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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hobby Extractor advise needed, Dadant or SAF or ?

I'm a hobby beekeeper with a couple hives now with possible 4 max in the future. I've gotten by with borrowing a friends plastic bucket type extractor or done the crush & strain method but now I am getting serious about getting my own extractor. I have passed on a couple old galvanized units and a couple newer units that the asking price was almost the same as I could get a new unit for. Been watching ebay and postings for months, no luck. After looking them all over both online and a couple in person, I think I narrowed my choice down to 2. Being that this is just a hobby and I don't need or require a larger, expensive unit I am trying to stay under $300 + S.H. and looking at hand cranked ones only. The two I think I like are the Blue Sky SAF Italian compact and the Dadant Junior bench. Both seem to be quality units and both are around the $250-275 range. It may come down to catching a sale price, free shipping or flipping a coin. Any real world feedback good/bad or other new alternatives would be appreciated.

PS I would love to have the american made 3100H Maxant. Saw one and that is a thing of beauty. Do they ever have sales or free shipping? Anyone with a used one for sale for a good price?



 

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Just my two cents worth, as I do not own either one. I run 5 hives and spin 20-25 boxes per year. That is 180 - 225 frames per year.

Another beekeeper I know used one like the SAF machine. He had only a few boxes to spin but said that the horizontal cranking got really old very fast. So he prefers the side mount crank version.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Just my two cents worth, as I do not own either one. I run 5 hives and spin 20-25 boxes per year. That is 180 - 225 frames per year.

Another beekeeper I know used one like the SAF machine. He had only a few boxes to spin but said that the horizontal cranking got really old very fast. So he prefers the side mount crank version.
I hear you Fuzzy. I did 12 frames in that little 2 frame plastic extractor and I was feeling it. It had the horizontal crank. Even though its about the only exercise this pencil pusher gets, I didn't mind it for 12 frames. However that's why I like the Maxant 3100, you have the option of putting a motor kit on later on if your needs grow. $800 for that unit plus shipping makes it not a sensible choice and I think my long haired home finance officer would veto that anyways. Now I really didn't consider which would be easier to crank, horizontal or the side crank? I'll have to think about that one. Thanks for pointing it out.

Authur. I believe the SAF advertises all metal gearing. I don't know about the Dadant. I will check that.
 

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Dadant is good but they want over $500 to add power to their small extractor!! (we have a hand-crank Ranger) That made me decide to quit messing with them and go to the 3100P at about $800. It is very heavy duty

Look a bit longer and surely you will find someone locally with a good used hand-cranker. (wish you lived here, we could deal on my old one)
 

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I have the compact extractor that Betterbee sells. The top pic that you posted looks alot like the top of the one that I have. The gears in it are metal.

Overall it works ok....

My biggest issue with it was the nut that holds the gear with the handle in place kept coming loose and being a real pain. Not enough thread to double nut it and if you tighten it all the way you can't turn it. Ended up drilling a hole through the nut and the shaft an putting a pin through it. No problems since.

It would be nice not to have to flip the frames though.

If I were doing it again i would have bought the Maxant. But I didn't, so I'll keep using this one.
 

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the best extractor is a borrowed one :) wait till winter and wait for a used one. craigs list, want-ad papers are good sources. with a max of 4 hives, id see if the local cub has one or a local beekeep will share. good luck,mike
 

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I may have a 3100H for sale at a special price in a week or two.
Call me at the shop if you are interested!
Jake

He is my personal take on the smaller extractors. Metal gears, plastic gears......not good in the long run. That is why we use a standard V belt on a 2 pc. pulley system.
The SAF, LEGA, BB, Brushy MTN, Dadant, Mann Lake smaller extractors are a good extractor for the price. Good luck with what ever route you choose. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
the best extractor is a borrowed one :) wait till winter and wait for a used one. craigs list, want-ad papers are good sources. with a max of 4 hives, id see if the local cub has one or a local beekeep will share. good luck,mike
Mike your right about having access to a loaner. I just moved so the friend's extractor and any at the Bee club I was associated with are no longer available to me and I'm really not going back to the crush method again. It must be the time of year and/or these little hobby extractors just hold their value? I found the Dadant on Craig's list just the other day, the guy wanted $250 for it. I keep hearing about these cheap used extractors but I'm always a day late and a dollar short. I think in this economic downturn allot more people are becoming aware of growing their own food, becoming hobby beeks and buying the used equipment up? I do have plenty of time so I can take that time to find a used one or catch a sale.

