I have twelve beehives. I used a serrated uncapping knife last year and my wrists are still aching from the experience (not really, but it was a lot harder to uncap that many frames with an uncapping knife than I thought it would be). Now I am looking for a better way to uncap frames. Any thoughts or opinions on any of the following options:
1. Uncapping Plane: this looks like a reasonable option at a reasonable price. Does it work well? Is it fast? Is it easier on the wrists as the catalogs usually claim? Are they durable? Do they scorch honey or cause any other problems that I might need to be aware of?
2. Vibrating Knife: Specifically, I found one in the Kelley online catalog for $385.00. It is pricier than an uncapping plane, but is it better? That is, is it faster? Is it easier to use? Is it durable? Does it scorch honey or cause any other problems that I might need to be aware of? (OK, I only have twelve hives, but I plan to add several more, so I may as well be ready to grow. Does this work better than an uncapping plane?)
3. Hand-cranked Uncapper: OK, I don't know what it is called, but it is available from Brushy Mountain Bee Farm. Basically, it is a horizontal, hand-cranked device that cuts the cappings from the frame. I think it is supposed to be the manual version of a chain uncapper, but is it any faster than either of the options listed above? It can't scorch honey (no heated parts, apparently), but I don't know if it presents any other problems. Here's the catch: price. I think the website lists it for $1,195. Kinda steep. Is it worth it?
I think I just need to find something that works as I grow and until I can find a reasonably priced used chain uncapper. So, any thoughts on any of the preceding options?