The Best Can Crushers (Review) in 2020
Going green is the future but, for those who have no curbside pickup, getting your cans together for a weekly trip to the recycling center can be a real pain. There are few things in the world that make you feel as judged as turning up to your local center with bags full of cans. Enter the can smasher.
This simple but effective little contraption can reduce the size of your cans by a fifth. By using your soda can crusher, you can turn up with a much smaller bag which helps with your self-esteem and even gives you a greater time between each trip. Not to mention that you no longer have to deal with cans sitting around your house until it’s time to leave.
Below, we discuss everything there is to know about the best aluminum can crusher options on the market. We’ve also taken the time to provide with you an in-depth buying guide, so you can choose the right option from out Top Picks, for you. Plus, we’ve answered your most frequently asked questions. Read on to find out why you should add this to your next shopping list and the difference it can make to your lives.
Heavy duty, high-carbon, all-steel construction
Crushes 12- and 16- ounce aluminum cans to 1-inch thick
Built-in holes for hanging
Premium quality all-steel construction with powder coated finish
Durable stainless steel rods
Accommodates all sizes of cans from 12 ounces to 32 ounces
Foam-padded, comfortable, nonslip handle
Heavy duty, 16 gauge, all-steel body
Crushes 12-ounce aluminum cans
Easy grip, pull down can crushing mechanism
Integrated bottle cap opener
The Best Can Crusher
Crushes cans up to 16-ounces
Easy to mount
A fantastic, space-saving option, the Pacific Precision Can Compactor from The Crusher is easily the best aluminum can crusher on the market, today. With large capacity opening, it can handle even 16oz cans with ease and uses a smooth action to make short work of large cans. It is wall-mounted, so you’ll need to have a few basic tools to install it. However, customers note that it is incredibly easy to fit and, after this, you won’t need to worry about any upkeep beyond a quick wipe-down when needed.
Made with solid steel, this soda can crusher works quickly and efficiently. Meanwhile, the ergonomic handle allows you to crush multiple cans at a time, without quickly burning out. This makes it great fun, while being perfectly safe, for kids to help you, come recycling time!
Customers love the ease of use and smooth action
Very sturdy construction
Can be easily modified to improve use
Must be anchored to a wall in order to work effectively
Flat base can cause some cans to slip during crushing
Easy to mount
Easy to use
Ergonomic and sturdy
If you like the idea of feeling extra-powerful when you’re using your aluminum can crusher, this is one of the best options available. With an open front, you can easily see the power you have, while crushing your cans with ease. You can even crush your bottles with this option, as the opening allows for 500ml bottles to be crushed without any risk of them flying out during the crunch.
Using a pull-down lever action, this sturdy, wall-mounted choice makes for an excellent can smasher (especially if you’re feeling a little grumpy and want to take it out on some cans). The all-steel construction is reliable and smooth, while the ergonomic handle allows for even lengthy can smashing periods, without any discomfort to yourself.
Can be used with bottles or cans
Comes with built-in bottle opener
Arms are a little weak and may bend out of place
Handle is prone to breaking
Optional collection bin available
Made in the USA
Another great option that comes with an optional collection bin, this particular can crusher lies flat against the wall when not in use and is therefore a great choice for smaller spaces. Using a pull-down lever action to grab and squash your cans, this item has a smooth action and can be used with cans up to 12oz in capacity.
If you’re looking for American quality, you’ll also be pleased to know that this item has also been made in the USA and is loved by buyers. The only real negative to this choice being that, if you don’t buy the collection bin, you’re likely to find that the cans simply fall to the floor after being crushed. Place your new item over your recycling can to negate this issue entirely, without having to spend a little extra on the container.
Very quick and effective can crusher
Love by customers
Has a great longevity due to its sturdy construction
If collection bin isn’t added, the dispenser will release your can to fall on the ground
Maximum capacity is 16oz
Includes built-in bottles opener
Also available up to 16 oz
A great-looking choice with an extra long handle, you’ll find that this item needs a little more space to work with. However, that extra length provides fantastic leverage, so you’ll find that this item is actually considerably stronger than many of the other options on our list. This shows through the high ratings left by customers, which commend this can smasher on its reliability and sturdiness.
Being able to handle capacities up to 12oz this wall-mounted can crusher also comes with a bottle opener built-in to the aluminum can crusher itself. The all-steel body never bends or breaks, no matter how many times you use it. The only negative being that it can’t handle larger cans up to 16oz, unless you spend a little extra for the 16oz option.
Very easy to install and use
Very highly rated by customers
Only crushes cans up to 12-ounces
Made in the USA
Powder-coated stainless-steel material
Using a single lever, this item does look more like it belongs on a factory floor than your kitchen. However, being formed with a powder-coated stainless-steel material, you’ll find that the overall use of this item is incredibly strong. Just be aware that the single handle can make it more prone to bending and warping out of place. Thus, this is not an item that should be used in households that go through a lot of cans a day and may be better placed in single-person households.
