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Bench Capper vs Hand Capper

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kyoun1e

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Folks,

I know this question has been asked before. I've done some searching through the forums, but I thought I'd get the most current read on the situation.

I have the red baron hand capper that came with the kit. I practiced capping on an empty bottle. One thing I'm concerned about is lining this up correctly as a push down. My eyes are a little off and it's hard for me to see if I'm "lined up." I'm wondering if the bench capper will take a lot of the guess work out and speed things up a bit?

Seems that the bench capper is more efficient/faster. I have read that sometimes the bottle sticks to the capper. Maybe this has been solved by recent model improvements or there is a simple solution.

I have my eyes on the Ferrari Agata which is $40 and gets 4.5 stars on Amazon (while the super Agata only gets 3.5 star reviews). $40 is not much if it's going to improve the process and reduce some risk.

Thoughts?

I want to pull the trigger this week so I have it for bottling next week.

Thanks!
 

Gravity

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Pull the trigger!

I have both the hand capper and the bench capper and the bench capper (Ferrari) is sooooo much better. Its faster, efficient, and more comfortable . Screw it on a table (work bench) stream line your process and bottling will become a joy.

Have a friend help; you fill and they cap and it will be over before you know it. The ratio I worked out is for every 1 bottle I cap with the hand capper, I can do 4 bottles with the Ferrari.

Do it, you won't regret it.
 

Homercidal

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I'm not sure a bench capper is "faster", but I do like it a lot better. I have capped a bunch of bottles really fast with the hand capper.

My issue is with it's compatibility with certain bottles. A bench capper is generally compatible with ALL bottle necks, while a wing-style capper will have problems with some of them. Also, it tends to crush some of the weaker bottles. That's rare, but has happened.

IMO a bench capper is a definite bargain in terms of usefulness. The modern ones are easy to adjust for bottle height, and do a real nice job. My older style cappers require me to pull the handle out of the capper, adjust the bell to the right height, and then replace the handle. Not a big deal, but probably not as handy as just sliding the bell up and down when needed.

My advice is to get a bench capper and save the wing capper for a quick and dirty re-cap of an opened bottle (if you ever see that happening.) or give to some new brewer who needs one to get started. Pay it forward is a worthy action.
 
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kyoun1e

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Pull the trigger!

I have both the hand capper and the bench capper and the bench capper (Ferrari) is sooooo much better. Its faster, efficient, and more comfortable . Screw it on a table (work bench) stream line your process and bottling will become a joy.

Have a friend help; you fill and they cap and it will be over before you know it. The ratio I worked out is for every 1 bottle I cap with the hand capper, I can do 4 bottles with the Ferrari.

Do it, you won't regret it.
Ok, this bench capper seems like a no brainer. If anything, I have two in case one breaks! Having backup equipment seems to be key for this hobby!

Assume that the bench capper has drill holes in it.

Looking at this one:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001D6DR1Y/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
 
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mredge73

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If you are fairly new the winged caper works fine. You may mess up a couple of caps from time to time but it is easy enough to remove them and start all over.
Bottle sticking happens but this isn't a big deal, you hold the bottle down with one hand and work the lever with the other. Best way to avoid it is to push harder or use a little lube on the cap head.
If you are looking for a bench capper I cannot recommend the Colonna Capper/Corker enough for its versatility. It will be the only capper you will ever need; I mostly use it for wine corking but it caps beer bottles beautifully, both standard and European wide mouth bottles.
 

Gravity

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Ok, this bench capper seems like a no brainer. If anything, I have two in case one breaks! Having backup equipment seems to be key for this hobby!

Assume that the bench capper has drill holes in it.

Looking at this one:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001D6DR1Y/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
My hand capper is always at the ready and is a good standby. Maybe its just me bumbling around with the hand capper that slows things down.

I own the same one(Ferrari) and it has 4 small holes on the corners for small screws. You're going to love it
 
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kyoun1e

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My hand capper is always at the ready and is a good standby. Maybe its just me bumbling around with the hand capper that slows things down.

