How to Make a Coin Sorter: 3 Things to Consider

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Don’t you just hate it when all your coins are mixed together? It makes it hard to find the coins you need, and it just looks messy.

But when you have a handy coin sorter, you will never have to paw through your change for the right coins again. Some coin sorters can go for a lot of money, but not to worry, because making a coin sorter can easily be made right in your own garage.

Watch this video:

Here, the author made a coin sorter with just daily household items. The coin sorter utilizes the power of gravity to help sort separate the bigger coins from the smaller ones. If you read on, you will learn how to make one for yourself.

Tools for the job

If you will be using wood for your coin sorter’s body, it is a good idea to prepare a hacksaw for better precision when cutting. As for those choosing to go with thick cardboard, sharp scissors or a cutter is the best option.

Other tools you may consider preparing are as follows:

  • Drill bits and hand drill
  • Right angle ruler
  • 48” ruler
  • Electric sander
  • Super glue
  • ​Screws
  • Screw driver
  • Tape
  • X-Acto Knife
  • Pen/pencil

It is also important to know that with any project like this there is a risk of injury. One wrong move can cost you a finger, so know how to properly handle the tools--especially power tools--before starting your project.


Safety always comes first: an ounce of prevention is always worth a pound of cure, which is why equipping yourself with the following safety tools is important:

  • Eye protection
  • Face mask or respirator

Things to Consider

There is always an ideal way of sorting your coins. Coin sorters come in different shapes and sizes. And when you’re making one, always remember to take note of the measurements of your coins, because there is no point in making a coin sorter if your device won’t be able to tell the big coins from the smaller ones.

Here are a few tips you have to remember when making your coin sorter:

  • Measurement is everything. Don't rush the process. Take your time in using the rulers to be sure that your measurement is really correct.
  • Cut carefully. Be extremely careful when you cut the material, because one wrong cut may have you going back to the drawing board. Measure twice, cut once.
  • Be creative. Some use bendy straws, and other use cut up card board in designing their coin sorters. Find projects similar to the one in your head and get an idea on how you want your coin sorter to look.

You know what they say about gravity: “What goes up must come down.” A good coin sorter doesn’t have fancy mechanical setups to work and function efficiently. A lot of homemade ones rely on gravity to help them sort coins.

Homemade setups typically consist of a coin slot where coins go, and with the use of the measurements taken from each of the coin you sorted, and a slide, you can now separate the coins a lot easier without having to spend money on any type of mechanism.

Should I use wood or cardboard?

Whether you use wood or cardboard for the project is completely up to you. Some prefer the durability of wood as it would last a lot longer compared to cardboard. The advantage of using cardboard for your coin sorter is that it is a lot easier to cut and they are a lot cheaper compared to wood.

Here are the pros and cons of wood vs. cardboard.


  • Durable
  • Longer lasting
  • More visually appealing
  • More costly
  • More labor intensive to use


  • Less labor intensive to work with
  • Inexpensive
  • Requires less time overall
  • Can be too soft to work with
  • Not water resistant
  • Less durable

But there is an option to combine the two: use wood to make up the frame of your sorter, and use some thick cardboard to separate the chambers.

And when working on the coin slot, you can use household items as the slide for your coins. It can be a variety of things such as bendy straws, carefully cut cardboard, and some have even opted to use old Lego blocks. Your imagination is the limit when it comes to creating your very own homemade coin sorter.


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