Radial vs. Tangential Extractor
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    137

    Default Radial vs. Tangential Extractor

    I've used a tangential extractor for a while but have always read that a radial would result in less foundation damage and no need to flip frames. A local beek said that he finds he can't get as much honey out using a radial and uses a tang. with his 200 hives. He found a radial to tear up his equip even more.

    What do others like? Do you find radials to be less efficient at removing honey?

    Thanks

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,870

    Default

    I used to use a two-frame hand-crank tangential and a four-frame hand-crank tangential. Both were cheap when I was starting out, but slow. So I'd use one until the bottom got full of honey, and while it drained, I switched to the other one. Back and forth, side by side, spin/flip, etc.

    They worked just fine.

    Then I graduated to a radial, 20-frame motorized unit. I think it takes just as long to spin out 20 frames in one radial load as it does to spin out 20 frames in 10 loads on the tangential. The radial needs to start slow and I gradually turn the speed up. The tangential, even with the flipping, seems to unload the comb faster because of the angle of the frame to the force. But then you need to flip them over. Two or three good spins and the honey is out.

    But as for spinning out "more" honey? I don't think so. I usually let my motorized unit spin until I've got another 20 frames uncapped and hanging in my uncapping rack. When I unload, those frames are nice and slick with no appreciable honey left in the comb.

    I've also found my best spinning/extracting is when I bring in a dozen supers in the afternoon and stack and cover them in my honey house. Then, after dinner while the warmth of the hive is still in those supers, I uncap and extract.

    If you want to wait a couple of days until they're cold, you'll leave more honey in the comb.

    My advantage comes when I can leave the motorized radial to spin while I uncap some more frames.

    And I'm still trying to trick my teenagers into thinking this is the best family activity ever intented.

    Yeah, sure, dad.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,368

    Default

    I upgraded my tang to a radial, it took me a fraction of the time to spin out the same amount of honey. It balances much better now too.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Lancaster CA
    Posts
    410

    Default

    Cowan parallel is the best. He built a few 18 frame macines. For a small operation, they were great. Faster and more compact than anything out there.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,397

    Default

    Your "local beek" is provably wrong on each claim he makes, and
    and vendor who sells both types will be happy to explain why
    radials are worth the small "extra" cost.

    But worth it to who? Likely the trade-off starts to hit at about 100
    or so hives. Below that, any extractor is a good one - price is the
    only valid concern.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Lancaster CA
    Posts
    410

    Default Desert honey is only 13.5% moisture

    Until you have experienced honey that will not fall out of a 1# queen line when inverted, don't recomend equip. to extract desert honey. To say any machine will work up to 100 hives?? The year I bought my Cowan, I knew it was going to be a big honey year. I produced 18,000# of honey in 12 weeks. The 18 frame machine can extract 90 boxes per day. (2600#). One man operation! BUT a hot room is essential.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    137

    Default

    Is the Cowan a tangential or radial? Where can one find one of these? I was wondering if the fact that we are so dry here is why he liked tangentials.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Lancaster CA
    Posts
    410

    Default

    Go to Cowan on the net. Cowan is a parallel radial. The frames spin in an axis over the length of the top bar. The main advantage is parallel loading. With the 18 fr machine, the entire load sequence takes 60 seconds. The old beeks out here used tangential extractors. Lots of 8 fr machines used.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    8,881

    Default Re: Radial vs. Tangential Extractor

    Thanks jjbee, I checked out the Cowan extractors. I've never seen them before, don't think they exist in my country. A great extractor.
    "Thinking Inside The Box"

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    6,360

    Default Re: Radial vs. Tangential Extractor

    Wow, OT brought an old thread back to life, did a double take when I saw Jim Fischer's name. But what the heck, extracting is extracting whenever you do it. I agree that the parallel extracting design employed by Cowen, C&B and no doubt a few others are really the best concept by far. It allows the frames to draw support from being side by side which allows for rapid speed advancement and shorter run times.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

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