Electric uncapping knife? are they any good?

It seems most people use steam uncapping knives- I am wondering if there is any problem with these electric ones:


  • I used to love using the electric uncapper back in the '70’s - worked really well. It was from the USA and was top quality for sure.

I’m thinking my potential ebay one might not be the same quality… still it’s a simple thing- hopefully fit for purpose…

Hi Jack, if it’s cheap, it’s no good. It looks similar to one I have at home here. A lady wanted me to try it out for her. It cost her around $30.00. This one doesn’t have a thermostat. You just turn it on & use it. After extracting one frame, it got that hot that the honey on it started to smoke. So I turned it off. I told the lady, but she hasn’t picked it up.

The one you are showing is advertised to have a thermostat, so it might be ok.

After a closer examination of the product, it looks exactly the same as the one in my back room. It’s even cheaper.

After a closer look at the item. I clicked on the photos & on one of them it says a constant temp at between 150 & 160 degC. That would probably explain why the honey started smoking after a short period. It wouldn’t suit me, but for someone robbing a small amount, I guess it would be ok to turn it off while spinning the frames, & then back on again when it’s time to start decapping.

heat? Try a hot air gun. Takes a little practice but when you get the knack it melts the cappings Congealing on the rim of each cell and leaving the honey intact. Job done

Hm- there are some with adjustable temp for around $70…, maybe that would be better. 150c seems way too high?

Dee- do you use hot airgun?

Hi Jack - does the heat on the honey (or heating the honey to that temp) have any adverse effect on it?
I know you are asking about the knife, but have you tried using a purpose made comb scratcher at all?

I use a non-heated uncapping knife and it glides through like butter.

If you’re going to go with a heated knife get this one: http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/Speed-King-Uncapping-Knife .

“The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory.”

Hiya Dee, I’m curious about the heat gun. Could we have more information on your method please? I’m thinking less time and less waste, sounds great.
@Dan2, I used a comb scratcher and found it easier than a knife only it left more wax in the honey prior to filtering. Much less wastage with wonky comb.

I’ve used a scraper- and an unheated knife- but- This is the type of uncapping I want to be doing:

Watching that wax just roll off- heaven


Looks like that fella’s done that once or twice before eh? Makes it look easy.
I reckon I’ve seen him somewhere before. Looks like a pretty cool dude.


If I could get a steam uncapping knife I would. I can only get electric and they are ok. I’m thinking of putting a pedal switch on it so I can turn it off when I stop to run the extractor etc. because it will burn if I don’t turn it off and it’s a lot of trouble to do when your hands are all sticky…

Loads on youtube

Me…I like a fork or a roller


Thank you @Semaphore & @skeggley. I went out & bought a heat gun specifically to use for decapping after recommendations from a Youtuber. It works at decapping, however it doesn’t bring everything back to square & straight, which I enjoy with the steam knife. I didn’t persist with it very long, only a few frames. I like how the steam knife removes all of the unwanted wax as seen in my video. It’s always great to return those frames to the hives without squashing bees with the wax that would have been left on the frames.

I know you can scrape the burr comb off later, but that slows the job down considerably when there is quite a few to do.

Here is a late reply to this thread .

Pierce Speed King Electric Uncapping Knife is made in the USA and is built to last. We have been making this knife in the USA since 1947. The uncapping knife was invented and patented by Paul Pierce, in 1941. Most beekeepers find this to be the easiest and best tool for uncapping honey. The temperature is pre-set at just the right heat for uncapping. The Speed King contains a sealed thermostat in the blade and is ready-to-use right out of the box. It also features a turned wood handle that is comfortable and stays cool to the touch.

Few Chinese companies tried to copy Pierce knife . But it is not the same . Pierce thermostat is hand made and built to last . Hope this help

I just noticed you comment about a foot pedal switch fitted to your knife. I have had that done to my electric knife and it has made decapping much better and easier. I find I only need it heated about 30% of the time when it is actually being used on a frame. Mine is set up to apply the power you place your foot on the pedal till the knife is getting too hot.
I also have a decapping twin roller as seen on YouTube when I have a lot of boxes to extract as that is a lot faster.

Hi Michael . We make steam uncapping knives as well . Most of our steam knives get shipped to Australia . Here is the link to it . https://www.piercebeekeeping.com/steam-knife

And now I bought the steam knife. I just need to get the boiler I have hooked up to it…