How to Choose A Bill Counter

Cassida 5520 Bill CounterBill counters come in all shapes and sizes. They are commonly used by vending machine operators, casinos, banks, credit unions and more. The problem with buying a bill counter is that there are literally dozens of different styles and designs out there. I personally have over a decade of experience with bill counters (found here) and I would like to share some of my experience and advice. Hopefully this will help you make your own decision on choosing the right bill counter.

Before I get too far into this article, I would like to provide you with a basic description on what a bill counter is. A bill counter is a machine designed to take a stack of bills and count them. They will all provide you with a total quantity of bills counted, but they will not all provide you with a total value. These are the four main types of bill counters you will find on the market:

  1. Ribao P-1000 Battery-Powered Bill CounterBattery Powered Bill Counter – When you’re in a remote location, on site or in a place that doesn’t have a standard AC power supply, you need to use a battery powered bill counter. These bill counters usually run on standard batteries or rechargeable batteries. The ABC V-30 (found here) is a good example of a bill counter that runs on AA batteries and the Ribao P-100 (found here) is a good example of a bill counter that includes a 12 volt rechargeable battery. Most battery-powered bill counters also include some sort of AC adapter for use in a standard wall outlet.
  2. Standard Bill Counter – These bill counters make up about 98% of the bill counters out there. These bill counters sit on a desk or table, plug into a wall outlet and count anywhere from 150-300 (depending on the model) bills at a time. These types of bill counters provide you with a total quantity of bills. These counters are usually very fast and range in speed around 1,000 to 1,600 bills per minute.
  3. Ribao SBC-200 Suction-Feed Bill CounterAir Suction Bill Counters – These types of bill counters use air to quickly breeze through a stack of bills, operating differently than your standard bill counter that uses fingers to sift through bills. These models operate at a speed of 100 bills every four seconds and are designed to be used heavily on a daily basis. These can also be used to count banded or unbanded banknotes. The Ribao SBC-100 (found here) is a good example of a floor model and the SBC-200 (found here) is a good example of a tabletop model
  4. Mixed Bill Counter (aka Currency Discriminator) – These are some of the most sophisticated bill counters on the market. This is because they are not only able to provide you with a total quantity of bills counted, but they are also able to provide you with a total dollar value (including mixed bills). Some bill counters, like the Carnation CR3 (found here) are designed to provide you with a combined value, where others, like the Ribao DCJ-280 (found here), feature a two pocket design for sorting purposes as well.

Here is a video demonstration of a bill counter in use:

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Features Found In Most Bill Counters:

  • Batch Counting – This allows the operator to determine how many bills to be counted at a time. If you set it to 20, the bill counter will count 20 bills, stop and wait until the bills are removed before counting an additional 20 bills.
  • Adding Mode – This allows you to keep adding up bills even when feeding in multiple stacks, providing you with a total quantity.
  • Add+Batch – This feature lets you continually add while batch counting at the same time.
  • Double Note Detection – This feature lets you know when two bills have accidentally been run through the machine, alerting the operator to the error.
  • Half Note Detection – This feature lets you know when a torn or damaged banknote is run through.
  • Size Detection – When enabled, this will let you know when a bill (potentially counterfeit or otherwise) is found to be slightly larger or smaller than it should be.

Optional Features Found In Some Bill Counters

  • Polymer Bill Handling – Some countries now use polymer material, designed to hold up longer than cotton, paper or fabric-based bills. Canada is a prime example of a country that now uses polymer banknotes. We offer several Canadian bill counters designed to handle polymer bills.
  • Counterfeit Detection – If you are concerned about counterfeit bills, consider buying a bill counter with counterfeit detection. The most popular counterfeit methods used in machines today include UV (ultraviolet), MG (magnetic) and IR (infrared). These methods are extremely accurate and will notify the operator (audibly or visually) as to the potential fake bill.
  • Printer – If you need a printout of the counted results, some bill counters can be fitted with printers.

It should be noted that most US based bill counters will still handle currencies from other countries as long as they are made from similar materials and fit within the minimum and maximum specifications of the bill counter. It should also be noted that bill counters can be used to count things such as paper, coupons, tickets and other material. Feel free to send in samples to have them tested ahead of time if you would like to consider using a bill counter with your material. Just call us at 1-800-658-8788 to send something in.

Many people ask which brands are best. While I can’t say for sure which brand is better than another, I can say that we have had great luck with Ribao, Magner, Semacon, Cassida, Carnation and the ABC brand of bill counters.

We have many years experience with bill counters. I have personally handled dozens of different models. If you need additional advice, or have a few questions that need answering, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-658-8788. We would love to help you out. We also have a Service Department here that can help fix, provide parts or repair most bill counters on the market. You can find our entire selection of bill counters here.

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