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Dumbwaiters vs. Material Lifts – Weighing Your Options


When it comes to safely moving objects from point A to point B, having the correct system is crucial. Using a method that doesn’t consider the weight of what’s transported can lead to costly damages and repairs.

What’s more, if you plan on moving hazardous materials or heavy cargo, an elevator isn’t going to be the right solution. Instead, you’ll need a system that is versatile, efficient, cost-effective, and capable of safely moving items while unattended.

Luckily, finding the right system doesn’t have to be complicated.

Depending on your specific needs, a dumbwaiter or a material lift will be the preferred choice. While both lift systems are similar in their function, there are crucial differences in their capabilities to consider.

Why Should You Consider a Dumbwaiter?

Dumbwaiters are small freight elevators designed to transport goods and materials between floors. What makes dumbwaiters an excellent lift solution is that they are designed to work in a variety of challenging instances and unique scenarios. In addition to their versatility, dumbwaiter benefits include the following:

Improve operational efficiency

Through automation, dumbwaiters reduce the need for human labor, allowing items to move to their destination more quickly. Speaking of efficiency, Matot is the only company that designs units that support non-stop automation, limited only by the load/unload time and the speed to deliver items.

Increase employee safety

Manually carrying packages and heavy loads increases the risk of accident-related injuries for workers. Since dumbwaiters minimize the need for manual labor, there are fewer opportunities for injuries to occur.

Additionally, dumbwaiters increase security by keeping expensive or hazardous materials out of the general public’s reach. For example, jewelers often use dumbwaiters to move diamonds through multiple floors without the risk of theft.

Save space

With a space utilization rate that’s 50%-75% less than traditional elevators, dumbwaiters consume less space and, as a result, are less expensive.

Use for many diverse applications and settings

Whether transporting hospital carts, moving laundry in a home, or safeguarding high-end retail inventory—dumbwaiters flawlessly integrate into residential, commercial, and industrial settings.

When Should You Consider a Material Lift?

Although dumbwaiters are used in a diverse range of industries, their recommended capacity tops out at 750 pounds. When there is a need to move something even heavier or larger dimensions are required, material lifts are the recommended choice.

Material lifts serve the same function as dumbwaiters—transporting items across multiple levels. The larger weight capacity of material lifts makes them perfect for moving heavy cargo in commercial and industrial applications.

Companies and organizations that use material lifts can expect a lift system that provides many of the same benefits as a dumbwaiter, but with the added capability of safely transporting items that weigh up to 2,500-pounds.

Shown above is the material lift that was installed at Sleepy Hollow High School by Matot.

In the case of Sleepy Hollow High School, a brand-new material lift installation made it possible for staff to increase efficiency and safety by reducing the number of times heavy loads were carried between floors. Visit Matot’s case study on Sleepy Hollow High to see one of our material lifts in action.

Choosing the Right Lift System

Choosing the right lift system can be simple with a bit of guidance from Matot’s experts; we’ve been designing, engineering, manufacturing, and installing lift systems for well over a century and can do the same for your project.

Let Matot be your guide to finding the ideal lift system—view our products and discover the industries we serve or contact a representative to learn more.

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