How to make a coin sorter

Updated July 20, 2017

A coin sorter separates a collection of mixed coins into groups of different sizes. If you have a coin bank or just a cup that you keep change in you will know how annoying it is to have to sit and move each coin into its own pile. You can speed up the tedious process by making a coin sorter that operates using gravity. You will need containers that fit inside each other and leave at least 1-inch gap between the containers.

Trace each of the differently sized coins onto the bottom of separate rectangular plastic containers, except for the smallest coin, with a marker. If you have four different coin sizes, you will use four different plastic containers but only drill into three of them.

Find a drill bit that makes a hole several millimetres smaller than the traced shape in each container.

Drill several rows of holes with the appropriate bit for each container in the bottom of the containers. The holes should be spaced about 1 inch apart from each other.

Place the undrilled container on a table. Insert the container with the smallest drilled holes inside the undrilled container.

Put the next smallest holed container inside the stack and place the largest holed one on top.


Save one of the covers and place it on top of the top container to keep the coins in while you are shaking them.


Hold the container steady while you drill or it will spin away and could hurt you.

Things You'll Need

  • Rectangular plastic containers
  • Marker
  • Drill bits
  • Power drill
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About the Author

Based in New Jersey, Michelle Raphael has been writing computer and technology articles since 1997. Her work has appeared in “Mac World” magazine and “PC Connections” magazine. Raphael received the George M. Lilly Literary Award in 2000. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from California State University.