What are the differences between hydraulic waste balers and pneumatic waste balers? Which type of Baler is the best?

Some waste baler companies will tell you that hydraulic waste baling machines are best. Others will tell you that nothing can beat an air powered pneumatic waste baler. This is normally because they don’t offer both! 

We see things slightly differently as we can offer both types of baling machine. 

What type Baler is best for cardboard waste?

It is generally the case that for cardboard, a hydraulic cardboard baler is the better option. A pneumatic baling machine cannot achieve the pressure that comes with a hydraulic power pack. However, you may not need to achieve very dense and heavy bales for your recycler, you may simply want to make movement of material a little easier.

What type Baler is best for baling plastics?

It is generally the case that for soft plastic, a pneumatic baler has more advantages for low and medium volumes of shrink wrap (or similar material). Constant pressure creates very solid bales and reduces the material rising in the waste baler chamber, making filling easier.

What type Baler is best for high volumes of waste?

We would always recommend a Hydraulic baler to those businesses with 1 tonne of material or more per week, providing that 3-phase electricity is available.

Which type of Waste Baler is easier to use?

We would advocate that all pneumatic waste balers have the edge for ease of use. Bale out kickers are fitted on most models – but do take care on the smaller machines as you may need a bale out kicker to satisfy your own H&S requirements. They don’t all come as standard. We can point you in the right direction as we have both. Air machines used to be less complex to operate although making a pneumatic machine comply with EN16500 regulations (section below) has removed some of the simplicity.

Which type of Cardboard Baler is quieter?

Hydraulic is generally quieter; but you can make a pneumatic waste baler virtually silent, even with a compressor.

hydraulic-qcr-350-balerWhat type of Cardboard Baler is easier to maintain?

If you have your own air line – pneumatic Waste Balers. If you don’t and don't have a small air compressor, then a hydraulic Waste Baler. Compressor maintenance checks are pretty straight forward and take up a couple of minutes per month.

What type of Cardboard Baler is more energy efficient?

It is generally understood that compressors can have a relatively high electricity demand. We’ve done back to back tests on the KW/h consumption of comparably sized pneumatic and hydraulic baling machines and hydraulic uses significantly less electricity per tonne of cardboard baled.

What type of Plastic Baler is more energy efficient?

When baling soft plastics with a plastic baling machine, energy use is reversed for small to medium volumes. As your volumes and bale size increases, the calculation does change so it's always best to get a free site survey if this is important to you. It's worth noting that the cost of electricity is likely to be less than 10 pence per bale for smaller balers. 

Waste Baler Compliance with EN16500:2014

Manufacturers must ensure that all new waste balers must comply to this legislation.

It is already in force and is in addition to all previous rigorous legislation. The key areas where this has had impact operationally are:-

  • Two handed bale out when ejecting bale
  • No access to moving parts
  • Isolation of power switch on the machine.

Most other amendments are ‘behind the scenes’ electrical and safety switches.The British Safety Standards have a full report that can be purchased online here. You can be re-assured that QCR will never sell you any machinery that is not compliant with the most up to date legislation.  

Do you have Twin Chamber Waste Balers for sale?

We can supply them but rarely do. Only those companies with lots of old stock of these will be suggesting it’s the best solution. Volumes of card and soft plastic or any other material they want to use the two chambers for are unlikely to be similar; nor will the requirement to have exactly the same aperture to load the waste baling machine. Add on the dynamics of soft plastic rising in the chamber to prevent you adding more, a ram you have to slide across the material – and you have an much more difficult machine to use. Come and see one before you make a decision on one to avoid disappointment later.

The fact is, the question of which is better depends entirely on the customer and what they need their waste baler to do. We can offer you unbiased advice because we offer eight pneumatic models and eight hydraulic machines; and this is in addition to the larger Mill-size waste balers and Horizontal balers, which add a further 10 machines to our standard range. You can book a free no-obligation site survey with one of our Experts by clicking here.