6 Best Honey Extractors For Beginners In 2024

A selection of honey extractors with grass in the background

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Honey extractors are crucial tools that make beekeepers and their bees more efficient. But selecting the ideal one for your honey room is tricky, given the number of models on offer.

After days of research and testing, we’ve compiled a list of the best honey extractors for beginners. Our team weighed up the pros and cons of each model so that you can decide which is suitable for your apiary.

Here’s a quick snapshot of our favorite choices:

Editor's Pick
Little Giant Manual 2-Frame Extractor

Beekeepers needing high-quality manual equipment for a small bee yard.

Budget Manual
VEVOR Manual 2/4 Frame Honey Extractor

Beekeepers needing a low-cost manual extractor for a small bee yard.

Budget Electric
VEVOR Electric 4/8 Frame Honey Extractor

Beekeepers searching for an affordable powered honey extractor for up to 15 hives.

Top 6 honey extractors for beginner beekeepers

Below is our comprehensive list of the best honey extractors available online. We discuss their features, specifications, strengths, and weaknesses.

1. Little Giant 2-Frame Hand-Crank Honey Extractor

Best for: Beekeepers needing high-quality manual equipment for a small bee yard.

Dimensions LxWxHWeightFrame configurationElectric or ManualNumber of frames
16x16x30”24 poundsTangentialManual2

The Little Giant Honey 2-Frame Extractor is ideal for small hobbyist beekeepers. Made from durable stainless steel, it will provide years of service before it needs replacing.

Little Giant extractors are manually operated machines, requiring the user to crank a handle to get the frames spinning. Extracting the honey takes roughly ten minutes, which will vary depending on local flower sources and ambient temperature.

Remember, the Little Giant is a tangential model that extracts one side of the frame at a time. That means you’ll need to flip them halfway through. Not exactly a deal-breaker for small bee yards, but worth considering.

Since 1941, the Miller Manufacturing Company has been making farm, ranch, and pet products. Their range of beekeeping equipment is proudly made in Glencoe, MN.

  • American-made
  • Easy to use
  • Fits deeps and mediums
  • Portable and easy to store
  • Made from quality 18/10 stainless steel
  • Tricky to clean
  • Legs too short for a larger honey bucket
  • Requires some initial assembly

2. VEVOR 2/4 Frame Honey Extractor

Best for: Beekeepers needing a low-cost manual extractor for a small bee yard.

Dimensions LxWxHWeightFrame configurationElectric or ManualNumber of frames
15 x 15 x 27.5”21.4 poundsTangentialManual2/4

The Vevor 2/4 Frame Extractor is a hand crank device that will appeal to beekeepers with a few hives. It has the capacity for two deeps or four shallow frames.

It fits into small rooms with a small diameter, making it useful for those short on space. While it’s suitable for use in a kitchen, you could just as easily move it outside and enjoy the sunshine while you work. After use, easily store the extractor in a large household cupboard or shed.

We found the Vevor manual extractor easy to use, and it left dry frames at the end of spinning. The ergonomic handle made cranking easier, and we were left with intact comb for returning to the hive.

The Vevor is cheaper than the Little Giant, and the difference in quality was noticeable. The stainless steel was thinner, and its legs weren’t as sturdy, so it moved and shook around a fair bit. Screwing the legs into a base would greatly improve user experience. 

  • Affordable
  • Polished, rust-resistant stainless steel
  • Adjustable height for convenience

  • Lacks stability unless screwed down
  • Tricky to clean
  • Requires some initial assembly

3. VEVOR Electric 4/8 Frame Honey Extractor

Best for: Beekeepers needing a powered extractor for up to 15 hives.

Dimensions LxWxHWeightFrame configurationElectric or ManualNumber of frames
18.5 x 18.5 x 33.7”44.3 poundsRadialElectric4/8

As hive numbers grow, so will your need for a bigger honey extractor. The Vevor Electric 4/8 Frame Honey Extractor will take four deep or eight smaller frames. Its 140-watt motor spins the unit at 1300rpm, allowing for quick extraction.

This is a bigger unit than the smaller manual products mentioned in this guide, so moving it becomes less feasible. Although heavier, it still moves around as the frames get spun, so bolting the legs down will significantly help.

The auto-shutoff function is a nice safety feature built into the Vevor Electric Extractor. If the lid is opened during operation, the motor stops to reduce the chance of injury.

