extractor is in place and you are happy that it’s stable, the next job is to collect the frames. You’ll need to carefully open the hives and smoke the bees to safely remove the frames, remember, don’t overdo the smoking as this can affect the flavor of the honey!
  1. Remove The Capping From The Frames
    1. Now you’ve collected your frames, you need to remove the capping layer from the honeycomb. You can either cut or melt this layer off, being careful not to disrupt the wax honeycomb too much. An uncapping knife is an effective tool and there are electric versions available that will heat up and make the process that little bit easier. Just remember to take your time and not rush this section.
  1. Placing The Frames Inside the Extractor
    1. Carefully place your frames inside of the extractor and close the lid, depending on what type of extractor you have will decide what the next step is.
      1. Electric-based – turn the switch on and watch your honey start to fly from the frames and into the bottom of the drum
      2. Manual-based – start to spin the drum using the handle
    2. Keep on spinning and checking until all of the honey has been extracted. Be careful not to spin too much as this can cause damage to the frames.
  1. Draining The Honey
    1. Once you are happy that all of your honey has been spun out of the frames and has dripped down to the bottom of the drum, you can then position your container underneath the honey gate. Remember to add a filtering screen across the top of the container, this helps to remove any impurities from the honey.
    2. When the container is in the right position, open up and watch your honey flow. Just close the gate if you need to stop and swap the containers. It’s a simple process but very satisfying!
  1. Let The Honey Rest
    1. Allowing the honey to rest for up to 24 hours will let any bubbles rise to the top, this is a useful tip that increases the quality of the honey and makes it look even more delicious! After the 24 hours is up, the honey is ready to use, pack or store away. Time to enjoy!

Why Use Honey Extractors?

Honey extractors are a great way to increase your productivity and streamline the beekeeping process, the old-fashioned way of scraping honey from the honeycombs can be fun but you always run the chance of breaking the honeycombs each and every season.

These extractors, electric or manual, take the risk of breaking your precious honeycomb frames out of the equation and give you a clean and simple option for harvesting your honey. The honey-making companies would struggle without them, they simply would not meet the demand if they had to manually scrape the honey from each frame.

Most hobbyists out there who try using one of these units are pleasantly surprised with the results, proving that an investment now will be worthwhile in the years to come.

If you think of the time saved from using a manual or electric extractor, being able to extract honey from several frames at any one time, and the extra work you are saving your busy bees from having to rebuild the honeycombs each year.

It’s easy to see why these units are popular with beekeepers around the world. Hopefully, we’ve pointed you in the right direction and you’ve now got a good idea of which extractor type will work best for you. Good luck and happy honey extracting!