It does, however, come with the largest capacity of all the options in our Top Picks. Being adjusted to fit up to a massive 32oz capacity, this option is probably the most flexible choice on our list. It’s also another choice that has been made in the USA, so replacement parts are often easier to get hold of.
Can crush bottles and cans up to 32oz
Made from hard-wearing materials
Handle is much weaker than others
Holds up to 10 cans at once
The M-92 Can Crusher is a great choice for those looking for a storage basket, as well as a can crusher for their aluminum cans. Wall-mounted and being able to hold up to 10 cans at once, this is ideal for those who like to get all their can crushing done at once.
It is made entirely of plastic, and therefore does come with the inherent possibility that it is more prone to snaps and breakages. However, this material also makes it one of the most affordable options on the market. It’s also incredibly easy to install, which makes it a great choice for those newer to can crushing and recycling.
Very easy to install
Able to hold up to 10 cans at a time
Made entirely of plastic and more likely to break
Easily stored when not in use
Hanging loop and magnet included
If you don’t want to spend all day using a lever to crush your cans, you’ll be pleased to know that another option is the floor-situated, foot-operated aluminum and steel can crusher from Kitchen Craft. This item is perfect for those who are a little weaker in the arms or simply prefer the comfort of using their feet, as the action requires strength from your legs, instead.
This is an option that is incredibly easy to store when not in use, too. So, if you aren’t keen on wall-mounted choices, you will be pleased to know that this item can be easily folded up and put away. You can also use the built-in hanging loop, if you prefer to store it this way.
Finally, this is one of the few options that is considered strong enough for more heavy-duty work, including crushing steel cans. You can use the magnet (included) to differentiate between the two types before use, if needed. The only downside being that, being based on the floor, this item is less hygienic than our other choices.
Strong enough to be used with both aluminum and steel cans
Will not bend or break under pressure
A little more unhygienic due to being used on the floor
Easy to install and use
A small, simple but efficient choice, the Easy Crush Aluminum Can Crusher from Basic Industries International is a good option for those looking for a small but mighty aluminum can crusher. Indeed, many customers have noted that they were pleasantly surprised at the strength of this option, even though the overall design has been left a little wanting.
It isn’t great for larger can sizes, with some customers complaining that even 12oz cans are likely to struggle with fitting between the bars. It also, unfortunately, comes painting in white – which, while it looks good when first opened, is likely to scratch and wear over time, leaving a tired-looking can crusher in its place.
Sturdy construction gives great pressure
Loved by customers who appreciate the small size and ease of use
Painted coating scratches away easily
Opening is smaller, so harder to place cans
Built-in bottle opener
Another steel choice with a built-in bottle opener, this can crusher from Buffalo Tools Lawn and Garden is a durable and hard-wearing option that has proven popular with buyers. The coated steel gives a nice, finished look which is all the more aesthetically pleasing in any kitchen. Meanwhile, the ergonomic handle ensures you feel comfortable, no matter how many cans you need to crush or how good the night before was.
The shorter handle means you’ll need less space to get to grips with this can smasher, however it also means that you’re more likely to need a little more strength as there’s less leverage to work with. Finally, the rivets around the handle can be very weak, with a number of reviews noting that their handle came apart and needed fixing within a few weeks.
Ergonomic handle makes crushing easier
Very durable and hard-wearing option
Handle rivets can be very weak
Shorter handle doesn’t give as much leverage
Basket holds up to ten cans
Another plastic option that uses a basket, to hold 10 cans at a time. This particular option comes with bragging rights to a 10-second speedy crushing action which many others simply can’t compete with. Ideal for larger households – especially as this wall-mounted option takes up more space once hung – this basket and crusher combination works brilliantly, despite the plastic material.
Easy to use, there are a few qualms with this option that aren’t present with our other Top Picks. Namely, you’ll need to put your recycling can beneath the basket, as you’ll find that cans will otherwise fall straight to the floor. It’s also more prone to snaps and breaks due to the material used, so do keep an eye on that.
Makes short work of large quantities
Easy to use
Plastic material breaks easily
Cans will fall straight to the floor unless receptacle is used
Best Can Crusher Buying Guide & FAQ
Features to Consider When Buying a Can Crusher
Where you want your can crusher to be placed will change which can smasher works best for you. For larger kitchens and houses, a wall-mounted can crusher can work extremely well and won’t get in your way. However, for smaller kitchens, it may be better to choose a worktop or foot operated can crusher machine that can easily be stored when not in use.
The size of your can crusher machine can affect how well it sits in your house. Can smashers with baskets can be handy for storing your cans after washing them out – but they take up a lot more space than traditional forms, for example.
