Understanding Coin Sorters: How They Work and Their Importance in Cash Handling

A coin sorter is a vital tool for businesses and financial institutions that deal with large volumes of coins.

Unlike coin counters, which simply tally the total value of mixed coins, coin sorters take cash handling to the next level by physically organising and separating coins based on their denomination.

This blog delves into the intricacies of coin sorters, their functionality, and their significance in cash management.

What is a coin sorter?

A coin sorter is a machine designed to sort and organise coins into different compartments or tubes based on their denomination.

These machines come in various sizes and capacities, ranging from small desktop models suitable for retail establishments to large-scale units used in banks and cash processing centres.

The primary purpose of a coin sorter is to streamline the process of counting and handling coins, saving time and reducing errors associated with manual sorting.

Coin sorters vs. coin counters

While the names coin sorters and coin counters are often used interchangeably, they serve different purposes in cash handling operations.

Coin counters are machines that simply count the total value of mixed coins fed into them.

They are useful for quickly determining the total amount of loose change without the need for manual counting. They will use attributes such as coin size, thickness and other factors to calculate the value.

However, they do not provide any sorting capabilities, and the coins remain mixed after counting.

On the other hand, coin sorters not only count coins but also physically separate them into different compartments or tubes based on their denomination.

This sorting functionality is crucial for businesses that require organised cash drawers or need to prepare coin rolls for banking.

By sorting coins automatically, coin sorters eliminate the need for manual sorting, saving time and reducing the risk of errors.

How coin sorters work

Coin sorters employ various methods to sort and organize coins effectively. Here’s a breakdown of the typical process involved:

1. Feeding

Coins are poured into a hopper or tray located on the machine. Some advanced models may have automatic feeding mechanisms to streamline the process further.

2. Sorting

Once the coins are in the machine, the sorting mechanism comes into play.

Coin sorters use a combination of techniques and sensors to determine size, weight, thickness and electromagnetic properties to identify and separate coins based on their denomination. The machines would vary from one country to the next depending upon the currency used.

For example, a sorter in the UK may have different slots or tubes for pound coins, fifty pence pieces and others to accommodate smaller denominations. In the US, the slots would be for pennies or, nickels, dimes, and quarters, allowing for different coin sizes and enabling them to be sorted accurately.

Coin sorting machines are a very fast and more efficient way to process cash compared to sorting coins manually.

3. Counting (optional)

While sorting coins, some coin sorters also count them simultaneously. This feature provides businesses with not only sorted coins but also an accurate count of each denomination.

Counting further enhances efficiency and eliminates the potential for human error in the process of calculating its value.

4. Dispensing

After sorting and counting, the coin sorter dispenses the different types of sorted coins into designated compartments, tubes, or bags, ready for use. The money will often then be placed into bags and taken to the bank as deposits paid into a business account.

The bank would have its own coin counting machine and verify the value of deposits so eliminating human error will save time at the bank. This can be especially valuable if you are dealing with large amounts of money.

PayComplete’s coin sorting machines

Not all coin sorting machines work the same – and they are not all created equal.

PayComplete offers state-of-the-art coin sorting machines designed to meet the diverse needs of businesses and financial institutions. Our coin sorters are equipped with advanced sorting and additional features, ensuring accurate cash handling and efficient money management processes in your business.

The coin sorting machines can provide businesses with a seamless cash handling experience, allowing you to save time and reduce errors associated with manual coin sorting.
Much has changed in recent years in terms of how technology can be applied to cash management. Today, coin sorting machines can operate as part of a fully integrated cash estate across a business using sensors to monitor the movement of money and deliver real-time reporting.


Coin sorters are an important piece of equipment in cash handling operations. They offer businesses an efficient and accurate way to calculate the value of coins and manage them.

The design of coin counters and coin sorting machines will vary based on the currencies they accept.

Unlike coin counters, which only tally the total value of mixed coins, coin sorters offer the added benefit of physically separating coins into different compartments based on their denomination.

This sorting functionality streamlines cash handling processes, saving time and reducing errors associated with manual sorting.

Smart coin sorting machines are equipped with advanced technology and customisable options to meet the unique needs of businesses and financial institutions.

With features such as automatic feeding, sorting, and counting, these coin counters provide a reliable solution for managing coins effectively.

Whether you’re a small retail establishment or a large-scale cash processing center, PayComplete’s coin sorters can help streamline your cash handling operations and improve overall efficiency.