Skip to content

Dumbwaiter vs Package Handling Lifts: Which Is for You?

Dumbwaiter vs Package Handling Lifts: Which Is for You?

Are you moving smaller materials in the safest and most efficient way possible?

If you’ve never considered the way you move things from point A to point B, you may not be getting the work done very efficiently. Even worse, you might be cutting corners on safety without realizing it, by using a method that’s not designed for the weight of what you’re transporting.

When you need to move lots of heavy materials, you want the right machine for the job. Depending on what your needs are, a package handling lift or a dumbwaiter will be the best choice.

How do you know whether to choose a dumbwaiter or package lift? It depends on your unique situation and needs. We’ve put together this guide to break down the pros and cons of each method, depending on your situation.

Read on to find out how to make the right choice to get the job done.


This machine, or small freight elevator, is similar to the elevators we are all familiar with but is designed to move smaller packages and goods instead of people. These freight elevators may be too small to even transport people but can be perfect for transporting objects.


Dumbwaiters can be an efficient way of moving goods between multiple floors. If you have a building with a lot of stories and want to get things between floors efficiently, this is often a good choice.

A dumbwaiter has its own vertical shaft, so it doesn’t take up a lot of horizontal space in the building. So if space is an issue, this can also be the way to go.


In the past, these small freight elevators were often noisy to operate. However, more modern ones tend to avoid this problem.

There are building codes required by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) that require freight elevators to have many of the same capabilities as passenger elevators. So if this is the method you choose, you’ll want to make sure you can meet those codes effectively.

Package Handling Lift

Package handling lifts, PFlow’s small material lifts, usually go alongside a staircase. These lifts can follow the diagonal path of the stairs, carrying heavy items up and down as needed, but PFlow manufactures vertical package handling lifts, allowing for comparative space-saving.


A package handling lift can have a larger platform for holding things than a dumbwaiter. They are often designed to carry heavier items, even up to 500 pounds. If you need to move very heavy things to a mezzanine or different floor, a package lift will be better able to do the job.


The package handling lift only works if there is a staircase where it can be installed or another good place for a lift. If you have limited space in your building or narrow staircases, this may not be the best option for you.

These lifts also tend to be slower, and it is difficult to get a package lift that goes up multiple flights of stairs. So if you have a building with many stories that you need to transport packages to, you might want to choose a dumbwaiter or larger VRC instead.

Final Thoughts

The choice of dumbwaiter or package handling lift all depends on what you plan to use it for.

You’ll want to take into consideration what kinds of things you’ll need to lift and their dimensions. Think about how many stories you need to transport things across, and how fast they should be moved.

With the answers to these questions, you can easily make the right choice for your building or business. Once you know what you need, or if you have further questions, be sure to contact us to take the next steps!

Return to the Blog Main Page.