Whether you’re banding a calf or bull, you already know that it isn’t the most pleasant job, especially if you are inexperienced and are worried about doing it improperly and causing complications.
You therefore want to be able to depend on a cattle bander that is able to do the job quickly, safely, effectively, as humanely as possible, and with as little hassle as possible too.
5 Best Cattle Banders
Best Overall: Callicrate Pro Bander w/Cutter
The Callicrate Pro Bander is recommended by vets and animal handling specialists worldwide for its effective and humane design.New: $347.70
Callicrate Banders are the most humane and effective cattle castration tools available and are recommended by veterinarians and animal handling specialists worldwide. If you’re looking for the best bander available, it doesn’t come better than the Callicrate Pro Bander w/Cutter.
Suitable to be used on any size bull from 300 to 3000 lbs, the Pro Bander gets the job done quickly, easily, and effectively. Much of this is down to the tool’s 360-degree tension indicator that ensures immediate and complete blocking of the blood vessels, which not only results in effective castration, but also means that it is done as humanely as possible with less pain and swelling.
The fact that there is no wrong way to load the loop also helps to make the process as easy as possible if you’re inexperienced, as is the easy-to-see bright green loops to help you verify that the loop is secured and placed properly.
Runner-Up: No Bull Callicrate Smart Bander Kit
The Smart Bander Kit from Callicrate can be used for castration and horn removal on any size bull from 300 to 3,000 lbs.New: $293.25
Designed and constructed to the same high standards as Callicrate’s premium bander, the Pro Bander, the Callicrate Smart Bander Kit is another option worth considering.
It might not be as expensive as the Pro Bander, but it is a multipurpose tool that can be used for both castration and horn removal. It is also suitable to be used on any size bull 300 to 3,000 lbs.
No-slip clips that hold the tension for immediate and total blocking of the blood vessels are included, and the loops are over three times stronger than other pre-made latex rings.
The Smart Bander is spring-loaded and indicates when proper tightness is achieved for humane, effective castration.
Also Great: XL Bander
The XL Bander is well-priced and suitable for bulls that are between 250 lbs to 750 lbs.New: $106.00
If you only need to castrate bulls that are between 250 lbs to 750 lbs, the XL Bander is an effective, well-priced bander to consider. Due to the bander’s plier-type design, it can also be used for removing horns and docking tails.
No tightening of any kind is required. All you need to do is spread the band open with the easy-to-use applicator, slip the band into place, and release it.
Keep in mind that bands must be purchased separately.
Budget Pick: Zikimed California Bloodless Castration Bander & Bands
The Zikimed California Bander is a welcome yet basic budget cattle bander.New: $29.99
The Zikimed California Bander is our budget cattle bander pick. Constructed from stainless steel, it uses surgical tubing for fast and easy bloodless castrating.
The California Bander is suitable for castration of all ages and is comfortable to use thanks to the handle featuring a foam coating.
A band is stretched around the scrotal sack, locked back into the inserted T-clip that is located at the tip of each band, and the tool is then removed. 25 bands are included.
Best for Calves: 2005 PRM Castrate Bander
If you only need to castrate calves under 250 lbs and are happy with using a plier-type tool, the 2005 PRM Bander is a great choice.New: $30.00
If you only plan to castrate calves under 250 lbs, the no-frills 2005 PRM Castrate Bander is an effective yet inexpensive way to get the job done.
The bander is made of aluminum and steel for better durability, features an extra-large opening, and is lightweight to make it easy to handle.
What to Consider When Buying a Cattle Bander
- Calves vs. Bulls
One of the key considerations when selecting the best cattle bander for your needs is whether you plan to castrate only calves, bulls, or both.
If you know that you will only ever be castrating calves and are very confident in your abilities as to not cause any complications, you could probably get away with using an inexpensive plier-type castration tool. If not, it’s better to go with one of the more premium, easier-to-use options.
- Castration Method
We recommend that you avoid using a knife for castration. Not only because it is considered the more inhumane option, but also because of the complications that can occur, including additional stress and bleeding that can cause calves to take longer to get back on full feed and resume normal activity.
It’s much better to go with one of the Callicrate banders or a plier-type bander tool instead.
- Other Applications
Some banders can be used for other purposes, including dehorning and tail docking. While it is generally better to buy standalone tools that are specifically designed for these purposes, it can be useful to buy a tool that is able to do more than just castrate, at least for backup purposes.