A reliable, single-can crusher with the durability to handle thousands of cans — and a container to catch them..
Compact sized crusher with bin to store cans. Able to be mounted easily on the wall. Made from plastic, but holds up really well. Crushes cans consistently. Easy to use. Not rated for outdoor use, but plastic construction makes it hold up well in the weather.
Does not have the flexibility to crush more than a standard-sized can. Must be lubricated from time to time.
This solid and economical can crusher can be used indoors or outdoors.
Fits cans sizes 12 to 16 ounces. Saves space in recycling by decreasing can size but as much as 80%. Simple to install on indoor or outdoor surfaces.
Requires lubricant for most efficient use.
This can crusher is a reliable and durable good value for the money.
Heavy-duty crusher that works for both 12 and 16 ounce cans. Compact and made from steel for optimal durability. Hangs flat against wall to save space and easy to use.
Loads only one can at a time. Cans can have a tendency to slip out of the crusher quickly after being crushed.
Constructed from steel, this can crusher is easy to mount on your wall or counter.
Steel construction. Attaches to both vertical surfaces like walls and horizontal surfaces like tables. Handle features cushioned grip. Comes with built-in bottle opener. Choice of device to crush 12 or 16 ounce cans.
The screws that come with this crusher could be higher quality. Consider using better ones to install it.
A sturdy can crusher that mounts securely in place on walls via reinforced rivets.
Can stay put in this crusher thanks to rubber-lined base. Built to last with thick sheet metal. Fits cans 12 to 16 ounces, and crushes them to about 1 inch thick.
Crushes best if a small dent is put in the can first.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Recycling is gradually becoming a habit for many in our country. Recent studies have shown that we recycle about 34% of our total waste, up from a mere 6% half a century ago. Still, there’s a 15% difference between the amount of waste we could recycle and the amount of waste we do recycle. Aluminum drink cans make up much of that gap – only half of the 2.7 million tons we discard each year gets recycled.
Many people cite inconvenience as the main reason they don’t recycle. Once the bin fills up, no one wants to stop and make the trip to empty it when the garbage can is just a few feet away. A can crusher can help make recycling more convenient. These tools feature a lever or handle that you press to crush your bulky drink can down to a fraction of its former size. This lets you fit more cans in your bin and reduces the number of trips needed to empty it.
Can crushers are supposed to make recycling more convenient, so it’s important to buy a tool you’ll actually use. Consider your habits and your living space before you buy a can crusher.
While most can crushers are manual, a few are electric. Most electric can crushers are cost prohibitive for home use. The good news is that most manual models are designed to be easy to use, even for people with joint, grip, or strength issues.
Some devices crush a single can at a time while others can quickly crush multiple cans. If you enjoy a soda or energy drink or two throughout the day, you can get away with a single-can model. If you entertain frequently or have a serious soda habit, you might need something more streamlined.
All can crushers need to be stable to do their job. This can either be achieved by mounting it to the wall or by the weight of the machine itself. Heavy floor models don’t require you to drill into your wall, but they do have a larger footprint and take up more room. Check your space, including floors, counters, and walls, when deciding which style to buy.
As you might guess, most of the best can crushers are made of metal, preferably steel. Many of these rugged crushers can handle several cans at once. However, they might require more force and strength to operate.
A number of can crushers are made of heavy-duty plastic. Most plastic models will crush one can at a time, so they’re not the best choice for high-volume users. They have their place, though, particularly among customers with arthritis or other joint problems that can make it challenging to push a metal lever.
Most can crushers are designed for 12-ounce soda cans. But many energy drinks, beers, and teas come in cans that are 16 ounces or larger. If these drinks are staples in your home, check to make sure the can crusher you want to purchase can handle the larger size.
The size and construction of your crusher can affect which features are available, so keep this in mind when weighing your priorities.
Some can crushers come with built-in storage bins. This keeps stacks of cans from filling up your recycling bin and keeps things looking tidier. It’s a great option if you live in a region where you can redeem recyclables for cash. These bins do take up a lot of space, however.
Other can crushers don’t include a bin and must be placed over a separate container. Other, smaller units require the can to be removed manually. This is a hassle if you go through a lot of cans, but it might save space if you don’t need room for dozens of crushed cans at a time.
All can crushers need to offer some water resistance, given that many cans contain drops of beverages or water from rinsing. But some are specifically made for outdoor use. Look for one of these if you plan to keep your can crusher poolside or use it on the patio for a cookout.
Most party guests don’t check their cans for drips before tossing them. Some manufacturers include a drip guard on the can crusher so that liquid pressed from cans collects in a channel. When your event is over, you simply wipe out the channel. This feature can save you from sticky floors and messy hands.
While can crushers are designed to minimize the effort needed to crush a can, users still must exert some force to move the lever. An ergonomic handle can reduce any pain and tension in the hand while gripping. Foam-padded handles can also help if you’re particularly prone to hand or joint pain.
Safety stop: If you have young children, look for a can crusher with a safety stop to help prevent pinched fingers.
Mount position: Make sure you know whether your crusher mounts vertically or horizontally before buying. A few mount either way for maximum flexibility.
Inexpensive: If you want something basic, you can find inexpensive can crushers for less than $20. Tools in this price range usually crush only one can at a time, mount to the wall, and are likely made of plastic.
Mid-range: Can crushers that cost between $20 and $40 have steel construction, although some pieces might be made of plastic. Most in this bracket are able to crush one can at a time, but they’re sturdier than the cheaper devices. Most of these are wall mounted, too.
Expensive: The highest-quality can crushers cost $50 or more. These crushers are made of steel, and some are able to crush multiple cans at once. The price often depends on the tool’s storage capacity. Some require wall mounting, but many are large and heavy enough to stand on the floor.
Attach a wall-mounted can crusher to the studs. This gives it extra stability.
Never use a can crusher on steel food cans. Most are designed exclusively for thin aluminum cans, so trying to crush steel cans might damage your device and void any warranty.
Check to see if your can crusher can crush plastic bottles. A number of can crushers are able to handle plastic water bottles – another space hog in the recycling bin. However, plastic shards could get stuck in your machine, so check the manufacturer’s instructions first.
Q. How much bin space do can crushers really save?
A. A lot. Most 12-ounce aluminum cans measure roughly 5 inches tall and 2.5 inches in diameter. Can crushers reduce their height to about 1 inch. During an evening of entertaining, a can crusher could save you trips to empty the recycling bin as well as messy cleanup afterward.
Q. Should I clean out cans before crushing them?
A. Yes, if possible. Cans that have been rinsed out are less likely to develop nasty odors or attract insects over time. If you’re crushing cans to save space, you’ll be emptying your bin less often, so there’s more time for smells and bugs to show up. A quick rinse is enough, though. Unlike steel food cans, drink cans don’t harbor chunks of vegetables or meat. And don’t stress if one of your guests crushes without rinsing. Cans are often cleaned again at the recycling facility, and any leftover debris burns off when cans are melted down for recycling. Aluminum melts at around 1,220°F, a temperature sticky soda drips can’t survive.
Q. What happens to recycled aluminum cans?
A. Most recycled cans are used to make new drink cans; in fact, many beverage cans are used, recycled, melted down, and appear back on the shelf as new beverage cans within three months. So when you recycle, you’re helping to keep costs down on your favorite drinks. Additionally, recycled aluminum is used to make bicycles, airplane parts, and facades for buildings.
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