Understanding the Difference Between Elevators and Dumbwaiters


Most people know that dumbwaiters and elevators are in a head-to-head competition for space in building and home complexes, but most people don’t know what exactly makes these two lift systems different. Dumbwaiters and elevators share several similarities in how they operate, but the two are also quite different in certain areas. That’s why we’re here to shed some light on these differences and help you get the best lift system for your needs. Here are the top five differences you need to know before looking at dumbwaiters for your next project.

  • Functionality

While elevators and dumbwaiters look similar and can transport items, they serve different purposes. An elevator primarily transports passengers to other floors. At the same time, a dumbwaiter mainly serves as a conveyor belt used to carry dishes or food up and down the floors of a residential or commercial establishment. When dealing with elevator providers, it’s best to choose those with certifications and quality compliance. It’s best to see them having a DDA compliant certification, which guarantees that they are taking reasonable actions in providing access for people with disabilities.

Dumbwaiters can also be used as material lifts in factories and enclosed cars that are operated by an electric motor that runs on rails. The uses vary depending on where they are installed. Each application will need different models that reflect the needs of the location.

  • Cost

Dumbwaiters tend to be less costly than residential elevators. Just like other products, the price varies depending on the size and type of dumbwaiter you purchase, as well as factors such as customization features. You can’t negotiate a deal on installation costs, but you can chat with a dealer about models in your price range. Elevators can also vary in cost depending on various factors such as add ons, drive system and cab style. Check out SD lifts for prices of dumbwaiter lifts.

  • Size

One of the most noticeable contrasts between dumbwaiters and elevators, as previously said, is their size. Dumbwaiters use less space than regular elevators. Besides, elevators must meet ADA regulations and be large enough to transfer a specific number of passengers, depending on its location. To handle big gatherings, an office building, for example, will require broader elevator cabs than a residential structure.

  • Weight Capacity

Elevator ropes are strung in groups of eight, and the elevator is capable of holding between 500 and 1000 pounds at any given time. In addition to this, large elevator cabins also support the weight of up to 16 passengers per trip. Meanwhile, dumbwaiters usually carry loads between 150 and 250 pounds. This is because all they usually need to transport are laundry supplies and food.

Choosing the Right Lift System For Your Home

Picking the right lift system for your home can be pretty simple if you consider what you need it for. The elevator that best suits your needs, budget, site circumstances, and floor layout will be the most ideal for your home. Elevator type and manufacturer are the two key categories to consider while assessing these elements.

Since you’re choosing between an elevator and a dumbwaiter lift,  choose a dumbwaiter if you simply want to transport items to other areas of your home. Also, if you have limited space, this lift is ideal. Plus, they’re less expensive. While standard elevators are pricey and occupy plenty of space, they can transport people and accommodate more weight. That said, it’s up to you to choose whichever works best for the family!