Vertical Cardboard Baler
Compress Cardboard Waste into Compact and Recyclable Bales
Updated on Nov 17, 2021 | Authors: Pim Brouwer & Brent Nijssen
With a vertical cardboard baler you compress voluminous cardboard waste into compact bales. By compressing cardboard waste, you reduce the volume of the material. This saves up floor space, and also the cost of waste collection. A baler has a positive effect on cost savings, it saves CO2 and the recyclable bales can generate income.
Cardboard Baler Categories:
There are generally two types of cardboard balers: vertical (downstroke) balers and horizontal baling machines. On this page, we look into vertical cardboard balers for light, medium, and heavy-duty use from manufacturers HSM and Bramidan. Vertical balers are also known as downstroke balers. Check our vertical baler buying guide for more information on these machines.
Request A Free Quote
Advice and pricing for cardboard balers
Every month we help hundreds of businesses worldwide finding the right recycling machine.
- Recycle waste and reduce cost on waste collection
- Experience in cardboard recycling since 1963
- Our global network of experts are ready to help
Best Cardboard Baling Presses
Which vertical cardboard baler suits your needs? The list below contains three categories of cardboard baler machines, for light-duty, medium-duty and heavy-duty use. Per category, we recommend balers for your inspiration from Bramidan and HSM.
Light-Duty Balers for Cardboard
Light-duty vertical balers are relatively compact and affordable machines for compressing cardboard waste in an economical way. These low-volume cardboard baling presses are ideal for creating free space in restaurants, hotels, gas stations, offices, print, and packaging or smaller stores because of their small footprint. The smallest size downstroke balers are a perfect solution for when your business is outgrowing your standard recycling bin or containers for cardboard waste.
A light-duty baling machine is also perfect when you have a low volume of daily cardboard waste or when there is a tighter budget available to invest in this machine.
- Waste volume: Small / low volume
- Bale weight: Up to 100 kg / 220 lbs
Efficient, powerful and small footprint baler
- Bale weight: Up to 130 lbs
- Press force: 8,800 lbs
- Motor: 1.0 HP
- Baler weight: 661 lbs
- Baler size (w*d*h): 38.5 x 28 x 78 inches
The Bramidan Baler B4 is a ‘mini’ downstroke cardboard baler with a high press force. It has a very low noise level of less than 60 dB. The baling machine has a small base area and is easy and convenient to operate.
The baler automatically ejects the cardboard bale when compression of the cardboard waste is ready. You can also use the Bramidan Baler B4 for plastic foil and paper waste.
Compress cardboard on minimal floorspace
- Bale weight: Up to 485 lbs
- Press force: 12,000 lbs
- Motor: 5.1 HP
- Baler weight: 1190.49 lbs
- Baler size (w*d*h): 47.17 x 32.4 x 78.19 inches
The HSM V-Press 610 is a compact, but powerful baler with more than 5 HP of pressing power. This 480 V baler helps to reduce the volume of cardboard, mixed paper, or foils in an economical way. Fill the chamber with cardboard waste and the machine starts the pressing process after the door is closed with the handwheel door lock.
The keypad with text display shows the current status of the baling process. The cardboard bales are strapped with polyester tape and can be ejected automatically onto a pallet for easy transport.
Medium-Duty Balers for Cardboard
Medium-duty vertical balers compress cardboard into bales that fit on standard US pallets or EUR pallets, for easy transportation. These medium-volume cardboard baling presses are ideal for big-box stores, retail shops, hotels, restaurants, manufacturing facilities, factories, wholesalers, food producers, and distribution centers.
A medium-duty baling machine has a wider opening than a light-duty baler and thus is able to compress large and bulky cardboard boxes without the need to break them down first. These powerful machines are available in single-phase and three-phase power.
- Waste volume: Medium volume
- Bale weight: Up to 250 kg / 550 lbs
Suitable baler for many industries
- Bale weight: Up to 550 lbs
- Press force: 44,100 lbs
- Motor: 5.5 HP
- Baler weight: 2,750 lbs
- Baler size (w*d*h): 70 x 41 x 109 inches
The Bramidan Baler B20 is a powerful and versatile baler for cardboard waste, plastic foil, and waste paper. The finished bales are optimal in size, so they fit on standard EU or US pallets for easy transportation.
The B20 has a pleasant low noise level of under 62 dB, has a short press cycle, and is easy to operate. The volume of cardboard is reduced a lot, because of the high compression ratio.
