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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Rockland co, ny
    Posts
    38

    Default What smoker to buy

    What smoker would you all recommend. I will have 2 hives and never plan on having more than 3-5? See many different prices some different sizes and styles. Also same question for hive tool. Thanks for your opinions in advance .

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,000

    Default Re: What smoker to buy

    I would get a small dadant one. If you know that hot surfaces burn fingers, you can get by without the wire guard that just makes me careless and gets my fingers burned. Mine is old old and still works great.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Wausau, WI, USA
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: What smoker to buy

    I agree with Vance, get the small 7" from Dadant, but I would recommend having a shield.

    Wisnewbee

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,208

    Default Re: What smoker to buy

    Larger smokers are easier to light and keep lit. Since that is the primary issue people have with smokers, I would get a large one... then put make a liner for it...

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmisc.htm#smokerinsert
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    671

    Default Re: What smoker to buy

    I would purchase the larger style from Dadant's or Kelley's 4" x 10" You will soon grow into it and they are easier to keep lit as the firebox is larger. No need to modify it or add an insert if you burn the proper fuel.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,000

    Default Re: What smoker to buy

    I don't have any problem keeping the 4X7 lit. The liner is a good Idea though. YOu just have to establish coals to hold the heat before filling with fuel and puff every couple minutes. Long needle pine straw or old burlap spud or wool sacks are my favorite fuels.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    goldsboro nc USA
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: What smoker to buy

    The bellows from brushy Mtn are much easier to pump than the one I have from dadant. I would Rather have the small smoker from brushy than the large one I bought last year from dadant. Basically its all a matter of personal preference

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Southern half, UK
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: What smoker to buy

    I've got a large Dadant smoker. I don't always fill it to the top, but if I do it will stay lit long enough for me to do almost any task.

    I have two standard length hive tools, one of each design. I prefer the J shape for lifting frames, the chisel-shape is better for scraping off wild comb and propolis. I also have an extra long one, which can be handy for cutting brace comb built between the lower edges of frames during the winter.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Wausau, WI, USA
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: What smoker to buy

    I've got smokers from both Mann Lake and Dadant. 4x7 and 4x10 from Dadant, and 4x10 from Mann Lake. The bellows is easier to pump on the Mann Lake, but leaks. I never had a problem keeping my 4x7 Dadant lit and it burned plenty long enough to work a yard with 24 hives.

    Wisnewbee

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,027

    Default Re: What smoker to buy

    For a smoker, I'd recommend one with a shield/guard. For hive tools, get more than one. I always carry at least two, a standard one, and a Maxant (also known as an Australian).

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,012

    Default Re: What smoker to buy

    I have one from brushy mountain with the guard. fingers are not the only things that burn. It works great. I have never had an issue getting it started. keeping it going I have had issues with one or twice but that was due to me getting busy with the bees and not stoking it often enough. otherwise if you get it going good it can set and smolder for a long time and still start puffing smoke when needed. I got the large one and a good packed load of fuel will last a couple of hours.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,395

    Default Re: What smoker to buy

    We use exclusively Dadant 4x7's with shield. I dont think the Mann Lake smoker even compares. Remember the shield is about a lot more than protecting yourself from getting burned! it also protects the bottom of the smoker from burning into the surface it is sitting on and gives you a handy built in hanger that works well to hang from a box while working a hive.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,205

    Default Re: What smoker to buy

    Jim, I am surprised. I thought all commercial guys used the big smokers. I am curious as to why you prefer the smaller one?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,395

    Default Re: What smoker to buy

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Quiney WI View Post
    Jim, I am surprised. I thought all commercial guys used the big smokers. I am curious as to why you prefer the smaller one?
    A little bulky for me I guess. Also we have custom made smoker boxes to transport them. A full charge of pellets well lit will still last you most of a day in a 7" smoker too.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

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