The 10 Best Bill Counters
This wiki has been updated 24 times since it was first published in July of 2015. It's no secret that the average bank note is covered in more germs than your toilet. Whether you struck it big in your birthday cards this year or your business deals with a lot of cash, one of these bill counters will save you the trouble of getting your hands dirty, not to mention greatly expediting the counting process. Many models are also capable of detecting counterfeit money. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
March 18, 2021:
The majority of our picks from last year seem to have withstood the test of time, but we did do away with the BlueDot Trading and Goplus Worldwide, due to availability issues, although we had no trouble finding good replacements for these models.
Our first pick, the Kolibri Signature, is a relatively expensive option, but it does bring some useful features to the table, like a built in receipt printer and designated pocket for counterfeits, which allows the unit to count cash continuously without pausing when it finds a fake. You can also set it to sort out bills according to denomination or even the direction they’re facing, so it’s a great tool to help get your bank deposits in order.
Our second pick, the Street Kingz Gold Money, caught our eye with its shiny gold aesthetic. Admittedly, the look might be a bit much for a lot of people, but we still thought it was worth including close to the bottom of our list, as there’s surely a nightclub owner or two, or maybe the host of a backdoor poker game, who’s going to think that it’s great fun. At the time of this writing, there wasn’t a lot of customer feedback available on this unit yet, so we’ll keep an eye on it to see what the reports say when we get to our next round of updates, but the existing reviews were good, and its rated specifications seem to be up to snuff.
If you’re less concerned with calculating the sum total of your riches, and more interested in making sure counterfeits don’t get past you, then you might be better served by our list of counterfeit bill detectors.
February 20, 2020:
During this round of updates, while half of our selections maintained their positions, we removed the Wyzworks NX-530B and Carnation CR180 due to availability issues, and we replaced Cassida 5520 and G-Star Deluxe with the Cassida 6600 and Gstar Supreme – both higher-end options from their respective companies. Our other new additions were the Domens Portable Mini – a smaller unit that’s suitable for mobile businesses like food trucks and farmer’s-market vendors, the Cassida Professional Scale – a good option for cashiers who need to count coins as well as bills, and the Ribao Technology BC-55 – an expensive selection with a color touchscreen that records serial numbers and is capable of mixed-bill counting.
A few considerations to keep in mind for this category:
Counterfeit Detection: One fantastic feature that many of our selections boast is their ability to double as a counterfeit-bill detector. This type of financial fraud is so common these days that it’s virtually impossible for busy businesses to properly police it, so it’s nice to know that these units can act as a safety net on the back end to prevent any imposter cash from making it into your bank deposits. While many models – like the Cassida 6600 – use ultraviolet and magnetic methods to monitor money as it moves through them, Machines like the Gstar Supreme feature five-step authentication processes that apply everything from infrared to dimensional tests.
Calculative Abilities: While the Cassida Professional Scale is the only model on our list that can count coins, it’s severely limited in that it can only weigh 200 bills at a time, and they need to be put on the scale in groups of 15, at most. Other models like the BlueDot Trading can run through bills significantly faster, but can only display how many bills they’ve counted, leaving users to calculate the value of their freshly counted stack manually. A step up from this, machines like the Cassida 6600 can calculate the totally value of single-denomination stacks, based on the input value selected by its user (if you tell it that it’s counting twenties, then put in 50, tens, it’ll still tell you it just counted a grand). Top-end models like the Ribao Technology BC-55 are capable of efficient mixed counting. As you might’ve ascertained from the name, this means you can drop a pile of mixed bills on its hopper, and it’ll do the math for you as it puts it through.
Speed: This might be less of a concern for small businesses counting medium-sized bank deposits, but for establishments that go through a lot of cash, a bill counter’s viability hinges on the top speed it can work at while maintaining perfect accuracy. While mid-grades models like the Domens Portable Mini can count 600 bills per minute, higher-end models like the Cassida 6600 can do more than double that, moving through bills at a top speed of 1,400 bills per minute. Models like the 6600 will also often feature multiple speed settings so you can slow it down if it’s having trouble counting the worn-out Benjamins you’re pushing through it (crisp bills tend to pose less problems for these units).
Two additional design considerations that also impact a counter’s productivity are the capacities of its hopper and stacker (the hopper is where you stack ingoing bills, and the stacker is where outgoing bills are deposited). Try to pick a model with a suitably sized hopper and stacker that can accommodate the biggest bundle you’re likely to wrap up.
AccuBanker With more than three decades in the industry, this company offers three-year warranties on their American-designed and -engineered machines. They also offer financing through a third party, but it doesn't seem likely that many will need to take advantage of that, as many of their options are quite reasonably priced. accubanker.com
Currency Counting Consultants This outfit is the official United-States distributor for Hitachi's currency processing equipment. They offer several heavy-duty options from the company, and they don't come cheap, but if you're dealing with the kind of money that requires one, then it's unlikely that you'll be phased. countcurrency.com
You're In The Money
Batching mode allows the operator to specify the number of bills needed per count, which the machine will feed before it stops counting.
