Product Review: Shelf Reliance Cansolidator – Addendum, by Michael Z. Williamson

After my successful test of ShelfReliance’s Cansolidator, I acquired their full-size Harvest system that holds up to 600 cans. The Harvest comes in two cartons, a tall heavy one with the metal structure, and a big, double-walled carton with the can racks. The instructions are included, and quite straightforward. One or two pictures weren’t as clear as they could be, but a look at the components straightened everything out.

While I was able to put the system together myself, I’d recommend have a second person to assist. It’s not particularly complicated, just large. The steel frame slots together with keyhole fasteners, and they’re quite snug. I used a rubber mallet to get them together. This is a good thing, in my opinion; it means it won’t come apart easily. The tracks are thick, rigid plastic. You’ll want to ensure you have plenty of space to assemble this beast: it takes access from at least two sides to get the racks locked in, lined up and properly spaced, and I recommend the caster upgrade–Once it’s in filled and in place, it is not going to move otherwise.

This system is well-designed. It takes most standard sizes of can, small, medium and #10, and can be customized to take various proportions of them. It adjusts for cans as short as tuna cans, and for the tall ready-to-serve size soup cans. It takes standard peanut butter and condiment jars, too. I would recommend a padded underlayer if you plan to store glass jars, just in case. Each rack holds about 15 standard cans (the larger racks being proportionally deeper), but I was able to bump the rear cans on the feed rail, and double stack a couple of extras. The tracks are very

Included is a set of magnetic labels for most common canned products, plus some blanks for making your own, plus some specialty ones for canned long term food (shelf life up to 30 years) that Shelf Reliance sells. (I haven’t tried these yet, but their prices are quite reasonable and competitive and their quality so far in my tests is excellent.) This, and the open design makes it very easy to find what you need, and keep track of the amount on hand. First In, First Out (FIFO) means all you have to do is see what’s low, buy more and feed it in from the front.

Well-designed, modular, adjustable for most cans and several other containers, sturdy, compact, easy to use, easy to assemble, fairly clear documentation, made in America, half the price of some competing systems. Shelfreliance is happy to customize parts for you if you want to store more #10-size cans, or more standard cans, or fit the unit into a narrower or shallower space. They also sell component pieces individually for expansion, and have “scratch and dent” sales for those on a budget.

No actual negatives so far. Just be aware that it takes a while (a couple of hours) to put together just because it’s so large–there are 31 racks on the standard model. You really should buy the casters if
you ever plan to move it. – Michael Z. Williamson