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Professional Micro Market, Vending, & Coffee Service


Understanding Coin Mechanisms for Vending Machines

Coin mechanisms are the vending machine answer to a retail POS (Point of Sale).  And like everything else in this gritty world, they get dirty.

Think about it.  A successful vending machine receives a lot of coins, every day.  Those coins have been passed through multiple hands. Add to that the ambient dust and dirt and your vending machine coin mechanism can get very dirty.

This post is about understanding coin mechanisms for vending machines, how to keep them operating properly by cleaning them and the different times of coin mechs used in today’s vending machines.

Clean with care

Single price coin mechanisms on older machines feature coin paths that can collect a lot of dirt.  The time to clean these is indicated by a decline in the machine’s acceptance rate of coins, or if there’s a noticeable build up of dirt (which we hope you monitor, as there’s nothing less consumer-friendly than a dirty vending machine).

The flight deck lid on the machine is where the going can get grimy.  Carefully lift this forward, taking care not to break it off. Using a soft cloth and gentle cleaning solution, following the machine’s manual for full cleaning instructions.

New vending machines have modernized coin mechanisms.  For these, you should refer to the manual before even thinking about cleaning the mechanism.

Different types of coin mechanisms

Over the years, vending machines have evolved substantially and their coin mechanisms with them.  This has led to the development of several distinct types of coin mechanisms, as follows:

  • Single price: Coinco’s most popular vending machines were developed during the 1980s and 90s, with two different types of coin mechanisms in play.  The 3000 series and the 9000 series are different, due to the number of dollar interface plugs in each.

With the 3000 series, a major problem is the fact that they can’t be adjusted once their coin mechanisms start getting finicky about what they’ll accept.

Mars Electronics developed its coin mechanisms concurrently with Coinco.  With their machines, tuning is possible, with dual interfaces. This feature has made Mars Electronics machines popular in Mexico and Canada.


  • 24 and 110-volt logic:  These are primarily snack machines, developed by the same companies mentioned above.  The 110-volt machines have now become largely obsolete, due to the ease of plugging these machines into a plug with the wrong voltage.
  • Multi Drop Bus and High Cap MDB:  Almost any vending machine manufactured in the last 10 years can be retrofitted with and MDB coin mechanism.  


The High Cap MDBs are equipped with 4 or 5-coin tubes (as opposed to 3, with the earlier models), containing as much as $90 in change.  With a $5 bill validator, the High Cap MDB coin mechanism is your best bet.

Bevco Service, Inc.

Bevco is a full-service vending machine company that brings you top-flight service and the best in vending machine services in the industry.

With 5 fully-trained technicians, we can respond to your service call in under an hour.  That’s service you can depend on. Contact us.