Regardless of whether you're a business owner, a bank teller, or someone who appreciates accuracy when it comes to counting currency, a bill counter can be a valuable asset to ensure that the money you're handling is not only authentic, but properly scanned and catalogued.
A bill counter is a special monetary device dedicated to accurately counting a certain quantity of banknotes, checks, and even coupons as quickly as possible for batching and organizing. When a banker places a stack of cash into the machine's sorting tray (also known as a hopper), the bills are mechanically pulled through a microprocessor-based scanner one at a time with the help of a roller or internal wheel system.
As the bills are being pulled in, special fanning wheels that resemble plastic claws will separate the bills from one another. As the currency continues to be fed through the counter, each bill passes through the machine's optical sensor, which is designed to detect the edge of each bill. At this point, the currency is then counted and tallied up by the machine. This tally is based on the number of times the beam of light from the optical sensor has been interrupted, which tells the machine how many bills have passed through it.
An additional layer of technology that many bill counters utilize, after simple addition and tallying, is simple pattern recognition, which helps the machines determine the particular denominations of each bill being sorted. The microprocessor inside a typical bill counter can decipher the designs that are unique to each banknote, so it can always tell the difference between a one-dollar bill versus a twenty-dollar bill.
Another component of the bill counter that proves quite useful is its ability to detect counterfeit currency. The majority of bill counters leverage ultraviolet light (also known as black light) technology to illuminate the bills with florescent symbols printed on their surfaces, making it one of the most ideal means of counterfeit detection. With the advances in computers, copying, and laser printing, high-quality replication of many currencies has become significantly easier than ever before, hence the growing need for counters to be able to detect an invalid bill.
When a banknote is replicated in this way, the image on the bill sits on the paper's surface, making it easy for ultraviolet light to detect toner inconsistencies on paper in the same way an x-ray can be used as a diagnostic tool to detect damage to the human body. Once the counter has detected a fake bill, it displays a digital notice automatically to the machine's operator. Some machines will also produce an audible alert when this occurs.
Additional common features of many bill counters include addition and batching modes. As counters often reset themselves after feeding through a stack of bills, the addition mode allows the machine to continue counting when the operator puts a new stack of bills into the machine's hopper. This comes in handy when counting a large number of bills. Batching mode allows the operator to specify the number of bills needed per count, which the machine will feed before it stops counting. This is helpful when having to separate multiple stacks of currency.
Choosing The Best Currency Counter
The type of bill counter one chooses to invest in really depends on the business and how much cash one anticipates their staff having to organize. As most entry-level machines handle the feeding of between six and nine hundred bills per minute, these machines are ideal for mall kiosks, small clubs and businesses that may not experience the same kind of patron traffic as a major retailer or bank.
Finally, if you'll be dealing with a lot of customers, counterfeit detection is more important than ever.
The location of the counter is also an important consideration. Some bill counters are compact in design, making them easy to use on a desk or table. Some machines also have built-in handles for additional portability, which is beneficial if you plan on using your bill counter on the road as part of a traveling business.
For such a situation, a battery-powered counter will also come in very handy. Some of the best currency counters also have large, digital displays so you can always read the values of your bills and remain confident in the machine's accuracy.
Finally, if you'll be dealing with a lot of customers, counterfeit detection is more important than ever. In fact, having a machine capable of both ultraviolet and magnetic scanning will provide added assurance that can prevent you and your business from being ripped off.
A Brief History Of The Bill Counter
The first automatic bill counters were manufactured in the United States in the 1920s by the Federal Bill Counter Company of Washington D.C. and were designed to both improve bank teller efficiency and reduce the chance for counting errors within the Federal Reserve Banking System. These early machines would stop feeding currency once a batch had been completed, allowing a bank teller to insert a wooden block so that the batches could be kept separate from one another.
This high-speed machine was also capable of sorting bills according to their values as well as detecting both counterfeit and damaged currency.
In 1962, Tokyo Calculating Machine Works of Japan introduced a new technology that significantly increased the counter's speed and accuracy, setting the standard for most modern banknote counters still in use today.
In 1981, the REI high-speed machine was released and it leveraged computerized friction to count currency at over seventy thousand banknotes per hour, eliminating the need for manual sorting or counting entirely. This high-speed machine was also capable of sorting bills according to their values as well as detecting both counterfeit and damaged currency.
Another form of electronic counter that is popular today is one that can sort both paper currency and coins. These machines are usually used for counting individual deposits and the content of cash drawers.