Best Bill Counters

Updated December 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

17 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
103 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best bill counters

Last Updated December 2019

Accuracy is important, especially when dealing with money. It doesn't have to be large sums, just a large amount of bills. Whether you have a cash-based business, your school is hosting a fundraiser, or you work at a bank, a bill counter can be an invaluable machine that provides accurate counts in an instant.

If you've never purchased a bill counter before, the task might seem a little daunting. However, if you read through this handy guide, you'll learn exactly which features you need to consider when purchasing one, such as speed, hopper size, counterfeit detection, and portability. The good news is that once you know what those features are, you can buy with confidence.

To learn more about bill counters and the specific features that are best for your needs, keep reading. If you're ready to purchase now, consider one of the highly rated options we've spotlighted on this page.

Bill counters save time, but they’re also highly accurate machines that help eliminate human error when dealing with large numbers of bills.

Key considerations

Finding the best bill counter means finding the one with the features you need most. The following are the most important aspects to consider before making your final decision.

Speed

If you need to count a large number of bills, then counting speed will be an important consideration for you. Some of the smaller portable models count 600 bills per minute, while the higher-end models can count nearly 2,000 bills per minute. Most bill counters count approximately 1,000 bills per minute.

Hoppers

The hopper is where you load the bills for counting. Some of the low-end models may only hold about 100 bills, while the higher-end models can hold up to 500. The larger the hopper capacity, the fewer interruptions you’ll have while counting. Additionally, hoppers may be located in the front, the back, or, in some instances, on the top of the bill counter. Most require a neat stack of bills to be placed on edge. Larger-capacity hoppers that allow you to load bills flat tend to be a little more forgiving when it comes to neatness, enabling you to work more quickly.

Denominations

Most bill counters require you to presort your bills before putting them in the machine. In other words, you can’t just feed a stack of mixed bills into the machine to get a breakdown of how many fives, tens, or twenties there are. Higher-end bill counters have this feature. If it’s something you need, be prepared to pay a bit more.

Run time

Bill counters work at very high speeds and can run the risk of overheating. Many are designed to work for a designated amount of time before needing to cool off, while some can run continuously. Because of the high volume of bills that can be counted in a minute, overheating won’t be an issue for most users. If you anticipate the need to count bills for many hours at a time, it would be smart to purchase a model that can run indefinitely.

Technologies

Counterfeit detection: Even moderately priced bill counters come with the technology to detect counterfeit bills. Most have two ways to automatically check. The best machines use three or more methods.

Error detection: When bills are zipping through your counter at 1,000 per minute and there's a problem, such as a counterfeit bill is detected, you want your bill counter to be able to notify you of the error. It’s important to purchase a bill counter that can communicate errors to the user or your counts may not be accurate.

Currency detection: If you have an international business, you need a bill counter that either recognizes foreign currency or allows you to preset values so those bills will be accepted and counted.

DID YOU KNOW?

Besides the convenience of counting large sums of money in an instant, most bill counters can quickly identify counterfeit bills.

Bill counter features

User interface: The best bill counter is the one that’s accurate and easy to operate. The more complicated the user interface, the greater the chance of user error and the higher the frustration level. You don’t want to get to the end of a long session only to realize you accidentally lumped all the tens and hundreds in the same tally.

Self-test: When you turn on your bill counter, it’s comforting to know that all the elements are functioning properly. If this is something you desire, look for a bill counter with self-testing capabilities.

Portability: If portability is your main concern, look for a small, pocket-size bill counter that can be powered by batteries.

Bill counters aren't just for banks and cash-based businesses. They can come in handy for schools and organizations as well.

Detecting counterfeit bills

If you don’t have a bill counter, detecting a counterfeit bill can involve tilting the bill to see if the printing looks metallic, holding the bill up to the light to search for a watermark, or striking each bill with a special pen to see if you get a black mark. Bill counters that have counterfeit-detection technology can save you a great deal of time. The following are the three main ways a bill counter checks for counterfeit bills.

  • Ultraviolet light: Ultraviolet (blacklight) is a frequency on the electromagnetic spectrum that is too short to be seen by the naked eye. Ultraviolet counterfeit detection verifies watermarks in this range.
  • Infrared light: Infrared is a frequency on the electromagnetic spectrum that is too long to be seen by the naked eye. Infrared counterfeit detection verifies watermarks in this range.
  • Magnetic detection: US currency uses ink that has magnetic properties. If your bill counter has a magnetic detector, it can detect these magnetic fields to verify that the bill is genuine.
EXPERT TIP

Most bill counters need every bill to be fully intact in order for the machine to function properly.


Staff  | BestReviews

Other products we considered

There are quite a few uses for bill counters and depending on your needs, you might be interested in something other than the models we've presented above. If that’s the case, here are three more high-quality bill counters for your consideration. The Goplus Money Counter is an affordable machine that uses ultraviolet and magnetic counterfeit detection. The unit comes with a freestanding LED display so you can easily see your tally. Not only does the Carnation Money Counter feature ultraviolet and magnetic counterfeit detection but it also comes with free counterfeit-detection pens. The machine holds up to 200 bills at a time and can count 1,000 bills per minute. Finally, the EOM-POS Money Counting Machine counts 1,000 bills per minute and has overheat protection. The built-in handle makes transporting the unit easy.

If there is an error, most bill counters can detect the problem and notify the user that the accuracy of the count has been compromised.

FAQ

Q. How does a bill counter work?
A.
There are three steps a bill counter can use when counting bills. The first and most basic step is to simply count the number of bills. The machine rapidly pulls the bills from the hopper (where you place the stack) into the machine. The bills are counted as they pass through a scanner. The second step uses technology such as an ultraviolet or infrared light to aid in counterfeit detection. The third (more advanced and costly) step uses pattern recognition software to determine the type of bills being fed into the bill counter.

Q. How fast does a bill counter count bills?
A.
This number varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and model to model. The average bill counter counts around 1,000 bills per minute, which is roughly 17 bills per second.

Q. Do bill counters only count bills?
A.
No. It’s possible to purchase a bill counter that counts anything that fits into the hopper. This could be tickets, coupons, cards, or even just paper.

The team that worked on this review
  • Allen
    Allen
    Writer
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Michael
    Michael
    Writer

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