If you are a backyard beekeeper it really does not matter. If you have a dozen or more hives get the tall version with the guard. If you want deluxe get the finger guard too.
You got it right the first time. The only decision is 7" or 10". I prefer the 7" for being lighter and easier to handle. A well lit charge of pellets in a 7" smoker will give you more smoke than most people will use in a day. Just put a dab of "lock tite" on the threads of the bellows' studs to keep the nuts from coming off after a few weeks of use, the lock washers just don't do the job.Which smokers have you tried, and what were your impressions? I've only tried the dadant ones, and thus have nothing to compare to, and would like some input from others with more experience.
That's my opinion though, in fairness, I haven't tried Kelly's. I have bought some Mann Lake smokers and, in my opinion, Dadant smokers are far superior.Are you saying that Dadant makes the best smokers?
These smokers are of the original Bingham design that is of time proven quality. Dadant's have been manufacturing these smokers since they acquired the A.G. Woodman company in the 1970s, and are proud to produce the smoker that everyone tries to duplicate.
Amen.That's my opinion though, in fairness, I haven't tried Kelly's. I have bought some Mann Lake smokers and, in my opinion, Dadant smokers are far superior.
i know this is true of lots of folks including some pretty experienced beekeepers and even myself on occasion. Time spent first thing in the morning getting a smoker properly lit is the best time investment of the day. Remember you are building a fire....a really hot fire preferably from a wood based product like pellets. If you haven't singed the hair on your wrists a time or two doing it then you aren't doing it right. Little smoke should be seen in the lighting process. Once you have established that "sub base" as we jokingly and redundantly refer to it, then you can get by with lots of different fuels on top, though I really don't understand why anyone would use anything besides pellets with a damp grass topper to keep them contained.All the stainless steel smokers of the well known brands are OK, but the one frustrating thing of a smoker is getting it started and keeping it going