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BenchMK Oktober Can Seamer Review 2024

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BenchMK Oktober Can Seamer Review 2024

BenchMK Oktober Can Seamer product

Canning homebrew has transformed how I think about beer and brewing. The ability to travel my beers on demand or give them to friends has only contributed to my enjoyment of the activity. I’ve been using the Oktober SL1 Can Seamer for some months, and it’s one of my favorite pieces of equipment in my brewery. 

A new can seamer was released recently, specifically designed for homebrewers. The Oktober BenchMK Can Seamer has a completely innovative design that uses a regular power drill to operate it. The simpler design and lack of a built-in motor allow the brewer to professionally seam cans for less than $500! Let’s get into the details.

BenchMK Oktober Overview

Aside from aluminum cans, beer, and a cordless drill, the BenchMK includes everything you need to start canning. The assembly is straightforward and requires no equipment other than the supplied Allen wrenches. The two most notable differences between the SL1 and the BenchMK are the loss of a built-in motor and the revised splash guard. Aside from that, all of the actual seaming components are identical.

The top of the seamer has a drill bit end that easily fits into the chuck of a typical power drill. The drill spins the can, allowing the operator to seam it easily. The BenchMK feels quite solid and is relatively weighty (14 pounds). The weight is required to keep the canner steady during operation. The BenchMK is more compact and lighter than the SL1, making it easier to handle. Because there is no actual motor, the number of components that can fail is reduced. This is a major advantage for casual users.

Drill Power

The BenchMK can be used with a lightweight/cheap cordless drill. Oktober gave me a $40 drill and the unit to test. While I am more comfortable with a bigger cordless drill, both perform well and seam cans easily. Oktober says you can seam hundreds of cans with a single battery charge. While I have not personally tested this, each can’s actual drill operation time is approximately 4-5 seconds.

Operating the BenchMK Oktober

Operating the BenchMK can seamer is simple. Attach the drill to the top bit and tighten it to keep it in place. The drill may be operated at any speed; however, it performs best at around 300 rpm. The BenchMK will seam your can in two quick motions. The main thing to note here is that seaming a can requires only a 2-second count in each lever position.

Holding the drill and seaming the can would be awkward, but it seems natural. Once you’ve seamed a few cans, you’ll know how much pressure you need to apply to the seamer to crimp the lid.

SL1 vs BenchMK: Which Should I Choose?

If you choose between the SL1 and the BenchMK, remember there’s a $500+ pricing difference (assuming you add the splash guard to the SL1). The operation of the two seamers is similar. While the design is slightly altered, the seaming process remains the same.

Consider the sheer volume of cans you plan to create when assessing seamers. The SL1’s built-in motor is incredibly convenient and simplifies seamer operation. If you plan on canning large batches regularly, I recommend the SL1. If you are a hobby homebrewer wishing to transfer your beers occasionally, I highly recommend the BenchMK. That is not to argue that the BenchMK is incapable of quickly and effectively seaming hundreds of cans; it is simply my preference.

The BenchMK’s standard splash guard is a great feature. I’ve never been too concerned about beer splashing, but keeping your workspace and clothes a little cleaner is great. The drill-powered motor eliminates the need for an outlet to run the seamer, making it even more portable. Finally, $499 is an incredible value for anyone wishing to start bottling their beer!

Final Thoughts

The BenchMK is the most affordable motorized can seamer on the market, costing more than $200 less than its nearest competitor. The seamer’s plug-and-play setup and design allow you to start running immediately. As someone with firsthand experience with the SL1, the BenchMK feels more approachable. Coming in at half the price of the SL1, this device is an absolute must-have for homebrewers wishing to can their beers. While a drill is still required to power the seamer, I believe *most* homebrewers who are serious enough about the pastime to begin canning their brews also own a drill for milling their grains.

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