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What are Dumbwaiter Elevators?

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Dumbwaiter Elevators are Freight Elevators but smaller. Dumbwaiters have a smaller carrying capacity and smaller size than the normal Elevators. Dumbwaiters are used to carry food from Kitchen to the Various Floors in the Building and the used dishes back to the kitchen for cleaning.

Dumbwaiters are found in various residential and commercial establishments where the kitchen is on a Separate floor. Dumbwaiters are installed in Restaurants, Hotels, Hospitals, Laboratories, Private Residences, etc.

The Dumbwaiters have a height of about 1200mm (~4 Feet) and are made specially for transport of small things. Dumbwaiters, because they are used to carry material may not have safeties which are generally available in a Passenger or a Freight Elevator. The Dumbwaiters Elevators do not have any push buttons inside the cabin and all the buttons are placed outside at the Lobby hence, the person loading the material is responsible for pressing the button for the destination of the Elevator.

General Specifications of a Dumbwaiter

  • Carrying Capacity : 150 to 200 Kgs (May Exceed but depends on the application)
  • Speed : 0.30 to 0.75 mps (May Exceed this Speed depending on height of the building)
  • Cabin Size : 700 X 700 X 1200mm ( Approximately )
  • Type of Doors : Manual Horizontal Sliding Doors or Automatic Horizontal Sliding Doors. Sometime the Vertical Sliding Doors are used but are not as reliable as the horizontal doors.
  • Clear Door Opening : 700 X 1000mm (Approximately)
  • Machine Type : Geared Traction Machine (Sometimes Drum type Hoists are used)

The Above Specification may change based on the Owners or Site Requirement.

Uses and Application of Dumbwaiter

As mentioned Earlier, Dumbwaiters are generally used to carry food from floor to Floor. However, with growing vertical infrastructure, the dumbwaiters are put to use in many industrial and commercial establishment.

Dumbwaiters are used in Hospitals to carry Sterile Equipment, Clean Laundry and Tools to the Operation Theater and also a Separate dumbwaiter is used to carry the Used Equipment, Dirty Laundry and used tools to the Cleaning Rooms.

Dumbwaiters are used in Laboratories to move the samples collected from the collection department to the testing department safely without much shaking. Dumbwaiter are also used in research Laboratories to carry the hazardous samples to various floor where work can be done on those samples.

Dumbwaiters are also used in various warehouses from retail to industrial Warehouses for moving the products to and from the storage for the Products which arrive from the factory and for the products which are to be prepared for shipping.


Dumbwaiters are small freight elevators which were originally made to carry food but with time are used in multiple industries to carry small material of various types for easier material handling and sometime because the material has to be handled safely and should be handled by people for safety concerns or is too tedious for people to transport it.

Here is a video one of the dumbwaiter which is made by Blue Star Elevators in a Corporate testing laboratory used to carry samples to and from testing department.

Dumbwaiter by Blue Star Elevators India Ltd.

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