Beekeeping is a fascinating and rewarding process. There are many ways to harvest the finished crop. No matter how many hives you have, a commercial honey extractor makes your job much easier. This machine’s advantage is that it saves time and effort and allows you to keep the frames intact. Such a purchase can require a significant investment, so you should approach the choice of beekeeping equipment responsibly. If you correctly identify your needs and choose the best honey extractor, it will last many years.
11 Best Honey Extractors
- VIVO Manual 2 Frame Honey Extractor ―Top Pick
- VEVOR Electric 2 Frame Honey Extractor ―Runner-Up
- VINGLI Manual 2 Frame Honey Extractor ―Budget Choice
- VINGLI Upgraded 3 Frame Honey Extractor
- VIVO Manual 3 Frame Honey Extractor
- VEVOR Electric 3 Frame Honey Extractor
- VINGLI Upgraded 4 Frame Honey Extractor
- VEVOR Electric 4 Frame Honey Extractor
- VIVO Manual 8 Frame Honey Extractor
- VIVO Electric 8 Frame Honey Extractor
- Mann Lake 2-Frame Plastic Honey Bee Extractor
I have prepared reviews of the 11 best models for those looking for a honey extractor for sale. To compile the list, I collected and analyzed the objective opinions of beekeepers.
1. VIVO Manual 2 Frame Honey Extractor: Top Pick
VIVO offers its customers high-quality inventory and excellent service. This manual honey extractor has a design that allows you to extract more honey with little effort. The drum is made of stainless steel and has a diameter of 15 inches. Its height is 24 inches. I like that I don’t have to tilt the extractor forward to get the most out of the harvest. It is because the gate’s opening is 1/2 inch higher than the bottom of the barrel.
I purchased this 2-frame model many years ago. At that moment, I had no experience. However, the instructions were clear, and assembly was easy. In 2014, the manufacturer added the ability to use not only medium and deep frames but also shallow ones. The clever design keeps the gears clean. This model has a conical shape of the drum’s inner bottom, allowing you to collect honey more efficiently. The honey extractor hand crank and mechanism work smoothly.
2. VEVOR Electric 2 Frame Honey Extractor: Runner-Up
If you want to make your job as easy as possible, check out the best electric honey extractor on this list. The VEVOR brand is known for excellent quality equipment at a low price.
The electric motor has a power of 140 W 1.1 A. 6 modes allow you to choose the speed. The maximum is 1,300 RPM.
My friend, who has 3 hives so far, rents this model and plans to buy the same one. He likes the efficiency and ease with which this extractor allows to collect honey. For a full extraction, it is necessary to load the frames twice. You can control the process as the lids are made of transparent plexiglass. The stainless steel barrel is 24 inches high and 15 inches in diameter.
Since the seamless and smooth design, the extractor is also easy to clean. The height of the legs can be adjusted. The manufacturer pre-drilled holes for it.
3. VINGLI Manual 2 Frame Honey Extractor: Budget Choice
Knowing that many beekeepers prefer expensive options, I was surprised to learn that one of them has been successfully using this cheap extractor for several years. This is a great option for girls as the extractor is lightweight at just 11.6 pounds. Therefore, it is convenient to transport and easy to wash.
The beekeeper said that the assembly was quite simple. This extractor allows you to quickly extract honey from deep, medium, and shallow frames. The model has a decent quality: 2 types of stainless steel were used for manufacturing, and the honey valve is made of metal, not plastic, which is much more reliable. Lids are made of transparent plexiglass. The handle rotates easily.
The beekeeper noted that the legs are very sharp, so you need to be careful when installing them. They have 3 levels of height adjustment. You should make sure to screw the legs to the base because the light weight will cause the extractor to walk around while spinning.
4. VINGLI Upgraded 3 Frame Honey Extractor: Ideal Choice for a Small Apiary
The VINGLI brand destroys the myth that cheap means bad. I know a person with 5 hives who is happy with this model, so this is your best choice if you are into beekeeping as a hobby. This extractor does its job as expected. However, you will need to stabilize it or hold it while spinning.
The beekeeper likes that the frame basket is slightly rounded inside, which minimizes the risk of frame breakage. You can use buckets of different sizes to collect honey as the overall height is adjustable (40.3 inches, 43.8 inches, or 47 inches). The extractor is not leaking. It has a weight of 12 pounds, which is very convenient for transportation and cleaning. The structure is made of stainless steel and the honey valve ― of metal. This model is strong enough to help you harvest quickly, so I recommend choosing a honey extractor equipment with more solid technical characteristics for commercial beekeepers.