I own the same one(Ferrari) and it has 4 small holes on the corners for small screws. You're going to love it
Done!

It's on the way.
 

Leezer

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When I was bottling yesterday my wing-style hand capper crushed a bottle. Only the second time that has happened but it's kind of unnerving when it does. Got me thinking about getting a bench capper instead.
 

kh54s10

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The hand capper will usually "line up" by itself. The problem is when the cap is tilted off one side of the bottle. If you use it, don't just push down on the handles. They can break off. Pull up on the inside of the handle while pushing down on the outside by twisting your wrists. Once you do a few it becomes second nature. You will occasionally mess up a cap. But just do another.

A bench capper is easier. I have one for corking wine bottles, but use the Red Baron for beer bottles.
 

flars

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Ok, this bench capper seems like a no brainer. If anything, I have two in case one breaks! Having backup equipment seems to be key for this hobby!

Assume that the bench capper has drill holes in it.

Looking at this one:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001D6DR1Y/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
The Agata capper in your link is the new style where the body slides up and down to adjust for bottle height. I have the older button adjust style. I use plastic discs to raise the bottle as close to the bell as possible. I fastened the capper to a plank which I can clamp to workbench and store underneath when not in use.

You won't regret the ease of use. Some over sized from standard bottles do stick a little sometimes. I just give the bottle a little side pressure to release.

Resize441.jpg
 
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balrog

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When I was bottling yesterday my wing-style hand capper crushed a bottle. Only the second time that has happened but it's kind of unnerving when it does. Got me thinking about getting a bench capper instead.
You should find a better source for your bottles if you'r crushing them! :)
 
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kyoun1e

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The Agata capper in your link is the new style where the body slides up and down to adjust for bottle height. I have the older button adjust style. I use plastic discs to raise the bottle as close to the bell as possible. I fastened the capper to a plank which I can clamp to workbench and store underneath when not in use.

You won't regret the ease of use. Some over sized from standard bottles do stick a little sometimes. I just give the bottle a little side pressure to release.
Jeesh. I'm finding that my overall setup is just lacking bit time.

I don't even have a workbench. Right now my fermenter is on the floor. I was going to elevate that on top of a dresser, but the bottling bucket on the floor and then...I don't know. Haven't figured out where the bottles and capper should be situated. Everything is on the floor right now.
 

pshankstar

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Jeesh. I'm finding that my overall setup is just lacking bit time.

I don't even have a workbench. Right now my fermenter is on the floor. I was going to elevate that on top of a dresser, but the bottling bucket on the floor and then...I don't know. Haven't figured out where the bottles and capper should be situated. Everything is on the floor right now.
Do you have a dishwasher? I have read that people will place the bottling bucket on the counter above the dishwasher. Open the dishwasher door and bottle on that. Any spills or messes are contained on the dishwasher door. When completed, shut the dishwasher door and you're set. Minimal cleanup.
 

EDF713

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Jeesh. I'm finding that my overall setup is just lacking bit time.

I don't even have a workbench. Right now my fermenter is on the floor. I was going to elevate that on top of a dresser, but the bottling bucket on the floor and then...I don't know. Haven't figured out where the bottles and capper should be situated. Everything is on the floor right now.
If you haven't read Revvy's bottling thread, it will give you some great ideas, it helped me a lot - https://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=94812.

Bottling above the dishwasher alone has been a big help since I bottle in the kitchen. Finding a place to clamp a bench capper would be a challenge for me, even if attached to a board, which is one reason I still use a wing capper.
 

z-bob

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If the bottles are sticking in your bench capper, rub a candle in the capping bell to lubricate it. Works wonders.

Bottling above the dishwasher alone has been a big help since I bottle in the kitchen. Finding a place to clamp a bench capper would be a challenge for me, even if attached to a board, which is one reason I still use a wing capper.
You're supposed to clamp them down?
 

