Being a new beek I have no clue which is best as well as which uncapping knife is best.
I don't think I need an electric extractor but I do want a good one and my plans are to add 2 hives next year for a total of 3 and unless I plan to really start selling Honey after next year I'm gonna just stay at 3 hives.
Money isn't really a factor I just want good stuff I won't have to replace when I jump to 3 hives next year
I'd start off with looking for something used (but this can be hard to find now with so many people discovering bees).
I would try and stick with stainless steel (durability and holds its value extremely well)
While you say now you only want 3 hives ( ) most of us know how that turns out!
Hand crank is OK for a small number of hives, but if there is any chance you may expand in the future, why not get one that can be upgraded to power at a later date?
So, that said, my pick would be: http://www.maxantindustries.com/extractors.html
The 3100 hand crank.
Of course, dollar figure has not been discussed and this could play a huge part in any decision.
I have both, Maxant and Dadant, both good machines and locally made.
I would suggest the hand crank for now with the option to go live in the future. I have the 9 frame from Brushy Mountain and plan on replacing the hand crank with motor next year. I bolt it to a wooden pallet to keep it from dancing around while crankin'.
Farm, food plots, expanded property lines = more than 3 hives!!!
I got the 3100 hand-cranked extractor with the power upgrade. I'll try the crank, but probably put the motor on. I got both because I want to be able to spin the frames no matter what the circumstances. The sad part was they said they were out of caps, and I'd have to call them back in a month, when they got some more in.
I started with 2 nucs last year and was hoping to someday have 3 or 4 hives. Fast forward to 9 hives and counting......
We used it once so far and man was it worth it.
We got the non-electric uncapping knife from Brushy Mtn and that thing is amazing. No heat or cord to plug in and it cuts like butter.
A bucket with a honey gate and strainer and a tub or tote to uncap into is a plus.
Cleanup was a breeze with hot water