You’ll also need to be aware of the distance required around the can crusher itself. Longer levers have great leverage and therefore require less elbow grease to crush cans. However, that lever will need the space to be used appropriately, so it’s often better to choose a shorter handle that needs less space, if you live in a smaller square footage.
As we know, not all can sizes are created equal and the size of your can change how effective your crusher is. After all, there isn’t a great deal of meaning behind buying a smaller can smasher if you quickly find that your standard cans won’t fit into the crusher itself.
OK, so this isn’t necessarily a vitally important feature. But, when you’re holding a lot of cans in your arms and you just want to get them crushed and recycled, you might find yourself grateful for a smooth, swift action that makes short work of your cans.
Anything in the kitchen that is likely to deal with being in contact with liquids (especially if you haven’t washed out your cans, first) will inevitably need cleaning. Those mechanical can crushers with lots of moving pieces are then found to be much more difficult to clean. Instead, opt for smashers that use less moving parts and have a coating, which will make them easier to wipe down.
The two main materials for can crushers are plastic and steel. While steel is much stronger and therefore likely to have greater longevity as a can crusher, you can also find that these options are more expensive. Meanwhile, plastic is more prone to breaking and snapping – but also comes at a much cheaper price.
Naturally, you’re going to want a crusher that has the strength to actually be effective. You can usually tell how strong a can crusher will be by checking the material (metals are stronger by their very nature) as well as seeing how long the lever is. The longer the lever, the more leverage you’ll have, the less strength you’ll need to crush your cans.
Reviews are a great way of trying before you buy. These will often tell you the overall value of your item before you buy it. They will also let you know any common problems – with regular issues cropping up repeatedly being a sure sign of poor-quality materials and design. Finally, they’re also likely to give you an insight into the customer service provided by the company, themselves which is a big positive.
Why Recycling Cans is Important
With only 50.7% of Americans recycling their aluminum, all that extra metal which can be used for multiple other things is currently ending up in landfill. Not only is this eventually thrown to the sea and massively hazardous to the wildlife (both on land and in the ocean), it’s also a huge waste of resources.
According to the aluminum association, recycling just one can is the equivalent to saving the same amount of energy that a TV uses during a three-hour run of your favorite show. This is due to the extensive refining process which goes into making each can you use, despite many people thinking that aluminum is a plentiful resource which can be easily found.
The process for making a new aluminum can is extremely extensive and requires everything from graphite electrodes being submerged in molten alumina, through to the release of massive amounts of carbon dioxide.
When we compare this to the CO2 released when recycling aluminum, the difference is colossal. In fact, recycling your cans takes less than 5% of the same energy required as making a can from scratch. Double this up with the reduced need to create new cans from scratch and the reduction in CO2 is monumental.
Even better, your aluminum cans, can be recycled indefinitely. In other words, there are no limits as to how many times you can recycle your cans. So, next time you go shopping, pick out recycled aluminum over fresh and you’ll be helping to save the planet, as well as your own pocket.
Best Can Crusher Buying FAQ:
Q: Who should buy a can crusher?
A: Anyone who uses cans! In particular, those who go through a large number of cans and don’t receive a regular curbside pick up from their local state. Going to the local recycling center with bags full of cans, can be embarrassing if not awkward, after all. Crushing your cans to one-fifth of their size means you can spend longer between recycling bouts or mean that you don’t need to carry plenty of full-sized cans around with you to the recycling center.
Not to mention that having lots of un-crushed cans around the house in between collections or drop-offs can make you feel like your house is dirty (when, in reality, it’s simply a little untidy until the cans are taken). Keeping your cans more compact and easily stored is a surefire way to feel on top of the cleaning.
Q: Should I clean out cans before crushing them?
A: While cleaning out your cans isn’t a requirement, it certainly isn’t nice when soda or beer comes out of your can during or after the crushing. Not only will this attract insects through the sweet stickiness of dried liquid, it also means you’ll need to spend more time cleaning up your can crusher.
In short, cleaning your cans is a much simpler, cleaner way of dealing with the leftovers at the bottom of your drinks and saves you time and energy in the long-run.
Our Top Pick
The Crusher’s soda can crusher easily sits as our Top Pick as it is so easy to install, easy to use and makes quick work of even large capacity aluminum cans. Perfect for those who are happy to use a wall-mounted option, the Pacific Precision Metals Aluminum Can Compactor is the best aluminum can crusher on the market, today.
Not only is it available at an affordable price, but the design of The Crusher works well in your favor. Made from solid steel and working with an ergonomic handle, the only thing missing from this item is a container. However, simply placing it above your recycling bin is usually effective enough. All-in-all, this is a great choice for those who find themselves wanting a smooth, reliable can crusher at a great price.
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