Here’s a video of me extracting some honey outdoors, something I wouldn’t recommend to anyone new at this beekeeping foolishness. (Cut down from a 15-minute video.) The video works as a review of the Maxant 3100p extractor which cost me $1400 (Canadian) after taxes and shipping a few years ago. Spoiler alert: The 9-frame extractor does the job, but the legs that come with were not my friends. The base of the extractor had to be bolted down to something unmovable and secured to operate properly and safely — at least for me.
A few other details: The extractor is advertised as a 9-frame extractor, but I doubt I would ever use it at that capacity. It can extract 6 medium frames at once (and it doesn’t take long). The additional three frames (making it a 9-frame extractor) are deep frames. They sit on the outer edge of the frame cage. To extract them properly, one side of the frame has to be extracted, then flipped over so the other side can be extracted. I’ve also noticed the foundation in the deep frames will bend and even pop out from the centrifugal force of the extractor, and I end up having to bend the foundation back into place afterwards. In other words, I wouldn’t buy this extractor for deep honey supers. Just mediums. And I don’t think it would be efficient for anyone other than small-scale backyard beekeepers.
I bought the extractor a few years back because I was getting so much honey from my hives that I couldn’t get rid of it fast enough. I thought I would recoup my costs in one summer. As luck would have it (or bad luck would have it), I haven’t had a good honey harvest since I bought the extractor. But anyone with three or four colonies making honey (2 or 3 mediums supers each) would probably recoup the cost of the extractor in one summer. But don’t quote me on that because I haven’t recouped my coats yet. Hopefully next year.
December 21st, 2020: I have no doubt that someone watching this video on their cell phone with tell me I should get a hot uncapping knife instead of using a heat gun on my honey frames. To them I say please park your truck on the side of the road long enough so you can pay attention to the video for more than 10 seconds and see why I use a heating gun.
Thank you for this post. Casters will work; like earthquake dampers under skyscrapers. You’re right that they should tell you up front or even sell it that way. Anyway, quick question: do you turn the basket by hand to load and unload frames? I’ve heard that’s an issue with this model, that it can damage the gearbox or motor. Any thoughts?
I had to re-edit my video review of this extractor after someone took it too seriously, as if my conclusion is that it’s a terribly-made extractor. They accused me of not knowing how to use the extractor properly, saying I didn’t have the frames balanced properly and so on. But here’s the thing: backyard beekeepers often don’t have enough frames of honey to make them perfectly balanced in the extractor. And even when the frames are balanced, they don’t always empty at the same rate and the extractor can still become unbalanced. So for people like me (and for people are who aren’t exactly handymen), extractor legs that can’t handle a little unbalancedness aren’t the greatest legs. That being said, it’s an excellent extractor and I’d recommend it to anyone, but beware of those legs.
From what I’ve heard from other beekeepers, though, you’re right. Casters (wheels) are an improvement. I didn’t try that.
My solution in the end was to chuck the legs and bolt the extractor down to work a shelf in my garage. You can skim through this video to see how it works — it worked out well:
To answer your question, I don’t turn the basket by hand to load and unload the frames. I use the dial on the motor at variable speed to nudge it along.
Thanks for your question and comments. Good info.
Just a quick FYI, I contacted Maxant around the same time as my first comment above. They say their older motors >4years ago could not be turned by hand but the new ones are fine.
More good information. Thanks. Mine definitely can’t be moved by hand, though if I ever replace the motor, it’s good to know. That would be a big improvement.