A mini baler is a device used to compact materials into compressed bales for storage or transport. Unlike larger baling machines, the mini baler will produce bales that are much smaller than traditional bales, making transport or manipulation much easier. Some farms use such balers to produce small hay bales that can be sold for decorative purposes; in the recycling industry, this machine can be used to compact metals, plastics, or other materials to create a convenient vessel for shipping and storage. The smaller size of the baling machine makes it convenient to store in smaller work spaces, or to haul with smaller tractors or towing vehicles.
Several types of mini baler models exist. Some are designed to compact various types of materials, while others are designed specifically for one material. A hay baler, for example, is only intended for farm use to create hay bales. The machine will be towed behind a tractor, and it will use the tractor's power take-off (PTO) as a power source. The machine will feature two distinct parts: the blades that collect the straw from off the ground, and the compactor that will create the square bales. The mini baler machine may also feature an automatic wiring system that will secure baling wire or string around the bales to keep them in the proper shape.
In the recycling industry, a mini baler can be used to make bales out of aluminum and other metals, as well as plastics. This machine is usually stationary, and it will feature a large chamber into which the recyclable materials can be loaded. Once inside, a hydraulic arm can be activated to press the materials against a fixed surface, thereby creating the bale. Baling wire may or may not be needed to secure the materials once they are in bale form; metals tend to form a bale and keep their shape without the need for added security wire, though some plastics may expand once the hydraulic arm is released.
Even though the mini baler will produce smaller bales, the finished bales can still be quite heavy. Moving the bales by hand may or may not be possible; mini hay bales are usually light enough to move by hand, though compressed metal can be very heavy depending on the density of the bale itself. In this case, machinery may be necessary to transport the bales from the machine to a storage location or transport.