Crushing Your Way to Savings

Reasons abound for recycling oil filters and their waste oil

Modern oil filter crushers connect to an existing shop air supply and use that to derive the force necessary to crush an oil filter. Again using the RP-20FC as an example, that particular unit applies 10 tons of pressure, reducing the oil filter to 25 percent of its original size. The unit includes a 12-1/2” diameter cylinder, pressure regulator and air moisture separator, and an automatic safety door that automatically ceases press operation when opened. A transparent door provides a view of the crushing process.

In order to use any filter crusher safely, make sure that the door remains closed at all times during the crushing operation. When choosing an oil filter crusher, it is wise to purchase a unit that has a door with an integrated safety switch that automatically stops the press if the safety door is ajar. A feature like this makes accidents much less likely.


To get the most for your money on a filter crusher, it is wise to choose one that meets the needs of your business model. Some bearing presses can be retrofitted into oil filter crushers, but they suffer from being hand-operated and messy. This hampers ROI because of labor and cleaning costs.

There are larger crushers that can crush larger cylindrical metal objects, such as paint cans, but most shops would need a crusher that simply compacts oil filters. How do you know which type to choose?

According to Jeff Kritzer, senior vice president of sales and marketing for BendPak, prices on oil filter crushers tend to vary due to a unit’s pressing power – 10-ton versus 25-ton – and how it is powered.

There are no major differences between the oil filter crushers available, he notes. “The only real variances are whether the crusher is pneumatic or hydraulic powered, its pressing power and the overall chamber size.

“Pneumatic presses are usually less expensive and have fewer operating parts and require less maintenance. Pneumatic presses are typically medium duty presses with capacities ranging from 10,000 to 20,000 lbs of crushing force.”

Kritzer says a typical auto repair shop or fleet that services light duty and some medium duty vehicles typically needs an oil filter crusher capable of a maximum of 20,000 lbs of crushing force. “For heavier duty pressing, hydraulic presses that feature an electric/hydraulic power unit and hydraulic operation valve with higher crushing forces ranging from 25,000 to 50,000 lbs of crushing force are preferable.

“Heavier diesel truck repair shops or for shops that work on agricultural equipment, buyers should explore crushers with a minimum capacity of 40,000 lbs.”

Other considerations to take into account prior to making a purchase of an oil filter crusher is quality, how quickly it will operate, whether it is safe, dependability and ease of use.

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