When it comes to the elevator industry, the team here at Elevators Ltd are the experts you want on your side. After all, each one of our members are equipped with the skills and knowledge to advise you on your elevator purchases. In fact, many people do not know the difference between a passenger elevator and a dumbwaiter and purchasing the wrong one can lead to a lot of regrets very quickly. Read on as we go through three key differences…

Intended Use

Perhaps the most obvious difference between an elevator and a dumbwaiter is the reason for the design. After all, a dumbwaiter is made specifically for the service industry in order to reduce the amount of time that is spent climbing up and down staircases by waiting staff as well as providing a cross-contamination prevention method. On the other hand, an elevator is large enough to safely carry dozens of people between the floors of a building which is why they are so large and are fitted with a secure weight capacity.


Due to these differing purposes, elevators and dumbwaiters are also incredibly contrasting in terms of size too. For example, an elevator is a large man-made design that has to be large enough to fit dozens of people inside comfortably and this means that they are often relatively large. Of course, the actual size can differ depending on whether they are going to be installed inside an apartment building or a public shopping centre. On the other hand, a dumbwaiter is designed to carry plates of food or small boxes between the floors of small story buildings, so they are much smaller in size and not built for the transportation of people.


Although an elevator cab is designed in order to fit a large quantity of people inside at any given time, they do have a weight capacity that cannot be exceeded. Luckily, passenger elevators have an average weight limit up to 2,500lb and are reinforced with 8-12 strong steel ropes which means that they are more than sturdy enough for use. Contrastingly, a dumbwaiter is much smaller and is only built to transport light items like laundry or food so they have a smaller weight capacity of up to 250lb.

Despite their small size, a dumbwaiter is not intended for use by people. In fact, dozens of people in the service industry are injured every year after foolishly attempting to use them to travel between floors. Thankfully, passenger elevators were designed specifically for people. To find out more information about the differences that separate our elevators from one another, get in contact with the best lift company around and speak to a member of the Elevators Ltd team today!