EDF713

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If the bottles are sticking in your bench capper, rub a candle in the capping bell to lubricate it. Works wonders.


You're supposed to clamp them down?
I don't use one but figured you did. I guess a big enough board and it's ok? I don't use a bench capper, so those of you that do would know better than I.
 

z-bob

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I just sit mine on the counter. No board or anything. It's about 50 years old and might be heavier or have a wider base than the new ones; I dont know.
 

Brownalemikie

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Too late now but I'd recommend the Grifo standard bench capper for $45. It works great and unlike the Ferrari it has the thick heavy duty capping "bell". Plus it doesn't flex like Ferrari.....much more solid. Btw, I bolted mine to an old wood cutting board. No need to clamp down.
 
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We have the Ferrari. KOTC screwed it down to a hardwood flooring sample tht is about 12" wide by 16" long. It's heavy enough that the capper can then just be set on a table anywhere.

Easy to use and fast. I fill, KOTC caps, we can do 5.5 gallons of beer in about 15 minutes - 2 cases plus a six pack, sometimes another couple after that. That's pretty efficient.

He uses a food-grade lubricant inside the bell which stopped any sticking problems.

We own a hand capper too "just in case" but rarely use it.

I think you're gonna like your new toy! Uh, I mean TOOL. Yeah. Beer bottling TOOL! :)
 
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kyoun1e

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Post deleted. Wanted to start a new thread.
 

ThatITGuy

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I recently bottled a batch of hard cider using my bench capper for the first time. I was disappointed to find out last night that my bottles didn't get carbonated.

Despite the cider being still, it was thoroughly enjoyed.

I'm posting this here in the hope that someone Can help me get this process correct. When I capped my bottles (they have proper crowns) the bottles got stuck on the bell(?) I had to use significant force to remove them. I'm thinking this could be my problem, maybe when I was pulling them down I lifted the caps slightly.. I'm not really sure where I went wrong.

If anyone has any tips, it would be greatly appreciated. I don't want to end up with flat beer!
 

mongoose33

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I've got the agata. I bottle off my keezer, and when I fill bottles I make sure the headspace has foam in it. I put a bottlecap on the foam and then immediately cap it using the bench capper. That way I'm capping on CO2, which is my goal. That can also be done with the wing capper but it's a fast operation w/ the bench capper.
 

Brownalemikie

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I recently bottled a batch of hard cider using my bench capper for the first time. I was disappointed to find out last night that my bottles didn't get carbonated.

Despite the cider being still, it was thoroughly enjoyed.

I'm posting this here in the hope that someone Can help me get this process correct. When I capped my bottles (they have proper crowns) the bottles got stuck on the bell(?) I had to use significant force to remove them. I'm thinking this could be my problem, maybe when I was pulling them down I lifted the caps slightly.. I'm not really sure where I went wrong.

If anyone has any tips, it would be greatly appreciated. I don't want to end up with flat beer!
I always use a Q-tip to apply a little vegetable oil inside my capping bell. It helps a lot. Bottle still sticks slightly but pops right out by turning the bottle at an angle.
 

z-bob

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I recently bottled a batch of hard cider using my bench capper for the first time. I was disappointed to find out last night that my bottles didn't get carbonated.

Despite the cider being still, it was thoroughly enjoyed.

I'm posting this here in the hope that someone Can help me get this process correct. When I capped my bottles (they have proper crowns) the bottles got stuck on the bell(?) I had to use significant force to remove them. I'm thinking this could be my problem, maybe when I was pulling them down I lifted the caps slightly.. I'm not really sure where I went wrong.

If anyone has any tips, it would be greatly appreciated. I don't want to end up with flat beer!
Try lubricating the inside of the bell with wax. Just rub a utility candle in there. No idea if it will fix your flat cider/beer problem, but it should fix the sticking.
 

