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Dumbwaiter vs. Material Lift

A chef putting a large pot into a commercial dumbwaiterBoth dumbwaiters and material lifts are similar in that they are both used exclusively for transporting items. Dumbwaiters and material lifts have multiple level options and are used in many settings. In a general sense, these two products are similar in that they are used for transporting heavy items. However, these products vary in their application, configurations, and capabilities.


Like material lifts, dumbwaiters can be used in commercial settings. In addition, dumbwaiters are available for residential settings, whereas material lifts usually are not. Dumbwaiters operate by a winding drum drive system and are able to travel up to 50 feet. The winding drum system has heavy-duty steel guide rails that are designed for longevity and efficiency in heavy use. Homeowners find this model ideal as well when larger and heavier items are needed to be moved in their homes. If you are looking to transport items that weigh 500 lbs. or less in your home or a commercial building, a dumbwaiter would be right for you! Lifting medical or legal records, prepared food, wheeled carts, firewood, groceries or laundry, the dumbwaiter has the size and weight capacity for most tasks.

Material Lifts

Material lifts are made mostly for commercial settings. Material lifts have a larger platform than dumbwaiters, can travel up to 23 ft., and are able to transport heavier items with a weight capacity up to 1000 lbs. Intended for use inside a shaftway, material lifts travel differently than dumbwaiters do. Material lifts can be ordered in a choice of standard sized, roll-on platforms or custom sized platforms, and can have manual or power swing landing doors. Materials lifts are easier to install than dumbwaiters and could be the simplest way to move heavy freight in your commercial building.

For more information on dumbwaiters or material lifts, please contact us.

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