Dumbwaiters can be a huge benefit to a home or business. They transport items, otherwise too heavy or cumbersome to carry up and down flights of stairs, quickly and easily. With a fantastic range of bespoke designs, they can be installed in almost every building and as they are more efficient than ever before, financially, a well-maintained dumbwaiter is a great investment.

If you’re thinking of having a dumbwaiter installed, the most important decision you may be having to weigh-up for your home or business is – manual dumbwaiter or automatic dumbwaiter?

To this question, there is no right or wrong answer; only what is right for you. Let’s take a good look at the benefits of manual and automatic dumbwaiters, so you can gain the best understanding of which will be the best for your business:


Manual dumbwaiters are moved between floors by means of a hand-operated pulley system. Pulling the rope on one side will cause it to rise whilst pulling the opposite rope will cause it to descend. Although it may sound very labour intensive, the system of pulleys, counterweights, gears and brakes makes manual dumbwaiters much easier to use than you may think.

A lot of people worry that a manual dumbwaiter isn’t as safe as an automatic system, but with automatic braking systems installed on every manual dumbwaiter, it is impossible for them to accidentally drop and cause any injury.

Manual dumbwaiters are best served in residential buildings where they are not in use as much as they would be in an industrial setting. If they are installed in a home with children then doors need to be manually locked, as access doors can open to the empty lift shaft.


Automatic designs are more suited to industrial use where they will be in operation constantly throughout the day/night. These dumbwaiters can be operated at the touch of a button, freeing up workers to concentrate on other things, saving precious time and money to a business.

Automatic dumbwaiters come in a variety of models which can hold different capacities and weights and can travel at different speeds (from 20fpm to 50fpm). Automatic models come with car grates for the openings and interlocks for the landing doors to ensure safety.