Overall, this Vevor extractor is a functional, nice-looking contraption, and its polished stainless steel is a nice touch. Sure, it’s overkill for a few hives. But new beekeepers intending to grow their apiary in the coming years won’t have the headache of upgrading.

  • Bigger capacity
  • Polished, rust-resistant stainless steel
  • Auto shut-off function

  • Lacks stability unless screwed down
  • Can't use off the grid

4. VIVO 3 Frame Electric Honey Extractor

Best for: Hobbyist beekeepers that can’t or won’t operate a manual machine.

Dimensions LxWxHWeightFrame configurationElectric or ManualNumber of frames
38.25 x 18.5 x 18”43.1 poundsTangentialElectric3

Cranking the handle of a manual extractor is fun the first time, but some will find it tedious. Others won’t have the physical capacity, so automating the process makes sense.

The Vivo 3-Frame Electric Honey Extractor is an affordable model for beekeepers that don’t want to splash out over $1000 for a Maxant. It holds three shallow, medium, or deep frames. Our tests found it took around seven minutes to empty full deeps.

With legs attached, the drum is 15.25″ from the floor, which provides room for a 5-gallon honey bucket underneath. This is a valuable feature, as some of the smaller models won’t allow this. The honey gate is 0.5″ from the bottom of the barrel, so there’s less tipping needed to get the honey from the bottom.

The Vevor Electric Extractor has an auto-shutoff function which provides added safety. If the lid gets opened during operation, the motor stops to reduce injuries.

  • Excellent value for money
  • Quiet motor
  • Heavy gauge stainless steel
  • Wobbly legs
  • Speed controller isn't smooth
  • Sells out fast in peak season

5. Goodland Bee Supply 2 Frame Honey Extractor

Best for: Beekeepers starting out that also need tools.

Dimensions LxWxHWeightFrame configurationElectric or ManualNumber of frames
15 x 15 x 27.5”21 poundsTangentialManual2

The Goodland Bee Supply 2-Frame Honey Extractor is an option for beekeepers looking to start beekeeping. Along with an extractor, you’ll get tools like a smoker, pellets, frame spacer, frame grips, uncapping knife, uncapping roller, hive tool, and bee brush.

New beekeepers will find this manual tangential extractor will suit their bee yard if they have roughly five hives or less. You can always trade up as the apiary grows.

The unit is constructed with 17-gauge food-grade stainless steel. It fits two supers, mediums, or deep frames. Like the Vevor, we found the legs weren’t as sturdy as we’d like. Attaching them to a piece of plywood would help bolster the machine. 

  • Includes tools for beginner beekeepers
  • Affordable kit
  • Easy to setup and operate

  • Lacks stability unless screwed down
  • Included tools may not suit

6. Maxant Nine Frame Extractor POWER-9F

Best for: Advanced hobbyist beekeepers seeking superior quality.

Image credit: Maxant Industries
Dimensions LxWxHWeightFrame configurationElectric or ManualNumber of frames
18.5×18.5×24.5” TangentialElectric3/6

The team had mixed feelings about including the Maxant 9 Frame Extractor in our top honey extractors list. This equipment is exceptional and will keep going for longer than most. However, it’s over $1000 and may be overkill for a new beekeeper. If you’re confident that you’ll keep beekeeping for years to come, then consider this option.

The Maxant Power-9F is the most popular model in the manufacturer’s range. Its high-powered electric motor removes honey from frames super-fast.

This tangential extractor is constructed with 20-gauge stainless steel, which fits three deeps or six mediums or shallows.

Unlike most competing products, the Maxant doesn’t have a honey gate. Instead, a male fitting attaches flush with the conical bottom pan to drain all the honey. That means no tilting the machine to get all the leftovers below the gate.

  • Superior quality
  • Fast, effective extraction
  • Built in America
  • Reputable brand
  • Easy to setup and operate

  • Higher up-front cost
  • Can't use off the grid
  • Often sell out in peak season

Learn more about their brand or find a dealer here>

Other brands worth considering

These companies also produce honey extractors worth considering:

  • Lyson
  • Oz Armour
  • Honey Keeper
  • Mann Lake
  • Goodland Bee Supply
  • Bee Castle
  • BestEquip
  • Harvest Lane

Buyer’s guide

The right honey extractor will streamline honey harvesting season, but what should you look for in a worthy model? Here are some features to consider when buying a honey extractor.