5. VIVO Manual 3 Frame Honey Extractor: Practical Choice
I communicate a lot with other beekeepers both in real life and online. VIVO has earned their trust. In the Facebook groups, I saw enough positive feedback about this extractor to recommend it to you. Moreover, I have the same model with 2 frames. This honey extractor has a steel drum 24.7 inches high and 15 inches in diameter. Weight 27.8 pounds, which is a lot but allows you to better stabilize the unit. The build quality is excellent, and the extractors of this brand are made in America.
Metal bevel gears guarantee smooth rotation. The height allows you to use a 5-gallon bucket to collect honey. The rotary handle operates smoothly. The cone-shaped bottom and reasonable location of the gate relative to the bottom allow you to collect the maximum amount of honey without tilting the extractor. That year, thanks to this model, my friend-beekeeper collected 140 pounds of honey with minimal effort.
6. VEVOR Electric 3 Frame Honey Extractor: Optimal Capacity and Price
If you are looking for an inexpensive electric extractor, but the 2-frame model does not suit you, take a look at this option. The equipment from the VEVOR brand has a reasonable ratio of quality and price.
The steel drum can have an overall height of 44.5 to 48.4 inches, thanks to the adjustable legs. Insert 3 frames (for all types) into the basket and simply turn on the automatic honey extractor. You can choose the speed from 6 modes. It usually takes only 5 minutes to collect honey from one side.
I gave this model to my relative a few years ago. He noted that the manufacturer’s claims were justified. The construction is really rust and wear-resistant. The design is easy to assemble and disassemble for further cleaning. The 140 W 1.1 A motor allows you to quickly empty the frames, doing your own thing while the extractor is working.
7. VINGLI Upgraded 4 Frame Honey Extractor: Choice for a Start-up Business
If you plan to develop your beekeeping business but do not yet have the opportunity to purchase a large electric extractor, this model may be your best option. My friends used this manual extractor for several years until they expanded their apiary.
The manufacturer offers decent quality: 2 types of high-quality stainless steel are used for this unit. The silicone gasket ensures that honey will not drip onto the floor. The beekeepers noted that the 2 transparent lids allow you to control the extraction process and prevent dust particles from settling on the honey, which is especially important if you put the inventory outdoors. Weight is optimal, not too light or heavy ― 14 lbs. The barrel is made of seamless welded steel, so it is easy to clean. The handle is easy to turn, and the exhaust valve has been improved to fit and remove from one side.
8. VEVOR Electric 4 Frame Honey Extractor: For Amateur and Commercial Beekeepers
When I had to select an electric extractor for 4 frames, I decided on the model from VEVOR. The manufacturer offers decent quality, comparable to the level of more expensive and well-known brands. This model is easy to operate and allows you to effectively extract a large amount of honey at a time from small, medium, or deep frames.
The barrel is quite big: its diameter is 20 inches, and its height is 24 inches. The weight of this equipment is 60 pounds. Like the 2 and 3-frame models, this version has a 140 W 1.1 A motor and 6-speed settings. I screwed the legs to wooden plywood so that the unit would not “dance” at maximum speed. Premium stainless steel has been used to make the parts. The capacity of 4 frames is perfect for amateur beekeepers and those who plan to develop their business.
9. VIVO Manual 8 Frame Honey Extractor: For Tangential and Radial Rotation
If you are looking for a durable, manual extractor for more than 5 hives, this option is the best value for money. My friend has already harvested a considerable crop 3 times using it. He chose it because this manufacturer makes the bottom cone-shaped, which makes it easier to drain the honey. You don’t have to tilt this heavy (34 lb) extractor to drain residue.
The drum height is 23.75 inches, and its diameter is 18.5 inches, which allows you to extract more honey at a time. You can load up to 4 frames of any size into the basket and rotate them tangentially, or up to 8 shallow and medium frames for radial rotation. A simple crank system ensures you will spend a minimum of effort during the process.
Polished stainless steel provides durability and is easy to clean. Although the quality of the extractor is excellent, my friend is not happy with the legs. They are not strong enough, and it is more difficult to balance the unit.
10. VIVO Electric 8 Frame Honey Extractor: Premium Choice
This model became my main assistant for honey extraction when I decided to expand my farm and needed a solid unit. If you are a commercial beekeeper or have a lot of hives, this extractor is for you. I can say that this unit makes collecting honey as simple and fast as possible.
The conical bottom ensures easy draining. The distance from the honey gate to the floor is 17.2 inches, so I can use a 5-gallon bucket. The unit has a speed controller. It is possible to load 8 small and medium frames or 4 deep ones at one time. The metal gears are covered, so honey doesn’t get on them.
