How to make a coin sorting machine from cardboard

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Not that I want to discourage creativity and homemade projects like this but to me a coin sorter is only useful if you can dump piles of coins into a hopper. If I’m going to be feeding coins through a slot one at a time I may as well just drop them into their corresponding trays.

So that’s the next project.


Very cool.


And make it out of metal for durability. And add an Arduino that counts the coins and emails you the count. And then sends the coins away and gives you a Amazon voucher for that amount. But I’m sure that takes up a lot of room for something I won’t use often. Maybe if they stuck it in the supermarket a block away from me. Yeah, that sounds cool. I’ll get to work.


I don’t think it would be difficult to add a hopper to this design - just make it so they all go in the slot one at a time. Jamming would likely be a problem if too many coins were added at the same time, but that’s something you could probably fix with a little shaking.

I actually was looking for a simple coin sorter the other day on Amazon and couldn’t find anything reasonably priced that would allow me to throw a handful of change in and have it get sorted. Seems like there are only bulky $30ish options for automatic (battery powered) coin sorting, or simpler options that require much more manual labor. I might actually try to build this thing (and add a hopper) since it fits my budget and needs nicely. I’ll have to get a hot glue gun though, but I guess it’s always good to have one of those for crafts projects anyway.


I look at this and think “This would be a great teen project!” Then, I realize I’d probably need to cut out all the pieces ahead of time for proper fit :wink: Still – definitely going to follow that Youtube account. Thanks for the heads up!

Seems like teens (even preteens) should be able to measure and cut well enough to do this kind of thing…


Never catch on that idea.

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spend hours building a coin sorter that sorts coins almost as quickly as you could do manually, time well spent.


Think of the future minutes saved though.


I probably have enough basswood on hand to make a slightly sturdier version.


Last time I looked, those supermarket machines take ~17% off the top around here.


Make two, please.

Good grief. You don’t need a machine to do this! I’ve been sorting coins much more quickly by hand, ever since I was a grade-school kid.

Just make the coins into a stack in the palm of your hand, then grab a thumbful of the largest diameter ones loosely with your other hand’s thumb and index finger, extract them, and put them on one end of the stack. Repeat as needed until all coins are sorted. I could shoot a video of this technique if I had a cohort to hold the camera.


I take mine to my bank. They count them and give me full value. I don’t have to sort them. I hand over a bag full of coins, wait 5 minutes, they hand me cash.

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I wonder if a Sacagawea $1 coin would bust this thing’s innards?


Don’t banks simply accept bagged coins anymore, or do they all now require that you bring them in little paper sleeves?

I take mine to my bank as well. I touch my bank card to the reader on the machine, then dump my coins into the hopper on the top. Once it has sorted the coins, they get deposited into my account automatically. If I wait around for it to finish counting, I can get a receipt. Or if I don’t care about that, I can just drop the coins in and wander off to continue my day.

Very convenient, really.


This unfortunately wouldn’t work for Australian coins. Our 5cent coins are too close to the diameter of our $2 coins, and the 10cent coins too close too the $1.

Potentially the problem could be overcome allowing the 5c and $2 coins into one hole (and likewise the 10cents and $1 into another) , then having an extra track that flips the coin onto its side and allows them to dropthrough based on their widths; but I imagine jamming would be frequent.

US dimes and pennies are very close, and quarters and dollar coins are close in diameter. Sorting them would call for pretty close tolerances.

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