Large baler with small footprint
- Bale weight: Up to 550 lbs
- Press force: 40,320 lbs
- Motor: 6.4 HP
- Baler weight: 2,866 lbs
- Baler size (w*d*h): 66.9 x 42.3 x 98.3 inches
The HSM V-Press 820 Plus is a vertical baler machine for compacting medium to large volumes of cardboard waste. The cardboard baler produces around 2-5 cardboard bales per hour. You can load your cardboard boxes and sheets into the machine by folding them down the upper half of the door. When folded down, the door functions as a table for convenient storing and filling the machine with cardboard waste.
The massive press ram, robust press plate, and solid steel cutting rollers offer high pressing power, so your cardboard is compressed into a compact bale.
Heavy-Duty Balers for Cardboard
Heavy-duty vertical balers are powerful machines to compress bulky, voluminous cardboard waste into easy-to-transport bales. These high-capacity cardboard baling presses are ideal for warehouses, wholesalers, manufacturers, large distribution or fullfilment centers, large hotels, retail stores, supermarkets, and recyclers.
A heavy-duty baler can reduce the volume of cardboard up to 10:1. This makes it an economical and efficient alternative to a regular waste dumpster. A vertical downstroke cardboard baler requires less space, it reduces the volume of your waste, the bailer saves up time, and it reduces the cost of your current waste collection and dumpster rental.
Are you looking for a high-production cardboard baler for baling lots of cardboard waste? Then we recommend a horizontal baler, this is a larger compactor machine.
- Waste volume: High volume
- Bale weight: Up to 650 kg / 1430 lbs
High-quality baler for compacting heavy-duty materials
- Bale weight: Up to 1,000 lbs
- Press force: 110,000 lbs
- Motor: 7.5 HP
- Baler weight: 5,370 lbs
- Baler size (w*d*h): 82,5 x 77.5 x 100 inches
The Bramidan Baler X50 HD is a powerful compactor for producing heavy cardboard bales of up to 1,000 lbs. This durable, high-quality and heavy-duty baler compacts your waste materials quickly and efficiently. Besides cardboard, you can compress aluminum, tin cans, hard plastics, foil and waste paper.
This large baler is safe to use via an electrical control panel, all moving parts are located inside the baler. A perfect sustainable solution for compressing high volumes of waste.
Powerful baler for making 1,200 lbs bales
- Bale weight: Up to 1,213 lbs
- Press force: 60,000 lbs
- Motor: 6.44 HP
- Baler weight: 5,317 lbs
- Baler size (w*d*h): 82.13 x 61.69 x 117.72 inches
The HSM V-Press 860 plus B belongs to the top model from HSM in the V-Press series. This powerful recycling baling machine generates 60 tons of pressing power and produces compact bales with a weight of around 1,200 lbs per bale. The baler is suitable for compressing cardboard waste as well as plastic film or foil. These bales are ready to be marketed without requiring any further pressing.
When a cardboard bale is ready, it is ejected automatically onto a standard EU or US pallet for transport. The high-capacity press chamber can hold high volumes of (bulky) cardboard packaging waste, so it is perfect for large warehouses, manufacturers, and large retailers.
‘A cardboard baler helps to reduce the volume of cardboard waste at your company.’
Compare the best baling presses in one overview
Vertical Cardboard Baler Guide
Tackle your cardboard waste overflow with a vertical baler
- Improving recycling rates
- Cutting waste handling costs
- Save time and effort handling cardboard waste
- Compress cardboard waste into compact bales
- Reduce space needed at your business for waste handling
- Sell cardboard bales for recycling to the paper industry
Learn more about vertical downstroke balers below.
Are you looking for a large baler for baling quantities of cardboard waste? Check out our guide with information and inspiration on horizontal balers for high-capacity waste baling.
These industrial balers are perfect for the continuous baling of cardboard and plastic waste streams at your facility.
- What is a downstroke cardboard baler?
- Vertical versus horizontal cardboard baler
- Internal or external moving parts
- Door types
- Pros and cons of cardboard balers
- How does the baling process work?
- How much does a cardboard baler cost?
- Tools, supplies, and accessories
- Buying checklist for cardboard balers
What is a downstroke cardboard baler?
An industrial cardboard baling machine is a crusher or compressor for your cardboard. It compresses cardboard waste, such as (upright) boxes and cardboard plates, into tightly compressed bales with a powerful hydraulic mechanism. The size of the bales depends on the recycling baler machine’s capacity, but generally speaking, most cardboard bales have the depth and width of a standard pallet.
Overall, a cardboard baling press will help you to more efficiently recycle your cardboard and sell it to cardboard recycling firms or paper mills.