I like that the manufacturer thought about safety by adding a cooling fan and a feature that turns off the engine when the lid is opened. Steel parts are easy to clean and wear-resistant. For those with only a few hives, this model may be a luxury, but I would recommend it to anyone looking to develop their beekeeping business.
11. Mann Lake 2-Frame Plastic Honey Bee Extractor: Ideal for Hobby
The extractor from the Mann Lake brand has a minimalistic design and is suitable for owners of several hives. The model is made of thick food-grade plastic with a steel shaft inside. The extractor lid and honey damper are also made of plastic. It weighs only 10.1 pounds.
My friend likes this unit because it is high quality, easy to use, and light. For her apiary with 3 beehives, this is the best option. Although the design seems simple, this model extracts honey quickly. The steel and plastic handle works smoothly. It rotates in both directions, minimizing the risk of accidental breakage. To empty the frames, you will need to load them twice, turning them over between sessions. The basket is suitable for small, medium, and deep frames.
Honey Extractor Machine Buyer’s Guide
You have decided to purchase the most expensive equipment for every beekeeper ― an extractor. If you are a club member and often use available models, you understand which features and capabilities are preferable. If you are a beginner in beekeeping, you have to go a long way and be patient to select the one that will not disappoint. First of all, evaluate your needs. Next, I will tell you in detail about the main points you should pay attention to when choosing a honey centrifuge.
How to choose a honey extractor?
The market offers a huge selection of units for different levels of honey production and financial possibilities. You should find the best option that will reduce the time of honey extraction and is optimal for your apiary. Many beekeepers recommend buying the most expensive extractor you can afford. However, if you don’t plan on expanding your apiary, this can be a waste of money.
The best are considered models that are made of stainless steel. This material ensures a long service life. It is resistant to moisture, rust and relatively easy to clean (depending on the design of the extractor). I recommend choosing a model whose legs are also made of thick stainless steel. It minimizes the risk of breakage and guarantees better unit stabilization during spinning.
It is also better to choose a steel basket for frames. They can be made from aluminum. Since it is a soft metal, it can be deformed if the load on the aluminum parts is large enough. The drive mechanism (different gears and cardan shaft) must be metal. Otherwise, you will soon have to look for a replacement for them.
You will not see galvanized metal in new models because the use of this material is typical for very old extractors. Never buy honey equipment with these parts. Most often, beginners try to save money and buy used units. The zinc particles with which the metal is coated can get into honey with prolonged contact. High content can be harmful, and you definitely want something other than pure honey in your container. It is unacceptable for commercial productions with quality control.
Honey gates can be made of high-quality metal. However, most often, they are plastic. It is important that the material is durable and guarantees a secure closure.
On the market, you can find both models for several hundred dollars and several thousand. In the middle price segment, the largest number of offers. However, even cheap extractors can be your best bet. It is not necessary to choose the most expensive option. If you have a small apiary, buying an electric unit can be an unnecessary luxury. Even manual 2-frame models can help you collect honey quickly and efficiently.
This review presents models of decent build quality. They have many positive reviews and reasonable prices. Accordingly, paying a lot of money for a good unit is not necessary. I recommend finding a balance between your needs, financial capabilities, and market offerings.
This feature is determined by the number of frames you can load into the basket at one time. It is worth considering how many hives you currently have and how many you plan to have in the near future.
- For those who have up to 4 hives, a 2-frame extractor will suffice.
- If you have up to 8 hives, the 4-frame model is the best choice.
- For large beekeeping farms with more than 10 hives, it is worth considering 8-frame or 9-frame models.
It is also essential to consider what frames you are using. All models are suitable for collecting honey from small frames, as they are the most popular. If you have medium or deep ones, make sure you can load them into the extractor.
It is a critical parameter that many do not pay attention to.
- If you are planning to buy a manual honey extractor, you need to choose one that allows you to easily turn the handle.
- A too-low extractor can also be a problem: you won’t put a large container under it to collect honey. Instead, you will have to use many small ones. It may cause some inconvenience.
- Too high an aggregate is inconvenient to wash, and it will slow down the work process because it will be more difficult for you to load and unload frames.
- Pay attention to models with adjustable legs. They have multiple levels and pre-drilled holes for installation. You can change the height of the unit depending on the needs. The legs must be strong for better stabilization.
If you have already decided on other features and everything suits you, check if you have enough space to store this particular extractor. This question is irrelevant if you have a large and free space. However, if it is limited, this can create some problems. Look at the model’s exact sizing specifications and make sure you have a dry, secure place to store it. Fortunately, most models are ideal for beginners, and small and medium businesses are relatively compact.
Some design features of the extractor are a smart decision of the manufacturer and allow you to extract honey more efficiently and conveniently.
