More and more households are aware of the impact of waste products on our environment, which is why recycling has become one of the most popular ways of easing the pressure on landfill. Soda cans, beer cans, in fact, most cans are made from recyclable material, but problems can arise when you try to find a place to collect those used and empty cans. One solution is to invest in a can crusher and increase your recycling storage by three quarters.

Can crushers are inexpensive to buy, typically mounted on a wall to be unobtrusive, and are effective at freeing up extra capacity so you can increase the amount of stuff you recycle. In this article we look at four can crushers to determine which one is the best.

  • 12 and 16 oz capacity
  • All-steel construction
  • Fixes to a wall
  • Easy grip handle

  • 12 and 16 oz capacity cans
  • Easy to grab handle
  • All-steel construction
  • Only two moving parts
  • Mounts to a wall

  • Patented pivoting mechanism
  • Auto-dispensing
  • Rotating handle for comfort
  • Child safety feature
  • Decorated with the American flag

  • Crushes 12 oz cans
  • All-steel construction
  • Creates five times the storage capacity
  • Wall or countertop mounted
  • Lightweight

Like the McKay Metal Can Crusher, this can also handle cans with a capacity of 12 and 16 oz, and it is also made from all-steel. It is best to mount this crusher to a wall for the highest efficiency, especially as it has a 16-inch long handle to give you extra crushing power. It comes with an easy to grip handle that is designed to be comfortable to hold, and like the Pacific Precision crusher, this model will free up storage capacity, meaning that you can store five times as many crushed cans between trips to the recycling center.

On the downside, many have reported a design fault with the cans sliding free of the crusher during the process, which could be caused by a misaligned handle.


  • Increases storage capacity
  • Comfort handle
  • Robust
  • Built to last
  • Inexpensive to buy


  • Some handles are misaligned
  • Some cans fall out of the crusher

This McKay crusher is made of sturdy materials and handles 12 oz as well as 16 oz cans with ease. It can be mounted to a solid surface like a wall, or a countertop and comes supplied with all the hardware needed. Aluminum cans, when stored for recycling, take up a considerable amount of space, so having the ability to crush them down to 20 percent of their original size means that you can fill a trash bag with five times as many. This equates to fewer trips to the recycling center, saving you money, time, and effort.

This McKay crusher is made entirely from steel, and it only has two moving parts, so the chances of a malfunction are incredibly remote. This unit is also the cheapest to feature in the review and is very popular with buyers on Amazon, so we had to make this our budget pick.

On the downside, because of the price tag, some of the parts feel a little bit cheaply made, and if you want your cans crushed completely, then it is wise to make a small dent in the side to help the crushing process.


  • Great price
  • Steel construction
  • Increases your storage capacity
  • Reliable


  • Some elements feel cheaply made
  • The can needs denting first for crusher to be effective

This Dial Industries crusher is different from the others featured because it has a patented pivoting crushing action that means the entire process is 75 percent easier than other can crushers in its class. The model featured comes complete with a collection bin for the cans to collect in, and because the crusher has an auto dispensing feature, you never need to risk cutting your hands on the sharp edges of a crushed can.

Like The Crusher 77701 Pacific Precision, this crusher has a comfort handle, but it differs in that the Dial Industries handle rotates to make the crushing experience far easier on your hands.

As for negatives, this model is effective at crushing 12 oz cans, but the larger 24 oz varieties will be too big for this crusher. In addition, the components consist of plastic pieces that can break with sustained use, and overall, the construction materials feel cheap and flimsy.


  • Comfort handle
  • Comes with a collection bin option
  • Safer to use
  • 75 percent easier to crush cans


  • Twice the price of other can crushers
  • Plastic elements can break
  • Feels cheaply made

This Basic Industries can crusher costs a lot less than the Dial Industries Easy Pull Crusher, and that is reflected in its simple, streamlined design, but it is constructed entirely from steel and crushes your cans to a thickness of one inch. Overall, this crusher will free up to five times the storage when compared to uncrushed cans, and it is easy to lift and use.