What are the benefits of a cardboard baler
Why do you need a baling machine, and what are the benefits of a company’s cardboard baler?
- Reduces the volume of cardboard waste and saves valuable storage space. It can reduce the volume of cardboard by up to 95%.
- Reduces waste removal costs by reducing the frequency of collection. The necessary lorry trips for waste disposal are reduced in comparison to a standard disposal container. This saves costs and also results in CO2 savings.
- Environmentally friendly solution for high volumes of cardboard waste.
- More revenue for your cardboard waste material.
- A vertical baling press occupies minimal floor space in a warehouse, around 6 m².
- A dedicated machine improves the quality of the cardboard waste stream, increasing the value.
- A vertical baling press generates energy savings.
- Less cardboard will end up in landfills, and more gets recycled reducing the environmental impact of an organization.
- Transporting baled cardboard makes transportation by your waste disposal company more efficient and convenient.
- A cardboard baler can be placed and used directly where the waste accumulates.
- The bales you create with a baler can be used in the recycling chain as secondary raw material, this could generate income.
Depending on the material compacted, up to 54 bales can be transported with a 24 tonne articulated lorry.
What companies use a baler?
Is a vertical cardboard baler a machine that is beneficial for your business? Well, does your company produces lots of cardboard waste on a daily basis, and are you looking for a solution?
A cardboard crusher is then perfect for reducing your cardboard waste volume, like boxes and other kinds of cardboard packaging. There is all kind of companies and industries which make use of horizontal or vertical recycling balers:
- Retail outlets
- Convenient stores
- Agriculture companies
- Recycling centers
- Distribution centers
- And so on…
As you can see, the list is pretty diverse. If you are looking for a solution for your cardboard waste, then a cardboard box baler may present your company with the ideal solution.
Large or small baler?
- Overall, large balers produce bales that are about twice larger than those of small to medium-sized balers.
- Small or medium balers produce bales that weigh half or even a quarter of bales produced by large balers.
- The footprint of a large baler is up to four times the size of small to medium balers.
- A larger baler’s average pressing power is usually at least 150% of the pressing force of a small to a medium baler.
- The required space for a disposal container is 20 m², a vertical baling press only needs 6 m².
Read our more in-depth article about the size of a cardboard baler.
What type of cardboard can be placed in a cardboard baler?
Cardboard balers can compress all types of cardboard. The size, shape, or usage will not be a limiting factor. Types of cardboard that are generally compressed in a recycling baler are:
- Cardboard boxes
- Cardboard plates
- Cardboard sheets
- Cardboard tubes
- Fibreboard and Paperboard
If your cardboard is contaminated or wet, a baler will still be able to bale it. Still, the quality of the bales will diminish, lowering the value of the bales when sold to recycling facilities or paper mills.
Difference between a baler and compactor
A cardboard baler is a compact compressing machine for cardboard that is meant for inside use at your facility. A cardboard compactor is a machine that can be used outdoors, but in some situations, it can also be placed indoors.
The difference between a compactor and a baler is that a compactor is a larger machine that compresses the cardboard with a horizontal press, rather than a vertical ram. A cardboard compactor can be installed permanently at your site, but it can also be a mobile solution. Waste haulers often rent cardboard compactors as a solution for reducing the volume of cardboard waste for their clients.
Vertical versus horizontal cardboard baler
There are two main types of cardboard balers, a vertical baling machine, and a horizontal baling machine. So, what is the difference between the two cardboard crushers?
A vertical baler is meant for producing around 5-10 bales per day.
Overall, a downstroke baler is intended for companies that want to have an easy-to-use heavy-duty baling solution for their cardboard waste to improve waste separation and save on waste hauling costs. In contrast, a horizontal baler is designed for industrial use and compressing larger amounts of cardboard waste and is mostly used by recycling companies themselves or organizations with large quantities of cardboard.
Vertical cardboard baler:
- For baling small to medium volumes of cardboard waste
- Ideal for businesses with limited floorspace
- Easy to operate by one person
- The cardboard is compressed vertically
- Relatively small footprint
- Produces one bale at a time
- Compressed cardboard needs to be wired manually by the operator
Horizontal cardboard baler:
- For baling high volumes of cardboard waste
- Ideal for heavy-duty industrial use
- Higher investment in comparison to a vertical baler
- More complicated to operate and maintain
- The cardboard is compressed horizontally
- Requires more floor space, especially open-end balers
- Produces multiple cardboard bales and (automatically) wires the bales during the baling process
Internal or external moving parts
Most vertical balers have their moving parts, such as the pressing cylinders and strapping rolls, visible on the top of the machine. But you can also opt for a baler where the moving parts are hidden and protected inside the machine.
