The 8 Best Can Crushers

Updated May 17, 2018 by Sam Kraft

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We spent 42 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. If your interest in saving the planet has you heavily invested in recycling, make your admirable passion a little bit easier with one of these can crushers. The more cans you can fit into your recycling bin, the less will end up in a landfill. Our selection features options that are ideal for home use as well as some commercial-sized models that are suitable for workplaces, gyms and more. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best can crusher on Amazon.

8. Basic Industries Multi Crush

The Basic Industries Multi Crush is convenient for smashing a decent volume of cans, as its chute is able to accommodate up to six at a time. Once a can is crushed, it ejects it automatically into the recycling bin you place below it.
  • crushes to about 1 inch thick
  • can work with 16-ounce cans
  • handle bows under heavy pressure
Brand Basic Industries Intern
Model 77703
Weight 5.2 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

7. Commercial Zone Can Pactor

While it doesn’t flatten cans into coin-like shapes as most units do, the Commercial Zone Can Pactor instead presses them down into sheets for easy disposal. It is built with very tough plastic and installs quickly with just three screws.
  • can be cleaned in dishwasher
  • compact at just 7 inches wide
  • requires significant effort to use
Brand Commercial Zone
Model CECOMINHK02256
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Zing Industrial

If you’re looking to run through a large number of cans without putting forth a ton of effort, the Zing Industrial may be your solution. It utilizes a patented pivoting mechanism that requires less force than many other models, which will help save you time as well.
  • made from heavy-duty nylon
  • does not wobble or flex
  • will not accommodate tallboys
Brand Zing Green Products
Model 7008
Weight 5.8 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. KitchenCraft Stand

Those of you who would prefer not to mount a device to your wall will be thrilled with the KitchenCraft Stand, which can be placed on the floor anywhere you have space. Simply slide the can inside and use your foot to press it flat.
  • rubber feet prevent sliding
  • adjusts to 2 different positions
  • cans tend to slide out at times
Brand Kitchen Craft
Weight 5.1 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

4. McKay Smasher

An effective model at an affordable price, the McKay Smasher can be wall-mounted and holds up to 10 aluminum cans. When it’s time to crush one, it will automatically feed it into the chamber and eject it once it’s flattened.
  • handle has a comfortable cushion
  • comes in 12- or 16-ounce versions
  • lacks long-term durability
Brand McKay
Model COMINHKPR97475
Weight 1.9 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

3. Dial Industries Easy Pull

Designed with an attached container that holds multiple compressed cans, the Dial Industries Easy Pull won’t result in a sticky dripping mess. It has stainless steel hinge pins to maximize its durability, so it shouldn’t wear out anytime soon.
  • collection bin is removable
  • easy to operate for all ages
  • reliably resistant to rust
Brand Easy Pull
Model pending
Weight 3.1 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Commercial Zone CanPactor

Why purchase multiple items when an all-in-one solution exists? If you manage a camp, a busy workplace, or any other location where a high volume of canned drinks are consumed, the Commercial Zone CanPactor is a simple, low-effort model that performs admirably.
  • holds up to 400 crushed cans
  • for indoor or outdoor use
  • weather-resistant plastic design
Brand Commercial Zone
Model pending
Weight 13 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Basic Industries Compactor

At 16 inches long and built to hang on the wall, the Basic Industries Compactor is as simple and functional as it gets. It crushes cans effectively into a manageable size, and its sleek design will look nice in your kitchen, mudroom or even on the patio.
  • built with scratch-resistant steel
  • works best mounted vertically
  • smooth easy-to-grip handle
Brand Basic Industries Intern
Model 77701
Weight 4.7 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

What Differentiates One Can Crusher From Another?

Every can crusher is built for a similar purpose, and yet certain models are designed to do the job a little differently than others. The standard can crusher condenses an aluminum can into a disc, for example, whereas certain crushers can actually flatten an aluminum can into a sheet. One of the advantages being that if you throw your household recyclables out in a crate (as opposed to a bag), flat sheets will be easier to stack. Flat sheets will also be less likely to overflow or spill out, which makes it easier to carry your recyclables out to the curb.

The more cans you go through, the more you may want to consider a commercial can crusher, which is essentially an average crusher that has been attached to a larger recycling bin (the cans get crushed, and then they fall right in). Another option might be a crusher with a basket holder (for stockpiling 6-10 empty cans until you're ready to condense them). Either that or a dual crusher that's capable of condensing two cans at a time.

The longer a can crusher's handle, the more torque that crusher should be able to generate. This is relevant in terms of crushing thick cans, along with aluminum containers that are made to hold 16 oz or more. If a crusher is portable, it should weigh at least 5 lbs, so that it does not shift whenever it's being operated. If a crusher needs to be mounted, its description should include phrases like "wobble-free" or "safely-anchored" that offer a certain measure of reassurance.

Who Can Benefit From Owning a Can Crusher (& Why)?

If you are a homeowner, a business owner, a superintendent, or a constant consumer of canned beverages, a can crusher can save you a significant amount of time and space. Owning a can crusher not only means fewer trash bags and fewer trips to the bin, it also makes it easier to recycle cans for money, and to transport more cans to the local depository with each trip.

Parents can use an aluminum crusher to teach their children about recycling. A lot of children enjoy not only pulling the lever on a crusher, but also seeing - and then hearing - the aluminum disappear inside. Mounting a crusher on your kitchen wall will help to remind family members that they should drain their cans before disposal. That, in turn, should lead to your recyclables attracting fewer insects, including bees, and ants, and flies.

Anyone who runs a restaurant, a cafeteria, or any high-traffic business might benefit from investing in a commercial can crusher (AKA a "canpactor"). Commercial crushers can condense your aluminum before dropping it directly into a disposable bin. The convenience of a commercial crusher is likely to result in less clutter, and it may also reduce the amount of cleanup at the end of every night.

Businesses that accumulate a significant number of cans may want to consider depositing their aluminum for a small profit; either that or dropping those cans off at a local processing center as a charitable donation. Certain donations may even be considered a tax write-off.

How Are Aluminum Cans Recycled?

You may wonder what happens to all of your aluminum cans after you have crushed them. While can-crushing is a great start, it is actually the first step in a much larger process. After your aluminum cans have been placed in a recycling bin, they are picked up by a sanitation team, which, in turn, delivers those recyclables to a local processing center or a relay station. Relay stations are used as a depot for transitioning items onto a tractor trailer. The tractor trailer collects recyclables from several different relay stations, en route to a regional processing center located somewhere up the road.

After arriving at a processing center, aluminum cans are unloaded and sorted (to separate the aluminum from any misplaced trash, etc.), before being placed along a conveyor belt that sprays every item clean. The treated aluminum is then passed into a heating chamber, where it is melted at 1300 to 1400 degrees Fahrenheit, thereby removing any ink or other coating along its surface. After that, the liquid aluminum is congealed into industrial-sized blocks, which are known as ingots. Every ingot is comprised of aluminum from approximately 1.6 million cans.

Massive trailers transport the ingots to one or more development plants. Upon arrival, the ingots are broken down, with individual segments being prepped for production. One ingot could be delivered to a plant that makes aluminum siding, whereas another ingot could be delivered to a plant that makes aluminum cans. Either way, the entire process - from crushing a can in your home to having a recycled aluminum product appear on retail shelves - requires an average of six weeks.

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Last updated on May 17, 2018 by Sam Kraft

Sam is a marketing/communications professional and freelance writer who resides in Chicago, IL and is perpetually celebrating the Cubs’ 2016 World Series victory.

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