It is really hard to get excited about a pea sheller, unless you're a, well, pea sheller. In which case we went through the wringer to provide the best pea sheller review on the internet.
The Mini Pea Sheller (pictured middle) is clearly larger than the Electric Mr. Pea Sheller (left) and about 2/3 the size of big brother, the Taylor Little Sheller (right). The hand crank Mr. Pea Sheller (in hand) is pictured just for completeness.
The Mini Sheller is a residential-to-small farm pea sheller machine for sale on a limited number of websites. I've been looking over and testing an early production model in my office. It is essentially a more affordable version of the light-commercial pea sheller, "The Little Sheller
The Mini Sheller is very well built. The all aluminum frame will never rust. The 1/10 HP motor provides plenty of power. I was really glad to see the adjustable rollers.
The most expensive part of this pea sheller is the motor, if it goes it may be time to consider getting a new machine. Fortunately, Taylor uses a high quality-American made- 105 volt (standard three-prong household current) 1/10 hp motor that is fan-cooled with thermal protection. There is a lot in that last sentence, so let's break it down:
Is 1/10 Horsepower enough?
1/10 horsepower is more than enough for a bean sheller machine of this size. It will not bog down under the heaviest of loads, not even crowder peas or butter beans.
An internal fan pulls hot air away from the motor. Since this pea sheller is expected to be worked outside in hot and humid temperatures, the internal fan should keep things humming along. We tested it under a simulated moderate load for 16 hours straight without any trouble.
Just in case, there is a thermal sensor that will temporarily shut off the motor to protect it from overheating. I was unable to trip it in my test runs. However, it should be noted that once the motor temperature drops to a safe level, the motor will restart automatically unless it is turned off or unplugged! So in the most unlikely event that it does shut off from overheating, please be sure to unplug it from the wall or turn it off!
Three Prong Plug
For those of who don't know, the third prong is a ground to prevent a electrical shock or fire in case of a short-circuit.
The aluminum frame will not rust. Because the frame is smaller it is much sturdier than the Little Sheller.
The Mini Sheller is about 2/3 the size of the Little Sheller and about 20% larger than the Electric Mr. Pea Sheller. The Mini Sheller will fit in a closet or on a shelf in the garage.
Mini Sheller Roller Design
Most pea sheller rollers are designed to
push the peas out the back of the pea pod. The rollers on the Mini
Sheller are specially designed to rip the hull down the seam and roll
the peas out of the zipper. This dramatically reduces bruising and
The speed of the rollers have
been scientifically calculated for optimal yield as well. If the
rollers turn too fast the peas get mashed before they can safely exit
the pod. If the rollers are too slow then the hull does not tear open
and the peas get mashed. This is just another example of the great
detail that went into making this pea sheller machine.
lot of time and attention, trial-and-error, went into the material and
texture of the Mini Sheller rollers. If the material is too hard the
rollers won't grab the hull to pull them through. If it is too soft,
then the peas get mashed. Texture, like tire trends have a great deal
to do with performance as well.
Motor and Rollers
speed and torque have to match the rollers for maximum performance.
Everything has to marry together to maximize yield. There was a great
deal of consideration given to the type of motor which affected the size
the rollers and even the distance of the pulley from the motor!
rollers are easily adjustable for cow peas to butter beans. It is
recommended to make adjustments in 1/2 to 3/4 turn increments.
Enter and Exit Roller Guards
As with the Little Sheller, the Mini
Sheller has metal guards on both sides of the rollers. The guards are
easy to put on and easy to adjust.
The belt guard
really stands out in the black plastic. I like it much better than the
metal belt guard on the Little Sheller. Once installed it is unlikely
that anyone would need to take it off as the belt will last decades even
under heavy use.
As we've already discussed,
the motor is grounded with a 3-prong plug to prevent shock or fire.
The fan-cooled motor is thermal protected.
This is about as idiot-proof as a 50 year-old design is going to get. There are 10's of thousands of Little Sheller Pea Shellers
in use, I've not heard of one serious accident. Taylor really does give safety a high priority.
Some people want an instruction book the size of a novel. In its simplest form:
Step 1. Set Mini Sheller on a sturdy table.
Step 2. Plug-in to 3-prong properly wired outlet.
Step 3. Turn on
Step 4. Push peas length-wise until rollers grab the pea hulls.
Step 5. Repeat step 4 until complete.
Step 6. Turn off Mini Sheller.
Step 7. Unplug Mini Sheller from outlet.
Step 8. Clean with damp rag.
Step 9. Store in a closet or sturdy shelf.
Step 10. Brag about it to everyone you meet and tell them to get it at PeaSheller.net. Specs:
- Overall Size: 23.5"L X 14.5"W X 10.5"H
- Shelling Bed Size: 16.5"l X 8.5"W
- Weight: 17.5 lbs
- Motor: 1/10 hp (USA Made)
- Construction: Aluminum body (verified domestic metal only)
- Country: U.S.A.