As you can see in the image below, the vertical baler to the right requires less space.
A baler with external moving parts is generally less expensive than a baler with outer moving parts. But it requires more vertical space. When you want to station a cardboard box baler in a room or area (such as a warehouse rack) with limited height, then a baler with integrated parts is an option. The downside is that baler machines with internal parts are more expensive, in the range of $2,000. Besides that, not every manufacturer has this type of baler in their assortment.
Bramidan is a manufacturer with a wide range of balers with internal or external moving parts. Most of their clients opt for a baler with external moving parts. Customers that do want a baler with integrated moving parts do this mainly for space-saving reasons. A smaller audience wants this machine because of its sleeker look and design.
Cardboard balers all contain a door, but how you open or close the door is all up to your preferences. For instance, you can choose a double door baler where the door is split in half.
Or you can get a baler with a loading flap, where the door tilts towards the operator. There are also balers with a sliding door, which requires less space. Lastly, you can opt for a cardboard baler with an automatic sliding door.
Pros and cons of cardboard balers
Cardboard is a rather voluminous and space-consuming waste stream, especially cardboard boxes. Non-compressed cardboard waste is also a relatively expensive type of recyclable material in terms of transport costs for waste collection companies. The reason is that there is a lot of ‘useless air’ in the waste material, which is inefficient and costly to transport.
To reduce transportation costs, and thus waste expenses for your company, it is worthwhile to compress cardboard beforehand. Compact cardboard bales have a much smaller footprint, which requires less floor space in your company. Additionally, compressed bales are much more efficient to transport for waste collection companies because they can collect more weight in a more compact form. In summary, a cardboard baler is beneficial for the environment and for company finances.
- Significantly reduce the volume of cardboard waste of an organization
- Save on valuable storage space in warehouses
- Reduces costs of waste collection by reducing transport movements
- Smaller balers are easy to use by employees
- Increases value of your cardboard on the recycling market by better separating waste streams
- An environmentally friendly solution for cardboard waste with less waste on landfills
- The baler itself takes up space in your facility
- It is an expensive device, but it is an investment that is paid back by lower waste hauling costs and increased prices for cardboard
- Additional tools and supplies need to be purchased to comfortably use some balers, such as wheeled containers, strapping wire, and pallets. Take a look at our recommended tools
- The machines are not 100% automated, so it takes time for the operator to load, strap and unload the cardboard
Read a more indepth post about the disadvantages of a cardboard baler.
How does the baling process work?
- Prepare the machine with baler strapping wire.
- Fill the baling machine with cardboard waste material.
- Close off the door and start compressing.
- Open the door and wrap the bales with wiring to keep them together.
- Place a pallet and eject the cardboard bale onto the pallet.
Cycle time and hourly bale output
The time it takes to compress cardboard waste into a bale depends on the type of baling machine and the operator’s experience because it takes time to prepare and load the machine with cardboard. The compactor presses the cardboard with a hydraulic press. However, after compressing the cardboard, the operator needs to strap the cardboard bale and eject it onto a pallet.
Ultimately, the specifications or user manual of a cardboard baler will tell you the average cycle time, as well as the hourly output. What is the difference, and what does it mean?
What is the cycle time?
The cycle time indicates the average time it takes for the cardboard baler to perform one cycle. A single cycle is a process of compressing the cardboard waste in the chamber with the pressing plate. On average, this takes up to around 30 seconds. But this doesn’t mean that you can make a cardboard bale in 30 seconds. You need to repeat this process multiple times to create one bale of cardboard.
What is the hourly bale output?
The production time of compacting cardboard packaging waste to a bale takes up multiple cycles. The average time to produce one bale depends on the type of material, the availability of waste materials at the site, and the operator’s efficiency. Sometimes you can find in the manufacturer’s guide manual specifications you can find the baler’s hourly bale output.
The output tells you how many bales the compactor produces per hour. Small-sized cardboard balers can produce 3-5 smaller bales per hour, and larger-sized baling machines can produce 1-3 large bales per hour. But keep in mind that these numbers are averages, and your company’s real output can differ.
What does a cardboard bale weigh?
When we look at a medium-sized cardboard baler, the HSM V-Press 860 plus, it produces a bale with the following specifications:
- Bale length: 47.24 in
- Bale width: 30.71 in
- Bale height: 47.24 in
- Bale weight: 1058.21 lb
However, the weight of a bale varies based on the size of the baling machine and on the weight of the cardboard waste material.