HoneyMaple, They are the same unit and that design of the handle attachment sounds marginal? You fixed it but it never should have happened in the first place. Did you try a lock nut and/or a little blue loctite perhaps? Thanks for that real world FB. How is it with the horizontal cranking and how long did it take to extract a couple frames?

jbford, I checked the ranger and it looks like a bigger version of the Dadant junior I am looking at. I may have deep frames to extract someday so I'd possibly need the optional $80 basket in the future. I didn't see the motor kit but it wouldn't surprise me if it was $700 and I see why you'd go with the Maxant 3100 power at that point. The motorized Ranger is $729 and the hand crank is $455. I still think I will only ever need the hand crank for my volume, but if I get too old and decrepit to hand crank then I would probably make my own motor kit. Could you PM me with what your asking for your Ranger?

[email protected] I will send an email request for your sale price. A used trade-in or scratch & dent are fine with me. I never thought to ask but I assume you would get trade-ins of people moving up? After seeing the quality of your extractors first hand and hearing about your great customer service I'd have no qualms at all buying a used 3100H. I am a great believer of buying good quality and what you really want vs settling for something. Within reason and of course your financial means. What ratio is your pulley/belt system on the 3100? I heard hand spinning in a radial extractors (vs a tansgential) can be more difficult, especially if the honey is thick and/or the temps cooler? Your thoughts on hand spinning mediums and shallows in the 3100H.
 

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It holds 4 mediums. And it really does not take long to extract them .... Maybe 15 minutes.. Just a guess. Have to flip them over a couple of times to make sure that you don't blow them out. The cranking does leave much to be desired but it is not too bad. It is kind of light and will really shake if it gets out of balance. I did not try a lock nut or loc-tite. Quite honestly at that point I had lost my patience with it and knew that the pin would not fail.
 

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You will get too old to hand crank! I wouldn't have believed that 20 years ago when we got our first bees, but time flies and the joints get creaky.

Two good bee rules:

Start out with electric extractor

Use 8-frame mediums
 

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do it once, do it right....buy the maxant.

it will retain its resale value much better than the others in case you decide to move on to other things
 

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If you are on budget and can find an old motorized galvanized get it. A coat of Epoxy paint from Kelley will seal the galvanized. How long will the honey be in contact with the galvanized any way? Tons of honey went through those old extractors before they went to SS.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
With 4 hives all you should need is a Dadant Junior bench, Right?
https://www.dadant.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=35_72&products_id=356
Kingfisher
Yup I think so. My only need for a power is if I was unable to handcrank for some reason. Of course if I could justify the cost then yes the power extractor is the way to go.

Ross, Mr. Bush's website is fantastic. I have been doing the crush method for many years and have never really enjoyed doing it. Then using a borrowed extractor really turned it from a chore to kinda like fun. Now I saved a little cash and want my own extractor, not only for myself but also a couple local beeks to borrow. Your right I don't really need one for my 2/4 hives, rather I just want one.

JPK, I totally agree. We'll see what price they come back with. I asked Jake about a used trade-in or scratch & dent unit. The other 2 are quality units and would work for my little apiary but the Maxant would also work & give me some bragging rights!

Ishi, I started out looking for an old galvanized unit but all to date needed to much work to clean & restore back to good functioning condition. The one nice one I saw they wanted to much. I'm thinking $50-60 bucks for a decent one? Used stainless are snapped up in the area as soon as they come up for sale and the prices are close to a new one. I will check into the paint your talking about. Thanks for that tip.
 

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Hey, if you want one, go for it. That's how I ended up with a shop full of tools. I would go ahead and get a 9/18 if you're going to do it. Lot's more useful if you expand and better resell if you decide to get out someday.
 

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i would spend the few extra bucks and have a motor come with it. and spin your friends honey out and keep the cappings.:)
 
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