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Pop quiz: what do banks, convenience stores, nonprofits, mom & pop shops, and churches all have in common? They all handle large quantities of cash.
Now, obviously there’s some variation here. A bank is going to handle a lot more money than a church, for instance, but the church doesn’t have an army of people available to count it. Many churches are run by just a pastor, or a pastor with a couple of volunteers who help out once or twice a week. Spending half a morning counting stacks of $1 bills is a poor use of your resources.
Bill counting machines can get this hours-long task done in a matter of minutes. Even a slow cash counter can count hundreds of bills a minute, and the fastest can count well over a thousand bills a minute. Even a very large church or profitable retail store will be able to count their money in no time.
But this isn’t like buying a new phone charger or stapler. You need a bill counter to be even more reliable than an employee you know and trust to count your money.
Today, we’re going to be comparing two of the most popular bill counter brands on today’s market, Cassida and Carnation. We’ll be looking at the machines, obviously, but we’ll also look at the companies themselves, as well as a few of their other offerings. Now, let’s get started!
When buying a product, it’s good to know a thing or two about who the manufacturer is. Their reputation for customer service, their track record of reliability, and their business philosophy are all important considerations.
Imagine if you had the choice of buying two different cars. Their specs are similar, you like both of their features, and both of them are within your price range. But one of them is a Ford and the other is some startup from China that you’ve never heard of. Obviously, you’d buy the Ford.
So before we take a look at the products themselves, let’s take a quick look at each of these companies.
Cassida was founded in San Diego, California, in 1999. They offer a variety of cash and coin counting machines, as well as counterfeit detectors. They’re currently the most popular currency counting company in the United States, and they put an emphasis on sustainability. Through their Cassida Cares program, they accept old machines at no charge for recycling.
Carnation was founded in Itasca, Illinois, in 2004. Like Cassida, they offer a full array of money counting and counterfeit detection machines. And while Cassida is focusing on expanding in the US market, Carnation is taking a global approach. They offer currency counting machines for cash and coins in more than 60 countries.
Now that we know what these companies are, it’s time to see what types of machines they offer. This is the meat and potatoes of our review, and we’ll be spending the most time on it.
Before we go forward, it’s important to understand a few simple terms. After all, if we say that a machine offers UV and magnetic counterfeit detection, it’s important to know what that means. So, here’s an overview of cash counting machine basics:
The hopper. This is the tray that holds the bills that need to be counted. The larger the hopper capacity, the more bills you can count without reloading the machine.
The “pocket” or “stacker”. This is the tray where the bills are dispensed after they’ve been counted. Similar to the hopper in that the larger the capacity, the more bills you can count at once.
Bill detection. This feature means that a machine counts the denomination of the bill as well as how many bills there are. If you have a stack of mixed-denomination bills, a machine with bill detection will give you an accurate count without the need to sort the bills first. Some machines with bill detection also have multiple pockets for sorting them.
Counterfeit detection. This is another optional feature that you won’t see on all bill counting machines. Depending on what machine you buy, you might get one or more of three types of detection:
Cassida offers eight different models of bill counter.
Their smallest, the Tiger series, is a speedy little counter that can tally up to 1,300 bills per minute. Both the hopper and the pocket accept up to 200 bills. While it doesn’t offer bill detection, it does offer counterfeit detection. Ultraviolet detection is standard, while the UV/Magnetic dual detection version costs extra.
Their largest, the 7750R, is designed for retailers, specifically retailers who need to count more than one cash drawer. It does this with a batching feature, which means it can keep track not only of the total dollar amount, but also how much was in each drawer. It offers both bill detection and counterfeit detection, with UV, magnetic, and Infrared detection.
Carnation also offers eight different bill counter models.
Their basic model, the CR1800, counts at 1,000 bills per minute. Just like the Tiger, the hopper and pocket both accept up to 200 bills. It doesn’t offer bill detection, but it does offer a batch feature for keeping track of different stacks of bills, so once you’ve sorted your bills you can add the total up more easily. This machine offers all three types of counterfeit detection, and is compatible with seven different currencies: the US, Australian, and Canadian Dollars, the British Pound, the Euro, the Japanese Yen, and the Swiss Franc.
Their most advanced model, the CR2500, is a large machine about the size of an office printer. It offers bill detection as well as batching, and features three different pockets, each with a 300-bill capacity. The hopper itself has a 500 bill capacity. This machine has a sorting option, which is designed for quickly creating cash drops for register drawers. You can easily count out a few $10 bills, a handful of $5 bills, and a big stack of $1s into three different stacks with the CR2500. It utilizes all three types of counterfeit detection, and counts the same currencies as the CR1800.
Now that we’ve looked at the bill counters, here’s a quick look at the coin counters and accessories that both of these companies offer.
Obviously, these are a secondary concern if you’re looking for a bill counting machine, and some of the accessories may be things you can get cheaper somewhere else. Still, it’s worth taking into consideration.
Cassida manufactures nine different coin counters and scales, including sorting options. They also offer a trio of counterfeit detectors, a thermal printer for recording your counts, and a handful of cleaning kits and coin sleeves.
Carnation offers four different coin counters, including mixed-value and sorting options. Like Cassida, they offer three different compact counterfeit detectors, as well as a thermal printer.
So, how do you get your hands on one of these brands? Here’s how to buy.
Cassida’s counting machines aren’t available directly from the manufacturer. You have to go through one of their retail partners, who you can find on their website. Depending on which partner you visit, you may need to special order some products.
Carnation’s counting machines and accessories are all available directly on their website. They offer free shipping to the continental US, discounted shipping to Canada, and a variety of shipping options for international customers.
So, which bill counting machines are the best? At the end of the day, you’re the one who knows best what your business or nonprofit needs, so we’re certainly not going to tell you which machine you should buy.
That said, if you’re on the fence, Carnation offers a full array of cash counters and other money machines, and their shipping is fast and easy. Their machines are a little bit pricier, but even their basic model offers a full suite of counterfeit detection, as well as batching for retailers. And Carnation is the only one of these two companies to offer counting machines for non-US currencies, as well as transparent, consistent pricing from a single source. Check out Carnation’s full catalogue to learn more.