- Many models have lids made of transparent material. They allow you to observe the extraction process and protect the honey from dirt and dust.
- The bottom can be cone-shaped or straight. The sloped surface of the bottom will allow the honey to flow into the container faster. This also means you will collect more honey removed from the frames.
- Adjustable legs with mounting holes allow you to choose the unit’s height and attach it to a heavy base for better stabilization.
- The lower the drain valve is, the more honey you can collect without tilting the extractor.
- Sturdy handles on the sides of the honey centrifuge will be a useful addition if you plan to transport it frequently.
- The seamless welded construction of the steel tank guarantees easy and fast cleaning. The minimum number or absence of recesses and seams also prevents dirt and honey residues from accumulating, preventing bacteria development.
Manual vs. electric honey extractor
All extractors, powered by electricity or manually rotated, are essentially the same design. To extract honey from the honeycomb, you need to load the frames into the basket located in the drum. This drum rotates, and the honey gradually flows without damaging the frames. In general, extraction is achieved through the use of centrifugal force.
Manual honey extractor
Manual models have many advantages. However, they are still more suitable for amateur beekeepers than for large businesses, as they require more time and effort to extract. The drum rotates when the handle is turned.
- You control the speed of rotation yourself, so using a manual extractor minimizes the risk of damaging the frames;
- Such models usually have a much smaller weight and size, so they are easier to transport and clean;
- Manual models are much cheaper than electric ones;
- You don’t have to pay electricity bills;
- Not suitable for commercial beekeepers, as honey extraction is slower, and you need to turn the handle to free the combs. This can be extremely tiring if you have many hives;
- For beekeepers with up to 10 hives, a manual extractor is the best choice.
Electric honey extractor
The motorized honey extractor has the same parts and layout as the manual model but is powered by an electric motor. You just have to plug the machine into the power outlet and wait until honey is removed from the frames.
- Most options have multiple speed modes;
- Allows you to do other things while the machine extracts honey;
- You get more honey in a shorter time;
- The best choice for commercial beekeeping;
- The high-speed mode may damage frames;
- Assumes additional expenses for electricity and access to an outlet during operation;
- Rather high cost in comparison with the manual unit.
Both manual and electric options do a great job of extracting honey and make the job easier for the beekeeper. Decide on the honey equipment according to your needs.
Radial vs. tangential honey extractor
Extractors can be radial and tangential. In each of these types of aggregates, the frames are located differently. Some manufacturers offer models that combine these honey extraction methods.
Radial honey extractor
The basket of this unit is designed with frames inserted around the axis of the drum. The arrangement resembles the shape of a star when viewed from the top of the extractor. The radial extraction allows you to collect the honey by loading the frames just once, without turning them over. The liquid content of the honeycombs drips from both sides at once during spinning. Such models are slightly more expensive than tangential ones. However, they are popular with commercial beekeepers as they save time.
Tangential honey extractor
The tangential type involves placing the frames so that they are parallel to the tank. You load honeycombs and extract honey from one side during spinning. Then you need to get the frames, turn them over and load them again for extraction on the other side. Many beekeepers decide on tangential extractors because they clean frames better and are cheaper than radial models. Ideal for small businesses, but not very efficient if you have a huge honey production since you have to do double work.
If you have many hives or plan to expand your apiary significantly in the future, look into electric extractors with radial rotation. It will require rather big investments but will allow you to extract honey most efficiently.
FAQ on Centrifugal Honey Extractor
Read answers to common questions that beginner beekeepers often ask below.
How to clean honey extractor?
Collect leftover honey by leaving the extractor tilted overnight in a warm room or with a silicone spatula. Then fill the extractor with cool water, closing the honey gate. Leave for 8-10 hours. Drain, wipe with a towel, and dry outdoors or with a hair dryer.
What is the best honey extractor?
The best model will be the one that suits your needs, has high-quality materials, and the right balance. For small apiaries, I recommend VIVO manual honey extractor for 2 frames.
How does a honey extractor work?
All extractors work thanks to centrifugal force. The basket with frames is attached to the drum, and during the rapid rotation, the honey is released and collected at the bottom. In this case, the honeycombs remain intact.
Make Your Honey Harvesting Easier
Every beekeeper dreams of a honey extractor. It makes extracting honey faster and less messy, which is crucial for those with many hives. Choosing the right option is a complex process that requires you to be patient. In this review, I have done a lot of work to make your choice easier. For those with a small apiary, I recommend VIVO manual 2-frame honey extractor for the best value for money and excellent customer service.
What methods of extracting honey besides the extractor have you tried out? Share your experience in the comments!