1. Type of extractor – manual vs. electric

For new beekeepers, the biggest decision will come down to the type of extractor. Will you manually spin the machine or use electricity to make life easier?

For small-scale hobbyists, a manual extractor will often work fine. These are usually less expensive and portable, but they require more physical effort, which some find tedious. Despite the higher investment, those with increasing hive numbers will find electric extractors more practical and time-saving.

2. Material

Honey extractors are typically made of food-grade stainless steel or plastic. Stainless steel extractors are durable and easier to clean but can be more expensive. Check the steel gauge and customer reviews, as the quality of construction materials varies. Plastic extractors are more affordable and lightweight.

3. Capacity

Getting the capacity right is one of your trickiest decisions, as bee yards can scale up rapidly. If that’s your plan, look at larger extractors to cope with your expansion plans.

It’s not all about hive numbers, though. Consider how many frames you intend to remove from the colony. Factors like local climate and beekeeping approach will impact this.

Another consideration when calculating capacity requirements is your available time. A retiree may have more hours in the day to spend extracting frames compared to a full-time worker with five young kids.

4. Frame size

Many extractors accommodate shallow, mediums, and deeps, but check the extractor accommodates your frame size. Some units are designed to handle all three types, while others may only fit one or two.

5. Frame position

Honey extractors come in two primary designs: radial and tangential. Radial honey spinners hold frames in a bicycle spoke pattern, allowing both sides of the comb to be extracted simultaneously. Tangential extractors have one side of the comb facing outward, requiring users to flip the frame part way through processing.

A radial extractor is typically faster but more expensive. Many honey extractors for beginners use a tangential setup.

6. Sturdiness

One of the biggest problems with poorly made extractors is their lack of sturdiness. They tend to move around and topple over, especially electric models.

Check the construction materials, design quality, and whether the legs are stable. Past customers will quickly point out this fault if it’s a problem, so pay attention to reviews.

7. Price

Higher-priced extractors typically offer superior performance and longevity. However, a small thousand-dollar extractor may be unnecessary for newcomers to keeping bees. There are plenty of reasonably priced models suitable for hobbyists that won’t break the bank.

How we tested the best honey extractors

Searching for the top extractors is no easy feat. They’re expensive, and our small team couldn’t possibly test them all. Here’s how we approached the task.

Research: We contacted friends and colleagues on forums and social media to create a shortlist.

Our growing Facebook page also helps us get opinions on what real-life beekeepers use and enjoy.

Youtube video reviews provide a wealth of advice from experienced beekeepers. This knowledge was combined with the experience of our team to get a shortlist.

Field testing: We tested each tool, allowing for valid comparisons between each model. Each product was judged on extraction speed, effectiveness, durability, and price.

Of course, other excellent machines on the market didn’t feature on this list. We only considered tools readily available online so all our readers can access them.

Commonly asked questions

Is a honey extractor worth the money?

While there are cheap alternative extraction methods, nothing removes honey from its comb as effectively as an extractor. In addition to saving time, you’ll keep the cells intact, which is a huge time-saver for the colony.

What is a honey extractor?

A honey extractor is a mechanical device typically using centrifugal force to remove honey from its comb. It is an essential part of beekeeping operations looking to increase honey yield and speed up processing.

How many frames can a honey extractor hold?

Bigger manual honey extractors may hold up to ten frames, but any more becomes too difficult to crank. Electric machines may take one hundred frames or more, suitable for large-scale apiaries. A commercial honey extractor may also include uncapping and filtering features.

Can I extract honey without an extractor?

Beekeepers can use the crush and strain method if they don’t want an extractor. This option is much slower, and the comb gets destroyed, meaning the honey bees must rebuild the comb.

Can I rent a honey extractor?

Some beekeeping suppliers rent out honey extractors to local beekeepers during harvesting season. You can often borrow them from local beekeeping clubs if you’re a member.

Can I use a honey extractor with any hive?

Honey extractors are primarily designed for Langstroth-style hive frames. Hives like Warre and Top Bar aren’t designed for most honey extractors.

Summing up

This guide provides an in-depth look at honey extraction equipment. We covered different types, including manual, electric, radial, and tangential options.

Beekeepers with minimal hives will find the Little Giant Honey 2-Frame Extractor an excellent piece of equipment.

Once your bee yard expands, choose the Vevor Electric 4/8 Frame Honey Extractor or the Maxant Nine Frame Extractor POWER-9F if budget permits.

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