ThatITGuy

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Try lubricating the inside of the bell with wax. Just rub a utility candle in there. No idea if it will fix your flat cider/beer problem, but it should fix the sticking.
Thanks for the quick replies, I'll see if swmbo has some candle wax around, as for the carbonation: I used a PET bottle to test. It was very carbonated, so I know the error was with the way I capped, or something during pastuerization. I never tested the carbonation in glass bottle before I pasteurized the batch.
 

brandonlovesbeer

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The caps get stuck in my bench capper too.
I usually just rub a little olive oil in the bell.
Problem solved... Until next time.

And regarding the Bench vs Hand capper?
Bench capper all the way.

I've broken 3 of the hand cappers. It always feels like I should press more because of the plastic giving way. Then I over extend and break the capper.
 
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kyoun1e

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Ok, just got the bench capper. Really, really dumb question. See pic attached.

Not getting how I adjust this thing up. There are clearly holes where you should be able to ratchet this thing up to fit a 12 oz bottle, but there is currently a little red plastic thingy in the notch just above where the whole piece should move up.

What am I missing here?

Don't want to break the darn thing. And of course, instructions are in french.

Thanks

042.jpg
 

Yesfan

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@kyoun1e

I think those red plastic things are just to hold the capper in place during shipment.




In the video, the red caps (both of them) are at the top of the capper mast out of the way of the handle.
 
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z-bob

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That is probably just for packing/storing, so the head doesn't slide up and come off. But I don't have that kind so I don't know. What brand is it? You might can find the instruction booklet online and run it thru a translator.
 
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kyoun1e

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@kyoun1e

I think those red plastic things are just to hold the capper in place during shipment.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKpBTxHGJBI


In the video, the red caps (both of them) are at the top of the capper mast out of the way of the handle.
Lol. I'm an idiot. I was already thinking this thing was a piece of crud because I thought the little red thingy was critical to keeping this thing locked in the right position. Then I locked it in as shown in the video by accident.

Good to go!
 

Gravity

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Lol. I'm an idiot. I was already thinking this thing was a piece of crud because I thought the little red thingy was critical to keeping this thing locked in the right position. Then I locked it in as shown in the video by accident.

Good to go!
Do you see the red notch, that shouldn't be there; its getting in the way of you trying to move it up and down. Once you remove it, lift the handle up and make vertical, it should easily move up and down to adjust to the height of any bottle.

You should be alright, it looks so nice!
 

TrubDude

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I hate my double handle capper. It's difficult to use and even broke the top of a bottle once. Or maybe I just don't know the right way to use it, but it shouldn't be difficult. I just bought an Agata bench capper and it's awesome. Super easy to use and does a great job!
 

ancientmariner52

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I bought the Agata capper a few batches back. Much better than the wing capper but still feels a little flexy, if that's a word.

Recently I found an old bench capper in a Fort Smith antique store. Built like a battle cruiser, weighs a ton, no flex at all. Mine for $4.50.
 

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I switched to one of the cheaper Ferrari bench cappers (@ $50) and had many problems keeping it adjusted due to its flimsiness. I splurged on a Queen Lux capper and it's been a joy to use. It's much quicker, gives a better seal and so far no broken bottles!
 

ancientmariner52

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I have two hand cappers, and they still get used when I have extra hands available on bottling day. They just feel flimsy. If I can only have one capper, I want a sturdy bench model.
 

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I splurged on one of these. I keg 95% of my beer but love using this capper.

I went with this one also. The key feature for me was all metal construction in the head. Zero flex and makes capping very quick. It is a bit of a pain to adjust for different bottle sizes, so I've culled my bottles so they are all the same height and I don't have to adjust the head.

dp

ps I got mine from William's brewing.
 

radwizard

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Breaking bottles with a wing capper is not that hard to do. I recycle bottles at home, have not bought new bottles.
I have also broke a wing capper on bottling day.

Now I keep one around for a back up. The MB Deluxe Capper kicks ass
 
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