Read more about the weight and size of a cardboard bale.
How much does a cardboard baler cost?
A cardboard compactor/baler is a reasonably pricy investment. The small vertical baling press prices start around 5,000 dollars and Large cardboard baling presses around 10.000 dollars, while high-end industrial balers can cost up to $1.5 million. You can also opt to purchase a used cardboard baler lowering the upfront costs, but it will require maintenance earlier than a new model.
Cost of leasing a cardboard baler
A cardboard baler is a substantial investment that’s why manufacturers enable companies to lease or rent a cardboard baler. The lease or rent a cardboard baler mainly is negotiated on a fixed cost per month from one of the cardboard baler manufacturing companies.
Maintenance cardboard baler
If you are thinking about buying or leasing a new baler, it is important to note that some manufacturers can offer you a maintenance contract. These maintenance contracts allow you to be worry-free when it comes to maintaining or repairing these large machines, as a manufacture approved technician will visit the site to take care of everything.
Read our more in-depth article about the cost of a carboard baler.
Tools, supplies, and accessories
Besides a cardboard baler, what other supplies do you need to start baling your cardboard?
- Wheeled container – Place wheeled containers for cardboard waste at centralized areas in and around your company. Once full, these wheeled containers can easily be transported to the baling press.
- Strapping – To keep a compressed bale in a compact form. It is crucial to strap the bale with metal wire or another strong binding material to prevent it from falling apart.
- Pallet – When a bale is ready, it will get ejected from the baler. Therefore, you need a pallet to hold the cardboard bale once it gets prepared for transportation.
- Pallet truck (with scale) – To transport the pallet with the cardboard bale, a pump truck or pallet truck comes in handy. We recommend a pallet truck with a scale so you can weigh the cardboard bale on the go.
- Self-dumping hopper – This attachment for a forklift can be used to store, transport, and dump cardboard material in the area of the cardboard compactor. Read more about self dump hoppers for fork trucks.
A pallet and a pallet truck are recommended tools (image source).
Buying checklist for cardboard balers
Before purchasing a cardboard baler, there are several criteria and characteristics to consider when choosing the specific model and making that you want. Below you will find an outline of all the requirements and features you may want to give thought to during this decision process.
- Build quality – As these machines get used in industrial and warehouse areas, they have to withstand heavy-duty usage. Because of this, we recommend sturdy metal housing.
- Baler types – Dependent on the amount and dimensions of space you have available and how you will use the baler, a choice needs to be made between a horizontal and vertical baler. Additionally, some balers can compress substances other than cardboard, such as plastic.
- Size of baler – How big or small your baler should or can depend on various factors, such as available space and amount of use.
- Power required– Most large balers cannot get plugged into your average power socket. They need more power than that. For example, HSM V-press 860 L requires a voltage of 400V. The electricity need is an important feature to take into account. Nevertheless, there are smaller balers that a standard power socket may power. However, as the power socket voltage can vary per region, we advise you to do your research on this.
- Capacity/bale size – your baler’s capacity and the dimensions of the final bale that comes out is an important criterion to consider. These are also important to contact your waste hauler about as the bales’ dimensions will affect them too.
- Safety features –Does the baler comply with safety regulations? And what type of safety features does it have?
- Maintenance – How much maintenance does the machine need? Can you do it yourself, or does someone professional need to come to do it? Is a maintenance contract possible?
- Warranty – How long is the warranty of the baler? And what kinds of malfunctions does it include?
Features and extra Checklist
- Door specifications – The door size and direction in which the door opens can vary per baler. So before the purchase, you should think about what feed width or door size you prefer and whether the door should flap or slide shut from bottom to top or if it swings left to right with a single or double door. Furthermore, the door lock should be considered, a bell-crank lever, a hand wheel door lock, or a hydraulic lock.
- Pallets or recessed bale – Some balers produce recessed bales while others do not. The difference between a recessed bale and a normal one is that recessed bales get molded to fit your forklift, while regular bales must get placed on a pallet before being transported. Not needing pallets can save a lot of storage space and some money as well.
- Noise level & energy efficiency – Although balers are industrial machines that generally make quite some noise, some models are advertised to be quieter than others and more energy efficient.
- Automated hauling option – Some balers can be programmed to notify your waste hauler when it comes to picking up the waste. However, the purchase of a baler in general and this program’s use should be discussed with your waste hauler repurchase.
Cardboard recycling advice
What can your business do to improve the reduction, reuse, and recycling of cardboard? Read our Cardboard Recycling Guide.
Recycling solutions for warehouses
By Recycling.com/ 1 November 2021