Disadvantages include that this model can crush 12 oz cans only, so may be better suited to lighter use. Some have also reported that like The Crusher 77701 Pacific Precision, the cans tend to slip free when in mid-crush, and the construction is a little flimsy, with the handle sometimes detaching from the main body of the crusher.


  • Simple design
  • Easy to use
  • Wall mounted
  • Cheap to purchase


  • Doesn’t hold the can in place when crushing
  • The handle sometimes detaches
  • Feels cheaply made

Comparison Chart

McKay Metal Can CrusherThe Crusher 77701 Pacific PrecisionDial Industries Easy Pull CrusherBasic Industries 77702 Can Crusher
Wall mounted
Max capacity16 oz16 oz12 oz12 oz
Dimensions12.8 x 5 x 2.73 x 4.4 x 16.87.2 x 7.2 x 33.83.2 x 5.5 x 15.2
Weight (lbs)2.014.753.063.5

Buyer’s Guide:

Can Crushers

If you are big on recycling, then a can crusher is essential. It reduces the size of the can to a thickness of roughly one inch, which frees up your storage capacity by five times the amount so that you can continue to recycle for longer between trips to the recycling center and know that you are still doing your bit for the planet. Don’t think, though, that you can’t find a use for one even though you rarely use canned goods. Crushed cans take up to 20 percent less capacity than full size ones, so you are still doing your bit, no matter how small.

Can crushers come with their own plusses and minuses; let’s review some of the key ones below:


  • Increases recycling capacity – By increasing the can recycling capacity by up to five times, you are making sure that less aluminum ends up in the landfill and more is reused.
  • Cheap to buy – Most can crushers are cheap to buy, so you won’t be put off making that investment.
  • You’re doing your bit – Feel good about the effort you are making to save the planet.
  • Easy to use – They are easy to use, and nothing quite satisfies like a can getting crushed before your eyes.


  • It takes time – Crushing all those cans takes time and effort.
  • It’s not worth bothering about – A recycled can is a recycled can regardless of whether it is crushed first.
  • It’s another kitchen gadget – We have enough devices these days without adding another to clutter the kitchen.
  • The cost – While most crushers are relatively inexpensive, not everyone has the spare money to invest in a crusher.
Can Crushers


  • Increase recycling capacity
  • Feel good about your contribution
  • Inexpensive
  • Simple to use


  • It all takes too much time
  • Just another kitchen gadget
  • Some may not afford the price of a crusher

  • My can crusher won’t crush properly. Are there any tips?
  • To make it easier to crush your cans, it would be advisable that you make a small dent in each side of the wall of the can. That way, when you apply pressure in the crusher, the can will collapse more efficiently, and you will get a more even result.

  • Does my can crusher have to be wall mounted?
  • For the best results, it is advisable that you mount your can crusher against a wall or post. Because of the amount of applied pressure, there is the chance that if you use the crusher without installing it, you could slip and cause an injury.

  • How small will the can crusher compact the can?
  • Most crushers will compact a standard can roughly one inch thick, or one third of its original height, so that gives you up to five times the storage capacity. This means that there is less to carry to the recycling center, and you will use less plastic trash bags in the process. It will also be easier for you only having to get one bag instead of five out of the car.

Final Thoughts

Increasing you recycling capacity means that more material gets reused, and that has to be a good thing. Can crushing might not seem essential, but it is an easy and efficient way to do your part to help the environment.

Our HowToHome pick has to be The Crusher 77701 Pacific Precision for sheer numbers sold alone. It has proven itself to be the can crusher of choice, with 12 and 16 oz capacity, robust all-steel construction, and a great price. If you are still passionate about recycling and want to crush your cans without breaking your bank balance, then the budget pick has to be the McKay Metal Can Crusher. It retails at a third of the price of the most expensive crusher on the list yet still sells in the thousands.

Whatever crusher you choose, recycling is here to stay and will continue to grow. Something as simple as a can crusher that can increase our recycling capacity is a wonderful thing and should be applauded.

Further Reading